Saturday, 6 October 2007

An Early Election?

We may hear today whether Gordon is going to opt for an early election: the BBC News is suggesting as early as November 1st.

What impact might this have on the left? On a practical basis it could mean that out-standing selections could be rushed through, with the possible result of parachuting in people where otherwise left-wingers might have been selected. I speak personally indeed - as I have put my hat in the ring for Skipton and Ripon, but couldn't possibly be the candidate for 1st November. It could prevent Tony Benn getting Kensington, and there must be other similar cases elsewhere. Okay, these won't be in Labour's safe or even target seats, but it is still an important thing to consider.

If we win with a big majority, then we have to take the opportunity to put forward socialist policies and try and pressure Gordon Brown to implement them. I think we would have to acknowledge that Gordon Brown would then remain leader for 4 to 5 years at least, and our efforts would certainly not be concentrated on the next leadership election.

We don't like to think about it, of course, but what if David Cameron is Prime Minister before Christmas? That would obviously be an enormous challenge for everyone in the party, not just on the left, to ensure that he was Prime Minsiter for as short a time as possible, and that we were swept back into power. A lot needs to be said about that.

The final possibility is that Brown is returned as Prime Minister but with little or no majority. Clearly not desirable (apart from the obvious disadvantages it would probably have meant us losing some very good MPs): however it is another scenario that requires a strategy.

I said that was the final possibility, but of course Brown could decide (perhaps this is still the most likely) not to hold an election until June next year (or later, indeed). After all, we know from the leadership debacle that Brown likes to eliminate all risk: why risk losing his long-longed-for prize any earlier than he need do? The scenario also requires a strategy.


ian said...

If, and its a big if, Cameron gets into power, the Labour Left have to pose the question to all Labour activists on why we continue with the vote losing philosophy of New Labour.
At the moment its probably the only thing the left could do in the circumstances.
Personally, if Brown does name the date I will choose a decent left MP to campaign for and spend a couple of days in Hayes, Middlesex , for example. I think it is important for John not just to retain his seat but increase his vote, a vote for Socialist policies.


Simon said...

Walthamstow's an especially worrying seat from the point of view of parachuting.

Doctor Dunc said...

Well events have overtaken this thread. Seems there'll be no election till 2009. That requires a strategy of its own!

Harry Barnes said...

Iraqi Trade Unions need our backing