In a dynamic world where the problems change successful political movements evolve, and even where the problems remain similar the conditions of the day often require new solutions. The defining problem for this current parliament is finding the quickest national exit to the global financial crisis, but this blog is about the future, and europe’s evolution beyond that crisis will be what comes to define the next.
1. What is our position on British sovereignty; is it necessary or are we better served by a european collective?
2. What is our position on the sovereignty of our neighbours; a choice they must have or secondary to British interests?
This blog is amused by the latest polls for the AV referendum, especially as aggregated by political betting. We have been regaled with tales of dogs and cats, along with wonderful explanations of why it is not a good idea to let representative government to fall to the former. Its all very entertaining but it is a fantastic example of exactly why the “yes” vote is destined to lose; because it panders to the idea of a progressive-majority and ignores the fact that their are multiple ‘dog’ candidates too.
This presumption of ‘virtue’ has prevented the “yes” campaign from communicating with, and persuading, those people for whom the principle of proportionality or ‘vote-power’ simply is not a significant priority.
In a piece for the Sunday Telegraph titled; “The Tories have made success look like a train crash” Janet Daley asks a question but fails to realise the obvious answer. She notes; “Believe it or not, the welfare reforms are proceeding with remarkably little serious obstruction. The liberation of schools from political domination by local councils is positively whizzing along. And, to top it all, George Osborne’s plan to reduce the deficit as rapidly as humanly possible is now generally accepted by all authoritative bodies as sound.” She asks; “So why do we have the impression that this is a government in deep – possibly terminal – trouble?” She puzzles; “Bizarrely, politicians who shamelessly describe themselves as having learnt all their formative political lessons from Tony Blair have achieved the precise opposite of the Great Role Model.”
I think you miss the obvious Janet; why give the appearance of turbulent chaos while policy progress slides beneath the surface with the inexorability of the gulf-stream? Continue reading →
Conventional wisdom says that the Lib-Dem’s are done as a third-force in British politics, opinion polls have them down to single digits, they are vilified for back-tracking on their manifesto commitment to student top-up fees (ironically the result of the consensual coalition carve-up style of politics they advocate), and they are beginning to realise that for all the ministerial positions the thrust of the policy narrative is blue in hue. Surely the end is nigh?
This blog takes the view that things are not so bad as they appear.
The biggest news item surrounding the Armed Forces this week is the shock announcement from the Chancellor that whereas the acquisition costs of the Trident replacement were previously expected to be funded directly from the Treasury, now the £20 billion cost should be absorbed by the £36 billion defence budget. At the same time speculation from the more stridently right-wing of Conservative support is reaching a fever-pitch over the possibility of a merger between the Tories and the Liberal end of the Lib-Dem’s.
Britain has a new government and it is a Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition, the electorate has spoken, and this blog is firm in its conviction that David Cameron is delighted with the result, in fact the outcome could not have been better from his point of view. How can this be so, surely a coalition with a progressive-left party will be a disaster for Dave?
Simple, the Conservatives are fully cognizant of the mortal peril inherent in succeeding a Labour government, for while they may potter along quite happily for a decade or so if propped up by global low interest rates and low inflation, inevitably they end in a train-wreck which the Conservatives have to clean up via wildly unpopular cuts in public spending.
In the previous article in this series this blog was somewhat critical of the Lib-Dems for the apparent absence of any serious Foreign Policy, or any guiding light that would govern its direction and thus inform Lib-Dem Defence policy, but it would appear that this blog spoke too soon.
On the 30th of April Lord Wallace of Saltaire addressed the Royal United Services Institute where he outlined his party’s Defence policy in advance of a Strategic Defence Review. This is a little tardy to say the least, six days before a general election, but what does the speech tell us?
So, the Liberal Democrats, how do they see the world, how do they want to present Britain to the world, and what part do they want Britain to play in the world? This blog shall attempt to divine answers to these questions from their manifesto literature.
Think Defence have provided an excellent review of the Lib-Dems commitment to renewing the military covenant, this article however will look at their Foreign Policy vision in general, and what they will ask of Britain’s Armed Forces in particular, as stated in their “your world” portion of the manifesto.
The 2010 United Kingdom general election debates consist of a series of three leaders’ debates conducted on live television between the leaders of the three main parties contesting the 2010 United Kingdom general election. The second debate was notionally on Foreign Policy and Defence though notably light on both given its nearly two hour slot.
So, what of significance was said, did it have any merit, and who came out ahead?