Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Two words

There is a theory doing the rounds that says Gordon could delay an election until 2013. It rests on the discovery that whilst the current Parliament must expire after 5 years, there is nothing to say that he has to call a General Election immediately. The only (legal) limit is that he has to do so within 3 years. Political Betting found it, and it has been picked up by the Spectator and by Mark Reckons.

I think I can sum up my reaction to that possibility in two words - "Riots", and "Streets"


  1. As the PB article points out, there would be practical difficulties arising if the government tried to operate without parliament. I doubt sufficient Labour MPs would be happy to go along with the idea either. And as you say, the populace is not as compliant as it would have to be.

    It's interesting to keep up-to-speed with the legal niceties, but seriously...

  2. What is the convention in these circumstances, Patently? Stand in front of a bus? Or maybe we will be reduced to standing in front of a tank in Trafalgar Square.

    Is there a slow boat going to China by any chance?

  3. Blue, there wouldn't be any Labour MPs to raise objection - no MPs at all, in fact!

    Yes, the practical problems would be immense, especially if the suspension lasted into the next financial year. The lapse of all tax-raising powers might be a good thing, though, now I come to think about it...

    Meausured - I would expect (and hope for) civil disobedience on a massive scale and a standing demonstration on Whitehall/Downing Street. I would also expect (and fear) a general loss of respect for the rule of law in the face of the massive two fingers to democratic principles that such a step would be.

    But, in the end, I do agree with Blue that this is probably paranoia.

    (The emphasis, though, is on the word "probably"...!)

  4. The two words I would have gone for would be 'assassination' and 'celebrated'.