Posts Tagged ‘GQ’

VAL 2014 I Storbritannien blev den stora segraren i både lokalvalen och EU-valet Nigel Farage och United Kingdom Independence Party.

Total Politics Issue 64 December 2014

Efter framgången i Europaparlamentsvalet tar UKIP sikte på att slå igenom även i parlamentsvalet i Storbritannien.

När Sam Macrory och John Ashmore intervjuade Farage i Total Politics i december diskuterade man bl.a. partiets planer inför 2015.

Farage tänker kopiera den valstrategi som gjorde liberalerna framgångsrika under Paddy Ashdowns tid som partiledare för Liberal Democrats.

Instead of flirting with unhappy Tories, Farage says that his priority is “trying to build this brand that we’ve established” – and he has a blueprint in mind: the Paddy Ashdown-era Liberal Democrats.

How Ashdown won Tory-held Yeovil, he says, “is a template for what you have to do” – not that Ashdown has said anything complimentary in return. “So? Couldn’t give a damn. Haven’t seen what he said. I’m not even interested.” Farage shrugs. “They faced everywhere: ‘It’s a wasted vote, we like them, we agree with them, but it’s a wasted vote.’ And they managed to do it from the bottom up. It’s an approach that served Ashdown phenomenally well, and it’s a model for UKIP to pursue. I still think the key to 2015 is what we have built up locally on the ground in terms of local council representation.”


He admits that the party’s 2010 manifesto was a “Horlicks… no one knew what was in it or wasn’t”, but insists that UKIP has learned from previous mistakes in its presentation of “some sensible, pragmatic solutions to some important questions.”

UKIP has a research team, happily lifts from think tank reports – “what on Earth is wrong with us using some of that?” – and a part of its growing professionalism has seen it enlist the services of pollsters, although Farage does not appear to want to rely too heavily on their expertise.


“We have to win,” Farage admits, when asked to look ahead to 2015 and beyond. “These raised expectations are everywhere, half my fault. Three years ago, when I came back as leader of UKIP for the second time, I said my goal was for us to win the European elections and to put ourselves into a position where we could, if things went right, hold the balance of power at the next general election. That was my sort of four-, five-year plan and everybody thought it was very funny that I should even contemplate the fact that we could win the European elections. Now they’re all saying they think we will.”

But what happens if Britain votes to leave the EU in 2017? Or, before then, if UKIP fails to return an MP? Farage hints that either scenario might spell the end: “What happens in the next two years will, to a large extent, determine the European question and UKIP’s future, so I sort of agree with the tone of your question,” he replies, “but, you know, don’t really expect me to think beyond 2015. It’s quite difficult to know.”

Läs mer: Alastair Campbells intervju med partiledaren för UK Independence Party i GQ. Tidskriftsomslaget: Total Politics, nr 46, December 2013.

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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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IMAGE | Idag refererar man mer till John F. Kennedy inom populärkulturen än inom politiken. Nedanstående omslag är ett bra exempel på detta.

GQ mars 1962

GQ januari 1992

GQ 50th Anniversary Issue oktober 2007

Ren McKnight på GQ bloggade följande med anledning av att Kennedy 1962 lät sig fotograferas av livsstilsmagasinet.

In March 1962, John F. Kennedy appeared on the cover, though it came to light that either he didn’t realize he was being photographed for GQ or he pretended not to. ”People are remembered in this world for one thing,” Kennedy was quoted as saying in Time magazine. ”Calvin Coolidge is remembered for wearing an Indian headdress…. I’ll be remembered now as the man who posed for Gentlemen’s Quarterly.” Time went on to report that Robert Kennedy called GQ a ”fag rag.”

Att Vita huset av misstag skulle ha godkänt att presidenten lät sig fotograferas av GQ låter inte troligt.

Snarare insåg teamet kring Kennedy att han hade möjlighet att nå en helt ny målgrupp genom att ställa upp för tidskriften.

Det är inte bara i efterhand som Kennedy har blivit lite av en stilikon. Han blev t.ex. den förste presidenten som inte regelbundet bar hatt.

Men mer väsentligt är att hans medarbetare medvetet odlades bilden av honom som en ung och karismatisk ledare med nya idéer för en ny tid.

