You would think that all of Britain opposed taking the country to Iraq, the way the media are piling on Blair. So I checked. In March 2003, the House of Commons voted to use "all means necessary" to disarm Saddam Hussein. The Commons also voted 396 to 217 against a bill that said the case for war "has not been established."
Labor backbenchers who support Blair buddy Gordon Brown, chancellor of the treasury and Labor's heir apparent, talk as if Brown could erase the stain of Iraq. When Brown talks of his support for Blair on Iraq, they don't hear him. They've convinced themselves that Brown says so out of loyalty. They're like the many American Dems convinced themselves that Kerry didn't really support the war effort, even if he did vote for the war resolution.
I'd love to hear Democrats who bemoan America's Electoral College defend Britain's electoral map. Labor won 35.2 percent of the vote on May 5, the Conservatives garnered 32.3 percent, while Liberal Democrats claimed 22 percent of the vote. As the Sunday Telegraph reported, if districts represented the overall vote, Labor would have won 227 seats, Tories would have won 209 seats and the Lib Dems would have won 142. Instead, that map so favors Labor, as it once favored Conservatives, that Labor won 356 seats, Conservatives won 197 seats and Liberal Democras won 62 seats. Representative, that isn't.
David Kennard, a San Franciscan with dual U.S./U.K. citizenship, was musing election night at the British Consulate in San Francisco about the solid results of the May 5 vote. He saluted "a great desire in England to give Tony Blair a smacking."
Amazing. Blair won a first-ever third consecutive term for Labor -- and half of Fleet Street dismisses it as a loss. Martin Kettle of The Guardian lamented Tuesday morning that calls for Blair to go make it seem "almost as though the election counted for nothing."
The new slogan here could be: Let every vote count -- against the winner.