Archive for Scottish National Party

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.


2012 Local Election Predictions…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by eljmayes

Quick topline prediction in seats: –

LAB +600 CON -400 LIB DEM -250 OTHERS +50

If Labour do not get near six hundred seats then questions will be asked of Ed Miliband’s leadership given Labour’s sizable lead in all polls. Questions will also be asked of Ed Miliband if Labour lose control of Glasgow Council to the SNP which I think they will do (just). For Labour to call the Local Elections a success they need to take seats across the country including the South and South West, it will not be enough to win seats in their usual strongholds.

The Tories know that they will lose seats to Labour but likely gain a few from the Lib Dems. Both parties in the Coalition will be already looking forward to the Queen’s Speech which should provide a clean break of sorts from the shambles of the Budget.

As for the others UKIP should pick up seats from the three main parties as should the Greens. Respect are fielding twelve candidates in Bradford and I’d be surprised if they don’t take seats from Labour given Galloway’s heroics in Bradford West a few weeks ago. The Nationalists should do well in their respective countries but Plaid Cymru could find the going tough under new far left leadership.

In summary, the pressure is on Labour. With the economy now in recession and both Coalition parties doing badly in the polls they have to have a strong showing to prove that they are a party that is capable of governing again.


Salmond vs. Neil…

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , on March 4, 2012 by eljmayes

The interview starts at the 2.21 minute mark.

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.







Sturgeon vs. Paxman…

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

An underpar performance by the SNP’s Deputy Leader on the subject of Scottish independence.

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