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Hey don't forget John Howard in Australia. We are still coalition partners aren't we?

It's very silly for the German media to read anything about Iraq into the British general election result. National issues (the economy, immigration, health, crime, etc.) were far more important. Even the Iraq issue (was it right to go to war?) didn't affect the campaign, because the main opposition party backed the war. Blair's slipperiness and untrustworthiness did, of course, but that's a self-inflicted wound. For what it's worth, I think that had the election been held a year from now, Blair would be in serious trouble, with the economy turning down and public service reforms not bearing fruit. As it is, he only won 36% of the vote on a low turnout, (I think) the lowest share for any governing party in British history.

Ian, No worries, mate. An American noted the same thing but we get up later in the day.

The British media has done a helluva lot to create this image of Blair as "slippery and untrustworthy" - as has the British public and political parties

Exactly what did he "lie" about again?

The only thing I can say is that Blair and his government were pushed much further than Bush was in defending the rationale for action in Iraq

The prevailing sentiment in Britain was then, when I lived there, and is now I am sure - "the threat is not on our shores so no worries"

Its all well and good for people to look back to the 1930's now and say "I wish Churchill was PM in 1936 - he could have prevented the war with some resolute action" but the reality is that Churchill was considered a dangerous warmonger in 1936

It was only in 1940 that the reeling British finally understood the stakes

When I consider Blair today I have tremendous admiration for a man who took a stand to do what is right and in the long term interest of his country, and indeed the world, with the full understanding that such a stand would cost him dear politically.

The British media, public and political parties kept pushing for "why" when they were told it was the right thing to do to ally with the USA in demanding FULL enforcement of the 1991 cease-fire terms and FULL disclosure of Saddams WMD capabilities and intentions

They demanded WHY again and again and again until finally it decended into a farce where estimation were made that WMD could be launched in 45min and could hit Cyprus

They were never satisfied with any answer and the real opposition was to any action at all so in hindsight Blair should have avoided such warnings - but I wonder if he could have

Lets be honest shall we - Britian is, unfortunately, one good man away from taking the "Euro" stand on Iraq ( ie: its none of our business )

When you consider that Winston Churchill was defeated in 1945, any majority for Blair is significant!

So far only the Spanish have capitulated.


Pogue, your posts are always dead-on.

>>Britian is, unfortunately, one good man away from taking the "Euro" stand on Iraq

Not so sure about that tho'. Richard, over at EU Referendum has a fascinating analysis of the impact the UKIP/Veritas vote had on the Tory margins that no one else has picked up on. He writes:

The incredible, untold story of the general election is the effect that UKIP (and to a lesser extent Veritas) has had on the outcome. Overall, on current results, the combined votes of these two parties affected the outcome of 25 seats which might have otherwise gone to the Tories.

And he shows the numbers to prove it. Here's the link.
http://www.eureferendum.blogspot.com/

This makes me wonder if there is a truly larger sane population in the UK than we've been lead to believe.

[fingers crossed]

Well it all can't be bad news for the German and Euro mediacrats. One more close to them and their politics won a useless back bench seat, the carpet bagging (Saddam loving) George Galloway took a Labor seat in London (He should have been running in Scotland but would have lost) from a black female in a muslim majority seat.

The BBC and other UK media will quickly turn this Blair victory into no mandate. For defying the BBC, going to war and remaining a strong US ally, Tony must continue to pay.

Thanks Pamela - and yes, there are indeed enough sane people in the UK but the ugly truth is that the major metropolitan centers - and esp London - really do Rule Britannia today

Just look at the Fox Hunting issue these past few years

The urban elites, supported by the taxpayer funded BBC and the usual liberal media, drove the issue of Fox Hunting to the point where it was recently banned

Blair, to his discredit, rode this issue to garner the popular support it enjoyed - or he really felt the ban was appropriate
In either case, I can give Tony a pass on this one for all the good he has done in the WOT

Personally I don't care one way or the other - but the idea that a majority can ban an activity that has nothing to do with them and harms nobody is just awful

But how the British have allowed this kind of thing to happen just amazes me as an American.

