The careful application of pressure stems bleeding

This entry was posted on
Wednesday, March 30th, 2005
10:15 am and is filed
under UK General Election 2005.

A heads-up via

Independent – Labour MPs to fight on anti-war ticket: Labour MPs who opposed the Iraq war are to defy Tony Blair by making it a key “issue of trust” at the general election expected on 5 May. In a setback for the Prime Minister’s attempt to “move on” from Iraq two years after the military action, 17 rebel MPs have signed a declaration saying: “I was and remain totally opposed to the war on Iraq. If elected as your parliamentary representative in the forthcoming general election, I will do everything in my power to bring the occupation of Iraq to an end.” The MPs fear a backlash from voters over the war and will try to insulate themselves against one by including the statement in their election leaflets. The rebels’ decision to make Iraq “an issue of trust” is a coded attack on Mr Blair.

The following is anecdotal evidence only, but I keep hearing the same thing from different sources (caveat: but I’ve also been hearing the term ‘self publicist’ repeated a few times lately, too)…

Iraq is a *big* issue on doorsteps. Far bigger than you may suspect. Many constituents who raise this issue with Labour peeps who knock on their door have been told ‘off the record’ by candidates/canvassers that Blair will ‘definitely’ go after the election and be replaced by Brown, so they should just relax and vote Labour (or else the Tories will get in etc. etc. etc.).

UPDATE – Ohh, lookie! Is this them? (Gah! Frames! Frames are death!)

UPDATE – Guido says: The second story, originally told to me by a Labour PPC, is that Labour HQ is giving candidates free licence to drop Tony Blair from their propaganda or even send out anti-Blair signals without fear of censure. Hence the Blair-free ready-made leaflets available from Labour HQ and the 17 anti-War Labour MPs stridently coming out of the closet.

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