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Back-slapping

Nick Robinson | 13:59 UK time, Wednesday, 20 May 2009

There will be much back-slapping in David Cameron's office this afternoon.

CameronThe Tory leader has struggled to get much attention for his call for a general election to elect a new Parliament to go along with a new Speaker. This, despite the fact that he is working in partnership with the Sun.

Today, Gordon Brown changed all that by warning that an election could cause "chaos". What did he mean by that, Mr Cameron demanded to know at Prime Minister's Questions.

The prime minister's reply was that he was referring to the chaos caused by a Conservative victory - thus appearing to suggest that he will not permit the electorate a vote because they might choose to change governments.

Mr Brown did go on to spell out the reasons he should have given for not going to the polls: namely, that this Parliament should sort out the current political and economic mess - but it was too late to stop the Tories claiming that he's running scared of the voters.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Gordo is right, in a way.

    If the call for an election is over the expenses debacle, we should wait until we have judgement on all MP's behaviour in this respect before we go to the polls.

  • Comment number 2.

    Of course Brown is running scared of the voters - that is the very reason he bottled out of an election in the autumn of 2007. It really is not good enough - we cannot continue with the current woeful state of affairs until May or June 2010, we must have an election this year, probably in September.

    The present Government is inept, out of ideas and paralysed by the knowledge it must go to the polls within a year!

  • Comment number 3.

    An election is now essential whether Brown is scared of it or not, it's time past for the taxpayer to be allowed a say in the running of this useless parliament . The government now is serving no useful purpose, it merely hangs on to power in the forlorn hope that " something will turn up " to save or salvage a few seats in the next parliament. Harman displayed all the arrogance of Labour by announcing new rules for MP's expences; do she and her cronies really think that they have any right to decide either on their own expences or indeed on their own salaries ? This is a culture of arrogance that must be curtailed . The taxpayer must be allowed to make these decisions, not MPs and not a commission of the "great and good " who themselves live in a world far removed from the world of the average taxpayer. How this can be achieved I do not know , but achieved it must be ; the days of MPs rewarding themselves for what is very often poor service to their constituents is over. The same principles must also be applied tp local government where a culture of unaccountability has also become the norm.

  • Comment number 4.

    Brown's been Mr invisible whilst the current crisis has been played out. Too right the Cameron should call for an immediate general election- it is what the public want and this reminds me of the last year of the Major government.The focus is now back on getting Brown and labour out, as they are simply not fit for the purpose of governing our country.Perhaps Brown will soon grasp reality like speaker martin eventually had to.

    PS- If all of those who defend Brown's non-election way of becoming PM,as being within the rules (where have we heard that before ?) why can't the Queen simply appoint Cameron as PM? Then we can have a general election for sure -it will be tough but the tories might just win.

  • Comment number 5.

    Cameron is quite right to call for a General Election. We have a parliament that is up to its eyeballs in sleaze and Brown (himself without any democratic mandate as PM) seems to believe that this same bunch of MPs should then be responsible for putting in place new rules that fix the situation. That's like the gamekeeper asking the poacher to fix the fences!

    We need a General Election NOW and the new parliament will have a proper mandate to clean itself up.

  • Comment number 6.

    A broken promise and more dis-honour! During the current mess in parliament HMG has sneaked out a broken promise on the student loan interest rate for this year. The interest rate is supposed to be set at the RPI rate in March each year. This years RPI in March was -0.4% but the post 1998 loan interest rate has been set at zero percent. The RPI in April was -1.2% and is likely to fall further. Having broken the promise once HMG is more likely to get away with the same next year. Student loans were supposed track the RPI so students were no better or worse off once they graduated. Please support the No 10 petition which can be found at the link http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Loansofstudents/ Lets stop HMG braking promises.

  • Comment number 7.

    Gordon Brown is not only running scared of the electorate, he is running scared from his own party. This morning he declared in an interview that Hazel Blears was guilty of "totally unacceptable behaviour" over her expenses claims but by lunchtime she had his "full confidence". The man is either a hypocrite, a coward or a bare faced liar ... or maybe (pauses in a Nick Robinson kinda way) .. he's a mixture of all three.

  • Comment number 8.

    A corrupt Parliament cannot reform itself. There must be an election now.

    Chaos? What? Does he mean that the electorate might vote for all sorts of different candidates and blow this dreadful two-party monopoly on power out of the water? And that this would be inconvenient for him?

    Yes, he does.

  • Comment number 9.

    This has disturbing undertones of 2010...

    "The country is still in a grave economic situation, and as such I have decided to temporarily postpone any general election...."

    This man who has brought our country to its knees with failed socialism, an economy built on unsustainable debt, quango after quango for chums, tolerated corruption in our parliament, ... the list is endless.

    He is not fit to govern this country, and should do the decent thing for once in his sorry political life and call a general election this summer.

  • Comment number 10.

    TOTALLY out of his depth with the public and his current job. This mans arrogance knows no bounds - he will probably declare a State of Emergency as the election nears and cancel it. U think this is a joke - watch out.

    As an aside, roll on the Tories, and sort out the Bias Corp and ZanuLabour mouthpieces - thank God for the Torygraph - some journalists DO know what the country needs, and wants.

  • Comment number 11.

    Typical Brown. Scapegoat found, so job done.

