Dwight D Eisenhower kampanjar 1952

Foto: Dwight D. Eisenhower på valkampanj 1952. Populär Historia nr 1 2014.

PARTIER The Economist har tagit pulsen på det brittiska politiska systemet i ”Britain’s electorial system: The Breaking point”. Ingen uppmuntrande läsning.

The Economist February 21st-27th 2015

Även om det brittiska valsystemet inte liknar det svenska så finns det vissa likheter när det gäller de två största partierna.

I sin ledare skriver man:

Along with Sherlock Holmes and the rules of football, one of the great legacies of Victorian Britain is the Westminster parliamentary system. If voters want their voices to count, they have to choose between two large, boring parties.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist den 21-27 februari 2015.

En av de mer uppmärksammade reklamfilmerna under det israeliska valet var Likuds ”Bibi-sitter” med premiärminister Benjamin Netanyahu i huvudrollen.

Humor har blivit en viktig ingrediens på sociala medier om man vill få fram sitt politiska budskap. Humorn får väljarna att stanna upp, istället för att zappa vidare.

“People won’t allow parties to ram messages down their throats anymore,” [kampanjstrategen Aron] Shaviv says. “To deliver messages effectively now you have to be entertaining. The ‘Bibi-sitter’ ad for instance was not only entertaining, it also delivered a key message: Who do you trust to maintain the security of your children?” Shaviv and Harow give all the credit for the win to Netanyahu.

“He was on message, razor sharp, and did every media interview we could come up with,” Shaviv says. “He carried the campaign and swung it to victory.”.

VAL | Valet i Israel, Mellanösterns enda demokrati, blev en riktig rysare mellan Benjamin Netanyahu och utmanaren Isaac Herzog.

Benjamin Netanyahu kampanjar i Jerusalem 2015-Foto av Flash 90

Trots dåliga siffror lyckades premiärminister Benjamin Netanyahu vända en väntad valförlust till en vinst.

När Kulanu, ett av valets vågmästarpartier, nu rekommenderar att Netanyahu får möjlighet att bilda en ny koalitionsregering ser det ut som om Likud blir valets stora vinnare.

Ari Harow och Aron Shaviv, två av Likuds kampanjstrateger, har berättat hur man lyckades vända valet för det stora regeringspartiet. Lösningen kallar de för ”omvänd paketering”.

Gil Hoffman har intervjuat de två strategerna för Jerusalem Post.

“The most important decision was to drive the electorate to two large parties,” Harow says. “We decided that if we create a situation where people have to decide who they want as prime minister, people will prefer Netanyahu over [Zionist Union challenger Isaac] Herzog.”

Therefore, the first slogan of the Likud’s campaign was “It’s us or them,” referring to Herzog and his running mate Tzipi Livni, whom the Likud’s polls found extremely unpopular. Shaviv advised Netanyahu from the start of the campaign to push what he called “reverse packaging.”

The strategy was to persuade voters on the Right that rather than vote for other right-wing parties and get Netanyahu, they had to vote for Netanyahu and get the other parties in the coalition.

“You vote for a prime minister and get the parts,” Shaviv says. “You don’t buy a radio and get a car with it. You buy a car and get a radio. You vote Netanyahu and get [Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali] Bennett and [Kulanu head Moshe] Kahlon with it.”

But Shaviv had to wait for the right time to raise the stakes significantly and have Netanyahu drive that message home. The more Netanyahu fell in the polls, the more voters on the Right would feel compelled to vote for him.

A poll taken Sunday night found for the first time that fewer than half the public thought Netanyahu would form the next government. Only after that did tens of thousands of Israelis change their minds and get persuaded by Netanyahu’s countless interviews that their security required them to vote Likud.

“It’s one of those delicious ironies of the campaign,” Shaviv says. “The more people think you aren’t going to win, the more likely you will win. “Reverse packaging was devised day one and triggered at the right time. Only when it looked like Netanyahu would lose did it make sense to say you need to vote Likud to get Kahlon and Bennett.”

In the last 96 hours of the campaign, the strategists targeted the 7 to 8 percent of the electorate that was right-wing and undecided. Most of them were choosing between the Likud and Bayit Yehudi or between the Likud and Kulanu.

To that end, Netanyahu announced in radio interviews Sunday morning that if reelected, he would appoint Kahlon as his finance minister. That stopped the tide of Likud voters considering voting for Kulanu. Voters who put socioeconomic issues first on their agenda, now had those issues taken care of and could feel comfortable using their vote to guarantee Israel’s security.

Bild: Foto av Flash 90. Israels premiärminister Benjamin Netanyahu kampanjar i Jerusalem under valet 2015.

RYSSLAND | Ingen kan längre låtsas vara okunniga om Kremls propagandakrig mot väst. Nästan all media har vid det här laget rapporterat om det.

The Economist February 14th-20th 2015

Först ett utdrag från ”From cold war to hot war” där The Economist beskriver Vladimir Putins ”hybrid-war strategy”.

Destabilisation is also being achieved in less military ways. Wielding power or gaining influence abroad—through antiestablishment political parties, disgruntled minority groups, media outlets, environmental activists, supporters in business, propagandist “think-tanks”, and others—has become part of the Kremlin’s hybrid-war strategy. This perversion of “soft power” is seen by Moscow as a vital complement to military engagement.


