Menu

23.12.09

Danny Finkelstein: Is it really so strange?

Danny Finkelstein is shocked that none of the Tory leadership are amongst the top 5 politicians of the year identified by PoliticsHome. But it doesn’t seem so surprising when set against an observation made by Rod Liddle last month:

“There are few names on the opposition front bench who seem to be possessed of either gravitas or chutzpah, still less conviction.”

READ MORE

03.11.09

Can UKIP save Labour? Or can Labour save itself?

Given that the Guardian now report that David “Cameron faces Eurosceptic backlash after Czech Lisbon treaty decision”, it seems an apt moment to revisit this question: “Could UKIP still save the day for Labour?”

Perhaps confounding expectations of what the Spectator would be like with Fraser Nelson as editor, James Forsyth at Coffee House has been quick to man the trenches on Cameron’s behalf and insist he “hasn’t broken a pledge on Europe”. Such activity from someone, who is, among “the leading commentators”, according to Danny Finkelstein, to well “understand what the Cameron team are trying to do” might suggest that this team is worried that UKIP could indeed save the day for Labour.

READ MORE

13.05.09

Parliament is a zoo

“The expenses fiasco has shown why Parliament must change its ways”, well argues Daniel Finkelstein today. He concludes that “if it doesn’t a succession of disasters will follow”. He asks:

“When the House of Commons is about half full or more, MPs simply bellow and heckle each other, making intelligent debate impossible …  And the things MPs shout are not very nice, either. Sexist, rude, slanderous, irrelevant, childish. How long can it be before someone sits there, writes it all down and puts it on their blog? How long before first one MP, then another, is caught saying something inappropriate? The apologies, the disclipinary action. You can see it all, can’t you?”

READ MORE

06.02.09

Labour’s centre must be ideologists too

Good post earlier this week from Danny Finkelstein:

“A very interesting comment from Pregethwr underneath my post on Labour and its leadership:

READ MORE

06.02.09

Labour's centre must be ideologists too

Good post earlier this week from Danny Finkelstein:

“A very interesting comment from Pregethwr underneath my post on Labour and its leadership:

READ MORE

02.02.09

The future of the Labour Party

“This was the week in which Labour lost the next election”, according to Matthew d’Ancona. A coalition between Labour and the Lib Dems is the best response, thinks Sunder Katwala, while Matthew Taylor suggests a, “radical departure from past practice. How about declaring a unilateral political ceasefire?” John Prescott was spitting feathers in a wholly absurd and unnecessary fashion with Taylor. Presumably, he is at least as angry with Katwala. But, at least, Prescott wants to fight this war; the next general election.

Danny Finkelstein suggests that Ed Balls is briefing against Ed Miliband as part of the next war; the race to be the next leader of the Labour Party. Balls, allegedly, wants to be the candidate of the left in this contest, though I can’t see him usurping Jon Cruddas from this position. Given that Labour could well swing leftwards in opposition, as a Blair/Brown backlash occurs against a backdrop of continued economic struggles, this is a position from which Cruddas could be victorious.

READ MORE

16.01.09

The radical centre (or center)

“What a President decides to do first helps the public understand his priorities”, as Comment Central correctly notes in an interesting post, featuring the views of the columnists of The Times on what should be top of Obama’s to-do list. It might be presumed that Obama will do something akin to what Bronwen Maddox advises:

“Barack Obama should shut Guantanamo Bay – which he’s said he’ll do – and also think of handing the entire naval base over to Cuba, to reverse the isolation of that country by the US, one of the most ridiculous reflexes of American foreign policy. Then he needs to send his team to the Middle East and its borders. The whole region, from Egypt to Pakistan and India, will dominate his presidency”.

READ MORE

22.12.08

Caroline is not from the Block

Charles Krauthammer describes British democracy as if the House of Lords Act 1999 had never happened. But he writes well on Caroline Kennedy’s Senate bid, picking up on a statement by Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.). “I don’t know what Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications are. Except that she has name recognition, but so does J-Lo”.

J-Lo’s claim to still be “Jenny from the Block” may stretch credulity somewhat after a decade of uber-stardom. Still her rise from humble beginnings in the Bronx was obviously marked by great dedication and hard-work. For example, dividing her time “between working in a legal office, dance classes, and dance performances in Manhatten night clubs”, as wikipedia describes, doesn’t sound like the easiest of lives.

READ MORE

15.12.08

Polls and the PBR

Good overview of the polls since the PBR from Danny Finkelstein:

“Before the PBR, You Gov gave the Tories a 5 per cent lead, now it is 6 per cent; Populus gave the Tories a 6 per cent lead before and a 4 per cent lead now; Mori gave the Tories a 3 per cent lead before and a 6 per cent lead now; ICM gave the Tories an 11 per cent lead before the PBR and a 15 per cent lead in their last poll.

READ MORE

21.11.08

State funding and Obama

Danny Finkelstein makes a strong point about the problems involved with state funding of politics. Coincidentally, his blog also contains insights on the far more preferable alternative that Obama’s campaign has embodied: lots of small donations. I fear that democracies end up with the politics that they deserve and that our cynicism about party politics will ultimately leave us in an unsatisfactory world of largely or wholly state funded politics. Wouldn’t it be better to try to apply the lessons of Obama’s campaign here?

READ MORE