||[May. 5th, 2005|11:01 am]
I think Blair will win. That's what the polls are all saying. People don't like him*, but they like Conservative leader Michael Howard even less. I was watching a programme last night where uncommitted voters were being monitored on their reactions to speeches by the party leaders. They found Blair persuasive (which he is, famously so) but almost all of them dismissed Howard as "negative". The Tory campaign has been all scare-mongering and Blair-bashing. I don't know how good the electorate's corporate memory is, but there must be quite a few of us who remember Howard's previous incarnation as one of the smarmiest, most cheaply populist ministers in the Thatcher and Major governments. There's a chance, a real chance, that this election will go down in history as the one that finally killed off the Conservative party.
Me? I won't vote Labour because of Iraq and there's no way I'm voting Conservative, which leaves me with the Liberal Democrats. They don't have any chance of forming a government, but they might just beat the Conservatives into third place.
*A recent poll showed the British evenly divided: forty percent want Blair to encounter a speeding double-decker bus and forty percent want him stretched, scalded and quartered in the Tower of London (within a sampling margin of four percent).- Greg Palast
I think you're right about Labour winning, not least because there's almost always a last-minute swing towards the incumbent party: it's easy to say you'll vote for change, but many people lose that resolve in the actual voting booth. And I certainly hope you're right about the Tories and the LibDems.
If people voted for the policies they actually believe in there'd be a Lib Dem landslide, but, of course, there's no way that's going to happen.
I agree. I must confess that I don't even know who my local MP is, but I know that I've voted for who I hope will win.
Roll on tomorrow. Maybe Mr Kennedy will get a nice surprise?
Our MP is the vaguely famous Michael Meacher, but what does it matter? our politics have become increasingly presidential. Apart from a few awkward and brave souls they all just do what the leader says.
From this morning's New York Times:
Two small makeshift grenades exploded outside a Midtown Manhattan building housing the British Consulate early Thursday, Election Day in England, causing slight damage but injuring no one, officials said.
A piece of concrete was missing from a planter outside 845 Third Avenue after the explosions.
The blasts happened at 3:35 a.m.
The grenades had been placed inside a cement flower box outside the front door of the building at 845 Third Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets, police spokesman Noel Waters said.
"We do not at this point have any idea who did it or a motive," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
The consulate is on the 9th and 10th floors of the building, the mayor said. He said he expected it would be open for business later in the day.
After piecing together the shrapnel, police determined the devices were toy grenades that had been filled with gunpowder. Officers estimated that one was the size of a pineapple; the other the size of a lemon.
No timing device was used, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The blasts shattered a panel of glass in the building's front door and ripped a one-foot chunk from the planter. The department's bomb squad was at the scene and streets were closed in the area.
Offices of other foreign diplomatic representatives were checked as a precaution and nothing was found, Kelly said. Security videos in the area were being reviewed, he said.
In London, Britain's Foreign Office said there were no provisions for Britons to vote at overseas consulates. No further information was immediately available, the spokesman said. Calls to the British Embassy in Washington went unanswered early Thursday morning.
Britain's national elections have been dominated by anger with Prime Minister Tony Blair's support for the Iraq war.
This is very strange. I wonder what the attacker's purpose was.
something relating to the election, i assume?
i was at work last night when this happened, but i don't know anything more about it because we didn't give it nearly the amount of coverage it deserved.
You'd think the person who did it would contrive to make some sort of statement to the media- otherwise what's the point?
indeed. i'm quite disappointed. maybe more will be discovered as the day goes on.
The fact that you vote, and vote for what you believe in, is what is important. There are so many people here (and according to NPR, a lot in your country too) that, upon hearing so and so is probably going to win, don't bother to vote at all.
Voting figures in this country have been steadily dropping. People feel alienated from conventionalpolitics. There's a sense that, no matter which party wins, "the government always gets in".