Woken up with a Tory MP

Well, this morning I woke up with a Tory MP. It feels worse because I've actually met the smarmy bastid and voted Labour despite Bliar.

Worse still, Saddam-loving George "permatan" Galloway succeeded in his thinly veiled anti-semitic campaign in Bethnal Green. While I have no sympathy for pro-war Oona King, the alternative is worse even than the Tories.

Vote early, vote often

So it's the big day. I trundled down to the Indian Cultural Centre around the corner to do my civic duty this morning. Xed the appropriate (Melanie Smallman, Labour) box and headed out. Dead easy, can't imagine why 49% of the population can't be bothered.

On the way out, however, there were two guys sitting in the lobby with no identification asking for my polling card. On being challenged, they said it was to help with "party canvassing" and to ensure they didn't hassle me later in the day. WTF? Of course, I told them to get fucked. Dodgy.

Voting Labour

Last night I went to Hammersmith and Fulham FOE's pre-election meet-the-candidates thingy to try and make up my mind about who to vote for.

The Lib Dem was, as expected, a dorky looking type without much presence nor firm policy. The Tory, again as expected, was smarmy, charming and completely full of shit. The Labour candidate was surprising. Far from being parachuted in by Neo Labour Head Office (our sitting Labour member is standing down this election) she's actually a passionate local campaigner.

I didn't stick around for the Green candidate. She's apparently a "lifestyle coach", whatever that means. I think you'd be hard pressed to find me a candidate's profession I'd be less likely to vote for.

So it looks like, despite being from a party that is a lying sack of shit, I think she's the right one to go for. In this appalling first-past-the-post voting system, in a tight electorate with the Tories only 2,000 votes behind, I think the fact that the candidate's heart is in the right place counts for a lot.

You may wonder why I'm not voting Lib Dem. Well, I'm not convinced they're not just the socially liberal part of the Tory party. They certainly seem to believe a lot in laissez-faire free market economics.

So, it seems, I'll be voting for Melanie Smallman. I will, however, be making sure she knows I'm not voting for Iraq or for Tony Bliar.

Let Habib tell his story

The Australia government is attempting to stop illegally imprisoned Australian Mamdouh Habib from selling his story to the press when he is returned from Guantanamo Bay. They're apparently trying to use laws that stop people from profiting from crimes.

Now, of course, I'm not going to argue about said laws (though you have to wonder whether giving criminals a clean revenue stream might perhaps help them stick to the straigh-and-narrow, cf Chopper) but it's outrageous that they're attempting to stick it on these. How can you apply "proceeds of crime" laws to someone who has not even been charged with any crimes, despite the incredibly draconian anti-terror laws in both the US and Australia?

Go for it Habib. At the very least, you might get some recompense for the last few stolen years. You don't stand much chance of getting justice from the US Government, that's for sure.

Chilling effect...

I've been thinking about the election result this morning. It's very depressing, but has to be done.

If Howard's agenda with control of the whole parliament is as radical as I would expect, things could be good for the next election. Any backlash will only help The Greens, and should see Labor back in. That said, these guys are nothing if not slick manipulators of the zeitgeist, so anything could happen.

The thing that really bothers me is the effect this will have on Labor. Latham had to really push to get his excellent forests package through, particularly against the CFMEU. This huge loss for them is only going to strengthen their hand. I just hope it doesn't see Labor ditching the environment as an issue, arguing it's just a vote loser.

And I find myself strangely hoping that the Liberals win that last seat in Victoria. If Family First win it, we might see the Libs bending over for a bunch of lunatic Xtians. Argh! What a choice!

Are Australians this fucking stupid?

It's crunch time. The election is on tomorrow and I'll know by London lunchtime whether Australians have goldfish memory.

The result also has a very big bearing on whether I head home to Australia in the next few years. I really don't think I could bear to live in the narrowminded Australia that reelected an unpopular Howard due to the Tampa lies. I think it would be even worse to see him reelected again now that the lie is seen for what it is even by the dimwits who originally believed it.

So get out there and vote for someone who isn't Howard!