Up in the air
I have wisely or unwisely taken up the election baton again, this time standing for a contestable seat on North Yorkshire County Council, which next year will become a unitary authority providing nearly all local services. I am finding it an interesting experience since at the present time nobody seems to have a handle on quite how things may go. Normally at this stage of a government’s existence, local elections would go in the opposition’s favour, just as we expect the US midterm elections to go against the incumbent president. Everybody seems to acknowledge that the UK has a corrupt and incompetent government, but there’s still a whiff of ‘you’re all the same.’ Of course, there are many pundits who are filling their column inches with all sorts of predictions, but since I doubt any of them have been on the doorsteps talking to voters they really don’t know s**t. I can say however that Labour should be doing a lot better, were it not perhaps for our lack-lustre leadership. Starmer has been an issue on the doorstep—which is when I remind voters that this is a local election.
Putin’s senseless war is helping Boris Johnson, who perhaps before election day on May 5th will be photographed in combat gear riding atop a Challenger tank. That would be breaking electoral ‘purdah’ rules, but as a committed rule (and law) breaker this wouldn’t concern our glorious leader, who now it seems reckons his ‘Partygate’ scandal has blown over. This too is our first election since the pandemic started, so after a couple of years’ hibernation the propensity of people to actually go out and vote will be tested. Everything seems to be up for grabs. The Tories are even claiming they could win the Labour council in Sunderland. If that were to happen Starmer will surely be toast. I don’t know on what basis the Tories are making this claim, but I notice there’s little such bravado coming from Labour ranks about the Tory-run councils we think are winnable. That says something.
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