Why has May called a General Election? Probably the 2015 Election Fraud

April 19, 2017

by Martin Odoni

Yesterday was a shock, eh?

Perhaps it should have been otherwise. The polls for the Labour Party have been dire since last year’s ‘Chicken Coup‘, while Theresa May is still very much in her ‘Honeymoon period’ as Prime Minister, when everything that goes wrong is blamed on the previous incumbent at Number 10. The Liberal Democrats under Tim Farron remain a pale, error-prone shadow of what they were in the days of the late Charles Kennedy. The Green Party’s support is too thinly distributed to pick up more than a couple of seats at best. The UK Independence Party is tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, and in any event it has exhausted its purpose-of-being, while also suffering the same problem of a thinly scattered support base. The Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Ulster parties are too narrowly focused on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively to pick up anywhere near enough seats at the UK level.

Furthermore, the real pain of leaving the European Union is not yet being felt, but will be before 2020, at which point it could seriously injure the Conservative Party’s re-election hopes.

Perhaps the most significant reason though, one that is not getting much mention in our ever-Tory-friendly media, is the Tory Election Fraud scandal. You know, the one Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC insists was just a few ‘mistakes’; –

Laura Kuenssberg is a disgrace to objective journalism.

Laura Kuenssberg continues to be the Tories’ most shameless spin-doctor-with-press-pass.

May must be keenly aware of the slightness of the Parliamentary majority she inherited from David Cameron. It currently stands at just seventeen seats, and it puts her at the mercy of the lunatic fringe on the hard-right of the Conservative Party. She must also be aware of how serious the legal difficulty her party is in, and how results in all the seats disputed over the fraud could potentially be reversed. It is perhaps an extreme scenario, but if that were to happen in all cases, it could lead to a Hung Parliament, for the second time in less than ten years. The political fall-out would again be very damaging to the Tories in the medium term. This makes it a prime reason to get the next General Election out of the way now, while the going is still less bumpy; any reversed results will be meaningless, as the 2015 result will be superseded before mid-June.

All these reasons are far likelier explanations than May’s barely-defined talk of giving the country strong leadership during the ‘Brexit’ process. Given the election will take two months of precious negotiation time away from that process, her claim is laughable. It also took little time for the Fixed Terms Parliaments Act of 2011 to be undermined.

An increased majority for the Tories is likely. That will be unpleasant of course, but it would still be better than what we have now, as it would free May from the will of the lunatic fringe. It is a ludicrous reflection on the current shape of the British political landscape that a party that has already been slapped with the biggest fine for fraud in electoral history, and is under continuing investigation for further corruption, is in such unbeatable shape. Part of the reason for that is the media turning a blind eye to the fraud, or playing it down. (Certainly, there has been nothing like the clamour over this as there has been over the – largely-fictitious – antisemitism-in-Labour furore.)

But also, the Labour Party has made a complete pig’s-ear of the last eighteen months, wasting an enormous membership groundswell that arrived with Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader, and has repeatedly fallen into infighting when the opportunity to attack the Tories has been available. Corbyn has taken almost all of the blame for that; and to be fair, he does deserve some criticism for not being ruthless enough with those who have undermined him, and for not taking the initiative or being vocal enough within party circles when focused strategising was required. But the reality is that it is the backstabbers in the Parliamentary Party who have done most of the damage by far, as much with their (perhaps deliberate) poor timing as with their disloyalty. Labour should have controlled the narrative from the start of July last year, with the Tories leaderless and torn apart by the EU Referendum. It was the perfect opportunity to attack them and make their transition to a new Prime Minister an absolute torment.

Instead, at that exact moment, the PLP turned on their own leader and forced a new leadership election that they were bound to lose, and let the Conservative Party off the hook completely. By the time Corbyn had hammered Owen Smith to kingdom-come, the Tories had regrouped and had a new leader of their own in place. Also, with the February by-elections in Copeland and Stoke-On-Trent, the timing would have been a lot smarter – or less insidious – if Labour had not contrived to hold them just two weeks after the Brexit vote in the House of Commons; it was a vote in which Corbyn was in a no-win situation. Support the Bill to allow May to activate Article-50 and he looks obsequious; oppose it and he looks anti-democratic. That was bound to have knock-on bad effects on by-elections held so soon afterwards.

