At last Gordon Brown has found his way to the Palace to launch the General Election for real. I suppose it was to be expected that the BBC would devote the whole morning to boring everyone to death with endless interviews of politicians and its own correspondents.
Unlike parliament, the Council doesn’t dissolve. It stays in being until the Council elections are over. Nominations close at 12 noon on Thursday, but I can tell you that Mavis Cracknell, Nick Kilby and I have all been validly nominated and hope to have your support at the polling station.
There will be no surgeries from now until after the election but Nick and I are still accessible by email and telephone and you will see us around – maybe on your doorstep – during the campaign.
I have one observation to make on the General Election. I firmly believe that Kingston needs a change of administration and Britain needs a change of government and I think most Surbiton Hill residents are of the same opinion. The plain fact is that there is only one party that can produce that change – the Conservative Party. The Lib Dems are not an alternative government and, if my experience of working with them in a hung Council from 1998 to 2002 is anything to go by – they are very unreliable partners for anyone in such a situation.
Helen Whately has worked immensely hard in the three years she has been a candidate. She is at least as experienced as the Lib Dem candidate was when he was elected in 1997. Her local connections are stronger than his were or are and she represents a new start for Britain, whereas the re-election of the Lib Dem candidate would be the local outcome most pleasing to Gordon Brown, because it would help him cling to power.