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Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

STRATEGI | Det är nästan omöjligt att inte då och då ägna sig åt sällskapsspelet ”Tänk om…” när det gäller politik och valrörelser.

david-cameron

Om förlorarna bara hade gjort a, b, c så skulle valresultatet blivit helt annorlunda.

Men ofta är dessa kontrafaktiska resonemang näst intill meningslösa. En som dock lyckats ganska bra när det gäller folkomröstningen i Storbritannien är Tim Shipman.

Shipman är politisk redaktör på The Sunday Times och författare till All Out War: How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class.

I The Spectator har han listat sju händelser och strategiska vägval som skulle kunnat ge Vote Remain segern och därmed garanterat premiärminister David Camerons fortsatt regeringsinnehav.

1 ”A proper ‘deal’ with Brussels.”

2 ”A Yes/No referendum, not a Leave/Remain.”

3 ”Losing Dominic Cummings as head of Vote Leave.”

4 ”Michael Gove backing Cameron — and Remain.”

5 ”Vote Leave not being recognised as the official Out Campaign.”

6 ”Accurate opinion polls.”

7 ”Cameron making a pre-referendum ‘vow’ on immigration.”

När det gäller punkt sex och sju skriver Shipman följande:

Korrekta opinionssiffror:

Throughout the campaign, Stronger In’s pollster Andrew Cooper told Cameron and Osborne that they would win the referendum and that economic risk would trump immigration with the key swing voters. Cooper’s surveys — indeed, those of most pollsters — dramatically underestimated the number of traditional non–voters who would turn out for Leave (nearly three million of them). Cooper’s polls convinced Tory high command that they should stick to the gameplan which won them the Scottish referendum and the general election — of using warnings about economic risk. Had they known they were behind throughout the campaign, Cameron’s team would have felt compelled to change tack. As one campaign aide put it: ‘Frankly, we’d have been better off having no polling at all, or going out into the street and randomly stopping every fourth person and asking them what they thought.’

Cameron och immigrationsfrågan:

Non-Tories in the Remain campaign, including Will Straw and Peter Mandelson, repeatedly demanded that Cameron make a Scotland-style ‘vow’ telling the public he had listened to their concerns on immigration. Cameron’s aides wanted him to say he would veto Turkish entry into the EU. Cameron felt any public comment on migrants helped Leave.

In a meeting 11 days before the referendum, Cameron ruled out making a speech or a vow. The following day his communications chief Sir Craig Oliver emailed Cameron to say he should do something. Cameron went into work the next morning resolved to act, but was again talked out of it. In a call with Merkel, he made no requests. ‘If you ran the perfect campaign on immigration you still wouldn’t have made the fence on the issue. But you would have been competing,’ a Remain campaign staffer said. ‘And we just didn’t compete.’

Bild: PA

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SWEXIT | Den som följde den svenska debatten kring Brexit lade säkert märke till att Jonas Sjöstedt syntes mer än vanligt i media.

Jonas Sjöstedt

Men vad ville Sjöstedt med alla sina framträdanden? Det är inte säkert att någon riktigt uppfattade något tydligt budskap.

Vänsterpartiet verkar inte riktigt veta vilken fot man skall stå på när det gäller frågan om en eventuell svensk folkomröstning om EU-medlemskapet.

Men läser man mellan raderna kan man ana att partiet skulle välkomna en folkomröstning. Men tydligen vågar man inte säga detta rent ut. Därav deras minst sagt vaga budskap.

Troligtvis är man rädd att äventyra Vänsterpartiets strategi att alltid försöka framstå som ”statsmannamässig”. Detta kräver att man inte uppfattas som ett ytterlighetsparti i viktiga frågor.

När Vänsterpartiet inte fick ingå i den rödgröna koalitionen var Sjöstedts upprördhet påtaglig. Men istället för att dra maximal nytta av sin oppositionsroll har partiet valt att fortsätta på den inslagna vägen.

