May 7 (Bloomberg) — The Green Party won its first seat in the House of Commons as leader Caroline Lucas took Brighton Pavilion on England’s south coast from Gordon Brown’s Labour Party.
Lucas, a member of the European Parliament since 1999, won 31.3 percent of the vote, compared with 28.9 percent for Labour’s Nancy Platts and 23.7 percent for Charlotte Vere of the Conservatives. The Green Party, which came third at the 2005 election, overturned a 12-point Labour majority.
“Thank you so much for putting the politics of hope above the politics of fear,” Lucas said after the results were announced.
Britain’s first-past-the-post electoral prevented the Green Party from gaining any seats in previous domestic elections. The party won 1.1 percent of the national vote in 2005 and 8.7 percent in June’s European elections, which use proportional representation.
The party, which was founded as “People” in 1973 and became the Green Party in 1985 to link it to similar movements in Europe, advocated increased taxes for the rich, tighter financial regulation and protection of public services in its manifesto, which described it as “the party of hope and radical change.”
Liberals are a useless lot. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to write abject, cloying letters to Barack Obama—as if he reads them—asking the president to come back to his “true” self. This sterile moral posturing, which is not only useless but humiliating, has made America’s liberal class an object of public derision.
I am not disappointed in Obama. I don’t feel betrayed. I don’t wonder when he is going to be Obama. I did not vote for the man. I vote socialist, which in my case meant Ralph Nader, but could have meant Cynthia McKinney. How can an organization with the oxymoronic title Progressives for Obama even exist? Liberal groups like these make political satire obsolete. Obama was and is a brand. He is a product of the Chicago political machine. He has been skillfully packaged as the new face of the corporate state. I don’t dislike Obama—I would much rather listen to him than his smug and venal predecessor—though I expected nothing but a continuation of the corporate rape of the country. And that is what he has delivered.
“You have a tug of war with one side pulling,” Ralph Nader told me when we met Saturday afternoon. “The corporate interests pull on the Democratic Party the way they pull on the Republican Party. If you are a ‘least-worst’ voter you don’t want to disturb John Kerry on the war, so you call off the anti-war demonstrations in 2004. You don’t want to disturb Obama because McCain is worse. And every four years both parties get worse. There is no pull. That is the dilemma of The Nation and The Progressive and other similar publications. There is no breaking point. What is the breaking point? The criminal war of aggression in Iraq? The escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Forty-five thousand people dying a year because they can’t afford health insurance? The hollowing out of communities and sending the jobs to fascist and communist regimes overseas that know how to put the workers in their place? There is no breaking point. And when there is no breaking point you do not have a moral compass.” Continue reading →
ALBANY – Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.
Mr. Spitzer, who was huddled with his top aides inside his Fifth Avenue apartment early this afternoon, had hours earlier abruptly canceled his scheduled public events for the day. He had scheduled an announcement for 2:15 this afternoon after inquiries from the Times. But his appearance was delayed by at least 45 minutes.
Mr. Spitzer, a first-term Democrat who pledged to bring ethics reform and end the often seamy ways of Albany, is married with three children.
Just last week, federal prosecutors arrested four people in connection with an expensive prostitution operation. Administration officials would not say that this was the ring with which the governor had become involved.
But a person with knowledge of the governor’s role said that the person believes the governor is one of the men identified as clients in court papers.