Thursday, 8 September 2011

Public money for Party help – A slippery slope to defeat

Yesterday’s PMQs saw Labour question Cameron on the election schedule for the tories’ elected Police Commissioners in which it was revealed that they are to take place separately in autumn 2013 and not in joint-elections with the Local Elections in spring next year. Similarly, the extra cost of doing so will incur the public purse around £25 million pounds!!

Furthermore, a Lib Dem party spokesperson has tonight revealed to the BBC that it was the Liberal Democrats who pressured their coalition partners into delaying the new elections in an attempt to “depoliticise” the campaigning environment and increase the chances of reelection and electoral return of the party’s councilor base.

This move is in complete contrast to the AV referendum and Local Elections where it was the tories who wanted them to take place separately in autumn 2011 and instead it was Nick Clegg who pushed for joint-election in the ill fated May elections which saw us lose the referendum and nearly 750 Councillors. Yesterday’s latest move surely has to be borne out of the initial findings of James Gurling’s report into the May 2011 elections in which he stated that it “presented the Liberal Democrats with a ‘perfect storm’” through which our energy was expelled on two large national campaigns.

They'll both use this against us! and with good effect!!!
It was envisaged that AV referendum would be joint-elected as a means of saving £17 million through joint operational savings and although this doesn’t appeared to have swayed the public’s affections towards AV, it does pose some uncomfortable truths for the Police elections. This time, its not ‘our’ elections, it’s the tories, however, the results will affect the operational objectives of regional forces and no doubt form part of the greater electoral opinion of Liberal Democrats fortunes. Likewise, whilst the public was unmoved by our saving of £17 million, they will be absolutely furious of our unnecessary spending of £25 million which will go onto affect our local electoral prospects in the years to come through the ammunition our opponents and the media now appear to have.

My recommendation is to have joint-elections again, save that £25 million and focus on our Local Election candidates. Of course we will get ‘U-turn’ press over doing so but that will be nothing like the downturn we’ll see in our polls over wasting £25 million in a time of economic instability, fiscal deficit reduction and all in an attempt to save our own skins and not the publics.

The public still doesn’t appreciate the sacrifices we gave to the national interest in joining the coalition but they will understand all too well these actions and will sign our electoral death certificate happily.

Lets work to keep our heads up NOT down :)
Note: we only have 1098 Councillors left, we do intend keeping them don’t we? Hindsight’s a wonderful thing don’t you know!


  1. 1098 LD Councillors?

    Total: 3,082 LD Councillors.
    It is down from a high of 5,000 around 1997 but we have not fallen that far!

    Cllr Colin Strong
    Spelthorne, Surrey.

  2. This "news" was actually covered two days ago.

  3. @Colin - you're quite right, I looked at the Election 2011 site and forgot to factor in the other councilor terms.

    @anonymous - thanks for the heads up on the Guardian