Tag Archives: andrew rawnsley

Listen to Paddy in conversation with Andrew Rawnsley

If you’re heading to Oldham, or elsewhere out on the campaign trail, you might want to download this wee gem from the Guardian. Just imagine being out in the cold with a bundle of leaflets with Paddy’s ruminations on life, the universe, and everything helping you on your way.

It’s perfect delivery round length, at around one and a half hours’ long.

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Andrew Rawnsley: “The real reasons why Nick threw down the gauntlet to Nigel”

Andrew Rawnsley has made some interesting comments in today’s Observer on Nick Clegg’s debate challenge to Nigel Farage.

He makes the obligatory point that the party’s poor position in the polls and concern over the consequences of a bad result for Clegg’s leadership  but makes the point that it only takes a relatively small shift to protect the position of Liberal Democrat MEPs.

Senior Lib Dems privately confide that their goal is quite modest: to lift their vote share by three to four points above their current poll ratings. When you are bumping along at low levels of support, just a

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Andrew Rawnsley on the Lib-Lab flirtation that could yet get serious

Well worth reading Andrew Rawnsley’s column in today’s Observer – Labour is blowing kisses at the Lib Dems. But don’t buy a hat yet – taking a look at Lib-Lab relations in the light of Ed Balls’ much commented on chumminess with Nick Clegg.

He rehearses two points familiar to readers here. First, that almost all Labour’s policy announcements in the past year (it’s not a long list) are in tune with existing Lib Dem policy: reducing taxes for the low-paid, a mansion tax and ending wealthy pensioners’ benefits are just three of the ideas that started with …

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Miliband vs McCluskey: 2 points that strike me about the Labour/Unite row over alleged candidate selection rigging

Looking in from the outside, albeit as a former Labour member myself, two points strike me about the Labour/Unite row over the alleged attempt by the union to rig the selection of the party’s general election candidate in Falkirk.

The first is this:

How lucky is Ed Miliband in his opponent, Len McCluskey?

Yes, you read that right. Ed is lucky in Len. The reason why is simple: Len McCluskey has gone about his attempted putsch of Labour in an extraordinarily cack-handed manner.

If you wanted to set up a comedy caricature trade union boss, you’d make sure he had a salary of £122,000, had called for a general strike, have him make threats against prominent Labour ‘Blairites’, and then protest against the lefty New Statesman when it reports accurately what you’ve said.

If you wanted to be a smart trade union leader, however, you’d operate below-the-radar. You’d do things just the same: ensure your chosen candidate was elected Labour leader (however dubiously), line up your mate to head up the party’s election campaigns, and guarantee loyal union members are installed in as many key seats as possible.

But you’d do so sotto voce.

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Your essential weekend reader — my personal pick of the week’s must-reads

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from all those I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Political predictions: as the year ends, what does 2013 hold for the main party leaders? – Andrew Rawnsley sanely assesses the 12 months to come: ‘Nick Clegg and David Cameron face more of the same. Ed Miliband’s future is more complicated. He has choices.’

No longer the dunce – Anne McElvoy whispers the …

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David Cameron’s a hostage to his party and the right-wing press. Thank goodness for Nick Clegg

The shockwaves from David Cameron’s decision to reject the proposed ‘Merkozy’ EU treaty is still shaking politics. The UK stands isolated from the other 26 member states. Tory Eurosceptics and, early polls suggest, a majority of the British public think the Prime Minister has played a blinder, ‘sticking up for Britain’.

This is difficult territory for the Lib Dems. Our October survey of party members suggested a more Eurosceptical attitude than traditionally associated with the party, with 51% rejecting a move towards ever closer union.

However, there is nothing more guaranteed to put up liberals’ backs than the full-throated, …

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Who are the Lib Dems ‘unconventional men (or women) whose mad ideas make us think’?

Andrew Rawnsley, writing in today’s Observer under the surprisingly un-PC title In praise of unconventional men who make us think, sticks up for those iconoclastic thinkers who challenge their parties’ conventional thinking, citing as paragons the Tories’ Steve ‘Big Society’ Hilton and Maurice ‘Blue Labour’ Glasman:

Conventional is not a description you could apply to either of these eclectic thinkers. … There are many big differences between these two men and their philosophies, but something interestingly common to them is anti-statism, a deep antagonism to bureaucracy and managerialism. … It would be a shame if either were to be silenced.

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