All 80 entries tagged Politics
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October 22, 2009
Its been nearly two months since I last blogged, far too long, but this Thursday evening Nick Griffin of the BNP will be appearing on Question Time. This appears to have caused considerable controversy that I shall not be addressing – but I will be proposing BNP Bingo Rules!
The aim of the game is to get 50 Points. Different events listed below are worth various points. If you are not watching question time at the time the event occurs, you are not allowed the point! I believe this could also be played as a drinking game, with 2-5 points worth a shot, depending on how much you normally drink.
- 2 points every time Nick Griffin says “We are a legitimate party”. 20 points if the point is argued by anyone else, though this reduces to 5 if this is ironic.
- 5 points every time someone claims that the party are illegal, due to the recent ruling on membership. 2 points if this is Jack Straw, 1000 if its Nick Griffin.
- 5 points if a member of the audience insults Nick Griffin or the BNP directly, 10 points if its a member of the panel. 20 points if the BBC are forced to ‘bleep’ out a word.
- 2 points if Dimbleby picks up Griffin on a point of policy, 10 if he refers to racism explicitly.
- 5 points when the discussion goes totally off topic and turns into arguments over the BNP.
- 2 points whenever the issue of the BNP appearing on Question Time arises, 5 points if its a question asked by the audience members.
May 27, 2009
In the past, I’ve written about council elections and this election cycle we have some european elections going on. If you live in the Coventry area there are no council elections this cycle. Interesting update from last year, the whoberley wikipedia page still needs more information. Clearly I should do this at some point in time.
In the european elections there’s a party list, so you don’t get to necessarily vote for a specific candidate, as far as I can tell, but its still worth looking at the candidates and parties I think. Currently the west midlands is represented by 3 Conservatives, 2 Labour Party members, 1 Liberal Democrat and a UKIP member, within the next parliament we will be loosing one of our representatives, through shifting demographics. Interestingly enough if the treaty of Lisbon had passed, it would have the West Midlands another seat, maintaining our current level of importance. The BBC provides a helpful grouping of different european party affiliations on its website.
Of the existing representatives, all but one are looking to get re-elected to their positions as MEPs.
The Conservative Party
1. Philip Bradbourn
Number 1 on the Conservative party list, Bradbourn has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999. He has also advised Wolverhampton City Council, and stood for elections at a national level in 1992. When caught smoking inside the EU Parliament building, he allegedly said “I’m a member. I make the rules.” Richard Nixon would be proud.
2. Malcolm Harbour
2nd on the Conservative list, Malcolm Harbour worked as an engineer before his election to the European Parliament. He has stated strong support for software patents.
3. Anthea McIntyre
3rd Conservative on the list, not currently an MEP, Stood in the 1997 election and lost. According to her website, she wants to keep the pound and encourage the single market – but wants no further integration within the EU.
The Labour Party
1. Michael Cashman
Former East Enders) character actor Cashman, has been an MEP since 1999, where he has worked on the Civil LIberties committee. He was elected MEP of the Year for Justice and Fundamental Rights by his peers in 2007.
2. Neena Gill
Another member of the 1999 MEP intake, Neena GIll sits on the Urban Housing intergroup in the European Parliament, and was also a Vice President with the Anti-Racism and Diversity intergroup. She is also listed as a Friend of Football.
3. Claire Edwards
Currently a Rugby Councillor, about whom it is hard to find further information.
1. Liz Lynne
Yet another 1999 intake MEP (I wonder if this trend is nationwide), Ms Lynne is a former MP. She is currently a Vice-President, for the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and the disability intergroup. She has also worked with Amnesty International.
2. Phil Bennion
Has a fascinating website that I advise everyone to read. As a working farmer with a PhD, including alleged expertise in BioMass – which I think means shit, Dr. Bennion stands out instantly. He was agricultural affairs advisor to Charles Kennedy, also a former Lichfield councillor, where he campaigned against local post office closures.
