Electricity & Lust

Political Weekend

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on July 6, 2008

UK

Boris is coming under fire over Ray Lewis, his just-resigned deputy.

It’s really a key blow for him.

Hospital workers are being given stab-vests.

The government is asking supermarkets to stockpile food in case a petrol crisis causes a rush.

Senior CofE figures have met over the internal problems facing the organisation.

A 14-year old girl from Britain has won the junior title at Wimbledon.

Brown and King will decide how bad the UK economy gets.

Cameron needs to end his incoherence.

US

Obama has been rallying supporters in Missouri.

He wrote this week to clear up his position regarding FISA.

One of his surrogates, General Wesley Clark, is looking to put this week’s incident behind him but is not apologising.

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Political Weekend

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on June 22, 2008

UK

Our new key political enemy in the UK? The Grey Squirrel.

Gordon Brown is pleading for help from oil-rich nations on nuclear energy in the UK.

29% of secondary schools in the UK have sexual health clinics.

Labour is careering towards financial disaster.

Apparently we are also leading the world in arms sales.

MPs want money for second homes.

Brown’s plans for eco-housing are being attacked as just hot air.

The Anglican church is divided over the recent marriage of two gay priests and leading bishops will boycott the Lambeth conference

Could the intense criticism of Brown from the Conservatives backfire?

Stagflation in our economy will not be like it was in the 1970s.

World

Unicef say children have been targeted in the war in Haiti.

155 people have died in a typhoon in the Philippines. A ferry, carrying 700, has been hit by the disaster.

Brazil, and the mystery of the not-so-undiscovered tribe.

Violence in Zimbabwe continues and seems to have been meticulously planned.

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Political Weekend

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on June 15, 2008

UK

Labour is coming under yet more heavy criticism of the loss of confidential files on a train.

The Tories are also being vocal on the EU Treaty referendum following Ireland’s rejection on Friday.

David Davis, who resigned as MP this week, is being backed by rebel Labour MPs.

He’s gained the backing of Henry Porter for his move.

And Andrew Rawnsley.

His move provides a key test for Brown and Cameron.

World

Mugabe says that he’ll wage war if he loses.

Robert Fisk discusses the Middle East‘s appetite for threats.

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Political Weekend (a day late, sorry)

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on June 9, 2008

US

So Obama won last week, officially. Plus Hillary’s getting right behind him.

But what will it take for her people to really get behind Obama?

Maureen Dowd praises her acting skills.

Why did her campaign go wrong though?

For the Clinton clan, this is a pretty huge change for their lives to take.

Peggy Noonan thinks the American people dodged a bullet.

Here’s an interesting thought, could she be predicating a future run on a failure this year for Obama?

Frank Rich concentrates more on the enormous gap in political philosophy between Obama and McCain.

Jesse Jackson thinks Hillary’s a strong candidate for vice-president.

Obama’s received the endorsement of Kurt Beck, the leader of Germany’s Social Democrats Party. The move represents a key break from tradition of German politics.

Obama has much to do however, and little time to do it in.

Andrew Sullivan and Marc Ambinder consider an Obama presidency.

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Politics Sunday

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on June 1, 2008

Scott McLellan, the tell-all Bush staffer who this week launched a book telling all sorts of terrible things about the Bush administration, five years too late.

UK

Internal documents claim Labour has failed the UK on crime.

Brown is being told to drop his Scots.

That could become a key issue.

Brown’s problems right now seem everywhere.

US

The DNC is closing its meetings on the delegates from Florida and Michigan with half votes for each (overall favours Obama). Democrats have quite rightly been contesting the whole deal.

Hillary’s reserving her right to protest.

Some Clinton supports still say they would vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination… Matthew Yglesias discusses the flaws in this foolish plan.

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Political Weekend

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on May 25, 2008

Just a reminder for those who do enjoy the political linkage, check out the Slate Political Gabfest and KCRW’s Left, Right and Center podcasts. Both are excellent. For the British politics, try the BBC’s Weekly Political Review.

UK

Gordon Brown is being put under pressure appoint a viable successor as deputy.

Allegedly, ‘Blair-ite’ left-wing figures are plotting and have approached someone to consider taking the job.

The leading candidate at the moment is Miliband.

What about Alan Johnson though?

John Rentoul says only Labour can really be blamed for this.

