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If Sarkozy loses, Cameron should reflect that omnipresent hyperactivity may have been a factor

Posted on 19 April 2012 | 10:04am

If, as is being widely suggested, Francois Hollande wins the French elections, and Nicolas Sarkozy becomes a rare, single-term President, there are one or two lessons David Cameron might try to draw on … once he has repaired the damage done to Anglo-French relations by effectively endorsing Sarko.

The main lesson relates to hyperactivity. When Sarkozy first came on the scene, it was impossible to turn on a French TV station without seeing him popping up here, there and everywhere. He was loving being President, just as Cameron evidently loves being Prime Minister. Both had a honeymoon, during which the benefit of the doubt was given. But then a few deeper realities set in: in Sarkozy’s case the sense that he somewhow lacked the dignity the French wanted in their President. The ‘bling bling’ jibe rather stuck. There was also a lack of clarity about what he really wanted for France (sound familiar?), and therefore tensions between the programme on which he was elected, and what he then did.

That one certainly applies to Cameron too, as does the hyperactivity. Last night’s 10 o’clock news was something of a collector’s item in that DC was not in the headlines. Yet still up he popped in the main story, on Abu Qatada, doing his ‘determined, do all it takes, nothing gonna get in my way’ act, which we see on several issues on several occasions each week.

He still has a media broadly suspectible to buying his arguments, but the benefit of the doubt point has been passed. The passing point was the Budget, and the succession of handling errors since. Number 10 may blame George Osborne, but it is Cameron who is being hit. If you are so ominpresent in your communications, then that is the inevitable consequence when what has been called omnishambles strikes.

As President, omnipresence is even more of a risk, and by the time Sarko calmed down a bit, the image was set, and he has found it hard to erase, particularly with Hollande presenting himself as such an obvious foil. Cameron is not President, but Prime Minister, leader of a team of ministers he would do well to try to develop and use more as the public face of the government.

I understand that Cameron himself chairs the media management meetings I used to hold each morning and afternoon in Downing Street. This is probably why he ends up deciding, day after day, that he should be the person who goes out and explains and defends whatever the Number 1 issue for the media may be. Tony Blair was a good communicator, and a huge media presence when PM, obviously. But most days, those meetings led to ministers other than him being fielded on the media. We had a whole cadre of ‘safe pair of hands’ ministers who could speak for the government as a whole, not just their department. Jack Cunningham, Margaret Beckett, John Reid, Donald Dewar, John Prescott, Alan Milburn, Tessa Jowell, and plenty more where they came from. Cameron risks becoming a one-man band by comparison, unless he starts to liberate himself from the need to be his own spokesman the whole time.

Let me tell him what Bill Clinton said to me in an interview I did with him when his book came out a few years ago. ‘Too many decision makers define their reality according to that day’s media … it is almost always a mistake.’

It is a mistake Sarko made, and one that Cameron is making. By the time Sarko realised it, it was too late. Cameron may have enough time to address it, but may find he lacks the will, or the confidence in his colleagues, to do so.

  • Is one of the problems here the nature of the government?  First, you have the coalition element and, second, the fact that Cameron is not really perceived as a true believer by many in his own party.

