18 April 2012

An Election Agent's Job

An election agent has a lot of technical stuff to do but there is another element to the job when you are doing it for a Mayoral contest. I'm currently running our press operation, fighting to make sure John Coyne is treated as the 3rd favourite in hustings, as his odds current suggest, and not excluded to allow the cosy red, yellow and blue consensus to continue.

I'm also trying to keep tabs on the activities of the other candidates in the campaign on all of the different media streams. For example, Richard Kemp, the Liberal Democrat candidate casually retweeted a Guido Fawkes posting that linked to this Nick Clegg quote:

"...Politicians, as servants of the public, should make our own arrangements transparent."

However, Richard's response to John Coyne's challenge earlier this week to publish their tax returns, so that Liverpool voters can have the same level of transparency as London voters about their candidates, has been incredibly underwhelming. After a brief fit of pique from his ward colleague, the Lib Dems have gone into full "let's not mention it mode".

For both Labour and the Liberal Democrats in the Liverpool, non-publication of their tax circumstances isn't credible in the current climate, and I'll warn them now that this issue is just going to get bigger as the campaign goes on.

For Liverpool Labour readers, I'll remind you what Ed Miliband has said on the subject,

"I'm perfectly happy (to publish). I sort of think it is kind of inevitable it is going to come."

The difference is that Labour are saying not yet. Clegg has said it already and Richard Kemp endorsed Clegg's view by tweeting about it. For him not to publish would expose him to charges of hypocrisy.

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