Northernheckler's Blog

A Yorkshireman's adventures in the big Smoke

Can we win it ? Yes we can !

If you read the press and internet media at the moment you might be fooled into thinking that Labour haven’t got much of a prayer in Thursday’s election.This BBC report  BBC News – Election 2010: Party leaders step up campaigning shows the papers lining up behind the Tories for the most part , and for a change a few – notably the Guardian backing the Lib-Dems. Only the Mirror remains loyal to Labour. The more openly pro-Tory outlets –  notably the Telegraph now crowing about the probability of David Cameron being PM come Thursday and smugly touting his divine right to be just that David Cameron: born to be prime minister – Telegraph

So I say – don’t you believe it. There’s never been much press support for Labour – and what there has has been largely done in order to gain readers – notably in the Sun. The Guardian has been more Labour friendly – but certainly no sycophant campaigner for the party, and I am sure will continue to print articles both supportive and critical of broadly left wing politics (including the Lib-Dems) – I won’t be boycotting it any more than I’ll be stopping talking to friends who vote differently to the way I do – they’re entitled to their opinion.

The real danger from the media to Labour though would appear to be led by Rupert Murdoch (apparently in concert with other news outlets) who now appear to be openly campaigning, rather than making any pretext of reporting balanced news.

There’ll be some who believe it – maybe they’ll go and vote Conservative.

There’ll also be many who, like me, will simply switch off their ears and eyes to their barrage of attacks on the Labour Party. To paraphrase the words of Alistair Campbell said last week – I don’t give a damn about your polls or biased reporting.

Let’s have quick look though at one of the things that does get reported a great deal : Opinion Polls

According to UK Polling Report the latest opinion polls over the last few days show the Tories’ lead over Labour to be variously 7% ,7%, 9% ,6% ,7% ,12%, 8% , 7%, 10%, 5%,6%

Such bad, bad news for Labour – It must be true I read it in the Daily Mail.

So what can I do ?

I could whinge on about reliability and comparing like with like and sample size, and misleading margins of error – blah, blah.

Or I could do what Sky news want me to and get all depressed about them and give up the will to support Labour

Or … I could look back to  my post All to fight for in the General Election « Northernheckler’s Blog on the 24th of January when Labour supporters were virtually dancing in the streets after a supposedly “rogue” poll gave the Conservatives a lead of only 9%.

Well clearly Labour is polling a lot better than that in most polls now.

Throw in to the bargain the reported rise in Lib Dem popularity – the Tory lead over them in the above polls is as low as 2% in some – which may or may not benefit Labour or Conservative, but certainly makes everything that little bit less predictable.

And lets not forget either the video I embedded in that post of Neil Kinnock appearing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on the eve of the 92 election, which even John Major thought he’d lost (He won ! )

So I ask myself  “Can we win this election for Labour ?” – and just looking at the difference between January and now, my answer has to be :

“Yes we can !”


May 3, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010, politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

Poll position

Seems that the latest opinion polls are the next big thing in the election campaign.

I’m not so sure if I’m honest, We’ve seen a lot of widely different ‘exit polls’ after the “Leaders debate” – seemingly working every permutation of who came in 1st, 2nd or 3rd using apparently the same data source (You ! , the public !), and polls which have been published incorrectly then retracted and “nationalised” based on local samples. And the Mail on Sunday now seem to using someone called  BPIX to do their polls – who ever they are.

It does make me wonder whether they’re going round getting lots of different polls done and just publishing the ones which make most impact. Certainly Sky News seemed to run about 4 different versions of their after debate poll on Thursday night, presumably because the real results didn’t say what they wanted.

Despite this though, I’m  not dismissive of them. If these were favouring Gordon Brown rather than Nick Clegg, I’d be tweeting from the rooftops with the rest of the Labour twibe. So let’s take them at face value – even if they aren’t necessarily all that reliable.

The most sensational of these polls seems to place the Lib Dems as front runners in first place, with Labour in 3rd. As various commentators have pointed out (and sorry for the lack of links tonight – I don’t have the time !) – this could lead to the bizarre situation where Labour ended up as the largest party in parliament, with the fewest number of actual votes; and perhaps the Lib Dems with the fewest seats, and the largest share of the votes.

Will this be the turning point where the Lib Dems finally come of electoral age and seize power ? Or will it be (as Iain Dale has said on his blog) – David Cameron’s Wobbly weekend ?

