Azara Blog: Bombarded by election leaflets

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Date published: 2005/04/30

Heading down the final stretch of the election, and every day another leaflet or two arrives at the door. Two from Labour, five from the LibDems, one from the Tories, two from Respect and one from UKIP during the past week. Needless to say all these leaflets ask you to vote for someone (their candidate), and the most surprising leaflet to arrive this week was one asking you not to vote for someone (the BNP). That leaflet was from some organisation called Unite Against Fascism, whoever that is.

What can one say about Respect? It's just an ego trip for George Galloway, whose main claim to fame is opposing the war in Iraq. The proposed policies are standard socialist policies from the 1980s, with very little support in the UK (or anywhere in the world, for that matter).

What can one say about UKIP? Euro-haters who are a bit of a joke. But they don't just hate Europeans, they hate all foreigners who dare to tread in Britain. The one proposal of note in their leaflet is that they want to "stop planting GM crops". (As if any are being planted.) So this is one policy that both right and left agree upon in the UK.

What can one say about the Tories? No hopers in Cambridge. Their leaflet mentions "the shortage of housing in Cambridge" but has no suggestions about how to deal with that other than allow the sale of more council housing to tenants and at the same time build more social housing (somewhere unspecified). Go figure. The Tories generally don't want any more housing in the southeast of England (social or not) so the shortage of decent housing will continue here. (But the other parties are not much better.)

What can one say about Labour? Blair blew his place in history by following the dreadful Bush into an unnecessary and silly war. For that, he and the rest of the cabinet should be made to pay the price by losing their seats, but of course they are in safe seats so it will be the decent Labour MPs like Anne Campbell who might take the hit. Struggling to get around this barrier in Cambridge, the Labour approach seems to be to lie low and ignore Iraq. The main policy being touted is effectively "more of the same".

What can one say about the LibDems? They are hungry to win Cambridge and their leaflet today claims that some opinion poll here gave Labour 37% to the LibDems 36%. So possibly a close finish. Pity about their candidate. Pity about their leader.

So far no leaflet from the Greens, but perhaps their campaign is saving the environment by not wasting paper. Their election advert on television yesterday was amusing enough, effectively claiming that Blair was turning Britain into a Police State. Fair enough but slightly ironic given that the Greens themselves are nothing if not control freaks, who, should they ever win power, would spend all their time and effort deciding what you can and cannot do with your life, every minute of the day. One of the horrors portrayed in their broadcast was a sign saying "eat GM foods", as if somehow that was an act of totalitarianism worse than that the Greens would propose by having the sign instead say "don't eat GM foods".

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