Archive for the ‘Politicality’ Category

8 May 2010: A pact, huh? That’s pact spelled m-i-n-e-f-i-e-l-d

So – no definite result in the general election and a chance of some sort of coalition. We’re all supposed to put our tribal loyalties aside and work together for the common good. I’m not very good at that. So this is what I sent to the party when it canvassed views, asking people to set out who they are and what they think.

14 Jan 2009: Lynne Featherstone's new portfolio (video)

Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone has been given the new job of overseeing the party’s online campaigning as chair of its new technology board – this video illustrates the sort of issues she’ll be grappling with.

29 Nov 2008: Labour of love

I’m no fan of the Labour Party at all, or its doings, but I was impressed by one item among the usual drivel in its latest local newsletter.

5 Nov 2008: Today…

…is considerably better than four years ago.

15 Oct 2008: Oh how exciting – it's election time again

Party election time again. Bah, humbug. Reminds me far too much of student union elections 20 years ago.

18 Jul 2008: It all sounds a bit familiar…

The longer this government lasts, the more its rhetoric sounds like the bad old days of the Thatcher years – and the easier it gets to spot its mistakes coming.

12 Jun 2008: David Davis resigning as an MP? Blimey!

News just breaking that the Tory shadow Home Secretary David Davis is resigning – not just from the shadow cabinet but from the House of Commons.

6 Dec 2007: Huhne overtakes Clegg – sort of

Look – it’s close, OK? Too close for the difference to be meaningful. And it may not actually be good news for Huhne anyway. But there has been a small but measurable swing to him from Clegg in the attention they’re both receiving among bloggers.

5 Dec 2007: Your metaphor leaves me cold, Mr Pritchard

“Taking Christ out of Christmas is like serving the Christmas turkey without the stuffing,” says Tory MP Mark Pritchard. As both a pagan and a vegetarian, I’ll have to take his word for it…

5 Dec 2007: Mr Smug, Mr Smarm and my naked ballot paper

With time running out in the Lib Dem leadership election, I’ve finally thought of something that might make me vote – even though the one thing I’ve been certain of all along is that I don’t want either candidate in charge of my party.

5 Jan 2007: Loans that change lives

Numerous things to write about – Christmas Day on the Cornish cliffs with Beloved Other Half, dashing across Heathrow Airport in the rain to meet Ali before her flight to LA, good books by Gordon Ramsay and Monty Don to review – but they can wait for another day.

21 Dec 2006: I deny everything

Just to clear up any ambiguity caused by this post on Northern Irish uber-blog Slugger O'Toole, let me state clearly that I have no inside knowledge of whose hands have been delving into Lembit Opik's underpants, or for how long. A few days ago, when the news broke that the Lib Dem MP had split […]

12 Nov 2006: Limping forwards

When I fell on Friday I didn't hear the heavy, muffled sound, like a thick bar of chocolate being snapped in its wrapper, that heralded my broken foot of a few years ago.

30 Oct 2006: Lack of manners

No “Modern Manners” cartoon this week – I was up until almost 4 meeting a publisher’s deadline and am too tired to be witty. I don’t imagine anyone will miss it, anyway.

23 Oct 2006: Modern Manners for Monday Mornings 3

Strip number three: conversational gambits, wristband etiquette and that resignation…

15 Oct 2006: Modern Manners for Monday Mornings #2

Strip number two: meanwhile, out in the desert somewhere…

9 Oct 2006: Modern Manners for Monday Mornings

I don't have the resources (or the body) to try video blogging, so I thought I'd try an older style of satire: the cartoon strip….

15 Sep 2006: Hanging around with the cool kids

I'm not wholly surprised that this letter wasn't published in Lib Dem News – there must have been a backlog building up while the paper was “off the air”, so to speak. But since I was cross enough to write it, I reckon I'm cross enough to post it here…

19 Jul 2006: How politics, humour and being positive can mix

Over in the US at the moment, a bitter battle is reaching a climax.

11 Jul 2006: Hug + thug = bad idea

I have some practical advice to anyone who believes the best response to teenage yobbos is to hug them, as David Cameron currently seems to be suggesting – and that advice is, don't.

23 Jun 2006: Does he think we're all stupid?

During the Dunfermline by-election, the Tories put out a leaflet quoting David Cameron saying: “Issues that once divided Conservatives from Liberal Democrats are now issues where we both agree. Our attitude to devolution and the localisation of power. Iraq.”

21 Jun 2006: Pausing for breath

For ease of reference, I decided to compile a page containing all my posts on about politics and the Lib Dems since I started writing about the subject back in January when the leadership stuff kicked off. There’s nothing new here, it’s just for reference.

