August 23, 2006

It's All About Iraq, Tony

Tony Blair has done what few people thought possible: he has raised the opposition UK Conservatives from the dead and transformed them into clear favourites at the next elections. This is really damning stuff... Tories open nine-point lead as Labour drops to 19-year low:
72%, including 65% of Labour voters, think government policy has made Britain more of a target for terrorists. Only 1% of voters believe the government's foreign policy has made Britain safer, a devastating finding given that action in Iraq and Afghanistan has been justified in part to defeat Islamist terrorism...

The findings will shock many at Westminster who had expected Labour to gain ground following John Reid's high-profile handling of the alleged plot against transatlantic airlines. Carried out over the past weekend, following the series of terror arrests, the poll shows voters do not believe the government is giving an honest account of the threat facing Britain. Only 20% of all voters, and 26% of Labour voters, say they think the government is telling the truth about the threat, while 21% of voters think the government has actively exaggerated the danger.

A majority, 51%, say the government is not giving the full truth and may be telling less than it knows.
The Liberal Democrats also climbed 5 points after their leader publicly criticized Blair's close allegiance to Bush.
The voting figures, if repeated at a general election, would send Mr Cameron to Downing Street with a majority of around 10 - although that could climb if Liberal Democrat discontent with the government costs Labour tactical votes in marginal seats.
While Bush currently holds a 57% disapproval rate, the UK polls indicate that most Brits are more well-informed and sceptical than their US counterparts. A pity we have almost zero debate on these important issues here in Australia.

UPDATE: UK may cut Iraq force in half by mid-2007:
"We anticipate there is not going to be a political appetite to saying 'alright, we're done' while there is still unfinished business in the center of the country," the commander said.


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