Azara Blog: The UK election is on 5 May

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Date published: 2005/04/05

The BBC says:

The general election will be held on 5 May, Tony Blair has formally announced. Speaking after asking the Queen to dissolve Parliament next week, Mr Blair said Labour had a "driving mission" for a third term in office.

The Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaders pre-empted the announcement by starting nationwide tours of key seats.

Michael Howard accused Mr Blair's government of "losing the plot" while Charles Kennedy said he would focus on people's hopes, not their fears.

Mr Blair told reporters in Downing Street the election presented a "big choice".

"The British people are the boss and they are the ones that will make it," he said.

You have to hand it to Blair, he just sounds so convincing when he speaks (not quite in the class of Clinton, but the best in Britain). Unfortunately he is completely untrustworthy and deserves to be booted from office. The only problem is that Michael Howard is even worse. Which leaves Charles Kennedy, who is completely out of his depth but at least does not appear to be of dubious character. Where is Screaming Lord Sutch when you need him?

In Cambridge (well at least in Arbury) the LibDems are first off the mark with the latest "Cambridge Herald" in through the letterbox today. The first thing to note is that it's obvious this stuff is from the LibDems, only they don't say so loud and clear, which makes it right away seem like black propaganda. (Well, to be fair, underneath the "Cambridge Herald" banner they do mention that it is published "on behalf of the Liberal Democrats". Only the former is 75 pt and the latter is perhaps 5 pt.)

What are the issues the LibDems are pushing in Cambridge (no doubt they are pushing other issues elsewhere in the country)? On the front page is a claim they will look after the elderly better, with £100 per month increase in the (State provided) pension. On the second page the "Herald Comment" (trying to pretend to being an independent leader column) says "It's all about trust", and frankly that is the main hope of the LibDems. There is another article about the removal of civil liberties by Blair (all true, but most people don't care), one about the LibDem plan to axe the council tax (allegedly "unfair") and one about "hidden" waiting times in the NHS.

On the third page there is another article about removal of civil liberties, one about council tenants, one about class sizes for children under 7 being cut to 20 (all paid for by non-parents of course) and one about whether we want plastics collected at our doorstep (the chattering classes who run Cambridge are all keen on this one, although it is probably a net negative for the environment when you calculate the total costs).

On the final page there is an article about the £3000 university top-up fees introduced by Blair (bound to resonate in Cambridge), another article about trust (yes, Blair is not trustworthy) and finally a return to their seemingly most favoured topic, that Cambridge is a two-horse race between Labour and the LibDems (thanks, we didn't know that).

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