En annan orsak till att man inte vågar ta ordet folkomröstning i sin mun är att man då skulle hamna på samma sida som Sverigedemokraterna i frågan. Därav deras något krystade resonemang kring Brexit och dess konsekvenser för Sverige.

Så här lät t.ex. Sjöstedt i Svenska Dagbladet inför folkomröstningen i Storbritannien:

Den brittiska kritiken mot EU har flera ansikten. Kritik mot EU-medlemskapet finns från både höger och vänster. Men en påfallande högljudd del av den brittiska EU-kritiken präglas av nationalism, traditionell högerpolitik och ibland ren främlingsfientlighet. Det är en form av EU-kritik som vi känner oss främmande inför. Vi kommer därför inte att stödja någon sådan brittisk nej-kampanj. Vår EU-kritik handlar om folkstyre, självbestämmanderätt och demokrati.

[…]

Om Storbritannien väljer att lämna EU bör de erbjudas ett nära samarbete med ett nytt avtal med EU. Ett avtal som kan ersätta dagens EES-avtal och i vilket även Norge kan ingå. Ett sådant avtal ska garantera fri varuhandel utan tullar och personers fria rörlighet. Samtidigt måste maktförhållandena i ett sådant avtal ändras så att de inte ensidigt bygger på att samtliga länder ska tillämpa EU-rätten. För att vara hållbart på sikt bör avtalet vara ett avtal mellan jämbördiga parter när gemensamma regler utformas.

Ett sådant nytt avtal skulle göra ett brittiskt utträde ur EU mindre dramatiskt och kunna vara grunden för ett gott framtida samarbete mellan våra länder. Ett brittiskt utträde ur EU skulle säkerligen starta en debatt om fortsatt EU-medlemskap i Sverige och andra EU-länder. Ett bra samarbetsavtal skulle vara ett bra alternativ om/när Sverige eller andra länder i framtiden väljer att lämna EU.

Detta låter som Sjöstedt både vill ha kakan och äta den.

Rivalen Kommunistiska Partiet har satt fingret på Vänsterpartiets ömma punkt. Så här skrev Jenny Tedjeza, chefredaktören på partitidningen Proletären, om partiets inställning:

Vänsterpartiet har, för att behålla sin parlamentariska ställning, stegvis tonat ner kravet på ett EU-utträde och därmed lämnat öppet fält för högerpopulistiska och nationalistiska strömningar att ta över. För att sedan använda den yttersta högerns EU-motstånd som en förevändning för att i praktiken helt överge kravet på utträde.

När det nu visar sig att Storbritannien är EU-kedjans svagaste länk och Brexit-anhängarna ser ut att kunna vinna torsdagens folkomröstning vägrar därför Vänsterpartiet och Jonas Sjöstedt att ta ställning, just med hänvisning till de nationalistiska, främlingsfientliga och konservativa elementen i Brexit-kampanjen.

Istället bekänner sig Vänsterpartiet idag till den diffusa EU-kritik som bygger på föreställningen att unionen kan göras mer progressiv inifrån.

Klockrent.

Sjöstedt skulle aldrig erkänna det men Vänsterpartiets strategi hamnar bra nära premiärminister David Camerons inför folkomröstningen.

Så här skrev tidskriften The Spectator i en kritisk ledare efter Brexitvalet:

His strategy of holding a renegotiation of Britain’s terms of membership with the EU, followed by an in-out referendum, was logical.

[…]

The fault with Cameron’s strategy is that it was based on a false premise: that the EU is open to reform. It is not and never will be. The louder the voices for reform, the more its unelected leaders retreat into their siege positions. The threat of a British referendum was supposed to jolt them into the realisation that their dream of a pan-European pseudo-state is less and less shared by the public. But instead of sending scouts to hear what the people wanted, they stayed up on the ramparts and boiled the oil ready to pour on the mob.

Detta vet även Jonas Sjöstedt. Trots detta har han valt att låta mer som David Cameron än EU-motståndarna på den svenska vänsterkanten, inklusive de som finns inom det egna partiet.

