Saturday, October 06, 2007

Poll Axe

So we won't be queuing out in the November rain to cast our votes after all. Gordon Brown has dismissed the idea of an Autumn election and probably also the prospect of a 2008 one too.

It's the right decision.

Think about it for a second. We've had a "New Labour" government for over 10 years... and a change of Prime Minister in only the last few months. If you are in favour of Gordon Brown's leadership... naturally you'll want to extend his reign for as long as possible. If you are against it, I don't think you should be so keen to risk giving him a four year mandate to make things worse.

There are some people who would vote against New Labour purely because they think 10 years under one party's rule is enough. However, change for the sake of change is one of the most erroneous choices a person can make. I have often spoken out against the policies of Tony Blair, so you might be mistaken for believing I'd like to see New Labour out as as soon as possible. In fact, my opinion is that we should give Gordon Brown an opportunity to see if he can keep and live up to his word - he has limited time... not a full term. He will have to hit the ground running to prove his salt... and by the time he is obliged to call an election, we - the voting public will be in a much better position to make an informed decision (for those of us who still believe in doing such things... rather than moronically voting on autopilot for any one party).

However,although we have arrived at what I believe is the right outcome... we have done so in a manner which I believe has damaged Gordon Brown's credibility.

I saw David Cameron's strong arm tactic of calling for an election, as primarily a bluff. It is a gamble that has paid off. Brown has seen a blip in the opinion polls and has been the first to blink. It has weakened his image as a strong leader... but in the long term view, he has given himself more time to prove himself - be that as a success or as a failure.

One of my strongest reasons for not wanting an election now, is that on the face of things we still have two centre right economical and authoritarian parties contending for Government. I want to see if Brown is going to temper Blair's reforms and bring in more laws favouring welfare and less that favour Orwellianism. There is precious little hope of that as it is... but an election would severely damage what hope does exist.
Lets wait and see what 2008 brings.

You can read more analysis and reaction on Nick Robinson's blog over at the BBC.

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