Gordon Brown's speech at Warwick University this morning and his uninspiring, unoriginal and unpronouncable slogan, A Future Fair For All, has signalled the official start of the Labour election campaign.
Despite the hysterical expectations by Conservative politicians, journalists, analysts and some activists, he did not announce the date of the General Election, leaving us all to assume that it will be on May 6, the sensible time to have it, as there are local elections on that day as well. The whole idea that the Prime Minister should announce that he is dissolving Parliament to a conference and the media before he has done so in the Commons or has been to see Her Majesty the Queen is preposterous in any case, but one cannot argue with hysterical people.
Meanwhile, Conservative Home, the favoured site of Conservative Party members and activists, has cited another couple of polls that show a smaller gap between Labour and Conservatives. In other words, the election that should have been so easy for the Conservatives to win is becoming far more interesting.
Why, in such circumstances, should Conservatives want an early election is hard to grasp.
It is still possible, theoretically at least, that Gordon Brown will dissolve Parliament this coming week and call an election for March 25 but it seems unlikely.
Whichever way that will go, it is clear that small parties, especially UKIP, which is now being taken far more seriously by many parts of the media and a number of experts, can do well enough to make it clear that the electorate is not happy with the main parties. That unhappiness goes well beyond anger over the expenses' scandal - it is the result of a slow realization that the politics of this country has been taken out of its people's hands; that it does not matter who wins the election, the real government will remain in Brussels, where legislation goes on regardless of electoral results; that most of the promises politicians are making they cannot fulfil as they do not have the power to do so.
These are all points UKIP will have to push as hard as possible in the coming election campaign. No Prime Minister can make life fair; most of us were taught in childhood that life was not fair. What is more important is to make sure people realize that, as things are, no Prime Minister can be a Prime Minister in Britain and no Parliament can legislate in Britain. The most our Parliament can do is act as another lobbying group in Brussels, hoping that the Commission and COREPER (Committee of Permanent Representatives) pay attention to their arguments.