UK Election 2015

Special Guest Post by Martin Day.

This week, the UK Government unveiled its final Budget ahead of the national General Election on May 7th. With the UK economy stabilising (if not exactly booming), the Opposition Labour Party are left floundering around to find something (anything!) to attack the present Coalition Government of Prime Minister David Cameron with. Cameron’s Government are currently pretty pleased with themselves as their austerity policies of the last 5 years have been proved to have been the correct approach post- economic crash. That’s not to say that the reduction of UK Government spending is a success story under the present Government. At the last General Election in 2010, UK GDP Spending  was at 35.9%. After 5 years of supposedly prudent fiscal measures, it now stands at… 36.0%. Ooops!

Which is why former UK political upstarts the UK Independence Party (UKIP), led by their charismatic Leader Nigel Farage, have continued to attract large numbers of disaffected former members of Cameron’s Conservative Party to their ranks. UKIP are now seen as the natural home for conservative voters across the UK and polling suggests that they could win as many as 5 Parliamentary Seats outright. To add to PM Cameron’s General Election woes, UKIP are predicted to LOSE Cameron’s Conservative Party up to a further 20 Parliamentary Seats  by reducing their former majorities and allowing other Parties to snatch the Seat from the Conservatives.

Oddly enough, Nigel Farage recently visited the US after being invited by Dan Schneider, Executive Director of the American Conservative Union to speak at the CPAC2015 gathering. As Adam B Lerner reported in his subsequent Politico Magazine piece on Farage’s speech, “…UKIP has become precisely the sort of political nightmare that breakaway conservatives sometimes threaten to become for the GOP: It could soon cost the mainstream Conservative Party its majority coalition in Parliament.”, going on to say “In his speech, Farage delivered several pointed reminders of this very different agenda across the Atlantic, mentioning two Conservative members of Parliament that his party had persuaded to defect and making veiled references to [US Conservatives] creating an outside force to challenge the mainstream Republican party — though he refrained from advocating defection outright.”

Farage’s message to CPAC was, veiled or otherwise, ‘if your Party is drifting to the Left, start a new Party’. Quite how such a suggestion sits with TEA Party members or conservative-minded voters generally across the US is unclear. Perhaps it is too early in the cycle to contemplate such a move and memories of past failed attempts to establish a ‘3rd Political Party’ in America too recent. But as Farage’s UKIP has shown, where conservatives feel they are being ignored by their elected representatives in DC, there is a potential alternative…

Read Adam B Lerner’s full piece here: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/02/who-was-that-brit-at-cpac-115597.html#.VQmcf46sWSo

Martin Day is a former UK Government Press & Media Advisor who worked in Westminster under both the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown Premierships.

UKIP Continues the Fight for “True Conservatism” in the UK

Special Guest Post by Martin Day

As the Tea Party continues to rally around the flag for ‘true conservatism’ in the US, so the UK Independence Party (UKIP) fights the good fight in the UK against Britain being subsumed forever into a Soviet-style European Super-state.

Both movements have grown from relatively humble beginnings and have in turn been systematically ignored, ridiculed and abused in equal measure. By rights, they both should have shrivelled-up and blown away long ago in the face of their far more powerful opponents. Yet, in their own ways both now stand poised to make a major impact at their respective Elections.

The emergence of the ‘Political Elite’ on both sides of the Atlantic and the growing revulsion it engenders in conservatives has ensured that the need for the likes of the Tea Party and UKIP has grown, as ordinary working people grow ever more angry at being ignored and treated merely as ‘Vote Fodder’ and little more than an annoying necessity for Politicians.

As the US has its RINOs, so  the UK has it ‘Liberal Conservatives’ – both are viewed with equal distain by traditional conservative voters ensuring the rise of centre-right or ‘common sense’ Parties. Ironically not so long ago, having a Liberal approach to Life was seen as a positive thing – how times change…

In the past in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron had called UKIP ‘Clowns & Fruitcakes’ – that was just before they took a huge raft of Local Government Seats from the UK Conservative Party in local Elections plus  2 supposedly safe national Parliamentary Seats from the Conservative Party in UK By-Elections caused by the sitting Conservative MPs switching sides to UKIP. UKIPs charismatic leader, Nigel Farage (rhymes with Garage) has proved a magnet for the disaffected and ignored voters of the UK just as the Tea Party has offered a home to the similar section of society in America.