  • Olli Issakainen

    I have seen the future – and it does not work!
    We are now entering a decisive moment in Europe. Nicolas Sarkozy is facing numerous inquires.
    France´s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt of L´Oreal, may have given twice £335,000 to Sarkozy from Swiss accounts.
    Bettencourt family owns 30.8% of L´Oreal – Rothschilds control 29.6%.
    Presidents cannot be prosecuted in France.
    Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is said to have contributed £42m in 2007 to the Sarkozy campaign.
    After the controlled take out of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the race for Elysee Palace is now between Sarkozy and Francois Hollande.
    In the second round on 6 May M. Hollande will probably beat Sarkozy by 58% to 42%.
    Support for Marine Le Pen is about 15%.
    Jean-Luc Melenchon of the Left Front is doing well.
    Will the win for a Socialist start a new social democratic era in Europe?
    It will.
    M. Hollande has an alternative economic vision. He is for jobs and growth – not austerity demanded by banks.
    Mitterrand nationalised 36 banks. Hollande is in the mould of de Gaulle and Mitterrand.
    To the horror of Bilderberger Angela Merkel, M. Hollande wants to renegotiate the eurozone treaty.
    France has debt of 90% of GDP. Public spending is 56%.
    Deficit is going up. Unemployment is about 10%.
    According to M. Melenchon neoliberalism has failed. Austerity is unfair and counterproductive.
    Our societies are wealthy and productive, but the majority of population is getting poorer!
    The problem is not about wealth-creation.
    Osborne/Cameron/Blairites believe this. The problem is WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION.
    747 people own 80% of wealth. According to a Swiss university study 147 Rothschild-controlled companies alone control 40% of global economy.
    Humans First!
    The problem with the new social democratic era is that Europe is moving towards a United States of Europe.
    Europe is moving towards transfer union and central financial authority with mandate and capacity to guarantee the debt of member states.
    Germany´s political class and centre-left plus Social Democracy in Europe have committed to a federation.
    So are Greens.
    Americans financed post-war European Movement with $3m between 1949-60. The aim was to get public support for the Schuman plan.
    The idea of single currency comes from Walter Funk.
    But what we need is NATION-STATE social democracy. Egalitarian prosperity and social welfare.
    A more just and humane market economy.
    One does not need to read Hayek to understand that central planning does not work.

  • Michele

    Excellent article by Steve Richards on the very same topic.

    Cam acts as if he’s still responding to hypothetical situations posed in exam papers and, having got 10/10 from his self-interested teachers  ploughs on, seeing no wisdom in checking the impact of one change before setting another in motion.

  • It may be pertinent to observe that when trouble emered the French president sounded more and more right wing in his discourse – as seen with immigration, gypsies etc. The odious duaghter of Le Pen carries a part of the populace he was willing to flirt with.
    With the Libdems now looking to be behind UKIP in the polls it is not, surely, impossible that Cameron may be swayed by a resurgent right and find that the perpetual curse of Conservative atavistic hate for Europe floats to the surface once again as his party continued to endeavour to recreate the 1980’s for the rich again at the cost of the poor. Flashman’s humiliation of Carswell yesterday, Dorris mouthing off yet again and Tim Montgomery’s criticisms may all indicate deeper disquiet towards Cameron’s hogging the top table at the  banquet and having appeared to have given more heed to Clegg than so many in his own party wished. Maybe the tide has turned against him amid muckup and a maelstrom of miscommunication.

  • reaguns

    I think the fact that Alastair says Cameron had a “honeymoon period” speaks volumes. I have sensed something for some time now. When Cameron became prime minister I remember him receiving disdain from left and right. The most praise he got was that he was marginally better than Gordon Brown. I think people are still saying this. But secretly, many of his detractors feel he is doing a good job, or is being perceived as doing a good job. Hence their description of this early period as a “honeymoon” means they didn’t really think he was or is doing as badly as they said. Worrying.

    I personally do think he is every bit as bad as I have always said.

    His weekly “determined” act as AC describes really gets my goat. If you are “determined” to cut crime or whatever then do it – don’t tell me you are determined to do it, shut your mouth and come back and tell me when its done. Reminds me of the analysis Roy Keane gives about pumped up arrogant footballers who then achieve nothing.

    Finally delighted to see life imitating art and Alastair quote his alter ego Malcolm Tucker’s “omnishambles!” I don’t understand why Alastair doesn’t like that show / character! Norman Tebbit apparently loved his bovver boot and baseball bat character on spitting image, and I think this caracature is similar but more favourable.

