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Finland – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 11,010
edited February 4 in General
imageFinland – politicalbetting.com

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  • Options
    JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,922
    Thanks for this Viewcode. I've finnish-ed the article and it seems an interesting approach.
  • Options
    CiceroCicero Posts: 2,201
    Interesting, but in relatively small countries like Estonia's northern neighbour, a lot of people have personal connections with the candidates. Stubb, a Finlandsvensk ex PM (married to a Welsh wife incidentally) was not a noted success as a government head (he has also been a long serving MEP and foreign minister). As a Swedish Finn he struggles to avoid being more interested in foreign affairs than the daily lives of deep Finland. He is charismatic and foes connect with his obsessive sports, especially hockey. Nevertheless it was a risk for the political establishment to throw their support behind him, and I have felt for some time that his price could be brittle. Interesting that your model seems to pick this up.
  • Options
    OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 15,079
    Is this the Finnish rumour?
  • Options
    bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 21,829
    You have lost me.

    Are you OK
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    I’m reminded of Gyles Brandreth’s commentary on Black Wednesday:

    ‘Before it happened, we didn’t know it was going to happen, while it was happening we didn’t know what was happening and after it had happened we didn’t know what had happened.’
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    Despite spending a chunk of the summer in Finland, sadly I have no political intelligence to share. It’s a modern, prosperous place despite having survived for much of its history by exporting trees. Indeed I think they still export more timber than anywhere else.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    Is this the Finnish rumour?

    Speaking of Finnish rumours, looks to me like Sturgeon’s defence has reached the Finnish line.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    IanB2 said:

    Despite spending a chunk of the summer in Finland, sadly I have no political intelligence to share. It’s a modern, prosperous place despite having survived for much of its history by exporting trees. Indeed I think they still export more timber than anywhere else.

    They’re still fir-st at timber.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    edited January 21
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Despite spending a chunk of the summer in Finland, sadly I have no political intelligence to share. It’s a modern, prosperous place despite having survived for much of its history by exporting trees. Indeed I think they still export more timber than anywhere else.

    They’re still fir-st at timber.
    Lol

    And they’re all obsessed by coffee

    And, despite the geopolitical tensions, challenging climate, and almost complete absence of scenery (other than trees), they keep coming out top on global happiness surveys
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Despite spending a chunk of the summer in Finland, sadly I have no political intelligence to share. It’s a modern, prosperous place despite having survived for much of its history by exporting trees. Indeed I think they still export more timber than anywhere else.

    They’re still fir-st at timber.
    Lol

    And they’re all obsessed by coffee
    Timber for first, coffee for-est?
  • Options
    darkagedarkage Posts: 4,795
    Cicero said:

    Interesting, but in relatively small countries like Estonia's northern neighbour, a lot of people have personal connections with the candidates. Stubb, a Finlandsvensk ex PM (married to a Welsh wife incidentally) was not a noted success as a government head (he has also been a long serving MEP and foreign minister). As a Swedish Finn he struggles to avoid being more interested in foreign affairs than the daily lives of deep Finland. He is charismatic and foes connect with his obsessive sports, especially hockey. Nevertheless it was a risk for the political establishment to throw their support behind him, and I have felt for some time that his price could be brittle. Interesting that your model seems to pick this up.

    Maybe @geoffw has some insight.
    Personally I have very little despite having a strong connection to Finland. My understanding is the role of President is basically above politics and deals most significantly with foreign affairs. The criticism I have heard of Stubb is that he is too interested in the EU and has spent too long being obsessed with EU integration so may struggle to reconcile this with 'national interest'. He went deranged on Twitter over Brexit for a while. For a long time he was obsessed with Finland joining NATO (which appears at the moment like the right call). He is certainly very capable as a bureaucrat/politician but he may not be a unifying figure being too much on one side of a debate. Then again I am not too sure about the candidates who he is up against, perhaps he is just the least worst option.
  • Options
    TazTaz Posts: 11,095
    Scottish Police currently not planning to investigate former SNP leader deleting WhatsApp messages.

    I’m sure the same level of outrage at this deletion of these messages will be forthcoming as it was when Members of the Westminster govt had ‘lost’ theirs and that anger was not at all political or synthetic.

    https://news.sky.com/story/nicola-sturgeon-not-being-investigated-by-police-at-this-time-over-deleted-pandemic-whatsapp-messages-13052936
  • Options
    MikeLMikeL Posts: 7,286
    edited January 21
    I can't see any reference in the article to the voting system.

    Per a quick Google, if nobody gets 50% there is a second round with just the top two candidates from the first round (ie like France).

    So maybe the odds are being impacted by how transfer friendly the candidates are.
  • Options
    darkagedarkage Posts: 4,795
    It is still below minus 10 in Finland and has been snowing for weeks. There are outdoor ice rinks (self made by volunteers where he has learned ice skating). Today he has his first skiing lesson on the slope a mile or so away from our house which should be interesting to watch. The sea and lakes are completely frozen and you can go for walks on the ice, they build paths. After getting used to the cold and dark it is actually quite nice here in the wintertime (when it snows like this).
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553
    IanB2 said:

    Despite spending a chunk of the summer in Finland, sadly I have no political intelligence to share. It’s a modern, prosperous place despite having survived for much of its history by exporting trees. Indeed I think they still export more timber than anywhere else.

    So you are saying that they are lumberjacks, and that's OK? They sleep all night and work all day?
  • Options
    CleitophonCleitophon Posts: 209
    Name check ✔️ 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Just to be clear: I am myself a full blooded theorist in my research (I study how time perception shapes market dynamics). One finger pointing forward, three pointing right back at myself hahaha

  • Options
    darkagedarkage Posts: 4,795
    The other thing I have done recently is book flights to and from Finland to the UK for the whole of 2024. I am going 17 times back and forward to accord with my work schedule. My wife and son are going 4 times mostly in school holidays. The total cost of all the flights rail, hotel, bus and taxi fares combined is £4500. Many of these bookings are refundable or changeable. When we lived in England and just visited Finland, we went 3-4 times per year and the cost each time for a family of 3 was on average around £1500 for travel and car hire, so by knowing what your schedule is, and booking it up well in advance, the savings are absolutely enormous. What I became particularly conscious of in particular is that in many cases the cost of flights are less than half of the total trip cost, you need to also work out the cost of getting to and from the airport.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,381
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    That's easy. For the purposes of the election, Starmer has Sunak, Cleverly, Hunt, Cameron et al. Including the ghosts of Truss, Johnson, JRM etc.