In the UK, politics has moved finally from a Three Party System to a Four Party one and with the rise of the Green Party, potentially more. With this in mind, might American politics finally be moving from its historic Two Party System to a Three Party one?…

Martin Day is a former UK Government Press & Media Advisor who worked in Westminster under both the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown Premierships

An ‘Axelrod’ – something to stop the wheels coming off?

Special Guest Post by Martin Day

As the UK’s Labour Party gets ever more desperate to steal a march in the Polls over their hated Conservative Party rivals, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband has turned to ‘one of America’s finest political operators’ (so he tells us), Mr David Axelrod.

Miliband’s hope is that some of the success Axelrod had with Obama over the past two US Elections will rub-off on the UK’s beleaguered Labour Party.

Understandably Axelrod’s background has suddenly become of interest to the MSM in the UK – much to the upset of Miliband. Unfortunately Axelrod has apparently in the past lobbied hard in the US on behalf of Energy Corporates seeking to impose higher prices on American citizens. This in itself would be unfortunate were it not for the fact that Miliband and his Labour Party were recently campaigning against ‘greedy energy companies’ and attacking the UK Government for not freezing energy prices and imposing fines on UK energy suppliers – awkward to say the least…

Things didn’t really improve when the official Press Release from Labour Party HQ announcing the appointment of Axelrod to a disinterested British public managed to misspell his name as ‘David Alexrod’ – oh dear..

The British Blogosphere is deriving great amusement from Miliband’s latest hire with suggestions that Axelrod actually thought he was signing-up to campaign for Ed Miliband’s smarter and much more popular Brother (and former UK Foreign Secretary under the Blair Administration), David Miliband. Axelrod has already been dubbed ‘Mr Axlegrease – hired to stop the wheels coming off Labour’s campaign’.

Whether Axelrod’s experience of America’s two-Party political system will translate comfortably into the UK’s now effectively four-Party political system, only time will tell. The anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) regularly polls double the points of the Liberal Democrat Party which currently shares Government with the Conservatives. As such, a 4-way battle based upon EU membership issues may see Axelrod unable to get a grip of what really motivates UK Voters.

With the UK going to the Polls next year to elect a new Government, Mr Axelrod faces an interesting 12 months. One wonders if one of his first recommendations will be that the UK Labour Party do indeed replace Ed Miliband with his more popular Brother, David?…

 

Martin Day is a former UK Government Press & Media Advisor who worked in Westminster under both the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown Premierships

 

Everything Stops for Tea…

Martin Day, Guest Post

‘Martin Day is a former UK Government Press & Media Advisor who worked in Westminster under both the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown Premierships’

As a London based British Conservative with an abiding interest in the way centre-right politics plays out on both sides of the ‘Pond’, I’ve been fascinated at the way conservatism in both the USA and the UK seems to have lost its connection to its grassroots in recent years. In the US, the Tea Party has grown out of a frustrated perception by traditional Republican voters (rightly or wrongly) that their Party no longer represents their avowed libertarian beliefs of small government, low taxes and the right & responsibility of the individual over that of an overbearing State. Meanwhile, here in the UK, The UK Independence Party (or ‘UKIP’ as they are universally known) have taken an almost identical position and attracted large swathes of deeply unhappy Conservative voters who see the current Prime Minister, David Cameron as being so far to the political left that he might as well go the whole-hog and quit the Conservative Party to join his Coalition Government partners, the left-leaning Liberal Democrat Party.

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The Joys of Youth?…

Christine Warner, Guest Post

‘Christine Warner is a political writer based in London, England and is Secretary of Republicans Abroad UK’

In a recent conversation with a junior congressman, I questioned the GOP’s lack of attention to wooing ‘Millennials’, those born 1982 to 2004, and was reminded of the Winston Churchill adage; “if you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

The congressman conceded that the GOP viewed the younger set as “unwinnable” and in fact, not a priority.  This logic seemed especially short-sighted given the disenchantment of much of the GOP’s base.  Millions of Republicans opted to stay home during the last election, indirectly voting for the incumbent, Barack Obama.[1]

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Is Hillary enabling Weiner?

