Initiative and Momentum

 It is expected and natural for a new government to put its stamp on national affairs as soon as possible.  Back in 1997, the new Labour government surprised everyone by giving a degree of independence to the Bank of England.  This is something that the Conservatives should have done during one of their four consecutive terms of government.  The fact that Labour did this so quickly gave them some credibility in management of the economy but that was a long time ago.


On Friday 21st May, we have the Annual Meeting of the Crawley Borough Council.  We might not have quite the elaborate ceremony and tradition of Parliament but we have our moments with this particular meeting.  A lot of the proceedings are around the institution of the Mayoralty.  After all, the Mayor is the first citizen of the Borough.

Working Together

 For the first time since February 1974, a General Election has given us a hung Parliament.   Put another way, we as electors were not prepared to confer a majority on any single political party.  None could make its case with sufficient persuasive power to be positioned to governBritainalone.  Even the first-past-the-post electoral system can sometimes produce a Parliament where there is “no overall control”.

The Vote

 It is nearly decision time in the General Election.  We have had a record three terms of Labour Government and our economy has been seriously weakened.  Every Briton has been saddled with their own share ofBritain’s incredible national debt.  We cannot go on like this.  There has to be change.


I travelled to Iceland in 1986 at a time when work colleagues were very surprised by this choice of destination. The tourist industry was only lightly developed. There had been periods of strong inflation and the whole holiday was reassuringly expensive for its time. The air was very clear providing good photography opportunities. Although the trip included a drive close to a volcano, there were no actual eruptions.

Polls, Swings and Votes

 Finally, the worst-kept secret is no more.  We have a General Election on Thursday 6th May.  Politicians have been avidly watching the polls assessing how the public might be reacting to their policy announcements and the cut and thrust of debate.


 By today, we should know who the Labour Party has selected to contest theCrawleyparliamentary constituency in the General Election.  Understandably there has been a great deal of interest in this decision. Crawleyis an extremely marginal seat with just 37 votes separating the two main political parties.

A Trillion Reasons for Change

We hear a lot about the national deficit but rather less about the national debt. The national deficit represents an annual figure that just adds to the overall national debt. According to an ONS (Office for National Statistics) and Treasury publication on 18th March, the net borrowing or deficit for the 10 months from April 2009 to February 2010 was a staggering £131.9 billion.

Rewarding Times

 During the election season, it seems customary for political parties to accuse each other of getting everything wrong and nothing right.  It is all nonsense of course but it is transparent nonsense in the sense that people can see through it.

Two Elections

 How many elections will there be this year?  We have at least a General Election and theCrawleyBorough Council Election.  What if we have a hung Parliament?  Then there is some historical precedent, in 1910 and 1974, for a second General Election in the same year.  That would not be a good outcome.  A hung Parliament delivers political uncertainty and would create an issue of confidence regarding the ability of a minority or coalition government to act decisively to reduceBritain’s horrendous budget deficit.