Även om han inte medvetet hade velat sätta denna bild hos allmänheten hade det varit svårt att undvika.

Han blev t.ex. USA:s yngsta president när han valdes 1961. Han var småbarnsförälder och hade en vacker fru med intresse för både kultur och historia.

USA ville ha något nytt efter Dwight D. Eisenhower. Med Kennedy fick man just det.

Tidskriftsomslag: Uppifrån och ner; Gentlemen’s Quarterly mars 1962, januari 1992 och oktober 2007. Tidskriftens ”50th Anniversary Issue” 2007 kom ut med en rad olika framsidor. Se fler omslag här.

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ZZzzzKOMMUNIKATION | Riktigt bra tal är sällsynta. Dåliga eller mediokra är det tyvärr  inte.

Lagom till politikerveckan i Almedalen kommer här en rolig historia från Storbritannien.

Kanske kan den påminna partiledarna om tumregeln att korta tal ofta är bättre än långa.

Ed Miliband strides on to the stage at the Labour Party conference to deliver his speech, welcomed by rapturous applause from party faithful. He begins to speak, and it’s all he can do to make himself heard over cheering: every broadside at the coalition’s economic policies is met by an ovation; every crack at Nick Clegg’s spinelessness makes the room erupt into maniacal guffaws.

But soon, the excitement dies down. The speech seems to be dragging on. And, when Miliband finally comes to a close, the expected standing ovation isn’t forthcoming. He slumps off the stage, and corners his speechwriter in the wings.

“What’s this? he hisses, waving the speech in the terrified writer’s face. “I ask for punchy, 15-minute speech, and you give me three-quarters of an hour? They were bored out of their minds by the end.”

“But sir, I did prepare a 15-minute speech,” the man replies nervously, “I just gave you three copies.”

Anekdoten är hämtad från julinummret av GQ (engelska utgåvan).

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DEBATT | Två presidentvalsdebatter avklarade. En återstår. Under tre veckors tid under valrörelsen handlar allt om just dessa debatter.

Att Barack Obama är en skicklig och disciplinerad kommunikatör är något han bevisade redan valrörelsen 2008.

Mitt Romneys å andra sidan är som bäst när han får tala ekonomi och statistik. Han personifierar affärsmannen som vill till Vita huset för att kunna reda ut vad politikerna i Washington har ställt till med.

Men det finns också likheter.

Båda är intelligenta, analytiska och faktaorienterade. Man får lätt känslan av att de mycket väl – om inte deras partier och kärntrupper tryckte på i bakgrunden – skulle kunna sätta sig ner tillsammans och hamra fram överenskommelser till gagn för landet.

En annan likhet är att ingen av dem är speciellt skickliga debattörer. Inte konstigt om presidentdebatterna då blir nervpirrande tillställningar för alla involverade.

Och för väljarna är debatterna dessutom enda gången under hela valrörelsen som man har möjlighet att granska kandidaterna under former och spelregler som – åtminstone på papperet – inte ger den ena fördelar över den andre.

Robert Draper, korrespondent för tidskriften GQ skriver, att dessa debatter paradoxalt nog är både ”absolut avgörande och fullständigt meningslösa”.

Vad kandidaterna säger under debatterna speglar ofta inte de realiteter som möter segraren efter valet. Å andra sidan avslöjar debatterna någon om kandidaternas karaktär.

Draper skriver vidare:

”The reality of what determines a presidential campaign, among the small percentage of voters who move back and forth,” says former John McCain strategist Steve Schmidt, ”are the debates, where 50 million people watch what these guys have to say. In the aftermath of a presidential campaign, the importance of the debate is so understated, almost an afterthought—when in reality it is absolutely, exponentially the most important thing that happens, times 100,000.”

So consider the stakes, the pressure. And then consider something that might strike you as odd, given how long Obama and Romney have dwelled on the public stage—which is that neither man is skilled at this sort of thing. ”Barack Obama, I would submit, is not a very good debater,” says David Birdsell, the dean of Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs and a renowned debate expert. ”He’s very cautious, he ramps down the arch of ambition that we otherwise see in his prepared spoken material—and it’s distancing. He has that vocal tic where he says, ‘Look,’ and then pauses. The ‘Look’ is a gesture of impatience—saying that at best we don’t fully understand the situation, or at worst ‘I’m tired of dealing with these idiotic inquiries.’ It’s deeply condescending. Then he chooses his words very carefully, but they don’t sound like they’re coming from the human heart.”