3. Susan Juned
A former Avon and Warwickshire Councillor, Dr. Juned has a PhD in environmental sciences, and plant biology and is quite focussed on campaigning for environmental issues.
I think the next two parties who have a chance of electing someone are UKIP and the BNP, and I don’t want to publicise their racist views, otherwise I hope this has been helpful. I might return to this topic again soon. It has stirred some thoughts within me as to what issues the European Parliament could have an impact on.
April 13, 2009
Towards the end of last year the government chose to attempt to stimulate the economy using fiscal means – that is to say that spend more (creating jobs) and tax less (incentivizing purchases and harder work). This is a traditional remedy in time of economic strife – action that the government can undertake to encourage the economic to grow faster, or shrink less in this case.
The conservatives opposed the measures on the grounds that they would increase government debt. Debt they argue is bad because it its hard to repay, it requires that at some point in time in the future one must either raise taxes or cut spending – either way the economy will be damage by the inverse effects of the stimulus. Some commentators pointed out that the stimulus would only increase the fiscal deficit (ie the amount added to national debt) by 1/15 of the amount that it was going to rise by anyway, and the Conservatives weren’t opposing the ‘stabilizers’, ie the natural reduction in taxation and increase in spending that happens during a recession. It seemed obvious to me that that was merely political expediency, that they didn’t want to be charged with sacking doctors and teachers for example.
There exists only a limited amount of investment capital, the kind that is required to fund businesses and drive forward growth. Since the cause of the economic issues was fundamentally related to the debt markets, and banks in the Uk that have had financial issues have generally been over-exposed to the debt markets there currently exists a climate of irrational negativity with respect to investing in firms, and in general to spending money. The government’s monetary policy, the cutting of interest rates to their lowest rate ever, is an attempt to provide some disincentive to saving, and thus encourage spending and investment.
This all seems to ignore one critical aspect of the financial crisis that has been, in my opinion, heavily overlooked. When a flight to safety occurs, when investors look towards companies that are unlikely to go under during times of economic hardship, the British government’s bonds are always in demand. People already want to invest their money in buying government debt, because its comparatively safe, why encourage this trend? It crowds out the private sector from much needed funds, both in terms of medium term investment and short term spending. Given the size of the deficit during the coming two fiscal years, and the fact that someone has to buy the debt that is issued, there is a lot of money thats going to the public, rather than private sector.
One could argue that since the government are committed to injecting all the debt that they are accruing, via deficit, into the economy it actually isn’t something to worry about at all. Private sector companies are laying people off in ordering to save costs, whilst the public sector can simply plough on, injecting capital where it is needed. If one accepts this duality between debt and spending, however, it means that the net benefit of a government running a deficit is actually the different between its deficit and the amount of bond capital that wouldn’t have been investing in the economy, ie the amount that would normally be stored in some kind of savings account. Since we are currently bailing out banks because they lack these kind of funds … epic sigh.
So having thought about it a little more maybe we should be less gung-ho about using a fiscal stimulus in the current climate. Not that i believe that a fiscal stimulus is useless, but in a situation where there is a such a virulent flight to safety the effecting of crowding out the private sector could do more harm than good. Of course, interest rates have already reached their lowest level ever and can’t really help. I’m still somewhat uncertain as to how exactly demand is going to be stimulated by quantitive easing. To quote the great and wise Bender Bending Rodriguez, “We’re boned!”
December 14, 2008
One of things that has stood out to me recently, is the propensity of members of the public to trust government regulation as a universal panacea for the ills of the banking system. The argument, as I understand it, goes as follows:
1. Industrial Leaders cannot be trusted to make sound judgement because they have a perverse economic self interest for short term gain.
2. Regulators don’t have that self interest and can thus make sound judgements in the public interest.
3. Consequently we should trust regulators and government over Industrial Leaders to do, ‘the right thing’.
I am inclined to believe in (1). There is an excellent case made in The Roaring Nineties that observes the combining of accounting and consulting firms as generating an economic incentive to not audit firms properly. This was a lesson that was perhaps more in the front of people’s minds at the time, soon after the Enron and Worldcom accounting scandal – but it is a problem that continues to face us now. Hopefully the IFRS clears up some of the issues involved.
