Posted tagged ‘crewe and nantwich’

Look out, Gordon, there’s an Elephant in the room

May 22, 2008

I don’t think I was the only person watching Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday that knew exactly where David Cameron was leading with his “why aren’t you visiting Crewe and Nantwich” question to Gordon Brown. And there must have been a little part of him chuckling as Brown walked straight into it, with his “traditions” answer that allowed the Blair sucker punch.

Come on! This was even more obvious than a coyote pouring out a pile of “Free Bird Seed” under the Acme Road Runner Descending Cage (Patent applied for).

I can’t believe Brown didn’t see this coming. I can’t believe whoever was preparing the briefs for PMQ’s didn’t know that this was a potential line of attack and have something ready for use to at least make Cameron work to get his line out. Even a simple “unlike my predecessor I fully believe in the tradition of Prime Ministers not attending, much as the part opposite did when in power: (and then lead onto an attack on something they did in their 1979 manifesto.

A leader is also someone you can look to in times of crisis. Witness a certain Alex Fergusson after being knocked out of European and UEFA football in 2005, returning last night to a nervy, edge, very close victory. That’s a leader you could get behind and trust to make the call. Brown can’t even see a trapdoor, let alone avoid one. That’s why I don’t think he’s the man to lead the party, the Parliament, or the country.

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Oliver Letwin Questions “10p Tax” and Electoral Law

May 13, 2008

I’ll post up some more thoughts on Alistair Darling’s statement to the House of Commons regarding the change in personal allowances (to cover the mess of the doubling of the 10p tax band) later on, but for now, I want to echo Oliver Letwin’s comment in the house. Does the announcement of this change in the run up to the Crewe and Nantwich by election breech any part of electoral law?

Certainly in the run up to the Local and General Elections there is a period of Purdah, but I’m not aware of any special arrangements for by-elections. It would be silly to shut down everything just because of a by-election (think how much fun you could have in the run up to key legislation), but this announcement could be seen as blatant electioneering – which is of course what the ‘tax cutting budget’ was intended to do in the first place.

Anyone more versed in this issue care to comment?