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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GATORNA BRINNER i en rad städer i Storbritannien. Vandalisering, plundring och överfall har redan lett till dödsfall.

Och som vanligt när det gäller grovt våld och kriminalitet står svenska politiker handfallna och svarslösa.

Caroline Szyber, rättspolitisk talesperson för Kristdemokraterna, har försökt sig på ett svar.

[A]tt vara fattig och utan arbete leder inte automatiskt till att du slänger sten mot kvartersbutiken. Det är inte heller avsaknaden av fritidsgårdar eller samlingslokaler som gör att du tänder eld på grannens hus.


Det behövs en tydlighet från vuxenvärlden. Genom föräldrarna får barn och unga normer och värderingar om hur vi ska bete oss mot varandra i samhället.


I Sverige har synsättet att det är det allmänna (staten, kommunen och myndigheterna) som ytterst sett bär skulden vid upplopp varit dominerande. Föräldrarollen har kommit helt i skymundan.

På papperet låter detta OK. Men det löser knappast dagens problem.

Caroline Szybers svar är nämligen ett typiskt politikersvar. Eftersom Kristdemokraterna vill vara familjepartiet är deras lösning på alla problem att just stärka familjerollen.

Men premiärminister David Camerons problem är här och nu. Det handlar inte om vilka långsiktiga lösningar som möjligtvis kan ge effekt om 10-20 år.

Är det verkligen någon som tror att man kan komma tillrätta med dagens kriminella i Storbritannien genom att sätta deras föräldrar i vad Szyber kallar ”föräldrautbildningar”?

Camerons problem är naturligtvis hur man skall använda sig av just ”det allmänna” för att råda bot på de kravaller, upplopp och överfall som sker just här och nu.

Där har Cameron agerat betydligt handlingskraftigare än vad Alliansregeringen har gjort i jämförbara situationer.

Alliansregeringens tama agerande har varit tydligt vid upploppen i svenska förorter när bilar sticks i brand och innevånare regelbundet kastar sten på poliser och brandmän som försöker göra sitt jobb.

Och Kristdemokraterna står här lika svarslösa som alla de övriga partierna.

Kristdemokraterna har i realitet helt köpt regeringens mantra om att ”jobb, jobb, jobb” skall lösa precis alla problem.

Jobbmantrat är ungefär som Kristdemokraternas mantra om familjen. Man kan alltid hoppas att det ger resultat någon gång i framtiden. På så sätt behöver man inte bry sitt huvud om problemen just här och nu.

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UNDER FÖRRA månadens valkampanj i Thailand använde sig Yingluck Shinawatra och hennes parti Phue Thai av bland annat nedanstående valaffisch.

Chris Baker på bloggen New Mandala har gjort en intressant analys av affischen. Tydligen var den nyskapande ur ett thailändskt perspektiv.

First off, it is a far higher quality photograph than we’re used to on election posters. Its first message is simply “quality.”

Most election poster shots are as flat as the Central Plain. […] She is brilliantly lit. She is 3D and she is real.


She’s been sexed-down rather than the opposite. […] She is more mature and serious than her usual look.

The one element that conflicts with this mood is the hair. It’s long, and lush, and sensuous. [I]n contrast to the clipped, sprayed and regimented bonnets of senior bureaucrats and army wives. Very feminine. [T]he hair makes her not just 3D but touchable.


The message of the costuming is simplicity and seriousness.

Compared to most election posters, the picture has been allotted more of the space, perhaps 15 percent more. The copy has been kept to a minimum, again to allow the image to dominate. Most strikingly, the point size of her name is probably smaller than on any other poster of this size, and the surname Shinawatra has been reduced even further.

The overall effect is rather cool and quiet. […] Her look is bright but not as animated as she usually looks. The copy message (“Ready to service the people”) does not shout.


The quality of the shot and the skill of the presentation are reminders that Thaksin has always understood the importance of communication and especially of visual communication.

[… ]

This poster is a brilliant bit of visual populism.

The overall feel of the Yingluck poster is cool, quiet, unaggressive. The disturbing factor is the hair which is aggressively feminine. Most female political candidates have their hair clipped and controlled. […] How do you attack this without looking like a brute?

Baker har också tittat på en affisch som användes av den nu besegrade premiärministern Abhisit Vejjajiva. En riktigt trist men typisk thailändsk affisch om man får tro Baker. (Se även denna affisch.)

Om man bara skall ta dessa två affischer som exempel så är det uppenbart att Phue Thai var betydligt mer professionella i sin politiska kommunikation.

Läs mer: “Thai election: Why the Shinawatras won” (Part 1) (Part 2) av Dan Waites på Asian Correspondent. “Observing Yingluck on the Thai election campaign trail” på bloggen Bangkok Pundit. Se också några bilder från ett valmöte som Pheu Thai höll i Bangkok den 29 juni.

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I JUNIVALET sopade Yingluck Shinawatra mattan med premiärminister Abhisit Vejjajiva. För bara tre månader sedan fanns hon inte ens på den politiska kartan.

Lawrence Osborne på The Daily Beast har skrivit en intressant artikel om Thailands nya premiärminister.

In her TV interviews she comes across as a typical Thai female presence: deft, slightly steely, understated, her gestures measured and imperturbable, the charm calculatingly uncalculating. […] At once corporate and feminine, dynastic and individual, she has joined the ranks of Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, and Indira Gandhi without the gender-war boilerplate of her American counterparts or the stern asexuality of an Angela Merkel.


When Shinawatra is asked if she is merely her powerful brother’s “clone,” she says, without batting an expertly sculpted eyelash, “Yes, but only when it comes to logical thinking.” She is often asked if her femininity will be the key to her ability to affect conciliation in a country rocked by massive unrest and conflict, and again the answer is yes. “Female two-way dialogue,” she says, smiling like a restaurant hostess while looking the male interviewer in the eyes as if she is about to impale him on the fine point of a hairpin. It’s charm as bone-breaking jujitsu.


She may well become a typically instant modern celebrity for this very reason, trading on her femaleness in a way that is both media-savvy and effortlessly traditional. Female charm is highly valued in Thailand, while curiously reviled and repudiated elsewhere.


What is interesting about her victory, however, is that she has swept up the vote of the poor so comprehensively. She is now the “people’s candidate,” the seeming avatar of grassroots change, the Joan of Arc of the rural sans-culottes. It may not be true, but it’s going to be a vibrant myth for a while.

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