Banks have a peculiar financial incentive to make risky investments. The government is obliged to bail them out in times of financial hardship. This is very obvious in terms of the so called nationalisation of the banking industry that has recently happened, but it is important to not ignore the Savings and Loans Crisis . Here the problem couldn’t be blame on complicated financial instruments (the bane of any regulatory authority is that they don’t control them) – but was mainly organisations being unable to appreciate that if they don’t have sufficient assets to back the loans that they are giving out and some of them go bad they are in trouble. Again, recent market deregulation, in this case the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act acted as an enabler to systemically poor judgement on the behalf of those lending out money.
Its not hugely surprising that some of these companies are instinctively risk loving when you look at their history. Bank of America famously expanded in aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake by loaning money to people on trust and without proper knowledge of their financial histories. The bank’s founder, Amadeo Giannini, was the only serious bank in town at the time, since he had taken the personal risk of death in order to get the bank’s gold deposits out of San Francisco during the earthquake.
I have more of an issue with statement (2) however. It is frequently the case that supposedly independant regulators are either controlled by former industrial leaders – people who they have been regulating, or their independence is undermined by lobbyists. In 2004 The US Securities and Exchange commission increased the debt to capital ratio for banks from 12:1 to 30:1. Its chair at the time was William H. Donaldson – a former chair of the New York Stock Exchange.
Henry Paulson, current US Treasury Secretary, at first requested congress allow him to personally distribute the $700 billion, with the guarantee that there was no way he could be criminally charged in relation to its distribution. In other words he was requesting to be able to give tax payers money to his friends and not be held responsible to any standards of oversight. As the former Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs he is another industrial leader who is unable to recommend policy with an objective eye.
The US Congress should, in theory, be an independent oversight on the actions of such people, but it is estimated that the banking industry spent $30 million on lobbying in order to pass the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999. Some of this legislation increased competition in the banking market, however, the spate of mergers that resulted certainly decreased competition, and increased the recent contagion within the financial markets.
I am thus left asking myself several questions. Why should we trust a regulator if they are intimately linked with organisations that they are meant to be regulating? How can government be made truely accountable in the presence of well funded lobbyists and pervasive public ignorance? Is it possible to institute legislation that prevents systemic bad judgement?
December 08, 2008
Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Killer
Wikipedia offer a description of how users can block images whilst continuing to read the text of an article.
The ability to easily publish content is an important aspect of the web’s success as a content distribution medium. I highly encourage other people to mirror the content, as I have. I think its also important to mirror the page without the offending image, as one of the most ridiculous aspects of this entire debacle is that it would be easier to leave in the text itself, and just ban the url of the image. Though that is also entirely your own prerogative.
September 04, 2008
Charles Clarke’s prediction of disaster at the next election is based on very firm ground. The latest polls by Populus and Yougov have Labour behind by 16% and 19% respectively. Historical precedent for this kind of margin between the leading two parties is hard to come by. Thatcher’s famed 1983 win was taken by a popular vote margin over Labour of 14.8% and granted her 397 of the possible 633 seats (63%). For reference, New Labour’s 1997 victory had a 12.5% popular vote margin, achieveing 418 of the 639 seats (65%). In order to find an election where the popular vote margin between the two primary parties is over 16% one has to go back to 1931, where Stanley Baldwin’s conservatives took a 24.2% lead over Labour, resulting in 473 of the 556 of parliamentary seats (85%). The background to that election was in fighting within the Labour that resulted in their leader, Ramsey Macdonald being expelled from the party.
Clarke’s suggested solution, changing party leader, might not be a particularly strong idea. None of the viable alternatives (Harmen, Milliband, Straw) are particular popular or well known, though this didn’t seem to hamper Michael Howard in 2005. The public dislike party leadership changes without electoral mandate (still ranks as one of the highest criticisms of Brown) and party infighting. If they were hold a general election immediately after the leadership change, they would also get slammed on the party unity vote, as happened to the Conservatives in 1997. Another important consideration is that while the public dislike Gordon Brown, and would be inclined to protest vote him, they appear to have similar feelings to the whole New Labour Brand.
