Monday, 19 April 2010

Bouncing of the Walls

The funny thing right now is watching reporters squirming for an explanation of the Clegg bounce, when it’s the BBC editors who need to be hauled up in front of the cameras.

What a coincidence that the first time that Nick Clegg is given an equal platform, not filtered through either the press or the broadcast media and his words resonate with the public.

I spent yesterday canvassing and I never dodge supposedly ‘difficult’ issues for the Lib Dems like the EU or immigration because they are not difficult. I spoke to one man who brought up immigration as a reason not to vote Lib Dem. After only 2 minutes both he and his wife were definite Lib Dem voters. The British people aren’t stupid. When they hear our policies, and more importantly why we they are what they are, they like them.

But that's not news. In 2008 Newsnight did an item using a sample of "don't know" voters on their reactions to the leaders. The sample started with a “Who’s Nick” opinion for the Lib Dems. It finished with him as the most popular leader with the voters in the panel. Why? Because when they heard what he had to say, they liked it. The trouble is that it doesn't fit in with journalism by numbers that mascarades as news today so brilliantly exposed by local boy Charlie Brooker's Newswipe.

Whilst the newspaper media have an excuse being owned in the most part by either Conservative supporters or cynical opportunists like Rupert Murdoch the BBC has no excuse. Just look at the balance of Question Time panels since the start of the year, were quite often for weeks in a row there has been no Lib Dem.

The BBC's current mode du jour for adversarial reporting where you wheel in the Labour guy or gal, then the Tory guy (invariably) to attack him or her doesn’t leave room for any other opinion, yet in most cases the real facts are that by and large the Labour and Tory positions are not normally that far apart and the real opposition is the Lib Dems.

And if you want a reason why Nick did so well, for the last two years he has been travelling around the country holding open public meetings where anyone can turn up and ask any question. David Cameron on the other hand ‘appears’ to do the same, but hand-picks the audience and questions. Gordon Brown prefers to conduct Stalinist rallies. Get them off their pre-prepared briefing and Cameron and Brown flop about.

Now that they have been found out, their only tactic left is scaremongering which I expect to be the only message from them both from now on. Vote Lib Dem, you’ll get Tory, or vote Lib Dem you’ll get Labour. There is now a much simpler version for the door steps. Vote Lib Dem, you’ll get Lib Dem. As Nick Clegg said at our spring conference, we’re the only political party left in this country. The other two are just slick marketing machines. It’s just been a shame watching the BBC of all organisations implicated in a huge telemarketing scam on the British people.

Lib Dems have known for a long time that if all the people who had voted or thought of voting Lib Dem and would if they thought we could win did, we would win. It is now my job to ensure that that happens.

The other two parties just don't get it. The public are sick of the sight of them.


Adrian Windisch said...

I hope you agree there are other parties in this election. Not just the Greens.

Every time I hear one of the big 3 parties say 'we are the only party that...' I prepare for them to be wrong. It seems as if to them, only the big 3 count.

Oranjepan said...

currently there are over 300 registered parties in the UK standing candidates and campaigning at this election.

The Green party are just one of hundreds which have zero seats in parliament.

Similarly UKIP. Similarly BNP. Similarly English Democrats. Similarly the Christian Party. Similarly the Monster Raving Loony Party.

The Green Party is simply on the fringes of political debate with all these other groups - you even have no prospect of forming a group on Reading council this year, let alone forming a minority administration or joining a coalition as a junior partner.

So forgive me if I point out to you the fundamental difference between standing for election and contesting an election.

Welcome though you are to participate in democracy, I fear you have an overinflated sense of entitlement based on shaky foundations.

Let's not forget Greens say "we are the only party on the environment", which as well as contradicting your own argument is patently absurd.

You can't have your cake and eat it too!

Was said...

And if I grew weary of Greens claiming to be the only party that stands for long standing Lib Dem policies I'd be knackered.

Adrian Windisch said...

So much for democracy; two lib dems tell us that votes for small parties don't count. What happened to letting the voters decide?

Who says that the Greens won't win council seats or MPs? Wait and see. And when you are shown to be wrong, admit it.

Was, this is only the second time I have heard you on this subject, do you have no stamina?

OP, there are indeed lots of parties, but not that many standing in these elections.

Adrian Windisch said...

I just searched for "we are the only party on the environment" and came up with 'Only we are green', says Clegg. Try it yourself, bring some honesty into politics.

Glenn said...

