Nick Clegg has launched a major attack on New Labour’s appalling record on civil liberties. This is the first interesting thing anyone in the three main parties has said during this achingly dull campaign.
He points out that the notion of liberty does not feature once in New Labour’s entire manifesto. Hardly surprising, given their record, but a telling point nonetheless.
Adam Boulton of Sky News took me aback at New Labour’s manifesto launch by asking a brilliant question, pointing out that Birmingham’s new Private Finance Intiative funded hosptial would cost the taxpayer over £2.5 billion in finance charges to be paid to fatcat bankers over decades. Brown did not answer the question.
Whitehall Gardens remains a general election free zone, with no leaflets delivered and nobody knocking at the door. On Monday i delivered some leaflets in Ealing Common ward for the Lib Dems. I can’t tell you what a good feeling it was to be campaigning for someone who wasn’t me – if only for the chance the candidate might know what they are talking about.
I got into conversation just four times, and by a remarkable chance three of those conversations were in Polish and one in Russian – at least I was speaking bad Russian and I think she was speaking Ukrainian.
Well, for sure none of them was going to vote New Labour. A Polish lady was a Lib Dem, I don’t think the others had heard of us. One Polish man was not going to vote Conservative because he had seen David Cameron talking about gay rights. He looked disbelieving when I explained we didn’t have outright homophobic parties.
Which reminds me that five years ago, I wrote that one day the BNP would wake up to the fact that Eastern European immigration would bring in a lot of white people who are on average much more racist (and homphobic) than the average Brit. I now wonder whether David Cameron’s strange decision to ally in the European Parliament with a group of very far right populist Eastern European parties, had an eye to the unprecedented number of Eastern European origin immigrants who can vote in the UK?
Anyway, a few of them are going to vote Lib Dem now on the mistaken basis that Lib Dems appear able to speak Slavic languages. If we can take Ealing and Acton (not impossible) by two votes, I shall be very proud.