    Put it another way. If we tried the Viewcode method on the forthcoming UK election, just looking at the quantitative data, what would the conclusion be?
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,381
    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    Despite spending a chunk of the summer in Finland, sadly I have no political intelligence to share. It’s a modern, prosperous place despite having survived for much of its history by exporting trees. Indeed I think they still export more timber than anywhere else.

    So you are saying that they are lumberjacks, and that's OK? They sleep all night and work all day?
    They certainly say

    Finland , Finland , Finland
    It's the country for me

  • Options
    TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 114,314
    edited January 21
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
  • Options
    edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 17,142
    On topic if you plan on betting on something you need to be better at it than the average other person betting on it. I'd have thought they'd have more information on whatever the Finnish version of politicalbetting.com is so if you can't read that you probably shouldn't be doing it.

    But if you do, you should post on blogs to try to get other people who have no idea what they're doing to also bet on it. You don't have to be right, you just have to be less wrong than the person who is taking your bet.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,294
    One of the least funny cartoons I've seen in a long time.
  • Options
    TazTaz Posts: 11,095

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Phillipson at education has been pretty good too. Reeves a big improvement on the hapless Dodds.
  • Options
    Taz said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Phillipson at education has been pretty good too. Reeves a big improvement on the hapless Dodds.
    My problem with Reeves is her accent, I'd sooner hear nails scraping on a blackboard.
  • Options
    Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,294
    On topic, interesting piece.

    I'm not sure there is a Finnish politicalbetting.com so, if you want to have some weekend fun and stick a tenner on it rather than a horse on the basis the odds are keen, why not?

    It might possibly come off.
  • Options
    TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 114,314
    edited January 21
    Labour's class warfare makes me want to barf, they are proud about choosing oiks, how about choosing the best person regardless of their class.

    It would make me so proud to have two working class kids from Cantril Farm representing their respective constituencies in Westminster.
    We need more working class trade unionists in Parliament.
    Anneliese is a perfect choice for Knowsley and has my full support.✊


    https://twitter.com/IanByrneMP/status/1748976156844380547
  • Options
    Taz said:

    Scottish Police currently not planning to investigate former SNP leader deleting WhatsApp messages.

    I’m sure the same level of outrage at this deletion of these messages will be forthcoming as it was when Members of the Westminster govt had ‘lost’ theirs and that anger was not at all political or synthetic.

    https://news.sky.com/story/nicola-sturgeon-not-being-investigated-by-police-at-this-time-over-deleted-pandemic-whatsapp-messages-13052936

    It is interesting that she kept her messages from Alex Salmond for at least three years.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    darkage said:

    The other thing I have done recently is book flights to and from Finland to the UK for the whole of 2024. I am going 17 times back and forward to accord with my work schedule. My wife and son are going 4 times mostly in school holidays. The total cost of all the flights rail, hotel, bus and taxi fares combined is £4500. Many of these bookings are refundable or changeable. When we lived in England and just visited Finland, we went 3-4 times per year and the cost each time for a family of 3 was on average around £1500 for travel and car hire, so by knowing what your schedule is, and booking it up well in advance, the savings are absolutely enormous. What I became particularly conscious of in particular is that in many cases the cost of flights are less than half of the total trip cost, you need to also work out the cost of getting to and from the airport.

    I didn’t have those costs, as I drove to Finland, but I do remember fuel was relatively expensive.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    Lammy. Not an LBC listener, obvs.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    Labour's class warfare makes me want to barf, they are proud about choosing oiks, how about choosing the best person regardless of their class.

    It would make me so proud to have two working class kids from Cantril Farm representing their respective constituencies in Westminster.
    We need more working class trade unionists in Parliament.
    Anneliese is a perfect choice for Knowsley and has my full support.✊


    https://twitter.com/IanByrneMP/status/1748976156844380547

    Nothing says 'working class trade unionist' like an Annelise who was first a SPAD and then deputy chief of staff to Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    Taz said:

    Scottish Police currently not planning to investigate former SNP leader deleting WhatsApp messages.

    I’m sure the same level of outrage at this deletion of these messages will be forthcoming as it was when Members of the Westminster govt had ‘lost’ theirs and that anger was not at all political or synthetic.

    https://news.sky.com/story/nicola-sturgeon-not-being-investigated-by-police-at-this-time-over-deleted-pandemic-whatsapp-messages-13052936

    It is interesting that she kept her messages from Alex Salmond for at least three years.
    Emotional dependence?
  • Options
    ydoethur said:

    Labour's class warfare makes me want to barf, they are proud about choosing oiks, how about choosing the best person regardless of their class.

    It would make me so proud to have two working class kids from Cantril Farm representing their respective constituencies in Westminster.
    We need more working class trade unionists in Parliament.
    Anneliese is a perfect choice for Knowsley and has my full support.✊


    https://twitter.com/IanByrneMP/status/1748976156844380547

    Nothing says 'working class trade unionist' like an Annelise who was first a SPAD and then deputy chief of staff to Jeremy Corbyn.
    Quite.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    Lammy. Not an LBC listener, obvs.
    Ah, is that still who it is? I thought he'd been reshuffled some random place else.

    No, of course I don't listen to LBC. I'm busy doing useful things.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    Lammy. Not an LBC listener, obvs.
    Ah, is that still who it is? I thought he'd been reshuffled some random place else.

    No, of course I don't listen to LBC. I'm busy doing useful things.
    They invented radio because television was distracting people from doing useful stuff, silly.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    That last sentence is unkind.

    To shambolic collections of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.

    I don't recall the same criticism in 1997 although I was very young at the time. In fact my recollection is that the likes of Brown and Mandelson were front and centre of the campaign.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    As for MPs and class, the real problem is that parties persist in choosing people who are totally lacking in class.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
  • Options
    ydoethur said:

    As for MPs and class, the real problem is that parties persist in choosing people who are totally lacking in class.

    People with class do not talk about class.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,381
    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
  • Options
    TazTaz Posts: 11,095

    Taz said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Phillipson at education has been pretty good too. Reeves a big improvement on the hapless Dodds.
    My problem with Reeves is her accent, I'd sooner hear nails scraping on a blackboard.
    Her whining nasal monotone does grate somewhat.
  • Options

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Dave also had George Young
  • Options
    TimSTimS Posts: 9,524
    What’s the current price on Putin winning the Russian election? Maybe we should have a betting post on that one.

