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Posts Tagged ‘William Hague’

IMAGE Inom Labour är Tony Blair numera näst intill hatad. Det är lite märkligt med tanke på att han är partiets mest framgångsrika premiärminister.

William Hague and Tony Blair

Han står idag i bjärt kontrast till sina efterföljare på partiledarposten. Vare sig Gordon Brown eller Ed Miliband lyckades leva upp till förväntningarna.

William Hague, tidigare partiledare (1997-2001) för Conservative Party, förklarar i The Telegraph hur det var att ha honom som huvudmotståndare och vad det var som gjorde Blair så framgångsrik.

Det är svårt att se den nyvalde partiledaren Jeremy Corbyn kommer att ta någon notis om Hagues lärdomar.

In late 1997, having rather rashly taken on the job of Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, I discussed with the new prime minister, Tony Blair, which of us had the most difficult job. “You have,” he said, without a moment’s doubt.

Blair was right. And that job was doubly more difficult because it was one pitched every day against him, the most formidable electoral opponent the Conservative Party has faced in its entire history. Before him, Labour had only twice since its foundation won a decisive majority; with him it did so three times in a row.

Although he is despised in Labour’s current leadership election, Blair was a Tory leader’s worst nightmare: appealing to the swing voter and reassuring to the Right-leaning, it was hard to find a square on the political chessboard on which he did not already sit. When people told me I did well at Prime Minister’s Questions, I knew I had to, since I had very little else going for me at all – I had to raise the morale of Conservatives each Wednesday to get them through the frustration and impotence of every other day of the week.

Blair courted business leaders and Right-wing newspapers, often to great effect. He was a Labour leader who loved being thought to be a secret Tory, a pro-European who was fanatical in support for the United States, a big spender who kept income taxes down, an Anglican who let it be known he wanted to be a Catholic and regularly read the Koran. He could be tough or soft or determined or flexible as necessary and shed tears if needed, seemingly at will. To the political law that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time he added Blair’s law – that you can make a very serious attempt at it.

This was the human election-winning machine against which some of us dashed ourselves, making the Charge of the Light Brigade look like a promising manoeuvre by comparison. Yet now, only eight years after he left the scene he dominated, his party’s election is conducted with scorn for the most successful leader they ever had.

Bild: Utrikesminister William Hague och Tony Blair 2010.  Foto från The Office of Tony Blair

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William Hague Manchester Evening News

I was one of the first people into Downing Street the night the government changed. It was striking how it was set up in there for communications, not for decision-making. That was, sadly, the story of the Gordon Brown administration; it ended up with neither good communications nor good decision-making.

– Utrikesminister William Hague, Total Politics, oktober 2013

Bild: Manchester Evening News

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LEDARSKAP | Ed Miliband kritiseras alltmer inom Labour för sin försiktighet och oförmåga att koppla greppet om premiärminister David Camerons regering.

En av de öppna kritikerna är Lord Glasman. Han är inte tidigare rådgivare till Miliband utan också en av huvudfigurerna inom den idéströmning inom partiet som kallas Blue Labour.

Maurice Glasman framförde kritiken i New Statesman.

There seems to be no strategy, no narrative and little energy. Old faces from the Brown era still dominate the shadow cabinet and they seem stuck in defending Labour’s record in all the wrong ways – we didn’t spend too much money, we’ll cut less fast and less far, but we can’t tell you how.

Labour is apparently pursuing a sectional agenda based on the idea that disaffected Liberal Democrats and public-sector employees will give Labour a majority next time around. But we have not won, and show no signs of winning, the economic argument. We have not articulated a constructive alternative capable of recognising our weaknesses in government and taking the argument to the coalition. We show no relish for reconfiguring the relationship between the state, the market and society. The world is on the turn, yet we do not seem equal to the challenge.

[…]

[Ed Miliband] has not broken through. He has flickered rather than shone, nudged not led. It is time for him to bring the gifts that only he can bring. He should leave behind stale orthodoxies and trust his instinct that change is essential. He must show the kind of courage needed to steer the ship of state through uncharted waters. Now is the time for leadership and action. So far Ed has honoured his responsibilities but has not exerted his power. It is time that he did so. And we all need to show him love and support in return. I’m backing Ed Miliband.

Anledningen till att just denna artikel har väckt så stort intresse är inte nödvändigtvis för att att kritiken kommer från en f.d. rådgivare.

Snarare handlar det om att känslan av besvikelse delas av så många inom partiet oavsett ideologisk inriktning.

Rafael Behr på The Staggers, tidskriftens blogg, skriver:

If this is what Ed’s friends are saying, just imagine the view among his enemies and rivals. Some of the harsh language in the NS column no doubt expresses the frustration of someone who was once closer to the leader than he is now – a case of political love unrequited. And yet you hear variations on Glasman’s theme from many quarters of the party. The prescriptions are always different but the underlying accusation is the same: caution, indecision and a failure to capture the public imagination. The passages of Glasman’s column that have been most quoted elsewhere are the ones that express in a public forum what plenty of people in the party are saying in private – including people who think Ed Miliband can’t run away from Glasman’s ”Blue Labour” ideas fast enough. In other words, even people who disagree with the prescription recognise the diagnosis.

The defence from Miliband’s team amounts to an elaborate call for patience: the party has bounced back remarkably well from crushing defeat; it is more united than ever before; people are still giving the coalition the benefit of the doubt; the full scale of Tory economic failure hasn’t set in yet; the media are hostile. This was all neatly expressed in a New Year strategy memo leaked to the Times, including the memorable lines that Labour has made ”the best recovery of any opposition party in the history of opposition parties” and that comparisons between Ed Miliband and William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith or Michael Howard are ”wide of the mark”.The party would rather such comparisons were donwright impossible.

Övrigt: Läs Ed Milibands svar på kritiken i dagens The Guardian.

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