Saturday, October 06, 2007


No election??

How on earth is it fair that he was unelected as a leader, and he still gets to be the one to decide whether we get to vote for him for the next few years??

I shall henceforth refer to him as our Undemocratic Leader. That is, until HE deems it appropriate for us to get to either select or reject him democratically. Ridiculous.

Good thing we beat the Aussies, otherwise it would be a right royal miserable Saturday.

It seems I am not finished ranting. How dare HE choose that he wants to show that the financial fiasco, foot and mouth furore, and all the other faffs he has badly managed are not the only strings to his bow.

And what is with his hanging jaw?? Bloody annoying.

Fact is, he knows that he would lose. Which means he knows the public don't want him. He has a lot of gaul. Well, he may get to decide the timescale, but we will have our day. And I just hope the forgetful electorate remember this.


Anonymous said...

We vote for a political party, an ideology and a manifesto, not a prime minister.

The chances of Labour not winning an election if one were held in November are zero.

You could even argue that it's better to concentrate on being in government than piss about with an election when one isn't required.

Emily Wearmouth said...

Oh, a nice brave anonymous Labour voter ;-)

We are *supposed* to vote for an individual, not a party. However, we now have personality politics. We vote for a party that is represented by its leader. Its niave to believe that the electorate do not express their opinion about the party leader (more than their local MP) through their vote.

If you think the chances of them not winning are zero you have obviously totally ignored the poll swing since the Tory conference. You are also probably of a different opinion to our Undemocratic Leader, who is quite obviously running scared of the democratic process right now.

I think spending 8 weeks making sure we have the right people in power is worth it - rather than having to go through another two years of cock ups and pain.

Cardinalsin said...

I maintain that nobody can be justifiably annoyed at GB being PM without an election. Those who voted Labour must have been on another planet when they voted if they didn't think GB would become PM during the next few years - the election was practically fought on "vote TB get GB". Those who voted for other parties didn't support either TB or GB, so why does it matter that there was a change halfway through?

That said, I think GB may take a pummeling over this. He has allowed his allies to fuel election speculation for too long to avoid the implication that he was himself behind it. Now that he has failed to call an election, immediately after a sharp downturn in Labour polling, it looks like opportunism. (I'm not convinced it is; I suspect the plan was to use election speculation to promote Tory infighting - which spectacularly backfired.) The Tories will certainly present it as such.

I have to say, I agree with anon[*] that Labour would win an election held in November. The polls clearly indicate a swing to the Tories back from Labour, but they are still behind Labour (at best, 4 points behind). If they were very lucky the concentration of the swing to Conservative in marginals would lead to loss of enough seats to make a hung parliament. Most political pundits agree that based on current polls there is no chance the Tories would get a majority if an election happened tomorrow.

[*] I bet I know who anon is ;o)

Emily Wearmouth said...

Ah, should have known Almostalady's socialist pals would be on to this post like a shot :-p

Emily Wearmouth said...

Oh and:

"Gordon Brown's decision not to call an autumn election came as three separate opinion polls showed the Tories had overturned the PM's "bounce" and raced into a lead."

Emily Wearmouth said...

Hmmm... now that link didn't work.

So here it is in full:

Tories end 'Brown bounce' via polls
2 hours ago

Gordon Brown's decision not to call an autumn election came as three separate opinion polls showed the Tories had overturned the PM's "bounce" and raced into a lead.

One survey of 83 crucial marginal seats put Mr Cameron's party an astonishing six points ahead - a finding that would have seen Labour's Commons majority wiped out.

The ICM poll for the News of the World gave the Tories a 44% share of the vote to Labour's 38% in marginal seats where the two parties would have gone head-to-head in close battles.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith was among 49 Labour MPs the poll suggested would have lost their seats if the poll had gone ahead next month.

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times showed a massive nine-point jump for the Conservatives in a week to breach the significant 40-point mark at 41% - a lead of three.

And a BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday gave the Tories a one-point lead at 39%. Both showed a huge squeeze on the Liberal Democrat vote, with the party scoring 11% and 12%.