    The only foreign elections I usually feel confident enough in being able to have a go predicting are the US and France. Both of course covered much more heavily in British media than the others, but also both with easier access to friends and colleagues on the inside. This time though I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in America.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,381

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Dave also had George Young
    Thanks. (Though it doesn't change the principle.)

    How could I forget
    The bicycling baronet?
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

  • Options
    ChrisChris Posts: 11,103
    TimS said:

    What’s the current price on Putin winning the Russian election? Maybe we should have a betting post on that one.

    The only foreign elections I usually feel confident enough in being able to have a go predicting are the US and France. Both of course covered much more heavily in British media than the others, but also both with easier access to friends and colleagues on the inside. This time though I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in America.

    People like Putin tend to leave office by more sudden and unpredictable means than losing elections.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,588

    One of the least funny cartoons I've seen in a long time.
    You seemed to have lost your sense of humour Casino.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    edited January 21

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Margaret Beckett and Jack Cunningham had also been junior ministers under Callaghan (as was Strang). I think there were no remaining members of Callaghan's actual cabinet (which also had quite a high average age).

    In 1964 the only former cabinet ministers were Wilson himself and Gordon Walker (who became FS even though he had lost his seat). Brown, Callaghan and Soskice had all held non-cabinet roles under Attlee.

    Edit - the big exception to the rule of 'few surviving cabinet ministers' was Heath, who had a vast pool to draw on including the last Conservative Prime Minister - until last year, the only former Prime Minister to serve under one of his successors since Baldwin before the Second World War.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Chris said:

    TimS said:

    What’s the current price on Putin winning the Russian election? Maybe we should have a betting post on that one.

    The only foreign elections I usually feel confident enough in being able to have a go predicting are the US and France. Both of course covered much more heavily in British media than the others, but also both with easier access to friends and colleagues on the inside. This time though I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in America.

    People like Putin tend to leave office by more sudden and unpredictable means than losing elections.
    Through a brief window of opportunity, or a moment of streetwise illumination?
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553
    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

    I think Streeting will bomb out at Health. He hasn't a clue about what to do, and no minister of Health has made it to number 10 since the NHS came into existence. It is a particularly poisoned chalice at present too.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553

    One of the least funny cartoons I've seen in a long time.
    You seemed to have lost your sense of humour Casino.
    I didn't find the cartoon even slightly funny either.
  • Options
    StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,381
    ydoethur said:

    Chris said:

    TimS said:

    What’s the current price on Putin winning the Russian election? Maybe we should have a betting post on that one.

    The only foreign elections I usually feel confident enough in being able to have a go predicting are the US and France. Both of course covered much more heavily in British media than the others, but also both with easier access to friends and colleagues on the inside. This time though I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in America.

    People like Putin tend to leave office by more sudden and unpredictable means than losing elections.
    Through a brief window of opportunity, or a moment of streetwise illumination?
    Or by putting the swing into swingometer.
  • Options
    theProletheProle Posts: 948

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Isn't the trouble with Lammy that it's impossible to take him seriously? I can't see or hear from him without mentally thinking "we never see no police round here...".
    Granted, it was one particularly stupid moment some time ago, but sometimes stuff like that etches itself into one's brain. Even if he's now rather less of an idiot, I just can't help remembering him as a bloke who went on TV to complain he'd not seen a policeman in weeks with one actually in shot behind him.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,588

    ydoethur said:

    As for MPs and class, the real problem is that parties persist in choosing people who are totally lacking in class.

    People with class do not talk about class.
    ...says man talking about class.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Michael Meacher had been a junior Minister under Wilson and Callaghan.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411

    One of the least funny cartoons I've seen in a long time.
    TBF, we say the same about the government.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

    I think Streeting will bomb out at Health. He hasn't a clue about what to do, and no minister of Health has made it to number 10 since the NHS came into existence. It is a particularly poisoned chalice at present too.
    Streeting is a past treasury shadow, so his gameplan should be to knife Reeves at some point, and get her job?
  • Options
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    With possible exception of Cameron (who is a special case in not being an MP), I cannot think of a single Cabinet minister who comes across as being as competent as their Labour shadow. I might have also gone for Hunt until recently, but he is now clearly determined to wreck the economy with unfunded tax cuts providing it helps keep the Tories in power.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

    I think Streeting will bomb out at Health. He hasn't a clue about what to do, and no minister of Health has made it to number 10 since the NHS came into existence. It is a particularly poisoned chalice at present too.
    Although to be fair, only one former Secretary of State for Health (or equivalent) ever has made it to the top. Just as only one former SoS for Education has. And no former Transport Secretary. This is despite the roles having attracted some high profile and energetic individuals.

    Domestic roles trying to focus on the nuts and bolts of useful policy tend not to be the springboard for successful careers.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    theProle said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Isn't the trouble with Lammy that it's impossible to take him seriously? I can't see or hear from him without mentally thinking "we never see no police round here...".
    Granted, it was one particularly stupid moment some time ago, but sometimes stuff like that etches itself into one's brain. Even if he's now rather less of an idiot, I just can't help remembering him as a bloke who went on TV to complain he'd not seen a policeman in weeks with one actually in shot behind him.
    He comes across as a decent guy, but it’s hard to see him representing the country on the world stage. Although after Johnson, how low is the bar nowadays?
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553
    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Margaret Beckett and Jack Cunningham had also been junior ministers under Callaghan (as was Strang). I think there were no remaining members of Callaghan's actual cabinet (which also had quite a high average age).

    In 1964 the only former cabinet ministers were Wilson himself and Gordon Walker (who became FS even though he had lost his seat). Brown, Callaghan and Soskice had all held non-cabinet roles under Attlee.

