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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Clegg’

LEDARSKAP | Koalitionen i Storbritannien har likande problem som den svenska alliansregeringen.

Trots att den engelska alliansen bara består av två partier – Conservatives och Liberal Democrats – har man liknande problem både internt och vad gäller opinionssiffrorna.

Inte minst det lilla liberala partiet har problem att hävda sig i skuggan av det stora konservativa partiet.

Och precis som i Sverige leder Labour över de konservativa i opinionsmätningar.

Trots sina problem har liberaldemokraternas partiledare Nick Clegg valt att satsa allt på ett kort. Hans strategi är att ett fördjupat samarbetet med premiärminister David Cameron kommer att leda till väljarframgångar längre fram.

Det spekuleras ständig om detta är en självmordsstrategi för Clegg och hans parti.

En som tror att detta innebär slutet för åtminstone Clegg själv är James Forsyth, politisk redaktör, på konservativa The Spectator.

Now, the Deputy Prime Minister has decided to double down on coalition. He has concluded that the Lib Dems, rather than blocking Conservative ideas, must help push through bold solutions to big problems. It is a brave path to take — but Clegg’s reward will not come in this political life. Whether he knows it or not, his fate is to become a martyr to the coalition.

Perhaps the key to understanding Clegg is that he never quite expected the dark side of being in power: he lacks the coping mechanisms of his Conservative colleagues. When the financial crisis hit, and spending cuts became essential, David Cameron and George Osborne steeled themselves to wear unpopularity as a badge of honour in the same way Margaret Thatcher had done.

[…]

This decision to revivify the coalition is motivated both by a desire to govern effectively and by a belief that public argument has only helped Labour, which leads by 15 points according to one survey this week.

Those around Clegg are unwilling to accept that he’ll be a martyr. The newly united government, they hope, will start not only to get things done but to get credit for doing them; and a recovering economy will restore their leader’s fortunes. The Lib Dems’ polling shows they are finally getting credit from the voters for the cut in the basic rate of income tax. This gives them hope that things are beginning to turn for the party.

[…]

Even so, Clegg is doomed. The problem was identified at the start of the year by Andrew Cooper, the Prime Minister’s director of strategy, in a private presentation to the trustees of Policy Exchange. Clegg’s brand is poisoned; his party’s isn’t. The compromises and broken promises of coalition have, according to Cooper’s exhaustive number-crunching, done irreparable damage to the Deputy Prime Minister’s reputation. Other polling makes the point even clearer. Ask people how they would vote if Vince Cable, not Clegg, was Liberal Democrat leader and the ratings jump three or four points. This might not seem much. But for a party struggling to break double digits in the polls, it is a transformation. This is why Clegg’s martyrdom is inevitable. However loyal his Commons army is, they will eventually have to sacrifice him for the good of the party.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The Spectator den 22 september 2012.

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ALLIANSER | En jämförelse mellan småpartier i olika koalitionsregeringar visar på intressanta strategiska vägval.

Småpartierna inom Alliansen har mer eller mindre accepterat att leva i skuggan av Moderaterna. Man hoppas att respektive ansvarsområde inom regeringen skall räcka för valframgångar.

Medan man i Sverige har anammat denna sitta-stilla-i-båten-strategi har Liberal Democrats i Storbritannien valt det diametralt motsatta.

I den konservativa-liberala koalitionen i London är det liberaldemokraterna som är minst. Och precis som småpartierna i Alliansen har man svårt att imponera på väljarna när allt fokus är på premiärminister David Cameron och Tory partiet.

James Forsyth, politsik redaktör på The Spectator, skriver:

Stoking this ill-feeling is the Liberal Democrats’ public negotiating strategy. Nick Clegg’s office has decided that it is imperative they show the public that they are fighting their corner in government, standing up for what they believe in. But to the Tories this is an immature way to do business. They complain that the Liberal Democrats’ megaphone diplomacy forces everyone to take public positions early and makes compromise impossible, turning coalition into a zero-sum game.

The Liberal Democrats are unapologetic about their new approach. For the first time in ages, they are enjoying themselves. It is as though the more they wind up the Tories, the more fun they have. They boast that they are making all the intellectual running on the Budget with their plans to cut taxes for low-paid workers by raising taxes on affluent savers. One senior Liberal Democrat remarks that this ‘might be the tail wagging the dog. But at least somebody is wagging something’.

This pre-Budget briefing is a particular source of Tory irritation. After all the leaks that surrounded last year’s autumn statement, the Tories secured an agreement to limit the number of people able to attend the most important meetings. This has been adhered to. But the Liberal Democrats are, to Downing Street’s fury, still using those known to be close to Clegg to make their Budget case.

Övrigt: Artikeln och tidskriftsomslaget är från The Spectator den 25 februari 2012.

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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.