Now, the PLP across-the-board has failed to make anything of the Tory Election Fraud.

It is almost as if Labour MPs are more terrified of winning with a (relatively) left-wing leader than they are of being supposedly ‘unelectable’ with one. Whatever one might think of Corbyn, and regardless of whether the repeated bad timing is stupidity or cynicism, the Parliamentary Labour Party, quite simply, does not deserve to win a General Election. It is either too stupid collectively, or too dishonest collectively.

It is Labour as a whole, far more than Corbyn, that is unelectable. That is why May calling a snap election now should have been entirely predictable and even obvious.

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6 Responses to “Why has May called a General Election? Probably the 2015 Election Fraud”

  1. Neo-Pelagius Says:

    Labour could do it in my opinion even at this late hour.

  2. Sophia.George 💋 Says:

    Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
    I agree. BUT I’m in it to win it… and I think people undermine the strong undercurrent that Jeremy has won over many decades not just a few months. Tory austerity measures have left people destitute and for these reasons alone, I believe (whether it’s wishful thinking or not) that labour as disgraceful as the PLP have been, are in a fairly strong position; if they all work together.

    He was a money spinner when he first put up for leader, too many underestimate the power of such a strong man. Xxxxx

  3. Florence Says:

    yet another version of ABC, lacking any gravitas and ending up sounding like the whimper he is accusing the PLP and leadership of. It’s a sound almost entirely confined to westminster. Beyond that there is a howl of protest against this govt, but of course, that is never mentioned in the press. 10,000 in a march from their own front door, not a whisper from the BBC. 300,000 on the NHS demo, and again, more a sort of traffic report. The OP here sounds more like a weather report in london than a political analysis of the desire for change in the UK. 2,500 joined the Labour party within hours of the GE17 announcement. Now THAT is something to consider.

    • Martin Odoni Says:

      I’m not sure I follow what you’re saying? I’m not even sure what you mean by ‘ABC’? Are you accusing me of copying the Australian Broadcasting Corporation or something?

      I was analysing May’s likely reasons for calling a GE, and criticising the PLP (not the leadership) for constantly picking fights with itself when it should be attacking the Tories. It was not a political analysis of the desire for change in the UK because I was not attempting to write one. I have done plenty of that elsewhere. You’re not happy with the BBC’s lack of coverage? Neither am I, and I have criticised it in plenty of places elsewhere, and indeed on this article; look at the pic. Either way, I am not the person you need to complain to about it.

      Yes, it’s nice that 2,500 have joined the Labour Party. What is NOT so nice is that the likes of Iain McNicol and Tom Watson end up wasting the subscription fees from such newcomers on legal actions against their own leader, when their leader was the reason most of them signed up in the first place. That sort of backstabbing deserves criticism, and if, as seems likely, it costs Labour the upcoming election, I want to make damn sure that it’s in the public domain in advance who is really to blame. Because you can be sure that the Blairites and their allies will try to blame Corbyn, lock, stock and barrel.

      • Florence Says:

        May hasn’t called the election because of the on-going problems inside Labour, but because she is about to be hit with a huge electoral fraud scandal that will sink the party. This is her Falkland moment.

        (BTW – ABC = Anyone but Corbyn. But then I’m sure you knew that, whereas the Australian ‘riposte’ fell flat. Pancaked.)

        I referenced the media purely because it was singularly missing from your list of Corbyn deficits – should have been tougher, should have been quicker, should have been more nimble ….how about should have been heard?

        Attacking with faint praise, the prose equivalent of being stabbed with a spoon, doesn’t really chime with your final lines – intended I’m sure as a coup de grace (again with a spoon) condemning Labour as a party that does not deserve to win. No praise there at all.

