Thursday, May 05, 2005


British election off with a blast

At 3:30 AM New York time and close to when British Prime Minister Tony Blair was casting his ballot in Sedgefield, presumably for Labor, two small explosions went off in front of the building housing the British Consulate in New York City. Press descriptions of the event ranged from the sophisticated "'Novelty grenades' used in consulate attack" to "Two blasts rock British Consulate in NYC" by—guess who? That's right. FoxNews.

The blasts went off in concrete flower planters on the sidewalk. With the British Consulate on the 9th and 10th floors of the building, it's doubtful that any slumbering consular officials left in the building would have been awakened, much less rocked.

"This is London" tried to make the most of it—

Two bombs exploded outside the British consulate in New York today in an election-day terror scare.

The blasts rocked the high-rise office building in Manhattan shortly before 4am local time, shattering windows and damaging a car.

They follow warnings by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair that al Qaeda may try to disrupt the general election with a Madrid-style bombing in London. British embassies around the world are on a state of high alert.

Only when we reach the fourth paragraph do we read—

New York police described the bombs as plastic "novelty devices", one the size and shape of a pineapple and the second the shape of a lemon.

While the tabloids do their best to hint at al-Qaeda, I'm more suspicious of Tony Blair. If he hadn't been seen voting at that time, he would have been first on my A-list of suspects, but I'm still not sure it wasn't the work of a British consular official. The bomb sounds like the sort of device that a bureaucrat might make when called upon to work outside his field of expertise.

The timing for today's British election was perfect. Like George Bush, the only thing Blair really had to run on was terrorism—plus the fear of the Tories (Conservatives), who for some are little more than domestic terrorists.

The more upright organs of the British media are reporting the event quite soberly, but reporting they are. So unless a Brit should wander off to the polls without his morning tea and telly, he's bound to have heard the news before casting his ballot.1

I would like to think that such an event would cut both ways, reminding some voters that Blair has "stood tall" against terrorism and others that Blair hasn't done diddlysquat to prevent it. But Blair is no doubt counting on the former, and if the previous American election is any guide, he's probably right.

Related post
Massive fraud anticipated in Britain's May 5 election; Court will not act (4/21/05)


1 Of course, we must exclude all the "postal voters" (absentee balloters), whose votes are being cast for Labor whether they wish it or not. [back]

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