  • Tih

    Interesting comments.  And with a debate on WATO on the government losing its ‘reputation for competence’, I suspect that there will be a review of media policy and personnel at No.10 in the short term. Maybe they are missing Andy Coulson… just sayin’ …’  

  • Anonymous

    ‘Cameron is not President, but Prime Minister, leader of a team of ministers he would do well to try to develop and use more as the public face of the government.’
    While I don’t expect you to help the Tories, Alastair, you don’t actually name any ‘safe pairs of hands’ that Cameron has at his disposal.  He seems to have mainly liabilities, and also people (mostly men) whom the public would quickly find obnoxious.  Someone in the Tory camp must have decided that Cameron is the only person people might actually find acceptable, and perhaps this is also the reason why he was the chief ingredient in the re-spraying job on the party.
    During the Tories’ last election campaign it seemed that they had to hide George Osborne for fear of frightening the horses.  Well, you can only do that for so long once in government.On the other hand, it’s been said that Cameron leaves ministers to get on with their portfolios unhindered because he doesn’t do detail – and then it all hits the fan once the policies become apparent.  Cameron has used his arms-length approach to remain untainted by their idiocies (at least at first).  I think this and his desire always to be the front man is all of a piece with his vain approach to the job.  He actually wishes he were a president.

  • Anonymous

    Not again.
    “I have seen the future – and it does not work”.
    What/Who are you? Mystic Meg?
    So Sarkozy will lose the election because Gaddafi is dead and can’t give him any money?
    “Controlled take out of Dominique Strauss-Kahn”? Please take your medication.
    Pillock !

  • Michele


    Wow, s/he’s found their mojo  ***cough***

  • Anonymous

    Off topic but a couple of things I wanted to share with you good people following a trip to the airport yesterday.

    1. We are supposedly in a recession yet every time I fly, no matter what airport, no matter which flight, both plane and airport are full. Yet this is worse than the great depression? Or the 1970s? Puh-lease. Yes flights are cheaper now than they were then, so more people fly – yet more evidence that supply side works.

    2. A fairly new block of toilets at Gatwick airport was vandalised, Doors broken. Seats broken. Coat hooks broken. Graffiti on walls and doors. This proves conclusively that those who think that all crime is due to poverty are morons. There is no sensible definition of poverty that includes people who can fly from gatwick airport.

  • Gilliebc

    No one needs to be ‘Mystic Meg’ scooke to see the future.  The info. that Olli I writes about so eloquently is all out there in the public domain for anyone to access.

  • Michele

     I’ve Liked your post but am at a loss as to how anyone really would prefer Cameron over Mr Brown as PM.  When the electorate take the desire for a circus act to its extreme we get what happened in Blackburn oooops….. and the selection of someone that belongs in a straitjacket.

    I quite like someone that doesn’t consider himself the most
    photogenic thing since sliced bread (has Cameron not heard of matte
    foundtion btw?).  A PM should be thoroughly involved and actually
    understand what his Chancellor is doing.

    I’m curious about Cam’s GCSE Maths grade.

  • Michele

     Follow up re the article I do disagree with this bit from Mr Richards re the coalition ……

    …………”Instead they focused on Blair’s timidity in a landslide and chose to be revolutionaries in a hung parliament.”……….

    We should have had a Tory hung parliament (that’s what we elected) and let it continue or die out by its own actions.
    Instead we got a coalition with a 100 seat majority (ie: not many less than Mr Blair’s landslide) but donated by Clegg.

  • Michele

     …………….. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is said to have contributed £42m in 2007 to the Sarkozy campaign……………….

    Don’t you need to describe the context, who did the saying and how much faith in them you have in order to pass on their statement?

  • reaguns

    Good article Michele, but it contains another example of the thing I’m worried about.

    Often you’ll hear journalists wax about how useless such-and-such politician is then afterwards say “It was always clear he was going to win.”

    I am worried that a similar thing is happening here. The reason is that Cameron is receiving widespread derision, from the sun and the mirror, to the telegraph and the guardian. But everyone is talking about the honeymoon period he had at the beginning. Sorry, but I read all those papers (and more) at the time and he was receiving roughly similar levels of derision then.

    What this tells me is that they didn’t believe it then, and therefore I have no reason to believe them now.

    I think that both left wingers and right wingers in reality know that though Cameron does nothing that would appeal to a left or right winger, his wishy washy centrism is probably going to carry him through the next election.

  • Michele

     I don’t think the media was deriding Cameron at all in May ’10.