Its really just proof that I live in the United STATES of America - where States and localities have rights

In Britian it was a "one solution" for all approach - not sure if its the same in Germany

Outside of London I often met people who were proud to be standing "shoulder to shoulder with the Yanks again" - even if they disliked George W Bush - sometimes intensly

Yet even this dislike was at odds with the rest of their views

The reason I visit and post at Mediakritik is because I view the european media as the single most damaging fifth column that is working to divide the US from Europe at a time when we can least afford such division

The demonization of George Bush and conservative American's in Britian and Europe is simply out of control - I've seen it

The simply is no other side of the story presented

Europeans are given no explanation as to why a majority of Americans voted for Bush in 2004

More Americans voted for Bush in 2004 than Britons exist! But its presented as some kind of mass stupidity attack - and this in serious news media

I honestly believe that Americans and Europeans have much much more in common than we do not - but the barrage of propaganda coming from the Euromedia is chipping away at this commonality every day

Its easy to stir up hatred - and quite usefull too

So the time will come when your former neighbor and friend who ate the same foods and enjoyed the same things and, while different in some ways was mostly like you, has become a hated enemy

Its scary when the politicians and the media cooperate in bringing such a change about

Germans should know better

Here's a question for the British readers of this blog:

How does Labour's loss of seats in the 2005 parliamentary election compare with other elections in which the ruling party won a third consecutive victory? For example, did Labour lose more or fewer seats than the Conservatives did in (I think) 1987?

What I'm getting at is the following. In Britain, as in other countries, there's a tendency to become dissatisfied with a party that's been in power for a long time. If Blair didn't lose more seats in 2005 than Thatcher did in 1987, then how important, really, is the Iraq war/Blair dishonesty factor that's been getting so much attention?

Pogue
>>Germans should know better

So should the Brits. But one thing I find absolutely inexplicable about the Germans is their utter failure to learn one lesson from the war years: how they were completely bamboozled by state-run media. I think much of it had to due with the advent of radio - and I think Goebbels saw to it that every household had one - must of been like the voice of God. Yet they still DON'T GET IT. A paternalistic state has replaced the free individual with nary a shot being fired. There is a book I just finished that I would highly recommend. "The Cube and the Cathedral" by George Weigel. Weigel is a Catholic theologian and I think one of the most profound intellects around. He write of Europe's "metaphysical boredom" that arises from "the false story" they've been lead to believe about what are their real roots. Don't be put off by the "Catholic theologian" part. I'm a Jew and I'm here to tell you the man is right. It's a quick read, I finished it in about 2-3 hours.

@ Ian,

Thanks for the reminder!

---Ray D.

"How does Labour's loss of seats in the 2005 parliamentary election compare with other elections in which the ruling party won a third consecutive victory?"

Margaret Thatcher won in 1983 with a majority of 144, and in 1987 with a majority of 102. So she lost about 20 seats net (42/2).

Blair won in 2001 with a majority of 166, and in 2005 with a majority around 65. So he's lost about 50 seats net, though the effect is slightly complicated because 13 Labour seats in Scotland vanished.

As important for claiming a mandate, the Conservatives in 1987 were 12 percentage points ahead of Labour, while in 2005, Blair is only 3-4 percentage points ahead of the Conservatives. And turnout in the 80's was in the 70's%, while now it's in the high 50's%. Blair's share of the vote is the lowest for a governing party in history.

"Lets be honest shall we - Britian is, unfortunately, one good man away from taking the "Euro" stand on Iraq ( ie: its none of our business )"

Rubbish. The Conservatives, the main opposition party, still support the Iraq war, as they made clear repeatedly during the campaign. So did Gordon Brown, Blair's likely replacement, and many people in the Labour Party. Precious few people except on the extreme left seriously suggest we should pull our troops out of Iraq.

"Exactly what did he "lie" about again?"

Let's not even mention Iraq. Let's think about his promise not to increase tuition fees at the last election, only to do so, or to make dentists accessible on NHS Direct, to fail to do so. Or his promise to the Liberal Democrats on electoral reform, which hasn't been introduced. Or his pledge not to concede a referendum on the EU constitution, only to do so. Those are just examples off the top of my head of the direct lie. Like Clinton (no wonder they got on well), he usually leaves enough wiggle-room so that he can just about manage to crawl his way out if necessary, and he is a master of giving a misleading impression without lying outright (he was a lawyer too after all). However, few people in Britain trust him now, even when he's telling the truth. The boy who cried "wolf"...