    Even the speaker is listening to the public!

    How is it that our Prime Minister is so deaf to the demands of the people of the United Kingdom?!

    If he believes that what is doing is so right then why not let us decide?

    Answer: He daren't.

    I, along with others, hoped that GB would be a stronger statesman than Blair but now the facade has slipped and all that is left is a PM clinging to authority and dignity with his fingertips.

    'He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason.' - Cicero

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Brown is implying that the collective wisdom of the country will cause chaos. He certainly can not improve on such a display of arrogance and authoritarian instincts. Neither can he improve his undemocratic credentials.

    As such, it has been a very useful day for all of us. Brown has admitted to his true colours.

  • Comment number 14.

    Why the insinuation - in partnership with the Sun?

    The Sun wants an early general election.
    David Cameron wants an early general election.
    I want an early general election

    This does not mean that thhe Sun and David Cameron are working in partnership with me!

  • Comment number 15.

    Democracy:

    Bully your way into the top position, thus inheriting the reigns without ever having to be voted into office.

    Break all the promises made by your party while sinking the country economically and morally.

    Lie to the public, refuse to answer any challenges you do not like.

    Ignore public opinion and consistently choose to do as you see fit.

    Refuse to call an election IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE THAT THIS IS WHAT THE PUBLIC WANT. Instead, smugly announce that you don't think the public want an election, and that an election would cause chaos.

    Admit that you will not call an election because you know the public do not want you to be the prime minister, and continue in that role anyway.

    Hmm, I have another word for this, and it is not "democracy"...

  • Comment number 16.

    Of course he's 'running scared' of the voters. If he called an election now he'd lose it. Surely nobody wants the country to be run by somebody so stupid as to call an election that he knows he'll lose.
    The odds are long, but they shout at him to wait, and they shout a lot louder than Cameron.

  • Comment number 17.

    Youre telling us the obvious Nick, GB has been running scared since he backed away from an election the other year. Change is inevitable but Change does not necessary mean better, just different. The blog will inevitably be drowned by cries of Cowardice from people that hide behind nicknames but an election right now would not really solve anything. It would not clean out miscreant Mp's, many of whom we have not found out about yet because the D.T.'s exposure was with partial information, not the whole, which will take months to wade through. It will not solve the economic situation because thats beyond all parties at the moment and in the lap of world events. All a G.E. now will do is divert attention from the real issues for months, give cover to those Mp's whose expenses have yet to be gone through and let the blood lust against Mp's dissipate without the real reforms of Westminster being carried out. Give it 6 months then have an election with ALL the nasy facts about all the Mp's by then out in the open so whomever forms the Govt. forms it with CLEAN Mp's.

  • Comment number 18.

    It's not conventional, but I see no reason why Brown couldn't call an election for October. That would give plenty of time for the expenses nonsense to be sorted out and plenty of time for the electorate to consider what they really want from any future government.

    It's nonsense to talk about Brown being an unelected PM. Churchill wasn't elected as the leader of the largest party - he was called to office. Others have taken over mid-term. We don't have a presidential system, so it's not possible to elect a leader from one party, while another party is in the majority in the House. It is always feasible that the leader of the majority party could lose his/her seat, so we get what the majority party decides.

    The calls for an election were there before all this expenses stuff burst onto the scene.

    I'd quite like a fixed term parliament. And for voting to switch to the French parliamentary system, where a candidate has to achieve over 50percent of the votes - even if there have to be multiple votes to achieve that.

    Definitely not keen on PR party lists, where you don't really know who you are voting for.


  • Comment number 19.

    Does not matter when GB goes for an election, the phase in Labour politics of New Labour is busted and the party will be doing well to get 150 seats. Focus needs to shift to purging the party of pink tories and planning for the next but one general election with a new leader under a Real Labour banner.

  • Comment number 20.

    I absolutely believe now is the time for an election to be called, I do not believe that we should allow this governement the tories, lib dems or anyone else etc, to say how our democracy should be changed/reformed without first putting these ideas to the people. every party including independents should put forward thier manifestos including the full details of whys and hows that they think parliment can be improved and let us the people decide, because at the moment I truly dont believe they are thinking things through properly, I need to know alot more about this outside independent body, because as far as I am concerned I (the British Public) should be the only one that can hold parliment to account.

  • Comment number 21.

    1. At 2:07pm on 20 May 2009, yukapataya wrote: Gordo is right, in a way. If the call for an election is over the expenses debacle, we should wait until we have judgement on all MP's behaviour in this respect before we go to the polls.
    -------------------------

    We all know what the judgement will be:

    "We've been a bit naughty but its not really our fault 'cos we haven't had a proper wage. But look, we fired the stupid fat Scotsman. We're very sorry. We won't do it again. Prosecution of any MPs would not be in the public interest. Let's just draw a line under the episode and carry on pretty much as before. OK?"

    I don't think it's OK at all. I think it's so NOT OK that we should take to the streets.

  • Comment number 22.

    Perhaps you could ask your colleague Robert Preston what the effect calling an election now would have on the British economy ?

  • Comment number 23.

    Nick Robinson wrote

    "thus appearing to suggest that he will not permit the electorate a vote because they might choose to change governments. "

    So that's it - dictatorship it is then.

    Where is your Democracy now people.

