UK Politcs – what commentators said today


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The Guardian’s Hugh Muir says politics is positioning, and daily we see David Cameron struggling with his persona as a leader. Here is a man whose pitch to the public was that he is non-ideological, clear-eyed and sensible, now bobbing and weaving into ever more absurd positions just to keep himself relevant.
The Daily Telegraph’s Fraser Nelson thinks that if there were people lined up at Dover, desperate to get to Calais, it would be time to panic – our problems are, in no small part, the problems of success. Leaving the EU will not make these problems go away. And if Cameron wants to start beating Ukip, he should be brave enough to say so.
The Independent’s Andreas Whittam Smith notes that at different times, the Conservatives have been called the “nasty party” and the “stupid party”. He is beginning to wonder whether the epithets now apply simultaneously; that the Tories may have become both nasty and stupid.
Simon Kelner says perception is reality. It’s entirely appropriate that it was a political strategist who coined this phrase in the 1980s, and election campaigns ever since have been played out according to this tenet. Lee Atwater, the man responsible for the phrase, worked on George Bush Senior’s campaign in 1988, in which Bush turned round a 17-point deficit to claim the White House. Forget the facts: if you can make people believe something, it becomes, if you like, a de facto fact. It looks like our next General Election campaign, too, is going to be contested according to Atwater’s law.
Nigel Farage says the liberal elites in the media and entertainment industries can’t get their heads around why 4.4m people voted for Ukip at the European Elections, and why we won a seat in the House of Commons just last month. They, like most of the political elite, would rather tell us all what to do and what to think, and continue being the relentless bores that we all find them to be.
In The Times Tim Montgomerie thinks the only hope for the public finances is that they are rescued by a global economic boom, because salvation isn’t going to come from Westminster. No party in British politics, including the governing parties, has any serious plan to get rid of the deficit. If any ever did.

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