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UK Election open thread 2

by IdiotSavant Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:20:49 PM EST

By popular demand.

YouGov now puts the LibDems in the Lead.  Which under the UK's unfair electoral system, means they win over a hundred seats fewer than the Conservatives, who trail them by 1%.  FPP has to go!


Display:
YouGov results translated into seats via Swingometer:







Party% VoteSeats% Seats
Liberal Democrats3313220.3
Conservative3223936.8
Labour2624738.0
Others & NI9324.9

This is simply perverse, and no government elected by such an unfair system can have any legitimacy. If the election result is anything like this poll, then the only fair outcome is a temporary coalition to implement electoral reform, followed by a second election under a new, fair system.

by IdiotSavant on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:31:38 PM EST
Oh, and any UKanians wanting ammunition for electoral reform: here's the report of NZ's Royal Commission on the issue, from 1986, which eventually led to us adopting German-style MMP.  Its still considered the definitive say on what we want in an electoral system 25 years later.
by IdiotSavant on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 11:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think anyone who's even glanced at the situation believes it is fair. Unfortunately all of the UK's equivalent of the villagers feel that life is easier with the status quo. And seeing as they are the only ones who can change things, nothing will get changed.

Believe me, even if the vote goes the way you show, there will be no change. Clegg can ask for it PR to be the minimum requirement of coalition and he will get nada. The Lords will flatten it and then the leader of the Commons will shrug his shoulders and say "It wasn't in the manifesto, they can keep voting it down (especially if we tell them to).

So the fantasy of this being a proper democracy with freedom of speech will be torn wide open. Nobody is paying attention, there's a new series of doctor who and Britains got Brain Damage Talent. Move along, nothing to see here. We've got laws to pass, demonstrators to beat up and expenses forms to fill in.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 12:49:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh it's worse than this.

The majesty of the first past the post single member district offers a whole world of hurt that these models don't take into account.

Why?

Because they are using uniform swing in order to determine seat yields, but it's highly unlikely that the people who are shifting towards the LibDems are spread evenly throughout the country.

Yet, what's most likely is that these are voters from the urban periphery who have defected from NuLab to the Tories, and now are taking a look at the LibDems.  So the beauty of this is that while in the 2005 election, Labor took 356 seats, the Conservatives 198, Lib Dems 62, and Others 30. The likelihood is that the only seats changing hands are going to be coming out of the Labour column.

So imagine that Labour looses half its seats, so that's 178 seats down, and these go to the Lib Dems.

So you get.

Lib Dems 240
Conservatives 198
Labour 178
Others 30

You have to have 323 seats to form a government.

So that means that you can have a coalition in which the Lib Dems lead, or you can have a "national unity" government composed of Labour and the Conservatives.

Uncertainty is the only certainty, but it seems like the real question at the moment is whether the Lib Dems will be allowed to enter government without their own majority.  

Or will Labour and the Conservatives create a working majority in order to keep the Lib Dems out of government?

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 04:29:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think all calculation is out of the window at this point because there are simply no metrics available on which to base an estimate.

But the one thing I can guarantee is that Labour and conservatives will never be in a coalition.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 05:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can't fathom Labour and the Tories in a coalition.  Brown's been pretty open about the fact that he's up for a coalition with the Lib-Dems without actually saying so, and Labour leaders have been talking about it to the press.

The problem for the Lib-Dems is obvious: Do they really want to be tied up with Brown and damage the brand that Clegg is building up?  If they can get PR and some of their agenda through, then maybe so.

The uniform swing isn't too terrible an indicator.  I'm hesitant to take other estimates, because there's too much room for bias to leak in, even if a real effort is being made to avoid it.

One way or another, we certainly can't accuse the Brits of being boring this go round.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 05:27:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An obvious tactic for the Lib/Dems is to force Labour to form a minority government and tell them to push through some form of PR as their first action Or Else.

Don't know if that is constitutionally doable in the UK.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 01:04:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't know if that is constitutionally doable in the UK.

Yup.  Its just a Westminster system, so there are regular confidence votes which would provide an opportunity for the LibDems to pull the plug if the government was reneging.  The problem is that Labour may feel that time is on their side; that if they just wait, the public anger at the expenses scandal will subside, and that they can just drag their feet.

by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 09:13:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's only one issue for them to consider for forming a coalition: electoral reform. Without it they are forever relegated to third party status even when they get the most votes.

If Labour agrees to a significant reform, then they have nothing to lose; and if Labour doesn't they get told to go fuck themselves, so they will.

A 'centrist' is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

by nicta (nico@altiva․fr) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 07:03:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The best thing about the LibDem surge is that it apparently took the wind out of UKIP's and BNP's sail (stopping the Tories moving right to keep their fringes from protest voting).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 02:11:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From today's Independent.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg launched a fierce attack on the British National Party today, branding it an "evil, vile, fascist organisation".

He said the party was "utterly useless" in helping people with the problems they face, such as unemployment, crime and housing, as they could only peddle hatred.

The Lib Dems had been "devastatingly successful at beating the BNP back" and he highlighted Burnley Borough Council as an example, which he said was now run by his party.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 02:19:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lib Dems had been "devastatingly successful at beating the BNP back" and he highlighted Burnley Borough Council as an example, which he said was now run by his party.

Well, IIRC that was a classic concerted effort coordinated by civil society anti-fascist groups, so claiming all the glory is a bit much. But it's still nice to see a frontal attack on the far-right for a change.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 02:30:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascinating piece about Murdoch and the Lib Dems by a former editor of The Sun:

Nick Clegg's rise could lock Murdoch and the media elite out of UK politics | David Yelland | Comment is free | The Guardian

I doubt if Rupert Murdoch watched the election debate last week. His focus is very firmly on the United States, especially his resurgent Wall Street Journal. But if he did, there would have been one man totally unknown to him. One man utterly beyond the tentacles of any of his family, his editors or his advisers. That man is Nick Clegg.

Make no mistake, if the Liberal Democrats actually won the election - or held the balance of power - it would be the first time in decades that Murdoch was locked out of British politics. In so many ways, a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote against Murdoch and the media elite.

I can say this with some authority because in my five years editing the Sun I did not once meet a Lib Dem leader, even though I met Tony Blair, William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith on countless occasions. (Full disclosure: I have since met Nick Clegg.)

...

We now live in an era when very serious men and women stay out of politics because our national discourse is conducted by populists with no interest in politics whatsoever. What we have in the UK is a coming together of the political elite and the media in a way that makes people outside London or outside those elites feel disenfranchised and powerless. But all that would go to pot if Clegg were able to somehow pull off his miracle. For he is untainted by it.

Just imagine the scene in many of our national newspaper newsrooms on the morning a Lib-Lab vote has kept the Tories out of office. "Who knows Clegg?" they would say.

There would be a resounding silence.