Finally the question comes up as to what substantive changes would one actually make to Labour? Judging from public statements party members seem to think the problem is primarily presentation – Milliband argues for rallying round, Clarke for replacing Brown etc. This seems to ignore the public who have genuine economic grievances and a strong belief that the country is on the wrong track. Something I’ve definitely noted amongst successful politicians is that you have to genuinely stand either against an idea, or for an idea.
The constant list of policy tweaks that Brown has announced whilst in office don’t say much to the public. Since they seem to be on the same track with the new economic policies being announced at the moment – its hard to see them coming back from this. Frankly Labour leadership could do a lot worse than this simple exercise: in one sentence why would we vote for you over the Conservatives? The answer to this shouldn’t be a rehash of existing policy or ideas, but a simple, bold, new concept.
July 12, 2008
The elections here are somewhat complicated by the resignation of former senate, Trent Lott, which results in two elections happening simultaneously.
The normal election will be fought between Republican incumbent Thad Cochran and Erik Fleming. Both of these men have made mild position switches. Fleming used to support Lyndon LaRouche, but has since rejected such notions. Cochran originally states of McCain, “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” He now supports McCain. Fleming is currently a Mississippi House of representatives member, and has previously unsuccessfully run for the Senate seat of Trent Lott. Polls have Cochran ahead 60:35.
The other election is being fought as a result of the resignation of Senator Trent Lott last year. The republican governor, Haley Barbour, appointed former house of representatives member Roger Wicker as his temporary replacement. His Democratic opponent, Ronnie Musgrove, was the former lieutenant Governor and Governor of Mississippi, during whose time in office he banned Gay and Lesbian adoption, the pay of Mississippi teachers fell to 49th lowest level of all the states and claimed that there was, “no freedom from religion”. The polls have these two politicians in a tie.
Elizabeth Dole has been sitting senator since a 2002 special election. A former member of the Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations, challenger for the Republican nomination in 2000 and wife of former Senator and republican candidate Bob Dole, she has excellent connections, name recognition and fundraising potential. Her opponent – Kay Hagan is a Lawyer and member of the State Senate. Dole is currently enjoying a 10 point lead in the polls.
Centrist Republican incumbent and opponent of the Iraq war, Chuck Hagel, has decided not to seek reelection. In a fascinating piece of trivia, courtesy of wikipedia, “Hagel has a tradition of wearing costumes to work on Halloween, usually masquerading as colleagues or other notable political figures. He has arrived at work dressed as Joe Biden, John McCain, Colin Powell, and Pat Roberts in past years.” This leaves the field open between the two candidates both running for the position.
Mike Johanns is the republican candidate – a former governor who stepped down to act as US secretary of agriculture. He is highly popular in the state, having won the gubernatorial election in a landslide. Scott Kleeb (tagline: “Nebraska’s brand of change”) is a rancher and ironically professor of history and provides the democratic contender. Johanns, as one might expect, is polling 15-20 points ahead.
Currently New Hampshire is represented by the father-sun duo of John H. Sununu and John E. Sununu. It is the father, a former 3 term governor and White House chief of Staff, who is up for re-election. His opponent is Jeanne Shaheen, also a former governor. This is a re-run of the 2002 election, in which Sununu narrowly won, however, the political momentum has swung away from the republicans and towards the democrats in subsequent years. Consequently Shaheen leads in the polling by 10-15%.
Dick Zimmer is a former US House of Representatives member, and former member of the New Jersey legislature. He had unsuccessfully run for the Senate in 1996, and was drafted for the current race after Anne Estabrook withdrew, having suffered a mini-stroke. Frank Lautenberg currently holds the seat up for election, and has held 4 non-consecutive terms of office. He is one of the most liberal members of the Senate. Age is an important issue in this election, with Lautenberg having passed his 84th birthday, but its a double edged blade for the republicans, due to their presidential candidate and the relatively high proportion of electorate who are over 65 in New Jersey.
