Following the advice of the Electoral Commission, local elections that were to be held in early May are now going to be held a year on. Same goes for the London mayoral elections. While the year delay probably won’t make a difference to who was going be mayor of London, getting to wait until 2021 to have that set of local elections is extremely helpful to Keir Starmer and the Labour Party.
The reason is simple: the party is in a terrible place right now and Starmer having to face a set of elections only a few weeks into his leadership would have been unideal to say the least. The fact that the NEC had arranged it this way is a testament to the fact that they don’t know what they are doing. Internal polling seems to suggest that Labour were on course for a walloping in May. With the year’s delay, Labour can do more campaigning, with Starmer not having an electoral battle to face until after more than a year in post. It gives him that time to do some much needed housework as well.
The fact that delaying the 2020 local elections until 2021 will be electorally helpful to Labour is obvious and anyone who knows anything about politics would tell you the same thing. The reason I’m bringing it up is to talk about something else that is happening in British politics at the moment, namely the conspiracy theories being aimed at the government. Some of them are downright barking. Apparently, the Tories are taking the approach that they are because they want to cull old people. When you consider that the Conservative Party’s core vote is over-65s, you realise how bonkers a theory this really is.
If the government was playing politics, it could have pushed ahead with the 2020 local elections knowing they were taking place at a time when Labour were in a tricky place and they could electorally capitalise as a result. Instead, they have done the right thing. I know a lot of you don’t like Boris Johnson very much – I’ve never been keen either, as long time readers know – but when you read deceit into everything he does, even when it is apparent he’s trying to do the right thing for once, it is unsightly. I never thought I’d be here in March 2020 having to write something positive about Boris Johnson, but I really think people on the left need to stop being hysterical about Johnson’s motives in regard to CoVid19. Even if you think the government isn’t doing the right things and you wish it were taking more drastic steps, I think you should at least be able to see that on this issue at least, Johnson really is just trying his best. He’s taking expert advice that on its own terms make sense. You know, you can wish for an alternative to a Conservative government while not thinking a Tory government is trying to covertly murder people.
Yes, it’s crazy that they won’t even consider delaying proper Brexit until this whole thing blows over. But that’s a separate issue. Boris isn’t Trump, certainly not when it comes to Coronavirus.
In a few weeks time, I have another book coming out. It’s called “Politics is Murder” and follows the tale of a woman named Charlotte working at a failing think tank who has got ahead in her career in a novel way – she is a serial killer. One day, the police turn up at her door and tell her she is a suspect in a murder – only thing is, it is one she had nothing to do with. The plot takes in Conservative Party conference, a plot against the Foreign Secretary and some gangsters while Charlotte tries to find out who is trying to frame her for a murder she didn’t commit.
Also: there is a subplot around the government trying to built a stupid bridge.
It’s out on April 9th, but you can pre-order here: