Left Out Liberal

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

Sunday, April 03, 2005


So the Pope shuffles off this mortal coil. It might be interesting if the funeral happens to fall on the same day as the Royal weeding wedding. How will the BBC resolve such a dilemma? They only have one David Dimbleby, and he can't possibly be in Rome and Windsor Guildhall at the same time. RIP Pope John Paul II.

As life continues, so unfortunately does the life of Charles Clarke. Stirring up trouble once more this morning, Charlie is preparing to blame everyone but himself if his glorious ID cards bill dies when the election is called. I am hoping it falls for obvious reason, but also because it will be good fun to see him working himself up into a strop once more, just as he did during the passage of Terrorism Bill. It's clear he's a very angry man, and it seems the slightest provacation gets him denouncing opposition to his plans as "crazy".

Naturally, this kind of language is not conducive to compromise, but I don't think he understands that by personally insulting the opposition he's only going to harden their resolve against him. He is an extremely poor quality politician and I'd like to see him out on his ears (pun very much intended), but I suspect his 8,000+ majority in Norwich South is a bit too much to overturn. We can but hope.

However, there is still a chance. There's no doubt the bill will be reintroduced after the election. But, if we can keep Blair's majority down, there may be a realistic chance of the bill being defeated if enough rebellion can be encouraged, and the Tories decide to take a principled opposition to the bill. Post-election, they won't worry too much about being labelled "soft on terror" which allows them to play a freer hand. The same is true for any potential Labour rebels, who will be not so concerned about deselection with the next election being four to five years away.

Considering all these factors, I imagine Charles Clarke is going to make a very concerted effort to get this through next week. All we can hope is that the Lords stalls it enough to kill it by the expected dissolution of Parliament Friday.

Will Blair still call the election tomorrow in light of the Pope's death? I hope so. It's not as if Blair gave a toss about the Pope's strong opposition to the Iraq war, so why should he start caring now?


At 10:56 pm, April 03, 2005, Blogger CuriousHamster said...

It's another New Labour media moment. Clarke and co know the ID card bill won't go through in the time left. They just want to be able to blame the Tories and the Lid Dems for being "soft on crime". Clarke does seem to give the impression that his head will blow off in a fit of rage at any moment. Might not be a bad thing.


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