A deputy mayor, and other British political news

I wasn’t going to get into a rant on the headlines I’ve been seeing this morning regarding Britain’s political parties, I resisted as long as I could but I’ve got to come out and say it…

I’m amazed at the huge headlines on the BBC News website and elsewhere in the MSM regarding how the Torries [are] in ‘disarray’ over Lewis (Ray Lewis, a former deputy mayor of London who resigned earlier this week due to financial irregularities and other charges being raised).  You’d think all was well in the world, and that this was the only story in the offing.  Then you look at the list of following headlines, and realise that the soundbite quote from Hazel Blears was a desperate act to push the weekend paper’s focus away from another New Labour week.  Search for her name on most news websites and you’ll find her speaking up with a good soundbite, a catchy headline, any week when the news direction needed nudging away from another Brown/Blair disaster… so in the interest of press equality, a few other stories from this weeks British political scene:

  • Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander quit after investigations into financial irregularities (News.Scotsman.com, New Statesman).  Since the Standards Comittee had already delivered its ruling did she quit because she was worried there was more to be discovered?
  • Labour’s sure to win candidate for Glasgow East, George Ryan, quit the by-election race after missing a selection meeting. (BBC News)
  • Labour had severe funding issues and almost failed to deliver its annual accounts to the Electoral Commission in time. (BBC News).  With their accounts showing that it is only ‘big union’ support keeping them from vanishing into the red you’d think they’d be more worried about failed pay deals and the threats of strike action.  If the unions leave Labour where will they go?  Are Britain’s unions the equivilant of the big oil, NRA, tobacco financing of the US political stage?
  • Questions were raised as to whether the Prime Minister had had to offer incentives to secure votes for his controversial anti-terror laws. (BBC News).
  • The Prime Minister signalled a U-turn on this autumn’s fuel tax increase. (Piston Heads).  Councils have started asking for a price feeze for their fuels since they believe the increased cost for essential services would push them into the red.  Interesting, I wonder if the general public should get the same break, after all, if you can’t drive to work…
  • The “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” policies of the last 11 years have proven to be little more than empty promises as record crime now costs £275 per person (BBC News), yet more stabbings took place in the capital (BBC News), there was yet another setback for the idiotic identity card scheme (BBC News), and emergency legislation had to be brought in to protect witnesses in court cases (BBC News) in response to earlier knee jerk law making.

So there you go, a few top stories from this week in British politics, oh and by the way one of several deputy mayors resigned. Nice to see the big wheels of spin keep on turning, I think I’ll go back to watching the American political mudslinging now!

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