Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Back Door Blair

One of the few advantages of being an insomniac is that I'm probably the first UK blogger to post about Tony Blair writing in The Independent.

A quick summary:
First three paragraphs are his usual defence over Iraq. Decision to be made, no middle way, blah, blah, blah. As usual he fails to address the issue of whether he misled parliament and the country.
That's the point, Tony. You manipulated the evidence, motivated, quite possibly, by your sincerely held belief, and you got it spectacularly wrong. There is no defence for such a misjudgement.

Next, he tells us how the other parties have nothing to offer the country. Only New Labour have the vision to drive the country forward. He doesn't actually provide any details of these visionary policies though.
Caution - Very Bad Language ahead.
Instead, he uses the remaining 9 paragraphs to warn us about the nasty and cynical Tory election campaign. For fucks sake, you couldn't make this up. Basically half of the article is taken up warning voters that the Tories are trying to get into No. 10 by the back door. Is that really the best you can do? Scaremongering and warnings about the FPTP electoral system you promised to reform 8 years ago:
"We are committed to a referendum on the voting system for the House of Commons. An independent commission on voting systems will be appointed early to recommend a proportional alternative to the first-past-the-post system."
Labour Party Manifesto 1997

What happened to that promise Tony? Could it be that you broke that promise? Could it be that you realised you could stay in power longer if you ignored this commitment, or was it just a straightforward lie?

Tony says:
That is why there is a huge amount at stake on 5 May. It is a straight choice. Only Labour or the Conservatives are going to form the next government. When you cast your vote - particularly in a Labour/Tory marginal - I hope you keep this in mind.

That's the best he's got. Less than 3 days till voting starts and the best our PM can do is tell us he's not as bad as the other guy. That's what I call inspirational leadership. Forward, not back!
And for the record, voting Lib Dem will not let the Tories in the back door.
Nick Barlow has been saying it for weeks.
Channel 4 FactCheck says this was not a view shared by polling experts.
Play with the BBC swingometer yourself and see if you can get a Labour/Lib Dem swing to lead to a Tory overall majority. It isn't possible.

In Aberdeen South, where I live, it's a Lab/Lib Dem marginal. It is the perfect place to vote Lib Dem. Even Tony can't stretch to pretending that a Lib Dem vote here will lead to a Tory government. It has been tried by someone who used to work for a couple of Blair's friends though.

Update: Jack McConnell was in Aberdeen South yesterday. His positive message:
And First Minister Jack McConnell, helping to defend Labour's small majority in Aberdeen South, underlined the warning that a protest vote by disillusioned Labour supporters for any other party could let the Tories in.
Oh, you're so scary. Been taking honesty lessons from your boss?

Edit - I forgot to add the title, duh.

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