Another republican incumbent retiring leaves the door open for more democratic gains in New Mexico. With the support of popular Governor Bill Richardson and a rising democratic tide the party is confident of making gains here. Their candidate is Tom Udall, a former member of the House of Representatives for the state and cousin of Mark Udall mentioned earlier. The taking of this seat is another test of the Western strategy pushed by Howard Dean. His opponent, Steve Pearce, has a similar background in the House, but is sitting 15-20% behind in polling.
Incumbent Jim Inhofe is skeptical on global warming, cites the Bible as backing for his position on everything and has claimed that 9/11 was devine retribution for the US failing to defend Israel. He is also one of only 12 senators who opposed cutting interest rates on student loans. His opponent Andrew Rice is a member of the state Senate and largely behind in the polls, albeit with a large percentage yet to make up their minds.
Republican Senator Gordon Smith is up for re-election, his moderate view may continue to hold their appeal in these hard times for the republican party. The democratic challenge comes in the form of Jeff Merkley, the second cousin of the Udall cousins. Gordon Smith is currently the only elected Republican official in the state, and is currently holding onto a narrow lead in the race – which is considered highly competitive.
Tim Johnson is the Democratically aligned sitting senator from South Dakota, who holds quite a conservative voting record, such as repealing the ban on semiautomatic weapons and welfare reform. The 2002 election saw him claim a very narrow victory in a republican leaning year, and is a pretty strong candidate for re-election. His opponent, Joel Dykstra, is currently sitting in SD House of Representatives, and not a big name candidate. Trivia: Johnson was the only member of the senate to have a son in the military at the time of the Iraq invasion.
Single term republican incumbent John Cornyn has been ranked as the 4th most conservative US Senator. His democratic challenger is Veteran Rick Noriega, a member of the Texan House of Representatives. The low approval ratings of Cornyn make this a potentially interesting election, despite him being ahead of Noriega, that has potentially a large number of undecided voters. Obama is also looking at campaigning with the Texas senate and house challengers who are competitive.
Incumbent republican John Warner is retiring, leaving an open race between two former Governors: Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner (no relation). This is generally considered the Senate seat most likely to change hands from Republican to Democrat. Polling puts Warner 25% ahead of Gilmore, and with a widening gap as polls become more recent. As well as national momentum – the state is slowly swinging democrat, they have won the last two gubernatorial elections in 2001 and 2005, and Jim Webb took George Allen’s senate seat in 2006.
A few things have come to mind this week, all to do with Inconsistency.
- All the people/newspapers who a few years ago were outraged at the imprisonment of Tony Martin are now backing imprisoning everyone who carries a knife. So apparently you shouldn’t go to jail if you shoot someone with a gun, but if you just carry a knife you should.
- On last week’s Question Time the audience appeared to clap everything people said. This meant that they would clap a point by one of the commentators, and then applaud an exactly opposing argument by another panelist. This suggests both that the panelists were making strong arguments, and that the audience was full of idiots.
- It was commonly noted that during the G8 meeting politicians undertook an 8 course meal, whilst simultaneously talking about Global food shortages, and in Gordon Brown’s case telling people not to waste food. The latter isn’t hypocritical, assuming Mr. Brown finished his meal.
July 10, 2008
I haven’t blogged in a while, and haven’t blogged about US politics in ages, so here we go.
Obama finally put Clinton to bed. This has been inevitably basically since super Tuesday when Clinton blew her load and didn’t really get much of a win. Whats interesting has been the national polling of Obama against McCain. During the latter phases of the primaries Obama was heavily campaigned against by Clinton and also was undergoing Wrightgate, and consequently fell behind McCain in the national polling. This was up to 5% and over 100 EC votes at some stages.