"Who can put in a call to Gordon?" another would cry.

You would hear a pin drop on the editorial floor.

The fact is these papers, and others, decided months ago that Cameron was going to win. They are now invested in his victory in the most undemocratic fashion. They have gone after the prime minister in a deeply personal way and until last week they were certain he was in their sights.

I hold no brief for Nick Clegg. But now, thanks to him - an ingenue with no media links whatsoever - things look very different, because now the powerless have a voice as well as the powerful.

All of us who care about democracy must celebrate this over the coming weeks - even if Cameron wins in the end, at least some fault lines will have been exposed.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 07:49:53 AM EST
House of commons library notes on hung parliaments (PDF warning)

A crucial aspect of the British system of government is that the government of the day must enjoy the confidence of the House of Commons. General elections are held to return MPs to the House of Commons. Most commonly, one party has a majority of seats, and this party forms a government. However, on a number of occasions over the last century, a general election has produced a result in which no party has a majority of Members: a situation of no overall control. This is known as a "hung Parliament".

In February 2010 the Cabinet Office issued a draft chapter of their forthcoming Cabinet Manual. This draft chapter set out procedures for government regarding general elections and government formation, including procedures that would take place in a hung Parliament situation. The Cabinet Secretary gave evidence to the Justice Select Committee on the matter, along with academic experts and former Cabinet Secretaries on 24 February 2010.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 11:41:51 AM EST
Clegg poster: Che Guevara | Politics | guardian.co.uk
Download a Nick Clegg poster, featuring the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the iconic Che Guevara design

(Apart from the badge Looks a lot like Gordon)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 01:40:56 PM EST
BBC News - Labour's 'votes for paedophiles' leaflet sparks row

A Labour candidate is embroiled in a row with the Liberal Democrats after suggesting they would give convicted murderers and paedophiles the vote.

Roger Godsiff, who is standing in Birmingham Hall Green, issued leaflets showing nursery worker Vanessa George, who was jailed for abusing children.

He defended the move, saying his opponents were evading scrutiny, but Labour have now scrapped the leaflet.

The Lib Dems said they would not give those currently in prison the vote.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 01:41:56 PM EST
BBC - Newsnight: Paul Mason: Cleggmania: the brutal unknowns for Labour

I saw Gordon Brown laugh today - not just smile but genuinely laugh in during a moment of confusion in a press conference. In fact Labour's whole machine, gathered at Bloomberg's HQ in London for an economy press briefing, seems to have lightened up. Two reasons:

First, as one senior Labour person put it to me: getting to the first weekend after the debates without Cameron establishing momentum and an unassailable lead was always going to be a result. They now feel they have done more than that.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 19th, 2010 at 02:19:19 PM EST
There are a number of possible outcomes in a balanced Parliament.

1. Two or more parties form a majority coalition. This has only happened in the UK in emergency circumstances, such as world wars and the economic crisis of the 1930s.

I can see some attractions for a three party coalition, so the coming cuts can be made in the national interest without any of the parties getting all the blame.

Equally, if the outcome of the election wounds both Brown and Cameron, they might have a personal interest in clinging to party leadership, through a two party coalition. Both parties might find a grand coalition more palatable than a coalition with the Lib Dems involving the concession of PR.

The most likely two party coalition is Labour/Lib Dem, but it would depend on a government programme being agreed - which might be difficult.

  1. Minority coalition, as suggested by Mr Heath (Conservative) to Mr Thorpe (Liberal) after the February 1974 election. Not a very attractive option, unless there was a very close to exactly balanced parliament (as in February 1974).

  2. Minority government. This is what normally happens in the UK. In 1924 the first Labour government had the second largest number of seats. It was dependent on Liberal support to survive, but Mr MacDonald made the strategic decision not to reach any agreement with Mr Asquith. The Liberal Party was not anxious for another quick general election, so it sustained the minority government for a time. The Labour Party put a higher value on proving it was capable of producing a government on own, rather than being legislatively effective.

In 1929-31 the second Labour minority government was a bit more responsive to Liberal interests. MacDonald was willing to put legislation for the alternative vote through Parliament, to get some Liberal support. This policy was not universally popular in the Labour Party. The fate of the bill was still uncertain when the financial cris broke and the National government was formed. No more was heard of electoral reform legislation for another generation or so.

In 1974 Harold Wilson again relied on the unwillingness of the opposition parties to force a rapid second geral election, so the third Labour minority government continued for a while with no explicit agreement.

by Gary J on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 06:11:03 AM EST
"the coming cuts can be made in the national interest"

Eh?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 06:15:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He means the interest of the rich.  Otherwise he wouldn't be talking about cuts, but tax increases.
by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 07:41:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The rich pay taxes? I thought it was the duty of the poor to support the wealthy. This was the tax plan that worked so well for King Louis XVI of France.

As I read the conventional wisdom the plan is for a rise in indirect taxation (it being a crime against humanity to raise income tax rates back to the sort of penal rates which existed a generation ago). This will be accompanied by public spending cuts (but definitely not cancelling the Trident replacement).

Labour might delay things a bit longer than the Conservatives, but I doubt they really intend to behave very differently.

by Gary J on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 08:10:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The difference between Labour and the Conservatives is about 8 billion pounds overall.  Which isn't much in the scheme of the UK budget.  They might see the rich pay a little more and the poor pay a little less, but the core idea is the same: hike indirect taxes and slash spending.  The idea of making the rich pay for their recession seems to have been ruled out from the start. Some "left" party.
by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 09:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In NZ, the trend has very much been towards loose arrangements and minority government, with smaller parties being given specific policies and Ministers outside Cabinet (some quite powerful - foreign affairs, local government) to advance their goals.  This has been driven by the need for the smaller parties to maintain their distinctiveness and avoid being tarred with the government's brush.  But where coalition is the exception rather than the norm (and unfamiliar to boot), I'm not sure whether the UK parties will go with such arrangements, or a more traditional structure.
by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 07:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Canada has had minority government for the last 6 years. In 2004 the Liberals lost their majority but fear of the right ensured they held just enough seats to have plurality, and two of the three other parties - NDP and the Bloc Quebecois - preferred to prop up the Liberals over the Conservatives.

The NDP won a series of budget concessions in 2005, but in 2006 the Liberals thought they could win a general election outright and refused to concede again, so the NDP joined the Bloc and the Conservatives to bring down the Liberal government and force a 2006 election.

That election saw Stephen Harper the Conservatives win a plurality, and since the Liberals wouldn't coalition with the Bloc or the NDP, the Conservatives were given the chance to form a minority government.

They've been in power ever since. In 2008 the Conservatives called another election which they hoped would give them a majority (as in the UK in October 1974) and it did not. Afterward, the other 3 parties finally did decide to form a coalition, but only after the Conservatives had formed their new government. The Governor General controversially agreed to prorogue Parliament before the putative coalition could bring down Harper, at which point the Liberals tossed their leader, brought in Michael Ignatieff, and quit the coalition.