Expressen ställde en direkt fråga till honom efter valet i Storbritannien. Sjöstedts lät återigen som den konservative premiärministern innan han tvingades gå med på en folkomröstning om EU.

– Det kan komma ett läge då vi tar upp frågan om folkomröstning om ett utträde i Sverige, säger han.

[…]

Vänsterpartiet var det enda av riksdagspartierna som inte ville ta ställning inför omröstningen. När beskedet om brexit kom på midsommaraftons morgon meddelade V-ledaren att han vill omförhandla det svenska medlemskapet.

Men du sträcker dig inte så långt som att du vill ha ett swexit?

– Det kan komma ett läge då vi tar upp frågan om folkomröstning om ett utträde i Sverige. Men då vill vi först veta vad som är förutsättningarna för ett omförhandlat medlemskap.

Detta är tydligen Vänsterpartiets försök att triangulera. Men vaghet i stora avgörande frågor brukar inte belönas av väljarna. Vi får se om det lyckas för Sjöstedt.

Bild: Anna-Karin Nilsson / Anna-Karin Nilsson Expressen.

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VAL 2016 | Inom Torypartiet kampanjar man idag inte bara för Vote Remain eller Vote Leave utan också om vem man vill se som nästa premiärminister.

Newsweek 20 maj 2016

Även om kampanjen för att positionera Boris Johnson, partiets populäre tidigare Londonborgmästare, inte sker allt för öppet kan alla ändå se tecken på att striden pågår bakom kulisserna.

Johnsons strategi tycks gå ut på att bara kritisera David Cameron när det gäller hans inställning i folkomröstningen. I övriga frågor har Johnson intagit rollen som den lojale partianhängaren som inte kritiserar sin premiärminister.

Isabel Oakeshott, political editor-at-largeDaily Mail, har skrivit en artikel i Newsweek om rivaliteten mellan de två och kampanjen kring Cameron och Boris Johnson.

Johnson publicly declared he would be campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union, in direct opposition to Cameron, who called the referendum but is backing the Remain campaign.

Johnson’s announcement—on the issue that has repeatedly divided the Conservative Party over the past three decades—added personal drama to the historic decision facing the British electorate on June 23: whether to remain part of the economic and political bloc that formed in the wake of two catastrophic wars in Europe to bring peace and prosperity to the continent. The now-public contest between Johnson and Cameron will result in either the defeat and possible resignation of a sitting British prime minister or a potentially fatal blow to the ambitions of his rival, Johnson, who may be the most intellectually capable and popular politician of his generation.

”The last thing I wanted was to go against  David Cameron or the government,” Johnson told reporters gathered outside his home on February 21, the day he made his public declaration.

[…]

The prime minister had good reason to believe his entreaties to Johnson might work. Johnson is multilingual and fundamentally internationalist in outlook. Privately, his doubts about the merits of the EU were usually outweighed by his appreciation of its benefits. But he wavered. A friend of Johnson’s, who wants Britain to stay in the EU, says Johnson once told him, ”I have to warn you, one day I might say we should come out of Europe.”

After Cameron’s election victory in 2015, the prime minister promised to negotiate a new relationship between Britain and the EU, one that gave Britain more power over its own policies. Still conflicted, Johnson waited until Cameron had concluded his dealmaking before making up his mind. In the end, it was Johnson’s wife, Marina Wheeler, who helped persuade him that the prime minister’s deal did not reclaim enough British sovereignty.

If Johnson ends up on the losing side of the referendum it would be a blow—but, in an odd twist, he could end up benefiting from the defeat, because in the eyes of many Conservative MPs he will have been on the right side of the argument. The next few years might then play out like this: Cameron stays on as leader and prime minister until 2019 (the process for choosing a new leader takes several months), or he might quit earlier; a leadership contest takes place; and Johnson defeats Cameron’s key ally, George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, who is less popular with the Conservative legislators. (A March poll by YouGov showed 43 percent of Conservative Party members backed Johnson to be the next leader, while just 22 percent backed Osborne.)

