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More Labour Spam

The Labour Party are at is again, clearly not having learned from their last disastrous email attempt, which was widely criticised. And, unbelievably, they still aren’t publicising anything about their policies – just attacking the Conservatives, as usual…



I once got a computerised letter from the New Statesman that said ‘Dear John O’Farrell, subscribe now and get a free copy of Things Can Only Get Better by John O’Farrell’.

How fascinating. There’s a good reason for me to vote for you, if ever there was one.

I’m emailing you as a fellow supporter,

But I don’t support Labour!

don’t worry you don’t have to buy the book.

What a relief. Isn’t your sense of humour just spot-on?!

Anyway, as a Labour activist who has helped the party lose elections at every level, I have been asked to say why I’m going out leafleting for Labour for the general election and why I hope you’ll volunteer to do something too.

Well you certainly weren’t asked to do so by me, so why has this ended up clogging my inbox?

Everyone agrees the election, whenever that may come, is going to be the closest since 1992 and it is perfectly possible that the Tories could defy the polls to win power as they did in 1970.

Possibly the only sentence in this whole email I don’t have a problem with.

A major factor between now and polling day is how many Labour supporters we can mobilise. As Voltaire said; ‘All that is necessary for the Tories to triumph is that Labour Party supporters do nothing.’ (Okay, it’s a very loose translation.)

Oh, there you are with the humour again. Stop it, or I’ll giggle my socks off.

Like me, you may not agree with everything that has happened since 1997,

Too true.

but come election time we cannot risk throwing away all the fantastic achievements of the past eight years.

But can we afford not to throw away all of the terrible disasters and failures of the past eight years?

If we sit back and do nothing now, we’ll be turning our backs on all the millions who’ve had their lives radically improved by the minimum wage or Working Families Tax Credit not to mention the millions of people in the third world who’ve benefited from the massive increase in overseas aid.

Equally, if we support you, we’d turn our back on the millions of bereaved relatives in Iraq, not to mention the millions of people in this country who’ve suffered from increased council tax and top-up fees.

This isn’t emotional blackmail. Oh all right, it is emotional blackmail, but what the hell?

Well, Alan Milburn said you’d do anything to win the election. Clearly, blackmail isn’t beyond you. But what should be expect from a party with a culture of lying, sleaze, and revolving doors?

It is vital that we get our leaflets through millions of letter boxes over the next few weeks – otherwise those rabid Rottweilers waiting on the other side of the door will have nothing to rip to shreds.

Again with the humour! You’re killing me! My sides are splitting!

But if you think those dogs are scary, just imagine Michael Howard on the other side of that front door in Downing Street the morning after the election…

Good at name-calling, aren’t you? Michael Howard’s been Fagin, a Pig, and now a Dog. I’m quite impressed. Certainly valid political arguments, and clear policies of what you plan to do better.

John O’Farrell
Author and Broadcaster

Given up on Tony Blair apparently sending emails, then?


Oh grief, there’s more!

The Labour Party machine has dragged me in to harass you into campaigning.

Presumably because they don’t want anyone from the Party doing that, because we wouldn’t beleive what they were telling us.

So I’ll be emailing you from now until the election.

Oh joy.

If your friends and family would like to sign up, they just need to follow the link:

Believe me, they don’t.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Hain: Vote for the Lib Dems and you will risk a Tory victory

It amazes me that Peter Hain can write a comment piece in a broadsheet newspaper telling us not to vote for the nasty parties, who have all these terrible plans, and yet still fail to mention, even once, what Labour would do differently. There isn’t a single mention of Labour’s future policies in this article. There’s a fair bit of selective picking-and-choosing of the best bits of what Labour has acheived in the past, but not a hint of the future. And only one fleeting mention of their party leader – which is more than he gets on the Labour party homepage, where (once again) the only party leader pictured is Michael Howard.

The best bit is where Mr Hain decides that he’d like to tell me what I believe:

The truth is, even our most ardent Guardian critics agree with 95% of what Labour has done, in particular building the strongest economy in living memory and record public investment.

If Labour wins on a campaign of ‘Everyone else is mean, vote for us’ then it’s going to make the British public as foolish as were the Americans for voting for George Bush. Unless Labour step-up their game, they’re just going to look increasingly silly, and lose an election that six-months ago they had in the bag.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

TV On Trial

Yesterday’s edition of this – focusing on 1955 – was very enjoyable, and I highly recommned the whole season. Tonight, it’s 1965, and I still haven’t been born…

This post was filed under: Reviews.

Pope meets Hand of God?

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you must (though I think I’d prefer it if you didn’t), but the Pope’s right arm (ie the one to the left of my picture, which happens to show this particularly well) doesn’t look like it belongs to him. As the Pope delivered his Urbi et Orbi blessing, he waved ‘his’ arm about rather a lot, making the sign of the cross and what-not. But, whilst his left hand was clearly discoloured and partly clasped throughout, as one would expect, his right hand moved relatively confidently, was a perfectly normal hue, and at one point was laid completely flat on the glass lecturn. That would be a challenge for many people with mild arthritis, let alone someone in the Pope’s condition. When you also consider the relatively perculiar angle his right arm was at for the whole of the performance, it looks suspiciously like the arm was appearing from somewhere behind the Pope – at least. that’s how it looked to me.

