Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 9 November 2009

Did Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock save us from 5 more years of Gordon Brown in 2007?

Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice

There is a fascinating story on the FT blogs by Alex Barker today. In it he explains how Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock sometimes accidentally gets e-mails which are actually meant for Matt Hancock, Shadow Chancellor George Obsorne's chief of staff.

The story is that in the autumn of 2007, he received information about the Tory plan to raise the inheritance tax rates just days before the Tory conference. Of course had this information leaked out then Labour would have been in a position to pre-empt the announcement and spoil Osborne's announcement.

Mike sent the e-mail onto its rightful recipient and did not breathe a word to anyone allowing Osborne to make the announcement and get his poll bounce for the Tories off the back of it. This was widely credited with scaring Gordon Brown off from having an early election and the rest is history. Alex spoke to Mike about this and he confirmed that he did know the political value of the e-mail but insisted that it was private and mistakes can be made. "I did only what I expect others to do to me." he stated.

I think it is plausible that had Mike leaked this information, we could already be 2 years into a Gordon Brown led elected administration. Cameron could easily have been ousted as yet another failed Tory leader and the map of British politics could now look very, very different.

3 comments:

The Right Honourable Lady said...

I hope Osborne buys him a drink asap.
Blimey can you imagine how awful that alternative could have been?

Haylon101

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

Have you entered some evil pact with Iain Dale to puff each other's blogs? How do you live with the shame, if so?

Had Brown not dithered and had he won, then he might not be following the present "scorched earth" policy referred to elsewhere (e.g. http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/5515128/scorching-the -earth.thtml).

Cameron may well have survived a marginal loss - we could now be mirroring the doomed Callaghan government and a confidence vote defeat could be the ignominious end of Brown too.

Mike Hancock deserves much credit for being homourable.

Rob said...

To The Right Honourable Lady: Is it worse than the prospect of Osborne as Chancellor...