So it might be May but it may be March. Since you ask, the 25th to be precise. Yes, we’re talking election dates (again) as pundits earn their corn by positing new theories for this or that. Westminster is awash with rumours from senior Tory sources, leaked Labour conversations and journalists and bloggers keen to get in on the act and tell us they knew first. Well, who knows? Certainly the Pre-budget report lays the possibility before us and no sitting Prime Minister likes to be boxed into a corner. It all becomes quite tactical (when can the worst of the bad news be furthest from the minds of the electorate?) and provides quite a distraction from the dissection of policies and practice. So much so that perhaps we ought to be considering fixed-term parliaments that mitigate against the orchestration of events by desperate incumbents. It would serve the cause of integrity well to have a firm commitment in the diary that everybody with an interest knows in advance.
We’ve heard a great deal about the self-serving aspects of political life through the expenses saga; it would surely be better to remove this open temptation of a political fix from the path of those seeking to look better than their record suggests.