Well I’m not sure – but I will say this – These polls would certainly appear to have woken the public up, and all of the parties. Last year when we had the Euro elections, the polls looked bad for Labour – not much better for the Lib Dems, and we had a frustratingly predictable low turnout bad news election.

The political geeks (like me)  have done their best to liven things up since then – there’ve been better polls for Labour, and lots of games with posters and stuff. Still – until last week – none of it was really catching the wider public interest.

But now it is. Now we’ll see who can run an election campaign.

The polls don’t show what WILL happen. They show that anything CAN happen.

The turnout at the last election was 61.5 % – imagine if just half of the remaining 38.5% decided to vote this time round.

Anything really COULD happen.

So what I’m taking from these polls is this : It really is  #GameOn !


UPDATE : Just came across this blog on the Sky polling after the ‘Leadership Debate’ – it’s a beauty. Respect to Loveandgarbage ! : Leadership debate – pie in the Sky

April 17, 2010 Posted by | Election 2010, news, politics, twitter | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When does politics ever really engage the public ?

As it appears the election will finally be called tomorrow, and the media will be overloading us all with political stories for the next month or so, I’m wondering just how engaged the general public – as opposed to the kind of people like you and me – who write and read political blogs – really ever are about politics.

Clearly some of them always are, and lots of them sometimes are. If politicians could only get their heads around why and when they are, and perhaps just as importantly – why and when they’re not, then we’d have a very different political landscape

One of the recent big events politically on television would appear on the face of it, to have been Channel 4’s “Ask the Chancellors” Televised Debate Ask the Chancellors – 4oD – Channel 4 – featuring real Chancellor Alistair Darling, Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, and for the Lib Dems, the man described as the Hung Chancellor, Vince Cable.

It certainly lit up the world of Twitter, and would appear to have been judged a success in terms of people voting on the C4 website and the trending topics on Social networking sites Ask the Chancellors: a success for Channel 4 – Telegraph Blogs , but did it really capture the public imagination ?

Certainly with estimated viewing figures of just 1.7 Million it would seem that it did not. Compare this with the audience of over 8 Million for B N P leader Nick Griffin on Question Time BBC celebrates record ratings for Nick Griffin on Question Time – Times Online . What was it about that programme, which fired up the public so much more for a late night programme featuring a minority group politician, than for a peak time “Big guns” debate ?

When I went into to work the day after the Question Time with Nick Griffin, the whole place was buzzing with talk about the programme – even those who hadn’t seen it, were talking about it.

After the “chancellors”, not a murmur. This despite the economy being probably the key political issue of the day. So why aren’t people interested ?

For me these are difficult questions to answer. What makes it difficult for me peronally, is that, when all said and done I have to confess to being a bit of a political geek. The fact that you’re reading my blog probably indicates that you are too. People like us, look at politics news, and usually see every nuance of every development, and turn it over in our mind, trying to work out what effect it will have on public opinion – our moods soaring with every stirring speech from our chosen parties, and dropping into the slough of despond with each embarrassing faux pas. It’s not easy for people like us to understand the workings of the minds of people like my Mum, who at 72 reads the Daily Mail every day, but claims she only does the crossword, and never reads the articles.

As a ‘political geek’ I’m someone who is often involved in on-line claim and counter-claim regarding political minutiae, and so I wasn’t entirely surprised a couple of weeks ago to be challenged (via Twitter of course) by  independent candidate for Luton, and well known purveyor of oddly shaped vegetables Esther Rantzen (Esther4Luton) to watch Channel 4’s Dispatches programme regarding allegations concerning Labour politicians involved in unsavoury activity regarding payment from parliamentary lobbyists. Allegations which I was vociferously sceptical of, prior to seeing the programme.

It was an odd time for me as I was unusually not able to indulge my usual passion for all things politically newsworthy, and spent the best part of a week not really tuning in to Twitter, or the news, or any of my normal sources of information. I didn’t actually ever get to see the programme itself fully either. Instead I just got the background chatter from people I work with, the glimpses of other peoples newspapers on the train. In short I got the man in the street’s version of politics – not the politics wonk’s version. I have to say that the revelations about Stephen Buyers, Patrica Hewitt, Geoff Hoon, and Margaret Moran didn’t register on my radar at all, and when I came to catch up with this at the end of the week, it would appear that Labour’s reaction, had been to condemn the four out of hand, and more or less say – well we wanted rid of them anyway, it’s no big deal. Simples ! as those meerkats annoyingly say.

