23 March 2010

Can Alistair Darling pull it off?

Not to be outdone by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme and what followed, the BBC has discovered that 20 MPs have broken rules by failing to declare trips paid for by foreign governments.

Although Peter Mandelson was referring to Byers on Newsnight, his comment did sum up the day:

It is extremely disappointing and it is very sad and rather grubby.

Hopi Sen makes the point that we are on the verge of having two elections:

The first General Election we could have would be about the interests of politicians. It would be about corrupt MPs, about expenses claims, about lobbying and about a system that seems to be about serving the interests of the political and financial elite, not the people.

The other election we could have would be about the interests of the voters. It would be about jobs, and taxes, and growth. It would be about industry, and capital lending and petrol prices. It would be about immigration, infrastructure and insecurity.

Despite everything, I believe this second election is the one the voters are focussed on.  It is why I think the polls generally show a trend of narrowing Tory leads as people focus on the choice the country faces.

This is a similar argument to one first advanced by Daniel Finkelstein, and both are right to to draw this conclusion.

As Hopi says, the one remaining opportunity for Labour to set the agenda ahead of the election is the Budget.

If Alistair Darling does pull a few rabbits out of the hat tomorrow, it will be him, rather than Balls or Cable, that will have the claim to be Chancellor after the election, if Labour form the next government.

Digg This

No comments:

Post a Comment