I personally have no problem with stunt-arms, but it seems a little hypocritical for the Vatican to be using one, when they are supposed to stand for openness and honesty. But if it brought comfort to millions, then that seems a sacrifice worth making. That’s my thought, anyway.

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

The dirtiest tricks yet

Mr Flight’s speech was secretly taped and the recording passed to the Times. The move bore all the hallmarks of Labour’s attack squad, which has targeted Tory public meetings in successive election campaigns in an attempt to catch them out.

So keen is Mr Blair to hide from us his actual election manifesto, and so keen is he to avoid a proper debate on the value of a Labour government and the value of his time in office, that he’s now sent his cronies to infiltrate a Conservative private dinner. Not a public meeting, as they have done previously, but a private dinner. It would be nice to observe some of the private goings-on in Number Ten, I’d imagine, but then they won’t even share with us the legal advice on the Iraq War, produced by an Atorney General who ultimately works for us in order to protect our country from legal reprisals. That’s very public business, methinks, so if they won’t disclose that, I’m sure their private affairs will remain so. But how are we to trust a party that stoops to these levels?

I’m going to be one of the few people on this whole issue to stick up for Mr Howard’s course of action – he said he wanted a whiter-than-white government, and if anybody didn’t deliver on their promises they’d be sacked. Therefore, when someone announces that they’ve made public promises that they don’t intend to keep, he sacks them. It’s actually quite a refreshing change from Mr Blair’s government, where you really have to do some blatant lying and cheating to be sacked for six months, after which you’re rehired.

I’m desperately trying to like the Conservatives, because it seems that they are the best people to vote for in my constituency from a tactical standpoint. Whilst the Liberal Democrats would be the ideal party in terms of reflecting my beliefs, past experience shows that they’ve no chance of winning my seat. However, there’s only an 8% gap between Tory and Labour candidates in 2001, so there’s a good chance that we could become a true blue constituency. Anything to stop the slimy David Borrow from retaining his far-from-safe-seat.

Alan Milburn has done a lengthy interview in today’s Weekend magazine, which seems rather ill-advised. It doesn’t reflect well on him at all; it makes him look like he’ll do absolutely anything to win this election. He knows Labour’s record won’t do it, he knows Labour’s policies won’t do it, so he’s insisting on character assassinations instead. Which I personally think will backfire.

The Lib Dems have just proposed that prisoners should be given the vote, and Labour is planning a counter-blast, using a headline from the Evening Standard that labels the Lib Dems as criminally stupid… I find myself becoming angry with Milburn. What is so wrong about giving prisoners the vote? Why should this frighten the British public? Why do you think it is a vote-winner? Isn’t this just negative politics and fear-mongering?

Mr Milburn’s reply?

You’ve got to remember a political campaign is a contest… It’s a question of being realistic about what the nature of a campaign is. You’re trying to win something.

If that doesn’t suggest that Labour is willing to mislead people and slither its way back into Number Ten, then I’m not sure what else does. So for Labour to go on the attack over a now sacked Conservative MP who expressed a personal view that does not represent party policy, when they themselves have a disgraced MP presiding over the dirtiest, slimiest of campaigns, seems a little rich to me. And certainly not a vote-winner.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

I realise now I was wrong…

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

sjhoward is away

Over the next seven days, I’ll be away from my computer. I will not, therefore, be in a position to blog on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a series of guest columnists who could come close to matching the daily quality you’ve come to expect from sjhoward.co.uk (), and so I’m afraid that not a lot will be happening for the coming week.

I can’t see into the future, and so can’t predict the news stories that will be breaking on each day of the next week (though it would probably be fun to try…). If I could, then I would’ve become a millionaire and probably not written this blog, so you should be grateful that I can’t.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the week, and I’ll be resuming normal service on Saturday 26th. See you then.

This post was filed under: Site Updates.

Labour’s Latest Poster

Labour fail, once again, to tell us what they will do if re-elected.

With this kind of puerile negative campaigning, they don’t deserve to win the next election. It just shows them in their true nasty, cliquey, vindictive light. Not to mention how they like to stretch the truth, considering how the Tories aren’t the only party to be committed to cutting waste in the public services.

I certainly can’t trust and support a party that does this kind of thing, and I hope that you won’t either.

This post was filed under: Election 2005.

Hospitals deny patients facts on death rates

This (PDF) doesn’t seem such a good idea to me. Yes, it increases transparency, but such figures are never accurate, because risk factors for patients tend to be set differently by different doctors, and (dare I say it) on the particular outcome for a patient. I can’t see any particular good that will come from this information being in the public domain, but there’s a whole lot of bad that could happen, with surgeons being victimised by the tabloid press.

On a completely different level, it’s worrying to note that one of the people who teaches me has a particularly high death rate…

This post was filed under: News and Comment.

Serious but settled

Me, last Sunday:

I agree with Mr Blair on this. I’d perhaps go slightly further than him, because he’s left himself open to attack over women who aren’t in ‘very difficult circumstances’ but still obtain abortions, but he’s in a pretty solid position. For the first time in this not-quite-an-election-campaign, I can say: Well done, Mr Blair!

The Guardian leader, today:

It was Tony Blair who put it best in answer to Cosmopolitan. Nobody likes abortion, he said, but it is wrong to criminalise those who, in very difficult circumstances, make that choice.

They should give me a job right now, I think!

This post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

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