TORY GAINS ON ABB VOTE (Anyone But Blair)
The anyone-but-Blair vote of yesterday's local elections has seen Conservative gains, a shift to the Greens, and an increase in the number of fascist British National Party councillors.
It has been the worst two weeks of news for the Government most can remember. While health service reforms are producing a better service, the balls-up in funding has meant nursing jobs in the national health service are being cut.
While Blair professes to be hard on immigration and crime, the balls-up in releasing foreign nationals from UK prisons and then, rather than deporting them, giving them UK passports, is a disgrace. No matter which party brought this system in, it is Blair that took up Bush's war on terror, and for those that believe this involves a tough stance on foreign nationals in UK prisons, then it looks shit.
And finally there's John Prescott, the deputy Prime Minister, caught with his pants down. If there's one thing that gets the housewive's goat, it's a party that looks like it's not only fucking up the country, but shagging their secretaries as well.
All in all, by virtually matching their performance two years ago, Labour hasn't actually done that bad. The Liberal Democrats have been hardest hit by the rise in Conservative popularity.
Minge Campbell was a faceless politician before he got the job as Lib Dem leader, as reported in E.R. back in March (see E.R. archives March 2nd) and to be honest, things have only got worse.
The one thing Blair can point to is that he's been here before. His share of the vote is barely down on the same elections two years ago, although the prices of key London boroughs will make the Mayor's job even harder to keep this city on the right track as we head for the Olympics. Tory leaders are one thing. Tory local councillors are complete and utter knobheads.
Sifting through local election results you can find results that confound everyone - Tory Richmond council going to the Lib Dems, for example. They just aren't the real deal, they are a protest vote. But the protest against Blair is getting bigger.
I can't see a reshuffle being enough to get Blair through this year, and come the Labour party conference at the end of the year, I think the dissenters within his party will finally have the ammo to topple him.
Whether he wants to go or not, everyone else has had enough of Blair.
E.R. certainly has.