Left Out Liberal

A left-wing/liberal look at the UK's General Election of 2005.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Calm before the Storm

Of course, with Pope John Paul II being on his last legs, there is little coverage of politics in the media at the moment. Understandable, though not intentional obviously. This event is giving us a brief respite from the pre-election politicking so that we can all be refreshed to start the campaign proper from Monday (!).

There are some stories rattling around behind the headlines at the moment, but they're hardly worth considering. Labour, just to confirm my point from yesterday, pulls out its latest "on-the-spot" fines for drinking patterns not in line with Official Party Diktat as if they're going to change anything. The solution is more medium-term, as usual, requiring a culture change and discouraging bars from running dirt cheap "all you can drink" promotions. Fining people left, right and centre, particularly bar staff, since by what objective measure do they decide people are drunk and if it's in line with police expectations, tends to lead to a lot of unpaid fines and a determination "not to get caught again" rather than to reform.

The Greens, meanwhile, are talking up their chances of getting MPs elected. I'm not up to date as to what their prospects are in the two seats they are after, but it would be nice to see another party getting through the hurdles of first-past-the-post as a new party would help to bring some fresh faces and a further dimension to British politics. I wish them luck, although they probably have very little chance.

But the headlines are still the Pope, and rightly so. He has had a lot of political impact on the world, and he should be respected for that. He has not received universal acclaim for all his doctrine, but that should be left to one side for the moment as this isn't the time for such disputes. May he rest in peace.


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