Archive for december, 2015

PROFIL | Få väljare har någon tydlig bild av premiärminister David Cameron som person och politiker.

Standpoint November 2015

Trots att Cameron nu är inne på sin andra mandatperiod framstår t.o.m. hans ideologiska övertygelser som aningen otydliga.

Och trots sina valsegrar – som bl.a. gett det konservativa partiet egen majoritet i parlamentet för första gången sedan 1992 och räddat kvar Skottland i det förenande kungariket – kommer historien antagligen bedöma honom resultatet av kommande folkomröstning om Storbritanniens medlemskap i EU.

Stephen Glover, krönikör i Daily Mail och tidigare redaktör för Independent on Sunday har försökt ge en bild av vem han är som person och politiker.

Glover skriver så här om Cameron i tidskriften Standpoint:

What kind of man is David Cameron? It is strange to be asking this question of someone who has been leader of the Tory party for 10 years, Prime Minister for more than five, and about whom there exists a colossal amount of information.


It is true he is almost unthinkingly ambitious (at 14 he declared without having shown much interest in politics that he was going to be Prime Minister), and capable of ruthlessness. We saw how at Prime Minister’s Questions he loved to play Flashman to poor, heavy-footed Ed Miliband. But if he knows how to be shitty, he is not a shit. On the contrary, his nature is sunny and well-meaning. I even found myself reinterpreting some words of congratulation he had uttered after I had delivered a eulogy at a friend’s memorial service in 2007 at which he was present. He twice complimented me, which seemed excessive. I assumed then that he was trying to oil up to a journalist, but now I wonder whether he wasn’t going out of his way to be kind to a stranger, offering words of reassurance to someone plainly exhausted by making a testing speech that was probably not particularly good.

Of course, we should never be starry-eyed about the people who rule us, but I submit the proposition that, his sense of entitlement and flashes of ruthlessness notwithstanding, Cameron is unusually decent for a leading politician, as well not unpardonably (in view of his considerable gifts) confident.

With the elegance and self-assurance of one of those natural cricketers at school capable of scoring a hundred without breaking sweat, he has eased his way forward through life apparently effortlessly. There were sadnesses, of course: his father’s disability, and later, and much more tragic, the serious illness and death of his first child, Ivan. But the early misfortune was mitigated by his father’s good cheer and lack of self-pity; and the latter, when it came, could be dealt with because he was such a well-balanced and grounded person.


Most of us grow tougher as we get older, and doubtless David Cameron has done so, but I don’t think this unguarded benevolence has left him. If he were a dog he would be an enthusiastic Labrador, bounding up to strangers with automatic good will and lack of suspicion, his tongue lolling out ready to bestow a lick, and reluctant to bare his teeth even when provoked. (He does, however, bear unLabrador-like grudges. Two prominent Tory MPs have told me that he has not spoken to them since being, in his view, crossed by them.) There is also an innate languor that can make it difficult for him to work up his energy levels.


As I write, David Cameron is basking in the sun. He has won the first Tory majority since 1992. The Labour party has turned in on itself. His only plausable rival, Boris Johnson, is marginalised and diminished. So confident is the Prime Minister that he made a centre-ground, even left-leaning, speech at the Tory party conference that might have tumbled from the lips of Tony Blair. In it he reached out rhetorically to the poor and dispossessed. (There was, however, one surprisingly tough-sounding passage about Islamic extremism in Britain that was largely ignored.) Things have never looked so good for our suave, sleek, soft Prime Minister who has filled out a bit, and looks ever more authentically Tory — master of all he surveys.

But there are once-in-a-generation issues in politics that cannot be dodged or massaged away by efficient despatchers of business and consensus-seekers. Europe is one of them. It looms like an iceberg in front of David Cameron and his administration. I am not at all sure he has any idea of what is coming his way.

Tidskriftsomslag: Standpoint, November 2015.

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VAL 2016 | Under intervjuer och valdebatter och när han är ute kampanjar nämner Donald Trump gärna hur rik han är.

Tempus - nr 43 - 23-30 oktober 2015

Vad som skulle vara politiskt självmord i Sverige kan vara en framgångsrik strategi i en amerikansk valrörelse.

Det finns två anledningar till detta.

I USA tycker inte gemene man att rikedom är något man behöver skämmas för. Tvärt om. Alla hoppas att de själva också skall bli rika som troll.

I Trumps fall hänger det också samman med att hans rikedom uppfattas som en garant för att han inte skall låta sig köpas av olika intressen.

I amerikansk politik kan de flesta politiker inte bli valda utan att tigga pengar från rika donatorer. Och dessa donatorer vill ofta ha något i utbyte mot sina pengar.

Trumps förmögenhet gör det möjligt för honom att säga vad han vill. Han kan strunta i vad det republikanska partiet tycker och tänker. Eller vad som uppfattas som politiskt korrekt bland opinionsbildare.

Mannen med håret har t.o.m. lyckats väva in sin förmögenhet i ett skämt – vilket i sig är ett smart sätt att undvika att skrytet avskräcker potentiella väljare.

I en artikel i Washington Post listar Roxanne Roberts t.o.m. Trumps hår bland hans förmögenheter. Svenska Tempus har översatt artikeln:

– Vad är skillnaden mellan en våt tvättbjörn och Donald J. Trumps hår? frågade Trump när han medverkade i en standup-show på Comedy Central 2011.

– En våt tvättbjörn har inte sju miljarder f— ing dollar på banken.

Ingen lista över Trump tillgångar är komplett utan att man nämner hans största stolthet och glädje: Håret. Inte vilket hår som helst, utan det gyllene, fönade håret som har varit föremål för tusentals skämt, en feberdröm om hårsprayad oövervinnerlighet. Och han hävdar envist at det är hans eget.

”Jag har inte tupé,” sade han till sina supportrar i augusti och drog upp en kvinna från publiken och lät henne känna på hans riktiga hår.

Håret är så inspirerande att Homer Simpson åkte på en ”Trumptastisk resa”.

– Om jag rör vid det,  kommer det att bota min skallighet? undrade en vördnadsfull Homer.

Tidskriftsomslag. Tempus, nummer 43, den 23-30 oktober 2015.

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INTERVJU | David Cameron hoppas att hans eftermäle skall bli att han ”moderniserade” Conservative Party och erövrade den politiska mitten.

The Spectator 12-19-26 December 2015

I intervjunThe Spectator beskrev han också för tidskriftens medarbetare James Forsyth och Fraser Nelson sin förvåning över hur Labour utvecklats efter valförlusten och valet av Jeremy Corbyn till partiledare.

Cameron säger det inte rent ut men han tackar säkert sin lyckliga stjärna att Labour valt en partiledare långt ut på vänsterkanten samtidigt som Liberal Democrats näst intill utplånats som politisk kraft i Storbritannien.

He says he is ‘a great believer that you have got to do things properly and make sure you behave appropriately’.


Is this still the political epitaph he would like? Cameron shoots back a quick: ‘Yes, I think it is very important.’

So rather than an ‘ism’ or any great political mission, he would be content with a perhaps slightly old-fashioned sense that generally he handled events as well as he could. It is one of the curiosities of Cameron that while he is so often described as ‘a moderniser’, he actually harks back to a much earlier tradition of political leadership.


He declares that the general election was a ‘victory for Tory modernisation’ because he won votes from all manner of parties. ‘It demonstrated that you don’t have to keep tacking to the right to win votes — and, indeed, actually it’s a self-destroying ordinance if you do.’

Cameron says he is particularly proud of gay marriage, labelling it a ‘big achievement’, and talks with pride about how he still gets ‘a regular stream’ of letters. ‘As people go to get hitched, they send me a nice letter saying thank you very much.’ He is convinced that opposition to it is almost gone, remarking with great satisfaction that ‘even Nigel Farage is now in favour of gay marriage as far as I can see’. This is a change of emphasis: when he listed his proudest achievements during the Lynton Crosby-run election campaign, gay marriage didn’t feature. What a difference a majority makes.

Changing the Conservative party is something that still matters to Cameron: he wants his ‘one nation’ politics to define Conservatism even after he’s stepped down as leader. This is why he was so pleased by the speeches of his two most likely successors at Tory conference, George Osborne and Boris Johnson. ‘What surprised me, in a very positive way, was that the tone, message and overall feel of those speeches were absolutely similar. Very much that the Conservative party should be strong in the centre ground, a compassionate force.’ He says that it made him think that ‘this party really has changed in a good way. A traditionally Conservative way of responding to events and things going on in our society to make sure it is still doing a proper job.’


Ultimately, the most surprising development in British politics this year was not Cameron’s majority but Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader. Cameron admits that he ‘did not see it coming at all’. He seems genuinely puzzled — ‘I thought it was so obvious why they lost the election’ that they would plump for a ‘more sensible centre–left approach’ — but likes to credit himself with a small role in Labour’s lurch to the left. ‘One of my longstanding friends and supporters said that because the Conservatives have taken the sensible centre ground, we have left Labour with so little to camp on that they have done that classic reaction of heading off into the hills.’

Tidskrifsomslag: The Spectator den 12/19/26 december 2015.

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VAL 2016 | Det fascinerande med Donald Trump är att han inte låter som andra politiker med sina på förhand testade svar på frågor.

The Hollywood Reporter - August 2015 - Issue 28

Trumps frispråkighet är en del av hans kampanjstrategi. Han vågar t.o.m. vara kritisk när det gäller delar av Ronald Reagan politik. Vilket inte säger lite när det gäller republikanska presidentkandidater.

Jämför man Trump med övriga republikanska presidentkandidater (eller demokratiska för den delen) framstår de som riktiga sömnpiller.

Här är ett exempel från Janice Mins intervju med Trump för tidskriften The Hollywood Reporter tidigare i år.

You voted for Reagan, right?

I did. I was friendly with him.

Is he your model?

No, he’s not a model. I didn’t like NAFTA [NAFTA was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993, but Reagan first proposed a ”North American accord” in a 1979 speech, and a precursor to NAFTA was signed by the U.S. and Canada in 1988.], I didn’t like some of the economic policies. But he was a man that I respected and liked, and he liked me.

But he also could broach moderates, conservatives, Democrats.

He did. Well, he was a Democrat with a liberal bent as a younger man. And then he became a conservative Republican. He had a great way about him. A great sense of dignity. And he was a wonderful father for the country in a sense. He had a great feel for what the country represents.


If you’re in this for the long haul, do you have to be more diplomatic in the media?

A little bit. A little more selective, I would say, more than diplomatic. And I’m very capable of doing that.

You’re friends with the WWE’s Vince McMahon. Critics have said your campaign is like pro wrestling — it’s just theatrics.

One of the reasons I tell people about my level of intelligence — like, for instance, I had an uncle, Dr. John Trump, who was at MIT, like totally brilliant, became a professor at MIT — is when you’re a Republican conservative, you have to build up your credentials a little bit. But I can pivot any way. I can be a very elegant, highly refined person, I can be a very politically correct person where I would never ever say anything that’s even slightly over the edge, or I can be who I want to be. It’s very time-consuming to be politically correct. And I don’t have the time. It’s also very boring to be politically correct. Right? You wouldn’t be here if I was totally politically correct.


Obviously, the power of your celebrity and brand means something.

If I weren’t a successful person, it wouldn’t work as well. Voters have great confidence in me because I really have been successful. I have an income of over $400 million a year. I don’t need anybody’s money. I was offered $5 million last week by a lobbyist to put in the campaign. I said, ”No, I don’t need it.” He said, ”What do you mean, ‘I don’t need it?’ ” I said I don’t need it. This is a guy that I know well, a good lobbyist, a tough cookie. He’s not giving to me because he thinks I have the most beautiful hair he’s ever seen. He’s giving to me because when he has one of his companies in trouble or needs something, they want to call me and say, ”Hey, Don, how you doing? Remember me?” I don’t need that stuff. Whereas Jeb Bush, with $114 million that he raised [so far this year], and Hillary with the $60 million [CBS News reports she raised $47 million in the campaign’s first quarter] and everyone else with the money they raised, they’re going to be called upon, and they’re going to have to do those things like little puppets. So people do respect that about me. I don’t need it.


These campaigns get dirty and ugly. Would you ever use Karl Rove?

No. Is he a friend of yours?

No, but he’s been a godfather of elections for the GOP.

What happened is Karl Rove in the last cycle spent $436 million, and he didn’t win one race. And on election evening [when he challenged Fox News’ Obama victory prediction], he had a bad night. The result was wrong! I guess you’re using that name as an example. I’ve got a lot of people against me. And in a way, it emboldens me. I don’t like it, but it emboldens me. I mean, Fox has not been nice to me, in my opinion. Not just at the debate. You see some of these pundits get on, and they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’ve been predicting my doom for a year.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Hollywood Reporter, augusti 2015, (nummer 28).

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VAL 2016 | Donald Trump påstår att han inte bryr sig om vad andra tycker och tänker om honom. Men det är inte riktigt sant.

Forbes - Special Edition - 19 October 2015

En sak verkar han vara direkt fixerad vid. Så fort någon, enligt Trump, undervärderar hans personliga förmögenhet eller värdet på hans affärsverksamhet går han i taket.

Randall Lane, redaktör för tidskriften Forbes, träffade Trump för att bl.a. diskutera storleken på hans förmögenhet.

Samtidigt verkar Lane löst gåtan hur det kan vara att Trump verkar tro på allt han själv säger. Detta även när han uppenbart motsäger sig själv.

The most in-demand person on the planet has gone into hold-all-my-calls mode for nearly two hours to sit down with FORBES and tackle, piece by piece, a subject that he cares about to the depths of his soul: how much FORBES says he’s worth. Since The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans debuted in 1982, the dynamism of the U.S. economy and the hand of the grim reaper have resulted in exactly 1,538 people making the cut at one time or another. Of those 1,538 tycoons, not one has been more fixated with his or her net worth estimate on a year-in, year-out basis than Donald J. Trump.

Trump’s valuation this year holds extra importance, of course, due to his audacious second act: his highly unlikely–but no longer inconceivable–path to the presidency.


“I’m running for President,” says Trump. “I’m worth much more than you have me down [for]. I don’t look good, to be honest. I mean, I look better if I’m worth $10 billion than if I’m worth $4 billion.”

To The Forbes 400 crowd, perhaps. But when pushed, even Trump concedes that, for voters, the difference between $4 billion and $10 billion is as abstractly irrelevant as a star that’s either 4 billion or 10 billion light-years away. Ultimately, Trump’s beef with our numbers is driven by Trump: how his peers view him and, more acutely, how he views himself. It always has been. The paradoxical Trump that now transfixes American political culture is the same one that The Forbes 400 has been dancing with for 33 years. And the history of his net worth fixation opens windows into Trump the entrepreneur, the candidate and the person.


Colleagues of Steve Jobs famously described his “reality-distortion field”–his ability to see what he wanted to see and then will the delusion into truth. Way before that another master capitalist, Andrew Carnegie, declared that “all riches, and all material things that anyone acquires through self-effort, begin in the form of a clear, concise mental picture of the thing one seeks.”

Trump has a healthy dose of this gene. […] “Even my own feelings affect my value to myself,” he said. When asked to specify, he described it as “my general attitude at the time that the question may be asked.” And if that general attitude is negative? “You wouldn’t tell a reporter you’re doing poorly.”


This just-do-it business worldview provides a feasible explanation to what’s perhaps the greatest riddle surrounding candidate Trump: How can someone who’s quite clever and smart (as he’ll quickly remind you) also promote know-nothing, sometimes dangerous bunk, whether a disproven link between vaccinations and autism or the Obama-might-have-been-born-in-Kenya lie?

And by keeping his message simple and repeating it with conviction over and over, Trump has the ability to shape facts.

Tidskriftsomslag: Forbes (Special Edition), 19 oktober 2015.

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Esther Williams

Esther Williams, Rudolf och The Campaign Dossier önskar alla en God Jul!

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KÄNDISAR Den gamla humbugen Karl Marx hade inte helt fel när han hävdade att historien upprepar sig först som tragedi och sedan som fars.

The New Yorker September 14 2015

Vem hade t.ex. kunnat gissat att Donald Trump idag skulle vara republikanska partiets frontrunner?

Och i år, under sitt plattityd fyllda tal under MTV:s Video Music Awards, meddelade Kayne West att han tänker ställa upp och kandidera inför presidentvalet 2020.

If my grandfather was here right now, he would not let me back down. I dunno what I fittin’ to lose after this. It don’t matter, though, because it’s not about me. It’s about ideas. New ideas. People that believe in truth. And yes, as you probably could’ve guessed by this moment, I have decided in 2020 to run for president.

Barry Blitt spann vidare på detta när han tecknade omslaget “2020 Vision” för The New Yorker.

Victorious presidential candidate Pres. Harry Truman jubilantly displaying erroneous CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE w. headline DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN which overconfident Republican editors had rushed to print on election night, standing on his campaign train platform. (Photo by W. Eugene Smith//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Inspirationen hämtade han från Chicago Daily Tribune som, baserat på tidiga siffror, felaktigt förespådde att Thomas Dewey skulle besegra Harry Truman i valet 1948.

Tidskriftsomslag: The New Yorker den 14 september 2015.

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Bild: Har inte hittat vem som skapat denna teckning. Men hos Library of Congress finns klassiska skämtteckningar på temat Richard Nixon.

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ÅRET 2015 | Kristdemokraterna får antagligen stå för årets antiklimax när man sammanfattar politiken under 2015.

Sydsvenska Näringsliv nr 4 2015

Partiledningens ovilja att ställa misstroendevotum mot regeringen – efter att först ha tagit initiativet att dödförklara decemberöverenskommelsen mellan oppositionen och regeringen – fick partiet att framstå som, för att citera Macbeth, ”en stackars skådespelare, som struttar in och kråmar sig på scenen för en timma och se’n ej mer hörs av”.

Hade man vågat gå hela vägen hade man tagit på sig ledartröjan inom Alliansen, vunnit frustrerade borgerliga väljares sympatier och samtidigt minimerat bilden av Sverigedemokraterna som ”det enda oppositionspartiet”.

Om regeringen fallit hade partiet stått väl rustat i en eventuell extra valrörelse. Alternativt hade man tvingat Socialdemokraterna ta större hänsyn till Allianspartiernas politik. Detta hade tydligt visat på splittringen på vänsterkanten.

Oavsett vilket hade Stefan Löfven tvingats visa upp hur svag hans regering är. Vilket i sin tur gett speciellt Kristdemokraterna, men också övriga Allianspartier, en välbehövlig injektion av självförtroende.

Om övriga Allianspartier istället röstat mot eller lagt ner sina röster hade Kristdemokraterna framstått som ett parti som vågar stå på egna ben medan övriga Allianspartier framstått som räddhågsna.

Ebba Busch Thor verkar själv ha insett vilket potential det fanns i ett misstroendevotum mot regeringen. ”Jag tycker det är anmärkningsvärt att så många pratar om kaos. För det är det inte. Vi har en tydlig och ordnad politisk process i Sverige”, säger partiledaren när hon intervjuades i tidskriften Sydsvenskt Näringsliv.

Partiets inkonsekvens förvandlade en potentiell vin-vin-situation till ett politiskt antiklimax.

Som en konsekvens av detta ligger Kristdemokraternas siffror kvar under fyraprocentspärren, regeringen regerar vidare och Alliansen ser ut att vara än mer splittrad samtidigt som Sverigedemokraterna av alltfler upfattas som det tydligaste oppositionspartiet i svensk politik

Tidskriftsomslag: Sydsvenskt Näringsliv, nr 4: 2015.

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Se mer: Fler klipp från ”The Simpsons” på YouTube.

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