It’s been a while since I wrote about politics. There’s been so much going on that it’s been difficult to choose what to talk about. So let’s ignore most of April and instead concentrate on the last week when we can watch the Labour Party spiralling out of control as it desperately tries to win your vote in next week’s council elections.
It all started last week with the launch of “Dave the Chameleon” – one of the most ridiculous political campaigns ever. It’s bad enough that the Labour Party have resorted to a purely negative campaign, but it’s even worse when you realise that basically they are attacking David Cameron for doing exactly what Tony Blair has been doing ever since he became leader of the party. The web site vanished briefly over the weekend so it looked like wiser councils had found favour at Labour HQ, but it soon reappeared. You’re better off watching Backing Blair’s version of the advert which has been remixed in a Pop-up Video stylee to reveal all the hidden messages.
Then over the weekend, the Observer had an article where Tony Blair and Henry Porter debated the curtailing of civil liberties by letter. I particularly enjoyed the bit where Porter says “in Parliament Square we now see people parading with blank placards to make the point that they are not allowed to demonstrate within one kilometre of the Square” and Blair replies saying:
You say people can only have blank placards outside Parliament and can’t protest. Go and look at the placards of those camped outside Parliament – they are most certainly not blank and usually contain words not entirely favourable to your correspondent. Outside Downing Street, virtually every day there are protests of one sort or another.
Of course, he’s talking about Brian Haw – the only person in Britain not barred from protesting in Parliament Square by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act because his protest pre-dates this Act. So effectively Blair is saying “you are wrong because one person is still allowed to protest in Parliament Square because we screwed up the drafting of the Bill”. And I’m not sure that legislative errors can be taken as proof of a liberal society.
And last night we have the Safety Elephant speaking at the LSE and complaining about the media all being beastly to him and his friends (and their policies). It seems that anyone criticising the government is only doing it because they don’t understand “the balance of powers which currently exist in our society”. He expands his point on Comment is Free.
When you come to vote next Thursday, remember that although council elections should be seen as completely separate from parliamentary elections, every vote for a Labour candidate will be interpreted as support for Blair, Clarke and their plans to remove civil liberties bit by bit. If you want to hasten Blair’s removal from office then please consider voting for another candidate or spoiling your paper.