Thursday, April 28, 2005

Election 2005: A Perspective from Across the Pond

It seems that every British Blogger has something to say about the upcoming UK elections. I feel very much like a spectator. I can’t vote in the US (permanent residency doesn’t allow me this privilege even though I pay taxes; wars have been fought over this in the past but that’s really another story… grr!) and I was too late to register in England for a postal vote. Therefore I’m currently enjoying the status of a political eunuch.

Now that I’ve been out of Britain for nearly 4 years, my view of the politics there has become somewhat two-dimensional and I no longer feel I have my finger on the pulse of daily life. So I thought I would caricature the major (and some minor) parties based on my perspective from a Starbuck’s coffee shop 6000 miles away as well as offer some unsolicited advice.

Botox Blair seems to be struggling with credibility issues these days. Back in the heady days of 2001 when I departed for these shores, I was already so irked with his antics that I didn’t renew my Labour Party membership. Things seem to have got quite a bit worse since then. The Iraq War has been profoundly unpopular and even over here the moniker of “Bush’s poodle” is regularly thrown around. Now Tony seems to have been caught by Jeremy Paxman telling porkies about fingering (or not) the unfortunate microbiologist, David Kelly. Distorting science for political gain is a capital bloody crime in my book. If I had my way I’d bring back impaling for causing the unnecessary death of a principled and honourable man. But if I’m more objective, I see a litany of manifest failures in key areas for which I had high hopes when I voted Labour in 1997. Healthcare, education (secondary and tertiary) haven’t improved much, transport policy is still disastrous and crime of all types seems on the increase. Gordon Brown seems to be a pretty canny Chancellor but Blunkett, Straw and Prescott have been badly underperforming for one reason or another. Overall a big disappointment.

Advice: Tony, you will probably get back in for another term. That’s about as much as you deserve. Increase transparency, put less emphasis on spin, stop doing so much nannying, fix the NHS and for goodness sake get rid of that trio of obsequious, ineffectual twits Blunkett, Straw and Prescott.

Michael Howard is an old style Tory who is oilier than the Kuwaiti desert. And now he’s playing the race card. What a bunch of clueless dinosaurs! Creatively bankrupt and unelectable (I hope). Additional words fail me.

Advice: Bugger off back to Tonbridge Wells and try to modernize a bit. Get some intelligent, sane, women in the party too.

Quite a decent bunch with that very unfit looking Ginger Bloke in charge. Their policies seem quite reasonable. Definitely now the most left-leaning party. A good option for a protest vote. Now getting close to critical mass and with any luck could replace the Tories as the Opposition Party.

: Charles, for goodness sake stop smoking and drinking, try some salads and get down the gym.

A new phenomenon and I’ve only read about. A right wing party trading on an anti-Europe platform. Got thrust into the limelight when they were joined by former Labour Party MP, Robert Kilroy-Silk who emerged as a closet racist and then buggered off to start his own party, Veritarse, or something. But what can be expected of someone with such a dodgy comb over and the appearance of a scoundrel? The whole UKIP business seems much more loony than Shirley Williams and the Gang of Four (remember them? -populist slogan: “keep politics out of politics”) who did something similar with the Social Democrats back in 1981.

: Don't waste our time and your own.

Still in the “worthy but dull” category. A good protest vote.

Advice: Keep trying!

Hateful fascist losers now trying to look slightly more sophisticated (but not fooling anyone).

Advice: I don’t like to commit such uncouth sentiments to print…

Well that’s my 5 cents worth. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I’m off to the pub to avoid the hatemail.

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