The only positive difference between New Labour and the Conservative Party is that the former supports the euro, gay rights, the abolition of fox-hunting and devolution for Scotland and Wales - all worthy causes, to be sure, but hardly the only policies on which one would expect to make an electoral decision. On virtually every other issue, the Conservatives are either in agreement with the government (benefit cuts for the disabled and single parents; the crushing of industrial action; anti-immigration legislation; war), or attack them from the left (tuition fees for university; the right to trial by jury). The exception to this is the minimum wage, which Labour commendably introduced (although, of course, at a pretty low level).

Fortunately, here in Scotland, unlike in England, the opposition differs significantly in policy from the government. Though Labour has a traditional psychological hegemony in Scotland which may take a while to break, the new Scottish Parliament - established by Labour, but manifestly only because of pressure from the Scottish National Party - has made that task the more achievable.

fondue: The BBC is controlled at every level by the Labour Party. Director General Greg Dyke, chairman Gavyn Davies, political editor Andrew Marr and former Director General John Birt are all members or former members of the Party - the latter now in an unelected government post. To claim that the Beeb has an anti-Labour bias is farcical, as is your suggestion that, were the Tories in power, we would currently be in the midst of war. In only five years in office, Tony Blair has already taken the country into more armed conflicts than any prime minister in history, and is currently seeking to better that record.