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Posts Tagged ‘Liberal Democrats’

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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VAL | Labour har valt Jeremy Corbyn till ny partiledare. Politiskt kan detta liknas vid att Socialdemokraterna valt en H. C. Hermansson till partiledare.

Labourval till partiledare 2015

Många gör sig lustiga över den freak show som brukar utspela sig hos republikanerna i USA innan man äntligen valt sin presidentkandidat.

Men medan Donald Trump fortfarande förväntas förlora mot någon mer seriös kandidat lyckades Corbyn vinna partiledarskapet i Labour.

Labour i Storbritannien har plötsligt blivit ett parti långt ut på vänsterkanten. Corbyn har mer gemensamt med Syriza i Grekland än med Tony Blair i New Labour.

Det är bara en tidsfråga innan Jonas Sjöstedt och Vänsterpartiet börjar referera till Corbyns politik för att kunna legitimera sin egen.

Det är uppenbart att Corbyn lyckas entusiasmera många, speciellt unga, vänsterväljare under sin kampanj.

Övriga kandidater framstod som ganska bleka i jämförelse. Dessutom föll övriga på eget grepp eftersom ingen ville hoppa av och öka chanserna för någon i mitten av den ideologiska vänsterskalan..

Corbyn var en tydlig vänsterkandidat medan Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper och Liz Kendall var bleka alternativ till höger om Corbyn.

Ingen av dessa tre kandidater lyckades någon gång under valkampanjen ta ledningen i någon opinionsmätning.

Och när ingen av dessa kandidater ville lämna fältet fritt för någon av de andra till höger om Corbyn kom medlemmarnas röster att fördelas på fyra istället på två. Vilket gynnade Corbyn.

Corbyn vann en övertygande seger med 60 procent av rösterna vilket tyder på att han kanske hade vunnit oavsett vad övriga kandidater gjort.

Gladast vid sidan om Corbyns anhängare är nog de konservativa som nu ser en stor möjlighet att vinna även nästa val.

Kanske t.o.m. det nästan utplånade Liberal Democrats har en chans att nu börja plocka hem en del mittenväljare från Labour.

Även om strategerna inom Conservative Party firar Corbyns seger med champagne är det många som oroar sig över att partiet riskerar att falla på eget grepp om man nu tar chansen att driva politiken alltför mycket åt höger.

En konservativ ledarsida i Storbritannien skrev redan i juli så här:

Jeremy Corbyn […]produced a brief economic pamphlet that breezily suggested the Government should raise another £120 billion a year in tax, increasing the overall tax burden by almost a fifth. The document aroused no obvious controversy in Labour circles, and Mr Corbyn’s bandwagon rolled on. Such is the current state of the Labour Party.

Instead, it fell to Tony Blair to warn against a return to the Left-wing tax-and-spend agenda that made Labour an unelectable anathema to British business for a generation. Whatever his numerous other flaws and failings, he was right.

The most striking thing about Mr Blair’s warning is that it falls to him to issue it. More than ten years since he last contested an election, he remains the party’s most eloquent advocate of a more sensible approach to business and wealth. Labour’s leftward drift began when he left office in 2007, and continues still.

Consider the conduct of the putative front-runners in the leadership race, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper. Both owe their careers to Mr Blair’s election victories, and are surely astute enough to see the sense in his words. Yet neither acts on it, each preferring to limp along in Mr Corbyn’s wake in the hope of being the second choice of his supporters. This is unedifying, to say the least.

At the general election, this newspaper recommended a Conservative government, since that was, and is, in the national interest. But Britain also needs a grown-up opposition prepared to debate the issues of the day, not a populist rabble interested only in echoing the wealth-hating delusions of the disaffected Left. It is quite possible to wish for a better Labour Party without wishing that party to be in power.

Instead of pandering to Mr Corbyn and his misguided supporters, those who aspire to be serious leaders of the Labour Party should confront him, reject his half-baked ideas and explain to those supporters that his path would lead the party to ruin. If that means some candidates dropping out of the race to offer Labour a single Stop Corbyn candidate, so be it.

