Close But No Cigar

Butcher Blair is back in Downing Street, his nose bloodied. He’s got the lowest proportion of votes for a winning PM in British history. Blair’s trying to be bullish but 36.2% is nothing to be proud of. Certainly not a mandate.

If only the Lib Dems had gained just a few more seats… There were so many surprise gains last night for the LDs, in the early part of the evening I was hoping the percentage swings (often 10% and more) would be carried nationally. Sadly they weren’t.

At least Galloway ousted the pro-war Blairite Oona King in Bethnal Green & Bow. New Labour had mounted a hugely personal campaign, King sticking the boot in memorably:

“What makes me sick is that when I come across someone who is guilty of genocide I do not get on a plane and go to Baghdad and grovel at his feet,” said Ms King, referring to Mr Galloway’s controversial meeting with Saddam Hussein 11 years ago.
(Source: The Guardian)

No, when King meets a genocidal maniac she kisses his hand and says, “Hello, Prime Minister.” For King, the 100,000 Blair has murdered don’t even exist. Fortunately, her electorate disagreed with her warped view of morality and thus gave Galloway their vote, a 26.2% swing in his favour.

If there’s any sense left in New Labour, they’ll get rid of Blair as smartly as Galloway did King. Who can now deny what a liability he is for the party? Maybe if they manage a smooth changeover, they can win back some of the Lib Dem switchers.


The issue is more than personal. What happens when Bush tries to invade another oil-rich country illegally? Will our PM, whoever that is, stand up to the worst warmonger on the planet?

Or will they be Bush’s poodle?