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DEN 5 MAJ röstar Storbritannien om man skall inför ”the Alternative Vote” (AV) eller behålla ”First Past The Post” (FPTP). 

Partiledaren Ed Miliband och delar av Labour stödjer ett ja. De i Labour som säger nej inriktar sin kampanj och mycket av sin kritik mot Nick Clegg och Liberaldemokraterna.

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STRATEGI: Valet i Storbritannien handlar alltmer om folkomröstningen och altmindre om lokalvalen. Åtminstone för premiärminister David Cameron.

Vinner nejsidan är det ett stort slag mot Nick Cleggs Liberal Democrats. Vinner jasidan är det en prestigeförlust för Cameron och de konservativa.

Alla förväntar sig dessutom att Liberaldemokraterna kommer att tappa mycket i lokalvalen. Så här skriver James Forsyth i The Spectator;

Cameron has realised just how vulnerable a yes vote would make him. Last year, his plan was to stay above the fray during the referendum campaign. Back then, the Tory leadership seemed positively relaxed about the result. Donors were told that they should give to the party rather than the No campaign.

But by February, Cameron had changed course. He told Conservative Campaign Headquarters to give all possible support to the No campaign. He personally raised money for the cause, agreed to the No campaign’s targeting of Nick Clegg and made the Conservatives’ local election campaigns subordinate to the AV battle. One senior Central Office source says that ‘no one at CCHQ cares about the local elections. It is all about AV.’

Cameron, far from remaining above the fray, has been the most active of the three party leaders, making regular and effective speeches denouncing AV.

För Labour och Ed Miliband har folkomröstningen förvandlats till en vinn-vinn situation. Hur det än går drabbar det primärt den konservativa-liberala regeringskoalitionen.

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KOMMUNIKATION: Valrörelsen i Storbritannien rullar på. Valet är den 5 maj.

Folkomröstningskampanjen No to AV (Nej till The Alternative Vote) har en video med den fiktiva politikern Alan B’stard. Alan B’stard gick även på svensk tv för några år sedan. 

Lägg märke till den Nick Clegg-liknande karaktären som följer B’stard in i 10 Downing Street. Nej-kampanjen har riktat mycket av sin kritik mot den impopuläre partiledaren för Liberal Democrats.

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KAMPANJ: Det tog de mindre partierna i Alliansen över fyra år att inse att man inte bara kan sitta still i regeringsbåten om man vill vinna väljarnas förtroende.

Och trots urusla valresultat och opinionssiffror är det svårt att se att Folkpartiet, Centerpartiet och Kristdemokraterna försöker göra så mycket åt situationen.

Partierna befinner sig fortfarande i medieskugga i förhållande till Moderaterna.

I Storbritannien (som hade nationella val 2010) är det tvärt om. Liberaldemokraterna har insett att man riskerar att tyna bort i sin koalitionen med det dominerande Torypartiet.

Och i maj skall man folkomrösta om ett reformerat valsystem. En folkomröstning där Liberal Democrats och Conservative stödjer motsatta kampanjorganisationer.

James Forsyth i The Spectator rapporterar;

In the past few weeks, in particular, the Lib Dems have been making a nuisance of themselves. The Tories have had to read the newspapers to find out what arguments they’re having with their Lib Dem colleagues. As one complains, ‘Vince Cable is just orchestrating fake rows to try to make himself look good.’

There is logic behind this aggression. The Lib Dems are worried that their identity is being lost in the coalition — and are picking fights in the hope of standing out. Before the elections on 5 May, they want to remind the public that they are a distinctive party.

The Lib Dems have also been antagonised by the way David Cameron and the Conservative machine are raising money for the No campaign — which is then spending it on attacking Nick Clegg. In private, Liberal Democrats complain that their leader is being ‘swiftboated’ — a reference to the run-up to the 2004 US presidential elections, when John Kerry’s war record was trashed by American campaign groups separately funded by Republicans. The Tories, some Lib Dems suspect, are fighting an anti-Clegg campaign by proxy.

This resentment is heightened by the fact Clegg is being attacked by the No campaign for breaking his promises on tuition fees when he did so for the sake of the coalition. To some, this is a sign of rank betrayal — and proof that the Lib Dems need to take off their sandals and put on hobnail boots. They say that the party can no longer rely on the Tories’ to give them their share of the credit. Instead, they need to seize it wherever they can.

Dessutom står regeringen inför en stor omorganisering – och troliga besparingar – i hela hälso- och sjukvårdssystemet NHS.

The wild card is what the Liberal Democrats do next. Given that a U-turn looks likely, the Lib Dems could do great damage by taking credit for killing off the policy. They might well boast that they have stopped the Tories from hurting the NHS — thereby reviving the old fears about the Tories’ motives when it comes to the health service, and reinforcing their credentials as the good guys who stop the nasty Tories from doing bad things.

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