This entry was posted on
Monday, January 17th, 2005 at
1:53 pm and is filed
under UK General Election 2005.
Guardian – Defection of MP derails Howard’s election plan: Michael Howard was last night struggling to get the Conservatives’ £35bn election message back on track after it was knocked sideways yesterday by an MP’s high-profile defection to Labour and a morale-sagging opinion poll.
Guardian – Kennedy names election battlegrounds (includes link to full speech): Charles Kennedy today accused the government of campaigning on “the politics of fear”, as he launched the Liberal Democrats’ campaign for the next general election. Declaring his own party “united, principled and ambitious”, he made it clear the Lib Dems would fight the expected May 5 poll on a platform of opposition to the Iraq war, council tax, student top-up fees and identity cards. In the wake of the weekend defection of former Conservative minister Robert Jackson to Labour, Mr Kennedy accused the Tories of now “fading away as a national party”.
Scotsman – Libdem Warning to Labour over Hung Parliament: Liberal Democrats will not “bail out” Tony Blair if there is a hung Parliament, leader Charles Kennedy warned today. Labour is set for another landslide victory, according to the polls. But Mr Kennedy said his party had its best chance for two or three decades and would benefit from a “mixed pattern of voting” across the country.
Ironically, any landslide will result – at least in part – from fear of a return to Tory rule. Which doesn’t really seem to be on the cards, now does it? Why, it’s almost as if someone has been misrepresenting the level of the threat… one can only wonder why.
Perhaps – just perhaps – it’s to reign in the protest vote…
Washington Post – Bush Says Election Ratified Iraq Policy (transcript here): President Bush said the public’s decision to reelect him was a ratification of his approach toward Iraq and that there was no reason to hold any administration officials accountable for mistakes or misjudgments in prewar planning or managing the violent aftermath. “We had an accountability moment, and that’s called the 2004 elections,” Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post. “The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me.”
Boy, that worked out well, didn’t it?
Blair has said more than once that the people would get a chance to decide if he acted correctly in Iraq at the polls… but during the recent EU and local elections, a lot of effort went into keeping Blair (and therefore Iraq) out of the picture and – when this didn’t work – Blair actually urged voters to put aside their feelings about Iraq when they cast their ballots.
For many people, this election will be their only chance to call Tony Blair to account for Iraq.
But how many people do you think will hover over their form and hesitate if there appears (emphasis on appears) to be a danger of a Conservative victory?