Friday, 3 August 2007

The Poliblogs 3rd August 2007

Precision tax relief

The minority status of Stephen Harper's Conservative government in Canada means that it hasn't been able to be as radical as some would have liked, particularly on curtailing government spending. Having spent some time in Ottawa meeting various strategists we'll post our AtoZ of the Canadian Conservatives tomorrow.

In the meantime we'd like to draw your attention to one of their most interesting policy strategies.

Conservative Home

Election speculation

So, the leaked Gould memo suggests that an early election is being seriously contemplated by Labour. I have to admit that the first reaction I had on hearing this was that it was surely proof that an early election was not being contemplated - why else would they leak the document? Leaving such cynicism aside for a moment, what would an autumn election be likely to bring, and what impact would the outcome have on British politics?

Conservative Party Reptile


Paul Linford in the Derbyshire Telegraph makes a remark that has cropped up time and again in comment on the Tories:

Mr Cameron's big strategic mistake over the past month was not to have gone to Rwanda, nor even the way he fought Ealing Southall - but to have seriously underestimated Mr Brown.

Cue nodding of heads.

But I have a problem with this observation.

Daniel Finkelstein

George Galloway 'to run against Jack Straw'

Respect MP George Galloway is weighing up a number of options for his political future, according to Scottish newspaper The Herald. Earlier speculation that he will not stand for Westminster again now appears to be wide of the mark.

Although he is committed not to seek a second term in Bethnal Green and Bow, other possibilities could include taking on Jack Straw in Blackburn, former SWPer Jim Fitzpatrick in Poplar and Canning Town, or even a seat in Scotland.

Dave’s Part

A culture that can never fail

Whilst the silly season is truly upon us it also means that another season is about to arrive. It with startling regularity now that I write a post like this somewhere online every year, and yet every year it has to be done. For it is not just silly season but it also exam result season. In a matter of weeks the results will be in for all those 16 and 18 year old who have taken GCSEs and A-Levels respectively, and with it comes the commentary and opinion of which I guess this post forms a part.

Dizzy Thinks

Who benefits from an early election?

Let's ignore the high politics and the messages for a moment and think about some of the more predictable factors.

The Diary of Chris K

But why are more people saying they will vote Tory?

Now here’s a funny thing - in the three Guardian ICM polls for January-March 2007 the firm was reporting leads for Cameron’s party of 6% - 10%. Yet looking at the raw data FEWER people were telling the pollster then that they planned to vote Conservative than in ICM’s three published polls in July.

Political Betting

The role of William Hague

At the end of last year this site advocated William Hague replacing George Osborne as Shadow Chancellor with Mr Osborne moving to the foreign affairs post or to the Chairman's slot. That advice wasn't taken but the status of William Hague remains a big issue. Iain Dale has written an interesting article for this morning's Telegraph. He advocates a bigger role for William Hague and other right-wingers in keeping the Conservative Party together during these rough times and into the future. He believes that William Hague should become David Cameron's official deputy. In ConservativeHome's poll of grassroots members Mr Hague recently reasserted his position as the most highly rated shadow cabinet minister. He could help core vote Tories to understand Project Cameron.

Conservative Home

Cameron is wrong about the European referendum – and by making it an issue he’s hauling up the white flag for the next General Election

As regular readers of this blog know, I am passionately committed, almost to the point of obsession, about accountability and democracy, for example in local health services.

So why do I find myself opposed to a referendum on the European Reform Treaty? It seems rather a counter-intuitive, anti-democratic and an unpopular view to take so I think it needs a bit of explanation.

Jeremy Hargreaves

EU cut and paste?

So the official English translation of the new draft EU treaty is now available for your perusal (PDF link). The weighty constitution died a death in 2005 when French and Dutch voters threw it out. The government says the new draft is inherently different from the old treaty. Therefore they don't, they say, as they promised for the consitution, need to hold a referendum to approve it. But the Conservatives contend much of it is the same - and that all that's happened is a cut and paste job.

Nick Robinson

Have you seen this man?

Iain Dale has his monthly table of shadow cabinet media mentions up and as always it makes for interesting reading. Amazingly, Peter Ainsworth, the Tory environment spokesman, got a mere 57 mentions in July despite the 24/7 media coverage of the floods. Indeed, his Liberal Democrat opposite number Chris Huhne got more attention than Ainsworth as did 18 of his shadow cabinet colleagues.

Coffee House

Is Ken right on Boris?

Yesterday morning Ken Livingstone told the Today programme that Boris Johnson "is the most formidable opponent I will face in my political career." He described Boris Johnson as a "charming and engaging rogue" who makes Norman Tebbit "look like a cuddly liberal." For someone who has traded on his image rather than his policies Livingstone seemed surprisingly keen to move on to policies saying "I want to get onto the policy...I mean this is not a sort of Celebrity Big Mayor, it's a serious issue about how you run the city."

Conservative Home

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