Since that time - late 2008/early 2009 - the Liberals have been happy to continue letting Harper governor. Liberals believe they're the natural party of government in Canada and prefer to wait to force a new election until they believe they can win a majority, and if not, they'll leave Harper there as long as possible, while the NDP and Bloc are ready for another election at anytime. (I got into a long discussion about this with some Liberal Party members in Los Angeles this past weekend, who essentially confirmed the thesis while blaming everything on the other 3 parties.)

I take three morals of this story for the UK.

  1. If Labour sees it in their interest to let the Tories form a minority government rather than give PR to coalition with the Lib Dems, then they may well do it. Labour lets the Tories do the dirty work of cleaning up the economic mess in a neoliberal fashion (what Brown will do anyway if he wins, but would prefer Cameron take the blame) and swoop in when the Tories' numbers collapse, joining the Lib Dems to force an election when they feel the time is right.

  2. That strategy may not work, and we could see a Tory minority government for some time. 1974-79 would seem to prove the theory.

  3. The party that wins the most seats is in a strong position to claim the right to form a government.


And the world will live as one
by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 05:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The party that wins the most seats is in a strong position to claim the right to form a government.

A strong position, yes - but if someone else clearly has confidence, then they get to be PM.  And if the situation is unclear, the rule seems to be that the incumbent stays and faces a vote to see where people's support lies.

by IdiotSavant on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 09:16:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Canada has had minority government for the last 6 years. In 2004 the Liberals lost their majority but fear of the right ensured they held just enough seats to have plurality, and two of the three other parties - NDP and the Bloc Quebecois - preferred to prop up the Liberals over the Conservatives.

If we talk about FPTP, an important element of the story is the very formation of the Conservative Party, prior to said 2004 elections: just by merging the two prior right-wing formations (Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party) into one, seats were increased (forcing the liberals into minority) despite a massive 8% drop in the share of votes.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:15:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That happens under proportional representation systems as well. In Spain, for instance, the system strongly favours large parties and locally strong parties, and so has led to consolidation.

Spain desperately needs a Mixed-member-proportional system.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:18:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the Spanish problem related to small multiple-member constituencies? (Similar to the problem of Irish STV?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:27:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That, and the fact that the d'Hondt method is used instead of the Sainte-Laguë method.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 06:49:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Small districts means a higher effective threshold, and the magnification of disproportionalities.  If they did their PR at a national rather than provincial level, the outcome would be fairer.
by IdiotSavant on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 08:13:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, very few provinces elect more than 10 seats.

There is a potential obstacle to reform which is that the Spanish Constitution defines the "province" as the "electoral constituency".

Because of this, it is unclear to me whether an additional member system with a national-level party lists for the additional members would be deemed constitutional.

If it is deemed constitutional, then the Contitution says there should be between 300 and 400 deputies elected, which naturally suggests apportioning 300 seats by provintial constituencies, and 100 additional seats at the national level for overall proportionality.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 08:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Would the German territorial compensation system with non-fixed number of seats per province be okay with the precise wording of that paragraph in the Spanish constitution?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 09:08:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is unclear to me, too :P

See the English version of the Constitution from the Spanish Parliament

Section 68

  1. The Congress shall consist of a minimum of three hundred and a maximum of four hundred Members, elected by universal, free, equal, direct and secret suffrage, under the terms to be laid down by the law.

  2. The electoral constituency is the province. The cities of Ceuta and Melilla shall be represented by one Member each. The total number of Members shall be distributed in accordance with the law, each constituency being allotted a minimum initial representation and the remainder being distributed in proportion to the population.

  3. The election in each constituency shall be conducted on the basis of proportional representation.

  4. The Congress is elected for four years. The term of office of Members thereof ends four years after their election or on the day on which the Congress is dissolved.

  5. All Spaniards entitled to the full exercise of their political rights shall be electors and may be elected. The law shall recognise and the State shall facilitate the exercise of the right of vote by Spaniards who are outside Spanish territory.

  6. Elections shall take place between thirty and sixty days after the end of the previous term of office. The Congress so elected must be convened within twenty-five days following the holding of elections.


The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 09:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
  1. The electoral constituency is the province. The cities of Ceuta and Melilla shall be represented by one Member each. The total number of Members shall be distributed in accordance with the law, each constituency being allotted a minimum initial representation and the remainder being distributed in proportion to the population.

  2. The election in each constituency shall be conducted on the basis of proportional representation.

Since it isn't defined by what method seats are allocated in proportion to the population, I guess a one seat uncertainty is in the gray zone. 'Election in each constituency' could be kept technically.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 10:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey stands down in South Belfast

Sinn Fein has withdrawn its South Belfast candidate Alex Maskey from the general election.

The party president Gerry Adams announced the move on Tuesday.

However, it is thought unlikely that the SDLP will withdraw its candidate Fearghal McKinney in Fermanagh South Tyrone.

Last week, the SDLP leader, Margaret Ritchie, rejected the offer of a pact from Sinn Fein to cover the two constituencies.

Speaking about the move, Mr Adams said: "This is a bold leadership initiative by Sinn Fein. It is about protecting and defending two nationalist seats."

Mr Adams also said that he believed that "this initiative will be widely welcomed by nationalists.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 12:43:08 PM EST
Heh. Something similar happened in Hungary the past week, ahead of the second round of elections (for constituency seats only) this Sunday.

By the result of the first round, right-populist Fidesz has a chance to sweep every single individual constituency seat. In the 57 constituencies still open (out of 176), the non-right-wing vote is highest in some parts of Budapest. But the newborn green party LMP doesn't want anything to do with the collapsing Socialists.

So the Socialists unilaterally withdrew four candidates for the benefit of the LMP candidate, and hijacked LMP's slogan for new billboard advertisements of a standing candidate! (LMP sued but lost.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 02:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Русский аристократ хочет стать британским премьером | Известия.
I  think the title means "Russian aristocrat wants to become British Prime Minister".
Николас Вильям Питер Клегг родился в Бакингемшире в семье банкира. Семья была большой (четверо детей) и интернациональ&# 1085;ой. Мать Клегга - голландка, отец - наполовину русский. Прапрадедом Ника был известный российский юрист конца XIX - начала XX века, обер-прокурор Первого департамента Правового сената Игнатий Закревский. "Думаю, это объясняет мой интернационали&# 1089;тский взгляд на мир и то, почему я выучил несколько европейских языков (голландский, французский, немецкий и испанский)", - пишет сам политик в своей биографии.
Google version:
Nicholas William Peter Clegg was born in Buckinghamshire in the family banker. The family was large (four children) and international. Mother Clegg - Dutch, father - half Russian. Great-greatgrandfathers Nick was well-known Russian lawyer late XIX - early XX century, Chief Procurator of the First Department of the Senate Legal Ignatius Zakrevsky. "I think this explains my internationalist view of the world and why I learned several European languages (Dutch, French, German and Spanish), "- he wrote politician in his biography.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 01:11:52 PM EST
politicalbetting.com
The conditional voting intention finding from YouGov

"How would you vote if you thought the Liberal
Democrats had a significant chance of winning..?" (YouGov - April 19 2010)

Lib Dem 49%
Conservative 25%
Labour 19%

(reformatted for display)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 01:30:10 PM EST
YouGov/Sun: LDEM 34% (+3), CON 31% (-2), LAB 26% (-1)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 03:12:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Plaid demand leaders debate spot

Plaid Cymru's Helen Mary Jones says the party must be involved in the next two TV UK-wide leaders' debates.

