Tag Archives: party political

Short Term Thinking III

My last two posts provided the primer for a discussion of how post-industrial economies interact with the drive towards a democratic system from our current standpoint of an unplanned constitutional monarchy in which approximately two thirds of the country are not represented by someone they voted for, under any outcome.

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Independence Day

The Sun newspaper failed to publish a YouGov poll showing that voters fear a Liberal Democrat government less than a Conservative or Labour one. […] (The Liberal Democrats have) taken comfort from YouGov’s unpublished finding that more voters would be delighted by the formation of a Liberal Democrat government (29 per cent), than by a Tory government (25 per cent) or a Labour one (18 per cent).

Only 21 per cent would be dismayed if a Liberal Democrat administration were formed, compared to 45 per cent for the Tories and 51 per cent for Labour.

In the 1990s I read the Indy as much as I read any other paper. They seemed to me to be quite independent, and I approved. I was also 16. It became apparent during the course of Back to Basics that the Indy was a fundamentally right-wing paper which talked a very good game but couldn’t back it up with impartiality.

But Simon Kelner’s slavering hacks have, over the last couple of days, performed so far out of that kennel that I might well have to buy a subscription for my new pub. There’s been a series of indications that the Indy alone of the papers usually considered as Cameron’s Crew might be thinking about regaining some honour in journalism. Then, as far as we can tell, James Murdoch decided to take a hand. The replying salvo is a vigorous expose of the counter-democratic and unethical practices of the Murdoch empire.

We all saw the delightfully inept attempt at GOP-style campaigning from the Murdoch empire and their running dogs at CCHQ. We all saw them trot out a different line from the YouGov attack poll in each paper, thus making it clear that it was a co-ordinated but unaimed assault with a single guiding will. Nick Robinson has confirmed that it was the Tories who orchestrated the media bombing campaign, which makes it pretty clear that it was also the Tories who put the attack poll in the field, using YouGov and Murdoch to do it.

Murdoch Loses Britain was a trending topic on twitter tonight. Too fucking right.

The Independent is causing feelings of respect and affection in me. I hope they can keep up the good work. Signs are good: Andrew Grice includes at the bottom of his article a step-by-step deconstruction of each headline in the smear campaign, with the true story summarised alongside. John Q.’s hat is duly tipped to a rare independent voice in the British print media.

Edit: 1357 The Indy have reprised their “Murdoch won’t decide this election” wrap-around, which precipitated this, with another, saying “Neither will Lebvedev”. Someone’s been eating his Wheaties.


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22:00 Channel 4 News’ instant poll results are: Nick Clegg: 52% Gordon Brown: 31% David Cameron: 17%.

21:55 The next instant poll re: the winner of the debate is ComRes/ITV: Clegg on 33%, Brown 30% Cameron 30%.

21:50 The instant YouGov poll for the Sun on the debate winners shows: Cameron 36%, Clegg 32%, Brown 29%

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Get A Vote

Editorial Note: this is a plug for someone I know quite well. In addition, it’s a comment on an interesting development out of the MPs Expenses scandal among many other things; I wasn’t and am not involved in developing this project.

A disclaimer; I am explicitly not, in this article, addressing issues such as the level of education required to do justice to the suffrage. It’s an issue large enough for shelves of books, let alone a small article, and it’s a minefield of opportunities for comment threads to devolve into accusations of classism, racism and elitism.

It has become increasingly clear over the last two years that a pre-Enlightenment governance system in the UK is in need, not of reform, but of radical re-engineering using rational, rather than Imperialist Anglican, principles. Constitutionally we are breaking one of the great rationalist commandments: Show Your Working.

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The Confidence Trick


I’ve stayed relatively clear of the commentariat’s dive into the Torygraph’s shark pool. Obviously, people needed to comment: for example, when the they smeared MPs someone needed to be telling them off.

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Cameron Eats Foot In Public

No-one cares. Quoted all over the shop, Cameron referred to the first government loss of an Opposition Day debate since the era of Callahan as;

“A historic day where parliament took the right decision.”

Er, Dave, you might want to re-consider the implications of suggesting that Parliament taking the right decision becomes intrinsically historic. It makes you sound a bit, well, wet. Seriously, did someone steal the smart biscuits and feed them all to Nick Clegg? I’ve liked the Liberal Democrats for years, and voted for them several times (the first major British political event I was aware of was the early 80s party merger). But the last couple of days it almost looked like we were back to the days in 2003 where Labour were the government and the Lib Dems were the only viable opposition voice. After a storming performance at PMQs which had even the repugnant right [1] scoring Clegg better than Cameron, we then have Cameron playing third violin to Clegg’s leadership and Joanna Lumley’s dress on the steps outside. Add in the recent coup of Vince Cable getting Frank Field to take on his own government over the economy, and it’s been a pretty good day for the only remaining left-of-centre party with a real voice in Westminster.

If people aren’t careful the Liberals might finally get the kind of press and pundit attention which swings a vote. Keep it up, Mr. Clegg! But be sure you know where you’ve put it, or you’ll get yourself in trouble.

[1] I’ve been looking for a counter to ‘loony left’ for a while, as I didn’t feel it reasonable that alliteration should be a restricted service.

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