Word of the day : Purdah

“Purdah is the pre-election period in the United Kingdom, specifically the time between an announced election and the final election results. The time period… prevents central and local government departments from making announcements about any new or controversial government initiatives (such as modernisation initiatives, administrative and legislative changes) which could be seen to be advantageous to any candidates or parties in the forthcoming election” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_purdah)

Purdah normally extends for a period of approximately 6 weeks before polling, but can be extended beyond this where a longer formal notice period is given for the poll. The practical aim of the period is to seek to prevent existing governments and/or officials from making decisions that are deliberately (or could be implied to be) intended to influence the outcome of the election

It is the subject of today’s blog because it was the word that immediately popped into my head when I read the coverage today of the joint UK Government and BAE Systems announcement on the restructuring of Britain’s shipbuilding capacity

Bear it in mind when you read the account of the Secretary of State for Scotland’s response to questions about the impact of a ‘Yes’ vote in the Scottish independence referendum on the decision to provisionally award the contract for three new ships to the Govan shipyard on the Clyde in Glasgow : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-24841577

It’s difficult to see how this is not an implied threat to the people of Scotland ahead of the independence vote next September

At the very least, it’s ‘dirty politics’ and leaves a very sour taste in the mouth

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