    Edit - the big exception to the rule of 'few surviving cabinet ministers' was Heath, who had a vast pool to draw on including the last Conservative Prime Minister - until last year, the only former Prime Minister to serve under one of his successors since Baldwin before the Second World War.
    Heath's government wasn't noticeably benefited by all that experience was it?
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    With possible exception of Cameron (who is a special case in not being an MP), I cannot think of a single Cabinet minister who comes across as being as competent as their Labour shadow. I might have also gone for Hunt until recently, but he is now clearly determined to wreck the economy with unfunded tax cuts providing it helps keep the Tories in power.
    That's possibly true, but 'slightly less shit than their current incumbent counterparts' is not at all the same as 'excelling at opposition.'
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Margaret Beckett and Jack Cunningham had also been junior ministers under Callaghan (as was Strang). I think there were no remaining members of Callaghan's actual cabinet (which also had quite a high average age).

    In 1964 the only former cabinet ministers were Wilson himself and Gordon Walker (who became FS even though he had lost his seat). Brown, Callaghan and Soskice had all held non-cabinet roles under Attlee.

    Edit - the big exception to the rule of 'few surviving cabinet ministers' was Heath, who had a vast pool to draw on including the last Conservative Prime Minister - until last year, the only former Prime Minister to serve under one of his successors since Baldwin before the Second World War.
    Heath's government wasn't noticeably benefited by all that experience was it?
    Has to be said that's an unanswerable point.

    Although the loss of one former cabinet minister only a few weeks in for other reasons may have a bearing on that. Hard to imagine Heath's government would have been quite such a car crash if Iain Macleod had been alive to advise on policy decisions.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    edited January 21
    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Margaret Beckett and Jack Cunningham had also been junior ministers under Callaghan (as was Strang). I think there were no remaining members of Callaghan's actual cabinet (which also had quite a high average age).

    In 1964 the only former cabinet ministers were Wilson himself and Gordon Walker (who became FS even though he had lost his seat). Brown, Callaghan and Soskice had all held non-cabinet roles under Attlee.

    Edit - the big exception to the rule of 'few surviving cabinet ministers' was Heath, who had a vast pool to draw on including the last Conservative Prime Minister - until last year, the only former Prime Minister to serve under one of his successors since Baldwin before the Second World War.
    Heath's government wasn't noticeably benefited by all that experience was it?
    It made it through four years, and at the ensuing election was supported by more voters than was the Labour opposition. There have been worse outturns.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553
    I have read the header but don't really understand it. Is it saying that swingback is more of an issue with smaller leads? Or is it something more subtle?
  • Options
    theProle said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Isn't the trouble with Lammy that it's impossible to take him seriously? I can't see or hear from him without mentally thinking "we never see no police round here...".
    Granted, it was one particularly stupid moment some time ago, but sometimes stuff like that etches itself into one's brain. Even if he's now rather less of an idiot, I just can't help remembering him as a bloke who went on TV to complain he'd not seen a policeman in weeks with one actually in shot behind him.
    I fully expect Prime Minister Starmer to retain Lord Cameron as Foreign Secretary to ensure he has the best man for the job and to show off his big tent bipartisanship.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    edited January 21
    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    I remember the same criticism being made of Labour's Shadow Cabinet in the run up to 1997. No one was thought to be a "big beast" then either. Indeed the criticism was that they were all wet behind their ears.

    Starmers team contains some new faces, but also others such as Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper with cabinet experience.

    It's not as if they are replacing the A team either, the current cabinet is a shambolic collection of numpties chosen only for their professed loyalty.
    Only a small minority of Sir Keir’s putative cabinet has been in one before. Those few who have previously sat around the top table did so more than a decade ago. This exclusive club is composed of Hilary Benn, Yvette Cooper, Ed Miliband and that’s it. Peter Kyle, Bridget Phillipson and Wes Streeting are among those expecting to hold significant positions in a Labour cabinet who were not even MPs the last time their party wielded power.
    Isn't that inevitable when you have such slow swings of the pendulum?

    In terms of full Cabinet members, Dave had Hague and Clarke, was there anyone else?

    Wasn't Blair's only experienced Cabinet minister Gavin Strang?
    Michael Meacher had been a junior Minister under Wilson and Callaghan.
    Although he wasn't in Blair's cabinet.

    Edit - there is an amusing story on this subject about Rhodri Morgan. When Blair was trying to bully him out of standing for election as Welsh Labour leader, one of the arguments Blair put forward was 'you haven't the necessary experience.' Morgan's retort was, 'if experience mattered so much we would all have voted for Margaret Beckett in 1994 and she would now be in your seat Tony.'

    Apparently the aide taking minutes was so shocked by this remark she broke her pencil!
  • Options
    LeonLeon Posts: 46,916
    edited January 21
    I’ve been to Finland a few times. It is exceptionally dull, in a pleasant, civilised, lacustrine way. A kind of wilder Denmark. The food can be surprisingly varied and interesting: mushrooms and berries, reindeer and dill

    I did the full on, full fat Finnish sauna experience once. Middle of winter, you go out to a sauna in the dark snowbound forest. You strip naked, and do the hottest sauna in history (once you’ve drunk a litre of vodka), then (after more vodka) you troop naked out of the sauna at midnight, to see where someone has just chopped a hole in the ice in the nearest lake, and then you jump straight in the freeeeeezing water, and straight out again

    My God, my God. It hurts. However about 20 minutes later you feel like a God, and that continues for several hours

    Definitely worth doing. Once
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    With possible exception of Cameron (who is a special case in not being an MP), I cannot think of a single Cabinet minister who comes across as being as competent as their Labour shadow. I might have also gone for Hunt until recently, but he is now clearly determined to wreck the economy with unfunded tax cuts providing it helps keep the Tories in power.
    True, although that’s a superficial comparison, as the jobs are apples and pears, as Rawnsley sets out in his piece today. Excellence in making speeches and issuing press releases is hard to match up with excellent in running government departments. Your conclusion simply reflects the abject dearth of the latter.
  • Options
    TimSTimS Posts: 9,524
    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

    I think Streeting will bomb out at Health. He hasn't a clue about what to do, and no minister of Health has made it to number 10 since the NHS came into existence. It is a particularly poisoned chalice at present too.
    Although to be fair, only one former Secretary of State for Health (or equivalent) ever has made it to the top. Just as only one former SoS for Education has. And no former Transport Secretary. This is despite the roles having attracted some high profile and energetic individuals.

    Domestic roles trying to focus on the nuts and bolts of useful policy tend not to be the springboard for successful careers.
    Which means a few will be jockeying for position come the first reshuffle.

    Bets on when that happens? Barring some scandal involving a minister I’d go with about a year into the parliament. Starmer will want the ministers to have a decent go at running their departments before shuffling them around.

    Cooper isn’t a bad shout as first female leader of she manages to survive the home office. May did, so it’s not impossible.
  • Options
    ChrisChris Posts: 11,103
    ydoethur said:

    Chris said:

    TimS said:

    What’s the current price on Putin winning the Russian election? Maybe we should have a betting post on that one.

    The only foreign elections I usually feel confident enough in being able to have a go predicting are the US and France. Both of course covered much more heavily in British media than the others, but also both with easier access to friends and colleagues on the inside. This time though I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in America.

    People like Putin tend to leave office by more sudden and unpredictable means than losing elections.
    Through a brief window of opportunity, or a moment of streetwise illumination?
    Or sometimes being kicked to death by a mob.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553
    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

    I think Streeting will bomb out at Health. He hasn't a clue about what to do, and no minister of Health has made it to number 10 since the NHS came into existence. It is a particularly poisoned chalice at present too.
    Streeting is a past treasury shadow, so his gameplan should be to knife Reeves at some point, and get her job?
    He certainly shows naked ambition, but that too will make him few friends.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,588
    edited January 21
    Foxy said:

    I have read the header but don't really understand it. Is it saying that swingback is more of an issue with smaller leads? Or is it something more subtle?

    My take was the small lead doesn't justify the odds.

    I like the charts, the way the 1st v 2nd gap mirrors the 2nd v 3rd gap each election. What does that signify? I have no idea.

    Anyway, thanks for the header @Viewcode!
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157
    Chris said:

    ydoethur said:

    Chris said:

    TimS said:

    What’s the current price on Putin winning the Russian election? Maybe we should have a betting post on that one.

    The only foreign elections I usually feel confident enough in being able to have a go predicting are the US and France. Both of course covered much more heavily in British media than the others, but also both with easier access to friends and colleagues on the inside. This time though I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in America.

    People like Putin tend to leave office by more sudden and unpredictable means than losing elections.
    Through a brief window of opportunity, or a moment of streetwise illumination?
    Or sometimes being kicked to death by a mob.
    We call that 'being given the boot by democratic means.'
  • Options
    kamskikamski Posts: 4,231

    kamski said:

    darkage said:

    Leon said:

    IanB2 said:

    Leon said:

    algarkirk said:

    Leon said:

    Leon said:

    algarkirk said:

    At some stage, and it’s not entirely clear when, the British governing class abandoned the British national *project*.

    I think David Edgerton is probably the best writer on this, his thesis is that 1945 represented the creation of a new British state that was - contra to received opinion - surprisingly advanced and puissant - but that the neo-liberal age since 1979 has seen its slow and now rapid dismantlement.

    Why should Britain retain the ability to manufacture steel? Why should Britain maintain armed forces and be concerned about Russian aggression? Why shouldn’t it import a million immigrants a year? Why shouldn’t Scotland go its own way? Why shouldn’t Britain run a massive trade deficit? Why should we keep the BBC?

    The modern dispensation barely knows how to answer these questions.

    That sounds as if it is up there with Ken Loach's Spirit Of '45 stuff? Deride the turn taken post-1979 all you want but to pretend it all came out of nowhere...........
    I don’
    Sean_F said:

    Some posters may be overly focused on 1979 as the turning point. The point still stands: the British governing class don’t seem to really care about *Britain*.

    This is not even a left or right point, as it seems widely prevalent.

    I quite agree. Our governing class cares largely about the fruits of office.

    But, the decay in the calibre of governing classes seems widespread in rich world countries. There’s no comparison between the leaders of 30 years ago, and the dross we have today.
    A subtly different point, with which I agree.

    My point is more that Britain lacks a sense of national project. So the government keeps making decisions that are essentially corrosive of British identity and longer-term prosperity.

    For what should be obvious reasons, this diagnosis doesn’t apply to the US and NZ.
    The obvious reason (British identity) is that USA and NZ are not British, but you imply there is more. Do let us into the secret.
    Settler nations, founded in “modern” times.

    Few in America doubt a sense of American destiny.

    New Zealanders are all pretty clear that they have a unique cultural and geographical inheritance and that the world doesn’t owe them a living.
    The huge scale of modern migration has not helped. Parts of Britain have gone from feeling like a homeland - a home - to feeling like a hotel. And quite a rundown hotel, with too many guests. Everything has an air of transience. The fridge has milk bottles with names on

    This is NOT the fault of immigrants, it is however what happens with epochal-scale immigration. America knew this so it made damn sure the migrants all went in the melting pot (at least until recently) and forced them to BECOME Americans, with shared rituals, devotions and holidays - from July 4th to Thanksgiving. Multiculti Britain does not do that

    Everyone lurks in their own room, playing very different video games
    If I understand correctly, British immigration of late has been at a *larger scale*, per capita, than anything experienced in American history.

    It’s mind-boggling.
    You understand correctly. More people are coming into Britain - per capita - than came into America during the 1890s or 1920s or any time in the history of the USA

    Voters are only just noticing this. We discussed this yesterday. British voters UNDERestimate the scale of inwards migration by about 500%. But now they are beginning to see

    It could get messy
    Of course it could; and it seems vital that it doesn't. There is lots of discussion as to how to 'stop the boats' (as if that were numerically where the problem lay - which it isn't); and some discussion of reducing the future numbers generally and all that. But suppose the real problem in the mind of many - Tory and Reform voters but not only them - is not stopping the future stuff, but the reality and consequences of that which has already occurred.

    At the moment this is only discussed in a proxy form - stopping the future stuff takes its place as a substitute. GB News, Suella, Patel, Reform, The Tory Right etc stick firmly to that agenda, making all their efforts look, as they are, pointless. But will that sticking plaster stick?
    The German discussion of deportation shows where this could easily end up, unless we are lucky

    No western society will tolerate itself becoming, say, 30-40% Muslim, because at that point the country will be transformed into something utterly unrecognisable - and non western. This is not Islamophobia, westermers want to live in a western country, that is all

    Yet the vast migration continues and the demographic trends are relentless

    So implacable force :: immovable object? Something will give

    The best possible outcome would be for Islam to suddenly experience an Enlightenment, and for its conservative trends to disappear, then integration would be infinitely easier - but there seems no sign of that, sadly
    I saw signs of it in East London, as a councillor meeting many Muslim sixth formers. They seemed acutely aware that they lived in two worlds - the relatively conservative environment of their family, and the liberal/western viewpoint of their school (and the internet), and carried what they saw as the future responsibility of their generation to marry the two, surprisingly heavily.
    Well that is some small reason for very cautious optimism, in what can otherwise be a bleak debate

    A good moment to bow out, as it is late late late here, in sultry Phnom Penh

    Nightynight
    Not sure if this article on the BBC has been quoted in discussion, the idea of banning AfD in Germany. As if that is a good solution to the issue.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-68029232

    Douglas Murray has been saying that the danger is that eventually all this culminates in a nativist revolt, and a theme in his recent work is warning about this. 'Far right' parties are a way of addressing the issue by vocalising concerns. If you try and bury the concerns, ie by outlawing them through "hate speech" legislation, the eventual revolt just gets more nasty and brutal.

