At last! Today after over two years of prevarication Gordon Brown is going to the Palace to ask Her Majesty the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 12 April. It is hardy an act of courage however, as there was no choice left to a Prime Minister who has gone to the wire in the hope that something would turn around his position in the eyes of the voting public.
Since Gordon Brown bottled the decision in the Autumn of 2007, he has not had another period of opinion poll leads that would encourage him to risk a General Election. We have therefore endured almost three years of an unelected, uninspiring and unpopular Prime Minister.
Over the next month Labour will do its best to present Gordon and his top team as the only people that can be trusted to guarantee the economic recovery, protect the NHS and education, and avoid a double dip recession. We must not allow them to get away with this lie. Just ask yourself who it was that promised “no more boom and bust” and then led the UK into the longest and deepest recession since WW2; who was it that “reformed” the regulation of financial services in 1997 to allow the irresponsible lending that led to the financial melt-down; who was it that boosted public spending to record levels without implementing the reforms that would ensure that it was spent well; who was it that over-ruled the Bank of England to insist on selling our gold reserves at a time when gold prices were a quarter of their current level; who was it that reversed years of Conservative simplification of the tax system to deliver one of the most complex tax systems in the Western world…….I could go on.
In each case the answer is of course Gordon Brown. As Chancellor he inherited a growing and successful economy and whilst citing “prudence” he undermined that success, whilst at the same time fiddling the figures to disguise the growing underlying economic problems.
On 6th May the British people have a real choice – 5 more years of Gordon Brown or a change to a reformed and renewed Conservative Party under David Cameron. I have faith that the good sense of the British people will prevail and David Cameron will enjoy a significant overall majority.