    The truth is Nick that the chaos Gordon talks about is neither (or none) or the main parties in CONTROL.

    What an awful situation that would be, where the Government has to actually seek consesus on an issue before making law.

    Oh no, that wouldn't do - it's much better that either Chairman Brown or Commandant Cameron make the decisions for this country - that's exactly why we have such an open and fair Government (who go to any length to keep their fleecing of the taxpayer secret)

    (I am not making this statement whilst being held at gunpoint)

  • Comment number 24.

    Nick Brown (Government Chief Whip) seemed to suggest on Twitter this morning that a general election would only be "weeks" after a new Speaker is installed.
    Have you heard anymore on the grapevine Nick?

  • Comment number 25.

    An election might or might not cause chaos, but it would be meaningless as things stand. Without some type of electoral reform, the Commons will remain the cosy club Brown claims to want to end.

  • Comment number 26.

    Browns political philosphy is identical to his Economic one.

    "If I can just get to the end of this current crisis then I shall be OK"

    "This crisis seems to be abating, I should be OK soon"

    "Whoops, a new crisis has arisen"

    "If I can just get to the end of this current crisis then I shall be OK"

    "This crisis seems to be abating, I should be OK soon"

    ......you get the picture.....

    In Economics he borrows the money from future generations to placate the present generation.

    In politics he claims credit for future successes now in order to placate the present generation.

    Running the country is easy the Brown way - you simply borrow and borrow and borrow never once considering how you are going to pay it all back...

  • Comment number 27.

    Brown believes an election will cause chaos as it will usher in a Conservative government.

    It is a pity that he won't let the electorate decide which party is the more chaotic...I can see why he knows that his party and his leadership is likely to most fit the bill in that respect so far as the voters are concerned.

    He probably doesn't want voters to have the right to make a judgement on their MPs conduct either...his party will be decimated ( as will the others I suspect ).

  • Comment number 28.

    You can have as many elections as you like.

    Trouble is...........the Government always gets in.....

    :(

  • Comment number 29.

    Nick - You also forgot to mention Brown's gaff when he said that the post office had lost 5 million letters. Not the sort of the thing that prospective buyers would want to hear.
    Brown has had is unelected day and should go now.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'd vote Brown out given the chance but I agree with him that calling an election now would be inappropriate. In the current hysteria over MP's expenses I believe a good proportion would vote simply to kick out their current MP rather than consider what's best over the next 5 years.

    Instead I think he should wait until the autumn which is enough time for the issue to cool down and for Parliment to outline their proposals. If voters are still dis-satisfied then so be it...

    To be fair to Cameron though he has been calling consistently for a general election for months now it would be odd if he changed that view because of the expenses issue.

  • Comment number 33.

    Brown is increasingly out of touch with the public and his "trick" of hiding while there is a problem so that nothing "sticks" to him has only served to make more and more people wonder about his true abilities.

    I am not a labour voter but even I acknowledge the positive things done in the earlier years of labour after the tories were kicked out. However, this latest form of labour government is very weak and ever more introspective. Brown is not listening to anyone other than his closest allies who simply tell him what he wants to hear.

    Where I live people are genuinely very cross and if this government (and particularly Brown) believe that this is going to change between now and next year when they are forced to go the polls then it just goes to show how "out of touch" they really are!

  • Comment number 34.

    He's scared to death that a new party will find out what a mess he's made of everything and how bad a state the country is really in.

    Putting off the inevitable will only result in him digging his own grave for what credibility will he have with anyone anywhere. He is a man with no future.

    The lasr person this country needs to sort out reform or anything else is Brown. Everything he touches turns into chaos.

    The thought of him and his crooked cronies drawing their salaries for another twelve months to create even more mayhem is too much to bear.

    Reform is desperately needed but the country must be sorted out first.

    If he won't call a general election then the voters know what they must do at the forthcoming council and European elections.



  • Comment number 35.

    So our unelected PM thinks that an election would cause 'chaos'...

    Only to him as he would have to vacate 10 Downing Street in a hurry!

  • Comment number 36.

    Let's see Brown pay the money back he spent on his cleaner, and then call a general election

    Can he bottle two in a row?

  • Comment number 37.

    #4 cmanwearing

    "it will be tough but the tories might just win"

    ...and the music stops and all the pigs find a seat....

    Weren't the tories even bigger offenders than the Labour party in their expenses claims?
    Isn't their fundamental philosphy 'less resulation and more liberalisation' in our lives - including the markets?

    Sounds like they know what they're doing - almost as much as you are showing you know what you're doing with your vote!

    ...and we gave up letting the Queen (or King) appointing the leader of our country 400 years ago for a good reason.

    I do find it hillarious how many royalists come and attack Gordon Brown and the establishment and then look to the Queen to resolve the issue - the very centre of the establishment.

    It's like the cheese criticsing the milk for being 'too dairy'

  • Comment number 38.

    As Nick himself said on 'The Daily Politics Show' Brown was really struggling with his Election 'chaos theory'. Of course he won't vote for an expected annihilation at the polls (turkeys after all wouldn't vote for Christmas) and you can't really blame him for shirking away from the possibility but he doesn't really have much choice. Any way you look at it he and his and his party are toast and after the Euro Elections and further economic gloom his prospects will be even dimmer.