The latest findings come fewer than two weeks after Mr Brown was enjoying a consistent lead - of up to 11 points at one time.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said that it was right Mr Brown had made a decision. But he warned that people would see it as being a "loss of nerve".

He said the fact that the situation had gone so wrong for Mr Brown so soon suggests the advice he was receiving was not particularly good.

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington said the Prime Minister's decision not to hold an early election was an "utter fiasco". He said: "The incompetent handling of the last few weeks has squandered the goodwill the people of this country felt towards Labour as the result of Tony Blair going."

cardinalsin said...

Fair point; today's polls do indeed show a 1-3 point lead for the Conservatives (the really big lead is in the marginals). However, the 49-seat reduction is still not enough to give the Conservatives a majority.

Anyways, I still don't see the logic of GB needing an election to be PM. Everyone who voted for this government knew that GB would at the very least remain chancellor, and probably become prime minister, during this term - and it was their votes that put this government in power. You may not like it, but then presumably you didn't vote Labour in the first place.

If I were you, I'd be pleased. GB's current failure to control election speculation has unified the Tories like never before and handed Cameron a nice big bounce in the polls. Only a week ago it looked like an early election would hand Labour an easy victory and 5 more years in power (2 and a half more years than they have already been elected for).

PS: socialist is not a dirty word! ;o)

Rob said...

Seeing as you mentioned financial fiasco...

Brown has said: "I would relish the chance to forensically show how the Conservatives' policies would bring economic disarray to this country. But as Prime Minister you alone make a decision about Election."

Cameron has targeted the popular policies: stamp duty and inheritance tax. And that's great, as both need to be looked at, but Cameron's plan to raise the inheritance tax threshold from £300,000 to £1 million will apparently leave a £3.5 billion hole in the budget. It has been claimed that the proposed £25,000 fee charged to business people who register abroad for tax purposes will probably only raise a fraction of that amount.

Raising the threshold for stamp duty will only save people up to £2,500 (although that's a potential £500 million deficit as Osborne claims it'll help 200,000 people a year) and won't get many more first time buyers into the market as most houses are still unaffordable - especially with the current credit problems, mostly due to sub-prime lending in the US (something that caused problems for Northern Rock due to their financial model, but the Bank of England is strong enough to be able to bail them out - the "fiasco" was mostly caused by people taking their money out of the bank, if they'd done nothing then Northern Rock's share prices wouldn't have dropped so dramatically, and people keep forgetting that Northern Rock customers haven't lost any money). The Tories proposed the same £250,000 threshold back in 2005 and they didn't win then.

Scrapping the early release scheme sounds good, as we can keep violent criminals in prison for longer, but how will 1,200 new spaces solve the overcrowding problem if you're keeping 25,000 prisoners for longer? And how do you pay for everything? Sure, you can pinch money from scrapping ID cards (claimed to be £255m), but what happens when that money's used up? Those additional spaces have to mean higher maintenance costs, and the money has to come from somewhere.

I don't think the proposed new policies will lead to economic disarray, as claimed by Brown, but right now they don't look economically sound either (I'm not sure the environmental taxes and non-domicile fee will fill that £4 billion hole).

I'm not trying to attack the Tories (who seem to have the right idea, but not the right budget) or promote Labour (who have made mistakes, but haven't screwed things up too badly). Personally, I don't totally agree with either party's policies at the moment - or any other party, for that matter. Delaying an election simply gives me more time to hear out policies and budgets, so I can make an informed decision.

PS I'm not sure someone's jaw is a good enough reason to pick one political party over another ;)

Michael Sweeney said...

Heh, a not so anonymous (and yes, a socialist) poster.

I think others have covered most points, but to reiterate - this is a parliamentary democracy so people vote for parties and if they do vote for individuals it is their local MP, not some distant leader... as someone who actually does knock on doors I can tell you you'd be surprised at how much people identify with their local representative vs the leader.

As for poll swings and the need for an election, to quote two people not known for their love of labour (source: BBC website)...

Lord Tebbit "...Opinion polls are not worth the paper they are written on, in my view, through the conference season. They don't settle down again until November"

Sir Malcolm Rifkind "I think to contemplate a general election two years after the last general election when you have a healthy working majority in the House of Commons is a constitutional outrage."

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