Archive for August, 2012

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PB Nighthawks is now open

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Home of the web’s best political conversation

Relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events.

If you’ve always been a lurker, stop leaving an Invisible Touch, why not  start posting Tonight, Tonight, Tonight, your first post could be the genesis of something great.

The round up of recent events.

*I was raised on Spaghetti Westerns, any criticisms of Clint Eastwood will result in exile to conhome and/or some threads on AV over the weekend.

TSE

Mike Smithson is currently on holiday.

 



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Continuation thread

Friday, August 31st, 2012



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Henry G Manson on the Wealth Tax

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Henry G Manson asks could Clegg’s wealth tax cause trouble for rival parties?

It would be easy to dismiss Nick Clegg’s demand for a new emergency tax on the wealthy as a gimmick that won’t last longer than the soggy sausage rolls of his party conference. Very easy.

The detail isn’t there, his party’s spokesmen are unaware of the what it involves yet and there is the uncomfortable fact that the he signed up to the cut in the top rate of income tax for those on £125,000 per year or more a matter of months ago. But to look no further than this risks missing the dangers for Clegg’s rivals who have so far roundly mocked the idea.

The threat for the Tories is immediate. In opposing any form of wealth tax they instantly reinforce perceptions of themselves as the party of the rich. Backbencher Bernard Jenkin was first out of the traps insisting “we’ve seen a lot of hedge funds moving abroad because of the tax system in this country. We’ve got to be very careful we don’t strangle the goose that lays the golden egg.”

Equating hedge funds as the national interest is in itself a risky move. It’s certainly not an industry the man on the street identifies with and feels warm towards. How many more will follow this line?

The Adam Smith Institute has also piled in  saying that not only are wealth taxes counterproductive they are also ‘immoral’. When the majority of people are having living standards squeezed it is understandable why the public want the rich to pay more tax. There are a few booby traps for the Conservative Party in this territory, not least given the background of their funders.

Meanwhile Labour’s top brass have sneered at Clegg’s proposal saying “Clegg thinks by calling for a mansion tax, people will forget he gave a tax cut of over £40K to many thousands of millionaires. Well we won’t.”

They’re right to highlight his support for cutting the top rate of income tax. That’s fair game. However if the Jimmy Carr carry-on showed one thing it is how little ‘income’ wealthy people declare in the first place regardless of the tax rate.

What if the Lib Dem leader proposes something bolder and far-reaching that shows signs of taking off? While Shadow Ministers might be happy taking pot-shots at Lib Dems, there will be others on the centre-left who welcome the move and debate. The New Statesman says Nick Clegg ‘deserves a fair hearing’  and there will be others too.

There is bound to be some pressure on Labour’s leadership from the grassroots on the issue of wealth taxes. Labour’s party members and the trade unions will welcome the richest paying a greater share and want Labour to be more robust and explicit on this. Ed Miliband has tried to break from ‘New Labour’ but there will be calls for more meat on the bone during the conference period.

It’s all well and good the frontbench arguing that Liberal Democrats shouldn’t have reduced the 50p tax rate, but it won’t be long before there is focus on their position and ‘what would you do?’

That isn’t clear yet and therefore is a tough line to hold when criticising your opponents on this issue.

I have no idea what will come of Nick Clegg’s wealth tax plans. Perhaps he doesn’t either. It certainly feels like the last throw of a dice for a leader under increasing pressure. But that’s not to say the Liberal Democrat leader can’t role a double six and outfox all his opponents on an issue the public will support him on.

Henry G Manson



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PB Nighthawks is now open

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Home of the web’s best political conversation

Relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events.

If you’ve always been a lurker, and if you’re “Making Your Mind Up” on whether to post or not, why not  start posting tonight?

The round up of recent events.



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Are we seeing the tectonic plates moving against Nick Clegg?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

This morning, Vince Cable’s outrider, Lord Oakeshott gave an interview on Radio Four’s Today show.

This has lead to headlines like

“Ditch Nick Clegg or be cast into electoral oblivion, senior Lib Dem tells party”

and

Nick Clegg must go, warns senior Liberal Democrat, Nick Clegg must be ousted as leader by the Liberal Democrats if they are to avoid electoral disaster in 2015, a senior party figure indicated today.

Some of the highlights of Lord Oakeshott’s interview.

  • It was time to examine the party’s “strategy and management” to ensure it has a chance of success at the polls.
  • “Elections were “not just about the message, they are also about the messenger” and called for the party to analyse how it could maximise its votes next time.”
His analysis of the Lib Dems’ position

“We have lost over half our market share, if you like to put it that way if we had been Sainsburys, since the election and any business that had done that would be looking very hard now at both its strategy and its management to see how we get some of that back because otherwise we are going to lose a large number of seats at the next election.”

As has noted been noted before, Vince Cable is popular with the electorate, whilst Nick Clegg is not.

Perhaps I’m reading too much into Lord Oakeshott’s interview today, but he is close to Vince Cable, I suspect during the conference season we’ll get some polling asking if the Lib Dems would be polling better if Vince Cable was leader.