  • Comment number 39.

    I think they need time to weed out those MPs whose actions are unacceptable and arrange replacement candidates before an election.

    An election in the early autumn would be ideal, when all the discussions about flipping and moats has subsided.

  • Comment number 40.

    'Our' Prime Minister says that the voters want him to get on with the job.
    As usual, Know-it-all-Brown doesn't want to listen to the people, who for some time now have said that they do NOT want him to get on with the job, mainly because he has made such a hash of it, including his 10 years as Chancellor which put the holes in our economy and filled them with IOU's!
    How dare he presume, yet again, to know what we want!

  • Comment number 41.

    #9 DialSquareDomination

    "This man who has brought our country to its knees with failed socialism, an economy built on unsustainable debt"

    Words fail me sometimes - 'Socialism' and 'building an Economy on unsustainable debt' are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

    He's either a Socialist or a Capitalist - he cannot be both.

    I suggest reading about a subject before you comment on it is always a good idea to stop you looking silly.

    I despair.

  • Comment number 42.

    "Opposition leader ahead in the polls calls for an election.". Is that news? Is it even worth commenting on?

  • Comment number 43.

    "Mr Brown did go on to spell out the reasons he should have given for not going to the polls: namely, that this Parliament should sort out the current political and economic mess."

    Not sure you'd find many people who would have faith in this Parliament being able to sort out the laundry let alone the current political and economic mess!

  • Comment number 44.

    Hey Nick,

    Long time no speak.

    In the last year or so, we have been TOLD that the credit crunch is America's fault, we have been TOLD that we all need to cough up a big heap of cash to pay for it, we have been TOLD that we still have to keep spending the same amount on the public sector, and we have been TOLD that this government, led by Gordon Brown, are the people to do it.

    I'm not entirely sure I like David Cameron. I think if I met him I might think he was a bit of a 'posh whopper' as he would doubtless be known around Birkenhead. However, I do think we should have a say in some of the above, rather than simply being TOLD what is going to happen.

    This doesn't feel much like democracy right now. I for one would like to see some. If Cameron is getting slapped on the back for that, then all credit to him... the big posh whopper.


    Call an election.

  • Comment number 45.

    #15 hayemaker

    Absolutely correct.

  • Comment number 46.

    "refuse to call an election in spite of the evidence that this is what the public wants". What electoral system is that? We'd never have a government for more than 6 months. Italian maybe? The British system is that we get the chance to vote at least every five years. This gives a government the chance to make real changes, and for the electorate to take a long term view.

    Maybe its Cameron who is scared? Is he worried that in a year's time the recession might be ending, and the commons reforms might by then be working and he couldn't take the credit for it?

  • Comment number 47.

    If Mr Brown wants to say the Tories would cause chaos, he'd better enunciate why.....

    1. Massive tax increases?
    2. Massive cuts in public spending?
    3. Going to war in Iran to out-American the Americans?
    4. Declaring UDI with the EU?
    5. Invading Zimbabwe?
    6. Applying to become a part of the USA?
    7. Selling the Bank of England to the Bundesbank?
    8. Giving the Palace of Westminster for free to Phil Anschutz?
    9. Legalising bigamy?
    10. Introducing Sharia law?
    11. Declaring Boris Johnson to be the blonde Aryan superman from whom all UK genetic stock must now derive?

    Now that lot MIGHT cause a bit of chaos.

    Perhaps David Cameron should be given the chance to hit this lot of 'SARS will wipe out the UK's human race' long hops to the boundary.

    Eh????

  • Comment number 48.

    David Cameron knows full well that his MPs have been protected by the Telegraph, plus, the fact that many of them have other jobs (so are technically part-time MPs).

    He needs an election so that the Cons will be protected in case any of this is exposed.

    In fact, it's pretty seedy of him trying to call an election as if the Conservatives aren't involved in the 'unfit parliament' scandal and surely for anyone with much intelligence a good reason not to vote Conservative.

    Personally, if New Labour are planning to radically reform of parliament I'm happy for them to stay to the end but only the end.

  • Comment number 49.

    Nick,

    It's about time you stopped buttering up Brown and his cronies. A change is going to come, whetehr this year or next.

    Brown is finished, washed up, out of ideas, out of support, rumbled, discredited, bankrupt morally, bankrupt intellectually and - in terms of government finances - literally bankrupt, holed below the waterline, revealed by the McBride episode as a vicious smearer, out of touch, out of ideas, out to lunch, deluding only himself, scorned by the public, pathetic, useless, lacking any moral compass, lacking any understanding of how others live, feel or see him, bunker-bound, blinkered and a disasater for the country. It would be tragic were he a nicer man.

    Of course he's scared of the voters. He knows what will happen. He knew in October 2007. He knows now. He will cling on, but one day we will have our say and he will consigned to the dustbin of history. The worst prime minister for at least 100 years.

  • Comment number 50.

    It's perfectly clear that Gordon Browns government has almost no support or credibility, but how do we force him to go?

    Perhaps its time we took a lead from our European partners, downed tools and marched on Downing Street?

  • Comment number 51.

    Of course he should be scared of the voters !!! he has no mandate from the to be in power at all,he was hoping to convince us of how he was fit to run the country but the financial mess he presided and wrote the rules for has removed any chance of that,and the fact that in all the years he has been in government he never raised the question of MP's personal finance once until third parties uncovered the wholesale fraud that was going on.....even among his hand picked ministers.

