Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Why Five More Years of Labour Scare Me

with 18 comments

That Glad Confident Morning of May 1997

It is election time in Great Britain again. I may still have a little bit of soft spot for Tony, but five more years of Labour genuinely scares me. I foresee one leadership challenge after another if Gordon Brown wins, and neither Lord Mandelson nor the Millibands are cut for the leadership position. On the other hand, voting Lib-Dem will just lead to a hung parliament, which will just delay the government, bog down the Civil Service and send Britain back to the 70s.

That’s why I urge those in Britain (those who are eligible anyway) to vote Conservative. I don’t necessarily support all of their policies (with new Labour, all candidates seem Mr. Potato Head anyway) but at this point, it is the lesser of two evils. I think this opinion in The Independent pretty much summed the mood:

“We’re a sorry, bruised, dazed, bankrupt, querulous, knackered army, tired of seeing our soldiers come home in coffins, contemptuous of politicians, hostile to foreigners, disgusted with bankers, frustrated by the stagnant economy and uninspired by the choice before us, between the airbrushed Etonian opportunist and the moth-eaten grizzly bear of Fife, goaded beyond endurance by a million enemies but somehow hanging onto power. It’s a long way, psychically as well as temporally, from the glad, confident morning of May 1997 to the glum, dark evening of the soul that is pre-election Britannia in March 2010.”

Important: I know this blog is not supposed to be about politics, but since some people do read this blog and this election is close; since the basic idea behind blogs and tweets is to inform and persuade people anyway and since a lot of other blogs are doing it anyway, I decided to post some information about the British election here. I will probably continue to do so, but if you are bothered by the blog’s this political turn, just comment down below. I will try to be as impartial as possible in my posts regardless of my party political affiliations whatever they maybe. But for now:

Vote Conservative. They don’t have all the best ideas all the time, but it is still better than having no ideas like dearest Gordon.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

April 11, 2010 at 4:00 am

18 Responses

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  1. If Tony was the best England had to offer, I think you got some serious problem in hand. I am not very familiar with England’s domestic politics so I can’t say much about it. But Tony Blair, the same guy who blatantly lied to english public about Iraq WMD and continues to insist that war was the right course of action even if there was not WMD and continues to support Bush and his administration.

    I have no respect for this person and I really hope this is not the best england has to offer.


    April 11, 2010 at 5:01 am

  2. ” . . . but five more years of Labour genuinely scares me.”

    I’m not a supporter of the Labour Party but this is the most ridiculous hyperbole.

    It’s something akin to a screech from Fox News in the States. The sort of rubbish Glenn Beck spews out every day.

    So, the sum total of your argument in 2010 is vote Conservative ‘cos they’re not the Labour Party? Your accompanying picture is particularly apt ‘cos the sum total of the political debate back in ’97 was vote Labour ‘cos they’re not the Conservative Party.

    I remember it well because I canvassed for Labour in ’97.

    And, no doubt, two or three elections from now, it will be ‘vote x ‘cos they’re not y’.

    I continue to love your blog, btw, but this post is just plain daft.😉


    April 11, 2010 at 6:24 am

  3. “It is Margaret Thatcher’s fault, … Inspired by busy little demons, she slashed and burnt her way through the old order. Sentiment was given short shrift, as short as the trade unions: nothing including old-fashioned industry was to obstruct economic progress. Making things was slow. There were quicker ways to get rich…”
    Stephen Bayley.

    The riches were transient. Ideologically driven deregulation of the country allowed estate-agents, bankers and wanna-be ‘Del Boys’ to squirrel away the riches of centuries into hedge-finds and trusts with all the fiscal security of a betting slip from Ladbrokes, and in thirty one short years they pissed it all away. Honourable Conservatives like Oakeshott were dismayed when the neo-liberal Conservatives committed themselves to a doctrine that basically said “all planning is wrong”. When questioned by her own party as to why she believed this a sensible option MT waved von Hayek’s lightweight rubbish in the air exclaiming “This is what we believe in”.
    It took centuries to make Britain great, in her eleven years, the traditonal securities of generations were avariciously wiped away. I’m not apologising for Blair and co, because they really followed a similar agenda, but I think that heading back to the Torys for a stronger dose of the ‘medicine’ that put you in the hospital in the first place is akin to turkeys voting for Christmas.

    Sean Og

    April 11, 2010 at 6:45 am

  4. 2010 is very different from the 1970s. A vote for the Lib Dems is a positive vote for policies that will help get Britain back on track.

    The Lib Dems have several good ideas on the economy, taxation and political reform.

    I love your blog – but this post is terrible.


    April 11, 2010 at 7:37 am

  5. Please keep to iconic photos.

    If you please, open another blog and link to it but actually mixing both really isn’t a good idea. For the (many) who don’t care, such posts lower the Signal vs Noise ratio of your blog. You should be concerned, it’s probably your most valuable asset..


    April 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm

  6. Keep posting. I’m interested in your opinions.


    April 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

  7. As a Canadian, I’ll point out that minority governments can be functional, if awkward — and sometimes more responsive than majorities. I would not recommend that Britons hold their noses and vote Conservative if their only reason is to avoid a minority Parliament.

    Derek K. Miller

    April 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  8. Even if my country is on the other side of Europe, I enjoy reading tidbits about the more imediate life of brittons. Still, as a complete outsider and a complete stranger to the mentioned parties, it seems a bit unfair to read such a strongly biased opinion. The only interest I’d have in this is to see England retiring from the ridiculous wars that it’s been dragged to by USA.
    Good luck, choose wisely and think for all of your dearest, and even for strangers; that’s because England’s well being has a strong influence on the entire EU.