If the polling shows that appointing Vince Cable as Lib Dem leader will lead to a release of copious amounts of electoral endorphins for the Lib Dems, the murmurs to oust Clegg may well become a crescendo.

Five years ago, at conference, talk of defenestrating Sir Menzies Campbell gained credence, which led to his wife publicly telling Nick Clegg, “I don’t know whether you are being helpful or not.” Nick Clegg will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Lib Dem voice noted last week,  Nick Clegg is more exposed now than he was in May because of Vince Cable’s recent hints that he is limbering up for the leadership.

As Martin Kettle says in today’s Guardian, With Vince Cable having said he is available, it seems the only question is when, not if, the party decides to oust its leader

William Hill have a market up on whether Nick Clegg will or will not be leader come the next general election.

Paddy Power have a market up on whether Nick Clegg will or will not be leader at the end of the year, and at the next General Election

They also have a market up on whom shall lead the Lib Dems at the next election.

There are several markets with various bookmakers, on who will be the next Lib Dem leader.

 

TSE

Mike Smithson is currently on holiday.



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Could Clegg’s wealth tax cause trouble for rival parties?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Henry G Manson asks could Clegg’s wealth tax cause trouble for rival parties?

It would be easy to dismiss Nick Clegg’s demand for a new emergency tax on the wealthy as a gimmick that won’t last longer than the soggy sausage rolls of his party conference. Very easy.

The detail isn’t there, his party’s spokesmen are unaware of the what it involves yet and there is the uncomfortable fact that the he signed up to the cut in the top rate of income tax for those on £125,000 per year or more a matter of months ago. But to look no further than this risks missing the dangers for Clegg’s rivals who have so far roundly mocked the idea.

The threat for the Tories is immediate. In opposing any form of wealth tax they instantly reinforce perceptions of themselves as the party of the rich. Backbencher Bernard Jenkin was first out of the traps insisting “we’ve seen a lot of hedge funds moving abroad because of the tax system in this country. We’ve got to be very careful we don’t strangle the goose that lays the golden egg.”

Equating hedge funds as the national interest is in itself a risky move. It’s certainly not an industry the man on the street identifies with and feels warm towards. How many more will follow this line?

The Adam Smith Institute has also piled in  saying that not only are wealth taxes counterproductive they are also ‘immoral’. When the majority of people are having living standards squeezed it is understandable why the public want the rich to pay more tax. There are a few booby traps for the Conservative Party in this territory, not least given the background of their funders.

Meanwhile Labour’s top brass have sneered at Clegg’s proposal saying “Clegg thinks by calling for a mansion tax, people will forget he gave a tax cut of over £40K to many thousands of millionaires. Well we won’t.”

They’re right to highlight his support for cutting the top rate of income tax. That’s fair game. However if the Jimmy Carr carry-on showed one thing it is how little ‘income’ wealthy people declare in the first place regardless of the tax rate.

What if the Lib Dem leader proposes something bolder and far-reaching that shows signs of taking off? While Shadow Ministers might be happy taking pot-shots at Lib Dems, there will be others on the centre-left who welcome the move and debate. The New Statesman says Nick Clegg ‘deserves a fair hearing’  and there will be others too.

There is bound to be some pressure on Labour’s leadership from the grassroots on the issue of wealth taxes. Labour’s party members and the trade unions will welcome the richest paying a greater share and want Labour to be more robust and explicit on this. Ed Miliband has tried to break from ‘New Labour’ but there will be calls for more meat on the bone during the conference period.

It’s all well and good the frontbench arguing that Liberal Democrats shouldn’t have reduced the 50p tax rate, but it won’t be long before there is focus on their position and ‘what would you do?’

That isn’t clear yet and therefore is a tough line to hold when criticising your opponents on this issue.

I have no idea what will come of Nick Clegg’s wealth tax plans. Perhaps he doesn’t either. It certainly feels like the last throw of a dice for a leader under increasing pressure. But that’s not to say the Liberal Democrat leader can’t role a double six and outfox all his opponents on an issue the public will support him on.

Henry G Manson



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How far ahead will Romney be in the RCP poll average on Monday?

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Ladbrokes have a market asking “How far ahead will Romney be in the RCP poll average on Monday?”

At the time of writing (midnight) the odds were.

Obama Ahead 2/1
Romney ahead by 0-2.9% 5/4
Romney ahead by 3%+ 2/1

To be settled on the Real Clear Politics headline poll average as displayed at midday on 3rd Sep.

How will Paul Ryan’s speech be received? and how will the abuse of a black camera woman by two Republican convention guests play out?

What option will you be backing?

TSE

Mike Smithson is currently on holiday.

 



h1

PB Nighthawks is now open

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Home of the web’s best political conversation

Relax, and converse into the night on the day’s events.

If you’ve always been a lurker, why not  start posting tonight?

Become one of the New Kids On The Block, I’m sure, You Got It, The Right Stuff, to become welcome contributors to politicalbetting.com

The round up of the day’s events.