During June, the month following Obama’s primary victory, he made a considerable comeback. Polling showed him gaining against McCain nationally, taking tracking polls averaged from key pollsters late last month had him over 150 EC to the good. Since then coverage has been more negative towards Obama, commenting on his movement towards the centre, and polls have fallen back.
Since primary season is over, a lot of senate races have become clear, so here’s a brief summary of a few of them.
Two term senator Jeff Sessions seems to be strongly leading (65-35) his democratic opponent, Vivian Figures, in nearly all polls. Despite democratic strength in the current electoral cycle, some places are still out of reach for them.
Ted Stevens (whose claim to fame is being the oldest republican in the senate and stating that, “The internet is like a series of tubes”) is having a hard time, despite his position as a longrunning incumbent, against Begrich. In some polls he’s still ahead, others behind. Steven’s senility is probably a campaigning drawback, hopefully he’ll be out of office come November.
Mark Udall is looking to take this seat for the democrats, and is polling about 10% ahead against Republican opponent Schaffer. This fits in well with Howard Dean’s strategy of hitting hard in the western states, traditionally a republican stronghold. There might be some synergy between this campaign and Obama’s national effort in Colorado.
Tom Harkin will retain his senate seat, continuing Iowa’s swing to the democrats over the current election cycle.
Two term incumbent Pat Roberts has a 10% or so margin above his democratic opponent, Jim Slattery. I don’t really know much about the candidates or polling issues here.
Mitch Mcconnell, current senate minority leader, holds a narrow lead over his democratic challenger, proving that even high ranking republicans aren’t impossible targets. He’s a stalwart conservative on nearly all issues. Interesting the libertarian party candidate is Sonny Landham who is a former porno actor who also starred in Predator. Despite his high profile, I doubt that he will really impact Mcconnell’s re-election bid too much, and Mcconnell is apparently fundraising well, so will probably be re-elected.
Incumbent Mary Landrieu is being challenged by a defectee to the republican cause, current State Treasurer John Kennedy. Landrieu is currently maintaining a razor-thing lead. I imagine the result of this will go down to the wire.
Early on in the election season it looked like John Kerry was going to be strongly challenged, but the polls have slowly slipped his way, as one would expect of a leading democrat in a democratically leaning state in a democratically leaning year. He’s currently miles ahead of his republican opponent Jeff Beatty and his re-election looks like a sure thing. Part of Beatty’s problem is that few locals even know who he is, polling data suggests that 44% of them have no opinion of him.
Jack Hoogendyk, Michigan house of reps member, is running against 6 term incumbent Carl Levin. He’s behind in the polling, and was the only republican running for the position. In 1996 Levin was opposed by Ronna Romney, who is Mitt Romney’s sister in law.
Susan Collins, centrist republican incumbent, is leading democratic challenger Tom Allen in polls, but by a narrowing margin. Joe Lieberman has stated that he might campaign for her.
If you thought the pornstar running in Kentucky was interesting, this is a minefield. The incumbent is Norm Coleman, a strong Bush supporter was one of the people who accussed Galloway of abusing his relationship with Saddam Hussein. Al Franken, well know comedian, SNL alumni, author, etc. is running against him, with a strongly leftwing agenda, note the title of one his books, “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right”. Currently Al Franken is behind in polls, though I’m sure his campaign is entertaining. On 9th July Jesse Ventura, former professional wrestler and governor, announced that he may run for office. Now Ventura bear Coleman in his 1996 election campaign, his entrance into the the campaign makes what the wrestling community might call a ‘3-way dance’. On his previous election effort Ventura won on the back of the Reform party ticket, its unknown who would back him this time. Ventura claims organised religion is a shame, has made numerous comments about drunken Irishmen, heavily invested in mass transit during his period as governor, is now massively bald, supports gay and abortion rights. He is generally fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Its already amusing, and if Ventura runs it will become hilarious.
I’ll leave it at that for now. Perhaps I might get round to finishing off the rest of the alphabet at some point in time.
