Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Election Blog (2)


Newsnight last night were so excited about their new Newsnight Election Helicopter that you would think nobody had ever used a helicopter before. It dived and rolled and yawed for the benefit of anyone who'd never seen one before and one rather hoped that Michael Crick was going to throw up over its windscreen. Perhaps the absurdity of it all had dawned on Michael Crick when he joked that Michael Howard's chopper was bigger than his.
Apart from that, Newsnight's coverage promises to be very good, with the right balance of serious analysis and fun. But their election logo is very like that of a well-known credit card so I kept expecting Paxman to look into the camera and tell me about their unbeatable low interest rates with no annual fee.


Asta in Canada asks me if I think Blair will win another term. Apparently they have an election there shortly which most of us will ignore. That's because they seem to have a very civilised society and don't throw their weight around like their neighbour.
The only prediction I would make is that Blair's majority will be reduced. With four weeks to go it's too soon to get a feeling for how opinion is moving. But on present evidence a hung Parliament doesn't seem impossible. The election has already brought into the open what a huge liability Blair is for the Labour Party, although that doesn't mean that everyone who dislikes him won't vote for him. But it shows that his vanity in wanting to win a third election has put Labour in danger of losing a massive majority. If that happens, he will never be forgiven.


I wonder how many votes it loses Labour every time that Dr John Reid appears on the Today programme, as he did this morning?
Or rather, Mr John Reid, PhD (Economic History, Stirling University), Secretary of State for Health, ex-Communist and ex-smoker.
Catch phrase: Is it cos I's got a Glasgow accent?
Suggested reply: No, it's cos you're a twat.


In The Guardian today, Polly Toynbee returns to her theme of why Labour supporters should not let Iraq stop them voting Labour. I covered this topic yesterday. But Polly, like others, doesn't understand WHY Iraq stops us voting Labour. It's got nothing to do with whether Blair 'lied' or not. It's nothing to do with 'punishing' Blair for Iraq. It's not about 'revenge' for Iraq.
It may sound sanctimonious and self-righteous but my conscience will not allow me to vote for someone who slaughtered and maimed thousands of people.
I should like to see leaflets distributed with pictures of limbless Iraqi children and the statement 'Remember who did this when you cast your vote.'
For many people, that would not influence their vote at all. That may be because they are Arab children in a country far away. However, it's not for me to judge others. We all have different moral benchmarks.
But I resent people ascribing false reasons to my voting intention and implying that I'm not aware of the possible consequences and that it's politically naive to vote on the basis of one issue.

Actually, it's not just one issue although Iraq is the decisive one.
In another article, Jonathan Freedland says: "....there are countless, maybe millions of Labour voters who loathed the Iraq invasion - but who nevertheless like what the Government has done for schools, hospitals..."
No, there are millions of us who are also outraged by City Academies and Foundation Hospitals. Not to mention that after 8 years, they've still done nothing about the crisis in dentistry. Well, they've tinkered with it but an elderly woman could still tell Tony Blair last week that she'd had to pull out several of her own teeth! In the 4th richest country in the world!
Not of the same order as being bombed to oblivion in Baghdad, but still pretty shameful after 8 years of a Labour Government.


At 6:55 PM, Anonymous asta said...

Right. So I can put that down as a firm maybe?
In fact, I do appreciate this post. The people I talk to over here seem to think he's going to sail through.

I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression about the state of politics in Canada. We have a minority government at the moment, so an election could come at any time.

The governing Liberals are in the midst of having some very dirty financial laundry aired in a public inquiry and the opposition parties are just waiting for the perfect moment to yell, " Now!".

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Dossin' said...

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

asta, Blair may yet sail through. It's still one of the most likely outcomes. But I can understand that people in other countries wouldn't comprehend how much he's disliked here. The same was true of Thatcher. She was detested even by many people who voted for her.

dossin', I can only say keep on dossin'. It's never done me any harm.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

Dearest Willie. I feel you have been taking too much medication if you can even remotely compare the hatred of Thatcher with the mild end-of-second-term occasional irritation with the present Prime Minister.

But of course, I don't live where you do, nor see with your eyes, nor decide with your brain.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Peter, rest assured I am not taking any medication. But I am aware of the reported comments from focus groups and voters on the doorsteps about Blair and 'mild occasional irritation' it certainly isn't. That's why few candidates are putting him on their election material.
Of course, some of us on the left hated him from day one and hate him more than Thatcher for reasons that are obvious.


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