If Mr Burnham and Ms Cooper are not prepared to take on Mr Corbyn, they do not deserve to lead their party, let alone the country. And if Labour does not resist the temptation to indulge in Mr Corbyn’s fantasy politics, it will deservedly pay a heavy price. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Läs mer: The five pillars of Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to run Britain” kartlägger bl.a. Jeremy Corbyns allierade. 

Bild: The Telegraph.

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VAL Årets val i Storbritannien ser ut leda fram till ännu en regeringskoalition. Frågan är bara om Conservative Party eller Labour blir störst.

Hung Togetherby Adam Boulton och Joey Jones

Så medan valrörelsen rullar in på slutfasen kan det vara intressant gå tillbaka till 2010 när David Camerons fick bilda regering med Nick Cleggs Liberal Democrats.

Med Hung Together: The Cameron-Clegg Coalition har Adam Boulton och Joey Jones skrivet en intressant bok om valkampanjen 2010, regeringsförhandlingarna som följde och Camerons första tid som premiärminister.

En av de mer underhållande delarna är när Boulton, repporter för Sky News, hamnar i en verbal strid med Alastair Campbell.

Campbell hade tidigare varit Tony Blairs director of communication men i valet 2010 hade han ingen officiell position i Labour.

Campbell var känd för sin aggressiva stil gentemot journalister och politiska motståndare. Han hade blivit sinnebilden av en spin doctor.

Ordduellen blev populär på nätet och kan ses på YouTube.

Daily Mail publicerade ett aningen redigerat utdrag från boken.

The best that can be said of the on-air row between Alastair Campbell and me is that it added greatly to the gaiety of the nation.

Many viewers have told me it was the highlight of their General Election. A snowballing YouTube hit, it ‘trended’ on Twitter that night, a new expression to me, meaning it was one of the dominant topics of online-chatter in the English-speaking world.

But it was not one of my proudest moments as a broadcaster. I regret losing my temper, although I stand by the comments I made.

[…]

My instinct was to leave the interview to Jeremy Thompson, at that hour the Sky News channel’s main presenter from Westminster, and I withdrew out of camera-shot.

But just before going live, Campbell challenged me to take part with words to the effect of: ‘Come on, let’s have a dust-up.’

Against my better judgment I agreed to join the discussion. Here is an abridged version of our argument:

Boulton: Why not just go quietly, accept that you lost this election?

Campbell: Because I don’t think that would be the right thing to do.

Boulton: The nation needs four more months of Gordon Brown limping on?

Campbell: You’ve been spending the last few years saying Gordon Brown is dead meat.

Boulton: I’ve not been saying that, show me where I said that once.

Campbell: You’re upset that David Cameron’s not Prime Minister.

Boulton: I’m not. Don’t keep casting aspersions on what I think . . .

Campbell: Calm down.

Thompson: Alastair, Alastair . . .

Campbell: Dignity, dignity.

Boulton: Don’t keep telling me what I think.

Campbell: I don’t care what you think. [laughing] Oh my God, unbelievable. Adam, calm down.

Thompson: Gentlemen, gentlemen.

Boulton: I actually care about this country.

Campbell: You’re as pompous as it gets.

Readers must draw their own conclusions about both of us. My view was that the tide finally going out on Campbell’s influence-peddling exposed him for what he had always been.

He had not expected to be challenged on his tendentious assertions but once he was, he resorted to bullying, baiting, impugning his inconvenient challenger. It may possibly have worked for him during the Kelly affair and the Iraq War, but it didn’t, as history repeated itself as farce, with the attempted ‘Coalition of the Losers’.

Experience told me to walk away and get on with the job of reporting the major political story. I decided not to blog, let alone Twitter, on the matter.

The ‘Boulton v Campbell’ encounter quickly gathered a cult following. Every day since, I have had strangers coming up to me to express their support.

In Haymarket a bus driver jammed on the brakes to give me a double thumbs-up; I’ve had congratulations from policemen to Labour peers and Alastair Campbell has naturally claimed that he has made me famous.

[…]

But even though Campbell instantly claimed to have won the encounter, he and his cronies set about trying to dominate the post-match analysis and to do me as much damage as they possibly could.