    This is not going to end until there is an election and if he really is for the good of the country it should be sooner rather than later,because i hope the voters of this country will do the right thing.

    Any party that mandates wholesale reform in MP numbers and lessening the huge burden that the assemblies are to the tax payer will recieve quite a substantial vote.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Adding my voice to the chorus; "Call a general election now and let the people decide".

    Brown should have in mind that if Cameron makes a hash of reform of Parliament then it will hasten the return of Labour to power. Sure, it's a gamble but one worth taking if the alternative is purdah for 20 years - that's about the time it will take for the UK economy to recover from the disastrous light-touch regulation brought into being since 1997.

    If Brown is above party politics as he suggests he is on parliamentary reform then let him do something decent now rather than be remembered as the un-elected leader who led us to the brink of democracy breaking down.

  • Comment number 54.

    will MPs get £300 per week for rent or mortgages even when Parliament isn't sitting? Shouldn't their entitlement to allowances be linked with participation in the work of Parliament?

  • Comment number 55.

    #9 "This man who has brought our country to its knees with failed socialism"

    If you think this Labour Govt and GB are socialists you're sadly mistaken, go and do a bit of research...
    to quote Robert Tressell....

    "The thing they cry out against is not Socialism but a phantom of their own imagining"

  • Comment number 56.

    Yes an election would cause chaos.

    But chaos only to the wretched Gordon Brown and his entourage of half-witted sycophants. I see the extremely sad and completely discredited Blears is pleased that the hapless Brown thinks she is doing a good job.

    Jeremy Clarkson has described the situation in a nutshell while in Australia.

    Let them hang on to the lame McDucking's baggy trousers for as long as possible to ensure the Labour Party is destroyed for ever.

    If there is no election, the "chaos" will be much, much more serious. I predict a riot - as the song lyrics go...

  • Comment number 57.

    Dear Nick,

    GB will never allow the little people to rip power from his fingers.

    June will be the only time to show what us little people(Who pay their wages remember) really think.

    Xxxx
    ps
    As i remember some time ago, we were being told of MPs that were so afraid of being exposed through their expenses that they were put on 'suicide watch'.

    I see by the news (Or not)none have bought it yet. Must be feeling a lot better.

  • Comment number 58.

    #18 fairlyopenminded

    I see your point - but Churchill had the advantage of 1 simple mandate - win the war (or rather avoid defeat)- and to be fair the previous encumbant had to go as he was useless.

    As soon as that was completed he was replaced.

    Of course I agreee that Gordon isn't 'technically unelected' - but then technically it's OK to have the tax payer clean out your moat.

    I didn't mind the position he was in - until I, (like many others) discovered that as chancellor he was fundamental in bringing about the changes which have assisted in magnifying this current economic crisis.

    to screw one big job up is bad - but then should we leave him at the wheel of an even bigger job now that we know what we do?

  • Comment number 59.

    Why would there be chaos? The Civil Service runs the country and they will not be displaced following a general election.

    And I wouldn't be so sure it would be a Tory victory either when NuLabour are thrown out by the people.

    Neither would it be Clegg's lot.

    I believe this will be the era of the fringe parties and independents.

    Westminster is long overdue a thorough shake up and these will be the people to bring this about.




  • Comment number 60.

    Really believe the whole furore that's happening is gathering momentum, and we're heading to an early election. Can't call what will be the tipping point, but have a hunch that we'll see more and more revelations that'll precipitate a trip to the polling station. Good on you Cameron for keeping up the pressure. I also feel sure there'll be a 'be careful what you wish for' element before it all plays out.

    Fascinating times if you like this sort of thing.

  • Comment number 61.

    This is my first ever blog. I feel that now is the time to speak 'plainly'.

    Since returning to the UK some five years ago, I have watched this country slowly sink into a cauldron of lies (now call untruths), soundbites, taxation (seen and unseen), and a general malaise not seen since the Romans left our shores when we returned for a short period of time to the dark ages.

    I am so incensed at what I have seen unfolding in the name of our "Honourable" members of Parliament, that I have, of late, had to switch off the television and stop buying newspapers.

    I thought I would 'torture' myself just one more time before ignoring any more news on the subject again and see if I could find out just what these 'people' in parliament had been spending on our behalf.

    I would advise anyone reading this blog to go to: theyworkforyou.com

    This site lists how YOUR MP has been spending YOUR MONEY. OK, 'some' of them have stayed within the rules that THEY have set, but as far as I'm concerned, (i.e. until I have studued this in more depth) the vast majority of these people are morally bankrupt.

    I have been simply blown away by the amount of money these people have 'dared' to claim from us. Do they have no shame?

    It's about time this nation woke up and saw things for what they are - however our so-called 'masters' try to dress it up. These people are meant to be our 'servants'........'civil servants'.

    A fact is a fact. Whatever side of the political spectrum you come from or adhere to.........GREED IS GREED!

    Go to the site that I have mentioned above.........but make sure you have a double brandy beside you before you do (that's if you have enough money left to buy one).

    FACTIST.......

  • Comment number 62.

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  • Comment number 63.