    I don't think the AfD will be banned, and the article shows little support for that.
    However, given its history, it's hardly surprising that a lot of German people are concerned about the rise of a political party that explains that country's challenges by focusing on 'outgroups' and what to do about them.

    Despite what Douglas Murray says, it doesn't take much to transform from 'vocalising concerns' to beating the shit out of immigrants, for those who are susceptible to such ideas.
    I don't see an outright ban happening, but there is a very strong backlash against the AfD since the story of the secret Potsdam meeting came out. In the last 12 years of living in Germany I've not seen anything quite like it. There's potentially a lot of support there for politicians willing to call for a ban.
    A ban - without addressing any of the issues or allowing alternative expression of concern about them - seems remarkably dumb.

    I can understand the terror given Germany's history but 1/4 of the electorate might simply check out and resort to extra-democratic action outside the law.
    Which is one of the reasons why few political leaders are calling for a ban, and I think a move is pretty unlikely. The other reason being that it is the Constitutional Court that would decide on a ban, and an unsuccessful petition would certainly be counterproductive. On the other hand the court finding that the AfD are in fact a threat to democracy would no doubt lose them *some* of their support, but who knows how much. But even 10% supporting a party that has been banned would be a problem.

    As for 'allowing alternative expression of concern about them' there is plenty of expression of concern (if you are talking eg about immigration?) a ban would be on organisations proven to be seeking to overthrow, and being an actual threat to, the democratic system. There's no ban possible on 'expressing concern' about anything.

    https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/EN/Verfahren/Wichtige-Verfahrensarten/Parteiverbotsverfahren/parteiverbotsverfahren_node.html

    'Proceedings for prohibition

    The proceedings are governed by Art. 21(2) of the Basic Law and §§ 43 et seq. of the Federal Constitutional Court Act. Proceedings for the prohibition of a political party receive a “BvB” file reference.

    Parties that, by reason of their aims or the behaviour of their adherents, seek to undermine or abolish the free democratic basic order or to endanger the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany must be declared unconstitutional (cf. Art. 21(2) first sentence of the Basic Law). According to the Federal Constitutional Court’s case-law, the mere dissemination of anti-constitutional ideas as such is not sufficient. To be declared unconstitutional, a party must also take an actively belligerent, aggressive stance vis-à-vis the free democratic basic order and must seek to abolish it. In addition, specific indications are required which suggest that it is at least possible that the party will achieve its anti-constitutional aims.

    The Bundestag, the Bundesrat and the Federal Government have legal ability to file an application.'
  • Options
    Foxy said:

    The other notable thing about Finland is it was the site of the most important public health intervention for a non infectious disease in the world, the North Karelia project.

    In the early 1970s Finland had the world's highest rate of heart disease, with North Karelia being one of the worst areas.



    The transformation has been remarkeable, this is a lay article on how it worked:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

    We need an intervention like that to reverse our nation's terrible health death spiral. The Finns also have a radical idea on easing homelessness. I'd vote for any UK government that tore up the rule book to try ideas like these.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,588
    O/T This was posted yesterday. Can anyone tell me if it's a spoof DM article - it must be surely?

    image

    https://x.com/Eyeswideopen69/status/1748694288261665129?s=20
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

    I think Streeting will bomb out at Health. He hasn't a clue about what to do, and no minister of Health has made it to number 10 since the NHS came into existence. It is a particularly poisoned chalice at present too.
    Streeting is a past treasury shadow, so his gameplan should be to knife Reeves at some point, and get her job?
    He certainly shows naked ambition, but that too will make him few friends.
    He has plenty of those in the party already, I believe.

    The Plan A would be to perform a miracle with the NHS and be carried into number ten by popular acclaim.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    Foxy said:

    I have read the header but don't really understand it. Is it saying that swingback is more of an issue with smaller leads? Or is it something more subtle?

    I took it simply to say that if you allow for margin of error and the unpredictability of future events, the odds appear out of balance.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,588

    Foxy said:

    The other notable thing about Finland is it was the site of the most important public health intervention for a non infectious disease in the world, the North Karelia project.

    In the early 1970s Finland had the world's highest rate of heart disease, with North Karelia being one of the worst areas.



    The transformation has been remarkeable, this is a lay article on how it worked:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

    We need an intervention like that to reverse our nation's terrible health death spiral. The Finns also have a radical idea on easing homelessness. I'd vote for any UK government that tore up the rule book to try ideas like these.
    See also eductation.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/world/finland-no-fee-paying-schools-pupils-perform-better-privately-educated-british-2664640
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411
    Foxy said:

    The other notable thing about Finland is it was the site of the most important public health intervention for a non infectious disease in the world, the North Karelia project.

    In the early 1970s Finland had the world's highest rate of heart disease, with North Karelia being one of the worst areas.



    The transformation has been remarkeable, this is a lay article on how it worked:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

    Pretty remarkable sustained public health education effort - but the Finns are pretty good at education.
    One thing we could fairly easily and profitably copy is the food regulation. It would be a much cheaper way of reducing heart disease than anything the NHS can do.
    .. Furthermore, the food industry reduced salt content in products and developed special mineral salts (with sodium replaced by potassium and magnesium). As a result, salt intake reduced in North Karelia from 13 to 9.5 g among men and from 10 to 7.4 g among women.4 This behavioral change had a significant beneficial impact on blood pressure because the mean systolic blood pressure in North Karelia decreased from 149 to 134 mm Hg and 153 to 127 mm Hg among men and women, respectively, from 1972 to 2012….
  • Options

    Taz said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Phillipson at education has been pretty good too. Reeves a big improvement on the hapless Dodds.
    My problem with Reeves is her accent, I'd sooner hear nails scraping on a blackboard.
    Problems with the accent? Man, have you never been to Birmingham?
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    edited January 21
    TimS said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Streeting has the ambition, for sure. But if they’re in government replacing a sitting PM, precedent suggests the successor is likely to be from one of the top three jobs - and with Cooper and Reeves likely to be filling two of them, and with Labour very conscious of its ongoing failure to choose a woman, it would pay to be green on those two, I’d have thought? Cooper might even not seem so dull after a few years of Starmer.

