Showing posts from April, 2011

Cameron's No. 10 Operation

I have put a piece on tutor2u summarising some findings from Anthony Seldon in an excellent piece for the Independent on Sunday today. The Seldon piece is essential reading for AS students studying the power of the prime minister and the operation of the Executive in British government.

The State of the Parties - some AS support!

Party ideology is not as fixed as it once was, and Ed Miliband faces the same problem that David Cameron faced in trying to determine how to establish a distinctive, ideologically coherent message that doesn't veer too far away from the middle-ground consensus that still decides elections.

A couple of useful support links for AS students are here:

1. From the tutor2u website, Mike McCartney gives an overview of where the parties are at the moment, using a recent sweep of relevant stories.

2. The Today programme's Norman Smith has a fascinating report on the problem for Miliband as he tries to recover lost constituencies like Gravesend, which still seem to be firmly in 'Blair country'.

A Tale of Two Reforms

If you want to know whether Andrew Lansley's proposed NHS reforms are a good idea you need only take a look at the Conservative Home poll on the subject. When 84% of that site's readers agree that the reforms are necessary, you know there's a problem. Conservative Home and the Daily Telegraph compete for the readership of the core, right-wing base of the Tory Party - the same base that thought Hague, Duncan Smith and Howard were good leaders, but have real reservations over Cameron. And if they like an idea, you can bet it's probably going to go pear-shaped.

One of the key Tory perception problems - correctly identified by the Cameron team - is that they genuinely dislike public services, especially the NHS, and would like to cut them down. Margaret Thatcher, despite regularly increasing the sum given to the NHS, never quite managed to banish the impression that she'd rather privatise the whole thing. Thatcherite Tories want the NHS to be "good value for …