Except, to be fair to Esther Rantzen, I think she had both me and them bang to rights (I’m talking like Gene Hunt now – I’ll have to watch out). I couldn’t see any saving graces here, and none were offered by the party as far as I can see. The actions of these MPs appear to have been despicable and dishonourable.  In other circumstances this could have been very damaging indeed to the Government, and to the Labour Party, and yet – somehow – it hasn’t been.

That’s not to say there hasn’t been inch after column inch of coverage of it in all the papers Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon suspended over lobbying allegations – Telegraph . It’s not to say that the opponents of Labour out there in the blogosphere and twittersphere, haven’t gone ballistic over it. But if you ask someone who’s not a political blogger, someone perhaps who thinks Facebook is for looking at their niece’s wedding pictures, and for playing Farmville, ask them what they think about the lobbying allegations; then they’ll more than likely just look blankly at you. Geoff Hoon ? Geoff Who he ?

I don’t understand this. Sometimes the public really do get worked up about political stuff. Remember the #ILoveTheNHS hashtag ? the storm that was created when right wing Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan described the NHS as 60 year mistake ? It was huge. It was on all the newspapers, everybody heard about it, and it just grew out of nothing.

Completely spontaneously.

Except that it didn’t really – it had rumbled on for months with John Prescott amongst others, trying his best to make a story out of this, plugging YouTube videos of Hannan  – all to no avail. The story would not run. But then it did. It ran and ran and ran.

I don’t understand it – and for once I’m not offering any answers – just asking the questions. When does politics ever really engage the public ? and Why ?

Maybe we’ll find out over the next few weeks.

April 5, 2010 Posted by | blogs, economy, politics, twitter | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

David Cameron ? He’s losing it more & more each day

I blogged last week first on Monday Cameron is losing it , then on Tuesday Yes, Dave IS losing it ! about how David Cameron appeared to be having a big wobble in his election campaign (and I also remember saying that William Hague’s words on Andrew Marr’s programme would come back to haunt him “He does not wobble. He’s not a man who wobbles. And nor do the rest of us sitting around him.”)

So was it a wobble – or the fore-runner of things to come ?

Well it seems DC and the Tories just can’t help walking into trouble – this morning a new inept poster campaign : Cameron launches “Never voted Tory before” campaign which the Tories are so convinced will be a devastating win for them, that they’re making it difficult for anyone to get access to high-res images of the posters.( No running scared there then eh ? ). I guess someone over at www.mydavidcameron.com will sort that out. (  I’ve never voted Tory… )

Just how badly can they run an election campaign ? Do they never learn ? Well I hope not  – this is another absolute gift to Labour.

And then adding stupidity to incompetence we also get the announcement that David Cameron wants to give all public employees the right to set up co-operatives to run the services.  Well this didn’t go down well last time Divi Dave (see this Facebook group Is Divi Dave the poshest pioneer ? – set up in 2007) and it won’t this time. If you want to find out about co-operatives David, I suggest you join The Co-operative Party.

You're not hurting me !

All this flailing around wildly throwing “killer” blows against the Labour Party, does sort of remind me of that other titanic struggle – the Rumble in the Jungle. Younger readers may not recall that this was a boxing match between Muhammed Ali, and the younger, supposedly more powerful George Foreman who rained in blow after blow against Ali – before Ali moved his hands from his face – somewhere around Round 7  – to announce “You’re not hurting me !”,  and then proceeded to knock out the exhausted Foreman out in Round 8.

The technique became known as Rope-a-Dope .

No prizes for guessing who I think the Dope is  here !

Jelly on a plate, Jelly on a plate, wibble wobble, wibble wobble, Jelly on a plate

February 15, 2010 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tories miss the point !

I wake to the news of the Conservative party’s latest blunder BBC News – Tories criticised over teenage pregnancy figure error

In a nutshell, the Tories have published a 20 page report, which contains a statistic for teenage pregnancy in the 10 most deprived areas of Britain. The figure is based on Government statistics showing 54 pregnancies per 1000 people.

This is expressed as a per-centage : 54%

To those of us lucky enough to have had a state education, and not learned our Mathematics at Eton, it’s clear that this should be 5.4%

A mere error with a decimal point says a Conservative spokesman

“It makes no difference at all to the conclusions of a wide-ranging report which shows that Labour have consistently let down the poorest in Britain.”

Well it really should Mr Cameron !

As it stands the publication makes a claim that there has been an 800% rise in teenage pregnancies in those areas; when in fact – according to the figures on which they have based their maths, and presumably accept, there has been a fall of 10%.