In that scenario, Johnson would likely lead the Conservatives to an election victory in 2020, over a Labour Party that has weakened since its catastrophic defeat in 2015. That would bring Eton’s tally of prime ministers to 20.

Publicly, Johnson shrugs off the suggestion that he is fixated on getting to 10 Downing Street. In truth, his campaign for that job seems to be well underway. ”Low-key and loyal to Cameron” is how an insider describes his strategy. By ”loyal,” the insider means that Johnson is not making it his business to challenge or undermine the prime minister on subjects other than Europe. His outriders—a handful of MPs working, very unofficially, on Johnson’s behalf in an attempt to improve his prospects—are assiduously avoiding the small but significant faction of anti-EU Conservative MPs who detest the prime minister and would like him gone at any cost. At this delicate early stage, Johnson can’t come over as too grabby.

He is unlikely to find an easy path to the most powerful job in Britain. Osborne, who has played Cameron’s understudy for years, will fight him hard. And while Tory MPs like a winner—and even Johnson’s political enemies acknowledge his electoral successes—he hasn’t cultivated his colleagues. During his long years in City Hall, he spent little time in the House of Commons tea room—networking, sharing gossip, forging friendships and alliances. Colleagues who envy his career or disapprove of his foibles and indiscretions are unlikely to hold back from damaging his chances when they can.

Tidskriftsomslag: Newsweek den 20 maj 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Säg den glädje som varar. När Labour valde Jeremy Corbyn till partiledare var det många konservativa som tackade högre makter.

New Statesman 8-14 April 2016

Inom partiet var näst intill säker på att regeringsmakten var näst intill säkrad för lång tid framöver när det största oppositionspartiet valt en partiledare långt ut på vänsterkanten.

Detta naturligtvis under förutsättning att man inte förflyttade partiet för långt ut åt höger. Detta var också premiärminister David Camerons strategi efter partiets överraskande valseger. Man ville säkra sin position i mitten.

Men det var innan de interna partistriderna inför folkomröstningen om medlemskapet i EU. Nu befinner sig Conservatives i ett inbördeskrig mellan ”Leavers” och ”Remain”.

Skiljelinjerna mellan anhängarna till Brexit respektive Bremain går rakt igenom regeringen. Sex ministrar har t.ex. valt att stödja ett utträde.

Och detta är bara de som öppet har tagit ställning för ett utträde. Hur stort mörkertalet är i realiteten är det ingen som vet.

Simon Heffer, kolumnist i The Daily Telegraph och The Sunday Telegraph, har skrivit i New Statesman om stridigheterna och David Camerons krishantering.

The Conservative Party is approaching not only a historic referendum, but a historic moment of crisis. It is deeply divided over whether or not to stay in the European Union, and the divisions are unequal. At the top, most want to stay in: not out of conviction, but because most ministers have found it politic to agree with David Cameron, even if they cannot support his view that he got a great deal from other EU countries after his supposed “renegotiations” with them. Among MPs generally the mood is far more hostile; and at the party’s grass roots it is predominantly in favour of leaving. Where this ranks in the history of Tory party crises is not easy to say.

[…]

The current division is open and is breeding hostility, luxuries afforded by one of the Tories’ few unifying beliefs: that Labour poses no threat at the moment, and they can have a quarrel that may even verge on civil war without fearing electoral consequences. Whatever the outcome, the present quarrel allows the opportunity for a major realignment of the party without it having to go out of office. A minister who is (just, and after much soul-searching) committed to our staying in the European Union told me frankly last week that the Tory party was “a mess” and that, whatever happened on 23 June, the referendum would be the beginning and not the end of a painful process for the Conservatives.

[…]

There is an idea on both sides that scores will have to be settled after 23 June, and, the way things are going with party discipline and out-of-control aides in Downing Street, such an outcome is inevitable. Should Remain prevail, a wise prime minister would understand that this was a time to heal wounds and not deepen them. It remains a matter of conjecture how wise Cameron, whose vindictive streak is more often than not on the surface rather than beneath it, is prepared to be.

