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VAL 2016 | Tre tidskrifter har inför folkomröstningen i Storbritannien bjudit in representanter för Vote Remain och Vote Leave att argumentera för sin sak.

Newsweek 24 juni 2016

I Newsweek är det Iain Duncan Smith och Sadiq Khan som står för argumenten.

Duncan Smith, som säger Ja till Brexit, var partiledare för Conservative Party mellan 2001 och 2003 och minister för ”work and pensions” i David Camerons regering mellan åren 2010-2016.

Sadiq Khan, från Labour, valdes till Londons borgmästare i maj och anser att Storbritannien mår bäst av att stanna kvar i EU.

Först Duncan Smiths argument i korthet:

President Barack Obama is just one of the many international leaders to urge the people of the United Kingdom to remain members of the European Union. But in doing so he is asking British voters to accept policies and institutions that the American people would not accept for themselves. I’m not just guessing that this is the case. An opinion poll by YouGov found that only 29 percent of Americans would agree to Mexicans having an automatic right to live and work in the U.S. in return for Americans enjoying such a right in Mexico. Even fewer—19 percent—supported the idea of a joint Canadian-Mexican-American high court that would be the ultimate decider of human rights questions. Only 33 percent supported a “South and North American Environmental Agency” that would regulate the fishing industry across the Americas.

As members of the 28-state EU, the British people are subject to the decisions of a supranational and highly politicized court; they watch as jobs in their neighborhoods are taken by Romanians, Bulgarians and other Europeans; and they also find that bureaucrats in Brussels rather than elected representatives in the House of Commons decide all key environmental, fishing and agricultural matters. Britain is only a fraction of the democracy that it was in 1973, when we joined the European Economic Community.

Och här är några av Khans motargument:

Whether it’s analysis from the British Treasury, the Bank of England, the Confederation of British Industry, the International Monetary Fund or the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, it is clear that remaining part of the EU will be better for our economy, better for trade, better for businesses—both large and small—and better for exports.

Almost half of everything we sell to the rest of the world we sell to Europe. In London alone, we export more than £12 billion every year to Europe, and we are home to the European headquarters of 60 percent of the world’s non-European global businesses.

Access to EU markets is crucial to the success of the City of London, and for every £1 we put into the EU, we get almost £10 back through increased trade, investment, low prices and jobs.

I The Spectator har Matthew Parris och Daniel Hannan plockat fram sina sex bästa argument för och emot EU-medlemskapet. Debattörerna har dessutom fått möjlighet att replikera på varandras inlägg.

The Spectator 11 June 2016

Parris är kolumnist för tidskriften och dagstidningen The Times. Hannan sitter i EU-parlamentet för Conservative PartyParris skriver:

Like almost everyone, I’ve piled angrily into this fight. But as the debate nears resolution I feel ashamed of all my furious certainties. In the end, none of us knows, and we shouldn’t pretend to. So I’ll try now to express more temperately six thoughts that persist as the early rage subsides.

From the first three you’ll see that I’m beginning to understand that for many the EU is now a whipping boy. ‘Europe’ has become for many what in other ages Rome, or communist plots, or America, or international Jewry, or big business represented: a conspiracy against us, an explanation. In the words of Cavafy’s poem ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’, ‘a kind of solution’. Europe has become a punchbag for our fears and frustrations. Hating the EU has become exciting, brave, a source of self-affirmation, a proxy.

Daniel Hannan inleder med att skriva:

For me, as for so many people, it’s a heart versus head issue. I’m emotionally drawn to Europe. I speak French and Spanish and have lived and worked all over the Continent. I’ve made many friends among the Brussels functionaries. Lots of them, naturally, are committed Euro-federalists. Yet they are also decent neighbours, loyal companions and generous hosts. I feel twinges of unease about disappointing them, especially the anglophiles. But, in the end, the head must rule the heart.

Remainers often tell us to think of our children, and I’m doing precisely that. I am thinking, not just about the EU as it is now, but about the diminished role that a surly, introverted Europe will have in their lifetime. And that makes my decision very easy.

Standpoint har låtit de två konservativa parlamentsledamöterna Oliver Letwin och Michael Gove stå för argumenten.

Standpoint..

Letwin, förespråkare för Vote Remain, tar i sitt inlägg som utgångspunkt det avtal som premiärminister David Cameron förhandlade fram med EU inför folkomröstningen.

