Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Ten Things I Hate About…

Some of Mr Blair’s most devoted and, indeed, deluded acolytes have started up a new site to keep the sacred flame alive. Somehow I can’t see the same transubstantiation of Blairism into a holy cult that happened when the Conservatives raised Thatcherism to Thatchianity to atone for the sin of slaying their god-empress, but those behind Keeping the Faith evidently differ with me on that (as on so many, many things). You’d think it was the quintessence of the self-parodying site, but I tip my hat to The Sandals Are Off for pointing out that it has indeed been parodied.

Keeping-the-Faith’s most striking feature for me was its list of Mr Blair’s Top Ten:
Tony Blair’s top 10 achievements since being elected in 1997:

1. Told us that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction
2. Told us his political beliefs were Labour, and then got into bed with the USA’s NeoCon administration
3. Invaded Iraq – despite international opposition, and without a UN mandate
4. Interfered with the BBC when they dared to run a story criticising his handling of the justification for the invasion
5. Refused to condemn Israeli bombardment of civilian areas of Lebanon
6. Passed his controversial Education Bill with Tory support, when his own MPs wouldn’t back him
7. Proposed compulsory ID cards for all British Citizens
8. Did we mention the invasion of Iraq?
9. Where are the WMDs Tony?
10. George W Bush is only allowed to serve two terms. Since Tony wants to be so like him, why is he still here?
I know that the ‘Ten Good Reasons to Vote Liberal Democrat’ at the last General Election were not regarded with unalloyed enthusiasm, though I quite liked them, but there’s an advantage to a list of ten when making an attack. It may not be easy to remember ten positive points, but ten both strikes people as a logical number and, presented with a list of ten ‘bad things’, gives the impression of an overwhelming number of faults. They may not all be easy to remember, but the effect of ‘There’s loads of it and it’s all terrible!’ remains, and is very difficult to counter.

That was the theory behind my attempt at a ‘viral marketing’ e-mail in 2001. I was a candidate at that General Election, and while I didn’t put this out on a leaflet, I did send it to lots of people; some of them even passed it on, though I don’t think it was really funny enough to be a ‘hit’. Though a lot of them are now historical curiosities, showing how the political landscape has shifted since the days of Labour spendthriftiness and before Iraq, perhaps some enterprising and wittier Lib Dem blogger might come up with something similar to circulate next time…
‘Watchdog’ asks: “Should you have voted Labour?”

We often have complaints from people who’ve bought a duff product from some cheap con-artist, wondering what they can do about it. Here’s our latest easy consumer quiz to check if YOU’VE been swindled.


A lot of people are claiming that their Labour Government is faulty, and want an exchange. Try this simple questionnaire to see if you’ve had a problem.

1. Should there be the highest secondary school classes for 20 years? – YES / NO
2. Should pensions go up by just 75p a week? – YES / NO
3. Should the Tube be privatised? – YES / NO
4. Should patients lie on trolleys in corridors instead of hospital beds? – YES / NO
5. Should police numbers go down and violent crime go up? – YES / NO
6. Should the government tax more and spend less than the Tories did? – YES /NO
7. Should poverty rise by half a million in four years? – YES / NO
8. Should the government impose student fees? – YES / NO
9. Should Tony Blair still be smiling like that all the time? – YES / NO
10. Did ‘things only get better’? – YES / NO

If you answered YES to most of the above, congratulations! You have the Labour Government you voted for. Please pay them again for more of the same.

If you answered NO to most of the above, your vote needs refunding. Tests have proven that, despite its flashy packaging, your Labour Government is cheap and made with all the same ingredients as your old Conservative Government. You should take it back and get a new government. Labour have short-changed you, when you wanted a real change. Try the Liberal Democrats next time – a slightly more expensive brand, but it does just what it says on the tin.

Coming in next week’s ‘Watchdog’ quiz:

Do you believe you can get something for nothing?
Do you think you can have big tax cuts and lots more spending at the same time?
Have you forgotten what happened when John Major promised all that?

If you answered YES, then congratulations! William Hague’s Conservatives and their magic money from the pixies are waiting for your vote!

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