Posts Tagged ‘premiärminister’

KAMPANJ | Tony Booth har berättat för Newsweek om sin syn på Labour och om hur han fick fart på Tony Blairs politiska karriär.

Picture Sean Dempsey-AP -- Tony Blair & Cherie Booth campaigning in April 1997

I Robert Chalmers intervju berättar den gamle socialisten Booth, vars dotter Cherie Booth är gift med Tony Blair, att han tror att hon skulle ha blivit en bättre premiärminister.

Is there any leader who could revive the Labour Party? How about Tony Blair, in the highly unlikely event that he could be persuaded to run again? “Funnily enough, I think he might have an outside chance. Because people would say: well, at least he is the devil we know.

And with Miliband, you find yourself thinking, this is a good kid, but when is he going to get into long pants? Are we just putting him up as a dummy until we find the right person?”

Booth’s response to the question of whether the current Labour leader could win an election is characteristically unambiguous: “In your fucking dreams. This is not play school.”


He was instrumental in propelling Tony Blair towards Westminster. Booth recalls arranging a lunch for his son-in-law, at Soho’s Gay Hussar restaurant, with Labour MP Tom Pendry, during which the future prime minister was persuaded to stand for office. At that time Booth, nationally famous for playing Mike Rawlins, the “Scouse git” opposite Warren Mitchell in Johnny Speight’s Till Death Us Do Part, and as the husband of Coronation Street star Pat Phoenix, was well placed to generate publicity both within and beyond the Labour party. It seems curious that many forget the vital role he played in shaping Blair’s career.

“We did what we could,” he says. What would have happened otherwise? “I think he would have become a barrister.”

Ron Rose, the playwright and former Labour councillor for Doncaster, told me that, “The crucial thing you must understand about Tony Booth’s relationship with Blair is the part that he played in getting him elected. When I began canvassing, he was already telling people about his son-in-law, who was going to be prime minister. This was in the early ’80s, before Blair was even on the political radar. Tony Booth is the best canvasser I have ever seen. He was driving all over the country, working for the day when Tony Blair would become leader, long before anybody gave the idea credence.” Booth concedes that, “I helped get him into [his parliamentary seat of] Sedgefield.”

Booth and Pat Phoenix had also campaigned for his daughter Cherie, in her unsuccessful 1983 candidature at the Tory stronghold of North Thanet. “On reflection,” he tells me, “I wonder if it should have been Cherie. She wouldn’t have taken any shit from anybody.”

Bild: Sean Dempsey/AP. Tony Blair och Cherie Booth kampanjar i april 1997.

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DOWNING STREET | På grund av OS har chanserna ökat att Londons konservativa borgmästare, Boris Johnson, blir Storbritanniens nästa premiärminister.

En ny opinionsundersökning från YouGov visar att han är populär även i de delar av landet där partiet är som svagast.

David Wooding, Associate Political EditorThe Sun som beställt undersökningen, skriver:

Boris Johnson has emerged as the Tories’ best hope of being returned to power at the next general election.

The mop-haired London mayor has bounced ahead of David Cameron as the party’s top vote-winner, a poll reveals today.

His popularity has soared during the Olympics — especially among doubters the PM must attract to stay in office.

He has benefited from a wave of patriotism that’s swept the nation in the past fortnight. BoJo insists he is not ready for No10, saying: “How could anybody elect a prat who gets stuck on a zip wire?”

But our exclusive survey shows he is the man most likely to win over die-hard Labour and Lib Dem voters.

Despite his posh upbringing, Mr Johnson’s plain-speaking and humour even appeals to working classes in Tory no-go areas of Scotland and Northern England.

One in four adults sees him more positively than they did before the London Games, according to our YouGov poll.

He is liked not only in the capital, but in almost EVERY region of Britain, including Scotland, the Midlands and the North. Mr Cameron has greater appeal only in the true-blue Tory heartlands of southern England.

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LONDON | Apropå spekulationerna kring Boris Johnsons eventuella intresse för att bli premiärminister. Här en humoristisk tolkning från The Week.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är från den 12 maj 2012. 

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PORTRÄTT | Den brittiske historikern Niall Ferguson har tagit på sig att försöka beskriva David Cameron för de i huvudsak amerikanska läsarna av Newsweek.

[F]or all their differences in temperament and lifestyle, Cameron clearly identifies strongly with Churchill. “It does still thrill me when I walk in and see the Cabinet Room [which adjoins his office] and think of the days in 1940 when Britain stood alone against Hitler.” Last December, when Cameron refused to sign on to the latest European plan to rescue the euro, many Conservatives saw it as an act of Churchillian defiance. The parallel is not one Cameron disavows.

In another respect, too, he and Churchill are kindred spirits. It is often forgotten that Churchill began his career as a Conservative, switched to the Liberals in 1904, then returned to the Conservatives in 1925. Cameron has often described himself—in a phrase that sounds oxymoronic to American ears—as a “liberal conservative.” (Think Rockefeller Republican.)

Revealingly, Cameron defines his version in terms of foreign policy (though he could equally well reference the fact that he leads a Conservative-Liberal coalition): “You get the instincts of a conservative—skeptical and worried about grand plans to remake the world—but [you are] liberal in that you want to see the spread of democracy and rights and freedoms that we enjoy here.”

