Rules for Breaking

Deliverance Day minus 25. It has been a tedious week since last Monday when Number 10 announced that Gordon Brown would be making an announcement the next day about the General Election. An announcement about an announcement, get real! The first public utterance should be after the Prime Minister has had an audience with the Queen and she has acquiesced to the request to dissolve Parliament. Even then the Prime Minister should go to the House of Commons first to inform the Chamber that this process has taken place, before making the public aware via the media. Obviously the Queen needs to be warned so that she is in residence at Buckingham Palace, but Number 10 leaking the news to the media is typical Labour spin and part of the Mandelson promotion circus. This is disrespectful to the Head of State and bends the rules.

The day before [Sunday] the press was on hand in Saint James Park to witness a ‘fit and healthy’ Gordon jogging for twenty minutes before being chauffeured back to No. 10. Garbed in polo shirt and shorts with sparkling trainers, no sweat-bands and not a hint of being properly equipped, this was nothing more than a photo opportunity. A young David Cameron is, well “youthful”, which Gordon isn’t. Rather like a fifty-nine year old in the gym exhausting himself trying not to be shown up by the thirty-somethings.  The message to be got over is that Gordon does not have any health problems, as suggested by Andrew Marr in his grilling of Gordon on Marr’s Sunday morning BBC TV Show.  It was not the marathon and the public are not stupid, even if the Mandelson campaign team think they are. In fact the photographs published in the newspapers made him look like he was in his boxer’s and had been debagged before being bundled in to his limousine.

Announcing the date of the General Election to the press before informing Parliament isn’t GB starting a new trend, it has been going on since 1945, and we need to return to the courteous conventions of those earlier times as a way of restoring the prestige of the House of Commons and recognising the primacy of the people’s Representatives. Labour’s leadership are arrogant and do as they please. That is why we need an independent House of Commons to hold them, and any other government, to account.

Labour launched their seventy-six page Manifesto today and it is a mystery why they needed more than a few pages as they have so little to say. The Resurgence party programme only needs six pages. In launching it at the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham they broke rules that election meetings should not be held on NHS premises. This rule applies to all government property, but Labour don’t think the rules apply to them. When asked why they had broken the rules, GB – who had brought all his Cabinet with him, shepherded by Mandy – made the banal response; “the Conservatives are merely complaining because Labour had found a wonderful building to stage the launch”. Not that it was an election stunt showing how the Labour government was building modern health facilities. He further justified the rule breaking by saying that they were acting within the rules as the hospital buildings had not been handed over by the builders yet. That might be the case but it was nit picking and they were all on NHS land no matter what the status of the building.  They said that they were acting within the rules when they submitted their Commons expenses claims.

It then begged the question from the press as to why the hospital built under the Private Finance Initiative at a construction cost of £600million would result in taxpayers paying £2.5billion. They are still waiting for the answer. When the Queen officially opens the building named after her, they might decide to tell us the answer. Don’t hold your breath.

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