Running round the May Polls - so much pleasure how can I cope!Posted by Anthony Page
Local elections, Mayoral elections, a French Presidential election and a Diamond Jubilee - there's plenty to digest this month. Who do you want to see in and out of office?
May looks to be a very exciting month – so much is happening over the next five weeks. First we have the London Mayor elections. The heavy rain yesterday put the mockers on the voter’s turnout for this. By the end of today we’ll know whether it’s Boris or Ken (Livingstone if you’ve forgotten?). If it’s Boris, as I hope it is, we’ll have more of the same: bikes, whacky speeches, more and better trains, cuts in council tax and some more police. Ken is beating much the same drum except he’s going to cut fares and rents as well as adding yet more police.
In the final analysis, it will be down to who the voters like and trust the most. With Ken, he’s like the old family dog - been around a long time and is pretty predictable but boring, except when it comes to the issue of him paying his taxes! Boris on the other hand is a very different fish - close to the government (maybe some traction there) bouncy and gushing, but can you trust him. Would you like your daughter to go out with him? A few more hours and we’ll know the judgement on these two.
As well as Ken and Boris, we have had elections all over the England for local councillors and the elections for Scotland and Wales. Lots of smiles and tears around the country today!
Labour has had a field day with massive wins at local councils. The Lib Dems are really feeling it and poor Old Nick Clegg looked really downhearted as he described it as ‘sad and disheartening’.
Prime minister David Cameron thanked all the Tory councillors who lost their seats for all the hard work – fat lot of good that did them! The sum total of these elections will show the mood of the nation as to how well we think the Tories are at sorting out our problems.
If these elections are a barometer of the electorate mood, then Cameron and Co had better start listening. These Labour wins don’t necessarily mean we all want a Labour government again, but it is a clear sign we want things to change and it’s down to the Tories to deliver it or step aside at the next General Election for someone else to try.
Across the Channel, the big block buster comes this Sunday as the French decide on whether Nicolas Sarkozy (Centre Right) or Francois Hollande (Socialist) lead them for the next four years. With Sarkozy, the Eurozone will breathe a sigh of relief. However, should Hollande win, then the money markets will work overtime as they lay off their bets as to just how bad will it be and how much will it cost if he tries to re-energise the French economy and put the austerity ticket to one side. My money is on Sarkozy scraping through simply because often it’s better the dog you know!
Then of course, the next big event will be the Queens Speech to Parliament when the government set out their plans for the next year. How they’ve put this together in the light of our local elections only they know. Are we sticking with the austerity card or will they announce some clever wheeze to get consumer spending going and restore confidence in their handling of the economy.
When all this has come to pass we can rest a while until the end of the month and the big build up to the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations in the first week of June. Costumes, boats, music, pageant, fireworks and street parties galore what more do us, or the tourists want. It will at least take our minds off of the reality of living through the worst economic period in the past one hundred years. Still pageantry and history will get us through – plus of course that wonderful British stiff upper lip!
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