Archive for the ‘UK General Election 2005’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 4, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

Electoral Commission campaign urges voters to act now: The Electoral Commission launches a multi-media campaign on Monday 7 February encouraging people to register to vote. The campaign reminds electors they need to register by 11 March to be able to vote at the County Council elections in England on 5 May. If there were to be a UK Parliamentary general election on the same day, 11 March is also the final date to register.

Cheers to Honourable Fiend for the heads-up.

Other stuff:

Guido brings us this mild sense of deja vu.

So Who Do We Vote For Now?

Robin Cook – A manifesto like this would actually motivate our voters

Reminder: First Backing Blair meeting Tuesday Feb 8, 7:30pm

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 3, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

labour sloganGuardian – Labour unveils election slogan: Labour will fight for a third term under the slogan “Britain: Forward Not Back”, Alan Milburn announced today. Rejecting claims that the election motto was “vacuous”, the election strategist said it “symbolised the choice before the British people”. The slogan, on a red and green background, was agreed at a political meeting of the cabinet this morning, and will be unveiled at the party’s spring conference in Gateshead next week. In a press conference which also saw the return of Alastair Campbell to the party’s campaign machine, Mr Milburn told reporters: ” People know we are not perfect, they know we have not done everything we or they would want us to. But they believe the country is moving in the right direction and they don’t want to reverse course.”

1. Yes, because Tony’s “no reverse gear” moment went down so well.
2. That choice of last word is rather unfortunate, given how fond Blairites are of prouncing ‘Iraq’ as the Americans do. Did nobody bring this up at their meeting?
3. Hey, everyone! Alastair’s back!
4. “We must go forward, not backward, upward, not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!” – Kodos

(end communication)

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 2, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

and Jack Chick is a right-wing nutjobThere was a pronounced delay between Kilroy’s departure from the They Won’t Let Me Be Leader Party and the launch of his own party – which was even then rumoured to be called ‘veritas’… and this man thinks he knows why.


Europhobia – Veritas to sue Veritas?

Guardian – Kilroy-Silk colleague linked to ex-National Front leader: Anthony Bennett, whose name appears in the Electoral Commission’s database as the official leader of Mr Kilroy-Silk’s party Veritas, was also fired from the UK Independence party last year after publishing a pamphlet describing the prophet Muhammad as a paedophile.

Telegraph – The Prophet Mohammed was a paedophile, says Kilroy-Silk aide

He’s in good company. That’s a favourite line of Jack Chick. Incidentally, you may be interested in the “powerful new gospel film” by Jack Chick. I found this clip to be particularly compelling.

What’s that I hear? Kilroy Veritas? (Cheers Chicken Yoghurt. Duly bombed.)

We pause now for a fundraising infomercial from Honourable Fiend

Telegraph – Your view: Do you trust Veritas? (via this post at The UK Today). Some awfully fawning replies in there; one might wonder how many come directly from Veritan central.

New Veritas logo.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 2, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

I have a little job for you:

I want you to go out and seek direct/agent contacts for celebrities that are unhappy with Tony Blair. Particularly if they backed/endorsed him in the 1997 or 2001 election and/or have spoken out about Iraq (and been spanked by Murdoch as a result).

I already have contact details for Terry Jones, Stephen Fry and Damon Albarn.

Harry Enfield, Chris Eubank, Elton John and George Michael are likely targets, I’m thinking… but you may have targets of your own in mind. Get to it. Please.

UPDATE – We now have access to all sorts of celebrity contact details, so alls you need do is keep suggesting likely supporters. Cheers all.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 1, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

####################### IMPORTANT #############################

There with be an inaugural planning/briefing meeting next Tuesday (Feb 8, 7:30pm) for all Bloggerheads readers in or near London who want the full-poop (or near to the full-poop) on the Backing Blair campaign. First beer is on me.

Register for the event via

Bloggage may be light from now until next Monday. That is all.

UPDATE – There is now also a Backing Blair group for South Yorkshire that’s been set up by Balders. We’ll be encouraging others to set up their own Backing Blair groups from next week.

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Posted by Tim Ireland at February 1, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

Mirror – Tory Vs. Tory: Crosby’s tactics are already alarming seasoned Tory campaigners. Some are predicting it will be Britain’s dirtiest-ever campaign. Tory traditionalists fear his “Mr Nasty” approach will alienate middle-of-the-road voters… He has been embroiled in a string of scandals over his hard-hitting campaigns on race and crime. Crosby’s ruthless use of the brutal killing of a young girl in an election ad campaign backfired and ended up in the courts. His name even appears at the bottom of the election posters about the horrific stabbing of Cheree Richardson. In the expensive 1992 TV advertising blitz he claimed Australia’s Labour Party had “the blood of the victim on their hands”. His tactics told voters the Labour Party was directly responsible for the girl’s death. But the tactic had to be abandoned after a furious public backlash and complaints from the dead woman’s family. Crosby authorised another campaign which ended up with four young children being terrorised at school. The kids, aged three to nine years, were used in ads about the murder of their mum Suzanne Stafford, 28, in Queensland.