It is in the realm of foreign policy that Cameron is most obviously Churchillian. Like Tony Blair, he is drawn to the idea of military intervention where human rights as well as national interest are at stake. It was he, not President Obama, who pressed for military intervention in Libya last year. And while Obama was careful to occupy the back seat during the NATO air campaign that helped topple the dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Cameron was up front, fighting with Nicolas Sarkozy for control of the steering wheel and gas pedal.


While American politicians merely talk about deficit reduction, Cameron’s government has already raised taxes and is poised to make drastic reductions in public spending. According to the nonpartisan Institute of Fiscal Studies, the planned cuts are on a scale not seen in the U.K. since World War II.


Given the parlous fiscal position he inherited, fiscal stimulus was not an option. Indeed, any policy short of austerity would have risked the kind of bond-market revolt that has sunk continental economies like Greece and Portugal. “The idea that the answer to a debt crisis is more debt,” Cameron insists, “is wrong.”

The gentleman is not for turning. “It is a difficult path, but a path the country has to take…We have a very clear multiannual plan to get on top of debt, deficit, and public spending…But we’ve accompanied that with an independent and very active monetary policy. We are fiscal conservatives but monetary activists. I think that is the right way round.”

Bild: Artikeln och tidskriftsomslaget ovan är Newsweek den 19 mars 2012. Kuriosa: På den europeiska upplagans omslag säger Cameron ”Hi! I’m Dave! I’m the British Prime Minister, and I love Winston Churchill”.

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TILLSAMMANS med National Liberal Party skulle Conservative Party vinna valkampanjen i Storbritannien 1951.

Detta val kom bara femton månader efter valet 1950 där premiärminister Clement Attlee och hans Labour Party tog hem segern knappt.

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LABOUR HAR tagit fram en ny kampanjstrategi som skall utmåla premiärminister David Cameron som en traditionell konservativ på högerkanten.

Enligt det hemliga dokumentet som The Observar har tagit del av gör Labour bedömningen att Cameron och Conservative Party har övergett sin mittenposition när det gäller lag och ordning, immigrations- och välfärdsfrågor.

Målet nu är att definiera Cameron som ”recognisably rightwing”.

Dokumentet har skrivits av en gammal avhoppad Torypolitiker – Shaun Woodward – som nu leder en enhet inom Labour med ansvar att attackera de konservativa.

Woodward warns, however, that while there are opportunities for Labour there are ”significant political risks if Labour fails to handle the change with alacrity, strength and sensitivity”. There are fears that some of the rightwing rhetoric employed by the government in recent months may chime with large sections of the public, as it did in the 1980s during Margaret Thatcher’s premiership. Senior figures in the party have also conceded that they have struggled to land a blow on Cameron, who is regarded as a skilful manipulator of his image.


”At the last election we faced a Conservative party (and a Conservative leader in David Cameron) whose strategic goal was to decontaminate their brand, intending to present themselves as reformed, modern, centrist and pragmatic,” it says. ”Repositioning on issues like the NHS and the environment was used as evidence of the emergence of a ‘compassionate conservatism’ – a phrase first used by George W Bush prior to his election as president. Cameron was effective in promoting a perception his party had changed.”


”But here is the paradox: whilst the Tories made changes before the election – intended to convince the public they were compassionate – since the election (and especially in the last few months) the Tories have taken major strides back towards their ideological roots. Buffeted by events, there is a growing incoherence between ‘liberal
conservatism’ and the increasingly shrill language the Tories are using as they vacate the centre ground.”


”Cameron clearly recognises some of the danger he faces in his repositioning. He is still seeking to separate himself out from a toxic Tory brand and has assumed a presidential role and style. But the Tories have become far less worried about inhabiting the centre ground they once cultivated and more worried about any perception of
appearing weak.

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NYHETSMAGASINET Tempus har i senaste numret reportage om partiintriger och valrörelser i USA, Argentina och Bangladesh.

Även om huvudartikeln och omslaget med Rick Perry handlar om republikanernas presidentvalskampanj i USA är artiklarna om president Cristina Fernándes de Kirchner och premiärminister Sheikh Hasina betydligt intressantare.

Om premiärminister Sheikh Hasina i Bangladesh:

Ställd inför allmänna val om några år, borde Sheikh Hasina kanske hoppas på att förstärka demokratin och övertyga väljarna att välja om henne […] Tyvärr, om man ska döma efter hennes uppförande nyligen, försöker hon i stället att krossa oppositionen och åstadkomma en valbojkott samtidigt som hon tystar kritiker.


Bekymmer sammast är den snabba omskrivningen av konstitutionen […] Den som vågar kritisera den kan anklagas för uppvigling. […] Bara att så mycket som stödja ett sådant klagomål är nu olagligt.

Tankebrott kan bli nästa steg.

Om president Kirchner i Argentina:

Hon har stöd av en växande ekonomi och en splittrad opposition, vilket alltsammans överskuggar tidigare ifrågasättanden av hennes polariserande ledarskapsstil.

Opositionsundersökningarna före primärvalen hade förutsett hennes framgång och även förutspått att den närmaste konkurrenten Ricardo Alfonsin, en kongressman från det radikala unionspartiet, skulle hamna långt efter henne.

”Frånvaron av en stark oppositionskandidat har skapat en känsla av att hon är oövervinnelig”, säger Graciela Romer, en politisk analytiker från Buenos Aires.

Övrigt: Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är nummer 33/34 av Tempus.

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