How I love it when I dial 1571 and the bimbo at the other end says "WELCOME to BT Answer. You've NO messages." Thank goodness for that, I say.
The Independent on Sunday reports today that Alice Mahon, Labour MP for Halifax for 18 years until 2005, has left the party. She says Labour has broken many of its election manifesto commitments, and adds:
It is not a party I recognise. I have lost faith with it ..... I am very, very sad: the Labour Party has been my life. I have reached the conclusion that there is not any avenue left in the structure of the Labour Party for people like me. Any threat from anybody marginally from the left and... the party machine comes down on them like a ton of bricks.This comes top of a little-noticed piece on the Guardian website (though for some odd reason not printed in the paper) by Bryan Gould (remember him?) titled I disown this government, in which he refers to "shameful episodes at home and abroad which cumulatively are a complete denial of what a Labour government (or any British government) should have been about".
How time flies! One will soon have to start thinking about how to vote in the European elections.
I am not contemplating voting Labour. In fact, as things stand at the moment, I find it difficult to imagine ever voting Labour again in any election. What a gang of sleazy, incompetent, immoral, self-serving ratbags New Labour have turned out to be. It seems the only minister doing any good at all at present is an unelected one, the railway minister Lord Adonis.
So for the European Parliament it is either the Lib Dems or the Greens. Here in London there are MEPs of both parties and both seem quite good on the issues (mainly transport) that I have contacted them about, e.g. opposition to airport expansion. And it's nice to have an election in which, for once, a Green Party vote is not a wasted vote, because of the party list system used in the European elections.
On the other hand, the Greens sometimes seem a bit Eurosceptic. I wish I could get a bit more of a handle on what they would be positively in favour of, because I might agree with it, but their website is quite vague on the issue. But there is no doubt that the overall Green group in the EP has done some very good and useful things.
The Lib Dems are excellent on Europe and relatively clear, I think, about how they would like to improve the present increasingly dysfunctional structure (not that there there is any prospect of a wider consensus on that issue). On the other hand, the wider Liberal group in the Parliament is not an outfit that one particularly wants to boost. Some of its other member parties, like the Belgian PRL, are a long way over to the right.
So at the moment I think I am leaning towards the Greens. But we shall see.