So today Parliament has finally dissolved and you will be pleased to know the General Election campaigns will finally begin. I know you feel like me that the campaigns have been going on far too long already but we are no going to be subjected to this interminable election 24/7 for another 6 weeks.
We now have no MPs. The House of Commons can no longer be used but we do have Ministers for the duration of the campaign as they are appointed by the Crown. Civil Servants now get the chance to prepare for the new incoming government. In the recent past this was all really quite straightforward. They read the Tory and Labour manifestos and set out in each department how their pledges could or could not be met. This time there are several scenarios that need careful planning – depending on which combination of parties make up the government in the weeks after May 7th.
So back to today. Early impressions as a simple voter. There seems to be a great deal of ‘banter’ across the press releases from the Parties claiming and counter claiming who has the biggest black hole in their tax and spending plans and a funny one from the Lib Dems claiming they will cut less than the Tories but borrow less than Labour. I did cheat to find out about the Lib Dems after watching #coalition last night. I realised their voice had all but disappeared so I am having to follow their Press office on twitter. Just to even things up a little.
It seems Labour are going on the Economy and Europe today. We will see if that sticks for a whole day. I was confused to know what the Tories were going with – other than more attacks on Ed Miliband and these black holes in spending. I think this could be dangerous for them as commentators ask them tough questions about their £12bn welfare black hole and their £7bn Tax pledge black hole.
On a personal note I will be looking out for two election issues where I have a specialist interest – Sport and International Development. I know they are not mainstream political issues that will decide the election for millions but I am interested as they set out what sort of government we have in political areas that are generally less ‘political’.
I will give a big Klaxon call when sport is first mentioned.