        Well, I have great news, the party in the stale corridors of Westminster is a great deal less than the sum of it’s parts outside, and we not only deserve to win, but we are working damned hard to do it. Because I don’t know how it works for you, but the fact that while Westminster and it’s pundits fiddle, thousands are starving, or dying, losing homes, watching their kids fail in schools, millions with less than £100 in the bank.

        If you indeed care deeply about the failure of the PLP to unite and the misuse of LP funds, then perhaps your main OP should have been focussed on the backstabbing, the bitter ones, etc, and not on the perceived (manipulated) weakness of Corbyn but on their ability and never-ending efforts to manipulate. Too much criticism generally seems to rest on the imperfect understanding that the Labour Party is not a dictatorship but designed around democratic rules, that leave Corbyn very little room to do as you suggest.

        There are already reams on the subject that show up the depths being plumbed by those who think they, not the members, should be the king makers. Even so, that is still mainly a preoccupation of a small number of people in Westminster and a much larger number inside the party. In the rest of the UK we are faced with the daily choices that can lead to the difference between life and death for the sick, between malnutrition and a pair of kids shoes. I have yet to knock on the door and find anyone seething about the suspensions and expulsions waiting for us. What McNicols does with the membership fees is a long way from all that – that is the scandal, that a few have totally forgotten what the Labour party is about. People like me will be knocking on their doors, thousands upon millions of doors, getting them to register to vote, to help, signpost to resources, and to tell them their voices matter. That change can happen.

        Yes, WE DO deserve to win. We’ll sort out the redecoration and interior redesign and furnishings once we’re home. Perhaps the praise will not be so faint then?

      • Martin Odoni Says:

        “May hasn’t called the election because of the on-going problems inside Labour, but because she is about to be hit with a huge electoral fraud scandal that will sink the party. This is her Falkland moment.”

        Florence, have you even read the article before ranting against it? I said in it myself that it was principally because of the Election Expenses Fraud. It was the central point I was making in the article. I disagree if you think that’s the sole reason, as May lacks the courage to do something like this without favourable circumstances to her, especially the chaos in Labour at Westminster, but yes, the fraud scandal, I did say that was the most significant reason.

        “(BTW – ABC = Anyone but Corbyn. But then I’m sure you knew that”

        No, I didn’t. I hadn’t a clue what you were on about. I suggested the Australian Broadcasting Corporation because I wondered if you meant the Australian news had done some kind of hatchet job on Corbyn that I hadn’t heard about or something.

        Thank you for explaining, but really, there is no need to do so in such an insinuating, almost passive-aggressive way.

        “I referenced the media purely because it was singularly missing from your list of Corbyn deficits – should have been tougher, should have been quicker, should have been more nimble ….how about should have been heard?”

        I did not offer a ‘list of Corbyn deficits’. I pointed out a couple of things he might have done a bit better.

        You seem to have it in your head that I’m anti-Labour or anti-Corbyn. I am neither. I joined the Labour Party last summer, expressly to add my vote so that Corbyn stayed as leader. I do think he is clearly the best hope the Real Left in this country has of escaping the void of the last forty years, but at the same time, I’m not so starry-eyed about Corbyn that I refuse to acknowledge that he isn’t perfect.

        As for the way the media treat him, I criticise them for it all the time. Read this; –

        https://thegreatcritique.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/corbyns-best-win-yet-highlights-the-shallowness-of-our-media/

        “Attacking with faint praise, the prose equivalent of being stabbed with a spoon, doesn’t really chime with your final lines – intended I’m sure as a coup de grace (again with a spoon) condemning Labour as a party that does not deserve to win.”

        You are ‘sure’ about a lot of things aren’t you?

        I am sure, by contrast, that you haven’t really read the article properly. I didn’t say that Labour doesn’t deserve to win. I said the Parliamentary Party does not deserve to win. Major difference, and one you appear perfectly aware of yourself, given what you write next.

