Tag Archives: ryan coetzee

Ryan Coetzee to set up company to co-ordinate Yes to Europe campaign

The Financial Times reports that a cross-party group is setting up a company with the aim of co-ordinating the Yes to Europe campaign. It is being funded by Lord Sainsbury amongst others.

It seems that Will Straw is expected to take on the role of executive director. He stood as a Labour candidate in May, and is better known as the founder of the political blog Left Foot Forward. He is also the son of Jack Straw.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 22 Comments

LibLink: Ryan Coetzee: The Liberal Democrats must reunite, rebuild or remain in opposition

Ryan Coetzee has written a long article for the Guardian in which he analyses our election defeat and looks to the future.

He looked at the three fronts of the electoral battlefield, Scotland, Labour-facing and Tory facing seats. He looked at the Tories’ fear tactics throughout the campaign:

About four weeks from election day it became clear that The Fear was hurting us. We tried everything we could to counter it: fear of a Tory minority government in hock to its own right wing, Ukip and the DUP; fear of Tory cuts to welfare, schools and other unprotected departments; ruling out participation in any government that relied on SNP support; offering ourselves as the only guarantors of a stable coalition. All of it was trumped by The Fear, and on a scale we didn’t see coming.

I cannot help wonder what would have happened if Miliband and Clegg had turned round to David Cameron and told him that he was talking nonsense. By ruling out coalition with the SNP, we legitimised his depiction of them as the ultimate bogey party. They were never going to anything other than a pain in the backside. They aren’t monsters. The worst they would be able to do would be to propose amendments on the likes of Trident which would be voted down by virtually everyone else bar a few of us and a few Labour lefties. I understand, I think, why we didn’t do that – it hadn’t gone so well when Clegg faced down Farage, however much we might admire his courage in doing so. I suspect, though that a joint initiative to combat the Tory fear might have helped Clegg and Miliband see they could work tougher and  combat the ridiculous Tory scaremongering. Mind you, Labour’s policy platform was so weak, it might all have been in vain anyway.

Posted in LibLink and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 85 Comments

Is this the front page of the next Lib Dem manifesto?

Ryan Coetzee, recently appointed the Lib Dems’ General Election Director of Strategy, was snapped today clutching papers which look like they might reveal the party’s top four priorities for the 2015 manifesto.

The four priorities read:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 90 Comments

Ryan Coetzee switches from Clegg’s Director of Strategy to Lib Dems’ General Election Director of Strategy

Ryan+CoetzeeIt’s almost two years since Ryan Coetzee was appointed as Nick Clegg’s director of strategy, replacing Richard Reeves. His experience as a liberal politician and campaigner with South Africa’s Democratic Alliance meant that he was welcomed, even by many of those often sceptical of advisers and their worth.

One of his first actions was to start identifying the Lib Dem ‘market’, those voters who would consider voting for the party. His research, backed up by the party’s first major private polling operation about which I wrote here, has informed much of the national party’s campaigning since, including its “Stronger society, fairer economy” strapline.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 48 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Democrat messages

Liberal democratsCongratulations to Ryan Coetzee and his team for giving us the official new Government policy of a ‘Stronger Economy and a Fairer Society’.

The problem with a really good line like that and similar advertising slogans such as “It’s Good to Talk” is that they become not just commonly accepted and universally recognised but they also become generic. As such they completely lose their power to influence choice or differentiate one product from another.  “It’s Good to Talk” ended up not only promoting BT but also selling a lot of mobile phones for their competitors. I know – it was my budget as the Sales & Marketing Director that paid for the campaign.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 30 Comments

Eurovision: the best of the Liberal Democrat reaction and strictly unauthorised beardiness

Conchita Wurst-2210Conchita Wurst’s song might not have been the best on offer tonight, but her personality, her embodiment of liberalism and authenticity, combined with a pan-European desire to stick to fingers to the illiberal east triumphed in Copenhagen. She dedicated her victory to peace and freedom. And maybe, just maybe, people start to understand a bit more about gender not being a strictly binary thing.

Here’s some of the Liberal Democrat reaction to what is a definite high day in our calendar:

Kevin Lang thought he saw someone familiar singing for the Netherlands:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Lib Dems as ‘The Party of IN’ – Clegg’s pro-European strategy starts to pay off

nick clegg v nigel farageKudos to Nick Clegg and his team, including his director of strategy Ryan Coetzee. The gambit of issuing a personal challenge to Nigel Farage to debate Nick on Europe has been accepted not only by the Ukip leader, but also now by the media. As Caron Lindsay reported here this morning – #NickvNigel – We have a date and #NickvNigel: We have 2 dates – any more for the Tour? – the two leaders will face-off both on TV and on radio within the next …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 53 Comments

Fraser Nelson’s must-read guide to utterly and completely misunderstanding the Lib Dems’ Coalition strategy

Fraser Nelson has written a must-read guide to utterly and completely misunderstanding the Lib Dems’ Coalition strategy today. My guess is he’s reliant on Tory intelligence, which in this case is an oxymoron.

Much of it is the usual half-fair/half-unfair admixture of insults regularly thrown at the Lib Dems by the right-wing media. We are, says Fraser, “a hodge-podge of a party defined by its lack of definition”, “conservative in Somerset and socialist in Solihull” (has he met Lorely Burt?). Unlike the Conservatives, of course, where the small-l-liberal outlook of Ken Clarke and Nick Boles dovetails perfectly with the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 12 Comments

Lewis Baston on the polls and ‘How the Lib Dems will actually do’

I wrote last October about election expert Lewis Baston’s forecast for the next election, based on his analysis not only of the polls, but also of the trends in the ‘swing seats’, the battlegrounds which, in a first-past-the-post voting system, actually matter. His forecast for May 2015 was that Labour would edge the Tories by 36% to 34%, with the Lib Dems on 16%, and relatively few seats changing hands.