Bastard. That is all.

More here at Crikey.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 1, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

On the 25th of January, the Labour Party sent an email out to supporters asking them to choose their favourite from a selection of ‘clever’ anti-Tory posters. The two that turned out to be the most popular – and caused the most fuss – appear below:

The pig issue is, I think, worth mentioning… in that you’d have to be pretty stupid not to realise how it could be interpreted…

BBC – Labour pig poster ‘anti-Semitic’: The Labour Party has been accused of anti-Semitism over a poster depicting Michael Howard and Oliver Letwin – who are both Jewish – as flying pigs.

Oh, and the photoshopping on that one is decidedly crap, too. Unlike the next one, which is quite reasonable.

As for the charge that it portrays Howard as Fagin or Shylock (pocket watches were common in Shakespeare’s day, don’t you know) is – in my opinion – a bit of a reach.

The Times – Fagin, Shylock and Blair: The relationship between the two poses is obviously intentional; there is even an unusual knot in the watch chain that appears in both. We are intended to associate Mr Howard with Fagin, that is with a sinister Jewish criminal as seen by anti-Semites.

Oh well, no matter. Storm in a teacup. Posters quietly withdrawn. Life goes on…

Telegraph – Labour drops flying pig and ‘Fagin’ posters

But what’s this…?

Sctosman – Howard Side-Steps Labour Posters Row: Mr Howard pointed to Tony Blair’s 1997 warning against “nasty, negative, personalised, abusive” campaigning. He said it was a shame the Prime Minister did not practise what he preached.

Hrm…. No, can’t spot any personal attacks here.

Let’s move on, shall we?

Downing St were – in part – able to cast light away from the posters as they had a jolly good giggle at the expense of the always-correct Mirror, who went to print last Friday with a study of what they claimed was a ‘doodle’ left behind by Mr Blair at the International Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:

Mirror – What’s on your mind, Mr Blair?: Doodles left behind by Tony Blair yesterday give us an insight into the mind of the Prime Minister. The page of circles, goalposts and jottings were made during a debate with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and U2’s Bono at the International Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Psychologist Elaine Quigley says the loopy letters and boxed-up issues are the tell-tale signs that our leader is a bit of daydreamer hoping for the best.

But, as it turns out, the doodles belonged to Bill Gates, which leaves the Mirror (and those who followed on Saturday, including The Times and the Independent) looking a little bit stupid.

BBC – ‘Blair’ doodles amuse Number 10: A page of doodles found on Tony Blair’s desk at last week’s economic summit in Davos sparked a wave of excitement in the media. Psychologists and handwriting experts were drafted in by the press in the hope of getting a glimpse into the inner workings of the prime ministerial mind. Newspaper stories contained phrases such as “struggling to concentrate” and “not a natural leader”. Now – and with not a little glee – Downing Street has revealed that the scribblings were not the work of the premier, but that of one Bill Gates of Microsoft. Insiders at Number 10 are apparently waiting “with amusement” to find out just how the comments about Mr Blair will now be applied to Mr Gates.

Hm. They may be waiting a while. In the meantime, there is this.

The circus has begun. I’m now predicting that the election date will be announced late next Wednesday (9 Feb) or early Thursday, unless something unpredicted happens during or following the count in Iraq. Make your own predictions, if you like.

UPDATE – More on personal attacks from The UK Today. And, for the record, Backing Blair will make great use of personalities… but the primary attacks will be on bullshit.

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 31, 2005

Category: UK General Election 2005

Let me make it clear that I’m sure this would not be a major issue without the Tories jumping on the opportunity they saw following Mr Lowest Common Denominator’s win on ITV’s Vote For Me….

Independent – Labour plays its own race card to trump Tory migration plan: The Prime Minister and Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, spent this weekend finalising a “five-year-plan” for migration and asylum. It will include a points system, which a Conservative government would introduce, but which Labour will “adapt to UK conditions”, according to a government source.

Compare and contrast with…

Sunday Mercury – BNP to fight 22 Midland seats: Tom Watson, Labour MP for West Bromwich East, faces a fight from the BNP’s Carl Butler in his constituency. “They play on people’s fears and do nothing to help local communities,” he said. “I’m sure they will be rejected by the voters.”

Yes. We must fight those who play on people’s fears.

On the Iraq elections, I have very little to say at the moment, as we still don’t know how many people actually voted, what the likely outcome might be, or how Iraqis will react to the outcome…. but I would like to point out that:

1. The ’60-80%of Iraqis voted’ sub-header you’ll see a lot of today should be phrased ‘an estimated 60-80%f Iraqis who registered to vote voted’.

2. It’s widely recognised that this is the first step in a long and difficult journey for Iraq. Except by George ‘Mission Accomplished’ Bush, who has already declared it to be ‘a resounding success’.