A friend of mine attended a fund-raiser the other day for the Weiner campaign for NYC mayor. A lot of fairly big-time Democratic donors were there, which makes one think. Anyone who understands how state politics work in NY knows that someone like Weiner can’t expect to make a successful race without approval or at least acquiescence from the senior pols in the state, i.e. Hillary and Cuomo. So why were these very connected people already committing to Weiner? Has Weiner’s wife, who is at Hillary’s side every day, signalled that the former senator is on board? It would surely be useful to Hillary to have the mayor of NYC as a client. And we know that Hillary has a long history of tolerating and enabling bad behavior from the men around her, as long as they have the right politics.

How is Obama like Morsi and Erdogan?

All three lack a sense of what political theorists call ‘democratic reciprocity’. This means that the party in power does not use its power to tyrannize the its opponents and does not use its temporary power to destroy its opponents. In other words it observes the common good and tries to win re-election by serving the people as a whole. Erdogan and Morsi probably still could muster majorities in an election, but they have lost democratic legitimacy because they’ve used their power to destroy opposition to Islamism. Both began by promising tolerance to secularists and Islamic moderates but both have broken their promises. Hence the large demonstrations against them, exacerbated in Egypt by economic mismanagement.

Obama has also failed the test of democratic reciprocity. Instead of working with those he disagrees with, he’s demonized them. He seems incapable of regarding as legitimate any positions outside his own progressive bubble. He and his inner circle can’t comprehend conservatives or libertarians, he processes everything they say or do in leftish ideological terms. They are nothing but agents of greed and oppression, obstacles to progress as he and his friends define it. In other words, he can’t comprehend, or doesnt’ want to recognize, the precious principle of a ‘loyal opposition’, the idea of legitimate disagreement.

Two examples. (1) Obamacare’s refusal to allow an exception for Catholic institutions such as hospitals, day care centers and orphanages, forcing them to fund abortion pills and birth control. This violates the free exercise of religion guaranteed under the constitution, but it also is an example of the tyrannous exercise of power: forcing consciences in a way that has been rejected in the West since the time of John Locke and Spinoza.

(2) The IRS scandal. We know enough by now to conclude that the targeting can’t have started without some direction from the White House. What it means is that the IRS has worked to suppress conservative and libertarian political activity – and the Republican vote in 2012, as Peggy Noonan argues. In other words, the most feared agency in the federal government was used by politicians of one party to limit the political speech of its opponents. This was an abuse of government power, and it’s true that such abuses happen on a daily basis. (Which is not to say you should just shrug your shoulders about the ordinary abuses of power.) But the IRS scandal is not any ordinary abuse of power. It wasn’t just a case of a president punishing individual political opponents; that we know has happened often enough before. This was different.  It was an attempt by a government agency to muzzle voices and cripple the party out of power. It was an inexcusable violation of the principle of democratic reciprocity.

If we tolerate this kind of thing we are on the way to one-party rule.

 

Some Wisdom from the Washington Times on Immigration

The Washington Times editorial staff ran a piece today that bracingly powers into the storm of compromise from all and sundry on the issue of amnesty for illegal aliens. Arguing that the Republicans have not lost recent elections because they took too hard a line on maintaining the rule of law and demanding that those here illegally go to the back of the line in their home countries, the Times wrote:

“You can support immigration reform for moral reasons, for philosophical reasons or for economic reasons,” says Republican strategist Mike McKenna. “But if you are a Republican and support it for political reasons, you are an idiot who cannot read or understand survey data.”

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, ever the voice of reason, suggests a step by step process rather than a grand do-it-all immigration reform bill. The Times, citing Obamacare as the last best reason for avoiding the Goliath bill approach, concludes:

Republicans must hold fast against the siren song of “compromise” that tries to sell amnesty as the ticket to electoral success. If it were, Senate Democrats would be the last to propose it.

