Posts Tagged ‘George Osborne’

IMAGE | Borgerligheten i Storbritannien är idag lika splittrad som vänstern var på 1980-talet. Gör man inte något nu riskerar man en valförlust vid nästa val.

The Spectator 28 sep 2013

Om premiärminister David Cameron förlorar nästa val kommer det till stor del bero på att väljarna har övergett de konservativa för UK Independence Party och deras partiledare Nigel Farage.

Detta är anledningen till att allt fler förespråkar någon form av samarbete mellan Conservative Party och UKIP.

Problemet är bara att ingen vet hur ett sådant samarbete skall se ut. Än mindre kan någon garantera att det inte får negativa konsekvenser för Torypartiet.

James Forsyth, politisk redaktör på The Spectator tror inte att Torypartiet kan locka in UKIP i någon form av öppet samarbete.

Istället borde man satsa på att bli bättre på att locka över traditionella arbetarväljare till partiet – en målgrupp som UKIP aktivt uppvaktar.

At present, the main Tory strategy for dealing with Ukip is to hope and pray. They hope that the Ukip vote will collapse as polling day nears. They pray that ultimately Ukip voters will balk at putting the pro-Europe, pro-Human Rights Act, pro-green-energy Ed Miliband into No. 10. Tory strategists point to how Ukip polled close to 20 per cent in the European election in 2009 and then got only 3 per cent of the vote at the general election less than a year later — they see it as a soufflé party that will crumble at the first firm tap. They are confident that voters can distinguish ‘between elections that really matter and elections that don’t’.


A better solution to the Ukip problem is for Cameron to seek a pact not with the Ukip leadership but with its voters — including those who are ex-Labour. If Cameron plays this right, voting Ukip could become the gateway drug to voting Tory for disillusioned Labour voters. Having already slipped the bond of tribal allegiance, they are more likely to be open to persuasion that the Tories are capable of representing them.

To do this, Cameron doesn’t need a new European policy—the pledge of an in-out referendum has not made Ukip go away. But he does need to understand that Ukip is successfully pitching itself as a party of the working class. It now has the support of a fifth of C2DE, the groups that make up blue-collar Britain.

These voters worry that the benefits system has been corrupted. So the Tory emphasis on welfare reform does appeal to them. George Osborne’s benefits cap has addressed some of the most egregious abuses of the system, and I understand that the Tories will have more to say about tough-love welfare next week. But the same voters also think that big companies are making profits at their expense. So Ed Miliband’s new populist socialism — with its promise to cap energy bills — also strikes a chord.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator, 28 september 2013.

Read Full Post »

POLITIK | Storbritanniens ekonomi kunde vara bättre. Och situationen i EU är inte mycket till hjälp för premiärminister David Cameron.

The Spectator den 15-22 december 2012

Inom det konservativa partiet är stämningen mer anti-EU än vad den har varit på länge. Och inte bara p.g.a. av ekonomin.

Många anser att Storbritannien har lämnat ifrån sig allför mycket makt till Bryssel. Om Cameron inte lyckas plocka tillbaka maktbefogenheter riskerar partiet dessutom förlora väljare till UKIP i nästa val.

Camerons balansgång mellan pro- och anti-EU strömningar är inte den lättaste. I näringslivet är man för EU medan stora delar av väljarkåren, inte minst bland de partitrogna, är man negativt inställda till det brittiska medlemskapet.

James Forsyth skriver i The Spectator:

Several new European treaties will be needed in the next few years as eurozone governments seek ever closer integration. Cameron believes that, should he win the next election outright, he’ll be able to use these negotiations to refashion Britain’s relationship with the EU. The plan is to win the changes Britain needs to stay inside the union in exchange for not blocking closer integration between the core countries.

This, the Prime Minister’s friends say, is why Boris Johnson is wrong when he argues that Britain should oppose a eurozone fiscal union. The recent budget negotiations left Cameron convinced that when push comes to shove, the more liberal, northern European countries — including Germany — really do want Britain to stay in.

