Sunday, April 27, 2008

Labour using the power of money

It doesn't take long to find the cost of the full-page advert which Neath Port Labour took out in the Evening Post yesterday (Saturday). Northcliffe Media publishes its rates on the Web. It's just over £2,850.

Add to that the cost of two centrally-produced glossy leaflets which individual candidates are putting out, and it is clear that Labour is trying to spend its way to victory, in the American way. Peter Hain's unsuccessful bid for the Labour Party deputy leadership should warn them that throwing large sums of money at an election campaign is no guarantee of success.

Such an advertisement is unprecedented in Neath Port Talbot local elections, and smacks of desperation.

Where is the money coming from? The UK Labour Party is reported to be barely solvent. The returns of candidates' expenses will be very interesting. (N.B. The returns must be submitted within 35 days of the date of the result of an election, and are open to inspection by the public thereafter.)

As to the accusation that election of Liberal Democrat councillors would jeopardise education or refuse-collection in the county borough, that can easily be answered by the priority given to schools by LibDem-led councils in other parts of Wales (at or above the average, judged by the Welsh Assemhly's measure) and by the dominance of the table of best recyclers in the UK by LibDem-run councils.
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