'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Friday 30 November 2012

What shall I ask Tim Farron then?

Yes, it's true, next week I shall be knocking on doors and drinking beer in Ham and Petersham with Tim Farron. Once we're safely ensconced in the pub, I will be securing an exclusive interview with our glorious president for this blog. He doesn't know that yet, but I will. If I can ply him with enough drinks, who knows, maybe I can even persuade him to leaflet Zac Goldsmith's house.

So readers - what shall I ask Tim?

I have a few questions post Rotherham but i am sure you have a few suggestions of your own...

Saturday 17 November 2012

We're all in this together?

Remember Francis Maude and his country suppers?

I just came across this window into the domestic life of the Osborne's and Cameron's in today's Telegraph. It's so removed from almost anyone's normal life - can we really hope they will ever understand? I despair...

Custard from a dainty cup
Middle-aged men everywhere will have sympathised with David Cameron when his tummy popped out at that formal dinner. It’s a hazard we all face, thanks to the tyranny of the “fitted” shirt. Indeed, my Downing Street source tells me this isn’t the first time the PM has had this problem.
“The Osbornes invited the Camerons round for a neighbourly cuppa,” she says. Did Dave have tea or coffee? “Actually, Madagascan vanilla custard, piping hot in a dainty Dresden cup. But as he sat down on the Chancellor’s sofa, there was this pinging sound from his midriff, and the poor man was so embarrassed that he spilt a dollop on the Osborne and Little cushion.”
Oh no! “Fortunately, Mrs Cameron had some Smythson handywipes, and after a good rub the stain came off.” Problem solved? “Not quite. All that rubbing made the cushion awfully flat…” Yikes. I can guess the rest. Exit Dave and Sam, to the sound of furious plumping.

Friday 16 November 2012

Theresa May: is it three strikes and you're out?

I've said it once about Theresa May - she is not a safe pair of hands

And then I said it again. For a safe pair of hands, she drops an awful lot of balls...

And after this debacle...

Doesn't someone have to suggest that maybe, it's three strikes and you're out?

Monday 12 November 2012

No one cares about this BBC story, you know....

I will wander home past the front door of the BBC shortly. It's a shortcut to the tube. The area outside will be thronged with camera crews and press, as it has been all day. There was even a helicopter hovering over it this morning, presumably expecting someone like Tim Davie to abseil from the roof as he slipped out for a power brunch...

But check out the most read stories on today (at 6.20 on 12/11) on The Guardian & The Telegraph

Nary a mention of the BBC.

Makes you think, doesn't it....

Thursday 8 November 2012

The Establishment. It seems to be doing rather well for itself, doesn't it?

The Prime Minister is an Old Etonian
The new Archbishop of Canterbury is an Old Etonian
The Mayor of London is an Old Etonian
The second and third in line to the throne are Old Etonians.

We don't appear to be living in much of a brave new world do we?

Also Old Harrovians are looking a tad shoddy aren't they?

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Monday 5 November 2012

I'm calling it for Obama.But what do you think?

Thanks to Harry Matthews  (@hmatthews92 ) who pointed me in this great interactive website from the Beeb - where you can predict the result of every state in the US election and thus your own prediction for the result of the electoral college.

Here's mine, ascertained by a certain amount of reading up, a certain amount of polling by state, and a certain amount of wanting it to be close so it's worth staying up - but still seeing an Obama win ;-)

So gentle readers - am I right or am I right?


Now found The Guardian Balloon game version of the same - which is even more fun!

Saturday 3 November 2012

If we were truly a truly democratic party, there's a chance we'd decide shortly to pull out of the coalition...

Now of course, I exaggerate for effect. But still, an alarming statistic reared its head this morning.

The last Lib Dem Voice Members survey highlighted that a significant minority of current members do not support the party being in coalition with the Conservatives - although a significant majority felt we should stay...

On the face of it, a clear endorsement of the status quo. However...

That 21%, if an accurate representation of the mood of the party overall equates to no less than 10275 members (if we had the reported 48932 members at the end of 2011)

But at end of 2010  - the year we entered government - we had a significantly higher membership:  65038. I think it's fair to presume that the 16106 members who left the party in 2011 could be accurately described as not approving of us being in coalition with the Tories.

When combined with the current members who disapprove, this means that 41% of the 2010 membership no longer approve of the coalition with the Conservatives. In fact it's probably higher than that - new members joining for the first time in 2011 are probably supporters of the coalition.

The new survey is about to come out. The magic number is 33.5%. If that number of current members disapprove of the coalition, than a majority of the 2010 membership can be deemed to be against the coalition. And let's not forget that those members approving of the coalitions record was on a net score of just +4% last time.

Which would be quite a moment. And I say that as someone who has consistently supported the coalition (though by no means everything the coalition has done).

I understand from Stephen the survey will appear in the next few days...

Could be time to dial up the differentiation strategy, Nick...