Today in ‘that title for a post isn’t tempting fate, is it?’
It didn’t take a genius to predict that the NHS would be an issue in this election, because it’s an issue in every election as the parties all attempt to prove that it will be completely safe in their hands, but will definitely collapse in days if anyone else gets their hands on it. What they probably weren’t expecting was that the part of the NHS that would come under most scrutiny during the election campaign was its IT and cybersecurity provision. What’s interesting is that it’s not yet become an election issue, possibly because no one has yet thought that having a policy on NHS iT security was something necessary. It’s also a sudden shock that no one’s quite sure how it’s going to play out, and it’ll be interesting to see if it becomes something important, or if it becomes like the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 as something that happens in the news at the same time, but only gets peripherally linked to the election itself.
In Northern Ireland, we can now see what’s happening with the various Unionist candidates, and there are a few where the DUP and UUP have co-ordinated enough to ensure that there’s only one of them. The key one where they haven’t, though, is Belfast East. No UUP candidate there in 2015 was one of the keys to the DUP winning the seat back from Alliance’s Naomi Long, and with the UUP now standing there (and the Conservatives too), that gets the seat a place on my list of seats to watch, especially as it’s usually one that declares relatively early.
In other election pact news, it seems that some candidates are now remembering that you can withdraw for a short time after nomination, as there has been news of some Green Party candidates doing that to endorse Labour and Liberal Democrat ones. However, the biggest withdrawal appears to be from UKIP who will be missing from over 200 constituencies where they’ll be calling for people to back the Tories, and one where they’ll be calling on them to back Kate Hoey, who is somehow still an official Labour candidate. Buzzfeed have worked out some of the effects that could have, but as yet no one has produced a ‘coalition of chaos’ graphic to show the range of chaotic individuals from Nigel Farage to Boris Johnson, backing Theresa May. There’s Blukip images from the 2015 Lib Dem campaign, but they’re a bit out of date now.
Haven’t quite got the time to do a full minor party of the day feature, but am wondering what’s happened to Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol who stood in a few constituencies last time. Part of that is prompted by the announcement of Liberal Democrat legalisation policy today (the full report is here) but mainly because I spotted West Tyrone has a candidate from “Citizens Independent Social Thought Alliance” which seems an odd attempt to get the same acronym.
But we do have time for (strong and stable) Election Leaflet Of The Day, which in this case is actually two (strong and stable) letters from the same (strong and stable) candidate, one Theresa May who appears to be standing (strongly and stably) in both Leeds North East and Bolton West. Yes, it’s the generic (strong and stable) Tory letter to postal voters, (strongly and satbly) personalised to the recipient and mentioning the (strong and stable) constituency they’re in, but definitely part of the (strong and stable) national campaign, not the local.
Remember, if you don’t see the fnord, it can’t hurt you.