    I think Streeting will bomb out at Health. He hasn't a clue about what to do, and no minister of Health has made it to number 10 since the NHS came into existence. It is a particularly poisoned chalice at present too.
    Although to be fair, only one former Secretary of State for Health (or equivalent) ever has made it to the top. Just as only one former SoS for Education has. And no former Transport Secretary. This is despite the roles having attracted some high profile and energetic individuals.

    Domestic roles trying to focus on the nuts and bolts of useful policy tend not to be the springboard for successful careers.
    Which means a few will be jockeying for position come the first reshuffle.

    Bets on when that happens? Barring some scandal involving a minister I’d go with about a year into the parliament. Starmer will want the ministers to have a decent go at running their departments before shuffling them around.

    Cooper isn’t a bad shout as first female leader of she manages to survive the home office. May did, so it’s not impossible.
    That was my line of thought, and having been red on Cooper I’ve backed her into the green.

    To survive the Home Office you need to be a diligent, hard-working details person who doesn’t miss much and keeps all the plates spinning. May and Cooper are similar in those respects. Of course, you also need to be lucky.

    Cooper has been marked down because she’s not a natural campaigner and is low on flair, which matters in opposition when the primary task is to get noticed. Whereas in government, steadiness and good judgement will count for more. Cooper works hard and does well with the detail of parliamentary work and she’s likely to bring the same skills into government. And, as I said above, following Starmer could even make her look relatively interesting.
  • Options
    OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,938
    edited January 21
    IanB2 said:

    theProle said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    One person who has excelled is Cambridge man (and future PM) Wes Streeting.

    Darren Jones has been impressive before and after he joined the shadow cabinet.

    Impressed by Lammy too (as he avoided many banana skins) and Lou Haigh at Transport but the latter role is full of open goals.
    Isn't the trouble with Lammy that it's impossible to take him seriously? I can't see or hear from him without mentally thinking "we never see no police round here...".
    Granted, it was one particularly stupid moment some time ago, but sometimes stuff like that etches itself into one's brain. Even if he's now rather less of an idiot, I just can't help remembering him as a bloke who went on TV to complain he'd not seen a policeman in weeks with one actually in shot behind him.
    He comes across as a decent guy, but it’s hard to see him representing the country on the world stage. Although after Johnson, how low is the bar nowadays?
    And, to be fair, or clutch at a straw, the policeman was behind him!
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,553

    Foxy said:

    The other notable thing about Finland is it was the site of the most important public health intervention for a non infectious disease in the world, the North Karelia project.

    In the early 1970s Finland had the world's highest rate of heart disease, with North Karelia being one of the worst areas.



    The transformation has been remarkeable, this is a lay article on how it worked:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

    We need an intervention like that to reverse our nation's terrible health death spiral. The Finns also have a radical idea on easing homelessness. I'd vote for any UK government that tore up the rule book to try ideas like these.
    In the dying days of the Brown regime Prof Marmot published just such a report for the UK. Naturally it was junked by the incoming government.

    https://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/fair-society-healthy-lives-the-marmot-review

    Any serious attempt to contain NHS costs and to reduce the disability and ill health impact on the Welfare budget needs to be on such lines.

    Quite apart from improving our lives generally the financial savings would be huge.
  • Options
    BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,588
    Chris said:

    ydoethur said:

    Chris said:

    TimS said:

    What’s the current price on Putin winning the Russian election? Maybe we should have a betting post on that one.

    The only foreign elections I usually feel confident enough in being able to have a go predicting are the US and France. Both of course covered much more heavily in British media than the others, but also both with easier access to friends and colleagues on the inside. This time though I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen in America.

    People like Putin tend to leave office by more sudden and unpredictable means than losing elections.
    Through a brief window of opportunity, or a moment of streetwise illumination?
    Or sometimes being kicked to death by a mob.
    Not in Russia though.
  • Options
    bigjohnowlsbigjohnowls Posts: 21,829
    The UK had 3 active minehunters in the Middle East and the defence secretary is asked about one of them reversing into another, thereby reducing the number of active minehunters in the Middle East to 1.

    Grant Shapps says "these things happen."

    Same as killing 25000 innocents then.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411
    Foxy said:

    I have read the header but don't really understand it. Is it saying that swingback is more of an issue with smaller leads? Or is it something more subtle?

    It’s noting the data, rather than trying any fancy effort to explain it.
    But should perhaps carry a past performance disclaimer.
  • Options
    .
    Nigelb said:

    Foxy said:

    The other notable thing about Finland is it was the site of the most important public health intervention for a non infectious disease in the world, the North Karelia project.

    In the early 1970s Finland had the world's highest rate of heart disease, with North Karelia being one of the worst areas.



    The transformation has been remarkeable, this is a lay article on how it worked:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

    Pretty remarkable sustained public health education effort - but the Finns are pretty good at education.
    One thing we could fairly easily and profitably copy is the food regulation. It would be a much cheaper way of reducing heart disease than anything the NHS can do.
    .. Furthermore, the food industry reduced salt content in products and developed special mineral salts (with sodium replaced by potassium and magnesium). As a result, salt intake reduced in North Karelia from 13 to 9.5 g among men and from 10 to 7.4 g among women.4 This behavioral change had a significant beneficial impact on blood pressure because the mean systolic blood pressure in North Karelia decreased from 149 to 134 mm Hg and 153 to 127 mm Hg among men and women, respectively, from 1972 to 2012….
    The best thing any government could do would be to educate the population away from ultra processed food. Nestle, PepsiCo and the gang would be unhappy, but we'd all be healthier.
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233
    edited January 21
    Foxy said:

    The other notable thing about Finland is it was the site of the most important public health intervention for a non infectious disease in the world, the North Karelia project.

