Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Poliblogs 4th September 2007

Apologies for the break in communications. A normal service has been resumed...

What does Autumn 2007 hold in the world of politics?

A look ahead to the rest of the year

One of Britain’s wettest ever summers is almost at an end, and after the August lull, “full service” is set to resume in politics as September begins. These are a few of the key issues and events to keep an eye on over the next few months.

Political Betting

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 London, Boris Johnson has launched his campaign for mayor. August is definitely over.

Coffee House

A new sort of politics?

"September usually sees the resumption of Westminster politics. But while party politics resumes its normal routines, it cannot - and should not - be business as usual". So said the prime minister in a speech this morning and I wouldn't dare to disagree.

Nick Robinson

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.

Guido Fawkes

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”.

Political Betting

Is the electorate sleepwalking its way to disaster?

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island and had returned to the UK for the first time in many years, you would realise that you were in a country in despair. The Labour Government is one of the most discredited, dishonest and malicious to have ever ruled. And yet it has a spring in its step because Labour has replaced its best ever leader with the man who has run the Treasury for the past 10 years with false distinction.

The Wilted Rose

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.

Dizzy Thinks

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.

Ben Brogan

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.

Paul Linford

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:

Polling Report

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

The TaxPayers' Alliance has just published the first ever systematic audit of Britain's green taxes (see here). They conclude that Britain is already paying £10bn pa more in such taxes than the estimated cost of our carbon footprint. That's a stonking £400 pa for every household in the land.

Burning Our Money

Matthew Sinclair: More green taxes – a bad idea and politically dangerous

Today the TaxPayers’ Alliance releases a report setting out the state of green taxes in the UK today. Our findings are stark. We already pay far too much in green taxes, £10 billion or £400 per household per year.

Conservative Home

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?

Guido Fawkes

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.

Daniel Finkelstein

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.

Conservative Home

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.

Dave’s Part

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".

Dizzy Thinks

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.

EU Referendum

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.

Conor Foley

Have the Tories lost the confidence of the City of London?

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 London about Labour's relative lack of economic success when in government. Are the Tories saying they have lost the confidence of the City of London to the extent Labour had in the 1990's ?

Norfolk Blogger

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 UK" has been eating at me a bit. And with Dave's essay in the Telegraph outlining his ideas for mending his broken Britain by branding ten year old boys as failures and keeping them down a year at school got me looking out crime statistics.

Jock Place

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 UK quality paper decides that their problem isn't policy but the leader of the party, and the Telegraph launch quite a ferocious attack on poor old Sir Ming. Some LibDems have had the guts to say what lots more must be thinking - that he simply cannot stand the pace of a general election and hasn't got what it takes to even be the leader in peace time.

Little’s Log

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.

Pickled Politics

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 East Germany’s economy was outperforming our own, and that the United States was a greater threat to this country than the Soviet Union. Most of the people who held such views must still be alive today.

Political Betting

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:

Quaequam Blog

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.

Wonko’s World

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.

Liberal Burblings

Respect is cursed....says Galloway

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.

Labour Home

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.

The Daily Mash

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