That night Campbell contacted the most senior people at Sky News he could find in his BlackBerry to demand action against me.

John Prescott, who seems never to have forgiven me or Sky for breaking the story that he had punched a member of the public in 2001, pointed his 22,000 Twitter followers in the right direction.

He tweeted: ‘Inundated by people wanting link to report Adam Boulton, happy to help.’ Then he gave the address of Ofcom.

Campbell also continued to try to settle scores on Twitter: ‘When JP punched someone, pompous Boulton said he must go!

Wonder if same rules for TV hacks losing it live. Thought the headbutt imminent . . . Really worried about Adam Boulton . . .Wonder if he might need some of my pills. Anji ought to come home from her foreign trip.’

He variously referred to my ‘on-air meltdown’, how I ‘lost it live’, and my ‘live toys-out-of-the-pram tantrum’.

But he couldn’t quite work out who was threatening whom during the publicity interviews for the latest volume of his diaries.

He told The Guardian: ‘There’s one point where I start to move back a little bit. I was thinking, “What do you do if someone headbutts you live on TV?” ’

But, according to PR Week, he also boasted at an awards ceremony: ‘If I hadn’t thought about my mum watching at home, I’d have head-butted him.’

However, along with the banter, Campbell made a more private and insidious attempt to throw his weight around.

The man who had impugned both my and the channel’s professional integrity sent a letter by email that same week to John Ryley, head of Sky News, threatening to sue unless disciplinary action was taken against me.

A copy of Campbell’s email was supplied to me for my information. I reproduce quotations from it here without the permission of John Ryley or indeed Sky News. But I take this step in the firm belief that reading it reveals a lot about the man and his modus operandi.

Following the initial pleasantries, Campbell writes that he has spoken that morning to lawyers: ‘Their advice is that I have every right to complain to Ofcom, and have set out the grounds on which such a complaint ought to be accepted.

However, I see from the media that many others have done this already. So, other than giving publicity to an interview that needs no more, I see little point in doing this. Ofcom will doubtless look at it and make up their own minds.’

Campbell also states he had been advised that what I had said during the interview and afterwards was defamatory: ‘Lawyers draw attention in particular to his questioning of my motivations in seeking to discharge the duty I had been asked by the Prime Minister to fulfill, namely advising him in conjunction with the official government machine on how to navigate a complex constitutional position.

Bild: Hung Together: The Cameron-Clegg Coalition av Adam Boulton & Joey Jones

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VAL 2015 | Inte för att det märks i svensk media men nästa månad går Storbritannien till val.

The Spectator 10 January 2015

Trots att det förväntas bli en strid på kniven har vare sig partiledarna eller de etablerade partierna direkt imponerat så här långt.

Bilden på ovan säger allt om hur David Cameron, Ed Miliband och Nick Clegg uppfattas ha förvaltat sin tid vid makten alternativt i opposition.

Conservative Party borde vid det här laget knappat in betydligt mer på Labour än vad man gjort. Och till skillnad från de andra partiledarna är Miliband mer ett ankare än en tillgång för Labour

Liberal Democrats har i och med sin medverkan i regeringskoalitionen inte längre fördel av att kunna välja och vraka vad man skall ta ansvar för. Med regeringsmakten följer ansvar även för mindre populära beslut.

Även det parti som vinner förväntas göra det med så små marginaler att det kommer att kräva ännu en koalition för att kunna skapa en stabil regering. Och koalitioner är inget man i uppskattar i landet.

James Forsyth, The Spectator, skriver partiernas utmaningar:

Cameron is busy prophesying economic chaos if Labour wins; Miliband is warning that the NHS won’t survive in its current form if the Tories get back in. Nick Clegg, meanwhile, is volunteering to be either the Tories’ heart or Labour’s spine — and stressing that he’s not picky about which. He can’t afford to be. His party could lose half its seats.

