Friday, May 15, 2009

Gordon Brown should call a General Election

Disclaimer: This post is made in a strictly personal capacity. It is not made by the Vice Chair of the Labour Party in the North West, nor the Labour councillor for Kensington and Fairfield, nor the Secretary of the Liverpool Co-operative Party. I have not taken sufficient soundings from anyone I represent in order that I could claim otherwise. I do not therefore expect it to be reported anywhere else in terms of "Labour Party or Co-op Party person" is commenting on this matter

The Parliamentary Expenses scandal is now so severe that the only decent democratic course of action must be the immediate calling of a General Election. The PM should go to see the Queen as soon as possible.

I am not a fool, I have been a political campaigner for 17 years, I know the Labour Party would suffer serious electoral damage, but I am afraid there is no choice. I dont think we should hang on, hoping for the polls to rise up above the appalling and scary 20% they have apparently fallen to today, I think we should lance the boil. I don't think that waiting for a better political climate would be the right course of action, I believe the people deserve the best representatives and that all parties should deselect anyone who has not behaved honourably, unless they resign themselves of course, and find decent people to stand in their place.

And then we should let the public vote for new representatives that they can trust.

No other course of action will do.


Henry said...

I understand what you are saying but when all parties have been found to be guilty of greed and deciet wouldn't a general election at the moment label one or other party the most guilty when they lose? The other danger is, and we may see the affect in the European election is that the protest vote will go to the forces of evil. This is not the time to hand Cameron the keys to number 10 when his party has been equally guilty. Cameron is an opportunist ( if that word may be used on your blog) and a pragmatist, he knows that throwing a few of yesterdays men to the wolves will improve his rating and make him look like the strong leader he isn't. If we call an election now we fall for it as much as we fell for the sickening little scroungers who have been ripping us off while they preach at us. The other thing isBrown has shown no leadership in this, caught in the media headlights and like all of them expressing anger at the leaks rater than the facts, which did him no good at all. The how dare they expose our wrongdoings has seldom been a good defence. But there are things that could be brought to the attention of the public. How many MPs are in Parliament? 632 or something? How many have been named as being involved in these corrupt practices? I would hope it may be shown that the majority of MPs have acted with some morality within the expenses system but I doubt the media frenzy will give any coverage to this. I think the best course therefore would be to allow a police investigation or an independent body to look at the claims and where necessary take criminal action. But it needs to be transparent and fast. Then at least when the general Election is called we may know a little more about the nature of who we are voting for. At the moment we have allowed the media frenzy to tell us that our entire democratic system is corrupt and that is a very dangerous territory,particularly when the world economic system is in freefall and who knows what forces could emerge to safeguard their interests and what level of public support they might get in this climate?

Anonymous said...

Well done for saying so, Louise! You are just voicing what many others are thinking. It's my belief that there is no other way forward now - Parliament has no credibility left and that includes those MP's who have not turned into property speculators,mortgage fraudsters, moat-cleaners, poshTV addicts and so on all on our money.

Parliamentary process requires not only the prestige which flows from being elected. It also involves an element of trust, now destroyed.

I don't want a Tory Govt. I want a
Labour Govt. But I want a Labour Govt. which has the consent and the
plain trust of the British people.

Calling an election - soon - is not being driven from office: This is a House of Commons issue, and it affects all Parties - it is not a Labour Govt issue alone; but we have the power to keep faith with the electorate and to allow the expression of disapproval which must rightly and inevitably come.

Delay will only stoke the flames and further discredit Parliament.

I don't want that. Let's go for it.

And let's not fail to be proud of what has been achieved either!


Louise Baldock said...

Hear Hear

Anonymous said...

a brave call Cllr Baldock, but on the basis that it would result in carnage at the ballot box for your party, you know as well as I do that it just aint going to happen.
No, it will be may 6th 2010 when we are rid of this shameful administration.

its a choice that's this stark, GB can condem himself to infamy as the worst PM, poss ever, or he can stagger on with his usaul inepitude for the next 11.5 months and be driven from office replacing Foot as worst ever labour leader

shame as I dont doubt he is a decent man. a decent man with the political instinct of plank of wood.

Louise Baldock said...

- just a reminder that I did not post my remarks as a councillor.

Anonymous said...

yes my typo sorry Louise, i appreciate you are speaking as a citzen of earth only!

treb said...

Its coming up, its coming up, its coming up, its coming up, it's coming up, it's coming up...........ITS DARE. About time too

Paula Keaveney said...

I have to say I agree. I genuinely don't believe that all MPs have been on the take (believe me I've seen inside some MPs houses!!). But enough have for trust to have been lost across the board. It's all very well talking about reforms,and what the speaker should or shouldn't do, but none of that will actually lance the boil. I am sure a GE now would throw up some "odd" results and many unprepared people would suddenly find themselves catapaulted early into a campaign. But that is quite simply the price that has to be paid.

What has struck me throughout this coverage is that MPs haven't realised that attempting to defend or justify what they have done actually makes them sound worse than saying - "yep I did the wrong thing, won't happen again".

Tim said...

I understand the reason you're saying this, but think Hopi Sen is right when he argues that calling a General Election will not deal with the issue when there is no objective evidence to enable voters to decide who is really breaking the letter or spirit of the rules and who is not. I'd link to his post but can't remember how to do it in blogger comments...

scouseboy said...

In the meantime, important issues such as the tragic loss of life of four young men in afghanistan last week (including one gurgha-and the issues surrounding his family) are pushed to the less read middle of the newspapers

Anonymous said...

I don't want to reveal my identity (doing so would get me into all sorts of trouble) but I have to agree for once with Paula Keaveney.

Louise Baldock said...

I am somewhat swayed by the arguments that an immediate General Election would not give time for MPs to clear their names, but remember, no-one has a right to be an MP. But everyone has a right to be represented by someone honourable.

martin said...

I understand the main thrust of your comment, but having been out dor knocking this weekend in Sheffield I do not agree. The electorate do not want to vote for any of the present MPs. There needs to be more information understood by all the electorate first. Any MP who employs are family member or claimed for food, any travel of anyone but them selves, of travel outside the UK, needs to look out its not just well it was in the rules

Louise Baldock said...

I think I have been convinced by the comments left here, and by what I have read in the paper, and by the latest NEC report from Ann Black. A General Election right now would
a. Tar all MPs with the same brush, including those who are generally blameless
b. We need time to sort out the wheat from the chaff in terms of who claimed for what, and how we feel about them
c. Likely beneficaries would include extreme parties.

So, let's allow Parliament and each party to examine each claim and also allow the guilty to resign, so that we are in a clearer position.

I just hope it doesn't take too long.