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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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The Spectator

Bild: RGJ, The Spectator. Fler teckningar av Richard Jolleys hemsida

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VAL 2016 | Mycket har skrivits om att Labour tog hem segern i borgmästarvalet i London. Men en större överraskningen var valet i Skottland.

Ruth Davidson

Där lyckades Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party – eller Scottish Conservatives till vardags – gå förbi Labour och bli det största oppositionspartiet.

Efter valet skrev partiledaren Ruth Davidson en krönika om sina upplevelser från valrörelsen. Den gav en bra bild av hur det känns att kampanja på gator och torg, dag in och dag ut.

”I can barely believe it, but I have to. I couldn’t be happier, yet I’m empty inside”, skrev hon i The Spectator när valframgången var ett faktum. Resultatet, trettioen ledamöter, var mer än dubbelt mot tidigare.

On Thursday morning I’m woken by day three of a tension headache firing tentacles up the back of my neck and the base of my skull then burrowing into the cortex beneath. I am drenched in sweat, with dread balled in my stomach. My back throbs thanks to the ire of a decade-old spine break that has never fully healed. I spit blood, mixed with toothpaste, into the sink. My skin has broken out into the kind of volcanic fury not seen since my teenage years and my nails are bitten down to stumps. I love election campaigns. But polling days are their own special torture.

Scots will have had two referendums and two elections in 21 months, which means I’ve spent years on the road. These are hard, gruelling empty miles filled with limp service-station sandwiches and buttressed by soul-sapping chain hotel rooms. And I love it. The sheer joy of criss-crossing the country, the chance encounters, the backs slapped and hands shaken. For a geek like me — thirsty to learn new things at every stop, in every conversation and about every dot on the map we visit — it’s an opportunity to get drunk on the wonder of the new. Colleagues become the sort of brothers-in-arms that only months of in-the-trenches hard graft can bring. But every campaign has a reckoning. Elections are reports card that judge all of us. However much we can plead the mitigation of circumstances, momentum or the actions of others, there’s no escaping the verdict of votes cast.

I’ve marched my team of Scots Tories to the top of the mountain and — God love them — they’ve followed me to a man. Confronting the final 40-hour shift, I felt the burden of that reckoning heavily. Dante should have had a special circle of hell reserved for those who dare to dream at elections, and then see those dreams shot down and the corpses strafed to make sure.

I walk into the polling station with Jen, my partner, clutching her hand as a bank of photographers flash us. Once inside, I duck behind a pillar so they don’t clock that I’ve no vote to cast (mine went by post weeks ago). I then spend my hours as a sentry at various polling stations in a seat I hope to win, campaigning with my fixed air-hostess smile and saying a cheery ‘good morning’ every three seconds as voters filter past. I try to keep score. The ones stopping to chat are a mental mark in the ‘for’ column. Those who ignore me and stare at their feet are in the ‘against’. Going by mental maths, it’s close, but the Presbyterian Scot in me knows it’s worse to hope. It’s the hope that kills you.

Weather tales and gossip are traded within the team like football stickers. ‘It’s raining in Dumfries but sunny in Annan. That’s got to be good for us.’ ‘Mebbe, but what about Biggar?’ As the close of poll ticks nears, the frenetic activity seems pointless; if someone hasn’t voted by 9.40 p.m., they probably won’t by 10 p.m. It doesn’t stop our pace of campaigning stepping up, just in case. At 10 p.m. the window creaks, clangs and is bolted.

This is Schrödinger’s result time: any outcome is possible. So I pull on my suit for the count at Edinburgh Central, sweating under the starch. I follow the old rule: never jinx an election result by writing an acceptance speech. My crumpled concession notes will have to do. As I’m dragged from gantry point to gantry point, across television networks, my picture of election night is more fractured than those watching at home. One result relayed by phone brings a guttural yelp of ‘fucking yaaassssss!!!’ It is a bit too loud. Half a dozen photographers canter over. I refix the mask and hide behind my suit.

Läs mer: ”Ruth Davidson: I’m a John Major Conservative but we are ‘on probation’ in Scotland”, The Telegraph.

Bild: Getty Images. ”Ruth met voters in an Edinburgh pub […]” Från partiets Facebooksida.

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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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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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