ME and Ophelia

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Abolish compulsory BBC licence fee

Stephen Pollard in his blog quotes fellow journalist Melanie Phillips as writing: "As for the LibDems, what can one say except that they and Brian Sedgemore deserve each other, and the fact that people voted for them in such great numbers merely demonstrates the extent to which this country may already have reached the point of no return in the infantilism stakes."

I've chosen the above quote not for what was said about the LibDems but to give context to a line that jumped out at me: "this country may already have reached the point of no return in the infantilism stakes."

Today, I am feeling low, probably overtired (followed election results and news Thurs eve til 3am and 7am Fri onwards) wondering about if I want to follow politics anymore; what kind of person it takes to want to be a politician or prime minister; and what it is that motivates political activists.

After well over 30 years of making an effort to keep an eye on the world of politics, I think the last two years of my being on the Internet and seeing even more of how people act, think and behave, I am grateful we are not forced to vote because it would mean the majority of people in this country who are ill informed would probably end up electing the Monster Raving Loony Party and more people like Stalinist lefty George Galloway*

[*In 1994, Galloway faced some of his strongest criticism on his return from a Middle-Eastern visit during which he had met Saddam Hussein and reported the support given to him by the people of the Gaza Strip. He had been filmed greeting Saddam Hussein with the words,"Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability".

George Galloway does not believe that Fidel Castro is a dictator]

Blair makes it three in a row
Photo courtesy The Economist - Tony Blair [showing correct sleeve length]

For future reference, here is a copy of a comment I wrote the night after the election results:

My eyeballs are burning from watching election results until 3am – waking up at 7am and watching more til 1.30pm – inbetween all of that checking my newsfeed and tracking a bit of other news. Bit too bleary eyed right now to comment so please forgive if this sounds a bit disjointed.

Maybe I am feeling low because I am overtired but quite frankly I think I have had my fill over the past two years of media propaganda (especially the BBC) and people who are rude, aggressive and intimidating on TV, in the papers and on the net. I tracked on the net the last US elections from the start and must have read thousands of reports and vitriolic comments (mainly made it seems by anti Bush folks). On the whole, I found posts and comments authored by Bush supporters more considerate of people.

I’ve seen the same thing happening over here by the anti Blairs about Blair. Aggressive rudeness is drowning out the voices and politeness of others. The way many people talk about (and to) politicians and others discussing politics and issues is outrageous. If a person went up to strangers on the street and talked to them in the same way, they’d get a punch on the nose, or worse. What’s going on and where is it all going? Surely it will end up disengaging the majority. Even the Conservatives' leader Michael Howard calling Tony Blair a liar did not go unnoticed by many voters who were turned off by it.

Surely I must be one of many who found it deeply disturbing to hear George Galloway sound like Hitler shouting warnings (sounded threatening to me) to Tony Blair from a podium after he was elected. Mr Galloway was filmed on TV saying he was REAL Labour and, I believe, it is what he was telling people to sway them to vote for him. But from what I’ve seen and heard so far, there has been no outrage expressed. He’s been given a lot of TV and net coverage, but no criticism that I've seen. I've read somewhere today that Nazis are back in state government in Germany.

I wonder what these kind of people are all about and what are their motives, aims and objectives. From what I have gathered about core members of the Labour party over the past ten years, I have come to the conclusion that if, by the time the next election, Gordon Brown and not Jack Straw is Labour leader, I shall not be voting Labour again. I am disappointed that core members of old Labour have not moved with the times. The fact that many of them set out, and encouraged others, to weaken the Government undermines the party I voted for.

My support for Labour seems pointless and a wasted vote. I voted for Tony Blair but Labour only received 4,000 or so votes in my area. There seems no point spending time and effort to support Labour when my vote for new Labour is not welcomed by old Labour. I think I've said it here somewhere before, old Labour seem more in their element being in perpetual opposition. It seems to me the core of old Labour's membership is not enough to get elected as a government. Without Tony Blair, I do not believe Labour will win another term if the Tories bring in someone really good like Chris Patten.

The way Tony Blair has been treated by members of his own party and the media, and the foul manners and rudeness that abounds like a new sort of cruel sport such as badger baiting, cock and pitbull fighting, has put me off politics (especially U.S. ones) and voting for any of the three main parties here in Britain for good. Like I said, I am overtired right now but the way I feel at the moment, I am thinking of investing my time in green issues and voting Green at the next election.

