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"Election Fever"

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Fri 15/04/05 at 13:12
Regular
"Wanking Mong"
Posts: 4,884
In just a few weeks, we in the UK will get to choose which group of egocentric, self-serving, utterly corrupt and venal suits full of **** all will enrich themselves at our expense. Even as I write this, the various political leaders are trolling round the country, engaging in whatever piece of populist bullplop they think will dazzle the plebs enough to get them off their cellulite-ridden, Netto-fuelled backsides and waddle to the nearest polling station to cack-handedly scrawl an X next to the liar of their choice. It's that most fabulous of times in the political calendar; it's the General Election.

I suppose the first thing that needs to be said from my point of view (aside from "Jesus Christ, have I REALLY been churning out vitriol for over 4 years? I've just re-read the rants I wrote leading up to the last election and...well, I was hoping I'd have grown less angry over the years. Not, as it would appear, more so...) is that in this coming election we at least have the illusion of greater choice. Last time round, it was a one horse race between Labour and nobody else. The Tories were being lead to national mediocrity by a smirking Yorkshire dwarf named Hague. The Libdems...well, let's be honest here; not many people either knew or cared what the Libdems were up to, and were only dimly aware that a plump, ginger Scots gentleman was quietly campaigning for people to vote for him. If you lived in Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales, you had the additional choice of that nation's Nationalist party. It was obvious that Labour would walk to victory, and as such it was difficult to care (though God knows, I tried to...).

This time round, things are looking somewhat different. The political map seems to have opened up a little; aside from the above mentioned parties (of whom more later) we also have the increasing influence of the various "Darkies are bad and evil and should all be deported before they rape your budgie and bomb your Gran" parties; UKIP, the BNP, and Kilory's Veritas (or Vanitas to give it it's more accurate name) form the vanguard of this movement. The net effect of all of these parties will almost certainly be to steal a chunk of the chav vote from the Tories and Labour. Whether or not they actually gain anything in terms of Parliamentary seats is another matter; I suspect not, as they're all squabbling for votes among the same target group. However, there is a good chance that they will steal Labour and the Tories' thunder on immigration by splitting the racist vote 4 ways and rendering it irrelevant. Which would make this the single only worthwhile thing that Kilroy has ever achieved in his thus far worthless life.

On the left of the spectrum, we have the Respect coalition. The most visible member of this group is the former Labour member and current MP, George Galloway. They are fighting on an anti-war, anti-Labour bulldung platform, and have the potential to do rather well in the London seats they're fighting. Despite his pandering to the (I suspect, imaginary) Pro-Life tendencies of the Moslems who make up the vast majority of Respect's target audience, I rather like Mr. Galloway. Unlike many current members of the Labour party, he purports to be a socialist. What's more, he's survived the barrage of mud slung his way as a result of his opposition to the Iraqi land grab and come out of it smelling more rose-like than at any other time in his career. Whilst I don't agree with all of his principles, the mere fact that he has any raises him a cut above most MP's.

The final element outside the big 3 (well...big 2 and a half) parties, is the rise of the Independent Candidate. Since Martin Bell's unseating of the Hamilton's from their fief, Independent Single-Issue candidates have started popping up and doing rather well. Dr Richard Taylor is currently the member for Wyre Forest, and was elected solely on the promise of fighting cuts to the local Kidderminster holiday. This time round, we have the likes of Reg Keys, standing against Tony Blair in Sedgefield. His campaign is based on debating the lies Blair told to take us to war. Also there is Demitrious Panton, who is standing against the Children's Minister (what the hell does a Children's Minister do? Visit schools in order to patronise children? Shout "Nyer Nyer, Michael Howard smells of wee!" in the Commons?) and basing his campaign on her failure to accept responsibility for an abuse scandal during her time as leader of Islington Council. These candidates are what I would call "wild cards". They may not get enough votes to win, but they will almost certainly take enough votes off the MP's they're standing against to cause a headache. As such, I find that I adore these people for no other reason than they inject a little uncertainty and (in a deeply boring way) some excitement into the election.

And so that leaves us with the main parties. The Tories, the Libdems, and Labour. To make things clear, I'm now a fully paid up member of the Libdems, so I suppose it's going to be pretty obvious where my sympathies lie. Even so, I still think it's worth having a look at all three in as objective a manner as a shouty and bilious man such as myself can manage.

Firstly we have the Tories. Well...it seems that, according to the polls, they've pulled their socks up and are now no longer the laughing stock they have been over the last 10 years. And how have they done this? Mainly by appointing a man to whom "scruples" is nothing more than a vaguely amusing parlor game from the 80's, as their election Guru. The gentleman in question is named Lynton Crosby. It was he who suggested that the "Pigs might Fly" poster produced by Labour was Anti-Semitic. Apparently, because Michael Howard is Jewish, portraying him as a pig is an act of Anti-Semitism. Obviously, this had to be explained to everyone, otherwise they might have missed what an inflammatory and racist poster it was. Needless to say, Crosby's entire campaign strategy is negative, and revolves around smearing all opponents with as many slurs as possible, whilst ratcheting up the populist rhetoric (i.e. shouting "Foreign Types are coming to steal your way of life!!" from the highest hills) in the meantime. As strategy goes, I personally find it repellant, but it seems to be working. It could almost make your forget about the doctored photographs, the admission that the Tories are lying about their spending plans, the budgetary sums that don't add up, the fact that Michael Howard is the man who was asked the same question for about 5 minutes on National TV and constantly evaded answering it, and the fact that Anne Widdecombe found him to be creepy (ANNE WIDDECOMBE for God's sake...).

Next up, the Libdems. They seem to have taken a rather odd step in their campaign to become worth noticing; they're campaigning on the basis of what they think the country needs, rather than what the opinion polls suggests the country wants. Naturally, in an age where self-interest and "What's in it for me?" have been raised to such a level that even Machiavelli would blush at having to praise it, this is political suicide. Or so it would seem. The Libdems can claim, with some justification, to be the only genuine opposition. When one looks at the policies and behaviour of Labour and the Tories these days....well, it's rather like the closing lines of Orwell's "Animal Farm;

"(they) looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which".

The Libdems are the only major party to have given any real opposition to Labour on taxation, the Iraqi Land Grab and subsequent whitewashes, Student Loans and Top up fees, Law and Order...the list goes on. What's more, they seem to genuinely care about doing the best for the country; they're still attempting the necessary evil of engaging with Big Business, but seem to be at least trying to do so in a way that will make some attempt to rein in the corruption that is rife in dealings between Business and Politics. Of course, I could be just being naive, and they'll turn out to be just as big a bunch of lying mongdongs as Labour and the Tories. ~shrug~ The only way we'll find out is by voting for them.

Finally, we have Labour. Nobody seems to trust Tony Blair these days. The fact that he dished up the biggest selection of lies since Hitler's post-Sudetenland "I have no further territorial claims to make" porky of 1938, in order to take us to war in Iraq seems to have played a large part in that. However, it doesn't seem to have played a big enough part. There seems to be an attitude of "Oh yeah, he lied to us about sending in our army to slaughter brown people by the thousand in order to remove a dictator who we kept in place for years until he stopped obeying orders...but I'm sure he can be trusted on more important things. Like our money.". They say that every man has his price. It would seem that our price is an extra 100 quid a year or thereabouts. In exchange for that, we'll cheerfully turn a blind eye to whatever act of genocide Blair wants to cheerlead for.

In respect of our money, Gordon Brown is the biggest boon the Labour party could hope for. As a chancellor, I like him; he has the thankless task of pandering to Big Business whilst trying to introduce socially fair economic policies, and maintaining economic stability all the while. That he does this very well is worthy of respect (that he does so in a job so apocalyptically boring is also to his credit). But I can't help feeling rather sad at how mercenary we seem to be as a nation that we can be bought off giving a s**t about human rights in exchange for a little bit of money.

One final note; every single party seems to be using fear as a cornerstone of it's campaign. I suppose it must be the post 9/11 effect, but it's strange to see Kilroy telling us to be scared of anyone brown (ironic when one considers his tan), Respect telling us to be scared of Labours Totalitarianism, the Tories telling us to be scared because if Labour win then darkies will commit acts of murder in a funny accent, and Labour telling us to be scared that, if the Tories won, we'll all be killed in our sleep by Arab turrists. The only party who don't seem to be doing this so far are the LibDems. They're concentrating on the good that they can do. And that, more than anything else, probably ensures that they won't see government in my lifetime.

Of course, bearing in mind how utterly wrong I was about the last election when I ranted about it, this could all be complete cockrot. Time will tell.
Fri 22/04/05 at 09:17
Regular
"Don't let me down"
Posts: 626
Not sure how long they had the papers before they was thrown out, but my point is this. Why didn't they make the decision public before they got rid of the papers, at least that way, when the decision is made public, they can throw the lot out as they won't have any more use for them, instead of looking inconsiderate like they do now. I also think that any petition should be kept untill a decision has been made public. I just wonder how long they would have kept the public waiting on a decision that looks to heve been made weeks ago.
Fri 22/04/05 at 08:57
Regular
"Lisan al-Gaib"
Posts: 7,093
kevstar wrote:
> I think Labour should be ashamed of themselves, the other day was a
> petition found in a skip that contained 250,000 signitures in order
> to try and keep open a hospital that were thinking of closing. Nice
> to know that they take people's views into consideration in
> situations like this. Anyway, I blame John Reid.

Well, I dont quite see the insult in this. 250,000 signitures is a lot of paper to store. I know where you're coming from, but should all paperwork from the public be stored?

Of course, if they got it, then just dumped it, that would be enirely different.
Fri 22/04/05 at 08:38
Regular
"Don't let me down"
Posts: 626
I think Labour should be ashamed of themselves, the other day was a petition found in a skip that contained 250,000 signitures in order to try and keep open a hospital that were thinking of closing. Nice to know that they take people's views into consideration in situations like this. Anyway, I blame John Reid.

Another thing on the election that made me think ehh, was the way the BNP are going round Bradford and actually getting black people to vote for them. Basically there turning them against the Muslim community because they know there's past history in Bradford (Muslims are the people the BNP apparently wan't out). And the bloke standing up for a seat, well he's only got a web site on the net selling Nazi memrobelia. Of course when asked about this, he claimed he couldn't even use a computer.
Thu 21/04/05 at 13:06
Regular
Posts: 16,548
Light wrote:
> Stryke wrote:
>
> Do you have any evidence at all of corrupt MPs? Not saying they're
> not, but I somehow seem to have enough belief in the system to think
> that they couldn't get away with actually taking a bribe.
>
>
> Apart from Neil Hamilton, Mohammed Al-Fayed's assertion that he paid
> numerous MP's to ask questions, the near weekly reports in Private
> Eye of MP's with undeclared interests that, had they declared them,
> would lead to obvious conflicts of interest, the Tory MP who was paid
> to take people on tours of Parliament...no.
>
> As to whether it's a bribe or not...the best description of how our
> political system works in tandem with business can be found in a work
> of fiction; Quite Ugly One Morning. To paraphrase it, all these bribes
> are couched in terms other than something so ugly as
> "bribe".

--

Ah, fair enough. I've meant to start getting Private Eye regularly, my student union shop subsidises it, along with all the major broadsheets. Next time I pop in for my Times/Independent (depending on how the mood takes me) I shall pick up a copy of the Hislop-rag.

--

>
> That's what agreeing to disagree
> is for I guess.
>
> --

Sounds good to me. Better than having kevstar-style wars about tax, methinks.
Thu 21/04/05 at 10:07
Regular
"Excommunicated"
Posts: 23,284
The Private Eye is great.
Thu 21/04/05 at 08:32
Regular
"Wanking Mong"
Posts: 4,884
Stryke wrote:

> Do you have any evidence at all of corrupt MPs? Not saying they're
> not, but I somehow seem to have enough belief in the system to think
> that they couldn't get away with actually taking a bribe.


Apart from Neil Hamilton, Mohammed Al-Fayed's assertion that he paid numerous MP's to ask questions, the near weekly reports in Private Eye of MP's with undeclared interests that, had they declared them, would lead to obvious conflicts of interest, the Tory MP who was paid to take people on tours of Parliament...no.

As to whether it's a bribe or not...the best description of how our political system works in tandem with business can be found in a work of fiction; Quite Ugly One Morning. To paraphrase it, all these bribes are couched in terms other than something so ugly as "bribe".

>
> That sums up what I'm trying to say, really. Exactly right, it's not
> an injustice on the scale of a single-mother struggling to educate
> her child and still hold down a job because of insufficent government
> support, but it's still an injustice all the same.
> All I was trying to do is point this out, not bend everyone to my
> capitalist will.


Yeah, fair point. As I say, I don't think the 50% tax on earnings over 100K is an injustice. ~shrug~ That's what agreeing to disagree is for I guess.
>
> --
Wed 20/04/05 at 22:54
Regular
"bit of a brain"
Posts: 18,933
He still asked stupid questions about figures, though.

My friends were on at 7:15, by the way, so you could have watched them. Not that it would have been interesting for any of you.
Wed 20/04/05 at 20:06
Regular
Posts: 16,548
He went far easier on Blair than he did on Kennedy.
Wed 20/04/05 at 19:25
"period drama"
Posts: 19,792
I'd vote Paxman.
Wed 20/04/05 at 18:44
Regular
Posts: 16,548
Yeah, I like Paxman, screw your friends.

:)

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