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Archive for the ‘Political campaigning’ Category

Tuesday
Jul 27,2010

Earlier tonight, I went to “An Audience with David Miliband” hosted and chaired by Simon Fanshawe in Wood Green.  The 150-strong audience listened first to David Miliband being probed by Simon Fanshawe on his beliefs and ideology and on his views on where the Labour Party is now and where it should be going.  This was followed by a lively Q&A session in which the audience elicited some genuinely inspirational responses from the former Foreign Secretary, particularly on education, the role of community activism, and the need to safeguard the recovery and build sustainable growth for the future.

Those there who were undecided before will have come away enthused.

Thursday
Jul 22,2010

I have already explained that I really don’t mind.

However, just in case you really really want to cast your vote for this blog in the Total Politics annual beauty parade, this is what you have to do:

The rules are:
1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and rank them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite).
2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.
3. You MUST include at least FIVE blogs in your list, but please list ten if you can. If you include fewer than five, your vote will not count.
4. Email your vote to
toptenblogs@totalpolitics.com
5. Only vote once.
6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents or based on UK politics are eligible. No blog will be excluded from voting.
7. Anonymous votes left in the comments will not count. You must give a name.
8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2010. Any votes received after that date will not count.

So I’m not asking you to do it, but I really won’t mind if you do……

Tuesday
Jul 20,2010

I was one of the few non-Kurds present at a meeting tonight organised by Kurds for Labour in support of David Miliband’s campaign to be Leader of the Labour Party.

About two hundred (or at least that’s what it felt like) supporters packed into the tiny but excellent Troia restaurant (just opposite the old County Hall) to hear David Miliband outline his vision for the future of the Labour Party, deliver a ringing endorsement of the diversity of London and praise the success of the London Labour Party’s community campaigning in winning so many Councils in May.

He rightly received a warm and enthusiastic reception and this was echoed by those diners in other nearby cafes and restaurants when the event spilled out into Belvedere Road after David’s speech was over.

An excellent sign of the depth of David Miliband’s support.

Monday
Jul 5,2010

I am not looking for any recognition, as you know these things don’t matter to me at all and I am profoundly disinterested in where this blog comes in the annual Total Politics ranking of political blogs, so I really am not asking for you to vote for me or my blog ……..

but ……..

should you be so inclined (and I repeat I really, really don’t mind one way or the other), this is what you have to do:

The rules are:
1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and rank them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite).
2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Any votes which do not have rankings will not be counted.
3. You MUST include at least FIVE blogs in your list, but please list ten if you can. If you include fewer than five, your vote will not count.
4. Email your vote to toptenblogs@totalpolitics.com
5. Only vote once.
6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents or based on UK politics are eligible. No blog will be excluded from voting.
7. Anonymous votes left in the comments will not count. You must give a name.
8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2010. Any votes received after that date will not count.

So I’m not asking you to do it, but I really won’t mind if you do……

Wednesday
Jun 30,2010

Ken Livingstone’s campaign to stand as Labour’s London Mayoral candidate in 2012 is attracting an increasing number of Labour leading figures in London Government.

According to Labour List who are keeping a tally, he now has the support of six of the eight Labour members of the London Assembly: Len Duvall (Leader of the Labour Group on the Assembly), Nicky Gavron, Joanne McCartney, Murad Qureshi, Navin Shah and Val Shawcross.

He is also supported by six Labour Council Leaders (including the three women Leaders – Ann John in Brent, Claire Kober in Haringey, and Catherine West in Islington; along with Liam Smith in Barking and Dagenham, Julian Bell in Ealing, and Peter John in Southwark).

They are joined by four Labour opposition leaders (Croydon, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, and Westminster) and another 35 Labour Councillors around the capital.

It is a pretty impressive cross-section – all of whom know how important it will be to have a strong and effective advocate for London as Mayor after the 2012 elections.

Tuesday
Jun 29,2010

The farce of the encampment on Parliament Square has been going on far too long.

It is unsightly and creates an appalling impression for the thousands of foreign visitors who visit the Square each day.

Potentially it poses a significant security risk – who really knows who is there and what they’ve got inside their tents?

I don’t even want to think about the sanitory arrangements ….

And it RESTRICTS the right to protest, as other potential demonstrators are squeezed off the Square by the tented ones.