All you ever do is attack Lib Dems Adrian.

I'm not sure we do say not to vote for small parties like yours. The council point is true though, should Rob be able to ride the increased voter turn out and get on the council, he wouldn't be a group and wouldn't be able to do very much. That's just the system, not an attack.

But if people want to have their voice heard in a more substantial way, it makes sense to vote for a party that already has a track record (I await your Lib Dem attack here), Locally or Nationally.

Facts are, this is one of the few times we as a party are riding high in the opinion polls, and other parties, big or small, just want to attack that.

Adrian Windisch said...

'All you ever do is attack Lib Dems Adrian.'

Do you really think that is all I do Glenn? And is this also part of your fair policy, attacking Greens who dare to comment on LD blogs?

Even Clegg said it isn't a two horse race, though the message doesn't seem to have percolated down to Reading.

The Greens are standing in every seat in Reading, so we should have equal status to the big three parties in an election period. Thats if you think democracy should be fair.

Even one Green Councillor can make a big difference. Though 2 or 3 would be better.

Oranjepan said...

I take offence that you're putting words in my mouth and I take double offence that they are not my opinion.

Absolutely nobody here said votes for small parties don't count, except in your own imagination. Perhaps it's really you who thinks so.

So I'll ask you instead: how many councillors are you fighting to return to the civic centre in Reading at this election? The answer is one, and that's at a push.

And how many MPs are you realistically fighting to gain this year? One, possibly two, and that's still a massive push for you with no guarantee.

So it's not a case of wait and see, it's a matter of what you yourself are being dishonest about.

You are claiming entitlement to an equal share of votes - even before you are even contesting seats on an equal scale!

And the less said about Google and taking words out of context the better, obvs you either don't know how web rankings are achieved or are deliberately trying to pull the wool over somebody's eyes.

It's like you're pretending all the time you could've spent electioneering can be replaced with one opinion on a blogpost in the nether regions of nowhere (sorry Was, but there are no Reading blogs can be considered mainstream).

So don't try and preach at me or anyone else, Adrian, you're engaging in old-style point-scoring politics which helps nobody and nobody wants.

If you are representative of the Green Party then you should look to yourself as the reason for your level of public support - it's a bit early to start blaming everyone else again, isn't it?

Adrian Windisch said...

OP, you answer your own question. You said "how many councillors are you fighting to return to the civic centre in Reading at this election? The answer is one, and that's at a push. And how many MPs are you realistically fighting to gain this year? One, possibly two, and that's still a massive push for you with no guarantee. "

So much for letting the voters decide, you think you can do it for them. Thankfully the voters still have a choice.

Oranjepan said...

if you think I'm answering my own question that's only because you won't give a straight answer to a straight question and I've got to base my view on what's happening on the ground.

Perhaps you could be honest with us voters instead and tell us how many you realistically think you can win, because from what I've seen you're only making any effort in one ward.

So if you're letting voters decide then there ain't much difference between Battle ward and Timbuktu as far as you're concerned.

Do you really think it's fair or honest to let voters make our decision without providing any information or attempting any communication with us?

So much for letting voters decide indeed!

Adrian Windisch said...

Are you suggesting I'm not campaigning in Reading West? I've spoken at 3 hustings, written many blog posts, hundreds of emails to constituents, knocked on doors and have a freepost leaflet.

Let the voters decide indeed!

Oranjepan said...

No, Adrian, that's not what I wrote, as you are well capable of reading.

Adrian Windisch said...

Once again, in your own words.

'from what I've seen you're only making any effort in one ward.'

'Do you really think it's fair or honest to let voters make our decision without providing any information or attempting any communication with us?'

If you had any honour you would apologise.

Oranjepan said...

If I read that right, Adrian, you think a blind pick and fully informed consent are equally legitimate options.

And you also think I'm 'dishonorable' for being clear that I disagree with you on this point.

I'm scratching my head. Is it possible you can explain this to me?

Furthermore, please can you explain what is so wrong with my questions that you refuse to answer and you are prepared to resort to direct attacks on me in order to avoid answering?

So let me repeat, how many councillors do you realistically hope to win in Reading this year? How many MPs do you realistically hope your party will return to Westminster this year?

Or, are you telling us that as the chair of your local organisation you have held no discussions on the electoral chances of your party and that you are unable to form an opinion?

As the opinion of a person in your position would normally form the basis of your party strategy, shall we conclude from your refusal to answer that your party has no strategy?