June 13, 2008
David Davis’ resignation appears to have caused shockwaves throughout British Politics. He could have stayed in the safe and comfortable position of Shadow Home Secretary, and pushed for his issues when the Conservatives get elected in two years time. Instead he has chosen to gamble.
People’s reaction to David Davis’ actions seem to be strongly split among those who agree or disagree with his argument.
Jackie Smith, Home Secretary, and Hazel Blears, Communities secretary, when interviewed ignored the issues and just talked about Conservative ‘disarray’, and David Blunkett called it ‘political theatre’. Conservatives who made their opinion know publically seemed to back his decision, this includes David Cameron and Dominic Grieve, the new shadow home secretary.
Civil Liberties campaigning groups, such as NO2ID and Liberty have backed his stand. Newspapers position is consistent with their editorial stand on the issues, for example The Independant is describing him as a ‘Freedom Fighter’, whilst the Sun claims he has “gone stark raving mad”, is “a quitter” and describes it as “Treachery”.
A real Motive?
A lot of people have claimed that this isn’t the real motive for his resignation, but its quite clear that Cameron & Co are backing his move, albeit cautiously. His replacement, Dominic Grieve, takes the same stance as he does on the issues so there will be no change of Conservative Policy, which means there’s no rejection of his views in central office. Whilst I’m sure many Conservatives are pissed off that he taken an action that won’t improve their electoral prospects, I doubt he was being muffled by party policy.
Another assertion, made by both The Sun and The Daily Express, is that this is a politically motived act of treachery towards David Cameron. Its certainly not Cameron’s style of politics. Its hard to see what this gets David Davis politically. He has lost his position as Shadow Home Secretary, and may loose his seat as an MP. The level of risk to his seat is, I believe, quite low – he has a strong majority and liberal democrats won’t be opposing him, but certainly the move from his current position to a back bencher is a long step down. The Sun reconcile the lack of motivation with their cynical claims by asserting that he has gone mad, an unsound argument if ever I heard one.
The liberal democrats won’t be standing against him, because they agree with him on the issues. If I were they, I would campaign for him, the only way you can get political advantage out of this is to show that you have a non-partisan principled stand on the issue.
The Labour party haven’t made their decision clear. I would be very surprised if they put a candidate forward, their narrative of these events is one that tries to undermine David Davis at every turn (‘disarray’, ‘theatre’) the most sensible way to continue this approach is to not stand a candidate against him. Furthermore, they are unlikely to win, (at the last general election their candidate placed 3rd with 6,000 votes to David Davis’ 22,000). It would also cost the party campaigning funds that it can ill-afford.
The BNP won’t be running a candidate against him, since they agree with his position, and UKIP don’t know what they are doing. Unsurprising for a party who published its manifesto for the 2005 General Election with a typo in the headline of its first page. Even worse than one of my blog entries!
Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of the Sun, has said he will stand. This is the first time that Rupert Murdoch has directly pushed his own candidate, instead of backing existing parties. Quote of the week: “The Sun has always been very up for 42 days and perhaps even 420 days.” Since he will have financial support from Mr. Murdoch its highly likely that he will have a funding advantage. This entirely suits Mr. Davis, since it will result in a debate, it also suits the Labour party since they have someone to fight their battles. I doubt Mr. Mackenzie will win, since I find it impossible to believe that anyone could like an editor of a tabloid newspaper.
Don’t believe the ‘cost to the tax payer’ argument: the total cost of a by-election according to the BBC is £2000. The cost to political parties is far greater.
Whilst there are clear negative effects on the Conservative party, people are completely ignoring the positive effects: no news about nannygate! This is a far more interesting story than the alleged corruption of the Conservative Party Chairman, whilst the corruption story is potentially more damaging. The real concern people have here is the risk factor.
For years people have called on politicians to take actions that are nonpartisan, based on principle, and creative. This is certainly creative, due to its unprecedented nature, as already established this is based on principle and its clearly not a partisan act – the man is operating off his own bat. If there is a rejection of this action by the British public I can only conclude one thing: that they are more hypocritical and two faced than the politicians.