The binding, international law decision that he agreed with the other heads of government in Brussels a few months ago provides explicitly for some member states to form voluntarily a full political, fiscal and monetary union. But it also makes it explicitly clear that this will not apply to other states (including, explicitly, the UK).

The agreement goes on to state explicitly that the phrase “ever closer union” does not provide the European Court with a legal basis for expansive interpretations of the treaties, that it is not the ambition of the UK to form part of an ever closer union, and that the phrase “ever closer union” therefore does not apply to the UK.

Second, the agreement acknowledges, for the first time, that the EU is and will remain permanently a multi-currency zone. And, to make a reality of this, it establishes a new set of protocols governing the relationship between those countries within the eurozone and those countries that maintain their own currencies.

These changes are fundamental. Together, they create the opportunity for a new Europe of concentric circles to emerge — a Europe in which Britain can do exactly what very many of us have wanted for decades: namely, for Britain to be a permanent, full member of the outer circle, the free trade single market, while some other countries travel towards a different destination as members of the inner circle of political, fiscal and monetary union.

Även Michael Gove, Vote Leave, argumenterar utifrån avtalet med Bryssel. Gove är minister i Camerons regering.

We have to be honest about the lack of reform. The deal with other EU nations doesn’t return a single power from Brussels to nation states, doesn’t reduce wasteful EU spending by a penny, doesn’t get rid of a single job-destroying regulation or display even a glimmer of a scintilla of a recognition that the EU might be anything other than a Garden of Eden from which no one should wish to be excluded.

But what makes the deal particularly problematic for us in Britain is not just failure to reform the EU this time round, but the surrender of our veto over future changes.

The deal specifies that countries such as Britain which may not want to see further integration will give up their ability to stop others; they “will not create obstacles to but [will] facilitate such further deepening”.

It has always been critical to the defence of our interests in Europe that we can block other countries at critical moments and make sure our needs are met before others can make new arrangements. The PM made good use of that power in 2011 when he vetoed plans for further integration that didn’t take account of Britain’s needs. Under the new Brussels deal, that power would be lost.

Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 24 juni 2016; The Spectator den 11 juni 2016; Standpoint juni 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Tecknen var tydliga från första början. Nu ser Labour och Sadiq Khan ut att vinna borgmästarvalet i London.

Zac Goldsmith

Den bästa krishanteringen för ett Labour som förväntas göra dåligt ifrån sig i lokalvalen den 5 maj är just en seger i det prestigefyllda Londonvalet.

Isabel Hardman skrev i The Spectator om varför Zac Goldsmith och Conservative Party har haft en sådan dålig valrörelse I London.

[T]he countrywide councils failure will be shrugged off if Boris Johnson is replaced as London mayor by Sadiq Khan, a Labour candidate with close links to the Corbyn machine. Khan started this campaign as the underdog but is now leading the polls by a healthy margin.

[…]

Those around Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith are in despair, and think the race is as good as lost. Tories in Tooting, the constituency Khan will resign from if elected mayor, are already bracing themselves for a by-election.

Goldsmith’s campaign has struggled for a number of reasons. He doesn’t give the impression he’s all that bothered about winning — a problem given that he’s up against the scrappy, energetic Khan. Goldsmith spent his earlier years trying to avoid the media, who were always interested in the son of a billionaire. In showbiz, the photographers chase you. In politics, you need to chase the photographers. Senior Tories are frustrated that their candidate doesn’t seem to have made the switch. One says: ‘Boris won in London despite the party, but if Zac wins, it will be because of the party.’

That bodes ill for Zac, because the Conservative party has an ageing and dwindling base, especially in London. When Lynton Crosby helped Boris campaign four years ago, he complained that many Tory members were taking their afternoon naps when he needed them on the streets. Those members haven’t got any younger.

Tory MPs are ordered to help Goldsmith as much as possible. Behind the scenes, however, a number of them point to the upside of losing the capital: an impressive Khan victory could well mean a few more years of abysmal opposition from Jeremy Corbyn. They would do better to ask themselves why the party is failing so dramatically in the capital. Some of Goldsmith’s allies grumble that Khan was the biggest single beneficiary of George Osborne’s last Budget. The recent rows over welfare cuts and the EU referendum have made it much harder for London campaigners to get their message across.

Bild: Från Zac Goldsmiths kampanjhemsida BackZac2016.

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LONDON | Det skall mycket till för att en kandidat från Labour skall förlora ett borgmästarval i London.

The Spectator 2 January 2016

Det är lika svårt för en konservativ politiker i London som för en republikan i New York.