Plaid complained to Ofcom that their exclusion from the first debate between Nick Clegg, Gordon Brown and David Cameron breached the broadcasting code.

It follows a YouGov opinion poll for ITV Wales, which showed a 5% drop in support for Plaid after the debate.

Ms Jones, Plaid's election director, told BBC Wales all they wanted was a "level playing field".

The YouGov poll of general election voting intention showed a 17% rise in support for the Liberal Democrats in the last month. Labour were ahead on 33%, the Liberal Democrats in second on 29%, the Conservatives are in third with 23% and Plaid in fourth, with just 9%.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 03:17:40 PM EST
And the SNP, too, of course.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 02:37:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Greens, UKIP, BNP, Respect...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 04:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are not in government in a devolved assembly.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:03:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a factor in the broadcasting code? At any rate, a level playing field would be deserved for all parties, not just those in some government.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:06:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, it could be argued that in Wales the top three parties are Labour, Plaid and the Lib Dems, not the Tories... Similarly in Scotland.
So, if you're going to have a "leader's debate" with three people...

Yes, ideally we'd have all these parties, but for instance the Greens don't have a single MP yet. Where do you draw the line?

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:14:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With having no MP, we are back to the problem of FPTP... No idea how to solve this in the twisted British context, but the fairest I have seen is invitations based on a 5% or 1% cutoff in opinion polls.

Not that PR countries are much fairer in general: in the countries I follow the news for, small and new parties regularly complain about exclusion from televised debates, limited to leaders of the biggest parties or existing parliamentary parties... I wonder how it is in Spain.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:21:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/5927151/stuffed.thtml

Yesterday, I wrote in the Daily Mail that David Cameron's hope'n'change strategy of repositioning the Tories on the left, in the stupid belief that this was the way to win the trust of British voters, had left him totally unable to deal with the Nick Clegg phenomenon. His paralysis was plain for all to see in last Thursday's TV talent show. Trying to puncture the Clegg bubble by personalised election homilies from his garden won't help either. It's what Cameron is actually saying that matters. And he's still not saying what he needs to say, because he hasn't understood that his problem lies with his entire strategy. Saying as he said yesterday from the shrubberies of Notting Hill that `only the Tories could blow apart the old way of doing things' merely shows that the Cameroons really, really don't get it.

No-one believes you, chaps!



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 03:31:06 PM EST
Ah, the common ground. Unfortunately, Cameron has gone along with Labour and the British intelligentsia in moving the centre of political gravity to the left. Thus the Conservative party now effectively agrees that the true common ground of British political and public life is actually an extremist position. Hence its paralysis over issues such as immigration or the EU. Thus the intellectual bankruptcy of the party - and thus its current paralysis.

Hahahaha! Through the looking glass.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 05:08:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Sevenoaks candidate and the 'frightful conspiracy' | Simon Jeffery | Politics | guardian.co.uk

OK, this is an odd one - a candidate running in Sevenoaks on a platform quoting liberally from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion - the notorious Russian forgery claiming a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that served as a key text for 20th century European antisemitism.

Now breathe out and let's get back to the location: Sevenoaks. Cairo, maybe (the protocols linger on in the Arab world). But Sevenoaks? With its mix of turn-of-the-century plotting and a leafy setting in southern England, this is an election leaflet as it may have appeared in an Edwardian novel in the vein of HG Wells's War of the Worlds or Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent.

The candidate is Mark Ellis, a retired customs officer standing as an independent. The leaflet was sent by a reader understandably alarmed to find it on her doormat (and is also on the Straight Choice election leaflet website).  



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 05:30:59 PM EST
Paul Waugh | Blogs | Evening Standard

Today, Boris Johnson showed just why he's loved by so many Tories..and why his political career is one long high-wire act.

Those of you who don't read the Daily Telegraph will have missed one of Boris's classic columns, this time on the Nick Clegg "madness" in the polls.

First, we find out that Boris has bet a thousand pounds that the Tories will win the next election.

Second, Boris says that "the current fantasy of a Liberal Democrat resuergence is the biggest load of media-driven nonsense since the funeral of Diana". (Yes, you read that right. Then again, Boris is a Charles fan)

Third, the public's verdict on the TV debates "was one of those times when there seems to be only one solution to the problems of British politics, and that's to dissolve the electorate and summon a new one".

Fourth, "everybody treats Vince Cable as a semi-holy Mahatma Gandhi of British politics"

Fifth, although the Lib Dems are everywhere today, "next week they will be gone with the wind" because the public will see that a vote for Clegg is a vote for Brown*.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 06:19:49 PM EST
I think this Daily Mail writer is going to explode.

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: It's time for voters to wake up and get real | Mail Online

There can be only one credible explanation for the utterly irrational outpouring of support for the Liberal Democrats after a mere 90 minutes of X Factor-style TV politics: the public, disgusted by the near moral bankruptcy of the last Parliament, is looking for revenge.

In significant numbers, voters' only interest in this most important of elections for a generation is giving the bloodiest of noses to a political class which, for many years, has been taking them for fools.

And, because of a brilliant propaganda coup, the LibDems have painted themselves as the clean, honest party with a fresh, untarnished leader in Mr Clegg.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 20th, 2010 at 06:51:48 PM EST
There can be only one credible explanation for the utterly irrational outpouring of support for the Liberal Democrats after a mere 90 minutes of X Factor-style TV politics

That Brown is wooden and Cameron is photoshopped?

