Archive for Alex Salmond

Good Week, Bad Week 27/05/12…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2012 by eljmayes

Good Week

Ed Miliband- Miliband has had yet another low key week this week with his party still well ahead in the polls. Miliband’s personal ratings are just ahead of the Prime Minister’s but are still in minus territory. I suspect Labour and Miliband will carry on their good run of form until the party conference season in the Autumn, where much more scrutiny will be heaped on the opposition.

Nick Clegg- Clegg has had his usual dull week. Perhaps he should have been home for the street party thrown by UK Uncut for it to have been livelier.

Ed Balls- Balls succeeded in riling the Prime Minister so much this week that he called him a “muttering idiot”. I doubt the remark will have any real long term impact for either side however.

Bad Week

David Cameron- A slightly better this week for the Prime Minister but still it seems that he and the entire Conservative party can’t wait for the Summer break to come. A reshuffle before the break would signal intent on Cameron’s part but it’s not without it’s risks. The Jeremy Hunt situation has complicated reshuffle plans and Cameron must be wishing that by the end of next week he will be in a position to have a fresh team for the Autumn.

Sayeeda Warsi- Details of Warsi’s accommodation blunder are still sketchy but clearly she looks to heading out of the Cabinet. If Warsi quit Cabinet it would look infinitely better than if she had to be reshuffled out of Cabinet.

Alex Salmond- Salmond was deeply unimpressive at the launch of the “Yes” campaign for Scottish Independence. I feel that he certainly was met his match in Alistair Darling.

Salmond vs. Paxman (Featuring Robert Mugabe)…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2012 by eljmayes

Salmond doesn’t like it up him!

Good Week, Bad Week 15/01/12

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2012 by eljmayes

Good Week

David Cameron- The Prime Minister has had a good week with Ed Miliband’s leadership in jeopardy. Prime Minister’s Questions this week was a tame affair, which Cameron would settle for every week. The question of the Scottish Independence Referendum dominated the news agenda this week, with Cameron opting to (seemingly) allow Alex Salmond to hold it in late 2014. Whether or not the Prime Minister gets his desired simple “In/Out” Referendum question is still up in the air however.

Nick Clegg- The Deputy Prime Minister had a typically quiet week this week, with Clegg engaging Salmond in some light chest beating over the Scottish Independence Referendum. His party’s poll ratings are still a cause for concern as they dropped below double digits with YouGov.

Alex Salmond- Salmond has (again seemingly) got his desired time of late 2014 for the Scottish Independence Referendum. I cannot imagine the Westminster Government allowing a third “Devolution Max” question now as they have all but conceded to the SNP’s timetable. This far out from the Referendum predictions are tricky, but all signs point to the Scottish people rejecting independence outright and perhaps getting a separate “Devolution Max” Referendum by the end of the decade.

Mitt Romney- Romney convincingly won the New Hampshire Primary and now looks to odds on to gain the Republican Presidential Nomination for 2012. I suspect the GOP race may be over sooner rather than later because none of Romney’s opponents have vast sums of money to spend on campaigning/attack ads.

Bad Week

Ed Miliband- The Leader of the Opposition is on very thin ice as the Labour Party questions if he is up to the job. Miliband’s key issue is that he doesn’t exude charisma or look like a Prime Minister in waiting. A secondary issue for Miliband is that his policies, however good, are presented in a way that makes them look complex. Simple narratives in politics generally work and Miliband desperately needs to find a compelling, simple to understand set of policies to “sell” to voters. The next few months are crucial for Miliband, if he lasts that long. A loss for Ken Livingstone in the London Mayoral Election may signal a decisive end for Miliband’s leadership.

Ed Balls- Balls’ admission that he would back a public sector pay freeze at the current time has predictably angered the unions who pay the majority of Labour’s bills. This was not the wisest move given there was no pressure on Balls to say anything on public sector pay currently.

Rachel Reeves- Reeves this week in a newspaper interview stated that Labour is still not in a position to govern. This is not something I’d expect to hear from a Shadow Cabinet member in public and is a puzzling statement to make in mid Parliament.

Alternatives to Ed Miliband…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2011 by eljmayes

Frank Field earlier this week stated that Ed Miliband would hang onto his job as Labour leader as “There are no other alternatives to Ed Miliband”. A ringing endorsement I’m sure you would agree. Let’s have a look at those with a feasible chance of becoming Labour leader, conveniently in three sections- those who would be better than Ed Miliband as Labour leader, those who are on the same level as Ed Miliband as Labour leader, and those who would be worse than Ed Miliband as Labour leader. Please be aware these are my own personal opinions as always, if you disagree please use the comments box below.

