Monday, April 21, 2008

Ferrets in a sack fighting? Or is that Canaries refusing to sing?

Nick Robinson at the BBC - spot on sir...

Canaries, you no doubt recall, used to be taken down pits to detect noxious gases. If the miners' yellow long feathered friends so much as twitched, trouble lay ahead. If they fell off their perches and dropped to the bottom of their cage, the miners knew they were done for if they didn't get out fast.
The Labour Party now has its own canaries who work in a somewhat different way to those in the mines. To test the health of the party you look at how and whether they can survive together. The odd squabble and pulling out of feathers, means everything's OK. If, however, they peck each other to death, the party looks doomed.
Given the behaviour of Labour's canaries over the last few days, the party ought to be worried.
The canaries in question are:
The backbench MP who has described the 10p tax revolt as his party's "poll tax moment" - Ian Gibson.
The minister who's warned about the "indulgent nonsense" of "private briefings against the Labour leader" - Ed Balls.
And the former minister who, in today's Times, warns Balls that his actions "take us back to the days of faction fighting and party-within-a-party that were so damaging in the 1980s" - Charles Clarke.
Why do I pick out these three? Because, despite their differences, they can often be found together watching their favourite football team, Norwich City - known to its fans as the Canaries. I, for one, will be watching hard in the next few days to see whether they can bring themselves to behave as if they're on the same side.

Monday, April 14, 2008

So I was right after all...

Last August I wrote this on my blog...

"Back and it's about time...
Well it's been nearly 6 weeks since I last updated my blog and in that time GB has roared past David Camera On leading him by over 10 points.Well that is something I wasn't expecting nor was his expert handling of terrorist attacks, massive flooding and returning foot and mouth. I stand corrected Mr Brown you've surprised me absolutely.Good job GB."

I stand corrected huh! Should have gone with my gut instinct after all, what is interesting is to watch politicans on the Labour benches who had been desperate to rid the country of Blair now squirm when faced witht the disappointment of Brown. It may a local Swansea Candidate or even Diane Abbot on This Week, but there is no denying that the predicitons from the Blairites amongst us are coming to pass. Ironic that the Blairites are now the politicos defending Blair against the rest of the party and electorate.

Jamie Angus summed it up a couple of weeks ago when he said "This is going exactly as I expected and predicted".
The backroom boy who couldn't be PM. Por old Brown.

Locally however we are plugging away at the Lib-Dems in Swansea, I think we increase our vote in Townhill - if there is any justice as we are working the ward hard. It's difficult to predict elsewhere we may steal a couple in Uplands (they're certainly working hard) and maybe a couple in Cockett **

A stressful time again but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.

** I may amend that on May 2nd with some other thoughts

He goes down.......

In a weekend that has seen the polls plummet for our Great Leader; Nick Robinson over at the Beeb has some thoughtful comments about the political market place.
Are we facing an economic crisis as big and severe as the Great Depression of 1929? I doubt it but then I'm not the PM who is resting his entire political fortune on that prediction...

Sell. Sell Browns. Sell them now. The message coming from the political trading floor couldn't be clearer. Shares in the prime minister are falling about as fast as shares once did in Northern Rock.
Staff working for Brown and Company are said to be revolting - ministers are reported to have been threatening to punch one another, MPs to have defied the boss to his face and his own team don't get along. That new man in PR - Carter's the name - has been upsetting the old guard who don't like who he's hired and fired and don't know what on earth he knows about their business anyway.

What's more, the shareholders - for the purpose of this extended metaphor, that's you and me - are soon to get a chance to vote on how things are going (at least you are if you live in the large parts of England and all of Wales where there are soon to be local elections). In the political marketplace, the results have already been discounted. Thus, the buyers and sellers of political fortunes have already begun to discuss what will happen WHEN not IF Labour loses. And thus, the papers are already filling with talk of stalking horses and runners and riders for a leadership race which has not and, almost certainly will not, begin.

This frenzy of gossip and speculation in the political marketplace is, of course, being driven by the mood in the REAL marketplace which is reeling from what's now officially described as "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression'. The gloomier the economic news has become, the more Brown's ratings have slid and the more the talk of a crisis for him has grown.
And how has he responded? With a massive gamble. Gordon Brown is betting his house - or at least the one he currently occupies at No 10 - on his belief that things aren't as bad as they seem or as many predict they will be. As evidence, he points to last week's little reported prediction by the IMF that even though economic growth will slow in Britain, it will be higher than in all the other industrialised economies. He believes that there's time between now and the next time voters get to choose a government to be proved right and that those who've gambled on bust following boom will, once again, be proved wrong.

And, who knows, he may well be right but he may, also, be too late. For in the political world, just as in the financial, markets can take on a life of their own. Or, as one senior cabinet figure put it to me, "the danger we face is that we are just too damaged to recover". Even Gordon Brown's own allies are now restlessly waiting for him to do something to halt the slide. Imminent and avoidable rows on scrapping the 10p tax rate and extending detention without trial to 42 days will hardly help. They will not wait for ever.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lax blogger = thoughtful politico

My blogging continues to be lax, I note it has been nearly to months since I was last writing about my life. The pressure on me regarding the local elections is tremendous, I find it both frustrating and equally satisfying. I do no doubt work best when I'm under pressure to deliver.

I haven't for a while mentioned the Baggies who are still in contention for both the F.A. Cup and promotion we'll see how long that lasts, and Secret Invasion kicks off tomorrow which I'm jazzed about.

In Swansea it's an interesting prospect regarding the local elections. I think we'll hold Townhill and Castle, we may take a seat or two in Cockett (although my gut disagrees), as for Uplands that is impossible to tell from the amount of work both sides are now putting in. P.M is out for himself and that may help as he marginalises the others in his output.

I think the Tories may benefit in Sketty as much of the Liberal Vote is soft - May 1st 11pm onwards will certainly be an exciting time.

One last quick mention to my fave movie at the moment, 'There Will Be Blood' is just superb Daniel Day-Lewis is deservedly the Oscar winner of a powerful masterpiece has to be seen to be believed...