So the news that Mayor Boris Johnson’s legal action in the High Court to have the so-called Peace Camp campaigners evicted from Parliament Square has been successful is a welcome breath of common sense.

    Sunday
    Jun 27,2010

    So which Labour Leadership campaign team thought that seeking my endorsement (for what it’s worth) mid-way through the Second Half of England v Germany was a good idea?
    Anyone for an own goal?
    Otherworldly or what?
    Still what’s the worst that could have happened, if I had answered the phone?
    A couple more (German) goals?
    Personally I blame the Tories and the LibDems. England has only ever won a World Cup when there is a Labour Government.

    Tuesday
    Jun 1,2010

    I’ve just finished reading “Race of a Lifetime: How Obama won the White House” by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.  I found it hugely enjoyable and engrossing.  Definitely a good read.

    It is, of course, more journalism than history, but it is clearly well-researched and – in a style that UK readers familiar with Andrew Rawnsley will recognise – puts us in the minds of the key protagonists.

    The focus is primarily on the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, but there is insight into the John Edwards camp, and fascinating sketches of John McCain and Sarah Palin.  Obama and Clinton themselves are sympathetically portrayed, but the turmoil amongst their respective teams is described pretty unflinchingly.  The picture of John and Elizabeth Edwards is not a flattering one and the impression given of Sarah Palin is frankly scary.

    However, what grips is the momentum of the campaign and its twists and turns.  It was like reliving it except with a ringside seat and with live feeds into the contestants’ dressing rooms.

    Monday
    May 31,2010

    It rather looks as if the so-called “new politics” is dead.  The cleansing that the General Election was supposed to have brought seems to have vanished in just a few days.  The Government is now mired in “sleaze” stories – the sort of stories that were supposed to be behind us given the way the political parties had taken action against those who had been embroiled in expenses problems and the electorate’s verdict on those that had survived that process.  Both David Cameron – and to an even greater extent Nick Clegg – had been incredibly sanctimonious before the General Election.  Now their words are coming back to haunt them.

    What have the last few days brought?

    • David Laws forced to resign following revelations that he had broken the rules on claiming second home expenses to  make payments to a partner.  His arguments to try and justify himself and the attempts to turn this into an argument about sexuality have been comprehensively debunked.
    • Double questions about Danny Alexander’s expenses (flipping and Capital Gains Tax avoidance) and his choice of Special Advisor.
    • Stories that a top Tory donor was nominated for a peerage, but then had to withdraw after “questions” were raised about his tax payments.

    None of this looks good for the “new politics”.

    And what was Nick Clegg thinking when – in the first Leaders’ debate in the General Election – he called on the other Parties to come clean about flipping houses, pocketing huge profits and avoiding capital gains tax and asserted that not a single Liberal Democrat MP had been involved?  Had he forgotten Danny Alexander, his closest aide?

    Friday
    May 28,2010

    As Mayor Johnson prevaricates (“I’m not going to…all I will say is this: I’m having, you know…being Mayor of London is a fantastic job and a very challenging job and a wonderful job and obviously if I still think at the end of this year that things are going well then I’d be crazy not to put my hat in the ring and have another go for sure”) on whether he is standing again for Mayor in 2012, I am one of the signatories in a letter to the Guardian supporting Ken Livingstone as the candidate best placed to deliver a progressive future for London.

    The letter reads:

    “The election of a London mayor in 2012 will test the strength of Conservative support nearly two years into David Cameron‘s administration. London needs to return to a policy of investing in our public services, leading the capital and speaking for London as a whole, not the cuts and incoherence of the present administration under Boris Johnson. Labour will shortly choose a candidate for mayor. We need a candidate who can give leadership in a time of crisis, has demonstrated their commitment to innovation and cutting-edge policies, who understands London’s political landscape and who always puts London first.

    To maintain our safer neighbourhood police teams, protect the fare payer, and ensure a powerful voice for London in future we will be supporting Ken Livingstone as the best-placed candidate to secure a progressive future for London.”

    The other signatories are: Claude Moraes MEP; Virendra Sharma MP; Andy Slaughter MP; Val Shawcross AM; Nicky Gavron AM; Cllr Liam Smith (Leader, Barking and Dagenham); Cllr Julian Bell (Leader, Ealing); Cat Smith (Vice Chair, London Young Labour) and Dame Sally Powell (Hammersmith and Fulham Council).