Trots detta har Boris Johnson varit den perfekta konservativa borgmästaren för en storstad som London. Även om Johnson inte varit någon kopia av den tidigare republikanska borgmästaren Michael Bloomberg har de hel del gemensamt.

Båda har varit sitt eget varumärke. Båda har lyckats sälja in sin egen person snarare än deras partitillhörighet. Båda har gått sin egen väg och snarare varit pragmatiska än ideologiska.

Så när London nu skall gå till val igen i maj skall det mycket till för att Tories skall lyckas upprepa Johnsons bragd.

Den här gången kommer det att stå mellan Sadiq Khan från Labour och Zac Goldsmith från Conservative Party.

Eftersom Labour idag har en rejält impopulär partiledare i Jeremy Corbyn samtidigt som Johnson har varit mycket populär har Khan valt en strategi som går ut på att distansera sig från sin partiledare samtidigt som han talar väl om allt som det bara går att tala väl om hos sin motståndare.

James Forsyth, politisk redaktör på The Spectator, har tittat på Khan och hans kampanjstrategi.

He ran Ed Miliband’s leadership campaign in 2010 and led Labour’s fierce — and surprisingly effective —campaign in London last year. Now, his sights are set on reclaiming City Hall for Labour and persuading even those on the right that he is the natural heir to Boris Johnson.

‘I want Spectator readers to give me a second look,’ he says, when we meet in the House of Commons. He is not, he’s keen to stress, a lieutenant in Jeremy Corbyn’s army. He’s keen to ladle praise on Boris Johnson — a ‘great salesman for our city’ who made him feel ‘proud to be a Londoner’ during the Olympics. He even likes rich people. ‘I welcome the fact that we have got 140-plus billionaires in London; that’s a good thing. I welcome the fact that there are more than 400,000 millionaires; that’s a good thing.’ If you shut your eyes, it could be Peter Mandelson speaking. It is not what you would expect from someone who has always been on the soft left of Labour.

If elected mayor, he says, he would not attempt to taunt David Cameron’s government as Ken Livingstone once taunted Margaret Thatcher’s. ‘I’m not going to be somebody who puts a big banner up outside City Hall criticising the Prime Minister, he says. ‘As a Labour councillor for 12 years in Tory Wandsworth I saw the benefits of having to work with the Tories to get a good deal for my constituents.’

But this is all part of Khan’s ambitious strategy: he doesn’t just want to win, he wants to win big. He is confident about his own ability to run a campaign; to him the issue isn’t whether he’ll win — but how.

‘If we wanted to, we could just target those Labour voters and increase the turnout. We could win London just by doing that.’ But, he says, ‘That’s not the sort of mayor I want to be… I want to be everyone’s mayor.’ In particular, he wants to be that vanishingly rare thing: a Labour friend of business. ‘Bearing in mind who our leader is,’ he says, ‘it’s important to reassure the right people that he doesn’t represent all Labour thinking.’ Khan is clearly aware that his biggest vulnerability is being branded Corbyn’s candidate. He is eager to say he is not in regular contact with his party leader; the last time he saw him was when they had their photos taken together to promote the Living Wage more than a month ago.

[…]

The Tories would dearly love to turn this contest into independent-minded Zac versus Jeremy Corbyn’s man. But by love-bombing Tories and business, Khan is determined to stop them doing that. So if the Tories are to stop Labour retaking City Hall, then the Goldsmith campaign will have to match Khan’s organisation, energy and enthusiasm.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator, 2 januari 2016.

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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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LABOUR | Jeremy Corbyn, partiledare för Labour i Storbritannien, tvekar aldrig att i tid och otid sjunga det multikulturella samhällets lov.

Standpoint September 2015

Men alla är inte lika imponerade av partiledarens politiska retorik.

Maryam Ahmed, tidigare varit ordförande för Oxford University Conservative Association, konstaterar i Standpoint att etniska minoritetsgrupper och väljare i de lägre inkomstgrupperna röstade på Conservative Party i större omfattning än vad vänster inom Labour vill erkänna.

As a working-class British Muslim born to Pakistani parents, I am adamant that Corbyn does not represent me — indeed, his policies are only notable in that they appear to be designed to keep me and my ilk on the very lowest rungs of British society.