His plan is to offer the British electorate a choice between staying in on these new terms or leaving. It will be a considerable risk. To be confident of public support, him, he must secure a genuinely new form of membership. More difficult still, if not impossible, will be avoiding a split in the Tory party. If Cameron is to persuade his party to campaign in favour of EU membership, the new terms will have to be so different from the present ones as to be almost unrecognisable.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Spectator den 15-22 december 2012. Själva bilden – ”Austerity Christmas Feast” – är tecknad av Peter Brookes (fritt efter Pieter Bruegel den äldres ”Bondbröllop”). På tallrikarna, som bärs fram av Cameron och finansiminster George Osborne, ligger en liten morot och en ärta.)

Read Full Post »

LONDON | Den konservativa-liberala koalitionen i Storbritannien har lagt fram sin tredje budget. Detta krävde en del spinn när den presenterades.

Så här skriver The Economist i en ledare om finansminister George Osbornes budget:

It was spun as a package for working families, a way of supporting the humblest toilers in the economic vineyard, and it was attacked as a tax raid on impoverished grannies. George Osborne’s third budget as chancellor of the exchequer did indeed reduce income taxes for low-earners while freezing the tax-free allowances for some pensioners. But its strongest signals, especially Mr Osborne’s decision to cut the top rate of income tax, levied on incomes over £150,000 ($238,000) a year, from 50% to 45%, were aimed elsewhere. This was a budget for companies—particularly big, international ones—and for their best-paid employees.

The politics of this will be rough, but it was the right thing to do. Because Britain specialises in high-value services such as banking, accountancy and insurance, it needs to attract the world’s brightest. Recently the Tories and their Liberal Democrat coalition partners have given the impression that capitalism is a dirty word and that the City of London, Britain’s greatest industrial cluster, is an embarrassment.


What the country is good at is financial services and luring foreign investment: in short, milking globalisation. While insisting he is doing other things, Mr Osborne has quietly acknowledged Britain’s strengths and doubled down on them.

Läs mer: “Labour’s answer to the budget: Earning a hearing”, Budget 2012: A big splash with little cash” och ”Bagehot: The Notting Hill budget”. Ledaren och tidskriftsomslaget ovan är från The Economist den 24-30 mars 2012.

Read Full Post »

EU | Peter Brookes har inspirerats av Pieter Bruegel d.ä. på detta omslag. I hans version har jägaren Angela Merkel fällt den franska tuppen Nicolas Sarkozy.

Till vänster vid värdshuset The Totally Buggered håller premiärminister David Cameron och finansminister George Osborne sig varma genom att elda upp pundsedlar.

Men på ledarsidan ser The Spectator nu betydligt ljusare på framtiden sedan Cameron lagt in sitt veto mot ett nytt EU-fördrag.

David Cameron did not expect to spend Christmas being toasted as a conquering hero. The Prime Minister fully intended to sign a new EU Treaty that night in Brussels, subject to a modest condition that the City of London would be exempt from even further regulation. But the French refused him so much as a fig leaf, and Nicolas Sarkozy went off to cast Britain as the villain of the summit.


It could scarcely have ended better for the Prime Minister. He is aligned on this definitive issue not just with his own party but with the British public, who back his decision by a margin of four-to-one. This despite the Europhiles’ assertion that Britain is now somehow ‘isolated’ from the rest of Europe, and Nick Clegg’s striking claim that Britain would be a ‘pygmy’ on the world stage were it not under the union of states led by Herman Van Rompuy.


Indeed, rather than being ‘isolated’, Britain has scarcely ever been more integrated with the rest of Europe and the world. We have successfully absorbed 7.1 million immigrant workers, 12 per cent of our total workforce, without any of the far-right backlash seen on the continent.


What is easier to see is the insularity of the European Union. The whole project is about trying to pretend globalisation isn’t happening. Erecting trade barriers, slapping tariffs on Chinese goods, subsidising uncompetitive companies […] Europe emerged as a world power because it once consisted of hundreds of competing polities. Trying to kill competition between states now, with a ‘fiscal union’, will only accelerate its relative decline.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Spectator, julnummret 2011, 17/24 december 2011.

Read Full Post »

VALRÖRELSE: Storbritanniens konservative finansminister George Osborne koordinerade förra valrörelsen för de konservativa. Och redan nu är planerna igång för valet 2015.