A Solution in Search of a Problem

That is the glib assessment that liberals will give you when asked about the issue of voterID: a solution in search of a problem. They will point to the miniscule number of prosecuted cases of voter fraud and the even smaller number of convictions.

http://www.humanevents.com/2013/03/12/cincinnati-poll-worker-indicted-for-voting-for-obama-six-times/

But who polices voter integrity? If there is no mechanism for finding those who vote multiple times, other than random clumsiness (such at the woman in the story here who admitted in a television interview to voting twice) why *would* there be any indictments?

We did not lose the last presidential election because of voter fraud. But the integrity of the vote (or lack thereof) will harm us sooner or later.

VoterID is a foregone conclusion. Liberals should get used to the idea because arguing against it (even in their faux blase dismissive tones) will let everyone on to an ethic not of representation but of power at any cost.

 

Not Wanted at Harvard

The abridged version of this article was published as a Letter to the Editor in Harvard’s Crimson.

By LUCIANA E. MILANO

I am disappointed that The Crimson has not apologized for but instead continues to defend its juvenile editorial warning conservatives not to enroll at Harvard. Although The Crimson claims that the article’s purpose was to highlight the hypocrisy among alumni who wish to “score political points by maligning Harvard,” the article does not actually make this argument. The Crimson never mentions politicians and constituents who attack alumni for attending Harvard—from both sides of the aisle. A good version of the article would have presented a robust and honest discussion of H-bomb dropping in American politics.

But this is not what The Crimson argued. Instead, The Crimson explicitly warns conservatives to stay away from Cambridge on the grounds that students who are critical of Harvard should “neither apply, enroll, nor graduate from this fine institution.” The article’s logic is embarrassing, and the belittling and disparagement of conservative students is repugnant.

The editorial’s suggestion that students who are critical of the university should go elsewhere rests on two false assumptions: first, that solely conservative students disagree with the university; and second, that dissent is inherently problematic. There are countless examples of Harvard’s liberal students and alumni expressing discontent with the University. By its own logic, shouldn’t The Crimson’s message also apply to Al Gore, who has recently supported Divest Harvard? And surely the editors recognize that criticism can play a valuable role in righting wrongs. Certainly they wouldn’t condemn alumni who disagreed and criticized Harvard for its past exclusion of women and minorities? But by the Crimson’s logic, such criticism would constitute “episodes of treachery.” As a Hispanic female, it is difficult to imagine that I might not be studying at Harvard today, were not for vocal critics of past Harvard policies.

Perhaps the most arrogant and disrespectful claim in the article is the characterization of conservatives as “anti-intellectual.” The name-calling itself reveals the real anti-intellectualism at Harvard. It is not typically found among its conservatives, whose ideas and arguments are sharpened by constant scrutiny and criticism. Rather, it is found in the intolerance toward conservatives on campus and in the failure to engage the arguments and principles that guide conservative beliefs in serious debate.

In this respect, this editorial is not an outlier, but only the most brazen recent example of the preference for mindless bullying over authentic discussion. Many of Harvard’s students recognize the value—and necessity—of intellectual diversity, but it is discouraging to see that the editorial board of our campus’s newspaper does not.

Although The Crimson failed to acknowledge the vibrant community of conservatives that exists within Harvard, conservatives’ efforts and achievements merit recognition. As The Crimson has made clear, Harvard can be a “potentially scary place” for conservatives. But that has only made the conservative movement here stronger. Last semester, over twenty faculty and academic staff, ten student groups, and over one hundred student attendees began a new tradition: Harvard’s Conservative Reception. Yes, we are outnumbered, but that does not mean that we don’t belong at Harvard.

In a few weeks, students from across the globe will find out whether they have been accepted into Harvard’s Class of 2017. I urge The Crimson to reconsider its welcome message. Conservatives remain an integral part of Harvard, and they are encouraged to apply and enroll.

 

Luciana E. Milano ’14 is a government concentrator living in Pforzheimer House. She is President of The Harvard College Anscombe Society and Vice President of Speakers and Political Discorse for the Harvard Republican Club.