27 January 2011

Snap Election Rumours

On 12 January, Tom Watson (Labour MP for West Bromwich East) posted:
A snap election promises Cameron the glory he craves
The Conservatives are preparing for a general election in May. That is what a devilishly well-placed conservative insider told me …
which met with a sceptical reception. However, Watson had also said:
My source has been spot on in the past. He also told me that the working assumption for Andy Coulson’s departure announcement was now 25th January. He told me this to help justify his argument that an election in May was a strong possibility. Clearing the decks and all that.
and after Coulson’s resignation on 21 January, some people are thinking again, including Guido Fawkes - 'the Tories are certainly the only ones who could afford an election' - others, like Paul Waugh, remain sceptical.

Obviously I know nothing, except for one trivial, and no doubt entirely coincidental, fact. Last year, before the election, David Willetts book The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future - And How They Can Give it Back was published. Its theme is:
The baby boom of 1945-65 produced the biggest, richest generation that Britain has ever known. Today, at the peak of their power and wealth, baby boomers now run our country; by virtue of their sheer demographic power, they have fashioned the world around them in a way that meets all of their housing, healthcare and financial needs. ... the baby boomer generation has attained this position at the expense of their children. Social, cultural and economic provision has been made for the reigning section of society, whilst the needs of the next generation have taken a back seat.
Willetts is now Minister for Universities and Science and would almost certainly be in the Cabinet but for its having to accommodate LibDems. He must be well aware that the baby boomers are far more assiduous voters than their juniors and, so far, seem have come off lightly in the expenditure cuts – bus passes, fuel allowances, exempt from National Insurance etc. However valid Willett’s arguments may be, they are not particularly palatable to this age group.

Where is this leading? Well, according to Amazon in December the paperback version of The Pinch was going to be despatched on 2 February. On 9 January delivery slipped to early June - coincidental as I said.

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