I really should make a huge difference.

This will be covered all over the net today so I’m not going to spend time dissecting this.

It does remind me though of the Tories’ propensity for shooting themselves in the foot whenever they get the opportunity to make political headway. Long may it last.

I just hope they don’t get the chance to make this kind of error in Government.

That’s why I’m voting Labour !


February 15, 2010 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yes, Dave IS losing it !

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s so called ‘withering’ attack (perhaps withered might be more apt) on Gordon Brown over MPs’ expenses (see my post yesterday : Cameron is losing it ) today the top Tory launches a poster campaign (OK these days poster campaigns tend to just get wheeled round on the side of a lorry for a while – but they get a lot of press coverage).

Just feast your eyes on this :

tory death tax poster

The Tories latest election poster

It’s difficult to count all the ways in which this so spectacularly fails to hit home. Let me try though :

1. Health Secretary Andy Burnham has categorically denied any plan to introduce such a tax :

“The Guardian’s story suggests a £20,000 flat levy and I am not currently considering that as a lead option for reform,” he said.

“That figure was used in the green paper last year, but I do not believe a flat levy of that kind would be the right way to go. So I can say to you very categorically today that is not what we are considering.”

(Source : Brown’s ‘death tax’ denied )

2. He denied it after the Guardian article which he refers to (Inheritance levy to fund social care being considered by ministers) but before the poster was unveiled – The Tories knew it was a lie before it even hit the streets –  so they’ll be accused of lying, and also not knowing what the Government’s plans are.

3. The Conservatives are in no position to draw attention to plans on inheritance tax. My post in November Just who would benefit from Cameron’s Tax cuts ? drew attention to Labour’s position re. the Conservatives’ plans pointing out that only those with estates of more than £700,000 would benefit from those plans.

4. Not only does drawing attention to Inheritance Tax reveal the unfairness of their own plans, it also reminds the public of one of David Cameron’s more spectacular trashings in PMQ’s by Gordon Brown – when GB came out with the taunt that

‘Cameron and Osborne “will know by name” almost all of the people who will benefit from these measures – and adding  “Is this what the Conservatives mean when they say ‘we’re all in this together?’

5. The poster comes on the back of the Tories’ previous disastrous own goal poster which showed an airbrushed David Cameron, and launched a whole cottage industry of edited versions of the poster – it’s hardly likely to suffer a better fate – replacing as it does, the smooth forehead of David Cameron with the smooth stone slab of a grave stone. Will it be a good swap we wonder ? – I’d imagine there’ll be alternative versions of this on the net before midnight – perhaps here : http://www.mydavidcameron.com/ . Expect Zombies !

6. The phrase “death tax” is lifted straight out of the vocabulary of right wing American politicians – and specifically conjures up the ‘Death Panels’ talked of by right wing American politician  Sarah Palin – a figure of ridicule in the UK. The expression was used in attacks on President Barack Obama’s plans to introduce universal health care in the USA, and alongside criticism of the UK’s National Health Service  – this serves to remind the UK public, not just of the opposition by some Tories to the very idea of the NHS – but specifically of the maverick extremist Daniel Hannan, who claimed that the NHS was a “60 Year Mistake” on American TV , who stands by his pronouncements, and who has not been reprimanded in any way by David Cameron, despite his claims to support the NHS. ( See my post Daniel Hannan’s outpourings on the NHS – Will Cameron slap him down ? ) – raising fears of both the Tories’ lack of commitment to the NHS, and David Cameron’s inability to control the lunatic fringe (or is it the mainstream ?) of his party.

The whole Daniel Hannan episode of course sparked the massive #WeLoveTheNHS Twitter campaign, massively embarassing for the Conservatives, and which perhaps can be seen as a turning point in the fortunes of Gordon Brown’s government.

7. And finally … It’s just not all that funny. Surely they can do better than this.

So once again I say that David Cameron is losing it – losing the plot, losing the argument – and increasingly he’s losing the election campaign.

February 9, 2010 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

All to fight for in the General Election

I read this piece on the Tory Radio blog last night : Labour giving up on being able to form a majority , produced in response to what editor Jonathon Sheppard (I’m assuming it’s him) called a “Labour reaction of glee” to the news that the newly published ComRes Poll in the Sunday Mirror : POLL EXCLUSIVE: David Cameron’s down again , was predicted to lead to a hung parliament, with the Conservatives 5 seats shy of a majority, in the next general election (Predictions from polls are hit & miss affairs by the way – but lots of fun – try Electoral Calculus to have a play around with some figures).

