This is puzzling - Labour ShadCab agreeing the election came the week after the SNP (&LDs) announced their intention to table an early election bill via a front page splash in the Observer
Did the SNP intend to withdraw their support for an early election so soon after very publicly backing it? In which case what was the purpose of the early election bill & front page announcement?
If this was always meant as w feint, why did they not communicate this to Labour earlier? Did they not think their Early Election bill, which shifted the votes needed from two thirds to a simple majority, would impact on Labour’s thinking?
Even on the day: if SNP knew Lab had a ShadCab that day it wasn’t a massive reach to realise their early elec bill would be on the agenda. If they knew that (a) they were meeting later and (b) outcome was in doubt despite previous public statements, wouldn’t they signal this?
Here’s the Observer article - they lead with the LDs support but SNP’s Ian Blackford backs the plan on the record in the article - “have an election as early as possible”…
Here’s the Guardian write-up of Labour’s decision to back the election - comes two days after the weekend SNP/LD early election bill announced and extensively cites this as a factor in Labour’s change of stance…
Now this was a v chaotic period all round. But it seems odd to me to table an early election bill which would enable Cons to get an election *without* Lab votes, then claim to be taken by surprise when this initiative changed Labour’s stance
For Labour, being seen to be dragged into an election against their will was the worst of all worlds, as they had been saying all year that an election was their preferred means to break the deadlock. And it was the SNP/LD bill which made that a major risk for Labour
I think the story of how the 2019 election came to be has rather fallen victim to the "Rashomon effect" - different witnesses to a confusing, fast moving, high sakes event recall it in different ways, reflecting differences in what they knew & believed…
A good thing, therefore, that an analysis will soon be available from one of Britain's most acute observers of Westminster politics - @philipjcowley - in our forthcoming book "The British General Election of 2019"…

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More from @robfordmancs

11 Sep
Inclined to complain to @Ofcom about this headline - this level of statistical ignorance, from a journalist of this profile, represents a risk to public health.
I have deleted my original thread on this as I had misunderstood the error Peston made here. It was a different, more subtle error than the one I had assumed. Therefore, I will just let the experts who have been discussing this speak for themselves:
Given the gravity of the issue - vaccine effectiveness - and the prevalence of misinformation and hesitancy, it would really be helpful if @Peston and his team at @itvnews and @itvpeston would take care to speak to experts first before publishing alarmist speculation.
Read 7 tweets
10 Sep
Yes, I find that odd also. Often from the same kind of people who staunchly and regularly oppose anything even resembling "privatisation of the NHS". Why is it right to socialise the risk/costs of a stroke or a heart attack, but not to socialise the risk/costs of dementia?
This incidentally is why I thought Labour was on the right track with ideas of a national care service - if universal, free at the point of use public services are your preferred model, then it is logical to extend that model to social care.
There are other issues with an NCS of course - cost, operability, disruption, centralisation etc etc - but the core point stands - either you socialise a risk or you privatise it. Objections that public social care provision subsidise wealthy home owners assume the latter.
Read 4 tweets
9 Sep
So, I've learned a lot about how the term "progressive" is understood on the left in the last 12 hours or so, which has led me to rethink this. I still think there's a lot of partisan filtering going on here, but its the ambiguities in NI which facilitate it.
I had assumed that "progressive" with regards fiscal policy was generally understood as "redistributive" (i.e. a tax whose net effect is rich pay more, poor pay less). At the household level, that's clearly true of NI as graph below illustrates
However, from my replies it seems there are at least three other definitions of "progressive" taxation: 1. A tax whose rates rise like a staircase across the income distribution 2. A tax where richest pay most 3. A tax whose impacts fall least on the poorest
Read 18 tweets
6 Sep
The anonymous cabinet minister may perhaps want to take a look at the swings against the Conservatives in Surrey in 2019...
Some of his Cabinet colleagues, such as Dominic Raab and Michael Gove, will be well aware of these.
There are actually hard working, home owning nurses and supermarket workers in Surrey too. They don't all live in the Red Wall. And given the age/demographics of the current Conservative vote "we don't want to offer anything to older homeowners" is a strange electoral strategy.
Read 4 tweets
2 Sep
Many of the Corbynite sources we talked to for the forthcoming “British General Election of 2019” raised excessive policy announcements as a problem in the previous Parliament
Attention grabbing policy announcements were seen early on by Corbyn’s LOTO as a reliable lever to pull to get media attention, but were overused during the Parliament.
Things were even worse during the election campaign, with sources from across the Labour spectrum agreeing that a torrent of daily, uncoordinated policy announcements backfired, undermining message coherence and raising doubts about Labour’s credibility
Read 5 tweets
28 Aug
Canadian Conservatives
Read 4 tweets

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