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One week on – another to go…..

Seems like its been a long election campaign – which of course it has as it has run over 6 weeks rather than the traditional 4.

I love an election and am generally interested and engaged in politically – but it has dragged on at times. Anyway with renewed vigour (& to distract myself from the predictable disappointment of the football) I launched myself in the BBC Leaders Debate last night. Both leader strengths, weaknesses and foibles were on display – as they have been all campaign so I am sure it won’t have made any real impact on anyones voting intention.

At times Rishi Sunak was the more capable speaker – “in answer to your question here are 2 practical things that I will deliver”. His problem was that he’d clearly been fed a ‘no surrender’ line which was both irritating and alienating. He hopes to be judged on 18 months as PM not his governments 14 year record. But ‘not quite as dismal’ doesn’t seem like a good starting point.

Keir Starmer was more assured than he has been and was keen to press the points about a 14 year record where ‘nothing works as well as it did’. He’s never going to be a firebrand and is seemingly pitching ‘calmness’, ‘realism’ and ‘maturity’ as his win themes.

Sadly though neither really answered the most insightful questions:

‘Post-Brexit I have lost 90% of my trade with Europe’ – concerns unlikely to be assuaged to business rates cuts.

The outcome feels inevitable – just the size of majority that’s up for grabs (and who is left for the Tories). Yet for a leader who has consistently looked to the Blair years for inspiration it seems like Labour has ignored one of the most important lessons. Blair always said (in hindsight) that they should have been more radical in the first term – when they had the mandate and opportunity.

Anyway – where I live we’ve got a tussle between Green and Labour just to mix things up a bit.

So – one more week to go – change will then follow. Whether we like the changes or not – it’ll be the first time for a while that the PM will have a legitimate electoral mandate.

Workwise things have been moving ahead at varying degrees of pace. The mobilisation period for a new Fatherhood Consortium is coming to an end and they are ready to go. Managed to not secure a piece of work we ‘assumed’ we’d win – failing to follow 2 simple bits of advice: never assume & actually answer the questions you’ve been asked….

Unusually I haven’t seen any live music this week – managed to miss seeing the Bluebells supported by my old friend Billy Reeves.

And this weekend I’m off to the Isle of Wight for 3 days of golf – defending a very prestigious trophy and green jacket that I won last year. Happy to pass the trophy on now as it comes with the requirement to book the next year’s event. And I’m all out of ideas….

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