Not calling an election was the correct decision.
But let's not lose the huge amount of organisational momentum that's been gained in the last few weeks.
Frankly we were behind the curve on candidate selection and a host of other key factors in an election and now we have caught up with where we should be two years before a poll.
I'd like to see:
- Every CLP out campaigning each weekend for the next month as though there was an election - let's get the doors knocked and some leaflets delivered anyway
- Every candidate in place as soon as the timetable for a full democratic selection - started now - will allow
- Cash that would have been spent on an election used to fund more organisers on the ground for the "long campaign"
And let's stop whinging about Lord Ashcroft's cash and start fund-raising to match it - the numbers quoted in the press are that he is giving £40,000 per year to each Tory constituency association he is targeting - that isn't beyond the capabilities of the unions, our own major donors and levies on councillors and MPs to match in the CLPs where it matters - there are already some Labour CLPs that raise that kind of annual income. £40,000 is not much more than the cost of a professional Agent in each key seat - and back in the 1950s we were funding professional Agents in several hundred seats.