Another analysis of the elections here.
----------------

Secondly, the Muslim factor played a bigger part than ever before -- and a damaging one for British democracy. Cities with large concentrations of Muslim voters all registered strong votes against Tony Blair and for anti-war candidates of any other party, however extreme. It looks as though many Muslims still obey their community leaders and imams and vote en bloc
------------------
http://www.newcriterion.com/weblog/2005/05/daniel-johnsons-election-diary-iii.html

Daniel Johnson writing at Newcriterion (via LGF & Powerline)


"slippery and untrustworthy" - I saw that in the SPON article, too.

I've been thinking for a while that the way he sounds - even when on totally firm ground, as he ususally is, and often even when making a (hopefully prepared) statement, as opposed to a spontaneous answer to a question, he sounds hesitant und indecisive to the point of indeed sounding like he's making it up just then, and lying to boot. So he does sound "slippery and untrustworthy" often, but what he says and does never is. But I guess that's not SPON's spin, but rather the image the BBC would like to cultivate?


PJ - I don't suggest that the Conservatives would sweep to power if Blair stepped down by any means. My opinion is, however, that Blair is the one who has held to a pro-US stance during the leadup to the liberation of Iraq and that I can't think of any other Labour pol being able, or more to the point willing, to hold this position.

I suppose I should caveat my statement as follows - the leadup to the war and the decision to force the issue was Blairs

If another Labour leader - even Gordon Brown - were in power at the time its likely they would have been swayed by the polls to take the Franco/German position

George W Bush and the liberation of Iraq are both widely unpopular in Britain

Frankly I think Blair and his allies are the only ones keeping Labour from spinning out to the fringe left ( see Galloway, George - Labour MP just elected )


As for his other "lies" after years of living in London all I can say is that nobody wants to hear the truth

If Blair, or any UK politician, told the truth he'd be kicked out in favour of the one who told the voters what they wanted to hear

Its not really that much different in the US but at least we have 2 parties with different agenda's

The Tories seem to be trying to "out-Labour Labout" if you know what I mean


And yes Pamela - the Brits and Americans and everyone in the world should know better too

@ Ian

You were quicker with the keyboard. I was going to mention John Howard as well. Glad you did, and I am glad people recognize the contribution the Australians are making as well as the numerous other Coalition partners.

I always want to laugh went the Left talk about Bush's "go-it-alone" policy towards Iraq.

I guess besides the UK and Australia, there are so many other "go-it-alone" countries: Bulgaria, Holland, Poland, Ukraine, Spain (gracias, Senor Aznar!), Lithuania, South Korea, Japan....(sorry if I left out a few, but I think you get the "picture" that the US "went-it-alone", LOL!).

lemmy
>>I am glad people recognize the contribution the Australians are making

Ah, but haven't they (you?) always? Bar-hopping with Aussies is the most fun EVER. Unfortunately, I can never remember much of it...

I for one would like all the CoW partners to be PROUD of their role in the advance of democracy and the ouster of dictators around the world

None of us have anything to be ashamed about - very much the opposite

Its the "no blood for oil" crowd that has yet to send any Human Sheilds to Iraq to protect the new Iraqi gov't and police from the terrorists

When is the bus from London leaving for that mission?

>> Its the "no blood for oil" crowd that has yet to send any Human Sheilds to Iraq

Now, Pogue, that's just logically inconsistent. They are not about to shed their blood for Dubya's oil buddies.

The main thing of interest about Britain's election was that both Labour and the Tories supported the war. Together they combined for over 60% of the vote, a substantial majority. The anti-war Liberal Democrats did slightly worse than expected. One is left wondering just where, aside from the press, is the opposition to the war in Iraq.