Well although I found the tone of the article to be childish and sneering, one does have to ask – why get so excited about the prospect of scraping a near draw ?

I feel that there are two reasons – and I look to the example of Tory ex-Prime Minister John Major for both.

John fought two general elections as Prime Minister. Let’s take the later one – the one where he was defeated – first. Major’s position before and as a result of that election, represents the doomsday scenario for any political party. Unpopular as his government had become, as the election loomed it became more and more difficult to salvage anything for his party. Like an aeroplane in free-fall, there came a point where it was impossible to pull out of the dive, and all that he could do was wait for the crash. When it came it provided Labour with possibly their most staggering victory ever – winning seats in places which had hitherto been considered untouchable.

Back last year at the time of the European elections, that was a scenario being painted by many for Labour – in third place in many areas, losing ground to fringe parties as well as established ones with cabinet ministers bickering in the wings trying to unseat the leader.

There’s another lesson from John Major though – from the 1992 election – which he won.

John Major’s Government was also unpopular then, and he was facing a slick election campaign from Labour’s Prime Minister in waiting Neil Kinnock. Neil Kinnock you may remember even managed to have the celebration before he’d won the election so sure was he of the forthcoming victory

There’s so many things in that short clip that provide echos of today’s situation – the Opposition cheered by the opinion polls, sure that the Government can’t win, but not yet sure that they can – according to the polls – but brimming with confidence, and sure that the Prime Minister is a “Box Office Disaster” to use John Smith’s words.

We know what happened – Kinnock blew the election – or was it the other way round ? I actually felt that John Major won it – he did his homework, he worked hard, and although even most of the Conservative Party didn’t really believe him until the votes were counted, he successfully delivered the goods – much to my own disappointment ( “At least he’s not Margaret Thatcher !” was my dejected thought the morning after ).

So which will it be for Labour ? Major’s 1997 Meltdown, or Major’s 1992 Rope-a-Dope ?

Back last Spring, the harbingers of doom were fairly sure of the Meltdown – but since then things have changed. In council by elections for instance there’s been no big evaporation of the Labour position. Gordon Brown, has become more vociferous and successful in his spoken comments – making Cameron look a charlie in many of the recent PMQ’s for instance.

There’ve also been a few embarrassments for the Tories as well – Cameron’s handling (or lack of handling) of anti-nhs extreme right wingers in his party such as Daniel Hannan has not gone down well publicly.

The traditional Tory press for some reason, also seem to take a delight in having a side-swipe at David Cameron, even whilst trying to rally the troops : see this in the Telegraph earlier this week  David Cameron’s Tories are a one-man band that’s playing out of tune

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that there aren’t still big, big difficiculties for Labour – just that the crash landing is not inevitable – we seem to have pulled out of the dive.

Admittedly Labour could have done without Hoon & Hewitt’s shennanigins regarding leadership challenges – but the episode does seem to have galvanised unity within the party  – for the time being at any rate.

So this opinion poll shows that yes there could be a hung parliament. Margins of error taken into account it probably also shows that the Tories could have a very small majority, or that their simple majority might be even smaller. When all’s said and done it’s just another poll – and they can be misleading as we know.

It does though, suggest that the total meltdown isn’t happening. Which suggests to me that Gordon Brown’s election may well be more similar to John Major’s more successful campaign in 1992 than to his disaster in 1997.

I think it’s this that the Labour faithful are taking heart with – because the poll hints at lessons from history which show that there is all to fight for in this election and that a Labour majority is by no means out of the question.

When you look at those airbrushed posters of David Cameron smugly looking out at you – who does it remind you of ? Tony Blair ? Margaret Thatcher ? No – for me it’s Neil Kinnock – having his party early – just as Cameron is.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over , and I’m Voting Labour !

January 24, 2010 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Who loves the NHS ? Is it true ?

[ UPDATE : This article now re-posted at House of Twits : Front Bench Blogs Many thanks ! ]

Sorry but I just can not resist posting this about David Cameron’s reported meeting with the radical nursing group Nurses for Reform

It is reported in the Telegraph : David Cameron meets NHS privatisation campaigners , with the by line :  “ David Cameron has met a health care pressure group that advocates full privatisation of the National Health Service – a meeting that could infuriate doctors and nurses.” ; that he met with the group two weeks ago.

