When Gordon Brown announced via a cosy BBC interview that there was not going to be an autumn election he claimed that the reason was that he wanted to set out his vision for the Country and then allow the voters to pass their judgement. I am sure many people felt as I did when on Tuesday in the pre-budget report many of the Chancellor’s plans seemed to have an uncanny resemblance to the policy ideas we had been setting out and discussing in Blackpool last week. Nothing by the way of original ideas. I saw all this in the dying days of the last Conservative Government and whilst because of the passage of time the whole situation is now very different you do get the feel that the Government is giving the impression of having run out of steam. Not so much vision as vacuum as David Cameron said in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.
On Tuesday evening I called in at a Cheese and Wine evening organised by the Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People. They are a great local charity who do fantastic work for those who are blind or have difficulty with their eyesight.
After weeks of speculation we now know there will not be a General Election in the next few weeks. I was surprised that the Prime Minister tried to suggest that the speculation about a General Election was all to do with the media. The reality was that senior Labour Party members openly discussed the prospect of a General Election and when the Prime Minister was given the opportunity of laying the rumour and speculation to rest he specifically refused to do so knowing that in so doing the speculation would grow.
For our part as we have local elections three years out of every four, plus European elections every five years on top of General Elections it does not take too much to gear up for an election and if a General Election had have been announced we would have been ready.
I have been out and about helping to deliver leaflets over the last couple of days and we have been lucky with very pleasant shirt sleeve weather.
Back in Bury after spending the last four days in Blackpool. Well you would expect me to write that it was a great Conference ………. and it was!
Sue and I had a very busy and enjoyable few days. Politically I was pleased that we heard a series of new policy announcements that will go down very well indeed in Bury. I will be commenting on these in more detail in the weeks ahead. On the social side of Conference I had a number of meetings with friends and Party colleagues.
Compared with some years in Blackpool the weather has been very kind – the only rain we saw was as we left the Hall today and it was raining all the way back to Bury.