Those who work for his party at the grass roots, and on whom MPs depend to get the vote out at elections, will be unimpressed by a purge of those who have not backed him over Europe. There isn’t much of a voluntary party left, and there will be even less of one if he acts rashly in victory. If it is a narrow victory – and it is, at this stage, hard to envisage any other sort – his party could become unmanageable unless he acts with restraint and decency.

[…]

Conservatives worried about the stability of their party believe that only Labour under a new, more effective and less factional leader could present the serious electoral challenge to them that would shake them out of these unprecedentedly acrimonious and self-indulgent divisions. We can only imagine how differently the In campaign would be conducted if Labour had a nationally popular and an obviously electable leader.

As it is, many more dogs are likely to be unleashed. Things promise to become far nastier, dirtier and ever more internecine for the Tories, not just before 23 June but for a long time afterwards: and with the party in power for at least four more years, one can only guess what that means for the governance of Britain.

Tidskriftsomslag: New Statesman, 8-14 april 2016.

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FOTBOLL | När fotbollstidningen When Saturday Comes fyllde 30 passade man på att fundera över hur synen på sporten förändrats över åren.

WSC April 2016 Issue 350

When Saturday Comes gave voice to a quizzical tone of protest at a time when the Conservative prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, believed football supporters were a hooligan mob, an ‘enemy within’, to be singled out for compulsory identity cards. Such is the transformation of the game’s status since that her successor, David Cameron, feels compelled to present as a fan himself, even when he can’t remember which club he says he supports.

Tidskriftsomslaget: Premiärminister David Cameron: ”We’ve got to stay in.” Englands coach Roy Hodgson: ”At least until the quarter finals.” (WSC: When Saturday Comes, nummer 350, April 2016)

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VAL 2016 | Det kommer att bli svårare för David Cameron att få ett Ja i EU-folkomröstningen sedan Boris Johnson valt att stödja ett utträde.

The Spectator 27 February 2016

Många ifrågasätter om det var en så klok strategi från Cameron att så intensivt attackera den populära Londonborgmästaren efter hans besked om att han tänker stödja ”out”-kampanjen.

En av premiärministerns anhängare citerar t.ex. Michael Corleone: ”Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.”

James Forsyth, redaktör The Spectator, har beskrivit Camerons reaktion när det stod klart för honom att Johnson inte kommer att stödja premiärministerns kampanj för att Storbritannien skall stanna kvar i EU.

Many Tories had doubts about David Cameron’s EU renegotiation, but only Boris Johnson was promised a piece of legislation to assuage his particular concerns. It was quite a compliment. The so-called Sovereignty Bill was, in effect, the Get Boris Onside Act. It was designed to deal with the Mayor of London’s fears about the relationship between the British parliament and courts and the EU. It was also mooted that Boris would be offered a top cabinet job — perhaps Foreign Secretary. The Prime Minister was convinced that this combined offer would be enough to secure Boris for the ‘in’ campaign.

But a few days before the Brussels summit, when Oliver Letwin telephoned Boris to run through the Sovereignty Bill, he sensed trouble. As the conversation went on, Boris’s concerns seemed to multiply. Even if Cameron secured his deal, he said, EU law would still retain supremacy over UK law. And there was still no answer to the question, posed by Boris’s wife Marina Wheeler QC in The Spectator, about the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Then Johnson told Letwin he was going to put the call on speakerphone while he consulted his dinner guest Michael Gove. The Lord Chancellor was already known to be tending towards supporting ‘out’. When Letwin finally put down the phone, the Tory leader-ship had to face the fact that Boris might follow Gove in backing Brexit. Perhaps this episode explains why Cameron was so short with the Mayor when they met the next day to discuss the matter.

Four days later, Boris made it official. He would defy Cameron and advocate leaving the European Union. Today, the two best-known Tories in the land stand in direct opposition on the most important vote the UK has had since the second world war. Only one of them can win.

