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Published: May 07 , 2015
Author: Stephen White

On the day this blog is published the population of the UK vote in elections for their next government. Opinion polls put the two main parties neck and neck, with neither commanding a strong enough following to win an outright majority. So the result is likely to be a minority government which will have to form a coalition or make deals with the handful of minor parties in order to be able to govern. Even if there is an outright majority for one party the margin will be so small that alliances will need to be forged for effective government to survive. Do we have a cadre of politicians who can rise to the challenge of creating these deals through effective and inspired negotiating?...

Published: Apr 30 , 2015
Author: Alan Smith

There appears to be a new technique being banded about by politicians in the UK, no doubt encouraged by their spin doctors in the long run up to this May’s General election. This technique or tactic is called throwing a dead cat on the table. Now no need to get squeamish, the cat is not literally dead, nor has it really been thrown anywhere least especially on the table. The technique refers to a metaphorical cat not a real one...

Published: Sep 26 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

Gordon Brown's, (the Labour parties former leader and British Prime Minister), former spin doctor has revealed how he regularly attempted to discredit the aspiring PM’s rivals by leaking stories about them to the media. In extracts of a memoir published in the Daily Mail last week, Damian McBride claims he smeared Labour ministers including Charles Clarke and John Reid during Mr Brown's bid to succeed Tony Blair...

Published: Sep 19 , 2013
Author: Alan Smith

You’ve got to feel a bit sorry for Ed Miliband. Not only does he have the physiognomy of a character from Wallace and Gromit, a brother who probably won’t speak to him, he now also has to deal with how the Labour party is funded and supported by the Unions under the watchful gaze of the whole country....

Published: Jul 11 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland

As early as May this year, Lord Mandelson, the former business secretary and UK cabinet minister, warned that “a cabal at the top of the Labour national executive was trying to exert influence”, and that the Labour leader, Ed Miliband “was storing up danger for himself and for a future Labour government over parliamentary selections”. The row had blown up because Unite, the largest trade union in the UK, and in a move reminiscent of the Militant Tendency’s tactics in the 1970s and 80s, had quietly been infiltrating local labour constituency parties with their members by paying their membership fees en bloc. The union had specifically targeted seats where a selection was coming up...

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Up A Mountain

The highlight of the holidays, which after this week’s biblical weather seems a long time ago, was some energetic romping about in the Cantabrian mountains in Northern Spain. There is a beautiful spot in the heart of the Picos de Europa where we have been going for nearly two decades. And in this hiking paradise, we celebrate the fact that despite the absolute confidence ahead of each adventure we embark on, meticulous packing of walking maps and charging up of GPS enabled smartphones, we know we will get lost.

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