Sunday, April 04, 2010

Will Brown Breach Number Ten Rules?

Rumours reach me that as soon as Gordon has been to the Palace on Tuesday and called the election for May 6th, he's intending to host a huge meeting of Labour parliamentary candidates. Why would this be at all controversial? Because if the rumours are true, he's intending to host the meeting at Number Ten Downing Street.

There are clear rules on the use of Number Ten for party political purposes, and I would respectfully submit that holding a pre election rally of your own party's candidates does not fall within them. Such meetings are normally held at party headquarters.

30 comments:

Dan Brusca said...

This raises an even more important issue, namely that of government ministers' potential abuse of power during an election period. Hopefully the mandarins will prevent much of this, but vigilance is warranted.

Moriarty said...

If he just invites those on his own side who want him to win they could have the meeting in the telephone kiosk outside the Red Lion across the road.

edmayes said...

As soon as Brown dissolved Parliament Labour has to foot the bill for expenses such as cars, so I suspect he'll fudge it and hold the meeting before he goes to the Palace or somewhere nearby.

Unsworth said...

What about all the blatant electioneering that has gone on for many months now - much of it using taxpayers' cash? Since when has Brown been concerned about 'Rules'? - except where they suited his political purposes.

Exercise Book, anyone?

IanVisits said...

Maybe he just wants to give them all one last chance to have a look inside the place.

We shouldn't besmirch a nostalgic visit like this.

cynicalHighlander said...

"Such meetings are normally held at party headquarters."

That would be Pacific Quay in Glasgow only there is that little matter over Steven Purcell which might be a distraction.

McPravda?

the orange party said...

I'm willing to stand corrected but I think you've been sold a pup on this one.

The strict election rules only kick in when the Queen formally dissolves parliament. This happens a few days AFTER the PM goes to see the Queen to allow for the "wash-up".

The rules apply to the Palace of Westminster. I'm not sure about Downing Street as it still has an on-going function for HM Government.

Nevertheless in a few days time after Brown pops in to see the Queen, the country will be run by an unelected prime minister who is not an MP with a New Labour campaign fronted by an unelected peer.

Democracy, eh?

spinkeration said...

On the constitutional point, there's obviously a short period (several days?) between the PM going to the Palace, and formal Dissolution (otherwise there wouldn't be scope for the potential disgrace of the "Wash-up") - which rules apply then?

As for the propriety of party events at No. 10, personally, I don't see why the timing should be relevant, shouldn't they always be held elsewhere? (Though I suspect that's been consistently breached pretty much since No. 10 was gifted to the nation!)

................................. said...

You're quite correct, Iain. Using govt offices for party meetings is not allowed

DespairingLiberal said...

I really cannot agree.

It is now obvious to any thinking person that Number 10 is and always will be the property of G Brown Esq and his appointed successor, a Mr E Balls. Anyone who thinks otherwise is as deluded as they are mad.

I am also quite certain that the esteemed Mr G O'Donnell (Blarney College, Battersea and Nuffsaid College Oxford) will have conducted a wide-ranging and most thorough review of this use of Number 10 and pronounced it "er, completely, and I er, I think er, mean this, that, er, whenever possible and probably the PM, that is to say the PM can agree to confirm such a matter and of course that is true and er (contd page 98.

Flowers commemorating the end of New Labour can be sent to the Ed Balls Centre for the Accurate Forecast of Gold Prices and For The Terminally Incompetent.

MD said...

Labour have been abusing Taxpayer money in blatent electionering for months.

If you listen to spotify for instance you are bombarded by adverts advising of Pension rule changes or eating healthly. One Woman sounds like Ed Balls wife on one of the adverts as well.

Labour are an utter disgrace and I look forward to their removal out of office.

Patrick said...

you meanie. dont begrudge them their farewell drinks.

S.B.S said...

He will certainly use other peoles money for everything, as he has used all the labour party as he has conducted this countries affairs, he has broke the labour party and they need to borrow in order to advertise.

Jimmy said...

"There are clear rules on the use of Number Ten for party political purposes,"

Well certainly the old tory practice of using it for fundraising has been scrapped.

javelin said...

Did the Gene Hunt poster break BBC and Government rules about using the BBC for political gain?

Scrobs... said...

What is so enjoyable, is thinking about the utter panic this awful person is feeling about having to do something legal about his disgraceful administration next week.

I guess those grubby fingernails will be reduced even further when he wakes up and recalls that today is the day he's finally consigned to the history books under the heading 'Failures of our time'.

He will never be forgiven for raping my pension - never.

DespairingLiberal said...