Till The Spectator avslöjar Osborne att koalitionen i Storbritannien inte planerar något gemensamt valmanifest.

At the next election, I expect to be campaigning for a single-party Conservative government. I will expect there to be two manifestos: one Conservative and one Liberal Democrat.

Och tydligen finslipar man redan nu på det mantra som skall pumpas ut inför och under valrörelsen.

The message will be quite straightforward: that Labour wrecked the British economy, we fixed it — don’t let Labour wreck it again.

Vid förra valet misslyckades Torypartiet med att få egen majoritet. Det blev en regering tillsammans med Liberaldemokraterna men med en lägre andel konservativa röster än vad en konservativ premiärminister tidigare har haft att luta sig emot.

Osborne som var ansvarig för koordineringen av valet förklarar nu vad detta innebär inför nästa valrörelse:

I disagree with some of the Conservative critics who say we weren’t Conservative enough,’ he says. The party failed to win enough votes from Scots, public sector workers and ethnic minorities. The remedy, he says, is ‘to press further on the modernisation pedal of the Conservative party and not to retreat to the old Tory comfort zone’. The Conservatives must ‘constantly demonstrate that we are for the entire country, all sections of the population’. He says he agrees with Lord Ashcroft’s analysis: that the Tory brand had not been sufficiently decontaminated.

Med andra ord mer av detsamma. Partiet skall fortsätta att positionera sig i mitten samtidigt som man utmålar sig som partiet som har räddat landet från ekonomiskt kaos.

Underförstått riskerar detta naturligtvis också att plocka röster inte bara från Labour utan också från de hårt trängda Liberal Democrats.

De liberala väljarna är missnöjda med att deras parti har anpassat sig för mycket till den konservativa agendan. Partiet riskerar att tappa väljare både till Labour och Conservative.

Det hela låter som i Sverige där de tre mindre Allianspartierna tynar bort i skuggan av Moderaterna.

Read Full Post »

KAMPANJ: Den engelska utgåvan av tidskriften Wired har en intressant artikel om hur det konservativa partiet i Storbritannien har rustat sitt ”war room” för att kunna ligga i framkant när det gäller sociala medier.

Här ett litet smakprov;

A week before [chancellor] Alistair Darling made his speech, [shadow chancellor George] Osborne’s office was handed a leaked government report on cutting IT spending. The usual procedure would be to pass the leak to a friendly journalist. But sitting in his office, Osborne floated the idea that his team should publish it themselves — and, rather than simply badmouthing the Government, ask the public for ideas to improve the report. With the plan agreed, the web team worked through the weekend to build MakeITbetter.org.uk, crowdsourcing ”improvements” to the (still unpublished) report. It launched at 10am on November 30, barely 76 hours after the leak had arrived. The site broke under the traffic — but Osborne had made his point: here was a party trying to do things online that no British political party had ever attempted.

There’s an element of PR gimmickry in publishing a leak online, of course. But such initiatives are part of a more concerted Tory technology experiment.

Read Full Post »

LONDON: Personerna bakom den framgångsrika bloggen Conservative.Home.com har nu startat upp en ny tjänst som skall granska och hjälpa de konservativa.

Även om Conservative Intelligence endast är tillgängligt för prenumeranter erbjuder man alla att gratis ta del av en kartläggning av partiledaren David Camerons kampanjhögkvarter.

David Cameron's War Room

På denna wall chart kan man se vem som är vem och vad alla huvudpersonerna kring Cameron har för uppgifter och funktion.

Här kan man bland annat få reda på vilka medarbetare som har kontor som är geografiskt nära placerade David Camerons eget kontor;

Geographical proximity to the source of power in any organisation is incredibly important.

Eller varför inte ta del av när Andy Coulson (Head of Communications and Planning) och övriga nyckelpersoner avhåller sina möten under dagen. (Klockan 08.45, 09.15 och 16.00 om någon undrar.)

Den viktigaste personen i Tory partiet – vid sidan om Cameron – är uppenbart George Osborne som är både Shadow Chancellor och ansvarig för planeringen inför kommande val (General Election Co-ordinator).

Håll till godo.

Read Full Post »