Over the weekend, Education Secretary Ed Balls, made it a hat-trick of cabinet ministers who are facing embarassing allegations following an accusation that he “ran” Damien McBride, the man at the centre of “e-mailgate.” Mr. Balls denies the allegations.
Meanwhile, an investigation into Jacqui Smith’s housing expenses continues while the House of Commons select committee investigates Lord Myner’s role in the decision to award Sir Fred Goodwin a pension of £700,000 a year. George Osborne, the shadow Chancellor, has already called upon Lord Myners to resign. All three ministers or none of them could end up being forced to resign from their ministries.
The weight of scandal has damaged Gordon Brown in the estimation of the electorate. The latest opinion poll conducted by Marketing Sciences for the Sunday Telegraph puts the conservatives in a lead of 17% with Labour now on 26% – its lowest poll rating since 1935. UK Polling report, which monitors all polls suggests that the average lead of the conservatives is 13% which on a uniform swing would given them an overall majority in the House of Commons of 62.
Given that we will have to wait up to a year for a general election, how will that affect the way that the Country is governed in the meantime? The Government has no scope for political gimmics in the forthcoming budget. With no hope of power after the election and a collective feeling of scandalization by recent events, it is easy to imagine a sense of paralysis running right through the Labour administration. Writing the the Telegraph in an article entitled “Labour’s Watergate has left dignity and Trust in the gutter” Matthew d’Ancona concludes by saying “you can’t really govern when you are the object of ridicule”
As soon as the European elections are over, election speculation will begin to mount. I expect it to reach fever pitch by the time of the conference season. If he considers the National Interest to be paramount, Gordon Brown would be doing the country a service by calling a general election at that time.
Filed under: Ed Balls, European Elections, General Election, Gordon Brown, Jackie Smith, Labour Party, Lord Myners, MP's Expenses | Tagged: Conservative Party, Ed Balls, Education, European Elections, General Election, Gordon Brown, Jackie Smith, Jacqui Smith, Labour Party, Lord Myners, MP's Expenses, Northern ireland, Northern Ireland politics, Opinion Polls, Scandal | Leave a Comment »