    Of course Brown is going to bottle another election so soon and I agree our government is serving no purpose other than costing the tax payer a fortune. There will be no election untill the labour government has saved us from another "false" terroist threats bla bla which is already being mentioned in the media in a pathetic attemt to take the attention away from what parlaiment members have done.

    I can't think of any solution to this other than disolve parliament.

    I fear that if there is a gerneral election soon a party such as the BNP will get in because so many people have lost faith in the leading parties.

  • Comment number 64.

    Business.You needed to be quick to make a profit from the latest sell. clearly the market thinks the worst is over. Indeed after the Indian election it seems as if we are back to the ''boom times'' as investors can't get enough money on.The music has started again.SSnot banned,but over and out.
    Politics.A snap General Election is not on the ''Take A Chance'' cards.

  • Comment number 65.

    No 10 - Ronregan
    How dare you refer to it as the Torygraph?? It is an unbiased organ of impeccable impartiality. However.....
    Buried amongst yesterday's news was the disclosure that the CPS and Scotland Yard's finest had decided there was no point in pursuing the leaking of information to the Telegraph because, it was felt, a Public Interest defence would prevail. We can therefore expect more leaks and whistle-blowing.
    The Telegraph's expenses disclosures have, on the face of it, shown some even-handedness. Yet this is a paper which had hitherto been partizan in its politics. Are we to believe there hasn't been some political selectiveness? We still only know what the Telegraph has decided to tell us. We are now left in the realms of Rumsfeld - we don't know how much we don't know.
    Wouldn't it be tragic if another copy of the full details were now leaked - apparently with impunity - to another media organ, possibly one less well-disposed towards the Conservative Party and this media organ began to address the hitherto unknowns.

  • Comment number 66.

    An General Election now would be chaos for the Labour party, but NOT having a General Election would mean chaos for the whole country as this government drives us deeper into ruin.

    Not to mention insult to the public from the Labour smugness of basically saying they know best and voters are too stupid to vote the right way (hence also our two referenda denied despite being manifesto pledges!).

  • Comment number 67.

    "The UK government response to the global financial crisis has been "bold and wide-ranging," the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
    It added that "aggressive action" by the government succeeded in containing the crisis and avoiding a breakdown."

    Ah, I see why Cameron is in such a hurry! wouldn't it be terrible if the economy recovered before he could claim the credit for it?

  • Comment number 68.

    Of course it would cause chaos.

    Just imagine all those labour MPs lined up outside the jobcentre!

  • Comment number 69.

    A turkey who will vote for Christmas? Possibly not. This is why Brown is hanging fire. The point made by @1 is also a prefectly valid one. A headlong rush into an election when things are still so up in the air over most of this strikes me as not the most sensible thing to do.

    Those who are calling for an election to clear the decks do have a point though: too many who were the principal miscreants will be responsible for changing the system. Can they be trusted to do it, even with the vastly increased levels of public scrutiny they can expect?

    One thing that really hasn't been mnetioned by many is Cameron's quite appalling opportunism in this regard. He's not calling for an election out of a powerful sense of decency, but with the chancer's feeling for making the greatest gains for himself. He thinks that he may be able to grab a sizeable majority. He should be careful though. too many of his own party are caught up in this particular web and his own 'payback' press conference looked like an episode in panicked gun-jumping.

    The choice isn't great. On the one hand, Brown, looking ineffectual and mired in the excesses of some of his party and is already busy fighting off economic trouble. One the other, Cameron, a smarmy ex-PR man whose Blair-lite persona is playing well in the South-East but is built of fairly wobbly foundations. In the middle sit Clegg's Lib-Dems, who may actually make some inroads.

    Perhaps, if and when an election does finally arrive, we can hope for a hung parliament, more Independents and a lot fewer careerist party hacks looking for a route up the greasy pole. That's the hope, but I'm not holding my breath relying on the intelligence of the British people.

  • Comment number 70.

    I really do think an election is in order. To cleanse Parliament, rather than emasculate it as is the current suggestion.

    The people demand a chance to judge the MPs and their behaviour, this is not a party political issue. Not one MP has stood down, despite the strength of feeling in the country.

    I don't know if Brown is running scared, he is conficent he has behaved well.

    On the other hand, if the economic crisis carries on, after Christmas, will we see the PM say that we must postpone the Spring election to avoid chaos?

  • Comment number 71.

    #21 CA55ANDRA

    I whole heartedly agree.

    Lets start the game of 'Political Bingo' and see how many times the following phrases come up in the next few weeks.

    "Draw a line under the matter"
    "Moving on from the expenses row"
    "Going forward"
    "Looking to the future"
    "Wholesale changes to the system"
    "Can't get bogged down in past transgressions"
    "Working together we can cleanse the system (but not the participants in the system)"

    Any other suggestions?

  • Comment number 72.

    SO WHAT Cameron calls for an election, he and his Tory buddies have been in opposition for 12 years, WHAT have they done ? nothing, did they point out mp's expenses then NO, have they been a good opposition NO, what would they do differently NOTHING all he is saying is "change, a new start" empty words, from the do nothing party. As for Brown and his cabal, they are worse because they have let the country down, we need reformation of the parliament.
    I'd like all the dossiers held in secret exposed now, get everything out in the open, deal with it as shocking as some of it may be and do the right thing for everyone

  • Comment number 73.