    He’d pulled a blinder, pulled a slick 100 seat majority out of a no-win result and all by flattering cajoling bribing Clegg in a way that Mr Brown was incapable of.

    The Press jurst lurved that ‘Come’ performance (as if Clegg had anywhere to go even then).  Me bitter?   Bet on it 🙂

  • Ehtch

    Looks like Hollande has it in the bag, easily, with his “man of the street” PR approach. The French are really buying into that. But Sarkosy constantly appears too cosy to them, and all we can say is “oh dear” for him with the inevitable, as I hope to say with Dave also within the next three years.

  • Anonymous

    Finished Happy Depressive today. Good stuff AC, more please! Two more books on that surely, ie govt approach to happiness / mental illness, and personal strategies for happiness / dealing with mental illness.

    Though for Miriam, Janiete and Michele who fought tooth and nail with me to say you were not part of government you might have to rewrite this bit:
    “I want to be able to say I was at least part of changing the world for the better, and whatever our critics say I know that the Labour government of 1997-2007 did plenty of that.”

    Don’t worry Alastair, I’ll give you credit for your part in it even if they won’t lol!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like Gordon Brown (or Ed Balls) but that is due to them personally, not a dislike of labour. I think Cameron is better than, or rather not as bad as, Gordon Brown. I think Brown is the worst prime minister we have had since Heath. Partly my view is coloured by what he did as chancellor too. I dislike him for what he did during the financial crash, but lets be fair to him and say that American Republicans did the same, and most of the Tories, certainly the Cameron faction would have done so too.

    Tony Blair on the other hand was different class than Cameron or Brown, in the fullness of time he will get more credit for winning 3 elections, improving the NHS, Northern Ireland etc. He may even be proved right on the two things people hate him for, immigration and iraq.

    And I think there have been other labour leaders and prime ministers in the recent past who have been much better than Brown. Though like the Blair detractors, if I ever sit down and study that up properly I may change my mind.

  • Michele

     No matter how much you admire Tony Blair and I did and still do so, hugely, you have to admit that part of his success was down to a brilliant Chancellor.

    It was a brilliant partnership.  Without Mr Brown’s skill Mr Blair and his Cabinet would not have achieved all that they did and without Mr Blair Mr Brown’s Govt could not achieve the same popularity. 

    That says more about the electorate than it does about Mr Brown, it also says a lot about the disingenuous nature of the frequent ‘visitors’ here and their droppings about ‘spin’ a.k.a. presentation.

  • Libdem

    Why won’t you admit that if the Lib Dems had got into bed with GB you’d have been happy? It went against you so, it’s time to move on from a Tory government outcome. If that had happened there would have been another election and Labour still wouldn’t have got in as GB would still be there.

  • Michele

     Nobody is saying that AC played no part in Labour’s period in office but AC was not IN govt. 

    fgs just respect the meaning of words.

    Govt is elected, AC was not, Govt votes, AC could not.

    AC was the great enabler, the skilled person that allowed the truth about Labour to be seen and without him it would not have been but he was not part of Govt.  He was the closest to it that anyone could be but still not part (he’s also taken pne of the biggest hits).

    When he says ‘When we were in power’ it matters more than when I do but it means the same!

  • Michele

     Follow-up:  2007?

    I know the Labour governments 1997-2010 did plenty of it.

  • Michele

     Nobody is saying that AC did not contribute enormously to what Labour was able to do, he could even be regarded as the major part of the enabling (re public opinion).

    Nobody is saying that AC was not part of Labour but he was NOT part of Govt.
    Govt is elected and Govt votes, Govt takes input (wise ones do and Labour had AC and

  • Mark Wright

    Cameron seems to posses the arrogant air of an ‘If you want job doing properly, you’ve got to do it yourself’ mentality. Fine. But this constant vote of no confidence in his team surely does little for group cohesion.

    Maybe Cameron has taken a look around the table and realised that the majority of his cabinet, Osborne included, are just a bit, well, rubbish.

