No more Salmon Pink Tie. Please.
Most of you who read regularly know that I follow British politics as a hobby. I love to watch PMQ on C-SPAN, and Tony Blair is one of my political heroes, even though we sometimes take different positions.
This spring's general elections were to have been a referendum on the war and Tony Blair's leadership, with many predicting that the Tories (Britain's Conservative party) would take back nearly all of Labour's (Blair's party) majority.
Now it looks like the Tories have shot themsleves in the foot. Howard Flight, a Tory MP, and the party whip (2nd in command behind party leader Michael Howard), let slip to donors that the Tories may not be entirely truthful in their campaign spending/budget promises, and that things on their platform might change after the elections. Now Mr. Flight has been sacked, removed from his position as deputy chairman, and taken off the candidates list for the elections.
This couldn't have come at a worse time for the Tories. Leadership in the party has been questionable throughout Tony Blair's tenure as PM, culminating in the vote of no confidence in party leader Ian Duncan Smith, and his ouster in late October of 2003. Mr. Howard, considered more of a party hard-liner, has served as party leader and "shadow Prime Minister" since then.
Initially, Howard's leadership was thought to be a much needed boost for the party, since his style is more aggressive, and he appeared to have Labour on the ropes for several months. That has changed in recent months, largely due to Tory stands on EU issues and changes in public opinion after several large terror-related arrests in the UK coupled with the success of elections in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Troubles in the Tory party are a boon for President Bush's foreign policy. Although the Tories are generally considered to be the closer allies to the US Republican party (think Maggie Thatcher and President Reagan), Tony Blair's Labour government has been the US's best ally in the war on terror, both at home and abroad.
Michael Howard's leadership of his party is in serious jeopardy right now. Chances are good that if the Tories don't make up ground in the election, his time as chairman is over and done with. And as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing. I can't stand that salmon pink tie.