..and yet, after all that's been as discussed here , check out the BBC website ( News Front Page
,world edition, Saturday, 7 May, 2005, 06:04 GMT 07:04 UK), bottom of centre column:

"Crumbling coalition-
US is left to plug the gaps as some partners pull out of Iraq"

Crumbling coalition? They're talking about 450 Bulgarians. Is Comical Ali working for these guys?
Here is the URL:

@ Pamela

Them Aussies can PARTY!!! I'll see them again in September at the Oktoberfest!

I live in the UK although I'm a US citizen. I think Blair was hit hard by his decision to go into Iraq. Labor remains very strong - their absolute majority is at least 66 over all parties. I think Blair may have sacrificed as many as 30 Labor seats because of Iraq.

Labor is as strong as the Tories were during the late years of Thatcher, but there is similar risk of a split. The split cost the Tories their majority ultimately, and a split may do the same to Labor. The Chancelor Gordon Brown has always felt he ought to have been Prime Minister, and he's been waiting a long time - since 1993 when Blair aced him out for the leadership of Labor.

It is possible that Blair will try to hold on for another term - and possible that Brown will challenge him for the party leadership.

The difference between this and what happened with Thatcher is that Thatcher had no very strong rivals within the Tories - it was more of a accumulation of things which caused the revolution. Her successor John Major was probably too inexperienced for the job, and it showed. Ultimately he was pushed around too much.

Blair has an obvious strong successor/challenger - Brown. If Brown forces Blair out nobody knows what will happen.

It just amazes and inspires me to read this blog!

To think that you can even exist in Germany and not spontaneously combust is a tribute to your faith in humanity.

There was a time when william f buckley was ALL one could get in the USA media. Everybody else was a lyndon larouoche nut. Now there's DMK and iraqthemodel.com and thousands of other blogs that oppose the massline.

Just think how it will be in ten years?!

Some guy invents a pc, another the internet, another the blogs and now we have GERMAN LIBERALS ON TV at bay!! Amazing. Just like the "anti-fascist protective barrier" falling.

I usually give Germany a pass because they had the US military running around as their republican party, but now that the game is afoot its really really cool to know that there are Germans that can see through the shit.

did anyone read about the blogs and Canada's advert scandal and how that went down? Tell me that wasnt sweet!!

There's talk that the US bloggers are going after PBS/NPR and hopefully that will embolden Aussies, Brits, Canadians and the Germans to go after their tax funded nutworks.

It just makes them twist to know they can't shut us up....

Despite Blair's clear victory, British Conservatives were also happy with the election results. The Tories look set to pick up well over 30 seats and left the third-place Liberal Democrats far behind. But don't expect that news to brighten the German media's day much either...

According to BBC Labour lost 47 seats in parliament, while the conservatives won 33 seats. The Liberal Democrats may be "far behind", but they won 11 seats in parliament. That means that Labour lost 44 seats to conservatives and liberals. While the conservatives didn't oppose the Iraq war, their leader Michael Howard has attacked Blair for lying about that issue. So the election results don't really show that the Brits are enthusiastic about Mr. Blair's Iraq policy.

The BBC is mounting a full court press to get Blair to resign. What a joke, the BBC runs the UK and no politican can dare to defy them in the BBC's eyes. If they do, the BBC will make them pay and pay. Even when caught out as being wrong the BBC must prove it is right, even when it is a bald faced lie.

Playertwo - just a correction

"Some guy invents a pc, (AL GORE INVENTS ) the internet, another the blogs and now we have GERMAN LIBERALS ON TV at bay!! Amazing. Just like the "anti-fascist protective barrier" falling. "

;)

@ Pamela

your second post was the silliest i ever read.
Thank you

Matt,

This might be the most important thing to know about this election other than it being a third term.

The 67 seats are more than all but two British administrations from 1950 to 1983 have had to work with. The loss of seats were more about a revolt of the British left.

It will be interesting to see how either Blair or possible Brown at some point in the future can hold together New Labor and the historical hard left of the Labor party.

It should be an interesting fight when it occurs.

@Pamela

I like your post (other than my countryman ) but I have to add that the German version of PBS was created in an attempt to prevent a second Hugenberg to back up a Hitler in his ascend to power.
It doesn't work at all, we agree, but you don't tell why.
Because the "right" parties in Germany are liberals,too.
Plain and simple.

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