Anorak News | The General Election Will Be On November 9

The General Election Will Be On November 9

by | 13th, August 2007

GORDON Brown is popular – or at least he night be more popular than David Cameron, who might not be very popular at all. So it’s time for an election. Dizzy looks:

There seems to be a lot of talk this morning about whether Labour can afford a snap election. Actually, snap election talk is the current Westminster gossip it seems. Personally I think much of the speculation is being stirred up by Labour sources who want to make the Tories edgy in the hope that policy announcements are made which they can either (a) rip apart over time, or (b) try to describe a lurch to the Right. There is something of an irony in the latter given the strategy of trying to portray Brown as a lurch to Left, but I digress.

Christopher Hope in this morning’s Daily Telegraph argues that the accounts for the year ending December 2006 which were filed with the Electoral Commission (see here) shows that they’re in £24 million of debt and the loans from the “cash for peerages” affairs are due to be repaid shortly.

Meanwhile, in the Times, Tim Hames points out that “[t]he thesis that Labour does not have the money to fight an election is feeble. If a party looks like it will win, then cheques always turn up pronto.” This does too me sound realistic, and whilst Labour are in debt, you have to ask yourself, what is that debt, and who do they owe it too? As I understand, a significant amount of it is mortgage, or more correctly re-mortgage debt. It is not debt upon which it is contingent to pay off before they could consider an election.

This said, if Labour were genuinely preparing to go to the polls, they would be recruiting big time into their HQ wouldn’t they? Yet we’re not hearing about that from anyone in the media that might be connected to Labour. Then again, has anyone thought to ask them how many people they’ve recruited recently? Possibly not. Then of course, there are the Unions, and in particular, Unite.

The merger between Amicus and TGWU which created the super-union Unite has assets alone totaling £177m. Their income was £72m with expenditure of £51m. That means they’re in surplus to the tune of £21m. They could, if they chose to, fund an election campaign on they’re own. Add in the other Unions and the argument that Labour can’t afford it is risible.

Personally I don’t think it’s going to be in October. As much as there are apparently orders to get candidates in place by their conference, it’s not going to be money that’s the issue but organisation. Mind you, it’s interesting to see that Tim Hames has suddenly floated November out there instead. Whether this is speculation off his own back, or something that has come from a briefing I do not know. But if it’s the latter I think it fits in with a desire to stoke uncertainty by Labour and make the Tories react.

No one can really be sure when an election might be, but it makes sense to encourage constant speculation to draw attention away from the malaise of policy failures. If people talk about elections they also talk about polls, and current polls make for morale-sapping reading for the Tories. It makes perfect sense for Labour to concentrate Tory minds on they’re polling with the hope that the party will implode once again in reaction to it. For all we know, this election narrative is just part of Brown’s media agenda grid for the summer.

Posted: 13th, August 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink