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02 May 2008 @ 08:31 pm
Local Election Moan  
Edit: For a more interesting appraisal of the race for London mayor, I'll point you in the direction of Charlie Brooker: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/apr/14/charliebrooker.boris?gusrc=rss&feed=global

Complete disaster today for Labour. They've made minute gains in some areas, but that does little to offset the general catastrophe of yesterday. It's looking increasing like Boris'll win London and I must admit, that's something I really don't want. I actually quite like Livingstone; I know that won't count for much given that I don't live in London or drive, but from what I've seen in debates, he's been willing to answer questions, he's shown that he does have plans for London and seems to have some principles. I don't think it's a coincidence that he's consistently been more popular than the Labour Party nationally. I'll be honest. I think Boris is hilarious, he's a buffoon, he's funny, he's a complete mess, but increasingly we've been hearing in the press that that's a crafted public persona and that - professionally - he carries himself professionally. That wouldn't surprise me. Regardless, I simply don't trust him to run a city like London properly. I think that either 'serious Boris' or 'Boris LOL!!!! what a legernd!! Johnson!!!' (as Charlie Brooker put it), are both dangerous in different ways. The latter would prove to be an embarrassment and would fail to be taken seriously, the former, the Right wing, upper class Tory, would do little to bring together an increasingly divided Britain, work towards fixing a relatively broken society or work towards preventing poverty in Britain.

Of the other candidates, I rather liked Sian Berry (Green) and Brian Paddick seemed to have some good ideas, but was simply never a serious contender in the race. I might vote Labour, but that's because I genuinely find their candidates to be the ones I have least problem voting for, I'm not tribally loyal to the party, even if I would like to join it and become an MP or councillor or something one day. If the party were a shambles, I wouldn't support them, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to support or identify with them.

But that problem is, I'm increasingly becoming dissatisfied with the party on the whole. I voted Labour yesterday, but Mochdre was a two horse race between the Labour and the Tories and so my mind was made for me, really. Regardless of when the abolition of the 10p rate was brought in, it's still a disgrace. I appreciate that there are tax credits and some concessions to help some groups, but that's simply not good enough. It's harming the low earners and the concessions simply do not cover all the losers of the budget. Although it's not a socialist party (some would argue that it never has been terribly socialist except for a brief period under Michael Foot), it's not even qualifying as social democratic these days.

Brown is showing himself to be pretty dismal. Rather uncommon for someone my age, I actually do think that by and large Tony Blair was a good Prime Minister and that beyond a couple of issues (notably: tuition fees, terror detainment), I agreed with a lot of his policies. Blair had leadership and I honestly think that he fundamentally did what he thought was right and was able to take difficult decisions. Brown has failed to show any real leadership and is not going to deliver electoral success. Had he called a November election, he would've won that, but I would be willing to bet money he'll lose the next election.

Harman as deputy leader has also been pretty poor. I'm not a fan of Harman. For all her overtures of reconnecting with the people during the deputy leadership campaign, she's done little to act on her promises. She's gone back on her statement that the government should apologise over Iraq and has been of little help to anyone. It's a pity that Cruddas didn't win the deputy leadership; he seemed more in-tune with Labour voters (though apparently not party members) and would've done more to reconnect with the public.

I have little faith in this government which has largely been a disappointment as I've said in other posts. Labour seriously needs to take a look at itself, listen to people and do more to help its core support. It needs to be more decisive and it needs to set out somesort of vision for Britain. Backing down over a EU treaty over semantics, nicking Tory inheritance tax policies, acting colder towards the US only to try and chum it up with them months later, having slapdash measures in a supposed U-turn on the budget and trying for essentially the same detainment legislation that they couldn't get through last time they tried; it simply isn't good enough.
rocketmbarocketmba on May 2nd, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC)
Tony = Sven, whereas Gordon gives you football tips and analysis on your mobile phone. 12 months and we'll have a real leader again!

I disagree with the whole Boris thing, though. He said he'd take away bus passes from "naughty" children, and he hates Scousers. There is nothing to dislike about this guy.
Aiméegaspandkiss on May 3rd, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
Well, Boris won.

And it's because of people like my friend who think he should have won because "he's funny"... so what if he's funny? Politics isn't about being amusing it's about social change and voting someone in because they amuse you doesn't impress me. I think it's a disaster, and some of the things the guy has said is awful. He's against gay marriage and he's said some incredibly racist things.
rocketmbarocketmba on May 3rd, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
obsidianembraceobsidianembrace on May 3rd, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
Labour have lost any chance they ever had of getting my vote over the 10p tax issue. It's left my mother £250 odd a year worse off, which doesn't seem like much until you consider how little she earns in part-time work anyway.
Tommokujatrance on May 3rd, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
It's an absolute disgrace. I thought there was a ray of sunshine with Frank Field's rebel amendment but even he got fobbed off by partial concessions. I'd be a better prime minister than Gordon Brown would be. And that's saying something.