3. The words ‘gift of democracy’ should be used with great caution… this ‘gift’ comes at a cash-money price. And at great cost.

4. Of course, me pointing such things out means that I’m causing a general shortage of the pixie-dust required to make this election work. Which means that I’m fully aligned with the terrorists.

5. I think we can expect an announcement regarding the UK General Election within the next few days.

UPDATE – Chicken Yoghurt – The Labour Voters Who Walk Into Doors

UPDATE – Iraq: World’s news channels play to prejudices. Read some reasonable, balanced, informed and carefully-considered comments here and here.

UPDATE – Via Honourable Fiend; a headline from 1967…
U.S. ENCOURAGED BY VIETNAM VOTE; Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror
(article can be read in full here).

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 29, 2005

Category: Flash Music Video, Games and Objects, UK General Election 2005

London Underground: The SongOK, we’re clear to go live with this.

I heard the song London Underground a few weeks ago and wasn’t surprised to see it bounce like mad around The Interwebs… but I did think it was a pity that it didn’t have a Flash show to make it more communicative and easier to share via linkage.

I also didn’t do anything about that until Wibbler opened his big fat mouth yesterday. Not that he really had to prompt me or anything. He just had to get my attention for the 5 consecutive seconds required for me to conclude that I was the man for the job. If they’d have me.

And have me they did. (Matron! The clamps!)

I got in touch with the chaps behind the song yesterday (Dr Suman Biswas and Dr Adam Kay) and quickly found myself up and about late last night and early today building this. I hope you enjoy it:

London Underground: The Song

Warning: NSFW (contains many a dangdoodle cussword).

Oi! Don’t forget to buy the album! Every penny from CD sales goes to Macmillan Cancer Relief. They say. And you can trust them; they’re doctors. With clean hands and filthy mouths.

(Now all I have to do is wait patiently for the right time to mention my own lyrical mobilities – and the possible need for illegal surgery – so I can make full use of these scalpel-wielding musicians and exploit them like a true pop svengali.)

Note: Backing Blair (which I’m still keeping under wraps) was chosen for the hosting because Balders and I already had beefy servers sorted out for that location… and a little inbound link popularity certainly won’t hurt pre-launch. Also, I’m a little pissed that – because the Tories stuffed up our rail network and Labour have done SFA to fix it (and are set on tube privatisation) – it’s unlikely to be a major election issue.

Funny; you’d think the current government would be able to get the trains to run on time…

Posted by Tim Ireland at January 26, 2005

Category: Page 3 - News in Briefs, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch, UK General Election 2005

Today Page 3 stunna Jak (19, from Tunbridge Wells) thinks there’s nothing racist about protecting Britain’s borders. She says: “We’re a small island nation and we’re already overcrowded. Michael Howard’s view on immigration is shared throughout the country. It simply makes sense.”

See? It’s. Just. Common. Sense.

The girl with the boobs has spoken.

An important thing to remember about Murdoch and Blair is that – as cosy as their relationship might seem – Murdoch will not hesitate to give Blair a solid kicking over issues like the EU and immigration… which is why you can expect Blair or Clarke to make a ‘common-sense stand on immigration’ someday soon.

So… when/where did this latest round of immigration ‘debate’ originate?

I’ve said it elsewhere (1, 2) and I’ll say it here; it’s almost as if some bright spark working for the Tories was watching ITV’s Vote For Me and taking notes.

The winner, in case you missed this landmark show that was broadcast for the post-pub audience and over in little more than a week, was one Rodney Hylton-Potts.

Guardian/Observer – Row erupts as TV’s new political idol accused of being racist: A innovative attempt to revitalise the public’s interest in politics, by subjecting would-be MPs to a Pop Idol-style reality TV show, descended into ugly scenes last night after the winner was accused of holding views to the right of the British National Party. Rodney Hylton-Potts, who has served two years in Brixton prison for fraud, should have been spending this weekend celebrating his Friday night victory in ITV’s Vote For Me competition. But instead he is being forced to deny allegations that he told a fellow competitor that in the 1960s ‘you could drive to Henley without seeing a nigger on the streets’. Hylton-Potts, who won the competition on the strength of what he calls his ‘cabbie’s manifesto’ – the mandatory castration of paedophiles, the legalisation of all drugs, the repeal of the human rights act, a massive prison-building scheme and an immigrant deportation programme that would reduce Britain’s population by 20 million – vehemently denies the allegation.

So, thanks ITV, for liberating political democracy from its current cultural ghetto.

Also, thanks for placing me in one of those rare situations when I am forced to agree with Alastair Campbell…

Guardian – ‘Political idol’ loses Campbell’s vote: Campbell claimed the show was exploitative and said it would further undermine the public’s faith in the political system. “It’s crass. They say it is about engaging young people in politics but it will have the effect of further undermining politics,” said Campbell.

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