    However, there is only one of him and a lot more of them. How long will it be before his colleagues, both close and on the backbenches, take a look at their erstwhile Prime Minister one day and conclude exactly the same thing about Cameron himself? 

  • Ehtch

    totally off topic Alastair, but rugger, sport, and Shane Williams showing his gymnastic touch down and conversion kicking talent last night down in that Swansea, his last top gane it is said, though I tend to think, he will be popping out for the odd game, no doubt, as a BaBaa in Cardiff?
    Shane last night, incredible,

  • Michele

    Because I would not have been happy, simple as.  Try to think of a more suitable word and I might agree with you, try to acknowledge that MOST LibDems (I know not you) are left-leaning and feel their votes were misappropriated post-election.

    Don’t advise me about my ‘time to move on’, it’s all a bit spooky to have you parading around with that ID (like mourning garb).

  • Libdem

    Forgotten all the back-stabbing that was going on I see. GB’s main skills seem to have been employed against his leader; almost makes me feel sorry for TB.

  • reaguns

    I am sure Alastair’s point was that he personally was only involved from 1997-2007.

  • reaguns

    My point all along was that to the lay person, Alastair was “part of government”. Is Steve Hilton part of govt? Andy Coulson?

    Please have a genuine attempt at this small thought experiment – If Alastair was on question time and said something like “When we were in govt between 1997-2007 we achieved a lot” and if someone like Anne Leslie or Melanie Phillips said “What are you talking about ‘we’ you weren’t in government” would you think “Excellent point Anne/Melanie, I rather wish Alastair would sort out his language.” Or would you think they were being deliberately obtuse?

    Dunno if it makes my point or yours but I saw Douglas Carswell on yesterday being blamed for something done “in your government” and he said “I am not in the government – I am a Conservative MP but merely part of the legislature, not the government”.

  • reaguns

    The left wing things I was reading were saying he was a chancer, inexperienced, more right wing than thatcher, style over substance etc.

    The right wing papers were saying the same except saying he was too moderate/liberal/left wing, saying he had deserted core tory voters etc. Telegraph columns I read were particularly scathing with one or two exceptions. I can’t speak for the Times as I don’t read it (cos its not free).

    All seemed in universal agreement, including Alastair that it was shocking that he couldn’t win a majority after the biggest financial crash since the 70s.

  • reaguns

    I didn’t realise that Mark Littlewood from the IEA, the one who appeared with Alastair a few weeks ago on sunday morning debate, is a lib dem!

  • reaguns

    Not in my opinion no. I believe Mr Blair’s economics are much more in lline with reality, democracy and prosperity than Mr Brown’s. I think if one of the better labour chancellors had been partnered with Mr Blair, for example Denis Healey or Roy Jenkins, then the country would be in much better shape today, probably still under a labour government.

    Most of the bad things from their time I believe were due to Mr Brown, ie tax credits etc and if you look at Mr Blair’s interview with Andrew Marr and his preferred route out of the crisis “A new labour route, not a keynesian big state route”.

    Nevertheless if one accepts that New Labour were a success, and electorally everyone must concede they were, then everyone involved must take credit, and like I mentioned earlier US republicans followed similar policies and Tories pledged to match their spending.

  • Libdem

    He also worked for Liberty reaguns, a pretty good guy!

  • Libdem

    Proportional representation is the way to go, all these ‘misappropriation’ arguments would be irrelevant. The current electoral system favours just Labour and the Tories and not the people. Sharing power must be a terrible thing for party apparatchiks but for proper people representation it’s the only way.

  • Ehtch

    C, in maths that is, not the other C Michele. : )

    But no doubt with loads of private Eton expensive time to get him there. What is a difference between a square and a circle Dave? “ummmm” he says, no doubt.

  • Gilliebc

    reaguns, please don’t think I’m ‘picking on you’ but I think I’m correct in saying that AC resigned as Blair’s press secretary/spokesman in 2003. 

  • Michele

    PR will always lead to the mish mash we have now.

    My opinion, your opinion, equal value.  Now buzz off 🙂 find a fwend.

