Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Is The SNP Backlash Coming?

If Salmond is aware of the history of politics, he will be aware that there comes a point when governments start to become unpopular, and a backlash forments.  Blair got to that point addressing the WI just before the fuel protests.  That point could be just about now with Council elections due next week and some wise sage’s suggesting that the SNP may fail to take their target of Glasgow City Council.

Not helpful at all to the SNP cause has been the news from the Levenson Enquiry, where an e-mail saying that “He (Salmond) will call Hunt when we need him too” has come into the public domain.  While this is a whole lot more damaging to Jeremy Hunt, who has been shown to be the cheerleader for Murdoch we all thought he was when he was given the task of deciding on the proposed take over of BSkyB (NB: The waiving through of the purchase of BSkyB was not the quid-pro quo for support for the Tories at the last Election – the scrapping of OFCOM and the tightening of the leash on the BBC was), this damages the Salmond stock at the worst possible time.  Just before the council election’s and just before campaigning proper begins on the referendum.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

A Nation At Ease With Itself

There was a quip in John O’Farrell’s book where he predicts that John Major would become some sort of quiz question that everyone would get wrong – in an attempt to predict that Major would be some sort of caretaker Prime Minister between the Thatch and Kinnock governments.  Despite being Prime Minister for 6 and a half years, Major’s reputation is akin to being an extended caretaker, or worse…  Yet at the height of the worst recession since the 1980/81 recession, Major pulled off an election win that is the very description of the phrase “victory from the jaws of defeat”.
Yet when the election was called, 24 hours after a tax cutting budget, many though that the gamble would backfire – that Labour would win. Yet Labour proceeded to make two errors, which was compounded by their non awareness of the power of spin.  Firstly there was the “Shadow Budget”, which contained proposals to raise the top rate of tax to 50% and the removal of the exemption from 9% of NI contributions on higher earners.  The Tories had a campaign already up and running regarding “Labour’s tax Bombshell”, but created another poster “Labour’s Double Whammy” – which became the most successful political poster since “Labour Isn’t working”.  Secondly there was the furore over the PEB designed to push the message about Labour’s plans over the NHS.  Instead “The war of Jennifer’s Ear” obscured and caused more harm than good to Labour’s message.  Both the Shadow City Minister and the candidate for Hartlepool must have been taking notes on how to overhaul Labour’s campaigning techniques.

Monday, 9 April 2012

20 Years on: 9 April 1992

Extract from the Guardian newspaper dated 10 April 1992.

"The Conservatives steadily clawed their way back towards power with a small but workable majority early today as a late surge cut the expected swing to Labour and confirmed John Major's hopes of a fourth Tory term.

At 3.45 am, the BBC and ITV computers predicted up to 335 seats and a majority of 17 for the Conservatives. But Neil Kinnock, in a wistful speech after winning a record majority in Islwyn, insisted: "The battle is not yet over." Enigmatically, the Labour leader, whose position must now be in doubt, offered his service to the country "in any capacity".

Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Most Important By-Election Win Since...

Nearly a week on from the Bradford West by-Election, the result is still causing ripples about the hidden meanings of the election result.

George Galloway’s victory has been described variously as stunning and important, while the Burd described it as jaw dropping.  It might be all of these, but if it is to be a turning point in British politics – where the tide turned against the big parties – more electoral evidence is required.  Starting of course with the upcoming council elections across England and Scotland.