Those who would better than Ed Miliband as Labour leader

David Miliband- Ed’s bigger brother is better presentationally and would undoubtedly shift the party to the right if he were to become leader. This would help get valuable media outlets back onside for Labour and give them more scope to concentrate on little issues that seem to catch out Cameron on a regular basis. Whilst I think David is far better than his brother presentationally, he still gives off a slightly awkward vibe in interviews which affects his connection with the voting public. I feel David Miliband won’t stand for the Labour leadership in this Parliament if there were a contest. He would be much better served to stand in 2015 if Labour lose that year’s General Election.

Ed Balls- At his best Ed Balls is a very clever, combative politician who is far better at conveying his messages to the public than Ed Miliband. However, he can come across as slightly condescending (putting it politely) in interviews to the media and would certainly steer the Labour party firmly to the left if he were to become leader. Balls is well liked by the unions (more so than David Miliband in a straight run off) and has to considered as the front runner in any leadership contest should Ed Miliband be ousted in this Parliament.

Yvette Cooper- Cooper is similar Ed Balls presentationally with a combative, no nonsense style at the Despatch Box. I doubt the Shadow Home Secretary would wish to run in any leadership contest, favouring to support her husband to win such a contest.

Andy Burnham– Burnham is again much better than Miliband presentationally, having an easy  going “man of the people” style that endears him to the public. Whether as leader Burnham would shift the party further to the right is to be seen as he doesn’t belong to either the Blair or Brown camp, which may harm his chances in a leadership contest. Much like David Miliband, Burnham would be better served sitting out a leadership contest in this Parliament in my opinion, biding his time until a possible opening in 2015.

Jim Murphy- Murphy has a calm, understated style much like Andy Burnham. He is the only Shadow Cabinet  member currently to be landing significant blows on his opposite number Liam Fox. Murphy seems to be an ideal candidate for the leadership role. The problem is he currently is an MP in Scotland, and therefore a MP who could lose their job if the country was to gain independence for the rest of the UK. It would be foolish for him to stand before the referendum is held and for this reason I can’t rank him as a contender.

Chuka Umunna- Umunna has made waves since being elected at last year’s General Election, being put forward for many media appearances on behalf of the opposition and has a calculated presentational style. Umunna is too young to be taken as a serious contender for the Labour leadership at the present time however in my opinion.

Alan Johnson- Johnson is by far the best candidate Labour could field as leader and would take the party to the right. Unfortunately for the party he will likely step down at the next General Election.

Those who are on the same level as Ed Miliband as Labour leader

John Healey- I have always found Labour’s love for Healey baffling. He isn’t any better than Ed Miliband presentationally and he hasn’t exactly made Andrew Lansley sweat as Shadow Health Secretary, even after his series of u-turns on health reform. Healey would be no better for Labour than Miliband and I doubt he’d run if the Labour leader’s post was available.

Douglas Alexander- Alexander strikes me as a politician who always underperforms in media appearances. He isn’t terrible presentationally, but as he is so close to Ed Miliband I doubt he would run in a leadership election.

Sadiq Khan-  Khan is a relatively astute politician but he doesn’t offer anything radically different to Miliband. Any potential leadership contest would not feature Khan I’d wager.

Harriet Harman- Harman did well as a stand in Labour leader after the General Election but is still a marmite politician, you either love her or you hate her. She seems content in her current role and it would be a shock if she stood for party leader.

Those who would be worse than Ed Miliband as Labour leader

Peter Hain- Hain is terrible presentationally, especially in media appearances. Being Ed Miliband’s closest ally it would seem very strange if he were to stand in any leadership election after his friend’s ousting.

Tessa Jowell– Jowell is essentially a female version of Peter Hain sans tan, poor presentationally with little to endear her to the voting public. She is coming towards the end of her political career and to stand for party leader should the opportunity arise would seem bizarre at this stage.

Liam Byrne- A Blairite, Byrne should be a contender in any leadership election. After his “There is no money left” note however I think he is just happy to be in the Shadow Cabinet currently.

