The case for AV: it'll make people smile, says Mehdi Hasan

Forget Clegg. Do you want to put a smile on these people's faces?

Lots of lefties and Labour Party supporters tell me that they plan to vote against the Alternative Vote (AV) in order to give Nick Clegg a "bloody nose" on 5 May. In the words of "Phil", a commenter on the Staggers blog:

"Would a no on AV make Nick Clegg p***ed off?"

Answer: Yes.

So I'll be voting to wipe that smile off his smug face

Sorry to break it to you, chaps, but AV isn't all about Nick Clegg. If we're going to get all schoolgroundish about it, I'll be voting for AV - not just because our existing first-past-the-post system is undemocratic, unfair, biased and broken - but because I'd rather wipe the smile of these people's faces [below]. Wouldn't you?

David Cameron

A

Rupert Murdoch

A

George Osborne

A

Nick Griffin

A

David Blunkett

A

John Reid

A

Andrew Roberts

A

Richard Desmond

A

(All pictures Getty Images)

Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.