I imagine that cannabis, via this entry, isn't a priority for the Labour party at the moment, though no doubt that Tony Blair would like a joint to take his mind off the singularly most threatening knock to his career yet.
Labour took a pounding in local elections, with the party losing 460 seats nationwide, and now Blair has to convince edgy members of his party in Parliament that they will not suffer the same fate during the General Election next year, which is the vote for Prime Minister. Although the incumbent party, whether Tory or Labour, has traditionally faced poor results in local elections, the results of last Thursday are significant given the message that they packed.
Labour fell to third place, a place normally reserved for the Liberal Democrats. But Charles Kennedy's anti-war Lib Dems catapulted to second place with 29 percent of the vote to Labour's 26 percent. The Conservatives did best at 38 percent.
Tony Blair conceded that "Iraq has been a shadow over our support." But if that really was true, how come the Tories - who also supported the war - fared so well? The success that Tories and Lib Dems alike enjoyed at Labour’s expense was a sign of people's dissatisfaction with the way in which the Blair government operates, rather than Iraq per se.
In the 2000 local elections, Labour captured only 29 percent of the vote; this was long before the Iraq War. It was a year before September 11, 2001. Whatever haunted Labour in 2000 appears to have dragged on four years later.
People want the Prime Minister to explain why he intends to stay the course, not soundbites clarifying merely that he will stay the course. They want to hear that although the Iraq war may yet produce much good, that he joined the war coalition based on faulty information. They want to be assured that they will have a voice on Europe through the planned referendum, and that crime will be considered a priority. They want a Blair they can trust, not merely a Blair that says "trust me."
Can Blair survive? Of course. There is still every good chance that Blair will win the right to yet again reside at No. 10 Downing Street. But Labour knows what it has to do to hang on to the mantle. Or so one hopes.