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 02:36:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well follow the link here, and see the mail panicking about the LibDems

Debate | Mail Online

JAMES SLACK: How the Lib Dems would release 60,000 convicts


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 06:24:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Election 2010: The Lab-Lib fantasy | Martin Kettle | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
To me it suggests that the increasingly real question is not whether the Lib Dems will support a Labour government after 6 May. It is whether Labour will support a Liberal Democrat government. Forget about the Lab-Lib deal, in other words, and start thinking about a Lib-Lab one. If I were Clegg I would sit tight and make Labour sweat. Brown is not really interested in co-operation. He is interested in clinging to power. And if there is one thing I am clear about amid the swirling currents of this election it is that the voters want Brown out, not Brown rescued.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 06:48:53 AM EST
UKIP should withdraw from the election - Telegraph Blogs
In the name of its own principles, UKIP should now feel morally obliged to withdraw its candidates from the general election - or at least from contesting any seat in which a Liberal Democrat might oust a Conservative. If it does not - and if it thus succeeds in depriving the Conservatives of a working majority and inflating the LibDem result by default


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 07:31:12 AM EST
This means it is to the Lib Dem's advantage to emphasize their pro-european stance to encourage the UKIP to emphasize that they don't believe the Tories are eurosceptic enough.

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 08:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clegg has tried some fun ju-jutsu by saying UKIP voters should vote Lib Dem because the LDs are the only party that will hold a referendum on EU membership...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 01:51:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was my argument for why Tories should be in favour of the Lisbon Treaty: it allows member states to withdraw...

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 02:19:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Late rush of people registering to vote

There was a last-minute rush of people wishing to register to be able to vote in the general election, the Electoral Commission has said.

It said 50,000 registration forms were downloaded from its website on Tuesday, ahead of the 1700 BST deadline to get them to a person's local authority.

The Commission added more than 460,000 forms were downloaded from its website since 15 March.

Nearly half of these came after last week's prime ministerial TV debate.

Jenny Watson, chairwoman of the Electoral Commission, told the BBC's Today programme the debate did have "an impact".

"We did see a spike and we had a TV add running following the debate," she said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 07:52:20 AM EST
Liberal Conspiracy » A desperate re-telling of British political history

As the fallout from the first Leaders' Debate continues, the Tory cheerleaders within the blogosphere have been reduced to a state of desperation: they don't want to appear nasty towards Corporal Clegg but their belief that Young Dave only had to turn up and look confident has been shot apart.

The prospect of a hung parliament, and potential coalition Government, is clearly causing distress, so much so that creative retelling of history to frighten voters back to the Tories has begun.

And yesterday's singularly desperate storyteller was Iain Dale, a compliant and reliable conduit for Tory propaganda. Dale has exhumed David Low's caricature of Lloyd George as coalition Prime Minister (after the "coupon election" of 1918) riding a two headed donkey.

He says that this Government was "possibly the worst ... of the 20th Century", which fails to explain why Lloyd George was, by 1922, at the height of his personal popularity. He summons the memory of Michael Foot in telling what did for LG.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 08:11:43 AM EST
Liberal Conspiracy » A desperate re-telling of British political history
If there is one lesson to learn from recent peacetime coalition Governments in the UK: you go in with the Tories, and you end up getting screwed over.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 08:13:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Christian Peoples Alliance - about_us
The Christian Peoples Alliance is a party rooted in the historic Christian faith that seeks to demonstrate the love of God through political service. Our faith and principles are drawn from the Bible, especially the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, as well as from Christian political insights through the centuries.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 08:45:30 AM EST
From their platform
Open, transparent government, which subjects itself to debate and critique.
I guess they're not too keep on the Vatican, then.

Germany has something similar, the Partei Bibletreuer Christen that is strongly pro-wind energy, pro-Israel, and equates the EU treaties with the Ermächtigungsgesetz.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 08:59:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't the PBC aligned with US-rooted fundagelicals?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 09:11:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know. If they are, they keep very quiet about in on their website.

But, while checking, I discovered some really weird behaviour from Google. When searching for "partei bibeltreuer christen usa" it automatically decided I was looking for "PBC", giving me lots of Palm Beach sites, a Parallel Bio-Computing Workshop, and, ironically, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 09:47:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Opinion: We do cut benefits for those who won't work - Channel 4 News

David Cameron is in a corner following the Lib Dem surge. His Big Society message isn't connecting, he doesn't know what kind of campaign he wants to run or what kind of leader he wants to be.

In truth, that has always been the problem with his `modernisation' of the Tory party - but it's becoming more apparent in the heat of electoral battle.

The latest reaction is a poster declaring that people will have their benefits cut if they refuse to work. Wow. Great idea.

The slight snag for the Tories is that this is such a revolutionary idea, it has been law in its current form for about 15 years - and was the law for most of the post-First World War War period.

That was until the Tories reduced conditions on benefits in the 1980s recession, because they wouldn't increase the spending needed to run the operation. 



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 02:06:23 PM EST
Ipsos MORI | Poll | April 2010 Political Monitor

Our April Political Monitor shows that, among those who are absolutely certain to vote, 32% say they would vote Conservative, 32% Liberal Democrat and 28% Labour. The Liberal Democrat share has increased by 11 points since last month, representing the highest score that Ipsos MORI has recorded for this party since it formed in 1988.

The Conservatives are down 3 points since March, and Labour are down two points, reducing the Conservative lead over Labour to two points. These results, if applied with a uniform national swing, would result in a hung parliament, and the Liberal Democrats would gain 54 parliamentary seats. However, whether uniform national swing will play out in the election remains to be seen.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 03:42:08 PM EST
General Election 2010: Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem donors and payments into his private bank account - Telegraph

The Liberal Democrat leader was paid regular monthly sums by three senior businessmen during 2006.

The same account was used to pay his mortgage, shopping and other personal expenditure, documents seen by this newspaper show.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 07:16:07 PM EST
BBC News - Nick Clegg denies wrongdoing over donation cash account

Nick Clegg has denied any wrongdoing after money given by party donors was paid to his private bank account.

The Daily Telegraph says the Liberal Democrat leader received up to £250 a month from three businessmen in 2006.

Mr Clegg officially declared the donations to the parliamentary authorities and said the money helped pay for a member of his staff.

A spokesman for Mr Clegg said the money was "properly given, properly accounted for and declared".

Mr Clegg is due to appear alongside Gordon Brown and David Cameron in the second televised prime ministerial debate on Thursday evening, hosted by Sky News.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 at 07:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the Tories wheel out the big guns:

It's worth noting that:

All money was declared to Parliament and has an audit trail (unlike George Osborne, say...)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 04:23:12 AM EST
I love the little scared English soldier huddling behind his shield in the Daily Express logo...

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 04:27:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it fits the Express perfectly that it's a crusader who fears the "Muslim menace..."
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 05:20:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Irish Times: Tories claim a hung parliament will usher in IMF
THE UNITED Kingdom may be forced to accept International Monetary Fund orders if the May 6th general election results in a hung parliament, the Conservative Party has warned.

The warning came on the eve of tonight's Sky TV leaders' debate between prime minister Gordon Brown, Tory leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
"The only time the IMF has come in was when there was a hung parliament. We should not under-estimate the economic consequences of political uncertainty, on our credit rating, unemployment and business confidence," shadow chancellor George Osborne declared during a television debate with chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling and Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable.