11 Jun 2006: The Mingterview (part 2)

We return to find our hero still in conversation with the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Menzies Campbell, following the Mingster's keynote speech last Thursday. Will he ask a difficult question or will he roll over and have his tummy tickled? Read on to find out…

9 Jun 2006: The Mingterview, part one

If you need any better illustration of the promising effect of Thursday's Lib Dem announcements, it's the way it's suddenly open season on the party on certain right-of-centre blogs

9 Jun 2006: Ming pulls it off

It's a funny old world when the replacement of a media-conscious young leader with a silver-haired patrician is the cue for the first ever free-for-all interview between a party leader and a bunch of bloggers.

8 Jun 2006: Burger me…

This spoof McDonald’s presentation, seemingly showing how the company had, through strategy gaming during manager training, realised its policies were contributing to global warming, had me utterly fooled when I first saw it reported deadpan. I thought to myself ‘crikey, what do we do now if the Golden Arches have suddenly become the good guys’? […]

8 Jun 2006: On Mingness and Cameronality

So Ming scored a direct hit at PMQs today, then. He must have done, because everyone's saying he did.

4 Jun 2006: Tories shoot themselves in the foot in Bromley

The shiny new Tory Party looks a little less shiny this morning, after its Bromley members last night rejected two high-fliers from David Cameron's A-List as their Parliamentary by-election candidate in favour of a middle-aged white male Freemason from Tower Hamlets who seems to represent everything the Tories are supposed to be moving away from.

28 May 2006: Who do you think you are?

There's still time – just – to get over the Passport Office's website and renew your passport before the end of the month. I did mine a couple of days ago.

24 May 2006: Mouthbound feet abound

So, let’s see if I’ve got this straight.

25 Mar 2006: The final condemnation

White stilettos.

18 Mar 2006: Going for Goldsworthy

The first installment of Channel 4's The Games has just ended, with Cornish Liberal Democrat MP Julia Goldsworthy placed third of five in the women's contest after suffering a dunking in the white-water kayaking despite being the pre-contest favourite. Looking at her contestant page on the C4 website, bits read as if it came off […]

14 Mar 2006: Golden boy

I'm taking part in a discussion at the moment that asks people why they first joined the Lib Dems. I got so many good memories writing my answer that I thought I'd cross-post an expanded verion of it here. I chased a Liberal leafletter down the street as a schoolboy to say “can I help?” […]

5 Mar 2006: Horror story

This post by SusanG on the Daily Kos about the South Dakota abortion ban is very, very angry and very, very brilliant. Read. In South Dakota, I Am Disposable Imagine this: One day you wake up and discover an entire state has passed a law that declares you are worthless. You are no longer a […]

2 Mar 2006: Winners and losers

With the result of the leadership election just hours away, it's time to look at the winners and losers from the campaign. Winners Chris Huhne Transforming himself from Who-ne? to the Huhnami, the Eastleigh MP won the campaign even if he doesn't turn out to have won the leadership. Where he was once just one […]

25 Feb 2006: It must be true, it was in the paper

Chris is winning! No – Ming is winning! Bloody hell – just count the votes already. Edit: Some interesting commentary at suggests that neither paper (but particularly the Graun) took much care to check the people they were polling were party members and therefore entitled to vote. There’s also some suggestion that it would […]

24 Feb 2006: Coming from behind with a late surge

I have finally allowed my name to be included on Ming Campbell's list of website supporters – somewhat late in the day, I admit, but it seemed the right time at last. Anyone who's been following this journal right through from when I stopped writing about buttocks, dead people, shopping trollies and the North Circular, […]

18 Feb 2006: He's a very naughty boy

Ahem. In recent days I have made it pretty clear that I don't want to see the election for the leader of the Liberal Democrats won by Chris Huhne. From this, readers may have drawn the conclusion that I want to him to lose. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I'd like […]

16 Feb 2006: Poor old Lembit

The man was just born unlucky – what were the odds of this? EDIT: Looks like the site I’m linking to is intermittently falling apart under the strain… it’s a custom-generated version of the CNN story on the Dick Cheney shooting with Lembit’s name, occupation and photo inserted as the victim. If it’s not generating […]

14 Feb 2006: Chris Huhne: Just say 'no'

Whole books have been written on the ideal qualities of a leader: the ability to inspire – coolness under fire – broad strategy combined with tactical nous – high principles tempered by low cunning – luck, as well as judgement. Fewer have been written about the failings that leaders must avoid – even though one […]