During a recent interview with former Respect leader Salma Yaqoob, Corbyn stated his desire to “increase levels of multiculturalism” and assured British Muslims that they have a right to “be treated as part of the community” before dismissing the Prime Minister’s assertion that multiculturalism has failed. Of course, Corbyn neglected to mention that a multicultural society is, by definition, one in which minority groups exist in relative isolation, without integration into the wider community. The conflation of multiculturalism with diversity is a trick often deployed by the Left but I am surprised that Corbyn, a man who claims to despise yah-boo politics, would sink to such tactics.

This self-proclaimed champion of social mobility sees nothing wrong with a ghettoised society in which British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis exhibit lower rates of social mobility and employment than any other ethnic group in Britain, with 42 per cent of British Pakistanis and 48 per cent of British Bangladeshis in possession of no academic or professional qualifications. Nor does he see any contradiction in moralising on human rights while endorsing a multicultural Britain where more than 1,200 women of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi origin undergo forced marriage each year and a further 137,000 British women have been subjected to genital mutilation. Most alarmingly, he has never once acknowledged the link between multiculturalism and the radicalisation of some 2,000 Britons who have travelled to Syria to fight alongside ISIS.

Corbyn has made it abundantly clear that he is willing to court minority votes with the same cheap platitudes as Yaqoob’s predecessor George Galloway, while endorsing policies that consign British Muslims to the socio-economic scrapheap without any hope of self-betterment. Much like Galloway, he is fond of criticising the “high levels of Islamophobia” in the media, even though his own dealings with hate preachers such as Raed Salah (who recently called for the establishment of a “global caliphate”) are far more distasteful to many British Muslims than the occasional sensationalist tabloid headline.

Corbyn, it seems, is more concerned with maintaining his carefully cultivated persona as a moral messiah — a saviour of the downtrodden — than with listening to the needs or wishes of the socially and economically disadvantaged. This man who takes tea with terrorists and has at his disposal a vast army of useful idiots can no longer be treated as a figure of ridicule.

Tidskriftsomslag: Standpoint, September 2015

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IMAGE Inom Labour är Tony Blair numera näst intill hatad. Det är lite märkligt med tanke på att han är partiets mest framgångsrika premiärminister.

William Hague and Tony Blair

Han står idag i bjärt kontrast till sina efterföljare på partiledarposten. Vare sig Gordon Brown eller Ed Miliband lyckades leva upp till förväntningarna.

William Hague, tidigare partiledare (1997-2001) för Conservative Party, förklarar i The Telegraph hur det var att ha honom som huvudmotståndare och vad det var som gjorde Blair så framgångsrik.

Det är svårt att se den nyvalde partiledaren Jeremy Corbyn kommer att ta någon notis om Hagues lärdomar.

In late 1997, having rather rashly taken on the job of Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, I discussed with the new prime minister, Tony Blair, which of us had the most difficult job. “You have,” he said, without a moment’s doubt.

Blair was right. And that job was doubly more difficult because it was one pitched every day against him, the most formidable electoral opponent the Conservative Party has faced in its entire history. Before him, Labour had only twice since its foundation won a decisive majority; with him it did so three times in a row.

Although he is despised in Labour’s current leadership election, Blair was a Tory leader’s worst nightmare: appealing to the swing voter and reassuring to the Right-leaning, it was hard to find a square on the political chessboard on which he did not already sit. When people told me I did well at Prime Minister’s Questions, I knew I had to, since I had very little else going for me at all – I had to raise the morale of Conservatives each Wednesday to get them through the frustration and impotence of every other day of the week.

Blair courted business leaders and Right-wing newspapers, often to great effect. He was a Labour leader who loved being thought to be a secret Tory, a pro-European who was fanatical in support for the United States, a big spender who kept income taxes down, an Anglican who let it be known he wanted to be a Catholic and regularly read the Koran. He could be tough or soft or determined or flexible as necessary and shed tears if needed, seemingly at will. To the political law that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time he added Blair’s law – that you can make a very serious attempt at it.

This was the human election-winning machine against which some of us dashed ourselves, making the Charge of the Light Brigade look like a promising manoeuvre by comparison. Yet now, only eight years after he left the scene he dominated, his party’s election is conducted with scorn for the most successful leader they ever had.

Bild: Utrikesminister William Hague och Tony Blair 2010.  Foto från The Office of Tony Blair

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James Forsyth, Dan Hodges, Fraser Nelson, Isabel Hardman och Sebastian Payne, alla på The Spectator, diskuterar vad Jeremy Corbyns seger innebär för Labour och Conservative Party.

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