Javelin, I suspect it is a breach of copyright - but probably Kudos, who make the programme, are too pleased with the publicity to attempt to get it stopped.

James said...

I know we are going to have an election.
BUT, what is the constitutional position if the Prime Minister doesn't ASK for a dissolution of Parliament?
Does it automatically get dissolved after 5 years starting?
What would the procedure for that be? And who would do it?

DespairingLiberal said...

James, you are asking questions for which there are no answers. Do you not realise that the bedrock of the British "constitutional" system is that nobody has a clue what the limits are - and is someone plans a coup or a PM decides to take on dictatorial powers or the Monarch decides things would be better if they called in the Army - there is bugger all to stop them!

Mass civil disobedience is as much a possible neccessity in dear old Blighty as it is in any banana republic, we just like to think it's all done terribly well here. Until it isn't.

To give a couple of examples from postwar history. Wilson was plotted against by elements of the security services in 74/75. They worked with people in the armed forces and planned a coup. There are also good reasons to doubt the official explanations put forwards for the death of Dr David Kelly and other curious deaths over the last 50 years. Airey Neave is another that comes to mind.

Perhaps one day we shall hear the truth about these things, but I'm not holding my breath.

miko said...

5 weeks today and it will be the first Sunday in 13 years that Brown and his thugs have not overseen the ruin of this great country.

5 weeks.

Bliss.

50 Calibre said...

He used No 11 for similar purposes for years. He wasn't stopped. The mandarins did nothing.

He'll break any rule to stay in power. It's what he does. he won't be out of power until he's out of No 10 and that will take some doing.

trevorsden said...

And who, 50 calibre, was the chief mandarin at the Treasury during a part of that time and otherwise a senior bigwig in the same place?

Do we really expect Sir Gus to utter a cheep?

Not a sheep said...

But the Labour party is "the political wing of the British people", so whatever the Labour party does is by definition in the interests of the British people. Those Tony Blair phrases were not accidental...

tory boys never grow up said...

Of course such things never happened when the Tories were in power did they. Mrs T never arranged foreign visits to present herself as a world statesman around the date of calling an election did she?

spinkeration said...

James, Yes, Parliament automatically dissolves 5 years after it is first summoned, under the terms of the Septennial Act 1715 (http://bit.ly/cdkMMu). I guess in theory, the MPs could continue to sit, but unless they've passed an Act to extend the life of Parliament (as they did in the World Wars, and where the Lords have a right of veto), nothing they went on to do should be treated as lawful by the Courts.

Picking up The Orange Party's point, at the recent hearing of the Justice Select Committee into procedures in the event of a Hung Parliament, the experts summoned made clear that the Prime Minister at the time of the election remains in place until it is clear that another leader is best placed to do so. What wasn't stated was what would happen if the sitting PM lost his or her seat, but with the party remaining the largest / majority party... (http://bit.ly/9cpswf)

Thatsnews said...

As Charlie Whelan has been banned from Labour Party HQ, perhaps Brown has also been barred? Or is he refusing to use Labour Party HQ in solidarity with Charles?

skynine said...

Is the use of the NO 10 website a misuse of Government resources. The podcast is a 3min. party political broadcast.

John said...

What tripe. PM's, including Thatch, have long conducted Political Cabinet meetings in No 10 so what's the difference?

Megan said...

John, there is a world of difference between a private cabinet meeting & a party political podcast put up at taxpayer's expense under the guise of a public government information medium.

DespairingLiberal said...

Don't worry, Gus O'Donnell has now given a definitive ruling to the Select Committee looking into all this, which I have just watched on Parliament Channel and can report back on!

Sir Augustine O'D: "Indeed, and when we refer to the paragraph, emm, er, provided that, er, I think the PM, er, I understand, er, em, maybe, er, there would be, er, in this page, er..."

Mr Brian Twoddle MP: "Sir Gus, can you come clean, would the PM have to resign in this circumstance?"

Lord Blather of Battersea (Chief Secretary to the Cabinet of Lies): "Erm, I think it's clear that, er, in the guidance, I mean that is the guidance, I mean the er PM, could say, he could, and we have consulted widely, er, that it would be, em, notwithstanding that..."

Chair of the Committee: "I think I speak for everyone present when I say that Mr O'Donnell inspires all our confidence and is the most decisive leader of the Home Civil Service this great country our ours has yet enjoyed!"

Mr Blather: "Yes, erm, the Queen, that is to say, er the government, or is it, in fact, er maybe, em perhaps, me, or you in fact, em, I'm not quite sure, perhaps..." (more rambling on in fake Estuary about something one is not quite sure about continues on page 96).