10 Downing Street
Photo BBC: A woman polishes the brass on the door of 10 Downing Street as voters go to the polls May 5, 2005.
Photograph: Russell Boyce/Reuters

Further reading:

May 6, 2005 - Economist report: Despite continuing accusations that he lied to the British public over the Iraq war, and some gathering economic clouds, Tony Blair has won a third term of office, albeit with a much-reduced majority. But how will he handle the big challenges ahead? And how soon will he pass them on to his expected successor, Gordon Brown?
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UK's politically biased public broadcasting service

After everything that happened with the BBC last year, I'd hoped under new management it would stop its biased reporting. The BBC has been given many opportunities and a great deal of time to change. If an opportunity comes up to vote for the abolishment of the license fee, I have now firmly decided I'd vote for the BBC licence fee to be abolished. No matter what, the BBC continues to act as a political organisation instead of a neutral public broadcasting service. Like old Labour, it's policies and attitudes are just too entrenched to change and move with the times.

All that's changed at the BBC is their manipulaton and propaganda is more "subtle". I am copying here a a report at BBC News online yesterday, the morning after Labour's historic consecutive third term victory and the day of Tony Blair's birthday. The main headline was titled: "Blair: I've listened and learned - Tony Blair says he will "focus relentlessly" on people's priorities after securing a historic third term in office."

On looking for news and comments on the reactions of millions of people who voted for Labour, I found - a few lines below the top headline - a BBC slideshow titled "Still the boss - Your views on Blair's historic election win". I clicked into it and found nine photos, each of an individual person and an accompanying caption. Here is what the they said (the report has been taken down):

'Reasonable job'
Alan Williams, 39, a premises manager from Burnley, said: "I am pleased Labour are back in.
"I think Tony Blair has done a reasonable job. People have slated him about the war in Iraq but I think the Conservatives would have done the same.
"He is a bit more down to earth than the other party leaders and the economy is reasonably buoyant."

'Doubts about Blair'
Education worker Anne Scott, 58, from Tunbridge Wells, said: "The result was much what I expected.
"I couldn't see the Conservatives actually being able to win. I thought they might make progress, which they have.
"I have my doubts about Tony Blair - I don't like his style. He believes he has to be right."

'I don't care'
Andi Parsons, 33, a taxi driver from Tunbridge Wells, said: "I haven't really been following the election.
"I couldn't be bothered to vote because I don't care. I think the country is run badly whoever is in power.
"Tony Blair has made a lot of mistakes."

'Foregone conclusion'
Elizabeth McCallum, 80, retired, from Glasgow, said: "I voted Lib Dem and am pleased they did so well in Scotland.
"I feel they were trying to do more for Scottish people than Labour or the Conservatives.
"Blair knew the country was against him because of the war but Labour winning was a foregone conclusion."

'Brown in charge'
Ken Primrose, 58, a taxi driver from Glasgow, said: "I wasn't that happy with Blair but couldn't have voted for any other party, especially not the Tories.
"The biggest threat to Labour is Tony Blair - more people would have voted for them if Brown was in charge."

'I hate Labour'
Dorothy McDermott, 59, a retired coffee shop owner from Glasgow, said: "I voted Conservative as I hate Labour and Tony Blair.
"I more or less always vote for the Conservatives but they should have done better in Scotland. I don't mind the Lib Dems moving into second place in Scotland as long as someone is standing up to Labour."

'Care for elderly'
John Elston, 63, a retired NHS technical manager from Dinas Powys, said: "The main reason I voted Lib Dem was because I think care of the elderly should be free.
"I have a 93-year-old mother who had to sell her terraced house just to pay for nursing home fees.
"Labour spends billions on war but then can't pay for the care of elderly people."

'None of the above'
Sian Williams, 25, a barber from Cardiff, did not vote.
She said: "I know the suffragettes gave up so much for people like me and I feel quite disappointed in myself that I did not have any confidence in any of the parties.
"It should be like America where you can go in and vote for 'none of the above' but still have used your option to vote."

'Sick of Blair'
Ken Jenkins, 80, a retired bakery engineer, voted Plaid Cymru in the Vale of Glamorgan.
He said: "I'm not sick of Labour, I'm sick of Tony Blair.
"I'm an Arnhem veteran as well and Tony Blair should have had his son in Iraq in the army.
"Blair is a chancer - I voted Labour all my life but not any more."
Posted by: Ingrid at May 7, 2005 09:38 AM
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Yesterday, I found this comment in a thread at the Guardian's Election 2005 blog:

The new "fascism" comes from the left. Watch out for left wing fanatics who "know" what's the best for you. They are the ones who want to impose their view on everyone, they are the ones who do not tolerate different opinions. All, of course in the name of "tolerance" and "diversity".
What a joke. A dangerous joke.
Posted by Rick on May 6, 2005
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# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 5/07/2005
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