  • Michele

     Labour ’94 was a party with at least two highly qualified people as potential successors to John Smith; the mischief of the Press made it certain the succession could not be smooth (despite all the  endeavours of people like AC).

    I don’t think TB has ever or will ever need you or your like feeling sorry for him; it’s the kind of idea you should keep to yourself to avoid any danger of readers choking (especially if they speculate on who might succeed Clegg if he stepped down …. who’d want that poisoned chalice?).

  • Michele

     As you’ve said, you don’t like GB or EB (phrased as if you meant as people), your comments are therefore not as objective as you’d like to pretend.

  • Michele

    Just got back from London Marathon and watching step-relatives who’ve raised £4k so far for their chosen causes.
    Crowd was fabulous, really cheering people on and as for the runners/walkers/participants of all sorts ……

    Also just saw AC exchanges with Ed Balls and the latter’s ” ………. sponsor my Marathon run & donate to @WhizzKidz by texting EBWK99 & amount (max £10)- eg “EBWK99 £10″ – to 70070 ……..” in aid of stammering children”.  A great cause.

  • Michele

     Quite so Gbc 🙂
    That’s when he left No10 reaguns so makes your ‘quote’ one that, if actual, I hope was made some time ago.

  • Michele

     ofgs how long do you need to go round the houses about the meanings of words?

    The ‘convo’ is about the facts, not TDorH’s perceptions. 

    You could use that ‘point’ as an excuse about anything at all.

    AC was not part of Govt, he was one of the most important parts of Labour’s machine but he was not a member of parliament or of government so stop ‘blaming’ Janiete, Miriam or myself for using English as it is spoke.

  • reaguns

    No I’m afraid unless you are in a debating society for novices you cannot shut down a debate that easily.

    I am no more or less affected by such things as anyone else.

    Why don’t you prove me wrong by listing the Tories who you like as people?

    As it happens, I’m not a big fan of Ed Balls based on what I’ve read about him, but I am not sure he is any more devious, opportunistic or backstabbing than the average politician. Its his economics I don’t like. 

    As people, I’m not a big fan of cameron, clegg or huhne because I find them patronising, Thatcher too I found gratingly patronising.

    Its not fair to say the same about Gordon Brown though, there was a time when I was one of those who thought he’d make a fine pm, better than Blair in fact, but I believe events proved me wrong.

    Anyway, lets have the evidence that you are not affected by politicians on personal or partisan reasons.

    The last 3 presidents of the united states got voted in based on their personal effect on certain groups of people.

  • reaguns

    I am merely quoting from AC’s book (at least I read it lol, AC hire some more loyal cheerleaders please!)

    The quote is word for word from the book. Was Alastair not involved from 2003-2007?

    In which case it looks like he is attacking GBs government which I doubt. He must have been involved in some capacity from 2003-2007, no?

  • reaguns

    Well we know what the man on the street thinks, I think we know what a straw poll of them would say if they were asked “was Alastair part of the government”. No wonder so many of them prefer Murdoch to Labour if this is an example of the way they are spoken to.

  • Ehtch

    How it is reported by our friends across the pond, New York Times.

    Might as well post my funniest vid from New Yawk, since they no doubt chase up the link from outside the great US, etc., maybe, republican-like, cough!,

    Anyway, Sesame Street and a brit visitor to the Big Apple, Ricky, with Elmo, one of his best mates. Karl who? – no, Steve is just a bloke I work with, see sense, would I, yes me, The Gervais, have someone like Steve as a friend, ey? see sense friend. Elmo it is, bestest mates we are. Next question…

  • Libdem

    Hit the nail on the head; two highly qualified people. Being qualified doesn’t guarantee success though does it?
    TB has appeared to have forgotten at some stage that we’re not a republic.Whereas GB, like many crown princes was simply, crap. But you know that don’t you?

  • Michele

    Must admit that from the whole lot of them, not many get to be let out and assessed.
    I do like Zac Goldsmith but after his short exploitation as a good guy he was soon sidelined.  That actually showed the professional Powerpoint man’s MO up for exactly what it is.