However, the charge was ridiculed by Mr Darling as "pretty desperate stuff" that illustrated the panic evident in Tory ranks in the wake of the meteoric rise in Lib Dem popularity ratings after the first leaders' debate last week.



The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 04:59:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brits to Tories: "IMF still better than Cameron."

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:39:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Daily Heil one is particularly awesome.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:40:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gary Gibbon on Politics - How did Murdoch get into The Indy's inner sanctum?

One puzzle about James Murdoch and Rebekah Wade bursting into the Independent editor Simon Kellner's office yesterday to berate him for his campaign saying Rupert Murdoch wasn't going to dictate this election and The Indy is free from proprietorial influence...

How did they get into the Indy inner sanctum without passing their security?

I may have the answer. You can very easily get into the Indy's offices if you are already paying a visit to the Daily Mail offices that share the block. I haven't managed to stand up that there was a meeting between Paul Dacre and the Murdoch delegation yesterday but it would be intriguing and very unusual if there was.

There is a certain theme, it has to be said, to the onslaught on Nick Clegg in the Mail, Sun (and Telegraph). You might even say a certain degree of overkill (link to Mail front page here pls).



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:45:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberal Conspiracy » Did Dacre and Murdoch meet to discuss Clegg?

It's now open knowledge in Fleet Street that this morning James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, nee Wade, burst into the Independent editor Simon Kellner's office.

Michael White wrote about it here this morning:

What seems to have upset them are ads that the Indy has been running along the lines of "Rupert Murdoch won't decide this election - you will." Brooks apparently rang Simon Kelner, the editor-in-chief and now chief executive of the Indy to complain that dog does not eat dog in Fleet Street.

That means that editors and owners do not attack each other in person - not their politics, their finances or their private lives. Remember the running battle, later patched up, between the Daily Mail and the once-mighty Daily Express over the former's habit of referring (correctly) to Express owner Richard Desmond as a pornographer? That sort of thing.

You'd think it was pretty outrageous that the Murdochs can't even stand being pointed as big influencers in this election.

But here's the question not many seem to be asking: how did they get into the building?

The Independent and the Daily Mail share the same building. Murdoch and Brooks didn't barge in straight to see Kellner at all. In fact they were already in the building.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 10:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
@MichaelWolffNYC I'm hearing details of the threats made by James Murdoch against the Lebedevs--bare knuckle tabloid stuff.

@MichaelWolffNYC Here's what I hear... James Murdoch, in the lingo of Sun newsdesk, called Simon Kelner a "fucking fuckwit"

@MichaelWolffNYC Also... Murdoch, Jr. , snarling at Kelner, said the Independent, recently bought by Alexander Lebedev  was "funded by Putin's money"




Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 12:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
@MichaelWolffNYC James Murdoch making good on his threat again Independent's owner Lebedev...Murdoch's Sunday Times reportedly investigating Lebedev family

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 24th, 2010 at 07:18:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What?  I'm sorry - I'm not following.  What is Lebedev doing with Putin's money?  I hear he spent a dollar of it to buy the paper.  I think Putin is using the rest of his money to make lurid sex tapes.  What has any of this to do wth Lebedev?  Is he suporting Clegg?  Clegg's a russkie, I hear.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Sat Apr 24th, 2010 at 02:32:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as background, Lebedev brought the independent a few months ago. And Murdoch was persuaded by Roger Ailes,(The Fox News head) and Rebekkah Wade the editor of The Sun to switch support from behind the Blair/Brown Labour party  to behind Camerons Tory party. By all accounts, Murdoch wasn't keen on changing over, as he felt that Cameron was too oily and superficial to win. But rumour has it that he agreed after Cameron agreed to dismantle part of the BBC if he wins

The Independent (That has been supporting the LibDems) published a wrap around cover that said "Dont let Murdoch chose the election winner, read the Independent", and followed the next day with a similar one  that said "don't let Lebedev chose the election winner". There is  a gentlemen's agreement among Newspaper owners not to attack each other, and Wade and Murdoch's son took these covers as an enormous personal insult and stormed into the editors office at the independent to harangue the papers editor for 15 minutes, the quotes come from people outside who could hear this argument.

They were apparently claimed that that Lebedev is a front for Putin and its his money that is being used to attack the Tory party.

There are also rumours that Murdoch senior has rung Murdoch Junior to ask what he thinks hes playing at, but as with all things they may be rumour and inuendo.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 24th, 2010 at 03:34:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not smear, it's scrutiny - Telegraph Blogs

The BBC set the `smear' hare running last night by suggesting that the Telegraph's revelations might be part of a deliberate plot to do in Nick Clegg. Chris Huhne used the word again this morning in his full throttle defence of Mr Clegg on the Today programme this morning, although he was addressing the specific charge that the Lib Dem leader is not in fact an outsider but a - ptuh! - politician like the others. The attacks on Mr Clegg across the papers today have been deplored elsewhere, notably by Iain Dale.

Before we get carried away, let's remember a few facts. A week ago in Manchester Mr Clegg did two things that helped turn him into the poster-boy of the anti-politics movement: he told us that he was not like the other two, and he talked up his party's spotless record on expenses and matters of financial probity. These two assertions deserved to be scrutinised. And that's what we and others have done since then. We have shown that far from being a Westminster ingenue, Mr Clegg is a product of the establishment, steeped in the world of British and European politics.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:48:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Torygraph:
...and European politics.

Twisting the knife there.

Which is not to say that they're wrong. Clegg is hardly the underdog outsider.

But I'm wondering if this media broadside isn't just a little too heavy-handedly designed to sheep-dog the wandering Tory faithful back into the blue corner.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 09:02:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I think the heavy handedness may be counter-productive, in that it shows that the Conservative party sees the vote for the liberal democrats as being a real possibility. so people wont see a libdem vote as a wasted vote. If the Politicians and papers had come out on the morning after the debate and said well he did well, but th its still a wasted vote because noone is going to vote that way, and just hammered that for several days rather than going all out and attacking, then they wouldn't be in the position that they are in now

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 09:26:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Newsnight: Paul Mason

Here's what I think is happening in this election: what's moving the polls, the zeitgeist, causing tabloid editors to go into Pravda mode and seasoned commentators to shrug their shoulders with incomprehension.

It goes deeper than Cleggmania - and it does, if the trends observed carry through, presage a big change in the UK's electoral landscape.

1) It's been a long time since 2005 and the conversation has changed.

In 2005 there was no Facebook, Twitter, iPhone. Some televisions were HD ready but there was no HD. iTunes was less than a year old. London had not won the Olympics yet; the 7/7 bombings and the 21/7 bombings lay in the future. The Libdem leader was Charles Kennedy and the Tory leader, lest we forget, Michael Howard.

Why does this matter? Because politics is about telling, and believing, a story.

The technological revolution that we're in the middle of is changing social life and social attitudes.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 09:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A very interesting analysis, thanks

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 02:32:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That makes 2005 sound like a different century...

