Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The inevitable consequence of blogging for the Spectator

I'm intrigued by the implications of Melanie Philips's latest post about Cameron's woes. She's pretty sure what voters want. They want less immigration, less Europe, more stirring up shit in the middle east, and some fast cuts to the deficit. Cameron's not giving them enough of it, and so they're flocking to the Lib Dems out of protest. In other words, they want it nasty, and Dave just sits there pretending to be all nice. The fool.

Now obviously it's a confused sort of protest, because it's not like the Lib Dems are nasty. They're really rather nice. In fact they're even nicer than Cameron pretends to be. So what gives? Mel knows:

The fact that Clegg is just the same is for the moment irrelevant: he is by definition not the leader of the two pain parties which have brought the country to its knees.

Ah. So they don't actually know anything about Nick Clegg, and in fact didn't even listen to him sounding all nice in the debate. They're just going for someone else, apparently blissfully unaware that there are a whole load of parties like UKIP that could fully satisfy all their nasty cravings.

What's interesting here is the implied theory of the public as Mel sees it: they're incredibly reactionary, but incapable of properly communicating this, not so much because they're embarrassed about it, as because they're also spectacularly stupid and ill-informed. I'm not sure Cameron will be asking her to replace Andy Coulson any time soon, but at least the woman seems to be in touch with her audience.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

More liblogging

Very exciting past week for those of us who lean a bit Lib Dem.[1] As absolutely everyone knows, Nick Clegg is now more popular than Jesus, the Beatles and Barack Obama combined (and what a show that would be!) and is going to take over the nation with his warm fuzzy feel-goodiness. Or something like that. At least this is the story the press are going with. So I was quite pleased to find this on Political Betting, which suggests that the Lib Dem bounce started a bit before the leaders debates, the implication that there might be something more solid going on than just Clegg's boyish charm. Incidentally, if you're puerile enough to be interested in horse race politics (and I really am) Political Betting is, for reasons that should be obvious from the title, about as pure and objective a take on that angle as you could ever hope to find.

More substantially, Emmanuel at IPEzone (yes, that bugger's till running) lays out some proper reasons for why he'd back the Lib Dems if he was the sort of stout British yeoman who was allowed to do such things. Jamie Kenny provides some reasoning for the more jaded amongst you. And for those who just can't get enough of Clegg, he provides some amusing (if rather oblique) speculations about life in the liberal corner of the European Parliament.

[1] Information Landmine, insofar as its possible to speak of such an entity, does not toe any particular political party line.[2] Me, I'm a confused liberal,[3] and so a natural member of the Lib Dem ranks.

[2] Although I think it's safe to say that we all want to see George Osborne beaten with sticks.

[3] Much of this confusion is temporal. Am I a 19th century liberal? A New Dealer? A modern bleeding heart type? Obviously I'd like to think of myself as a "classic" but, Deadwood[4] fantasies aside, I'd really rather not go bck to the 19th century.

[4] On the subject, why do libertarians get so hung up about Deadwood as a libertarian ideal? There was no government, you goddamn morons. That's not libertarianism, that's anarchism. Libertarianism was what was happening outside in the rest of the United States, with George Hirst and all that bad shit. And his speeches about the wonders of capitalism to a man he goes on to have killed are meant to show that, you know, he's kind of a hypocrite. One of these days I'm going to sit down and write a big blog post about that.[5]

[5] I'm sure none of you can wait.

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