A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cost of the non-election

The Guardian is making a big deal out of the alleged £1m cost to Labour of preparing for the non-occurring November General Election.

My reaction:

a) £1m is not a big deal in terms of the overall costs of an election these days. If my memory is correct the spending limit nationally is about £20m, so this represents a precautionary 5% outlay on "long-lead" items - the hardware and personnel you need to already have on the day the campaign starts.

b) It would have been grossly irresponsible, given that there was a chance of an election being called, for the General Secretary not to have committed the expenditure to get the Party ready. Better to waste a million being over-prepared that lose an election through stinginess.

c) If the reports of a huge fundraising push in anticipation of an election are correct, the net effect will have been that the Party actually raised a lot more than £1m spent and ended up considerably reducing its indebtedness.

21 Comments:

Anonymous taxidriver said...

The good council taxpayers of Hackney helped to reduce your £1m by giving you £10k for a stall at your party conference.

If you get another 99 of your Labour rotten boroughs to do the same thing, then you have recouped your £1m outlay.

5:45 pm, October 22, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

There aren't 99 Labour controlled Councils in the UK.

5:53 pm, October 22, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Just for the record the following councils paid for stalls at the Tory Conference this year:

Coventry
GLA/TfL/LDA
Tameside

oh and the Standards Board for England!

and Hackney wasn't alone at Labour. Also there were:

Coventry (Tory controlled!)
Knowsley
Salford


and er... the Standards Board for England.

Presumably the Standards Board for England as they are the watchdog of local government behaviour, think it's legitimate for bodies seeking to inform and lobby conference delegates to rent stalls. And Tory Coventry thought it was a good investment too.

6:10 pm, October 22, 2007

 
Anonymous taxidriver said...

There aren't 99 Labour controlled Councils in the UK.

Haha. Even I overestimated Labour on that one. Thank you for putting me right.

9:09 pm, October 22, 2007

 
Anonymous taxidriver said...

and er... the Standards Board for England

It might have been legal but it was still a disgraceful use of our money.

I didn't read about Labour's siphoning off our money to fund the party in Hackney Today. What a surprise.

9:14 pm, October 22, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

We're not fussy and we're certainly not prejudiced against our own Council Tax payers. We'll siphon off anybody's money we can get our hands on.

8:50 am, October 23, 2007

 
Anonymous History Man said...

While we're on the subject of elections... I believe there may be something you might want to tell us all about elections, Manchester and the courts.

8:54 am, October 23, 2007

 
Anonymous Ian G said...

Tory controlled Essex County Council pays for a drinks reception at Labour Party conference. Much to my amusement...

10:14 am, October 23, 2007

 
Anonymous Miles said...

Luke
You write your post as if the general secretary and the party leader are operating on different planets.
Surely the leader has a responsibility towrds the party in these matter and shouldn't go blowing a million on a will-he wont-he media ego trip

12:00 pm, October 23, 2007

 
Anonymous History Man said...

You've gone very quiet, Luke. I'm still dying to read your expiation about elections, Manchester and the courts.

8:04 am, October 24, 2007

 
Anonymous taxidriver said...

It's also gone quiet about the £10,000 siphoned off to Labour coffers from Hackney council taxpayers.

I had that Neil Hamilton in the back of my cab.

8:41 am, October 24, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

You will have to explain to me about Manchester as I haven't got a clue what you are refering to.

12:34 pm, October 24, 2007

 
Anonymous History Man said...

Come now, Luke. You must surely remember what the nasty man in the wig said to you.

12:37 pm, October 24, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

No I still don't understand. I've never been involved in a court case in or in any way about Manchester. I've never been involved in an election in or about Manchester either (unless leafletting in the 1996 Littleborough & Saddleworth by-election counts).

1:48 pm, October 24, 2007

 
Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

Luke, saying that just because other councils do it is okay is a bit like me walloping Jamie Carswell and then saying it's okay because John Prescott smacks protesters.

In the context of whether it was disgusting that you lot burnt ten grand on a stall, I don't care how many other councils waste taxpayers' money - it doesn't make it okay. And frankly, arguing it's okay because the Tories in Coventry did it is not an argument! They also brought in the poll tax, screwed the unions and invaded Iraq... hang on, sorry, the last one was Labour.

And the Standards Board (along with the Electoral Commission) have a definite reason to be at the conferences - it's their only real opportunity to talk to many of the people their decisions affect.

8:23 pm, October 24, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Hakney Council has a real reason to have a stall at the conference -it's a real opportunity to talk to many of the people whose decisions affect our residents.

There were hundreds of people wearing "I Love Hackney" lanyards for their passes - including government ministers - in front of the nation's media. You couldn't buy equivalent advertising so targeted at the audience that most impacts on you for £10k in any other way.

You say it's a waste. I say it's a sensible part of a communications strategy.

9:46 pm, October 24, 2007

 
Anonymous Mike Davies said...

Luke, would be interested in your views on the Miranda Grell case.

There is a new website to raise funds for her appeal at

http://www.justiceforleytonward.org.uk/

I'm sure she'd appreciated the plug

11:02 pm, October 24, 2007

 
Anonymous taxidriver said...

I love Hackney too. It's the Council which is the problem.

I had that Tim Smith in the back of my cab once.

10:17 am, October 25, 2007

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Who is Tim Smith?

11:12 am, October 25, 2007

 
Blogger PES - manifesto2009.pes.org said...

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Sorry to spam your blog like this, but I couldn't find your e-mail address. If you're interested in our project don't hesitate to contact me on rikke.skovgaard (a) pes (dot) org

2:16 pm, October 25, 2007

 
Anonymous lord london fields lido said...

Justice for Miranda Grell? Wouldn't that be five years' imprisonment?

Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime.

8:31 pm, October 25, 2007

 

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