New Labour must die

Brief rant, whilst I wait for Windows to transfer my settings to a deeply shiny new machine. Much of this is culled directly from a somewhat intemperate email I sent a political friend of mine the other day.

I’ve got to the point now, where I think Labour are doing / have done more harm than good. I actively want Blair out and, if the only way to do it is to vote Cameron in, then that’ll have to do. I am so completely disillusioned with the New Labour project that I now believe it’s a complete failure and our foreign policy makes me actively ashamed to be British.

The few of his measures that were economic-left are failing to have the desired effects — the gap between rich and poor has widened — and his knee-jerk authoritarianism is massively counterproductive, especially in the fight against terrorism, which is nowhere near as important as Blair seems to think it is. Our foreign policy is wholly morally bankrupt and so many things that government ministers have done seem to smack of self-interest and corruption, and Blair’s pathetic attempts to cling onto power for as long as possible, with his friends trying to keep Gordon out.

This government is perceived as more sleazy and corrupt than John Major‘s was. New Labour has betrayed all our hopes from 1997 and, more to the point, has possibly made a(nother?) modernising, left-wing government impossible for up to a generation. The Third Way has failed completely and Blair’s name should be blackened in the books of history. He is the most abject failure of a Prime Minister we’ve seen in decades, if not centuries, and he has turned the UK into a willing puppet state of the US, whose policies are the most malign influence on world politics since World War 2.

Words cannot express how pissed off I am with this government. They need to be out of power now; Britain cannot afford the damage they’re continuing to do in the interim.

A few other points:

  • As I mentioned to another friend by text earlier, this terror warning scheme is a crock of shit. It serves no purpose in combatting terror and only serves to make people more fearful. It’s a sign of how traitorous our government is that I no longer even think it cynical to believe that making us scared, to make us easier to control is all of the point. And I feel somewhat comforted to be reminded that Bruce Schneier thinks so too.
  • Yet another opportunity for people to tell Tony we told him so. Britain’s outgoing ambassador to Iraq says civil war is more likely than democracy. No shit. Didn’t the entire anti-war movement say that several years ago? Is Blair really so stupid to think that maintaining the craven closeness to an imbecilic US administration — and destroying yet another Muslim state in the process — is in the national interest?
  • There’s an emergency Stop the War demo in London on Saturday, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Near East. Because our Prime Minister is too fucking stupid to do it himself. And, whether you can make it or not, you should sign the petition calling on Blair to do the right thing. Frankly, I’d rather he commit hara-kiri, but developing a spine and a conscience would do, I suppose.

Well, that’ll do for ranting for the moment…

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More explosions in London

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk/4703777.stm

Tube cleared after minor blasts

Dummy explosions using detonators only have sparked the evacuation of three Tube stations and the closure of three lines, a BBC correspondent has said.

Police cordoned off large areas around Warren Street, Oval and Shepherd’s Bush Tube stations.

Emergency services also attended an incident on a route 26 bus in Hackney Road in Bethnal Green.

Police in London say they are not treating the incidents on the underground as “a major incident yet”.

The whole of the Northern Line has been suspended, along with the Victoria Line and the Hammersmith and City.

An eyewitness at Oval station said there had been a small bang, and a man had then run off when the Tube reached the station.

Sosiane Mohellavi, 35, was travelling from Oxford Circus to Walthamstow when she was evacuated from a train at Warren Street.

“I was in the carriage and we smelt smoke – it was like something was burning. “Everyone was panicked and people were screaming. We had to pull the alarm. I am still shaking.”

But a BBC reporter outside Warren Street station said there was no sign of smoke outside.

[ends]

I’m fine, and have called both parents and worked out a route home from work that only involves the overground network. So back to work I go ;o)

Now the dust is settling…

Really impressed with the emergency services’ handling of everything today; seems like everything went really smoothly, all things considered. Less impressed by transport networks’ lack of information. Half an hour after Liverpool Street had stopped accepting trains (and 45 minutes after Stratford station closed), Ilford station was still just listing things as being “severely disrupted due to major incidents at Liverpool Street and Stratford”, which was rather more euphemistic than necessary, I think.

Some great photos around; the Standard has a good set today, and there are some great photos on Flickr (on which I have finally registered). It was quite interesting seeing the difference between Blair‘s first press statement (and the earlier picture in the Standard, when he first heard), where he looks visibly very shaken, and Charles Clarke‘s press statement, where he looked shaken but very much in control.

And I think we’ve been very lucky, relatively speaking: tens of dead is much fewer than Madrid suffered.

Working from home tomorrow (and, hopefully, acheiving rather more than I did today), to avoid the chaos that will be tomorrow’s tube network but, as I explained to mam on the phone, I can’t allow this to change my behavior or the terrorists have won; I’ll be in the office on Monday.

For anyone who needs to know, TfL have said that tomorrow the tube will be trying to run a normal service, with the following exceptions:

Update at 0047: Just read a fantastic open letter, from London to the terrorists, linked on ‘s LJ from the London News Review. Worth reading.

First joke…

I’ve seen the first joke about today. And it’s actually quite a good one:

Newsflash

There has been a widespread outbreak of grumbling and tutting today in London, along with a large number of people going home instead of to work, with a certain amount of guilty pleasure.

Sorry, bad guys. We’ve been bombed before, and we just adjust our day to account for it. This is London calling.

(It’s actually the second joke, as James Coates asked me earlier “Has anyone seen Chirac?”, but it’s the first real joke, I guess.)

London terrorist attacks

In case anyone was worrying, I’m safely at home. Both my flatmates ( and ) are fine too, as are Adam McG, Ade Bradley, Alaric and Sarah Snell-Pym, Alex Teleute, Alex Wilcock and Richard Flowers, Alon Or-bach, Andy O, Andy R (of NO2ID), Baz R, Ben Donnachie, Ben N (), Ben P, Casp (), Cassandra (of NO2ID), Dan Karran, Danny Fresco (Papparazzo Danny), Daz from Retro, Dave Walker (of NO2ID), DTT, Des Fox (my ex), Émile S, Gaz, Gwilym, Harjinder, Ian Brown, Ian U, Iain Hughes, James Cronin (who was evacuated from his flat, as he lives really near the Tavistock Square bus bomb; his photos are on Flickr), Jimmy, Jon Ribbens, Jules Zzzp from Retro, Khash, Lee Binding, Lloyd, Marcus (), Mark Littlewood (of NO2ID), Martin Smith, Matthew Malthouse, Kinky Neil, both Ollie Cs (Cook and Cornes), Rich Bakewell, Richard Brown, Richard H, Richard Scowen () and his bf Ian, RobG (), Sal (), Scott, Simon MacMullen, Stef Magdalinski, Stephen Mutton, Taz G, Tom W (), Tony C, Warren, Winjer, and Yoz and Bobigail, amongst others.

Not heard from my cousin yet, which is a little worrying, but I’m sure it’s nothing. My cousin is fine too, thankfully. I’ll keep updating this list as people are confirmed to me as being ok.

And, in the way that really trivial things come to the top of one’s mind during disasters, the thing that’s bothering me most is that my new mobile phone (a Nokia 6680 on Orange) is being delivered today or tomorrow and I’m not gonna be able to get it until Monday at the earliest.

At least it seems that pretty much everyone I know is ok. I just hope we don’t get a big knee-jerk political reaction. But my thoughts are with those who have been injured or killed and their friends and families.

First update: 2005-07-07 T 1239 BST; Last update: 2005-07-08 T 0147 BST.