The reason why I have put such prominence on presentational skills in this post is because I believe Cameron will run a presidential campaign in 2015, much like Alex Salmond’s Scottish Election campaign this year. It is essential for Labour to have an able media performer in any General Election campaign. I doubt Ed Miliband can get to Cameron’s level presentationally within four years. At the present time, I rate Ed Miliband’s chances of still being Labour leader at the next General Election fifty-fifty at best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Week, Bad Week 08/05/2011…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2011 by eljmayes


Good Week

David Cameron– The Prime Minister has had an outstanding week with the Conservatives gaining council seats against the odds and the No to AV campaign convincingly the Alternative Vote Referendum. Cameron is now in the position of power in the Coalition and will likely, bar the NHS reforms, not give away any more concessions to the Lib Dems. This stance will delight his activists, the Tory leaning papers and his own back benchers.

Alex Salmond- The Scottish National Party’s ability to gain a majority against all the odds means Salmond has had an incredible week. Two issues that will be at the back of the First Minister’s mind however are how he is going to govern Scotland and the timing of an Independence Referendum. The SNP has to deliver on their manifesto fully now that they have a majority which I think will be difficult given the budget constraints in the next five years. Salmond will almost certainly hold the Independence Referendum after the General Election of 2015, with the SNP hoping for a Tory majority Government in Westminster to make their life easier campaigning for Scottish Independence.

Annabel Goldie- Although the Scottish Conservatives endured losses, their vote did not collapse anywhere near as much as the Lib Dems in Scotland. Goldie has remained leader of the Scottish Conservatives and I’d wager her party will improve on their current tally of fifteen seats in 2016.

Bad Week

Nick Clegg- Massive losses in the Scottish and council elections plus the Alternative Vote Referendum means the Deputy Prime Minister has had a terrible week. I expect Clegg now to distance himself in person from the Coalition’s economic policies and focus in on social led policies such as education. The Lib Dems have nowhere to go at the moment as a snap General Election would decimate their total number of MPs, so it is in their interest to adopt as more business like approach to the Coalition and try to re-establish their activist base at local level.

Ed Miliband- Miliband has has a woeful week, with a poor number of gains in the council elections, the loss of the Alternative Vote Referendum and a heavy loss in the Scottish elections. The Leader of the Opposition needs desperately to set his sights on the Conservatives and must find a resonating narrative on the economy quickly as the right of his party seem to growing restless with his leadership. A loss for Ken Livingstone in the London Mayoral Election next year may prove to be one loss too many for Miliband who I believe to be living on borrowed time as party leader already in this Parliamentary cycle.

Iain Gray- Gray swiftly resigned after his lackluster campaign led to an awful result for his party. I doubt he will be gunning for a Scottish Westminster seat anytime soon.

Tavish Scott- Scott’s party imploded spectacularly allowing in part for the SNP to gain an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. He rightfully resigned and I doubt he, like Iain Gray, will be gunning for a Scottish Westminster seat anytime soon.

Northern Irish/Scottish/Welsh Election Predictions…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by eljmayes


Here are some brief thoughts on the upcoming devolved elections in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales: –

In Northern Ireland I predict the Democratic Unionist Party should remain the biggest party in the Assembly with slightly more seats than Sinn Féin. None of the Coalition parties are (in name at least) on the ballot paper so I expect there to be minimal movement in seats from the 2007 result.

In Scotland I predict the Scottish National Party will be the largest party by five to ten seats from Labour. Labour’s campaign has been lackluster and it is possible they could lose seats from their current tally of forty six. If that were to happen Ed Miliband would face questions as to how his party can be so far ahead in the polls nationally but do so poorly in their perceived stronghold of Scotland. The Coalition partners will likely lose seats at the expense of the SNP, Labour and the Green Party but the Tories may do better than expected in the List vote given Annabel Goldie’s popularity. After the results are in I for see the SNP governing as a minority Government without the reliance on as much cross party support to get their policies through because they will have more seats.

In Wales I predict Labour will fall short of a majority by a few seats. I expect Labour to form a minority Government and snub any Coalition with Plaid Cymru as to been seen to show they can deliver a strong recovery for Wales. A “rainbow” Tory led Coalition between the smaller parties in Wales is incredibly unlikely as Plaid Cymru has stated categorically they would not be able to work in partnership with the Conservatives when questioned.

Salmond vs. Paxman…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , on April 24, 2011 by eljmayes


Jeremy Paxman seems to have met his match in an easy going and relaxed Alex Salmond on Newsnight. Not great viewing for Scottish Labour or their leader Iain Gray.

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