Tag Archives: Politics

Campaigning for Sadiq Khan

24 Apr

In my free time I’ve been campaigning for Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP for Tooting for the past 8-9 months since I moved to the area.It has been fantastic to get involved. I’ve met some fantastic new people – it’s true that Labour might not have the money that the Tories do, but they certainly have an enormously energetic level of active support and the team in Tooting are a hard-working, welcoming bunch.

Sadiq has worked exceptionally hard for the people of Tooting since he was first elected in 2005. He was born and raised in the area so he has a natural affinity with the people and a deep-rooted understanding of the issues Tooting residents face. For more information on Sadiq, have a look at his website. It is a new address because he can’t use his old website anymore due to campaigning rules.

He was kind enough to agree to post a message for my blog which is below.

Every US Presidential ad since 1952

21 Apr

A colleague has come across a website that has every US Presidential TV ad since 1952 available to watch. It is absolutely fascinating to see how campaigning has changed since the I Like Ike cartoon ad.

Enjoy –

http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2008

Never hold an election when…

19 Mar

This weekend, there are State elections being held in South Australia and Tasmania. Those two important events, plus the discussion about the date of the UK election, although we all know it will be May 6, made me think about the unwritten rules of calling an election in Australia.

Some states and cities have fixed terms, so these rules don’t apply, but Federally and in Queensland, there is a guide as to when you should never, ever call an election. If you have a few more suggestions, let me know.

(For anyone reading this who isn’t Australian, all of our elections are held on a Saturday and of course, we have compulsory voting.)

  • Never hold an election for Rugby League or AFL Grand final weekend. No one cares about soccer, so that’s ok
  • Never hold an election during an ashes test, or the first test of any series to be honest
  • Never hold an election during the holidays or any long weekends
  • Never hold an election during school holidays in December or January (summer holidays)

US politico makes huge twitter gaffe

1 Mar

Chuck Todd, NBC political pundit, author and personally a pretty savvy journo made an enormous twitter gaffe after the Canadians beat the US for the Ice Hockey gold medal last night.

During the medal ceremony, Todd tweeted;

Now the Canadians are really rubbing it in; they have the better anthem. #americathebeautifulshouldbeouranthem

I bet you can imagine the storm of angry tweets that followed that one, especially since the Americans would have already been sore from losing. You would have thought that an American political pundit who has his own daily political show would have known he broke two cardinal political rules in the US.

  1. Know your audience
  2. Don’t mess with American patriotism, especially when they just lose to Canada

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!

Should journalists keep their opinions to themselves?

29 Nov

I know a number of journalists very well and I myself trained as one, so a question put to me today by a fairly senior journalist at Lloyd’s List made me think.

Do journalists, such as Melanie Phillips and Polly Toynbee deserve the platform as opinion leaders that they receive?

The theory behind the question is that journalists generally report on other people’s opinions. Once they start reporting their own through opinion columns and tv programmes, do they cease to be journalists to become opinion leaders?

At what point does a journalist graduate to this position? Most columnists, unless they are celebrities, start of as journos but once they gain a significant level of experience and a high enough reputation will often become columnists and opinionistas. But what is their experiential basis to write on certain issues.

Polly Toynbee often writes on political theory and messaging, which is fair enough as she has probably been around the workings of politics for most of her journalistic career.

Melanie Phillips however seems to often write and speak on environment and socialological issues. But when did she become an environmental scientist or sociology professor? Does she work with environmental or socialogical scientists?

I believe journalists and colomnists should be able to report on issues, but I’m not sure if their experience or their position necessarily allows them to analyse issues, unless of course they have trained in the sector or have been part of the issue.

Would be interested to know your thoughts.

What the Glasgow North East victory means for the General Election

13 Nov

Not much. I’ve noticed a lot of Labour activists getting excited and saying Labour is on its way back up. This may be true to an extent, but when you look at the details of the by-election, it isn’t that cut and dry. Willie Bain won with 12,231 votes which equates to a majority of 8,111. The SNP got silver with 4,120 votes. The Tories must be disappointed with just over 1,000 votes, the fact that they haven’t made a statement suggests they are trying to ignore it.

But regards to the importance of the outcome, Labour has more or less owned that seat for 74 years and the most recent 10 of those years have been effectively uncontested as Michael Martin was Speaker, thus the Tories and Lib-Dems didn’t stand against him. You couldn’t get more Labour heartland.

Also of interest is the turnout; a record low in a Scottish Parliament. We have no real way of knowing what the turnout at a General Election will be until we have one. This is obviously at the forefront of Labour thinking, Tom Watson MP has already tweeted that the no vote party were the clear winners of the day.

But the biggest issues that is of interest is that this was a battle between incumbents. Labour, who rules the roost nationally, versus the SNP who runs Hollyrood. Neither are particularly popular that is obvious, but this, in a way, was a referendum on one or the other. Labour won this round, as it did in Glenrothes. This suggests the SNP are on the nose of the local populace, more than Labour.

Potentially, this is good news for Labour as the Tories still aren’t going to be able to take that many seats in Scotland, no matter their showing in England. I’d also suggest Labour needs to base part of campaign on the fact that Cameron has said he wants to take away Scottish seats in Westminster. I don’t think the Scots would go for that without a promise of independence.

Scotland could appear to be a bit safer than it was about 12 months ago, which will mean Labour won’t have to spend its money and time trying to keep heartland seats at the expense of marginal seats in England and Wales.

Don’t get me wrong, Labour is going to have to work hard in Scotland and would be stupid to neglect it, but the fact that a Labour heartland seat didn’t fall to another party must be a relief to the electoral strategy team.

But, the fact remains, Labour still has a lot of work to do and according to the latest polls, they are still behind by 10 points, enough for a decent Tory majority in the House.

Is this the beginning of Labour’s revival, I struggle to see that it is and I think it is more of a realignment back to the status quo than anything else. I’ve said it before, I think the polls will come closer together, but let’s wait and see.

Thoughts?