What does Autumn 2007 hold in the world of politics?
A look ahead to the rest of the year
The political season kicks off
Today has been quite a day. Gordon Brown has burst back onto the political scene with an agenda-setting appearance on the Today Programme, a march into Conservative territory in The Daily Telegraph and a speech announcing the new politics which contained some very old fashioned points scoring. In Iraq, British forces have pulled back to Basra airport at the same time as George W. Bush has arrived to demonstrate his continuing support for the surge; illustrating just how much British and American strategies are diverging. While in
A new sort of politics?
"September usually sees the resumption of
Splitter! Splits! Hooray!
Political correspondents can breathe a collective sigh of relief. As we exit the substance desert that was the silly season they can now start writing "party split" stories.
Will Populus disclose the Tory poll?
Anthony Wells of UKPolling Report emails me to tell me that he has asked Populus to disclose the poll referred to by Benedict Brogan in his blog.
He wrote” “Tories say privately their internal Populus poll paints a completely different picture - the parties are level pegging and Mr Cameron’s approval rating is climbing”.
Is the electorate sleepwalking its way to disaster?
If you were shipwrecked on a desert island and had returned to the
What Boris Johnson really said
Today's Evening Standard has a report by Andrew Gilligan about the supposed Compass Dossier on Boris Johnson including a section on what he really said compared to what they said he said which I have selected from below. The rest of it can be read on the Standard's website.
Tories up, Labour down, election off
There's more good poll news for David Cameron later from Populus. It confirms the Labour one-point lead of the private Populus poll run for the Tories late last week. The Tory leader has grabbed the news and recorded an interview for Nick Robinson for the 10 in which he calls on Gordon Brown to "get on and call an election" and predicts a "period of instability" if he allows this will he/won't he nonsense to continue.
Surely, no autumn election now?
Gordon Brown had already been doing his best in his Today Programme inteview today to play down the excitable talk about an October 4 election that appeared on various Conservative blogs last Friday, but surely the announcement that disaffected Tories John Bercow and Patrick Mercer are to become government advisers puts paid to the idea.
The Brown Boost - an update
Back in June when Labour’s rating in polls first began to shoot upwards on the back of Gordon Brown’s approaching premiership I wrote that there were four questions we needed to ponder about the Brown boost. Two months later let’s see if we’re closer to any answers:
Old Old Old
Michael Ancram the FORMER (key word) deputy leader has warned us all today to not loose our “soul” in favour of vacuous new policies.
Well thank the lord he did so as otherwise I think we might have won an election!
The Case Against Further Green Taxes
Matthew Sinclair: More green taxes – a bad idea and politically dangerous
Today the TaxPayers’
Read George's Lips "No Spending Cuts, No Choice for Voters"
Last month the Economic Research Council identified 883 New Labour quangos costing £167.5 billion in 2005/06, up from £24.1 billion in 1997/98. That is five times the size of the Defence budget (£32 billion). Does George really think spending has to grow?
What is George Osborne playing at?
Both Iain Dale and Guido have raised eyebrows this morning. What is George Osborne playing at? Stories about Government waste appear in the papers every day. Surely the Tories can easily save money. And if they can't, what's the point of them?
Here's the answer.
Boris' launch speech
GLA candidate and one-time mayoral candidate James Cleverly made the introductions at the old County Hall this morning. Then followed a video of Boris talking about what he thought of "the most beautiful city in the world" with various green parts of the city as his backdrop. The video has been uploaded to the home page of the Back Boris website which underwent a transformation overnight.
Gordon Brown's 'New Politics': socialist exclusion unit
The prime minister today unveiled his vision of a ‘New Politics’. But Gordon Brown’s erection of an even bigger big tent surely marks a further step in the continued rightwards evolution of New Labour.
That can be seen by looking at the track record of the two Tory MPs who will now be helping to making policy for a Labour government.
Is Brown tricking the Tories into panic-spending?
With all this election fever being helped along by irresponsible bloggers there is news this morning in the Times this morning that the Conservative Party has authorised a poster campaign for next week. According to the report it is designed to "neutralise Labour claims that Mr Cameron has no substance and does not believe in anything".
A self-fulfilling prophesy?
The Observer hit the nail on the head yesterday when it noted in its leader that the current political row over a referendum is shabby. David Cameron, it says, calculates that he is in a win-win situation. If there is a referendum, he will have extracted a U-turn from Labour and could front a successful "no" campaign. If there is no referendum, he has made Labour look extraordinarily shifty.
What's left, right and wrong?
Although the terms of political debate have shifted over the last 25 years, some core values have remained the same.
Have the Tories lost the confidence of the City of
Amazingly the Tories think the best way to shift Labour from government is to promise to match labour's spending pledges for three years. Students of politics will know that Labour promised something similar in 1997, but this was widely seen as a means of easing fears on the foreign exchange markets and in the City of
Tough on crime, tough on the causes of fear of crime
This idea of David Cameron's that we're living in "Broken Britain" and of the Sun that we are witnessing "Anarchy in the
Telegraph: Sir Ming is the problem
The Daily Telegraph today ponders what bloggers have bene discussing for weeks now - the decline, or at the best invisibility, of the LibDems. The biggest selling
All black short-lists?
Keith Vaz MP wants a change in the law so political parties can impose all ethnic-minority shortlists. The plan being that in areas where a party think it wants a non-white candidate, it can make sure at least one is picked by the local constituency to represent them at the General Election. We already have all-women shortlists possible through a change in the law. Tories will no doubt complain this amounts to positive discrimination. True, but then so does giving benefits to married couples over single mothers.
Whatever Happened To The Far Left?
A couple of weeks ago, I examined the impact of parties to the Right of the Conservatives. This week, I do the same with parties to the Left of Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
Back in the 1980s, quite large numbers of people supported Labour’s policies of nationalisation, unilateral nuclear disarmament, restoration of the right to secondary picketing and the closed shop, and ending the sale of council houses. In fact, I can remember intelligent people at university arguing at the time that
Get tough on the fear of crime
One of the things that most irritated me about the Orange Book a few years ago was David Laws hectoring the Lib Dems for not doing enough to acknowledge how the fear of crime affects people’s daily lives (I paraphrase as I don’t have the book in front of me right now). Boris Johnson made a similar comment during the launch for his bid for London Mayor today and last week the Observer wrote:
When is a child an adult?
A Freedom of Information Request by the BBC has discovered that over 3,000 crimes were committed by under-10’s who can’t be prosecuted because they are below the age of criminal responsibility. This has naturally led some to ask - including the BBC - whether the age of criminal responsiblity should be lowered.
Arnie recoils from the Curse of Cameron
All along the watchtower reports plasible reasons, to do with Californian affairs, as to why Arnold Schwarzenegger will not be attending the Conservative conference this year, as previously widely advertised.
Respect is cursed....says
Respect faces “oblivion” it is also moribund; weak; exhausted; amateur, mismanaged; unhealthy, irresponsible- George Galloway also suggests that his SWP “allies” are corrupt (giving internal Party jobs to political pals), interferes in internal elections and not pulling their weight in Council elections. He also gives the green light to the homophobes in Respect by condemning efforts to get Muslim Respect Councillors to attend the Gay Pride festival.
Tories Pledge to Make Themselves Utterly Pointless
GORDON Brown will remain prime minister if the Conservatives win the next election, as the party launches a new campaign to make itself completely and utterly pointless.