    This is actually an interesting experiment. We don't have a functioning government now (for example,they couldn't even criticise Goodwin's pension without people falling around laughing, they are that paralysed) so we'll see whether government is necessary or whether, rather like Italy, we can rub along fine without one.

  • Comment number 74.

    It is clear to me that we need a new government to drive through electoral and constitutional reform. The current MP's do not have a mandate for the dramatic reforms that their embezzlement has made neccesary.

    Each constituency should have the opportunity to re-select a new MP if they wish. Independants should be promoted/assisted. Then a General Election must be called. These arrangements need to be announced by setting a date.

    Hazel Blears should also be de-selected!

  • Comment number 75.

    Re Writingsonthewall - it sure is - FOR ZANULABOUR CHAMPAGNE SO CALLED SOCIALISTS.

  • Comment number 76.

    An election now, would open the door for the likes of the BNP.

    The mood of the country is that of anger and distrust, this is the worst time possible as the general public would be voting on the wrong issues.

    Let the waters calm before we go to the polls, vote with clarity not with the red mist.

  • Comment number 77.

    @16 it's an outrage...
    say's..
    'Of course he's 'running scared' of the voters. If he called an election now he'd lose it. Surely nobody wants the country to be run by somebody so stupid as to call an election that he knows he'll lose.
    The odds are long, but they shout at him to wait, and they shout a lot louder than Cameron'
    Outrage please read this back to yourself, mainly the bit where you say

    'Surely nobody wants the country to be run by somebody so stupid as to call an election that he knows he'll lose.'

    Dosen't it strike you as somewhat contradictory, now lets cut that a little bit more,

    'Surely nobody wants the country to be run by somebody so stupid'

    This is all you had write Outrage, just about sum's it up dont you think, gordon brown i think may just have shot himself in the foot with this one, depends on how much spinning the BBC and main stream media
    do for him, but i personally think regardless of what your allegience is, you are going to be a bit miffed that our PM believes the British Public are not capable of making a decision. except of course saga...hehe

  • Comment number 78.

    Before a general election can be called all expenses including last years have to be published so that no-one is elected who is later found to be sloppy with their accounts.If an election is called there would be no way of unelecting anyone for the full term of the parliament as there is no mechanism for doing so.
    So before any party calls for an election clean up the mess that all parties have made so that at least the electorate know that the person they might vote for is clean.

  • Comment number 79.

    GB keeps talking about getting more democracy with the electorate being more involved. He refers to some sort of public consultation.

    This government promised us a referendum on "lisbon", and hid behind the new name "treaty" even though it is essentially the same as the constitution.

    If he wants more public consultation, isn't that what a referendum is?

  • Comment number 80.

    Shock horror. Sitting Prime Minister resists a general election and wants to hold out as long as possible and Leader of the Opposition calls for an immediate general election because he wants to reach the top of the greasy pole himself.

    You are deluding yourselves if you think a Tory government under Cameron would actually reform Parliament in root and branch which is needed, especially when it is too busy slashing and burning our public services.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    I think this is a diversion - much as I'd love to see the back of labour I'm afraid we have another year to go. There isn't going to be an election until either Brown things he will win or his time is up. The first seems highly unlikely and so it will next year.

    The Sun are trying to make trouble and Cameron is seeing this as another opportunity to bash the government - yes he'd love to be in power now but he knows its not going to happen and is understandably making capital out of it.

    I can't stand Brown but have no real problem with him not having been elected or deciding the time of the election - that's the system. When I look round the world I don't see many other systems that I think are better.

  • Comment number 83.

    An election would cause a Conservative government so you the people are not allowed one.

    Sentiment worthy of Mugabe and the Burmese Junta.

    There is only one cleansing agent that will clean out parliament and get rid of the stubborn stains.

    A General Election, the fear for Brown and the other MPs is that in a GE there will be nowhere to hide. MPs will have to come clean to get peoples votes.

  • Comment number 84.

    Oh, for crying out loud. Brown isn't running scared of the electorate. He's running scared of the mob. There's no good end to this until the mob find a better target.

    Unfortunately the mob haven't noticed [url]http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/03d19fd6-3e2d-11de-9a6c-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=Late_headline1/NL/UKMay2009/Creative_1_shoots/0/&nclick_check=1#[/url] the turnaround has already begun. It ruins their bandwagon.

  • Comment number 85.

    In the midst of the back-slapping chaos that abounds, I was wondering what a shame it was that the saddo, dour Gordie wouldn't have a legacy in the history books.

    So I think we should all work towards renaming the "Walter Mitty" character as the "Gordon Brown" character.

    Legacy problem solved...

  • Comment number 86.

    I absolutely agree with one of the comments and with Roy Hattersely and Shirley Williams this morning on Today programme: an election now would be disastrous with people voting out of kneejerk reactions and anger rather than through considered choice. This would also enable parties such as the BNP to gain significant support. It seems to me that David Cameron and his party are going in for the kill by hammering for an election. It would be irresponsible to call a general election right now.

    People are angry but there has to be a perspective on the expenses debacle and we will only gain this over the next 10 months when we can all consider policies rather than this one issue. I would like to think that the MPs and the media will now focus on other important issues rather the expenses-Europe for instance and health and education quite apart from the recession.

