Pending the launch of Radio Free Yardley, to beam truth into the darkness that afflicts that poor, unfortunate constituency (Labour will return, my friends), John has launched a campaign to point out that Labour does not have a democratic mandate. He may have a point, but is on awkward ground himself.
Let's look at the last results in Birmingham's South Yardley ward last year, where the Liberal Democrats romped away with the result. There, John secured the support of a whopping 21% of the total electorate - lower than the percentage of the electorate voting Labour across the country. He did slightly better at the parliamentary level, convincing 27% of the electorate to vote for him, but still trailing Estelle Morris' previous results on the same ground.
If the system doesn't give Labour a mandate, then it certainly doesn't let John throw stones from within his own glass house. Nor does it explain why the two smallest parties in Birmingham exclude the largest political party from council decisions, silencing the electors who gave Labour 233,000 votes in the local elections in 2004.
Incidentally, why do the badly-printed signs that the demonstrators are holding mention the LDs and the Tories, but claim that the bloke in the red scarf voted for Blair? Did he live in Sedgefield or has John just forgotten the name of his own party leader? (Granted, the Tories change their leaders at least once, if not twice, in each election cycle, so forgetting whether it is Howard/Davis/Hague/Major/Duncan Smith/Cameron/Yeo etc, etc, is entirely forgiveable).