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Of the two anti-Blair polls

IN a few weeks’ time Zimbabweans go to the polls to vote in what has been dubbed an anti-Blair election. Regardless of who wins this election, on April 1 Tony Blair will still be the prime minister of Britain.

In two months’ time the British go to vote in what looks, sounds and feels like an anti-Blair election.

The prime minister has been accused of lying, deception and failing to deliver on his promises. This time around, after May 5, Blair may not be the prime minister.

The anti-Blair election in Zimbabwe is a bit of a farce but the financial and political health of this failed state would certainly guarantee Blair’s defeat if the situation prevailing in Zimbabwe was prevailing in Britain, take away the state -sanctioned violence.

With unemployment levels at their highest in decades, the nation once touted as the second-best industrialised base in Africa has been destroyed by a tragic HIV/Aids pandemic, a worthless currency and a dictatorship.

It is not hard to see why the Mugabe regime does not want to accept responsibility for this. The mess is just too much!

The United Kingdom, on the other hand, is enjoying the lowest level of interest rates in 50 years — unemployment levels are at their lowest since the end of the Second World War, the public infrastructure and facilities that were ruined by the Conservatives have been rehabilitated.

The anti-Blairites have found some faults though with this government. The opposition says the screening of migrants for tuberculosis and HIV has been weak, that council taxes are too high and that government bureaucracy is too bloated.

Most people agree with this basic thinking but are also realistic that the Tories’ policies will not be implemented until 2010 when the Conservatives can next hope to win an election. So the situation in this anti-Blair election is not looking very good.

Across the divide, the man credited with bringing the razzmatazz to the anti-Blair campaign in Zimbabwe has dismissed himself from government.

He had over a period of five years inspired some of the most diabolic arguments, pay-off lines, slogans and songs that were used to champion the anti-Blair campaign.

The danger is that some of this could be turned against him. The anti-Blair election is not looking good either for this anti-Blairite.

Cognisant of the nature of politics, Blair has re-called his former spin-doctor to make sure nothing goes wrong.

This is the man who once said that he was going to make sure that one reporter got severely punished for his tenacious pursuit of the 45-minute insertion on the report of the weapons of mass destruction that were never found.

One gets a sinking feeling that with the anti-Blair election coming a few days before the 25th celebrations of Zimbabwe’s Independence, Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede may have an idea which party should be in charge of the proceedings on the day.

Bekithemba Mhlanga,


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