Ed Miliband is not someone who shies away from a challenge. He has demonstrated this admirably since becoming Labour leader. Getting to grips with the thorny issue of immigration is one thing. Getting to grips with his party’s record on the subject is another. This year he has attempted to do both.
If it’s the hope that kills you, let’s all get ready to die again. Four more years to satisfy his liberal critics, catch up with the great expectations, and take on the perennially disappointed. Hope wasn’t the message this time around, but it’s what many will seek for a President Obama second term.
1) President Obama and Mitt Romney have essentially the same foreign policy. The difference is that Obama is a lot more articulate in outlining his. Where he sounded assured and confident and erudite, Romney resorted to language and a tone that would have made George W. Bush proud. His strategy is to “go after the bad guys.
Ben Mitchell looks at the second Presidential Debate in ten observations.
Unlike the first debate, this one was worth staying up for. A good array of audience questions, well moderated, with follow up questions, ensured we got a proper contest rather than the drab affair in Denver.
Depressing. That’s how I found David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party faithful on Wednesday. An odd word to use you might think, considering this was a speech peppered with references to Britain’s ‘can do’ attitude, to its greatness, and in its ability to overcome adversity and deliver.
We have swing voters. We also have swing newspapers, of which The Times is one example. Whether they’re an accurate barometer of public opinion – do they move with the mood of voters or the other way round – is disputed. Either way, The Times is moderate enough, and less tribal, to be taken seriously.
Labour beware. The Tory high command are poised to unleash the attack dogs. The party has been given a free ride these past few months, coasting on the back of its double digit lead in the polls, a government forever on the defensive, and gobby backbenchers on the Tory Right doing their best to nibble away at David Cameron’s authority.
Certain stories tend to follow a familiar pattern. Take the yearly hike in rail fares. Yet another ticket price increase just above, or way above, inflation is announced. Government trots out the usual reasons: necessary to pay for upgrades, expanding existing fleet, cope with passenger numbers.
As Britain returns to normality after two and a bit weeks of the best escapism one could wish for, one man must be purring with delight at how well things have gone. Not just for ‘Team GB,’ or London 2012 as a whole, but for his own brand.
It’s taken years of debate, controversy, misunderstanding, the rise of the far right, and more debate, yet at last it feels as if there is a Britain and a Britishness in which we can all identify and feel comfortable with. Step forward London 2012, with surely the best answer yet in the “what it means to be British” saga.
When the media, old and new, sink their teeth into a story, it’s hard to prize it away. All it takes is a scent, a glimmer of hope that they may be proved right, for momentum to take over. As is the scenario with Chancellor George Osborne.
An outbreak of psephology has infected the Labour ranks since May 2010. There are few of us left who will hear the words ‘five million votes,’ and not offer up our own interpretation as to why Labour lost them. But converging on a single explanation has proved fraught, almost tortuous at times.
All together now: “Paaaaaarliament’s out. For. Summer.” Who will be the most relieved-Cameron or Clegg? Probably both of them. It’s been several months to forget for the coalition. Cue a summer of recriminations, backstabbing, briefings, and counter-briefings.
Jamie Oliver. I probably don’t need to write anything else. Just mentioning his name should be enough to start a lengthy conversation. Or rant. Everyone’s heard of him. Some like to stick an expletive in the middle of his name. Many of us seem to have strong views about him, one way or another.
In delaying the extension of flexible working to cover all employees, the government has missed a rather large trick. Omitted from the Queen’s Speech, space was instead found for legislation which will allow the sharing of maternity leave between both parents.
There can be few issues that polarise so violently or predictably, but discussion on the merits or otherwise of grammar schools is certainly up there. Almost universally condemned by the left, and splitting the right.
The rationale behind its opponents states that its policy of selection by academic ability hands grammar schools an unfair advantage.
A firm and unequivocal commitment to standing up for civil liberties will not win Labour the next election. But, they should make one anyway.
If there’s one issue which the party badly lost its way on, it was this one.
Just when he thought it was safe to oppose alone, carving out his own narrative and winning over exiled lefties, along come some unexpected cheerleaders. The New Labour crew have returned, piggybacking on Ed Miliband’s (or more accurately, Labour’s) recent surge in the polls.
A marriage of convenience consummated on the Downing Street lawn in May 2010 gave birth to Britain’s coalition government. Arm in arm, two parties united in its commitment to wipe out the budget deficit within the term of a parliament.
Yet a vow to bring stability to the country has morphed into ideological zeal.