As they criss-cross the country, Cameron and Miliband are both spurred on by a fear of failure. Defeat for either of them would almost certainly mark the end of their political career. Cameron’s political life would be over before he was 50. He would be remembered as the man who couldn’t beat Gordon Brown and lost to Ed Miliband. His modernisation programme would be dismissed as an outright failure and his friends and allies would be forced out of positions of influence in the Tory party.

[…]

Whoever ends up in Downing Street in May will be the weakest prime minister in living memory. They will be forced to implement the most difficult half of the austerity programme with a slim to nonexistent parliamentary majority at a time when traditional party discipline is breaking down in the House of Commons.

The best that either party can hope for is the narrowest of outright victories, even smaller than the 21-seat margin that John Major ground out in 1992. Both Cameron and Miliband face the prospect of governing with very little wriggle room.

If Miliband ends up in No. 10 with a tiny majority, he will still find himself having to impose swingeing spending cuts — something his party is just not prepared for. He can’t simply assume that Labour MPs will support a Labour PM. One of the great myths about the Tony Blair years is the idea that Labour MPs blithely went along with whatever he wanted. They didn’t — but his majorities were so large that he could overcome even sizeable rebellions.

Miliband won’t be so lucky. In Blair’s first term, there were several major revolts. In 1997, 47 Labour MPs voted against government plans to cut lone parent benefits, and another 100 abstained. In 1998, 31 rebelled on plans to introduce tuition fees. In 1999, 53 opposed changes to incapacity benefit. In 2000, 37 tried to block the privatisation of air traffic control. Any comparable rebellion would sink Miliband. To make matters worse for him, he will have to implement policies that are far less appealing to the parliamentary Labour party than the Blairite reforms. Can you really imagine the Campaign Group of Labour MPs voting to continue the public–sector pay freeze?

Tidskriftsomslag: The Spectator, 10 januari 2015.

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VAL 2015 | Koalitionen mellan Conservative Party och Liberal Democrats kommer (sannolikt) hålla ända fram till valet 2015.

5 Days to Power- Rob Wilson

Men med den misstänksamhet man i Storbritannien känner inför koalitioner var det många som inte trodde att en regeringskonstellation skulle överleva en hel mandatperiod, oavsett vilka partier som skulle ingå.

Och valresultatet gav pessimisterna vatten på sin kvarn. Inget av partierna var riktigt nöjda med utgången av valet.

Regeringspartiet Labour, som fick både färre röster och färre mandat än Tories, var den uppenbara förloraren band de två statsbärande partierna. Trots detta hade de konservativa inte lyckats få tillräckligt med röster för att bilda en egen majoritetsregering.

Och valrörelsens till synes stora uppstickare, Liberaldemokraterna, överraskade både sig själva och oberoende bedömare med att tappa mandat. Det var en stor besvikelse för ett parti som hoppats göra sitt stora politiska genombrott detta år.

Att man i Storbritannien är ovan vid koalitioner kan man se även på bokutgivningen. Till och med de förhandlingar som fördes mellan de konservativa och liberalerna och mellan liberalerna och Labour har genererat böcker från aktiva i inom respektive parti.

Den konservativa parlamentsledamoten Rob Wilson och hans parlamentskollega David Laws, en av Liberaldemokraternas förhandlare, gav var för sig ut 5 Days to Power respektive 22 Days in May redan 2010.

Sedan var det dags för Andrew Adonis, som var en i förhandlingsdelegationen för Labour, att 2013 publicera sin syn på förhandlingsspelet i 5 Days in May.

Så här sammanfattar Wilson den historiska bakgrunden till dagens unika koalition:

5 Days to Power- Rob Wilson - I

[…]

5 Days to Power- Rob Wilson - II

Bild: 5 Days to Power av Rob Wilson.

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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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Lagom inför debatten mellan Nick Clegg och Nigel Farage släppte Miljöpartiets motsvarighet i Storbritannien, Green Party, denna video.

Som valfilm är den lite för lång och det tar nästan två minuter innan vi får träffa huvudpersonen.

Videon, som driver med partiledarna för Liberal Democrats och United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), laddades upp lagom inför andra debatten mellan Clegg och Farage.

Lägg märke till fotot på Angela Merkel på skrivbordet och Margaret Thatcher i baren.

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