Posts Tagged ‘Ed Balls’

VAL 2015 | Ed Miliband kan bli Storbritanniens nästa premiärminister. Detta trots att han knappast har imponerat under sin tid som partiledare för Labour.

The Spectator 11 april 2015

Skämten har varit många på hans bekostnad. Det har handlat om allt ifrån hur han äter en baconsmörgås till att han glömde viktiga delar i sitt eget tal.

Ett av de roligare skämten är Miliband och Ed Balls, trolig finansminister vid en valseger, som politikens Wallace & Gromit.

Trots detta ligger Labour och Conservative Party nästa lika i opinionsundersökningarna. Och, vilket är minst lika viktigt, har han inte gjort några större misstag under pågående valkampanj.

Dan Hodges, som tidigare jobbat både för både partiet och inom fackföreningsrörelsen, tecknar bilden av Miliband och vad som händer om det blir han som får träda innanför dörren till 10 Downing Street efter valet den 7 maj.

One thing happens immediately. In that instant, he divests himself of his biggest negative. The perception that Ed Miliband simply does not look like a prime minister dies. The bacon sandwiches, the otherworldliness, the lonely sojourns on Hampstead Heath — they no longer matter. Within an hour, the analysts who spent the past year mocking him will start to talk about his resilience under pressure, his single-mindedness, the bold new direction in which Britain will go. This is how punditry works; all victories (and defeats) are retrospectively declared inevitable. He has the part, so by definition he looks the part.

So is he ready to play it? The Conservative party has built an entire election strategy on the assumption that the British people will answer that question with a resounding no. But Miliband would enter Downing Street with more experience then any newly elected prime minister of the past 35 years. Tony Blair had no hands-on knowledge of life inside government at any level. David Cameron had worked as an adviser but held no ministerial post. Ed Miliband has done both, as Environment Secretary and as a senior adviser at the Treasury. He understands how Whitehall works.

Speak to anyone who is in regular contact with Labour’s leader, and they all agree he is only too ready to embrace the top job. ‘He’s absolutely convinced he’s been pre-ordained for some big historical mission,’ one senior shadow cabinet member told me. ‘Don’t ask me what the hell it is. But he genuinely believes that.’ Another — rather less charitably — said, ‘Just because you think a lot it doesn’t necessarily make you a great thinker. Ed’s problem is that he regards himself as a great thinker. And he isn’t.’

Great thinker or not, allies confirm Prime Minister Miliband would call time on the ‘chillaxing’ culture that has come to define David Cameron’s management of Downing Street. One friend says, ‘He gets up early, and he’s into the media planning. Then it’s into meetings, and they’re scheduled back to back. The office will build in a bit of downtime, but then he won’t take it.’ Admirable as this is, it can create a problem. ‘You need space to sit back and breathe. Over the past five years Ed hasn’t had that. And if he gets into Downing Street I only see things getting worse.’

And here resides the paradox. As one aide explains, ‘The thing you have to understand about Ed Miliband is that his strengths are also his weaknesses.’ Speak to anyone who has worked at any level in Labour’s operation and they will praise their leader’s intellectual inquisitiveness, his empathy and his inclusiveness. But there is one other thing they all agree on: his congenital indecisiveness.


His critics, with equal justification, point to the fact that Miliband’s lack of strategic thinking and numerous tactical blunders are what leave him constantly backed into corners in the first place. ‘Yes, I suppose he would be good at dealing with the 3 a.m. call,’ says one former shadow minister, ‘so long as he remembers to plug in the phone, can find the phone and doesn’t drop the phone when he tries to pick it up.’

Which brings us back to that Prime Minister Miliband paradox. He thinks, but he also over-thinks. He listens, but he cannot decide. He fights hard, but finds himself fighting on too many fronts simultaneously.

But one thing cannot be denied: Labour has, as a party, held together. Traditionally, it disembowels itself after losing office. Under Miliband, this has not happened. According to one shadow cabinet member, this may be Miliband’s greatest accomplishment.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator den 11 april 2015.

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KAMPANJ | Per Schlingmann är inte den ende bland f.d. politiska rådgivare som känner behov av att ge goda råd till en trängd regering inför valrörelsen.

GQ (UK) juli 2013

Innan Andy Coulson tvingades lämna 10 Downing Street, p.g.a. av skandalen kring Rupert Murdochs News of the World, var han director of communications och en av premiärminister David Camerons närmaste rådgivare.

Förra året skev han i tidskriften GQ om hur Cameron skulle kunna rädda sig själv, Conservative Party och koalitionen kvar vid makten. Här följer några utdrag.