12 Feb 2006: Job vacancy

It's a little-known fact that Dr Vincent Cable – the Lib Dems' grimly northern, silent-movie-villain Shadow Chancellor – is actually rather buff when stripped to shorts and t-shirt. Now, before everyone hits the speed dial to the News of the World, I should say the reason I know this is that I once found myself […]

8 Feb 2006: Ming tells it like it is

Well said that man! “David Cameron’s flip-flops on policy expose his inexperience. He’s still a novice. A leader with L-Plates. “So while Conservatives may think that youth, inexperience, and naivete are the answer to their problems; I say they are not the answer to the country’s problems. “Tomorrow’s Britain needs leaders of experience, proven good […]

8 Feb 2006: Way-hay for risk-taking

We’d better win the Dunfermline by-election – I just nipped into William Hill during my lunch hour and put a tenner down at 10-1. If it all turns out to be spin I shall be demanding a refund from Chris Rennard. :o)

8 Feb 2006: Well done, children

There now – see what happens when everyone plays nicely?

5 Feb 2006: Ming Campbell’s Achilles heel

I was phone canvassed by the Campbell campaign yesterday and the combination of that and some conversations I’ve had with members in my local party suggest exactly why my favoured choice for leader isn’t waltzing home unchallenged – why, in fact, he is quite likely to lose to Chris Huhne.

30 Jan 2006: My crystal balls

I believe that two things are going to happen in British politics over the next few years. Firstly, when Blair goes there will be a backlash against young, slick media-friendly politicians. Gravitas and dourness will be in, charm and twinkling smiles will be out. It's been brewing for years and it'll take just one spark […]

29 Jan 2006: Here we go round the bloody mulberry bush

Isn't it completely predictable? Having knocked down CK, Mark Oaten and Simon Hughes (not exactly difficult tasks, admittedly) it's now time for for the guns to be turned on Ming. It starts here, with an utterly unsourced story in the Guardian (unsourced unless you count that obscure amoeba Ben Ramm, who makes the pre-Big Brother […]

27 Jan 2006: The numbers game

For me, the most interesting thing about today's dismal poll figures in the Telegraph is the way they bear out the analysis offered at the Meeting the Challenge conference by a psephologist whose name, alas, escapes me. Although the Telegraph attempts to spin the numbers as a Tory success at our expense, by comparing them […]

27 Jan 2006: Better than badminton

Finally have time to write up my thoughts about the Any Questions leadership debate, from the perspective of being in the audience. The comically long queue outside the hall, which wound along corridors and through doors and almost to the Surrey / Hampshire border, made it look like the event was going to be packed, […]

26 Jan 2006: Small earthquake in Southwark – not many dead

So Simon Hughes is bisexual, is he? Never would have guessed it. Next week in your Soaraway Sun: fire bad, tree pretty.

23 Jan 2006: What the public wants

The last 20 visits to the Journalspace version of this blog from Google used the following search terms (just so you know what the world is interested in…

22 Jan 2006: Extra time follows own goal

Went out again today taking more photos for a Lib Dem leaflet. We ended up at the bar of the football club I mentioned on Thursday, and it was packed with members. All of them, I would judge, were the type of people not afraid to call a spade a spade, so I was prepared […]

21 Jan 2006: It never rains but it pours

I'm no fan of Mark Oaten, as I think I've made clear, but this is rather a shame. The thing I'm saddest to see is him apologising to his family – immediately revealing the furtive sordidness of it all. No-one hires a rent boy for that length of time for cash, surely? Which would imply […]

20 Jan 2006: Answering the question

Last night Ming Campbell was on Question Time, a programme that generally drives me barmy because I find myself wanting to hurl abuse (and chairs) at the screen. The panel bore distinct evidence of a sudden change in priorities by the programme-makers. Salma Yaqoob of Respect was joined by a silver-haired ex-diplomat from the dubiously […]

19 Jan 2006: Alas, poor Mark

So Mark Oaten has departed from the Lib Dem leadership race, his campaign having been met with a certain amount of derision and rather a lot of underwhelmed silence. While some people clearly have a lot of faith in him and others were out to get him from the start, most gave him a fair […]

15 Jan 2006: Meeting the Challenge II

Here's the second post on Saturday's Meeting the Challenge conference – this one's on the leadership candidates' speeches. There were all four very different. Ming gave a leader's speech, not a candidate's speech. It was thin on detail but heavy on gravitas. He was visibly distracted by the way his microphone kept randomly failing, but […]

14 Jan 2006: Meeting the challenge I

13 Jan 2006: Grey today, gold tomorrow

I'm working from home today – a real delight after a pretty grim journey on the Tube yesterday. But I can't believe how cold and gloomy it is. Midday and I've got the light on, even though I'm next to a window, and a fan heater blowing. Tomorrow should be interesting – we're going to […]

