There’s been some speculation over the last few days about the possibility of a General Election in early 2009. I don’t buy it personally – I expect Brown to cling on until the bitter end of his term – but as Conservatives we are of course ready to kick this rotten Labour Government out whenever the time comes. I do, however, have a simple rule of thumb to figure out whether Labour are considering an election in February or March.
If you have a sitting Labour MP who is seeking re-election, and you receive a “Parliamentary report” from them in January or February, then Labour are considering a snap poll.
These reports, which by coincidence just happen to be done in bright red and yellow, are supposedly neutral and are paid for in full by the taxpayer. Barbara Keeley MP sent her 2007 newsletter out at the height of the election speculation. Why use Labour Party funds to promote your candidate when you can use public money to do it?
Lucy Powell is the Prospective Labour Candidate for the Manchester Withington constituency. She writes an occasional blog for the Guardian website and regularly manages to put her foot in it. During the Crewe & Nantwich by-election she decided to help the Labour cause by slagging off Bentley, who are of course a major local employer in Crewe. Now following the TIF referendum result, she’s managed another gaffe, implying that the majority of voters in Greater Manchester are stupid. Here’s the key paragraph:
We simply didn’t win the argument. Even after a big public information campaign, the basic facts of the proposed scheme just didn’t get through. It was a complex set of proposals, which were not readily understood. There remains much confusion and misunderstanding about them.
The implication here is clear – if people had understood the proposals they would have voted yes. So Lucy Powell is saying clearly that the good people of Greater Manchester are stupid. Bravo Lucy – typical of the patronising attitude that Labour takes to the people who elect them around these parts.
Lucy’s comment are, of course, arrant self-serving nonsense. Over £3m of taxpayers’ money was spent on a huge propaganda publicity campaign, not to mention the countless thousands spent by the YES campaign, and yet when the vote comes back a resounding NO our Labour representatives blame ignorance on the part of the voters. There has been a stubborn refusal from Lucy and her Labour colleagues to accept any responsibility for the result.