Cameron is infuriated by Boris’s decision and makes little attempt to disguise it. In the Commons he launched a thinly veiled and deeply personal attack on his fellow Old Etonian, implying that he was only backing ‘out’ to further his own career. After the exchange, one observer said Boris looked as if he had been mugged. A member of his camp said: ‘We weren’t expecting a warm reception, but we weren’t expecting that level of vitriol either.’

And it has only just begun. Cameroons claim Boris’s decision is an act of ‘naked self-interest’. A source close to the Tory leadership predicts that Boris’s decision to back ‘out’ will be a disaster: ‘He’s going to struggle in interviews as he doesn’t believe in getting out of Europe and he’ll face the kind of scrutiny he’s not faced before. He’s not good on detail.’

The personal attacks will only increase in ferocity as time goes on. ‘He was given all the time in the world to make up his mind,’ another source adds. ‘He’s made his bed, he’s now got to lie in it.’ When I asked if Boris could still serve in a Cameron cabinet, the acid reply was: ‘Boris will make a very good International Development Secretary.’

It might be satisfying to savage Boris in this fashion, but it is not entirely wise — as some cooler-headed Cameroons admit. No. 10 appears to have forgotten Michael Corleone’s dictum, ‘Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.’ But if it wasn’t war before, it is now. ‘Boris is going to have to come out gloves off,’ warns one minister who is backing ‘out’. The Mayor is acutely aware that he is fighting for his political Life.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator, 27 februari 2016.

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VAL 2016 | Som det ser ut nu kommer premiärminister David Cameron att få ett Ja i folkomröstningen om Storbritannien skall stanna kvar i EU eller inte.

The Spectator 6 February 2016

Som så många gånger i valrörelser handlar det inte bara om att ena sidan kampanjar väl utan lika mycket om att motståndarna är riktigt dåliga.

Trots att ingen, inte ens EU-anhängarna, blev speciellt imponerade av innehållet i det avtal som Cameron tog med sig hem från EU-förhandlingarna verkar motståndarna blivit helt tagna på sängen.

Anhängarna av Brexit verkar varken kunna formulera ett konsekvent budskap eller få sin kampanjorganisation på plats. Och med tanke på det tidiga datumet för folkomröstningen måste man på bara några månader göra det man skulle behöva år för.

James Forsyth skrev följande i The Spectator:

Eurosceptics could hardly have asked for more favourable conditions for a referendum. After barely surviving a financial crisis, the European Union has been overwhelmed by an immigration crisis — one made much worse by its failure to control its own borders. The European Commission seems determined to make itself even more unpopular in Britain, and is considering whether VAT should be levied on food and children’s clothes. At a time of righteous anger at sweetheart tax deals for multinational corporations, the man who bears more responsibility for these than anyone else in Europe is its president, the former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker.

Then came David Cameron’s renegotiation. After months in the kitchen, Cameron has come up with the political equivalent of nouvelle cuisine: a tiny, disappointing dish served up with a big fanfare. He has nothing, for example, on the Common Agricultural Policy, or the fisheries policy that has inflicted such misery on British seaside towns. When he proposed the referendum three years ago, he spoke of a fundamental recasting of Britain’s relationship with the EU. This has been abandoned. Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council, confirmed after unveiling the proposed deal that the principles of the EU would not be altered by it.

So this ought to be the moment of Eurosceptic triumph. Instead, the movement is in chaos.

[…]

The arguments for Brexit are all there, waiting for someone persuasive to marshal them. Events could also intervene. Cameron and Osborne are so keen to get this vote over as soon as possible because both know how volatile the situation is. A repeat of last summer’s migrant crisis, another ‘Cologne’ or the eurozone going to the brink again could sway public opinion towards quitting the EU.

Yet at the moment Britain is sleepwalking into an ever more centralised EU, and the painful truth is that Euroscepticism is not ready for the confrontation that it has so long agitated for. With the government intent on a June referendum, the ‘out’ campaign will have a few months to do the work of years. If it cannot do that, then Britain will stay in the European Union. More than that, voters will have ratified the transformation from the European Economic Community that we joined in 1973 to the imperial institution that the European Union is today.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator, 6 februari 2016.

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