        “The party in the stale corridors of Westminster is a great deal less than the sum of it’s parts outside, and we not only deserve to win, but we are working damned hard to do it. Because I don’t know how it works for you, but the fact that while Westminster and it’s pundits fiddle, thousands are starving, or dying, losing homes, watching their kids fail in schools, millions with less than £100 in the bank. ”

        I know. I am one of the ‘parts outside’. I am also one of the people who has struggled financially over the last seven years and more. I was not talking about grassroots campaigners, and I was not criticising them in any way.

        “If you indeed care deeply about the failure of the PLP to unite and the misuse of LP funds, then perhaps your main OP should have been focussed on the backstabbing, the bitter ones, etc, and not on the perceived (manipulated) weakness of Corbyn but on their ability and never-ending efforts to manipulate.”

        As I say, you clearly haven’t read the article properly. I did focus on that. I wrote several paragraphs about it, whereas I wrote maybe two sentences tops about Corbyn.

        “Too much criticism generally seems to rest on the imperfect understanding that the Labour Party is not a dictatorship but designed around democratic rules, that leave Corbyn very little room to do as you suggest.”

        If the Labour Party were a dictatorship, I would never have joined it. And while I recognise, and have written at length about, the difficulties the PLP have contrived for Corbyn, there are still some things Corbyn could have done better. The matter of ‘Corbynomics’ for instance. It was, and remains, a great idea, but it needs refinement. For months, Richard Murphy was trying to shape it for him, and was constantly asking Corbyn for time and attention so they could develop it, and time and again, both Corbyn and McDonnell failed to respond. They seemed to lose interest in their own idea, and as they let things drift, it suggests a lack of initiative or authority.

        “There are already reams on the subject that show up the depths being plumbed by those who think they, not the members, should be the king makers.”

        Indeed. I’ve written about that at some length myself. Just because it doesn’t happen to be in this particular article doesn’t mean it isn’t in anything I’ve written.

        Here, read this; –

        https://thegreatcritique.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/oh-shut-up-blair/

        And this; –

        https://thegreatcritique.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/if-i-hear-just-one-more-blairite-bleating-on-about-aspiration/

        And this; –

        https://thegreatcritique.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/jezhedid-maybe-miracles-do-happen-or-is-it-something-more/

        And this; –

        https://thegreatcritique.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/do-us-a-favour-red-tories/

        And this; –

        https://thegreatcritique.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/new-labour-is-finished/


        “Even so, that is still mainly a preoccupation of a small number of people in Westminster and a much larger number inside the party.”

        I realise that. But what you have to recognise is that it does far more damage when it’s the MPs in Westminster doing it. These are the people who are supposed to be working directly with the leader, and that means that when they want to rebel, they are also best placed to hamper him and create serious image problems for him.

        “In the rest of the UK we are faced with the daily choices that can lead to the difference between life and death for the sick, between malnutrition and a pair of kids shoes.”

        Thank you, I am aware of that. Again, try reading some of my other articles, you’ll see that you are preaching to the long-ago-converted.

        “What McNicol does with the membership fees is a long way from all that – that is the scandal, that a few have totally forgotten what the Labour party is about.”

        Why are you telling me that? I was the one who pointed it out to you.

        “People like me will be knocking on their doors, thousands upon millions of doors, getting them to register to vote, to help, signpost to resources, and to tell them their voices matter. That change can happen.”

        As will I. Good luck with it. Thanks to 18 months of facetious games of silly-buggers from the PLP, we are going to need all the luck we can get.

        “Yes, WE DO deserve to win.”

        We do. The PLP does not. The PLP deserves to lose, because it has shown itself to be just like the Conservative Party (who also deserve to lose of course).

        “We’ll sort out the redecoration and interior redesign and furnishings once we’re home. Perhaps the praise will not be so faint then?”

        Again, I haven’t a clue what this remark is supposed to mean.


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