Sunday, May 08, 2005

Democracy: if you can't beat it... try to beat it even harder 

Very annoyed that this "Economist" cover

failed to come to pass in three out of three cases, the mainstream media is in a frenzy, running the "Blair won, but he really lost" line. Well, guys and girls, you can take you consolation where you can find it this days. Personally, I'll take "he won, but he really lost" over "he lost, but he really won" any day.

Perhaps the most absurd example of this rush to de-elect Blair in the public imagination is the election analysis in "The Scotsman": "Lib Dems won in the battle over Iraq issue". Won what? 62 out of 646 seats in the British Parliament? Or won the media's vote, which as the reality-based reality shows, in the end just isn't as important as the people's vote?

Let's get some facts straight:

Parties which supported the liberation of Iraq received 67.5% of the vote; the party that did not, 22%.

Labour Party lost 47 seats. 33 seats were gained by that other pro-liberation party, the Conservatives. Political opportunism in opposition aside, you are kidding yourself if you think that Great Britain would not be in Iraq today under a Conservative Prime Minister.

The anti-liberation Liberal Democrats ("Democrats in Great Britain, not Iraq"), gained 11 seats and now has a total of 62. The swing towards the Lib Dems was around 3%. Yes, the continuing British presence in Iraq is unpopular in the UK, but when it came to a crunch there was hardly any shift where it really matters: the Parliament.

So guys and girls in the media - get over it. Bush, Howard and Blair are still in power, and Iraq is free and a democracy. To see how many familiar names got it wrong yet again, see Tony's other great name-sake, Tim.

Update: This is a few days old now, but check out the story of Iraq and the missing social democratic narrative at my favorite left-of-center pro-liberation Brit blog Harry's Place.


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