Abroad, the main conduit for the Kremlin’s world view is RT, a TV channel set up in 2005 to promote a positive view of Russia that now focuses on making the West look bad. It uses Western voices: far-left anti-globalists, far-right nationalists and disillusioned individuals. It broadcasts in English, Arabic and Spanish and is planning German- and French-language channels. It claims to reach 700m people worldwide and 2.7m hotel rooms. Though it is not a complete farce, it has broadcast a string of false stories, such as one speculating that America was behind the Ebola epidemic in west Africa.

The Kremlin is also a sophisticated user of the internet and social media. It employs hundreds of “trolls” to garrison the comment sections and Twitter feeds of the West. The point is not so much to promote the Kremlin’s views, but to denigrate opposition figures, and foreign governments and institutions, and to sow fear and confusion. Vast sums have been thrown at public-relations and lobbying firms to improve Russia’s image abroad—among them Ketchum, based in New York, which helped place an op-ed by Mr Putin in the New York Times. And it can rely on some of its corporate partners to lobby against policies that would hurt Russian business.

The West’s willingness to shelter Russian money, some of it gained corruptly, demoralises the Russian opposition while making the West more dependent on the Kremlin. Russian money has had a poisonous effect closer to home, too. Russia wields soft power in the Baltics partly through its “compatriots policy”, which entails financial support for Russian-speaking minorities abroad.

Mr Putin’s most devious strategy, however, is to destabilise the EU through fringe political parties (see article). Russia’s approach to ideology is fluid: it supports both far-left and far-right groups. As Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss put it in “The menace of unreality”, a paper on Russian soft power: “The aim is to exacerbate divides [in the West] and create an echo-chamber of Kremlin support.”

The Spectator 21 February 2015

I The Spectator skriver Anne Applebaum om ”Putin’s grand strategy”som inkluderar att manipulera val och finansiera politiska partier i Europa.

We’ve spent the past decade arguing about Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, almost anything but Russia. Meanwhile, Russia has been pursuing a grand strategy designed to delegitimise Nato, undermine the EU, split the western alliance and, above all, reverse the transitions of the 1990s.

Much of the time, they are pushing on an open door. The Kremlin doesn’t invent anti-European or anti-establishment ideas, it simply supports them in whatever form they exist, customising their tactics to suit each country. They’ll support the far left or the far right — in Greece they support both. Despite its economic plight, the new Greek government’s first act was not a protest against European economic policy but a protest against sanctions on Russia. Only then did it tell its European creditors that it might not pay them back.

If need be, Russia will court select members of the political and financial establishment too. In Britain, Russia has friends in the City, but also sponsors RT, the propaganda channel which features George Galloway and other titans of the loony left. In France, Russia keeps in close touch with industrialists, but a Russian-Czech bank has loaned Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front €9 million, with another €30 million said to be on the way.


A little bit of money goes a long way in Czech politics too. The election campaign of the current president, Milos Zeman, was openly financed in 2013 by Lukoil, the Russian energy company. Since then President Zeman — who doesn’t, fortunately, control the government — has argued vociferously against Russian sanctions, dismissed the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a ‘bout of flu’ and invited western-sanctioned Russian oligarchs to Prague. Nor is he alone. In Prague, I was invited to debate a close associate of Vaclav Klaus, Zeman’s predecessor, who complained at length about the pernicious influence of Germany and the EU. I asked him whether German companies had ever paid for Czech presidential election campaigns, as Lukoil does. He couldn’t answer.

Läs mer:”De är Putins soldater på nätet” i Dagens Nyheter. Simon Shusters ”Inside Putin’s on-air machine” i Time.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Economist den 14-20 februari 2015. The Spectator den 21 februari 2015.

Hercules 1934

In 1904, 20% of journeys were made by bicycle in London. I want to see a figure like that again. If you can’t turn the clock back to 1904, what’s the point of being a Conservative?

               – Boris Johnson, Londons borgmästare

Bild: Reklam för Hercules (1934)

ÅRSDAG | Premiärminister Winston Churchills statsbegravning i januari 1965 uppmärksammades stort i både tidningar, radio och TV.

Radio Times 28 januari 1965

Radio Times, som listar tv- och radioprogram, slog naturligtvis upp det stort. Här ser vi deras nummer, daterat 28 januari 1965, med aktuell programinformation för 30 januari till den 5 januari.

Radio Times-january 28 1965-the State Funeral of Winston Churchill

BBC har samlat utdrag från både tidningen men också några intressanta dokument som visar att man i god tid innan Churchill avled hade börjat planeringen för sin rapportering.

För den som vill läsa texterna från tidningen kan göra detta enklast här på BBC:s hemsida.

Minneshögtiderna duggar överhuvudtaget tätt i Storbritannien i år. Förra året högtidlighölls första världskriget och i år uppmärksammas, förutom Churchills statsbegravning, också Magna Carta (1215), Waterloo (1815), Agincourt (1450) och Gallipoli (1915).

Tidskriftsomslag: Radio Times den 28 januari 1965 samt de huvudsakliga hållpunkterna för högtidlighållandet.


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