Today at Prime Minister’s Questions, responding to ex-Tory leader William Hague, Tony Blair said
“He and I stood in a democratic election in 2001 and I… remember the result”
The obvious implication, of course, is that in a democratic vote, the electorate chose Blair over Hague.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but in the 2001 election, Tony Blair stood for election in Sedgefield, County Durham, William Hague in Richmond, Yorkshire. Only 22 miles away from each other, perhaps, but entirely different constituencies. Hague and Blair have never stood against each other in any election.
In other words, yet more proof – as if any were needed – that Blair doesn’t understand the concept of the British system of representative democracy. Hence the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill – wiping out the inconvenience of Parliamentary scrutiny once and for all. He genuinely thinks that everyone voting Labour was voting for him personally. He genuinely thinks that what he wants, he should get.
(Hey – it was in the manifesto, so ALL LABOUR MPs HAVE A DUTY TO VOTE FOR IT, as the manifesto is the Little Red Book containing all the unbounded wisdom of Chairman Blair. Unless the thing that was in the manifesto has subsequently fallen out of favour with the leadership, like the partial smoking ban or commitment not to raise university tuition fees, in which case it shalt verrily be airbrushed from the official history of the glorious reich.)
Welcome to our Blairite New World, where smoking is banned while greenhouse gas emissions rise; where foxhunting is banned but animal testing booms; where reading the names of soldiers killed in an illegal war gets you arrested, but calling for beheadings and terrorist attacks in response to some cartoons lets you wander free; where every British citizen is tagged and tracked while terrorists are ignored.
That one little throw-away remark shows that Blair genuinely believes that he – personally – has a mandate for all his vastly contradictory policy decisions, and that his cult of personality is progressing apace. It is also yet another example of why he won’t step down until Gordon Brown has made himself sufficiently indistinguishable from the Dear Leader as to make any transition seamless.
Update: Unity at Talk Politics reads legislation so the press, public and politicians don’t have to (not that, it would appear, they do anyway):
“If you think the votes that will take place over the next two days on the Terrorism Bill are about the ‘glorification of terrorism’, then like the BBC in this report, you have got things very badly wrong… The main amendment to this section of the Bill that the government will be moving today seeks not to reintroduce the offence of glorifying terrorism but merely to remove a definition of ‘indirect encouragement’ inserted by the Lords… What we have here is quite simply a framework for law-maling by propaganda; an attempt to define the precise parameters of this offence by banging away at the public in the press with their preferred definition – which does include glorification – in the hope that when the time comes and a relevant case comes to court, jurors will have swallowed their bullshit wholesale and deliver a precedent that suits their purposes.”
Update 2: MPs are idiots. Passed by 315 votes to 277. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH.