Posts Tagged ‘Charles Moore’

PROBLEM | I Storbritannien finns inte samma långa erfarenhet av koalitioner som i vissa andra länder ute i Europa.

Picture - BBC -- David Cameon & Nick Clegg

”England does not love coalitions” är ett citat av Benjamin Disraeli som fortfarande sammanfattar ganska väl hur man ser på samregerande i landet.

Nuvarande allians, bestående av Conservative Party och Liberal Democrats, är den första riktiga sedan 1945.

Spänningar kommer alltid att finnas inom alla regeringar. Detta oavsett om de består av ett eller flera partier. Hur man hanterar trätorna kan däremot vara avgörande för valutgången.

Charles Moore, tidigare redaktör och numera krönikör på den konservativa The Spectator, har upptäckt något som kanske inte skulle förvåna i övriga Europa.

Here is a point about the coalition which is so obvious that I have not seen it expressed. When a single party is in power, the approach of a general election is the key discipline: almost however much colleagues disagree, they unite. When there is a coalition, the opposite applies. Each partner needs to disown the other. Because the coalition foolishly legislated to fix the life of this Parliament, the parties are bound together until May 2015. It is like the pre-war situation of marriage as satirised by A.P. Herbert in his novel, Holy Deadlock. The only means of divorce is to behave appallingly. The effect is that what began well is almost bound to end badly.

Läs mer: ”Coalition Governments: Hung or Dry?” av Ian Garrett.

Bild: En från BBC på David Cameron och Nick Clegg.

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MÅLGRUPPER | När ett parti radikalt förändras finns det alltid en risk att en grupp trogna, ideologiskt övertygade väljare går förlorade.

The Specator december 2012

Efter förlusten till Labour och Tony Blair 1997 påbörjade Conservative Party ett segdraget arbete med att försöka göra sig själva valbara igen i väljarnas ögon.

Och precis som Fredrik Reinfeldt med Moderaterna valde premiärminister David Cameron att distansera sig från vissa väljare och attityder som förknippats med partiet. Båda partierna har gått mot mitten.

Medan Reinfeldt valde att bl.a. markera mot näringslivet som ”särintresse”, valde Cameron att inte låta sig förknippas med något som doftar aristokrati eller godsägare.

Sinnebilden av en sådan konservativ livsstil är den traditionella rävjakten till häst. På grund av ett förbud kan jaktlagen idag bara simulera en sådan jakt med hjälp av ett i förhand utlagt doftspår.  

Påtryckargrupper som Countryside Alliance, som värnar den traditionella livstilen på landet, är idag besvikna på Cameron för att han inte driver på för att få lagen upphävd – en lag som han tidigare sagt sig vara emot. Till och med Blair har i efterhand sagt sig ångra förbudet.

Melissa Kite skriver i The Spectator om besvikelsen bland dessa typiska Toryväljare.

On a perfect winter morning, I mount a dapple grey horse in an icy farmyard a few minutes from the Prime Minister’s country home and prepare to go hunting with the Chipping Norton set. David Cameron’s local hunt, the Heythrop, is meeting just round the corner from where the PM lives, in the Oxfordshire village of Dean, and the Cotswold elite are out in force.


The numbers of pro- and anti-hunt MPs do not stack up well for repeal. But it does not help that no one in government is making the case for hunting, or for any traditional countryside cause for that matter. While Labour is as urban as ever, the Tories are turning away from the shires to try to win suburban votes with policies supporting rural house-building and high-speed rail. Gay marriage is being steamrollered through. Yet no political will apparently exists to support the millions of people like me who regard field sports as integral to their identity. The countryside has been politcally orphaned, and hunting is the most visible sign of it.


Meanwhile, [Cameron’s] modish new-look MPs are in no mood to listen to the countryside. When Tracey Crouch, an A-list candidate, talks about the ‘barbaric sport of hunting’, she speaks for several of the new intake, who, disappointingly enough, seem to have swallowed whole the animal rights lobby’s twisted and ignorant view of what hunting a fox with a pack of hounds really entails, the need for pest control, the risk of wounding when dealing with vermin only with a gun.

Could it be that the values of rural types and urbanites are so now divorced from each other that a reversal of the hunting ban is impossible?

En av tidskriftens krönikörer, Charles Moore, och en av dess tidigare redaktörer, är inne på samma tema i ett senare nummer:

[P]erhaps I am sitting and brooding too much; but it does seem to me that David Cameron is losing rural support at quite a rate and not realising. In this, the failure to repeal the hunting ban is significant. The Conservatives are, in fact, right, not to press for a vote now — because they failed to win the election, they do not have the numbers to carry repeal. But the situation exposes the problem. Pro-hunting people were the mainstay of Tory activism in a great many seats in the last election. It is calculated that 94 currently sitting Conservative MPs were substantially helped by the ‘Vote OK’ campaign that mobilised hunting people. Unless something happens, they will not get that support next time. A patronising and ignorant leader in the Times last week said that ‘the compromise arrived at seems to be working pretty well’. What compromise would that be? People whose livelihood depends on hunting suffer constant surveillance by ill-natured extremists. Men leading tough and often solitary lives on low wages are harassed by a well-funded charity, the RSPCA, which spends enormous sums on prosecutions, but cannot afford to keep thousands of the animals entrusted to its care and puts them down instead. Hunt staff face the threat of prosecution under a law which is shockingly uncertain in its application. Uncompromisingly bad laws should not survive unaltered. Mr Cameron owes it to his supporters to work out a better legal way through this.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Spectator den 29 december 2012.

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RESULTAT: Charles Moore, kolumnist på The Spectator, har ett minst sagt originellt sätt att förutspå vem som kommer att vinna ett val.

Hans föga vetenskapliga sätt att förutspå en valseger baseras på att det parti som ”förtjänar” att vinna också kommer att vinna.

Han förutspådde väljarna skulle rösta fram ett ”hung parliament” vilket skulle resultera i att inget parti kunde bilda egen majoritet. Så småningom blev det också en regeringskoalition mellan Tories och Liberaldemokraterna.

This column’s theory of British general elections in modern times is simple: all results since the war have been deserved. Labour deserved to win big in 1945 and 1997. The Conservatives deserved their decisive victory in 1979, and their crushing one in 1983. The more ‘nuanced’ results were also deserved. Labour deserved to win in 2005, but only grudgingly, on a low poll. The ‘Who governs Britain?’ election of February 1974 returned exactly the deserved answer to that question, which was, ‘We’re not sure.’ Can this rule turn into a predictor? It seems clear already that Labour deserves to lose this time — for reasons too numerous to mention. But it is not yet clear that the Tories deserve to win, and the opinion polls accurately reflect that doubt. So, at the time of writing, the just result would be a hung parliament. Minds are not made up. For the Tories, this makes the actual campaign more critical than any since February 1974 (which they bungled).

Nu gäller det bara att applicera detta på årets svenska val. Det är fritt fram.

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HISTORIA: I juni 1940 höll Winston Churchill och Charles de Gaulle var sitt viktigt radiotal vid en tidpunkt när ord var näst intill de enda vapen som stod till förfogande i kampen mot Adolf Hitler.

Charles Moore, kolumnist The Spectator och The Daily Telegraph, har reflekterat över deras betydelse.

On 18 June 1940, 125 years after the battle of Waterloo and 70 years ago this Friday, Winston Churchill delivered his famous ‘finest hour’ speech. What is less well remembered here is that General De Gaulle also delivered his first, almost equally famous broadcast to France that evening. The French government, led by Marshal Pétain, was suing for peace with Germany, ‘alleging’, as De Gaulle put it, ‘the defeat of our armies’. Speaking loudly into the BBC microphone, De Gaulle said: ‘Is the defeat final? No!… For France is not alone… She can unite with the British Empire… I, General De Gaulle, now in London, call upon the French officers and soldiers… Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not and shall not go out.’ At the time, not everyone thought that either speech had worked. Churchill made his speech twice on the same day — first to parliament, and then, shortened, as a broadcast. Harold Nicolson recorded that he repeated himself because ‘He hates the microphone… he just sulked and read his House of Commons speech over again… it sounded ghastly on the wireless.’ As for De Gaulle’s words, they were heard by hardly anybody, and were not recorded because all the technical resources of the BBC were taken up in recording Churchill’s broadcast. Instead, De Gaulle’s text was re-read on air by British broadcasters four times over the next 24 hours. The situation which Britain and France faced was so desperate that neither man had much more than words at his command, but perhaps it was for this very reason that the words, once disseminated and pondered, did work. To understand their importance, one must imagine what that single day, and all succeeding days, would have been like if they had not been delivered.

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DET ÄR INTE var dag som en ny tidskrift lanseras som vill ”fira vår civilisation, dess konst och dess värderingar – speciellt demokrati, debatt och yttrandefrihet – i en tid när dessa är under hot”.

Den nya brittiska tidskriften Standpoint har satt ribban högt. Dess redaktör, Daniel Johnson, vill se tidskriften som arvtagare till Encounter som startades 1953 av Irving Kristol (vars fru sitter i Standpoints ”advisory board”) och Stephen Spender.

Encouner var ett forum där den fria världens intellektuella kunde debattera och ta upp kampen mot de kommunistiska idéerna som svepte över världen och hotade att även underminera de västerländska demokratierna.

Enligt Johnson var det först med efterdyningarna av den 11 september 2001 som det fanns förutsättningar och en moralisk grogrund för en efterföljare till den numera insomnade tidskriften.

The aftermath revealed such moral cowardice and intellectual confusion on both sides of the Atlantic that the battle of ideas has sometimes seemed in danger of being lost by default. To defend and celebrate Western civilisation is not merely desirable; it is imperative.

Om man utgår ifrån premiärnumret så kan Standpoint (med devisen ”Think again”) liknas vid en elegantare månadsversion av nyhetsmagasinet The Spectator (”Champagne for the brain”). Och lyckas man med det är det bara att gratulera.

Man gör inte någon hemlighet av att man vill skapa en sofistikerad tidskrift; ”unashamedly highbrow in an era of relentless ‘dumbing down,’ it responds to the unfulfilled needs of the educated public”.

Tidskriften har lyckats få med en imponerande antal kända namn. Här bidrar exempelvis krönikörerna Craig Brown (The Daily Telegraph), Nick Cohen (The Observer) och Charles Moore (The Spectator); författarna Julie Burchill, Antonia Fraser och Alain de Botton; historikerna Robert Conquest (som bidrar med sex dikter!), Andrew Roberts och Michael Burleigh; USA:s f.d. ambassadör i London Raymond Seitz; konstnären David Hockney samt många, många fler.

I tidskriftens rådgivande organ sitter en imponernade samling personer. Mest kända är kanske Michael Burleigh, David Hockney CH, Noel Malcolm, Sir V.S. Naipaul KB, Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, Michael Gove MP, Baron Lawson of Blaby, PC.

Standpoint ges ut av idéinstitutet Social Affairs Unit i London. Denna ”think tank” citerar med stolthet på sin hemsida ett omnämnande från The Times;

The Social Affairs Unit is famous for driving its coach and horses through the liberal consensus scattering intellectual picket lines as it goes [and] for raising questions which strike most people most of the time as too dangerous or too difficult to think about.

Det är helt uppenbart att det är i denna anda som Standpoint kommer att verka. 

Daniel Johnson konstaterar att det är farligt att anta att de värderingar och framgångar som har präglat den västerländska civilisationens utveckling skulle vara universellt accepterade, eller att det öppna samhällets -i huvudsak positiva – framgångar inte skulle kunna vändas emot oss.

Våra lagar, friheter och tekniska framgångar kommer alltid att exploateras av demokratins fiender. ”Standpoint, however, intends to be a beacon of hope”.

Ett sådant ”mission statement” är imponerande och det är bara att hoppas att tidningen kommer lyckas nå sina läsare.

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