  • reaguns

    Liberty eh – I remember when everything I ever heard about Shami Chakrabati was negative, seeing her on question time I was expecting this illogical, excessively liberal, hug-a-hoodie type person. She was nothing of the sort. I’ve seen her loads of times since then and she hasn’t put a foot wrong. Its all been common sense.

  • Michele

     I’m sure you are the expert on members  without any  expertise (after all, Clegg epitomises it).
    It’s yellow of you to echo the right wing press whilst pretending not to be true blue; TB did more to rescue the monarchy when the Queen (like so many of us are after such a shock) had no idea how to behave post-Diana.   GB – there must be a mystic meg reason why so many other nations ALSO saved their whole infrastructures by following his example, why did you not offer your services?  Your silly nonsense does fellow yellows no favours.

    Get used to sackcloth and ashes, you’ve already admitted LDs are finished post-coalition.

  • Michele

     There you go again, pretending there’s a link to exploit between my output and Labour itself.

    Don’t do it, especially in order to make a crap cheap comparison between Murdoch and anything here.

    The fact that some people might have the wrong opinion does not make it right; get back on to parallel lines fgs (and do stop using others to excuse yourself for having/sharing/copying/adopting that wrong opinion).

  • Anonymous

    Yeah sorry libdem but I’m with Michele on this one! I think the only governments that have ever achieved anything in Britain have been left wing or right wing ones, with a clear mandate. Centrist consensus has never worked.

  • Anonymous

    To end this, by going back to the beginning. I said something like “when AC was in govt” and got jumped on for semantics. I pointed out that to the lay person (me) he was part of government, and only a politically motivated pedant can say different. AC made a similar statement to mine in his book. Best of all, I had been making a wider point but neither Miriam or anyone else could disagree with that just the semantics. Ie when I said “When AC was in the labour government they ate babies at cabinet meetings.” And the response was “he wasn’t in that government!” Oh pardon me!

    What I should have done is quote AC’s sentence as if it were my own. Would you Miriam and Janiete have disagreed with it? If you could show the same humility and intellectual honesty as I do, you would have to admit that you would have. I won’t hold my breath.

  • Libdem

    Swing, that’s all that happens unless of course we insist that they’re all the same with a few exceptions. 

    Neither of the two main parties can claim to have a mandate when each has less than 40% of the vote reaguns.

    All of this is about maintaining a 2 party system and then subsequently having a government that represents a minority.

    I’d go for a compromise any day than be foisted with the likes of GB as PM.

  • Michele

     I’m returning to this somewhat belatedly so am not sure you’ll see/find it.
    As it happens I do like a couple of Tory MPs who make me laugh: Mr Bone and Mr Rees-Mogg. 
    I like those two despite what I suspect their policies are; you dislike two (or more?) Labour people’s policies because you dislike them as people.


    I posted the other day about Ed Balls’ link to a charity for / in aid of children who stammer, which habit is his own handicap in HoC. 
    It’s noticeable that he is always more confident and less prone to stammering when in TV interviews than when in HoC/PMQs. 
    It’s painful to see the effect that Nadine’s  ‘posh boys’ have there, compared to the ‘fairness’ required in TV conversations. 
    I realise it’s not something that can be cured by clipping them posh boys themselves, by giving them any chance to whinge about  feeling  castrated by losing what they deemed the status of (and usefulness of) Bulli-dom.
    What’s awfully awfully sad about all this is that these people weren’t born as such snobs, they can’t help that it’s what they became …. one has to feel pwoud and show it if one’s mummy was a magistrate dealing with protestors, especially when one is having to deal with the likes of Ms Harman (someone with a similar familial background to oneself but who has stepped away from it).

  • reaguns

    Saw it! Out of space. Don’t think its fair, I can give plenty of examples but only ones with 4 letter names here!

  • Michele

    ………. intellectually honest …….

    Ye gods, you exploit words like ‘slavery’ and ‘Nazi’ all over the place.  Get real (and especially have some regard for when something was written / worded – not the same as when published btw).

  • Anonymous

    I was being slightly tongue in cheek / provocative there! Only slightly…