Andrew Allison

Brown – will he or won’t he?

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2007 at 9:34 am

Back to politics. Two weeks ago I thought Gordon Brown was about to call an early election. I was wrong when I thought he might do it before the party conferences, however I still think an election is in the air.

Much has been made of how the government handled the Northern Rock affair. Brown was his usual quiet self – much as he was when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, however we don’t need opinion polls to tell us that after ten years as chancellor he is trusted more on the economy than David Cameron and George Osborne. There may be economic problems looming, but in the eyes of the electorate Labour haven’t done a bad job at running the economy. We know they have been storing up debt that future generations will have to pick up the tab for. We know they have increased the state dependency culture more than any other government. We know these things are – in the long term – bad for Britain, but the electorate is never really bothered about the long term. They are interested in whether they can pay their bills today and whether they think they will be better off in a year’s time. Problems that may arise in ten years as a result of actions taken today are of no interest.

If there is a significant downturn in economic fortunes in – say – the next year, this will limit Brown’s options of going to the polls. Some commentators think he will announce a general election next week at the Labour Party Conference. He may well do that – or he may not. What he will do though is announce an election shortly. Autumn is never a good time to get your vote out. The weather is not very good and with darkness at around 5.00pm, voters tend to stay indoors rather than go out to vote. This will benefit Labour. The Tories’ have an uphill task of getting the vote out and attracting new votes. David Cameron is not seen – as yet – as a prime minister in waiting and with some clever advertising and manipulation of the media, Labour will show Gordon Brown as the statesman, with years of experience. The steady hand to steer the ship, with bold and imaginative ideas to make Britain a more prosperous and fairer society.

There are too many people in the Conservative Party unsure about the current leadership and they are making it known. Everyone in Labour – in public at least – is behind the Brown premiership, and with good reason. Considering my previous predictions have been wrong, please don’t go down to the bookies on my say so, but I think we will be casting our votes on October 25 or November 1. Everything is in place for Brown and us Tories will be consigned to a total of at least 14 years in opposition. God help us.

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