Posts Tagged ‘Sam Macrory’

KAMPANJ Ett parti som bara svartmålar riskerar förlora röster om väljarna inte känner igen sig i deras beskrivning.

Photo - www.instinctforfilm.com

Conservative Party vill gärna att väljarna skall se Labour som ett parti som saknar lösningar på de problem man lastar den konservativa-liberala koalitionsregeringen för.

När Sam Macrorys intervjuade de konservativas partiordförande för Total Politics var det tydligt att Grant Shapps vill att väljarna mentalt skall förknippa attackerna från oppositionen med att Labour har en svag partiledare och att partiet saknar egna lösningar.

Extra viktigt blir det för regeringen att sätta bilden av en svag Ed Miliband bland de väljare som börjat tröttna på regeringens politik. Det gäller att övertyga dem om att Labour inte är lösningen på deras problem.

The argument is one we’ll hear rather a lot in the coming months: the government is turning the economy around, has restored a rise in growth and jobs, can do more without the shackles of coalition, and must be allowed to finish the job. And the Conservative Party, Shapps says, is “feeling proud… we’ve done exactly what we said we were going to do. We followed a long-term economic plan and worked hard on reducing the deficit. What’s happened? We’ve become the fastest growing economy in the developed world. Clearly the economic plan is working.”


It’s going to be long and tough, but we have to make those arguments vigorously every single day. And whereas we have a vision for the future, Ed Miliband has another crisis.”

Shapps whips out a sheet or two of A4 from his pocket and thrusts them in my direction. “What separates Miliband from Cameron? And what’s the reason why people recognise consistently that Cameron is the better leader and better prime minister for Britain? Why? I think I’ve got the answer. Miliband has a knack of announcing crises. He’s announced 56 in the last three years. What’s that? Getting on to 20 a year. He’s also got 15 issues that he describes as the most important facing Britain.” Shapps looks up from the Miliband crisis dossier with glee. “In other words, this guy can’t decide.”

Looking through the headlines, if nothing else, the Labour communications team has been a little lazy with their crisis management. “Here’s a list of things he says are the number one crisis issue,” Shapps continues, pouring through his “fascinating” figures. “The badger cull crisis… that’s the number one issue facing Britain? This is a guy who leaps from one subject to another, jumps on the nearest bandwagon as it passes him by and tries to attach himself to every issue. He comes from the cold, hard, calculating [Gordon] Brown world of politics. The public end up realising that this is not a man who is the right person to be in Downing Street. This is a person who responds to the news rather than making the weather. You can’t both jump on every bandwagon and have the long-term interests of the country at heart.”

This is not the first time the Tories have tried to pin a perceived crime on Miliband. They tried ‘Red Ed’, the frothing socialist leader. That didn’t stick. Next came ‘Weird Ed’, the, well, weird leader. So what is it this time? “Well, it’s a ’Bandwagon Ed’, I suppose, but I’m not trying to brand him as anything,” Shapps replies. “All I’m trying to say is there is a choice. He’s always looking for the negative and he doesn’t have a positive, long-term vision for his country. Only [one of] two people can walk into Downing Street after the next election, Miliband or Cameron, and Cameron has a long-term vision for this country.”

So, is the choice in 2015 made after a presidential-style battle between two men? “Yes, Cameron is a big asset, but no, actually.” Shapps disagrees. “What’s commonly misunderstood about elections – and what I hope I bring to the table as somebody who won a seat off Labour – is that it’s not one national election, it’s not a US presidential election, it’s 650 separate contests on different things in different places.”


Back to those crises. There’s one in the list of 56 that resonates, and that’s the cost-of-living crisis. “Wait,” Shapps interrupts. “Let’s just check.” He looks back at the list. “Cost-of-living crisis…. there it is, number 21. Yes, crisis 21, 17 January, 2013.” He looks pleased, but should he be? The cost-of-living crisis, the argument that even as the economy recovers people see little to no improvement in their living standards, seems to cut through. “Look, it’s true that people have suffered huge pain over six years as this economy has got back to the size it was, when Labour – Labour – had its great recession. You know what? People have hurt and suffered from Labour’s great recession.” So it’s Miliband’s cost-of-living crisis, then? “He’s identified what he and Ed Balls were doing in the backroom while Gordon Brown was destroying the economy. He identifies the problem, he ignores the fact it’s of his own making, and then he fails to identify the solution.”

Bild: www.instinctforfilm.com

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POLITIK | Alastair Campbell, Tony Blairs gamla kommunikationsrådgivare och spin doctor, har inte försvunnit från den politiska arenan.

Total Politics November 2013

Campbell var en hjärnorna bakom den numera legendariska valrörelse som 1997 förde Blair och New Labour till 10 Downing Street.

Enligt en intervju med Sam Macrory i Total Politics har han även planer på att hjälpa Ed Milibands Labour inför valet 2015.

Men Campbell har inte legat på latsidan sedan 1997. Erfarenheterna från valrörelsen kom väl till användning när Campbell hjälpte Edi Rama och hans albanska socialistiska parti till makten förra året.

Campbell helped Rama win this summer’s Albanian general election with what he proudly declares was a “New Labour landslide”. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given what Campbell had brought with him from London. “It was the ‘97 playbook – everything. All the systems, pledge cards, messaging, changing the look, changing the name, everything. Obviously the world has moved on – social media, and all that stuff – but in terms of basic messaging, organisation, strategy, media monitoring, rebuttal, events and visits, we did the really basic stuff, and they were brilliant at it.”

So brilliant, in fact, that Campbell has returned from Albania with a new idea for Ed Miliband: film as many recordings as you can of your critics, and play them back on giant screens to your audience. “Every voice was negative, and he’s framed his speech around it. It was really powerful,” says Campbell of Rama’s experiment, one which echoes the ‘masochism strategy’ that Blair deployed in the run-up to the Iraq War and the 2005 election. Campbell is convinced it would work for the current Labour leader.

“I’ve tried this on Ed, and I think it would work with his style. It’s not a case of persuading him, I’ve just said, ‘By the way, we did this and it was really powerful, it really worked’. It’s just out there as an idea, and I think Ed would do that well.”

Enthused by the idea, Campbell sets the scene: “For somebody to come up there and say, ‘You’re a geek, you haven’t got charisma’, somebody to come on and say, ‘Yeah, you speak quite well but you’re not Tony Blair, you’re no Barack Obama’, he can then say, ‘No, I’m not Blair, I’m me; this is what I am. OK, I might not be as charismatic as Barack Obama, but here’s what I’m going to do with energy, here’s what I’m going to do with this… ”

Tidskriftsomslag: Total Politics, November 2013.

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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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