...it's got bells on...

That's it. The Labour Party (of the U.K.) has officially jumped the shark. Here's Jacqui Smith (home secretary) attempting to spin the news that they've got their violent crime figures completely wrong for the last decade:

"She told the BBC: "What the statisticians are clear about is that the increases in the most serious forms of violence have actually in terms of numbers been more than counteracted by the decreases in less serious violence.""

In other words - yes, more people are being stabbed or shot to death, but fewer people are getting punched, and surely that's more important!

Bearing in mind that I'm a fairly left-wing type and I grew up under Thatcher, it's really coming to something when I'm genuinely feeling that a Conservative government would be better than a Labour one. But that's where we are, what with this kind of deplorable fatuousness, the apparent obsession with developing an all-seeing national surveillance system, and a complete lack of imagination on the environment. Roll on the general election.

It's an interesting contrast to where I live now (Canada), where we just had an election and returned a strengthened minority government for the Conservatives (same as the U.K. Conservatives, basically) under the deeply unpleasant Stephen Harper. Unfortunately, Canada is stuck with a genuine multi-party democracy using a first-past-the-post electoral system and a strong executive government - the result of which is that a bunch of intolerant thugs gets to run the country on the basis of the support of around 35% of the population. 65% votes left (or, y'know, Bloc) and we get a right-wing government. Anyhow. Harper is a lot more of a twat than Cameron, and the biggest opposition party (the Liberals) were led by a thoughtful, intelligent, dignified, respectful, honest and thoroughly nice chap (Stephane Dion) with a genuine practical plan for the future. Of course, they got creamed, because his first language happens to be French, and he wasn't willing to sling mud on Harper's level.

It's rather sad that, of the two supposedly centre-left parties mentioned here, the one that got elected for three terms was the one led by a grinning, demagogic charlatan and staffed by chronic liars and incompetents, and the one led by someone with the real qualities necessary to lead a country successfully was the one that got torpedoed.

Of course, I'll still be sending in a postal ballot for the Lib Dems. Doesn't make a blind bit of difference, my home constituency is solidly Tory. But it's the thought that counts!


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