    In the early 1970s Finland had the world's highest rate of heart disease, with North Karelia being one of the worst areas.



    The transformation has been remarkeable, this is a lay article on how it worked:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

    Mostly behind the paywall, sadly.

    But the problem with all the “right” things that need doing with healthcare, including the shift from cure to prevention, is that the payoffs, although potentially considerable, are years if not decades down the line. Which means there’s no benefit, other than in posterity, for the politicians that bring them about. It’s certainly not going to work as a plan for Streeting to make it to number ten.
  • Options
    Thanks for the article, Viewcode. It's very readable and the aproach is sound.

    Might have a dabble, although I suspect the market is so thin that it wouldn't tke many PBers to shift it.
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,411
    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    With possible exception of Cameron (who is a special case in not being an MP), I cannot think of a single Cabinet minister who comes across as being as competent as their Labour shadow. I might have also gone for Hunt until recently, but he is now clearly determined to wreck the economy with unfunded tax cuts providing it helps keep the Tories in power.
    True, although that’s a superficial comparison, as the jobs are apples and pears, as Rawnsley sets out in his piece today. Excellence in making speeches and issuing press releases is hard to match up with excellent in running government departments. Your conclusion simply reflects the abject dearth of the latter.
    Does anyone know Labour well enough to predict any low profile shadows who might surprise on the upside in government ?
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 67,157

    The UK had 3 active minehunters in the Middle East and the defence secretary is asked about one of them reversing into another, thereby reducing the number of active minehunters in the Middle East to 1.

    Grant Shapps says "these things happen."

    Same as killing 25000 innocents then.

    What proportion of those 25,000 were Hamas fighters and therefore about as innocent as Vladimir Putin?
  • Options
    IanB2IanB2 Posts: 47,233

    Foxy said:

    The other notable thing about Finland is it was the site of the most important public health intervention for a non infectious disease in the world, the North Karelia project.

    In the early 1970s Finland had the world's highest rate of heart disease, with North Karelia being one of the worst areas.



    The transformation has been remarkeable, this is a lay article on how it worked:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/finlands-radical-heart-health-transformation/389766/

    We need an intervention like that to reverse our nation's terrible health death spiral. The Finns also have a radical idea on easing homelessness. I'd vote for any UK government that tore up the rule book to try ideas like these.
    See also eductation.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/world/finland-no-fee-paying-schools-pupils-perform-better-privately-educated-british-2664640
    The long dark winters and all that time in the sauna allow for some proper, serious thinking.
  • Options
    IanB2 said:

    ydoethur said:

    IanB2 said:

    Off topic, an earlier than usual Sunday Rawnsley, as a distraction from incoming destruction:

    ..few of [the Shadow Cabinet] have any first-hand knowledge of what it is like to lead a department, manage multibillion pound budgets, draft legislation and persuade parliament to pass it, plan and deliver programmes while fire-fighting crises that flare up out of nowhere and managing the expectations of stakeholders, the media and public opinion. “Many of Keir’s team don’t have any idea what will hit them,” remarks one veteran of past Labour governments.

    So Labour’s personnel need to be thinking about how to do government not after the election, but before the weight of its pressures is on their shoulders.

    On polling day, Sir Keir and his team will have responsibility for nothing. The following day, they will be responsible for everything. They will take office knackered after a month or more of campaigning and will have had little or no sleep the night before the arrival of the new prime minister at Number 10.

    A compelling study recently published by the Institute for Government…concludes: “Oppositions that prepare are better at governing, particularly in the crucial early years of a parliament.”

    Some Labour frontbenchers who have excelled as opposition spokespeople will turn out to be flops when faced with the different demands of governing. Others who have not made much of a mark will prove to be more accomplished as ministers. Thrown into the deep end, some will swim, some will sink. To improve the chances of there being more doers than duds, former cabinet ministers and ex-permanent secretaries have been giving Labour frontbenchers private advice and coaching in how to be a successful minister.

    In his early period at Number 10, Mr Blair used to complain to aides that he saw the civil service as “a big shiny Rolls-Royce that no one has taught me how to drive”. By appointing Sue Gray as his chief of staff, Sir Keir has placed at his right hand a Whitehall veteran who knows the machinery of government inside out. Team Starmer has reason to expect that it will receive a generally enthusiastic welcome from Whitehall. Not so much because it is stuffed with ideological sympathisers, but because Tories have used officials as whipping boys by denigrating the civil service as a useless “blob” while brutally purging many mandarins.

    Labour is so accustomed to losing that a lot of its people will struggle to think about anything except the election until polling day. Success in government is more likely for the shrewder Labour people who will also be focused on the intense challenges that will confront them from the day after.

    Who are these people who have excelled at opposition?

    One reason I’m sceptical about these colossal Labour leads is that the party frequently seems a one-man band and that’s not likely to work to his advantage in an election campaign. Even Cabinet veterans like Cooper and Miliband are fairly low profile and I can’t even think who the current Shadow Foreign Secretary is.

    Cameron had Osborne and Hague. Blair had Prescott, Brown, Mandelson and Cook. Thatcher had Whitelaw and Howe. Who does Starmer have?
    With possible exception of Cameron (who is a special case in not being an MP), I cannot think of a single Cabinet minister who comes across as being as competent as their Labour shadow. I might have also gone for Hunt until recently, but he is now clearly determined to wreck the economy with unfunded tax cuts providing it helps keep the Tories in power.
    True, although that’s a superficial comparison, as the jobs are apples and pears, as Rawnsley sets out in his piece today. Excellence in making speeches and issuing press releases is hard to match up with excellent in running government departments. Your conclusion simply reflects the abject dearth of the latter.
    I agree with your final point. The current dearth of talent in the government makes any improvement somewhat inevitable.

    However, I found Rawnsley's piece rather lazy. No one knows how people will cope in any new job and his reference to running multi-billion pound budgets is spurious. If that were a relevant measure, Trump would have been a great President instead of the plonker he turned out to be.

    Either way, by the end of this year we will know. It's not that they have to be excellent or even good. After the chaos that has been the last 8 years, most people will settle for better.
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    StillWatersStillWaters Posts: 6,989
    Let’s throw all the local knowledge away, the commentators, the pretending we know about things, and focus on the numbers.

    But if we do that what will we have to talk about?
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