Media agendas?

I can’t help but comment about one of the oddest examples of pointless editorial commentary I’ve ever come across. Yesterday, while perusing the Daily Telegraph website, I followed a link to this story, which is about David Cameron’s “gift for making the Government’s chosen course seem like the only natural thing”, at least according to the writer, Andrew Gimson. What is odd, if not outright bizarre, about the article is that it is accompanied by a large picture of Nick Clegg. It is even tagged under “Nick Clegg”, as you can see just above the headline in the top left corner of the article (below the Telegraph’s navigation menu). The photo is captioned: “Mr Clegg has no credibility left, and […]

Not the best, but somewhat trusted

I haven’t blogged about the myriad of opinion poll which appear pretty much weekly in the UK because I don’t think polls conducted between elections – particularly when no election is expected any time soon – really contribute much to the debate. The way the media has followed the (mostly downward) path of the Lib Dem poll numbers week after week proves my point – all it does is spark a flurry of very premature columns and articles forecasting the demise of the party – a Lib Dem deathwatch, if you will. A week is a long time in politics – five years is an eternity. Let’s talk about Lib Dem poll numbers in 2015, shall we? That said, I […]

Fall Guy

In the slew of opinion pieces and analysis that followed the by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth, two in particular caught my eye, but not because of their analysis of the by-election results. In “What really won Oldham East and Saddleworth for Labour“, the Telegraph’s John McTernan notes: Nick Clegg may draw some crumbs of comfort from the fact that the Lib Dem vote was the same proportion as it was in the General Election. Unfortunately the swing to Labour meant that his candidate lost more decisively than even in 1997 at the peak of Labour’s powers. And on a smaller turnout. That is a poor return for the man who is by some length making the best, most thoughtful, […]

New progressives

I apologize for my prolonged absence from blogging. As sometimes happens, real life events intervened in such a way that I simply was not able to properly focus on things political, which was at times frustrating, because there were a few events that did catch my attention and on which I wanted to comment. One of those came courtesy of the 2010 Hugo Young Lecture which was delivered this year by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (23 Nov 2010). Some time back, I posted about my annoyance with the generalized assumption that a “progressive” had to be left-leaning. Clegg addressed this issue in his Lecture, and while I have certain issues with what Clegg said in his talk, I did […]

On truth in politics

According to American journalist Michael Kinsley, a gaffe is what happens when a politician accidentally tells the truth, or inadvertently says something publicly that they privately believe is true, but would ordinarily not say publicly because they believe it is politically harmful. There are ample examples of politicians caught in such situations. During the recent election campaign in the UK, Gordon Brown was caught on tape describing a voter he had just met as a “bigoted woman” after she had voiced some concerns about immigrants. In Canada, in April 2009, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff told a Cambridge Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting that: “We will have to raise taxes,” but not at the expense of hurting the recovery from this […]

Yes Deputy Prime Minister, Part 2

In an earlier post, I looked at the position of Deputy Prime Minister, specifically in Canada and the UK, contrasting the tradtional role of DPM with the very high profile role assigned to Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, in the coalition government. This post simply updates the previous. On 3 June 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron issued a written ministerial statement detailing departmental reorganisation. When the coalition was formed, Clegg was put in charge of political and constitutional reform. The ministerial statement outlines what that means in practice. The Deputy Prime Minister will be responsible for introducing fixed-term Parliaments and legislating for a referendum on changing the voting system; legislating to create fewer and more equal-sized constituencies, […]