4 Years of Labour
May 2, 2001 2:43 PM   Subscribe

4 Years of Labour and he still hasn't delivered. More typically mature Conservative advertising campaigns are revealed.
posted by timbooker (15 comments total)
"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."
posted by holgate at 2:58 PM on May 2, 2001

[From the article]: Unveiling the poster, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Andrew Lansley, and Shadow Health Secretary, Liam Fox, dismissed the latest polls which suggest the Tories will lose even more seats in the forthcoming election.

They're desperate and wildly overswinging. The best reaction from Blair would be to just laugh at them.
posted by Skot at 3:16 PM on May 2, 2001

As Radiohead once put it, I trust I can rely on your vote.
posted by timbooker at 3:18 PM on May 2, 2001

Um, pardon my ignorance, but what is a Shadow (fill in the blank)?
posted by silusGROK at 3:31 PM on May 2, 2001

Vis10n: it refers to the spokesperson on the main opposition party given the job of "shadowing" a member of government, presenting the opposition view and questioning/debating on that particular area. (It's a part of parliamentary systems where you have an executive made up of legislators and a "loyal opposition".)

timbooker: Ya Basta!
posted by holgate at 3:54 PM on May 2, 2001

wh? wh?
posted by timbooker at 4:16 PM on May 2, 2001

Sorry to get all political, and UK-centric but...

As far as I'm concerned Labour have done four important things over the last four years:

- Giving control of interest rates to the Bank of England - This is important. They have sacrificed their ability to control the economy to ensure prosperity at election time in order to prevent boom and bust and promote stability. This is a Good ThingTM.

- Devolution in Scotland - I'm neutral on this one.

- Introduction of student tuition fees - Now this I strongly disagree with. Since when should level of education be a function of income?

- Introduction of the minimum wage - Long overdue.

So for me, three out of four ain't bad - I'll give them another shot. Just my 2p.
posted by astro38 at 5:26 PM on May 2, 2001

I'm not going to pretend to know much about British politics other than hearing lots of stories in the last few years about the govt. happily striping the British of their liberties, but I for one admire any political party that attempts a little bit of humor (or should I say, humour) into their campaigning.
posted by ljromanoff at 6:35 PM on May 2, 2001

It's been carrot and stick. We get the Human Rights Act, which incidentally makes Cherie a richer QC; we get the RIP, Police and Terrorism Acts, which attack basic civil rights in a way that even Thatcher would never have contemplated. We get devolution (in part) which allows the Celtic fringe to show how some radical policies can work; we get quangoisation of public institutions, and the gradual transfer of state power over to Tony's mates in the City.

The last two days, though, have deeply depressed me. The syrupy praise for the Met's heavy-handed policing in London, followed by the pathetic equivocation, then the leak, over missile defence, brings into focus the utter betrayal of principle which marks this government. It's like someone who ostentatiously gives his spare change to a beggar while out on a date: the impression is of benevolence, but the motivation is purely selfish.

So Labour has delivered in four years, but it's a sickly child.

ljromanoff: given that the Tories are likely to be stuffed this time round, they can afford to go down laughing.
posted by holgate at 7:32 PM on May 2, 2001

Rather peversely I think the May Day protests did achieve one of their aims. The media coverage was so sickeningly encouraging to the police's tactics that it highlighted the fact that relying on any change from "the top" is futile.

They got the media coverage without the usual riot pictures.

There's still a lot of work to do though
posted by fullerine at 12:31 AM on May 3, 2001

I don't think we Brits have to apologise for discussing British politics on MeFi. There's a lot of US-centric stuf here, too.

In my opinion, Labour has done OK. It hasn't made things better in health, police, education or teaching, but I don't believe the Tories' record in these areas would have been any better. On Europe, the economy and immigration Labour beats the Tories hands down. I notice that not even the Tories are against the Bank of England independence or the minimum wage any more.

The situation here is similar to America. The traditional left wing party has drifted to the centre, pushing the right wing party further to the right. The difference is that America is more right wing than Britain, and such a party/president is electable. Also we have a credible third party which has positioned itself to occupy the space left behind by Labour. The LibDems can't win power, but they can get enough of the national vote to make a difference.
posted by salmacis at 2:52 AM on May 3, 2001

What interested me more was at the top of the page it reported:

BREAKING NEWS: Indian police have been inundated with reports about a 'monkey man' attacking people with 'iron claws'.

That has to be the oddest definition of breaking news I've come across.
posted by kerplunk at 5:24 AM on May 3, 2001

It hasn't made things better in health, police, education or teaching, but I don't believe the Tories' record in these areas would have been any better

Which just about sums up my opinion of New Labour - No better than the Conservatives but no worse. If Tony & co. have learned one thing, it's that to be elected twice in a row you only need to fool most of the people some of the time, holgate's rich man on a date analogy was spot on.
Grand gestures and a Tory party inability to appeal to (it seems) anyone have ensured they get another term (a full 5-year one this time, I'll wager). Once they're safely in, the gestures will stop and the 'hard descisions' which have been put off until the election is over will begin. Europe, support for the US over NMD, tube and ATC privatisation will all be in the news this summer - I'm interested to see how well the spin doctors cope with the more unpopular descisions pending.
Meanwhile, though I don't agree with all their policies, the LibDems will be getting my vote because the overriding message I get when looking into them is fairness (which is what I mistook Labour's pledge of open government to mean before the last election), something which is increasingly rare in the current 'me-first' climate.
posted by Markb at 7:10 AM on May 3, 2001


Please to define for us Yankee bastards.
posted by briank at 7:32 AM on May 3, 2001

quango: quasi-autonomous non-governmental authority.

Basically, it's a kind of contracting-out of government responsibilities, which invariably leads to local worthies taking highly-paid (and two-day-a-week) jobs on the board. It's insidious because these agencies are responsible to ministers and their departments, whereas the departments come under direct parliamentary scrutiny.

From a parliamentary debate:

"Legitimacy is a key issue. People rightly ask what the quangos are, who they speak for, where they get their money and why they are entitled to do what they do, as they do not arise from the elective process and cannot be booted out. Also, there are questions of accountability. To whom and how are they accountable?"

And Mister Tony likes quangos much more than elections.
posted by holgate at 9:21 AM on May 3, 2001

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