1. Sälj in den liberal-konservativa koalitionens framgångar

[T]he party desperately needs to display more self confidence and pride in what has been achieved. Against enormous odds it has delivered real change in education and welfare. It may not be an endless record of reform but, given the circumstances, it’s impressive – and considerably better than Tony Blair managed in his three economically easier terms. To have made historic changes that will make it easier for people to get a good education and a good job is truly something to be proud of. If the party doesn’t find ways to tell that story, no one else will, because cuts will always trump reform in the media. The voters’ patience is wearing thin. It’s now critical that David continues to explain why those cuts are being made and the choice she faced. Every significant media appearance where he fails to get that message across should be considered a failure.

2. Dags att lyfta fram Sam Cameron

Sam Cameron has managed the near impossible: to have lived in Number Ten for three years and maintained a benign and broadly positive press.”

“But the time has now come for Sam to play a more public role and take some risks. She only joined the 2010 campaign once it formally kicked off. She should now be persuaded that the 2015 campaign is already underway and she’s badly needed in the trenches.

3. David Cameron – ”statesman, salesman, family man”

It’s likely that if the British political system doesn’t find a way to reconnect with the national conversation we’ll see a historically low turnout in 2015 […] David remains the British politician most capable of leading this reconnection – not in a knee-jerk, headline-chasing way, but by identifying a handful of issues that really matter to people and actually doing something about them.

4. Boris Johnson, Londons borgmästare, är ett dragplåster och inte en rival

Boris Johnson desperately wants to be prime minister and David has known that fact longer than most. When Boris asked me to pass on the message that he was keen to stand as mayor of London, David responded, ”Well, if he wins, he’ll want my job next.” If proof were needed that our PM is a man untroubled by self doubt, it came in his next sentence, ”So I think he’ll be a bloody brilliant candidate for us.

Number Ten’s Boris strategy should be simple. Support his good ideas, advise privately on the bad ones, but only engage publicly if absolutely necessary – and celebrate Boris’ considerable successes.

5. Dags att lämna rummen på regeringsdepartementen och börja kampanja

It’s time for the prime minister to wean himself off the company of the big brains in the civil service and leave himself more room to operate politically. The reforms are well underway.

The prime minister should spend more time with the people who might actually help win in 2015 rather than senior civil servants who have revelled in the power and professional satisfaction the coalition has brought them.

6. Ta debatten

The debates will carry even more value this time around. They’ll give David a clear opportunity to talk about his achievements in office, the Lib Dem dynamic will be entirely different (I’m looking forward to the first student question) and importantly Miliband, whatever he says, will not be looking forward to the presentational challenges and risks of a live TV debate – quite aside from the intense policy scrutiny they will bring.

So Number Ten should make clear now that the debates are very much on. And whoever is tasked with negotiating the terms should press for a US-style town-hall format to be included. David was always at his best when connecting to an audience directly and thrived on the risk factor. If we made one mistake last time around it was being too protective on the issue of audience participation.

7. Utnyttja minnet av Margaret Thatcher 

Her death will renew those enthusiasms and the next general election will take place very much in her shadow. Both Conservatives and Labour will think this gives them an advantage. David will certainly relish the thought, use it to highlight Red Ed’s true credentials and pounce when his mask of Thatcherite respect inevitably drops. Two years after her death, Baroness Thatcher will play an important role in the next election. Something tells me she wouldn’t have run away from a TV debate.

8. En ballanserad invandrar- och integrationspolitik

One of David’s great successes has been to bring some non-hysterical common sense to the immigration debate. There will be calls for him to do more, to ramp up the rhetoric and concoct some new policies. I’m not convinced that’s where the public are. Broadly speaking, they care less about where someone is from and more about the basic principles of fairness and in particular the impact of immigration on public services.

Unlike the rarely effective but always politically flawed Nigel Farage, when it comes to immigration he should deal in fact and not the stoking of irrational fears.

9. Slå hål på Ed Milibands strategi

Ed Miliband knows that his most likely route to power is to keep his head down, silently hope that the economy continues to go wonky and, well, just be the other guy. This strategy is cynical, sensible and proof that he is dangerously self-aware. And his team who, in the main, know he is a loser and would have much preferred his brother to have won, are all holding their noses and thinking the same.

More seriously, the prime minister must push him to take positions: expose his strategy, challenge him to take a view on the tricky issues opposition politicians love to duck.

