Posts Tagged ‘clinton’

Smoke and mirrors are no panacea for populism

07/01/2017, 01:11:58 PM

by Julian Glassford

Breathtaking political plot-twists of recent months have left many onlookers decidedly discombobulated and key opinion formers remonstrating amongst themselves. So what do bellwether Brexit and US electoral outcomes indicate? Arguably, a repudiation of neoliberal globalism, elitism, and fear-based propaganda pitched at maintaining an awkward status quo. Hail, the temerarious new age of anti-expert ‘improvpolitik’!

The course runs deeper than our small pool of politically incorrect reductionists and the wave of discontent they ride, however. It flows beyond the poignant picture of inequality emblematised by the castaways “left behind” by USS Globalisation and HMS London: those financially “just about managing” to stay afloat (JAMs). Against a cold, unremitting tide of pervading progressivism and juxtaposed conspicuous consumption, folks feel all at sea. Communitarianism, constancy, and confidence in the system and its captains of change, have plunged to new depths. Old certainties languish on the seabed – hollowed out hulks, shrouded in the deep blue.

Bastions of the established order would love to wish away ‘shy’ (or sensibly silent) voters and the not so shy (if somewhat shadowy) ‘alt-right’. But what was a fanatical fringe has morphed into a formidable counter-cultural force clearly capable of swinging political events, bigly; hence the hasty repositioning of our Conservative incumbents.

If commentators are to remain politically literate they must engage with the unpalatable reality that contemporary social, gender, and intercultural dynamics do not universally translate as sources of profound strength and stability. Contentions ranging from mass immigration exacerbating economic disparity, through work-life imbalance representing a major social ill, to The Clash of Civilisations thesis, cannot be effortlessly extinguished. Contrary to historian Simon Schama’s prescription, the simple introduction of a broadsheet diet will hardly suffice!


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Ruthless, brutal, heartless: our attacks are music to Tory ears

15/01/2011, 10:23:16 AM

by Dan Hodges

The trouble with politics is there’s never a ragin’ Cajun around when you need one.

Ed Miliband has begun the New Year by springing from his corner with the speed and ferocity of Jake LaMotta. Cameron and Clegg have been pinned to the ropes as the punches rain down. VAT. Banker’s bonuses. Oldham. One killer blow and they’ll be eating canvass.

But something’s holding Raging Ed back. The final hay maker feels heavy in the glove. For some reason, he can’t quite put them down.

James Carville would know the reason.  Bill Clinton’s campaign manager had the answer to every political conundrum. And it was the same answer.  “It’s the economy, stupid”.

Ever since the graphic, “Conservatives retain Basildon”, flashed across our television screens that cold morning in 1992, Labour strategists have held one truth to be self evident. The party that is not trusted to run the economy will not be entrusted with running the country.

Bill Clinton’s election victory later that year confirmed it. For the first time for over two decades a progressive party had taken on the right, and bested them, by selecting the economy as their battleground. As we watch Barack Obama move to heal his nation, and look back wistfully at three consecutive election wins, it’s easy to forget the significance of that victory.

But some have forgotten. To them it’s no longer “the economy stupid”. Now, it’s “the cuts stupid”. Polly Toynbee’s “red carpet of opportunity” lies enticingly before us. As the Tory led coalition scythes through our public services a terrified electorate prepares to leap gratefully into the arms of their Labour protectors.

Possibly. The Lib Dem’s are already in free fall as a result of their cynical act of appeasement. The Tories cannot indefinitely defy the laws of political gravity. Ultimately, the cuts will take a toll of the architects as well as the victims.

But a word of warning: if we have learnt anything about this Government it is that their callousness is underpinned by a low cunning. Cameron and Osborne are not fools. They have a strategy. And we are playing to it.

Ruthlessness implies competence. Brutality; strength. Heartlessness; decisiveness. (more…)

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