Friday, May 05, 2006

Tis but a Scratch

I'm a bit pressed for time this afternoon so excuse this thought dump.

With 168 of 176 councils declared as I write this, Labour have lost 276 seats in the elections. In other words, they've lost roughly 20% of the seats they were defending. This, Blair's lackeys are keen to tell us, isn't all that bad. Can't imagine the 20% of Labour councillors up for election who're now ex-councillors will be particularly pleased with that idea.

The main line, it seems, is that this poor result can be blamed on those infamous "headlines". Yes, it's a fair cop but the media is to blame. It can only be a matter of time before the government announces tough new controls on the media during elections. For the good of the country, you understand. Blair appears to be abolutely determined to ignore the fact that the media were simply reporting on the failings of his government. He's tough on headlines but not even slightly interested in the causes of those headlines. It is a response which is Blairite to its very core.

The BNP didn't make the gains which some were predicting although they did gain a few seats. This, apparently, is exclusively the fault of Margaret Hodge. In this case, Hodge clearly isn't blameless. Blair's "it's anyone's fault but mine" approach will take full advantage. There's no possibility that Blair himself can be part of the problem, you see. The very notion is palpably beyond consideration.

As for the BNP, David Dimbleby's interview with Nick Griffin should be required viewing. In short:
David. It says on your website that the BNP is racist.
Racist. No it doesn't.
David. Yes, it does. I'm quoting directly. You find mixed race marriages morally objectionable.
Racist. Well, yes we do. But we wouldn't make it illegal.
David. Do you think the majority of people who voted for the BNP share these racist views?
Racist. Probably not.
That doesn't really do it justice. It's a masterful performance from David. It lends strength to the argument that the BNP should be given the "oxygen of puiblicity" by the media in order to expose them for what they are rather than what they claim to be on the doorstep.

And then there's the reshuffle. There's a lot to take in there. Charlie has backed his trunk which is obviously a good thing. Blair, however, seems more determined than ever to stay on for as long as possible. In all seriousness, the Labour Party, if it wants to survive as a credible electoral force, needs to take action. Like now.

But will they? Do they have the courage? Or will they loyally follow their leader into the abyss of long term opposition and the real possibility of the demise of the party itself? How many backbones are there in the parliamentary Labour Party? That's the question now.

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