It must suck to be Tony Blair these days. The latest YouGov poll in the UK has revealed that 69 percent of respondents think Blair's Labour government is "very sleazy and disreputable". In fact, they're more sleazy than their predecessors under John Major.
The figures have revealed that the majority of people in Britain believe that recent scandals have devastated the Labour Government and left it appearing far sleazier than the Tory government it ousted from power nine years ago. The YouGov poll showed that 69 per cent of the public regarded Labour as "very sleazy and disreputable", compared with 63 per cent of voters who thought the same of the last government, which New Labour defeated in a landslide election victory in 1997.Not that we could expect Blair to take a hint. He would like to stay on, leading his sleazy bunch, for another year.
In the past nine months, David Blunkett has resigned from the Cabinet for the second time; Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, split from her husband over allegations about his business interests; John Prescott was stripped of his department after an affair with his secretary; and the police have questioned Lord Levy, the Prime Minister's chief fundraiser, and two ministers over party funding.Not to mention the selling of peerages.
The details of the police investigation, which will eventually show whether a criminal case can be brought against anyone, are almost irrelevant given what we already know. After nine years in office, during which Blair faced mounting protests about how money could buy influence with his government, he offered peerages to four men who had recently filled the coffers of his party.This is from the party and leader who promised to clean up the British government.
The public belief that Labour is now sleazier than the Tories is a humiliation for Mr Blair, who pledged after his election victory in 1997 that his government would be "whiter than white" and promised to clean up politics, end sleaze and reform party funding.No kidding! Well it's a good thing that's Britain and Canadian politicians don't make such pledges.
Oh. OK. It looks like we get the same thing Canada. And, of course, the sleaze runs just as deep here.