7 Jan 2006: Strange days

Ah, bugger it. I think it was clear that CK was doomed from about the middle of Friday – by the end, even some genuine friends and allies had come to the conclusion that the only possible outcome was his resignation. And, of course, if a resignation can't be avoided then it's far, far better […]

7 Jan 2006: Nailing my colours to the mast

“Winning here!”A washed-up hack with only a short time left in his political career poses for a campaign photo with Charles Kennedy. That photo of me and the boss taken during the 2001 general election, when we both had fewer chins, should illustrate where I stand in the madness that's currently gripping a miniscule proportion […]

29 Sep 2005: Joke

I hadn't heard this one before – apologies if you had. Donald Rumsfeld is giving President Bush his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: “Yesterday, three Brazilian soldiers were killed.” “OH NO!” President Bush exclaims. “That's terrible!” His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands. […]

23 Sep 2005: Before he was famous

This rogues' gallery all stood for sabbatical elections at the University of East Anglia (UEA) between the mid-1980s and early 1990s. These photos all came from their election literature. If you look hard enough I'm in there, and one or two of the faces went onto greatness of a sort. There's a stand-up comedian in […]

7 Sep 2005: The fish stinks from the head

I see George Bush has put himself in charge of the investigation into what went wrong during the response to Hurricane Katrina. Hmmm. Presumably we can expect to hear evidence from the previously unknown group “Superdome Veterans for Truth” about how actually it was all the fault of, well, everybody except Bush and nothing bad […]

21 Jul 2005: Must try harder

Learn the difference!Because today's bunch seem to have been the most singularly inept lot of bombers to hit this city since Verloc and Stevie…

13 Jan 2003: Picture perfect

Success is pretty sweet when it comes after a run of near misses. For a while, we've been trying to get this live but have been dogged by a few techy glitches: All is well now :o) It's a pretty nifty new product that lets you put your own photo on postage stamps (sort […]

9 Jan 2003: Hee hee hee…

Kinda cruel, I know, but I just set this up: (It'll mean nothing to the Americans reading but Brits with an interest in politics might be amused.)

8 Jan 2003: So far so good…

Tonight was my first meeting as chair of the Hounslow Borough Liberal Democrats… almost a full turn-out and our new prospective candidate for the Greater London Assembly elections was also there. Went pretty well, I think – today Chiswick High Road, tomorrow the world! That was a joke, by the way. Not hubris. Not at […]

26 Nov 2002: Green shoots

Another Lib Dem AGM last night – this time the Brentford and Isleworth branch. They'd tempted Ed Davey MP down from the House of Commons to be the guest speaker. Brave man – he took the train, which to Isleworth is the sort of adventure that often ends in tears. You expect to find Marlon […]

25 Nov 2002: Lovely, lovely country…

I missed Celebrity Big Brother last night, so I didn't know who'd been evicted until I saw a newspaper on the train. And guess what – once again the white guy stayed and the black guy was booted out. Goldie (entertaining streetwise DJ with youth appeal) has gone and Les Dennis (washed-up hasbeen comedian) stayed. […]

22 Nov 2002: Flare ups

Some nasty stuff this morning. Bank station, the heart of the City, was closed by a fire alert less than an hour after the start of the latest firefighters strike (and shortly before I was to go through it). When I finally passed by on foot there were a couple of Army Green Goddesses parked […]

20 Nov 2002: Warning signs

I know this one… slowly but surely my back's been starting to play up over the last few days. On past form, if it continues like this, walking will be pretty difficult by the middle of next week. :o( I found the firefighters poll: it's here. There's also another showing the Lib Dems homing in […]

19 Nov 2002: Untitled

As we left for Norfolk on Friday we drove past our local fire station, with a picketline of striking firefighters in front of it.

14 Nov 2002: Never would have thought it…

Strange to find that first thing in the morning is the part of the day when I have most time to update this thing. Me, with my famous hatred of mornings. Heh. Yesterday went pretty good in the end. Usually when a day's going well you wait for life to throw you a curve ball […]

11 Nov 2002: Political animal

So, what sort of a weekend was it really? Well, it was a political one. Blame it on me for going to a political conference (duh) but also blame it Jeremy Paxman and Paul Burrell. I'm no fan of Paxman as an interviewer. I think he gets so hung up on trapping his interviewee that […]

9 Nov 2002: Weekend golds

This is all a bit early for me on a Saturday morning :o)

  • Stuff worth looking at

    How the Cube was found 2001 General Election diary

I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.