Before you consider voting for any candidate belonging to the party of Tony Blair you should read this post by Justin at Chicken Yoghurt. Stop. Did you read it? Forget my post, just read it.
OK, I'll continue with my second rate scribblings for anyone who's come back. Daniel at Crooked Timber has written a summary of the problem with Blair's defence of his handling of the war. It's worth bearing in mind next time you hear Blair saying that his integrity shouldn't be the issue.
(Link via Europhobia)
The two posts linked above are a strong reminder of what you are voting for if you decide to vote for a New Labour candidate on 5th May. In Aberdeen South, Anne Begg is defending a slim majority against the Liberal Democrats so I live in one of the few places where it really is possible to let Blair know what I think of his actions. It is becoming obvious that the Tories are not going to form the next government. Now more than ever, a vote for Liberal Democrat Vicki Harris in Aberdeen South will be a vote well cast. How many people really want to see Blair back in power with another huge majority? I can already hear him: "My decision to go to war in Iraq has been fully supported by the British people. My integrity is not in question. Lets put this behind us..."
Putting this behind us isn't an option available to everyone.
I won't be voting for Anne Begg because she works for Mr Blair. We can be sure that any vote for New Labour will be presented as a vote for Blair after the election.
Here is what Strategic Voter recommends for Aberdeen South:
In this case the principal challenge comes from Vicky Harris of the LibDems, who was/is also opposed to the war, and has a good record on voting reform (one of the leaders of the successful campaign to bring in a fair voting system for future local elections in Scotland).
And in this case we should note that since 1997 Ann Begg has only rebelled 13 times, nearly all on minor matters. As a ‘loyalist’ (to whom?) who didn’t resist foundation hospitals, top-up fees, etc, she has been elevated to Labour’s National Executive.
We consider this constituency an absolutely key Labour-LibDem marginal, with no other party standing any realistic chance. If Labour lose it then Blair’s Westminster majority falls by 2.
Please, please, on this occasion vote ‘tactical LibDem’ and send to Westminster someone who will resist the illiberal and privatising drift of New Labour (or the Tories) !
Strategic Voter: Aberdeen South
Full details of Ann Begg's record in parliament can be found on they work for you.
Some points of note:
She voted very strongly for the introduction of foundation hospitals
She voted very strongly for the introduction of student-top up fees
She voted a mixture of for and against the Iraq war
For me however, these details are of secondary importance. What matters to me is that any vote for a New Labour candidate will be taken as a vote for Tony Blair, a man who would rather not discuss the question of his integrity.