Thursday, May 10, 2007

Blair going, going, gone...

A horrendous pantomime today as the murdering, shameless, vicious Blair finally announces his departure. It's perfect for the media. No need for difficult questions, no need to talk about his actual legacy. Instead we have "unprecedented third term", "social justice" and "preoccupation with foreign policy". No-one seems to be pointing out how much sheer nonsense Blair has been spouting today.

Let's be clear. I don't care whether he did it in faith. I don't care how much he meant it. Half a million people are dead. Iraq is in flames; Afghanistan no better. It does not matter how much he thought he was doing right, he did wrong, and spectacularly so. And yet still no apology.

Also, what sort of Labour leader says in his leaving speech: "This country is a blessed country. The British are special. The world knows it, we know it, this is the greatest country on earth." What utter nationalist tripe. Is this meant to be an explanation of his vicious foreign policy? If so it'd at least be consistent. Rather it seems like the rhetoric designed to turn himself into some sort of 'timeless statesman' (which to be fair, as I listen to the Radio it seems like Nick Robinson is doing rather well for him). Either way it's particularly nasty, but then what do we expect from a man who accused me, 2 million others who marched, and 70% of the British public, of having blood on our hands.

Anyway, the task now is twofold: To ensure that the word Blair is never seperated from Iraq, Civil Liberties and Islamophobia, and to drive forward the splits in the Labour party, to shatter the New Labour project, and to build the alternative.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Respect in the elections

The first thing to note about yesterdays local elections is that Respect is here to stay. Labour wanted to cast us as a single issue party, a flash in the pan that benefitted from the war but couldn't hang around. They poured resources into Preston hoping to unseat our sitting candidate. Except it didn't work for them. Michael Lavalette was not only re-elected, but with more votes than the other candidates combined. Meanwhile we've won at least two more councillors, in Birmingham and Bolsover, got excellent seconds in Birmingham and Preston, as well as thirds in Cambridge, Coventry, Manchester, Essex and Bristol. Michael's re-election is vindication of the fantastic effort he has put in to the ward over the past few years, and proof of what a Respect councillor can do where we have them.

It's important to state this, since the rest of the press doesn't seem to be bothered. According to the Guardian it was a bad night for small parties. It seems like it was a relatively bad night for the Greens, and the BNP, and, unfortunately, the left in Scotland.

There're a few results yet to come in, including Leicester and Luton, where I've been hearing some optimistic things. Finally a note of congratulation for Tom Woodcock, our candidate in Romsey ward in Cambridge who I spent most of my time campaigning for. Tom upped his vote from last time round by about 100, pipping the Greens to third place. On the doorsteps it was clear that people now take us seriously, as an alternative to the pitiful Lib Dem council.

In Romsey, in Preston, in Birmingham and in a host of other local areas, Respect is here to stay.