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 06:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The could hardly claim people were not going to vote that way with polls showing the Lib Dems in the lead...

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 09:34:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do think the polls would have reversed themselves quite quickly if they'd established a popular narrative that the LibDems couldn't succeed. Unfortunately they were rather  thrown off course by by  the internet. Straight after the debate, the traditional right wing and Murdoch papers were declaring that Cameron had won the debate. However it was obvious from social networking sites that the public (albeit the connected public) didnt really see it that way. This led to a couple of days with the press having to discuss the debate, not from an angle that they would normally have set up.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 09:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's difficult to control the narrative when you're one source of opinion among many.

Darth Rupert's genius plan to take News Int off-net means that he'll never own another UK election again - unless he turns Sky into Fox, which may be harder than he thinks.

I'm sure there are still some darling old dears who care what the Daily Heil and the Excess say, but they don't have the monopoly they used to - and they may even be starting to look a bit old and tired.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 10:27:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Id also like to suggest that we no longer need an election, as the Tories have lost under the Godwins law rule.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:07:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Election '10: Blow-by-blow election liveblog, day seventeen - morning

Here's a screengrab of Nick Griffin and the floating Marmite in the party political broadcast.  The Marmite is not explained.

If you've just arrived on the blog, we're posting this because Marmite is taking legal action against the BNP over the jar's inclusion, in one of the more brilliant collisions of brands we can think of.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:25:59 AM EST
Leaders debate: crunch time for Cameron - Channel 4 News
David Cameron is the man with everything to lose, says former GMTV boss Peter McHugh, as the Conservative leader warms up for tonight's second live TV debate with Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg.

 "We haven't ever taken the Lib Dems seriously as a party and Clegg as a person, and now it's not funny." David Cameron of the Tory Party? No, David Williams of Ladbrokes.

A week is a long time in politics but a short time at the bookies. And they are off again tonight.

How the world has changed in just seven days. Manchester United are back in the race for the Premiership and David Cameron could be out of it.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 08:54:26 AM EST
John Rentoul - Portillo says Tories should concede PR
Alastair Campbell mentions in passing on his blog that Michael Portillo (right, with meerkat) said at an event this morning that the Conservatives should give the Liberal Democrats a system of proportional representation if that is the price of their support in a hung parliament:


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:04:15 AM EST
Will Murdoch Lose Britain?
Several years ago, Rebekah Wade (now Rebekah Brooks), then the editor of Sun, Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid, started trying to convince Murdoch that his newspapers should support David Cameron, the Conservative party candidate for prime minister.

This took some doing because Murdoch had become a good friend and pretty loyal supporter of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. What's more, Murdoch's wife, Wendi, is a great buddy of Brown's wife, Sarah. But Wade/Brooks is persistent and, in Murdoch's words, "knows how to work my family." She convinced Murdoch's son, James, that Cameron was the certain future. James then went to work on his father, and a reluctant Murdoch--telling everyone who would listen that Cameron was too slick by half--sourly went along.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:12:28 AM EST
UKIP candidate has died who would have stood in Thirsk.  So that election has been cancelled, and it will now be the first by-election of the new parliament.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 11:29:08 AM EST
Thirsk is Tory country... be very interesting if they are 1 off a majority...
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that would be entertaining.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:06:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How the Tories are screwing it up | Christopher Montgomery | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

You could be forgiven for thinking that there was an unofficial contest taking place on the right at the moment to see who can give David Cameron the single most dud piece of advice. Nuke China! Replace police chiefs with politicians! Make Israel the centrepiece of your foreign policy attack on Nick Clegg in the next debate! Use George Osborne more!

Actually, I made one of those up.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:40:57 PM EST
BBC - Nick Robinson's Newslog: Does one good smear deserve another?

Update 1939: I now learn that political reporters from the Tory-backing papers were called in one by one to discuss how Team Cameron would deal with "Cleggmania" and to be offered Tory HQ's favourite titbits about the Lib Dems - much of which appears in today's papers.

The key personal allegation about payments from donors into Nick Clegg's personal
bank account came, however, from the Telegraph's expenses files. Incidentally, the party has now published details of Nick Clegg's bank statements and party accounts showing that Mr Clegg received payments totalling £19,690 from three businessmen (Neil Sherlock, Michael Young, Ian Wright) and then paid staff costs of £20,437.30 out of the same account. According to these figures, Mr Clegg actually paid £747.30 out of his own money towards staff costs.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 06:03:36 PM EST
The Tories really want to bring-up MP corruption?

Do they think they are going to Win! that one?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 06:11:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the BBC comments:

BBC - Have Your Say: Prime Ministerial debate: Your reaction

When are they going to start talking about the 500year process of terraforming mars? Earth is already done for!
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 22nd, 2010 at 06:29:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trenchant and graphic UK electoral commentary - Boing Boing
Trenchant commentary on Rupert Murdoch's no-holds-barred blitz to get the Conservatives into office in the upcoming UK election. Posted by @_Jameslloyd to TwitPic.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:11:33 AM EST
'Sun' censored poll that showed support for Lib Dems - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

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 accused the newspaper, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, of suppressing the finding. The paper, which endorsed Labour in the past three elections, declared its support for David Cameron during the Labour Party's annual conference last October. Like other Tory-supporting papers, it has turned its fire on Nick Clegg over his policies, pro-European statements and expenses claims since he won last week's first televised leaders' debate.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:13:10 AM EST
The Daily Mail rig their polls like it's going out of style « refpls: journalism, science & politics

The second prime ministerial debate hit our screens last night and, once again, the right wing media goes into overdrive to make David Cameron look like he performed better than he did. Putting aside the clear bias that Sky News were pushing themselves,  the Daily Mail decided it wasn't particularly happy with the opposition its own readers took towards its editorial stance (again).

The lead article on the Mail's homepage is, unsurprisingly, complete crap. What's interesting, however, is their claim that the MailOnline reaction poll to the second debate shows Cameron as having a seven point lead. As a meaningful reflection on the public's voting intention polls like this are pretty useless, but that didn't stop the Mail's web team from doing their damn hardest to make Dave come out on top.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 09:20:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC - Newsnight: Michael Crick: It's all in the timing: Cameron's poll 'win'

Yougov say their internet poll on the debate last night was conducted between 9.27pm and 9.31pm.

This may explain why Yougov gave David Cameron a better rating than the other post-debate polls did last night. For Nick Clegg ended the debate with a very powerful closing speech, probably the best of the evening.

According to the BBC video system Clegg didn't start speaking until 9:29:18 and finished at 9:30:47‬‪.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 02:24:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
YouGov admit debate polling started whilst Nick Clegg was still speaking

YouGov have come in for a fair amount of flack online following last night's instant debate poll for The Sun. Some of the criticism has been wrong or misplaced. Yes, one of their senior figures has Labour roots. But then one has Conservative roots  and other staff support the Liberal Democrats. They've even done polling for the Lib Dems in the past.