    April 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm

  9. The next five years scare me full stop.

    All three parties are playing on public ignorance of the scale of the fiscal disaster facing us, and particularly the confusion between debt and deficit. I sometimes wonder if they know the difference themselves.

    Brown intends to double the national debt (which is what “halving the deficit in five years” actually means), and Cameron wants to cut the rate by which it’s increasing by a further 7%, as if that’s going to help any. (Of course, the other parties still throw themselves into pantomime horror over these “savage cuts”. LibDems pray for a hung parliament so they can reign in this rash pusillanimity.)

    By the end of the next parliament, the interest on the debt will cost each of us around £1000 a year. That’s £1000 you will have to pay (or will never have) for no tangible gain whatever, and none of the parties intends to to anything serious about it.

    It’s going to be ugly, regardless of the result. Vote for whoever you like. It won’t matter.

    Sam Duncan

    April 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm

  10. #1, I agree with Derek up above here. As another Canadian, I say that a minority government really hasn’t turned out that badly. I say, vote with your conscience, not with who is going to win a majority.

    As for the other people complaining about the signal/noise ratio, don’t sweat it. One informational post compared to SO many others you’ve posted isn’t a big deal. Just keep doing what you’re doing, I for one apppreciate it all.

    Rob Rascally

    April 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

  11. What Rob and Derek said…I’d rather have a minority government that can’t do too much damage rather than the band of “none of the above” so-called party leaders trying to run the show in Canada at the moment.

    Love the site, political commentary and all.


    April 11, 2010 at 7:49 pm

  12. You either weren’t around, the last time the Tories held power, or you have a short memory.

    Margaret Thatcher ripped the heart out of everything which had kept governments in line for decades. It’s true that some union leaders were simply on ego trips similar to those in government, but at least it meant that Parliament was always wary of the type of undemocratic, unequal and unnecessary method of governance which has now been our lot for the past 31 years.

    Your opening sentence that you have “a bit of a soft spot for Tony” shows you for what you are. Blair was no less Tory than Thatcher, he simply backed the horse he felt would offer him the most success.

    However bad this current Government might be, anybody who votes Tory deserves what they get in the next 5 years. The sad thing is that those of us who don’t deserve it will also suffer.

    Red Wedge

    April 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

  13. Just a point from an American POV.

    A HELL of a lot of people felt the same way about the Democrats, and Gore v Bush in 2000.

    Bush ran on a policy of middle of the road economics and a brand of ‘Compassionate Conservatism’…LOTS of people got taken in.

    What we GOT was a swaggering cowboy proud of his ignorance and contemptuous of everyone, who brought in as crooked a gang of kleptocrats, theocrats and warmongers as have ever been seen in the White House, and the results were a major US city left to drown, an economy in ruins, and two wars neither justifed, or paid for.

    Be careful of what you wish for….


    April 12, 2010 at 11:36 pm

  14. I enjoy the photos and your commentary concerning the history which surrounds each of them. Any “opinion” which may differ from your own is just that. If someone should disagree with what you believe, let them start their own blog and refute it there.(I think)

    Keep up the effort, and fight the fight you believe in. I may not support everything you believe in, but I support your right to believe it and speak it.

    Also, please don’t think all Americans think as some I see commenting above. WE DON’T.


    April 13, 2010 at 4:15 am

  15. i’m with Guillaume – i love this blog and have been following since you started, but if this post and the recent Thatcher one bode of things to come, you’ll be off the feed.

    I think it is reasonable to point out that many of us who read this blog aren’t Britons. You have a fantastic mechanism to reach across culture and political divide with the incredible images and the insightful commentary you provide. Please don’t turn this blog into (yet another) parochial, politicised web site.

    That said – do what you will, it’s your blog. But I’ll miss you, I really will!


    April 13, 2010 at 10:49 am

  16. I’m with Guillaume and Jael. I love the blog and have been reading it every day, but a focus on the election will definitely switch me off. Photography is universal, the 2010 British General Election is not.

    My favourite part of your blog is learning about things that I never knew before – I often spend ages on wikipedia reading about obscure historical moments because my interest has been piqued by the commentary on the photos you post.

    I just can’t see the same level of interest if you focus on the election. As someone has already suggested, perhaps you should set up a separate election blog.

    But keep up the good work, I check in every day.


    April 13, 2010 at 1:39 pm

  17. I’m enjoying your blog immeasurably. It’s no surprise to me you’re immediately inundated with counter opinion when you dare post your political views. We’ve been subjected to that bitterness for eight straight years. They do make a point of never missing an opportunity, and creating opportunities when they fail to present themselves. One day, they’ll express an original thought and their heads will fall off.

    I’m very interested in reading your opinion. It’s refreshing.


    April 22, 2010 at 5:57 am

  18. Don’t cha just love that. There’s a “They”, a “they’ll”, the standard pejorative about “bittterness” and an accusation of unoriginal thinking; but for the life of me I can’t actually find an argument, or a policy or any evidence of creativeness.
    The mote in your brother’s eye…
    Looks very like Britain will come up with an unorthodox solution to it’s political miasma. As a native Irishman, it’s the one thing I do love and admire about Britons, they’re resilient and practical. Britions have absorbed more change and punishment in the twentieth century than we ever could’ve, and still remain essentially themselves and nobody’s fool. More power to them.

    Sean Og

    April 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

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