10. Påminn om Ed Balls och hans tid under Gordon Brown 

The prime minister should pray that Ed Balls remains shadow chancellor until the election. He should order a dust-down of the dossier detailing how he was at Gordon’s side when every disastrous decision was made. Appointing him as George’s opposite number was the Miliband gift that will keep on giving. For Ed 2 to present himself as the man to lead Britain towards a prosperous future would be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous. Actually no, it is damn funny.

Källa: Artikeln på nätet är en redigerad version av artikeln i papperstidningen.

Bild: En sida från förra årets julinummer av GQ.

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MEDIA | Det bådar illa för Labour att deras partiledare karikeras på nästan identiskt sätt av två konkurrerande nyhetsmagasin.

The Spectator 21 sep 2013

New Statesman 20-26 sep 2013

Både den konservativa tidskriften The Spectator och den till Labour närstående New Statesman har använt figurerna Wallace & Gromit för att ifrågasätta Ed Milibands ledarskap.

Detta är lite märkligt med tanke på att Labour, precis som Socialdemokraterna i Sverige, alltid har en hyfsad ledning i opinionsundersökningarna.

Men till skillnad från Stefan Löfven är Ed Miliband inte lika respekterad, vare sig bland opinionsbildare eller bland politiska motståndare.

Och även inom det egna partiet är det mer än en som tvekar om han är rätt person att leverera en valseger över David Camerons regeringskoalitionen.

Men James Forsyth, politisk redaktör på The Spectator, påpekar att även om Miliband är mer hånad än fruktad gör motståndare ett misstag om man undervärderar Miliband.

A Tory MP bobbed up at Prime Minister’s Questions recently to ask David Cameron whether he was ‘aware that 4 per cent of people believe that Elvis is still alive? That is double the number, we hear today, who think that Edward Miliband is a natural leader?’ The Tory benches tittered, Labour MPs slumped into their seats as if this was a depressingly fair point,  and the Labour leader himself tried not to look too hurt.


For decades now the Westminster voting system has been unfair to the Tories. Boundary changes lag population movements, corralling Tories into larger constituencies. As a result, Labour can win on a far smaller share of the vote than the Tories. Tony Blair secured a comfortable majority in 2005 with 35 per cent of the vote, while David Cameron fell short of one with 36 per cent in 2010. Cameron tried to address this imbalance by reducing the number of MPs and equalising constituency sizes, but the Liberal Democrats — aware of the electoral harm this would do to them — killed the idea off.

Compounding this Tory problem is the rise of Ukip. In effect British elections are decided not by a mass popular vote, but by a handful of swing voters in swing seats. Lord Ashcroft last weekend released a poll of these marginal constituencies which said that Labour’s lead has widened to an almighty 17 points. This was not because Labour has become more popular, but because so many Tory supporters have defected to Ukip. Miliband is also buoyed by the fact that the British left, which split in the 1980s with the creation of the SDP, has reunited. When Clegg jumped into bed with Cameron, just under half of his erstwhile supporters leapt into Labour’s arms.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator (där skuggfinansministern Ed Balls i rollen som Gromit på omslaget), 21 september 2013. New Statesman den 20-26 september 2013. Lägg märke till ordet ”predistribution” – det nya modeordet inom Labour – på sidovagnen.

rå sidovagnen –

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VISIONER: Labour befinner sig mitt i en kamp om vem som skall bli ny partiledare efter Gordon Brown.

De fem kandidaterna har porträtterats i New Statesman.

[S]o far, the five candidates competing to become the next leader of the Labour Party have been accused of lacking what can be called the ”vision thing”. In a recent issue of this magazine, they were caricatured as five politicians in search of a big idea – in search of something, anything, to galvanise this slumberous, summer-long campaign. Commentators have written of the desultory nature of the contest, as the candidates travel around the country addressing one dreary hustings after another: a slow-moving convoy of repetition, the sound of a party speaking only to itself.


Midway through the contest, each has a settled persona. David Miliband is the prime-minister-in-waiting, the long-time favourite, prepared to defend the successes of the New Labour years while seeking to strike out in daring, new directions. His brother, Ed, is the insurgent, the figure most attractive to young activists in and around the party, as well as those who long to transcend the old factionalism of the Blair-Brown feud, the detritus of which is once more being excavated by the Mandelson memoir. Ed Balls is emerging as the fighter, a natural opposition politician, a ferocious antagonist and opponent of the coalition and, especially, of its doctrinaire deficit reduction programme. Andy Burnham is the outsider, the candidate keenest to position himself as the embodiment of working-class aspiration. [Diane] Abbott remains as she ever was: a voice from the often-neglected hard left of the party.

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