Certainly the group themselves are full of this – the article  David Cameron seeks policy ideas from NFR appears on their website, and neither do they make any bones about their support for dismantling the National Health Service, in this article on the Adam Smith Institute website The micro-politics of hospital privatisation .

It’s on their own site though that I spot the most flabbergasting statements About Nurses for Reform

“NFR rejects bland egalitarianism in favour of competition. And it believes in people – not politics.”

All of which leads me to believe that Mr Cameron has once again been upstaged by the right wing of his party – and this time it’s not recognised fringe mavericks like Daniel Hannan doing the NHS down – no this time it’s cuddly Dave himself, in what I would guess will prove to be a huge embarrassment to the Conservative party.

Of course I’m not alone in thinking that, the Telegraph article itself does point out similar concerns :

“His decision to meet the radical group, which calls the NHS a “dystopian, Soviet-style calamity”, will be seen as foolhardy after the painstaking efforts he has made to reassure voters that the NHS is safe in Tory hands. The meeting risks reigniting the row which exploded four months ago when Mr Cameron was forced to distance himself from a leading Tory MEP who suggested that the NHS was a “mistake”. “

The Telegraph remember, is rather more well disposed towards the Conservative party than I am. The article also says …

“the meeting is bound to be exploited by Labour ministers in the run-up to the election. Nurses For Reform, by its own admission, is the most extreme pressure group calling for NHS privatisation in Britain. On its website it denounces the NHS as a “Soviet” organisation which must be dismantled.”

Is it just me or does David Cameron look exceptionally embarassed ?

(This image is contained on the Nurses for Reform website – it may not embed correctly – please visit the site at http://www.nursesforreformblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Cameron-300×225.jpg  to see the original in context )

December 30, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I tell them “I’m voting Labour”

I tell them “I’m voting Labour”

There was some celebration amongst the Labour Twitterati last Saturday evening / Sunday morning after the latest poll showed a narrowing of the Conservative lead.

Whilst Tories and the more sensible Labour people will point out that sometimes you get a rogue poll, and that one poll certainly is certainly no reliable indicator of election outcomes, it was at least encouraging to have even a rogue poll going more in Labour’s direction – and I’d have to say that this one felt more in tune with what I’ve encountered talking to non-political friends and colleagues at home and at work.

Some time ago I blogged about the way that the polls didn’t seem to be reflecting the mood which I was encountering (The bitterest Poll ?) – and I’m prompted once again to comment on opinions encountered in day to day life – but perhaps a bit more positively this time :

I’ve noticed in many conversations over the past months people throwing into conversations things like “Well when the Conservatives get in this will all change” or “Of course there’s no telling what a Tory government will do” – this from people who aren’t especially politically minded – but lead you to believe that much as they don’t particularly want it – the Consevative victory at the General Election is inevitable.  My response, sadly was to shrug and sigh.

But since that last blog I’ve noticed a subtle difference. People haven’t been saying  “When the Conservatives get in” they’re now saying “Of course we’ll probably have a Conservative government by then” – Probably – not definitely.

Which has prompted me to make a different response. Now if I hear something like that I challenge it – I say “Not if I have anything to do with it !” or “They’ll only be elected if we vote for them” and most of all I say “I’m voting Labour !”

The effect of this is quite dramatic. I find it gives the outsiders in the conversation the courage to speak up. Instead of just nodding and accepting the received wisdom, instead they express how they’re not sure about the conservatives, they discuss their worries about the election, and quite a lot of them – certainly more than you’d imagine from looking at opinion polls or reading the Sun –  say “I’m voting Labour too !”.

So my thought for the day. If you get caught in a conversation with friends, or work colleagues, or even total strangers about politics and people make comments that suggests that the election is a foregone conclusion, – don’t accept it !

Challenge it – tell them it’s not a foregone conclusion. Tell them anyone can win the election.

Tell them that the election will only be a foregone conclusion if people don’t think about who they’re voting for.

Tell them every vote counts.

And tell them “I’m voting  Labour  !”

Because if you don’t tell them, who will ?

November 28, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , | 8 Comments

Are you smarter than a 16 year old ?

I loved this video of Ed Balls in parliament haranguing the opposition, and couldn’t resist sharing.

Courtesy of Sky News’s Cheryl Smith and brought to my attention by the man himself @EdBallsMP via Twitter.

Enjoy

(If you can’t see the video could you send a comment please ? – I’ve had trouble embedding in the past)

November 19, 2009 Posted by | education, politics | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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