Wait—could that last sentence be describing someone else? Here is Birdsell’s even less charitable view of Mitt Romney as a debater: ”He shows an excess of caution in declaring his interests and perspectives. And he shows a degree of deftness at avoiding commitment—and consistently a failure to provide a compelling narrative of what drives him, either personally or in the policy arena. Now, he remembers figures well, and he looks great in doing what he does. But it’s possible to rattle him. Remember when Rick Perry got under his skin? He replied with, ‘I’ll bet you 10,000 bucks.’ When rattled, he runs to his inner Eddie Haskell.”

So why do we put them through it? Probably because debates force these starchy, overrehearsed, vainglorious pontificators to be human, more or less. We need to see them fidget and fume and (maybe) flash some greatness; and (maybe) we enjoy making them suffer.

But why do we put America through it? Why permit the fate of our country to hinge on three ninety-minute performances that are unlike anything the winner will be expected to do as president?

If you look at history and talk to the experts of the art and science of presidential debates, you find that, during these ninety-minute proto-reality shows, some vital information we can’t seem to get anywhere else is exchanged—even if the candidates screw up or if we take the wrong message from their screwups. You’ll also find, if you talk to people who have directly advised Obama and Romney, either currently or in the past, that this year’s verbal cage fight is anybody’s game.

Political consultants, historians, and debate gurus are united in their opinion that debates are at once absolutely crucial and utterly meaningless. ”Obviously on a substantive level debates don’t mean much,” says former Al Gore strategist Carter Eskew, ”because nothing discussed is really relevant to what happens when you’re president. But then you go to this other level: Do they reveal character and personality? And I think that in some ways they do.”

Övrigt: Inlägget publicerat parallellt på Makthavare.se.

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PR: Efter att ha avverkat halva mandatperioden har bilden av president Nicolas Sarkozy förändrats parallellt med att opinionssiffrorna dyker.

Enligt det franska opinionsinstitutet Ipsos har Sarkozys siffror rasat från de 60 procent han hade när han tillträdde ämbetet till dagens 39 procent.

Sarkozy byggde upp en bild av sig själv som mannen som vet vad han vill och som inte är rädd att ta tuffa beslut för Frankrikes bästa. Idag är bilden snarare att han saknar ideologisk övertygelse och att han är beredd att säga vad som helst bara det gagnar honom för tillfälligt.

Jean-Marc Lech vid Ipsos säger att det är Sarkozys konservativa kärnväljare som är mest besvikna. En f.d. rådgivare – som vill vara anonym – säger till Time;

This is classic Sarkozy: claiming [that] adaptable principles and a willingness to take any stand likely to reinforce his own political interests are in fact proof of pragmatism and openness to all views. Zero conviction and fidelity — except to himself.

Denis Muzet, president vid opinionsinstitutet Médiascopie, sammanfattar paradoxen;

Sarkozy’s problem is that when he promised ‘rupture’ with the past during his campaign, he built expectations that go farther than merely revolutionizing the language and methods of governing by actually conceiving and shaping a new face and vision of France. In many ways, Sarkozy reflects the contradictions of the French themselves: demanding both free markets and social job protection, wanting modernity and tradition, and wanting fast results with no pain. But those are the very hypocrisies voters elected Sarkozy to combat with his own viable vision for France — not take on for use as his own, inconsistent governing style.

I en essayen – The Human Bomb – skriver Robert Chalmers om presidenten;

Leaving [Silvio] Berlusconi aside for a moment, Nicolas Sarkozy represent the kind of naked hunger for personal power that Western democracy has not seen for more than a generation. To find a character who even comes close to him in his feral desire for control, you have to go back to Richard Nixon. (…) Sarkozy’s record, both as interior minister and president, is seen as a triumph of rhetoric over achievement.

Att man är bra på politiska kampanjer innebär inte med automatik att man också är bra på styra och leda ett land på ett sätt som inger förtroende.

Källa: Robert Chalmers, The Human Bomb (GQ: July 2009)

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