Friday, February 10, 2006

Egg on his large face

So the Lib Dems have overcome a majoriy of 11,500 to take Dunfermline, rather embarassingly given Gordon Brown's involvement in the campaign. Alistair Darling is valiantly taking the bullet for the result, whilst showing New Labour's characterstic contempt for the electorate:

Tacitly admitting the campaign had been hobbled by the row over bridge tolls -
in fact a matter devolved to the Scottish parliament rather than Westminster
- Mr Darling conceded: "If [people] are concerned about this they vote
against you - whether you're directly responsible for it or not."

Oh do they Alistair? According to The (non-fluffy) Economist those fools at the ballot box were given a fairly good impression that Westminster was involved with Gordon pre-emptively announcing the abandonment of peak-time tolls before proper consultation and trying to claim credit for the opening of a £28m business school in Dunfermline which 1) had nothing to do with him and b) may have threatened the very project itself as hitherto undecided investors have been scared off.

The Economist's comments, written before the election, make painful reading for any Labour sympathiser:

It's surely not that Labour might lose. More likely, it's the fear that a
poor showing on his own patch would give rise to doubts about his ability to
pull in the vote—doubts that Mr Brown, in touching distance of realising his
ambition to become prime minister, could do without.


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