Archive for April, 2015

The election campaign sees first Welsh debate.

A week when Welsh politicians debate on the TV and the polls still show no breakthrough.

The Welsh Tories played up their business credentials by wheeling out Malcolm Walker. Who he, I hear you ask? Well, he’s boss of Flintshire-based Iceland and  one of 100 business leaders who signed that open letter to the Telegraph backing the Tories and warning against Labour. So he has form in backing the Tories. He says that there’s a risk to jobs if people vote Labour. Not so much of a risk as if HSBC up sticks and leave the UK which is what they’re threatening. One of the reasons they cite is the uncertainty over Britain’s future in the European Union. Oh dear, it must be unsettling for the Conservative campaign if even the bankers are rejecting their policies.

Labour-controlled constituencies are more likely to have faster broadband, new data suggests. Of the top 30 constituencies – areas where 90% or more of premises have speeds of 30Mbps (megabits per second) or higher – 16 are Labour-controlled. Oh dear, think of all that money the Conservatives have spend on their social media campaign  and the bands will be to slow to upload their offerings.

First Welsh TV debate took place. The winners,  Assembly politicians. See http://welshpolitics.co.uk/2015/04/the-welsh-general-election-debate/

Panic at the polls?

Despite a sustained attack by the Tories on Labour having to depend on the SNP and this in turn leading to chaos it’s making little headway. If the polls don’t turn this weekend the country will have a Labour government. So prepared for a Tory panic this weekend.

Polls still show the two main parties running neck and neck on 34 per cent. Despite the best effort of the parties and all those photo-ops they’re not shifting opinion out there. It reminds of the old Kennedy line when commenting on the fact that he had campaigned hard in Alaska and lost but won Hawaii without visiting it – “Just think what my margin might have been if I had never left home at all.” A lesson for Miliband and Cameron perhaps.

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The Welsh general election debate

Wood and Williams see Westminster men off

Wood and Williams see Westminster men off

Last night saw ITV produce the first live all- Wales General Election TV debate.

No knockout blows were delivered, but undoubtedly the two Westminster politicians were the losers.

Both Stephan Crabb and Owen Smith were more interested in scoring points off each other than putting a positive case forward.

They were like two professional boxers that had been in the ring for too many fights. Wondering around punch drunk and way past their sell buy date.

Utterly destroyed was the myth that Westminster attracts formidable Welsh politicians and that the Assembly is peopled with lesser talent. Both Wood and Williams bested the Westminster frontbenchers.

Be positive

Interestingly the young people that ITV had found for the post debate programming were almost certainly all won over by Pippa Bartolotti of the Green party.

Clearly she was the less polished of the panellists. An under-rehearsed amateur surrounded by over-rehearsed professional politicians.

Perhaps that’s what endeared her to the youngsters.

She refused to attack the others. But remained positive throughout the debate simply concentrating on pushing the Green agenda. A lesson there for the more seasoned politicians, perhaps.

The public in general don’t like negative campaigning and young people in particular are put off by bickering and point scoring.

Partisan politics was in full throttle but as an American political columnist once observed “The enemy isn’t conservatism. The enemy isn’t liberalism. The enemy is bullshit.”

Certainly the debate produced enough of that to fertilize  field upon field.

 

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Senior Tories clash on the way their party is campaigning.

Display of unionist unity bites the dust

Display of unionist unity bites the dust

Ex-PM Sir John Major came to the aid of his party in a speech to say a Labour government would be subjected to a “daily dose of blackmail” from the nationalists.

The Tories have tried and failed to make a breakthrough in the polls by claiming it’s the party of sound finance.

Ed Miliband has proven to be more robust than they thought and has stood up to personal attacks made by the Tories and their bag carriers in the right wing press.

Now they’ve resorted to a crude appeal to English nationalism in the hope of undermining Labour. For the Conservative and Unionist Party to play such a game is dangerous indeed.

They campaigned hard during the referendum to keep Scotland in the Union now it looks as if they’re doing their level best  to destroy that very union.

Having begged Scotland to stay in the union the Tories are now screaming about the influence Scottish politicians may have in Westminster. In so doing they’re testing the relations between Scotland and England.

Hoping that an appeal to English nationalism will deliver votes

The English nationalist ball was set rolling on the morning after the referendum when the PM declared English constituency MPs could only vote on some laws deemed only to affect England.

It was a slap in the face to the nation that had just voted to stay in the union.

Scottish members of parliament were to get less power in the UK parliament that the Scottish nation had just voted to endorse.

A strange reward indeed, for loyalty to the Union.

Now the Tories are going further, they’re questioning the constitutional legitimacy of a minority Labour government should they have to work with the SNP.

The polls show a hung parliament is likely after 7 May. The very same polls point to the arithmetic being against the establishment of a centre-right coalition.

So the Tories are getting their retaliation in now by questioning the legitimacy of any coalition that Labour might do on the left.

But it’s a dangerous game to ignore what voters decide.

It would be a very dubious constitutional principle to ignore parties that the voters have sent to Westminster to represent them.

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