Over at Progress Online, Lewis has returned to the fray, and asked the question, ‘How will the Lib Dems actually do?’. Here’s his conclusion:

It is always troublesome to translate

Posted in Polls | Also tagged | 36 Comments

First Euro poll of 2014 shows Lib Dems at 7%. Can we make being ‘The Party of IN’ work for us by the time of the real election?

The first poll this year asking how people will vote in May’s European elections has been published today by YouGov. It gives the following headline ratings compared with the last elections in 2009:

    Conservative 17% (-11%)
    Labour 24% (+8%)
    Lib Dem 7% (-7%)
    Ukip 19% (+2%)

Feed these numbers (plus those for the Greens, SNP/Plaid and others) into euroelection.co.uk and here’s what it means for numbers of seats:

euro results forecast 2014

The Lib Dems would be reduced from 11 seats to just 4, if these numbers are to be believed. The Tories number of MEPs …

Posted in Europe / International and Polls | Also tagged , and | 40 Comments

Opinion: California Governor’s success is a promising sign for Nick Clegg’s political approach

Jerry Brown, American pioneer of small-donor funded, technologically innovative, grassroots Presidential campaigns (see 1992 and his use of freephone numbers), three times failed Presidential candidate and former Governor of California, has had a remarkably successful last few years – thanks to be re-elected as Governor nearly thirty years after he last left the post.

On a range of progressive issues, such as climate change and immigration reform, Brown has been using his power as the Governor of a state whose economy would be the 12th largest in the world if it were an independent country. Progress on them may be stalled …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 1 Comment

The Liberal Democrat Voice Pumpkin Parade

So, it’s Hallowe’en. I thought we should join in with the fun, especially as I’m at home with a full-on dose of Empty Nest Syndrome as the Teenager, for the first time, bails for a party with her friends.

Nick Clegg has been at a party too, today.  He tweeted from the event at Great Ormond St Hospital.

Liberal Democrats have been busy carving pumpkins, too and I thought you ought to see some of …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Caron’s musings on Federal Conference in Glasgow

I know, I know, it’s been a week since the Glasgow conference and I still haven’t got around to writing my usual round up post. You can put that down to there being a by-election in the offing in Dunfermline. I’ll warn you that this post is quite long, but if you make it to the end, you will be rewarded. Click on the last link. Anyway, before it gets more than embarrassingly late to do this, here are my random thoughts:

Nick got it right

My heart sank in the run-up to Conference as I read countless newspaper articles suggesting that …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

John Kampfner: “Clegg is set to be kingmaker again in 2015”

John Kampfner, one of the few progressive voice from the centre-left who defected from Labour to the Lib Dems in the run-up to the 2010 election and has continued to give the party a sympathetic hearing during the Coalition, writes in today’s Times about Lib Dem prospects post-2015: Clegg is set to be kingmaker again in 2015 (£).

5 points in particular are worth highlighting (ie, I agree with them):

The Lib Dems will more than likely remain a force to be reckoned with:

… the Liberal Democrats head towards 2015 knowing they can target their meagre resources on just

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 49 Comments

“On message. In volume. Over time.” That’s the real text of Nick Clegg’s speech today

Double Clegg 2 - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsIt took 3,000+ words and Nick Clegg 30 minutes to deliver them — but there was only one message he wanted to be heard in his leader’s speech today:

Only the Liberal Democrats can deliver a stronger economy and a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.

That’s the core message, one that’s been tested in polling and was tested in real polling in Eastleigh. And it’s the message the party leadership wants the party to get sick of repeating ad infinitum …

Posted in Conference, News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 19 Comments

Opinion: An open letter to Ryan Coetzee, Nick Clegg’s new head of strategy

Dear Ryan,

Congratulations on your new job. Welcome to the ‘family’ of UK Liberal Democrat activists and campaigners. You arrive at a critical moment.

But the Liberal Party and its successors have been here before. In the General Election of 1951 we fielded just 100 candidates and only 6 of these were elected.  In the Euro elections of 1989, the Liberal Democrats polled just 6.2%.

Our revivals in each case – in the Seventies and the Nineties – were built on an emerging development of Liberalism and its expression in a style of campaigning that sought to help people take and use power …

Posted in Op-eds | 38 Comments

Opinion: It’s tricky isn’t it, this coalition business?

Try and be too Liberal and our coalition partners do all they can to put a spanner in the works. They surely feel much the same about us. Try and find a happy compromise and you end up with everyone hating you.

And the danger is you sink into a sea of obfuscation and intransigence and get absolutely nowhere. Or worse, you go native – or at least let the world think that you have. Then you end up hating yourself.

Is this ringing any bells?

Which is why we probably need more people inside the party who have experience of making coalition …

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments

Ryan Coetzee: an excellent appointment

I’ll happily admit that Ryan Coetzee’s name is one I’ve have been hard-pressed to remember at the start of this week, and one which I still have to double-check the spelling of. Yet at a vague remove I’ve been impressed with his work with the Democratic Alliance in South Africa, for whom he has been at various times both an MP and their Chief Executive.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments
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