  • Comment number 87.

    Excuse me, but aren't we going to cause 'chaos' in a couple of weeks time for the local/Euro elections?

    Proof positive (if any more were needed) that we live in a dictatorship run by a coward.

  • Comment number 88.

    Back to petty points scoring then! When will Cameron et al grow up and resist the temptation to jump on every passing band wagon. Talk about shameless opportunism! Given that Tory M.P's are as deeply involved in the present expenses fiasco as the others, re-electing them with a massive majority would simply add more to the trough. An election now is NOT what is required. What is needed is immediate reform of how M.P's behave and how they are to be properly paid and re-imbursed for their necessary expenses, without the distraction of electioneering. Once the stable has been cleaned, then by all means have an election.
    Or is Cameron trying to muddy the waters? Is there something really nasty in the Tory woodwork?

  • Comment number 89.

    Gordon Brown's response was simultaneously predictable, shocking and unacceptable. Predictable because Brown is innately dictatorial. Shocking because it shows that Brown has clearly lost the plot in terms of his relationship with the people of our (so-called) democracy. Unacceptable because Brown has no right to impose his will over and above that of the people of this country - the majority of whom want a General Election now.

    I thought we ended the Divine Right of Kings in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Now it's time to end the Divine Right of Dear Leader Brown. Let's hope he sees the writing on the wall, just like Speaker Martin (eventually).

    Gordon Brown is like one of those Orcs in Lord of The Rings: virtually indestructible. So, keep fighting Mr Cameron; the good guys always win in the end.

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    General election NOW! what's the rush!
    As a ordinary voter (not a member of any party) I want more than 4 intense weeks from now to scrutinise the parties policies. After all, it's policies that make up what is important in our democracy.
    What I don't want is a Boris styled succession, based upon media hype and a lack of detailed scrutiny. A year gives us more chance to ask those that wish to govern over us some tough questions on a whole range of issues. In a nutshell I think it's a choice between
    (a)enhanced job security but perhaps more taxes
    (b)rampant job insecurity but less tax if you are in work
    - so let the debate start now and the election be well informed, for next year
    So less spin, more details please!

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    #41 "Socialism and building an economy on debt are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE"

    No they are not.

    Why are they mutually exclusive?

    Is there no debt in a socialist society? How does it trade with the rest of the world, including capitalist countries then? It is you who looks silly making such statements.

  • Comment number 94.

    As an ex-Labour voter I have been impressed with Mr. Cameron's recent performance but I can't help feeling that he has made his first mistake in insisting on a General Election so prematurely. The removal of the Speaker was supposed to be the first step in a process that rewrote the rules on MP's expenses and punished all those who had been shown to break the spirit of the old rules. Before we can have an election we need mass de-selections of offending MPs. Without this Mr. Brown will be right: the aftermath of an election will be chaotic.

    See it from the electorate's point of view. If our incumbent MP is too sleazy to vote for, but has been left in place, we will have no option but to either spoil our ballot papers or vote for another party. I suppose disenchanted Conservatives will vote for UKIP, perhaps LibDems will vote for Libertas, and Labour voters will go for either the Greens or the BNP depending on whether they belong to the Chardonnay or Special Brew wing of the party.

    It should not be left to the electorate to deselect MPs through the ballot box; the three main parties must bite the bullet and get this job done *before* they call an election.

  • Comment number 95.

    How can this man have the control on when we - a nation of 60 million + people - are able to have a General Election?

    If Brown is so confident that we agree that he is the man for the job (never a question he has dared to ask us,of course),then why does he not call a General Election?
    Because he knows he will be trounced to oblivion.

  • Comment number 96.

    #41 re: socialism and debt-based economies being mutually exclusive...

    Do socialist societies trade with other nations? The answer of course is yes, so judging from your statement, they always do so without getting into any national debt?

    Like everything else about socialism, your answer merely serves to illuminate us how deluded socialists truly are.

    Socialism does not mean no money, no trade and no debt. It refers to the central collective ownership of means of production and capital, and an equitable way of distributing compensation for labour. A socialist nation still needs to buy things from other nations, such as resources that are not able to be sourced locally. Assuming that sometimes net imports will exceed exports, then you have debt being built up.

    Gordon has been doing this for the last decade. Borrow money from our friends the Chinese and Saudis, safe in the knowledge that it will enrich the client voters of Labour and increase Labour's electoral chances, and safe in the knowledge that Gordon himself will be in some directorate or retirement when it comes time to pay back the money.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    #55 I'm sorry but taking money from those who generate it, and giving it to the feckless, bone idle in our society is closer to socialism than any other political system I can think of.

    What's your suggestion then?

  • Comment number 99.

    Come on! I'm a celebrity get me in there election caper?

    The millionares presenters club' "THATS ENTERTAINMENT"

    I say westminster' you say! celebrity? get a grip people!

    GB has meet every single issue head-on, unlike his predecessors.

  • Comment number 100.

    I like what Mr Cameron said 'what we need is a general election' hahahah
    I tell you what every time something goes wrong we will have an election shall we.
    I believe that the threat in my own view is that people will start voting for right wing parties such as the BNP if continual exposure over expenses and every thing else goes on.
    I respect our leaders of all parties still and do not think the time is right to have a general election because it could cause one or two problems.

 

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