It should also be noted this week that our government rejected restrictions on IVF (which really pissed off The Daily Mail and therefore must be good) which would have discriminated against lesbian and gay couples seeking adoption and we voted to keep the current upper abortion limit at 24 weeks.

US

One must-read this week, George Packer’s excellent piece from The New Yorker on the fall of conservatism in America.

He’s been getting a few responses since publishing the essay.

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Politics for the Weekend

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on May 18, 2008

Gordon Brown is backing embryo research, calling it an ‘inherently moral endeavour’.

He’s also dropping hints of aid packages for Burma.

All this amid new rows in the lead up to bi-elections.

Cameron is taking some real strides forward against Brown.

Writing for The Times, Michael Portillo urges Cameron to stand back and just allow Gordon to self-destruct.

Could anyone really last amid this press storm though?

What exactly can the Tories offer us then?

The UK’s abortion debate is starting to reach boiling point.

Obama gave two great interviews this week; to Marty Peretz at The New Republic and to Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic.

Republicans are now fearing an Obama nomination.

Senator George McGovern has switched to Obama.

He’s picking up endorsement and delegates at a decent clip now. Here’s one and here’s another. Apparently the endorsement of John Edwards doesn’t matter so much.

This all follows an emboldening win for Democrats in Mississippi.

As Democrats are reborn, the Republicans are wilting.

Do they really grasp the implications of their last defeat?

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The Political Grab Bag

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on May 12, 2008

Cherie Blair… why? Just why? What purpose? This is her latest revelation.

There’s basically all out civil war in the Labour party right now.

If the Tories don’t cock it up, they’ve a clear path to power.

Is Cameron really a progressive?

Tim Hames says he needs to stop worrying about offending.

Was New Labour ever anything more than a media construct?

Would Obama really aid relations with the Muslim world?

An Obama-McCain battle could give the US its first election of ideas and issues rather than snipes and character assassination.

The environment is key to McCain.

It took Clinton too long to get going.

The role of the US in assassinations in Mexico.

Not to miss out on the family legacy, Mr Jenna Bush is getting in on the act.

Politic-ing for the Weekend

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on May 11, 2008

John Dickerson comments on Hillary and the issue of race in this democratic election.

Hillary has certainly done a good job of dividing the party on race lines.

Well, at least, if she continues her current attacks, that’s what will happen.

But has she fallen too far? Could it soon be finally over?

By June 15? Done by then?

Michael Tackett still thinks her candidacy is a success.

Superdelegates are certainly siding with Obama.

Time explores the impact of his campaigning roots in Chicago.

He’s remaining cool under pressure.

But Wolfson says he’s neglecting West Virginians.

What about an Obama/Clinton ticket?

She could be a plotting vice to Obama’s President.

Reihan Salam thinks picking her would be a huge mistake.

Matthew Yglesias agrees and adds that many more better-suited candidates for the position exist.

Over this though, Michelle Obama has vetoed the idea.

Does America remain reluctant to address the issue of racism?

John McCain’s judge selections will please Bush voters.

Apparently, an African American running mate for the ol’ dog isn’t really needed.

The lack of interest in his fundamentalist connections is appalling.

But what about those older voters…

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Politics Weekend

Posted in Links, Politics by Sam Unsted on May 4, 2008

MUST READ – Let’s look at all the elephants in the room… including the white ones.

In that spirit, McCain has his own Rev. Wright in waiting. And he’s served time for Watergate.

There’s arguments to say though that McCain is a true conservative.

Seriously though, check the guy’s foreign policy.

How will the US accomplish success in Iraq.

Guantanamo and the destruction of the American reputation.

Obama versus Clinton. Bill, that is.

He’s edging closer to the official nomination now.

He’s using the personal touch in Indiana.

Keep in mind though the Wright scandal. Bill Maher described Wright eloquently on his season closer as a ‘prick’.

Shockingly though, even with this in the background, a policy debate has broken out in the Democratic race.

Loosely politics-focused but still fascinating, a look at human-trafficking in Moldova from The New Yorker.

Gordon’s getting jittery and the taxes are the first to benefit.

So Boris won… he’s really going to have to shed the buffoon image now, isn’t he?

David Cameron has very cheekily turned against him.

Indeed, his win could mark the beginning of Cameron’s final demise.

He must perform now though. There’s a nice note in this piece that Boris is ‘as unqualified for such a role as Livingstone was in 2000’. I’m not convinced but hell, I’ll give him a shot.