Archive | February, 2010

The Tories are panicking

28 Feb

As I lay here in my sickbed, unfortunately unable to canvass for Sadiq Khan and LCID, slowly going mad watching endless Law and Order and Scrubs, I’ve had the opportunity to read even more political articles than I would normally and it is clear that the Tories are in severe panic mode. Not just the doldrums and messaging meetings that you hear about in the media in general prior to today’s poll that saw them only two points ahead of Labour, but proper sweat inducing, palpitation creating, panic.

With the news of this poll, there is talk of them lurching to the right, looking scarily like the McCain 2008 campaign. McCain was known as a moderate and tried to appear so, but during the campaign, although somewhat earlier than Cameron is being called to, he had to lurch to the right to ensure he kept the base. There is significant pressure at the moment for Cameron to start campaigning heavily on tax cuts and immigration, sure signs of panic and dangerous ground to play, because all of a sudden you lose the moderates. There are even signs that some within the party have broken with Tory HQ and are already campaigning on immigration, without approval, but still in the name of Ministers.

There are even stories starting to question the leadership of Cameron, suggesting they would do better under Hague. It seems so long ago similar storylines were in print about Labour. Hoon and Hewitt seem a generation ago. The Conservative press are turning against the Tories and Cameron, they are spouting panic and that doesn’t help the them in the view of a very confused public who don’t know if they can trust him either. They certainly don’t know him.

There is a Cameron quote in the TimesOnline this morning;

“I would say after doing 4½ years of this job, people have got to know me — not as much as I would like but there are some weeks still to go.”

Really, after 4 1/2 years he thinks a couple of weeks will make a difference? Surely that’s grasping at straws.

To be honest, credit where credit due, Cameron is doing the moral thing. I don’t like him, but he realises that the Tories of the far right isn’t where the party should be. And I hope he doesn’t go towards the immigration  line and it appears he won’t, because that only gives credit to Griffin and the BNP’s argument.

The question is, is this a blip, or is this the Kinnock moment in 1992 that things went haywire for the Conservatives and they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. I sure hope so.

Update:

I just saw on sky news that theofficial word from inside the Tory leader’s suite in the Metropole is that the latest poll setback “stiffens our resolve” and “blows out of the water their underdog strategy”. It is never a good sign when you are fighting for the underdog title, especially if you are still ahead in the polls as the Tories are, albeit by only two. points.

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Polls just keep on tightening

26 Feb

According to politicalbetting.com, the latest MORI report is down to 5. I’m looking forward to being in Brighton, campaigning for the Labour Campaign for International Development during the Tory Spring Conference. It will certainly be interesting.

West Wing – almost best scene ever

25 Feb

When looking at the archves of my blog, I realised I was uber boring, nothing fun, nothing a bit crazy. So I promise I’ll do more interesting inane posts.

In the meantime, I’ll post what I believe is one of the top 5 scenes from the West Wing – I really need a non-political hobby. Oh well, enjoy!

Broadband tax – right direction, wrong track

24 Feb

Just to let you know I’ve had a new post added to the Left Foot Forward blog on the Government’s broadband tax to pay for future investment into high-speed broadband.

Have a look, let me know what you think.

January 2010 was globally the 4th hottest ever despite the cold snap

16 Feb

After the debacle that was Copenhagen, the stalling of vital emissions trading bills in both the US and Australia, the IPCC chaos, climate gate and the public’s cooling towards the man made climate change argument, there is plenty of sceptically suddenly appearing in regards to climate change.

On top of that, the UK, the USA and parts of Asia have had record low temperatures and record cold-snaps. This is has inevitably led to further questions about global warming. The answer to that question is two fold. Firstly, scientists have always suggested that climate change does what it says on the tin, changes climate. That includes record cold as well as record hot. Rush Limbaugh has been caught out stating that the record snows in the US North East are proof that climate change is bunk.

The table below from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the scientific arm of the US Department of Commerce shows the second answer to the question of “what global warming?” According to this info, Russia, the US North East and Northern Europe and the UK have had significantly below average temperatures, but clearly, the surface temperature almost everywhere else has suffered from significant above average heat. In fact from the data underneath the image shows that January was the 4th warmest January on record.

Basically, it shows that people such as Limbaugh have an incredibly localised viewpoint. While that is no surprise for people of his ilk, it is important that Governments highlight this to the wider population. Just because it is cold here, doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be abnormally hot somewhere else. Australia had record setting temperatures over the summer and it doesn’t take much to turn on the television and watch all of the warm weather that is severely hampering the Vancouver Winter Olympics at the moment.

Global Highlights

Worrying trends in public perception of climate change data

16 Feb

The data below comes from a BBC poll into the public perception of the causes of climate change. This was published on the 5th of February and has had reasonably extensive coverage, but what is extremely troubling is that it similar to a trend seen in Australia.

The BBC data shows a huge increase in the amount of confusion about the cause of climate change and this probably has a lot to do with the mess the IPCC seems to find itself in and the debacle of the leaked climate change emails.

This is a quote from Dennis Shanahan in the Australian Newspaper today, which shows that there is some scepticism occuring quickly in Australia also;

There has also been a fall in the percentage of people who believe in climate change. In July 2008, 84 per cent of those surveyed believed climate change was happening and only 12 per cent did not believe it existed at all. Last weekend, the number who believed climate change existed had dropped to 73 per cent, down 11 points, and those who did not believe in it rose 10 points to 22 per cent.

This is overall pretty worrying. Two nations who need to lower its carbon emissions will soon have governments running very low on political capital on the issue.

Has Abbott just gone for the racist vote in Australia

15 Feb

Apparently Australian Liberal Party Leader Tony Abbott has said he is disappointed that Pauline Hanson is leaving to live in the UK. you can’t be serious. With his quotes about housewives, abstinence and climate change, he is really going after the far right vote in October.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/abbott-disappointed-over-hanson-move/story-e6frf7jx-1225830592062