But - and it's an important but - that was not the whole story. In amongst all the chaff were claims that YouGov's polling started before the debate had actually finished and that it was collecting people's verdicts on who won the debate whilst Nick Clegg was still making his final statement. Given how well rated that closing statement was by many commentators, that's no minor technical matter.

YouGov haven't done themselves any favours by appearing at first to ignore this question, both not responding to messages on Twitter but also side-stepping the question in a post on their site which responded to other issues.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:04:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who thought surrealism was dead

The British National Party -- Blog -- No one's mate Marmite

Ever since 1902 Marmite has had a reputation as a wholesome stuff you spread on your toast. In fact, it is made from industrial waste in a gigantic chemical factory in the Midlands by a global multinational corporation. A corporation which has been involved in dumping toxic waste in India, exploiting underpaid workers in Pakistan and hacking down tropical rain forests in Africa and Indonesia and has now decided to pick a fight with the BNP in the service of its internationalist agenda.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:30:07 AM EST
The forces that have been blocking British democracy are becoming visible in this election : Johann Hari

When did this switch from an election scripted by Charles Saatchi to one painted by Salvador Dali? If I had told you a month ago that Gordon Brown would be despatching naval warships to Spain, David Cameron would be jostling with a man dressed as a chicken and down to 30 per cent, and Nick Clegg would be identified alternately as "the most popular leader since Churchill" and a Nazi, you would have called for Nurse Ratched.

But something stranger still is happening in The Election That Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Every day in this country, two big forces artificially drag the British government way to the right of the British people, making it enact policies that benefit a small, rich elite at the expense of the rest. We are not supposed to notice this, never mind try to change it. Yet suddenly, in this election, those forces have been exposed.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:49:33 AM EST
http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01622/matt23042010_1622024a.gif

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 05:50:34 AM EST
Leaders 'neck and neck' following fierce debate - Channel 4 News
According to a first edition of The Times (pictured above, left) David Cameron and Nick Clegg were "neck and neck" in the polls after "an impassioned contest which turned personal". Later a second edition of the paper (above, right) declared "Cameron nicks it".


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 06:58:26 AM EST
Help the Daily Mail defeat the evil Nick Clegg

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 07:03:52 AM EST
Good game. I got 1850, damn the tanks

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 01:31:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
3000, and the giant Clegg head got me

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 01:55:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 02:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ladbrokes cut the odds of a hung parliament - 8/13 from 8/11 - Tory majority out to 6/4 from 11/8, Labour 16/1 and Lib Dems 20/1

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 07:04:34 AM EST
BBC | BBC College of Journalism Discussion Homepage

You do not have to support the Liberal Democrats or Nick Clegg or be carried along on the current poll wave to wonder, as a journalist, what was going on Wednesday in the newsrooms and editorial offices of the Telegraph, Mail, Express and Sun.

You don't have to be a conspiracists, either, to ask some tough questions about what their attacks on Nick Clegg are really about. As BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson put it, at its very least (my words):

"The Establishment is in something of a panic at the idea that he might deny the big two parties of their moment of victory and want to stop him in his tracks?"

And as someone much cleverer and more famous than me once put it: the thing about Establishment conspiracies is that you don't have to organise them - everyone knows what they have to do.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 07:36:34 AM EST
General Election 2010: Is this what Jack Straw means by a safer Britain? | Mail Online
Vote Nick Clegg... get Nick Griffin

Be careful what you wish for. The Lib Dems are squealing because Nick Clegg is being subjected to the same kind of kicking as the leaders of the grown-up parties.

That's entertainment. When Clegg cynically decided to present himself dishonestly as a political 'outsider', he was asking for trouble. So long as the Lib Dems were wallowing in the shallows, no one really cared. But now their leader is surfing the crest of a wave, there's no hiding place.

What Clegg calls 'smears' the rest of the world calls 'telling the truth'. If he hadn't done it, we couldn't write about it.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:13:12 AM EST
Friday links 23/4/10: The arseoisie « Enemies of Reason

Craig Murray - Sky Leaders' Debate: Murdoch Made. I didn't watch it last night (again) but Craig did, and this makes for some fascinating analysis. This is the bit that really caught my eye:

I have had Sky News on for half an hour. First they had a paper review with one Labour journalist and one Tory (Sun) journalist. No Liberal. Then they had Tory frontbencher William Hague and Labour frontbencher Douglas Alexander on to discuss the debate. No Liberal. Apparently dead to irony, the Sky newscaster asked them "In the interests of politicial balance, would you two like to comment on Nick Clegg's perfomance". Absolutely beyond parody.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 08:26:21 AM EST
flowchart

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 11:03:17 AM EST
to appear to be down with the cool kids

Twitter / Charlie Brooker: M&C Saatchi just asked if ...

M&C Saatchi just asked if I'd appear in a 'comedy' Tory election broadcast this wknd. Haha, Jesus & NO. Must be asking literally anyone.

BBC - BBC Comedy Blog: A new surprise for the Leaders' Wives

When we shot our satirical mockumentary Leader's Wives (above) on Monday, we were listing possible disasters that could befall the shoot - in the time between shooting and editing, Samantha Cameron could have fallen off her horse; Sarah Brown could have got RSI from tweeting; and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez could have changed her mind and decided to "fanny about on the campaign trail".

Also our actress Lucy Montgomery (SamCam) could have gone into labour, and she actually did 48 hours later (Congratulations Lucy!).

But amongst all of the eventualities we planned for, we never expected a call from the Tories' advertising agency asking our company Clever Pie to co-produce a Party Political Broadcast for them.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 12:06:09 PM EST
How traditional media has failed the election | Westminster Blog | FT.com

Reporters do of course write stories about political life in the broader sense and about the substance of issues ... but when there is a chance to use these issues as props or raw material for a story about political tactics, most reporters leap at it. It is more fun ... in fact they ask questions that only their fellow political professionals care about. And they often do so with a discourtesy and rancour that represent the public's views much less than they reflect the modern journalist's belief that being independent boils down to acting hostile."

The US journalist James Fallows wrote this in The Atlantic in 1996: in the 2010 UK general election, it's truer than it was.

The Economist wrote today that the mainstream media - newspapers, radio and television - dominate news and comment on the election, almost to the exclusion of significant use of the internet. Let's hope for better next time, when the wealth of the internet can be brought to bear on electoral choice because the record of the mainstream media so far is dismal.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 12:41:10 PM EST
Disobey on the 6th of May< Beau Bo D'Or
I was emailed by White Rabbit who suggested a couple of election graphics for blogs and blog sidebars.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 01:27:33 PM EST
New thread please

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 23rd, 2010 at 01:31:36 PM EST


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