Moon of Liberty Newsround

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Moon Of Liberty Newsround – on 07th August at 11.05 pm

The Times – Momentum activists take over Chris Leslie’s constituency of Nottingham East

CBS News – Trump defends national security adviser McMaster after calls for his sacking

NBC News – Piano that survived the Holocaust to be an exhibit in Israel museum

Moon of Liberty Opinion/Editorial – Energy markets and the Trump Administration – Kevin Alcock

NBC News – Vladimir Putin poses for the cameras while fishing on vacation

Spectator Opinion – Why Amber Rudd will likely get Ruth Davidson’s endorsement for any future Tory leadership contest – James Forsyth

Daily Telegraph – Kenya fears return to bloodshed with upcoming election

Sky News – Biggest earthquake in 30 years hits the Scottish Highlands

BBC News – Irish PM wants no barriers to free trade post Brexit

BBC News – North and South Korea to open talks

BBC News – National Trust U-Turn over LBGT badges

Moon Of Liberty/Winning at Politics – Local by elections round-up on a good night for Labour at UKIP’s expense

The Hill – FBI monitored social media on election day for fake news from Russia

Daily Mirror – Labour MP Chris Williamson rejects case to sanction Venezuela and attacks the US ‘shady record

Antisemitism UK – Labour selects by election candidate who has tweeted antismetic content

Conservative Home opinion – Being the workers party means being the party of low taxes – Rob Halfon MP

ABC News – John McCain says he believes he will be ready to go back to work in September

The Independent – Grand Jury set up to investigate president Trump’s links to Russia

Irish Times – Lobbyist says Republicans and Democrats need to work together if they want US immigration reform

The Australian – Australian Senator Hatch vows to block any same sex marriage referendum attempt

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Moon Of Liberty Newsround – 24th Jan 2017

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News Digest – 24th January 2017 @ 4.15 pm

CNN – Senator’s John McCain and Lindsay Graham will vote for Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson

Voice of Europe – Campaign to stop operations of George Soros hot up in Macedonia

Comment – Why Labour should hold Copeland & Stoke Central – Glen O’Hara

The Wrap – Chelsea Clinton defends Trump’s youngest child Barron

Foreign Policy – Russia and Syria sign deal giving Russian ships and aircraft access to the middle east

CNN – President Trump signs order banning NGO’s offering abortion services from getting US federal funds

BBC News – Trump signs order to withdraw from TPP trade negotiations

Heat Street – US Feminists outraged at Taylor Swift not attending the ‘Women’s March’

Keoland News – Former New Mexico Congresswoman Heather Wilson to be head of the US Air Force

BBC News – UK Supreme Court rules Parliament must decide Article 50 timing

Daily Telegraph – Poll finds majority of Brits disagree with Supreme Court decision on Article 50

NBC News – Complete list of OSCAR Nominations, La La Land leads the way with 14

Independent – British Startup is using artificial intelligence to compose music

CNN – Paul Ryan invites Donald Trump to address joint session of Congress

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Moon Politics – The poisoned chalice of New Hampshire

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Politics

Reflection of the Moon Comment

Winning New Hampshire is not all it is cracked up to be

Having gone through the Iowa Cuacuses the race for the White House moves to the historic New Hampshire Primary. It is the first state to vote with a proper election, and the open nature of the contest allowing independents to choose which contest they wish to vote in on whatever basis they wish makes it all the more exciting and unpredictable, especially given no other states will vote on the same day so it will have all the publicity to itself.

After the event there will be countless analysis, where does it leave the race? who is up and who is down? This year will be double the interest as both the Democrat and Republican races are competitive with President Obama standing down. All the candidates will be out to win, holding meetings in town halls and churches up and down the state as is the New Hampshire way. But is winning this Primary really that much of a good idea?History suggests not.

First let me define the term ‘competitive year’. When I am talking about winning in a competitive year I am excluding contests where a sitting President is standing for re-election. In those years it may not be know to some that the Primary still takes place, the sitting President always wins although there is usually some token opposition to ensure there is a ballot, if only a series of wacky candidates who want to use some exposure for their own ideas. I am only including contests where the is a genuine battle for the party nomination.

So here is one for you. When was the last time a New Hampshire winner in a competitive year got to the White House? The answer goes back 28 years to 1988 and George H W Bush Senior. Barack Obama was beaten by Hilary Clinton in New Hampshire, George W Bush lost to John McCain, Bill Clinton lost to Paul Tsongas. And obviously all three of those Presidents were re-elected, so the three winner of competitive races from the challenging party in the alternate years, namely John McCain, John Kerry and Pat Buchanan, either lost the November General election, or in Buchanan’s case did not get the nomination (Losing out in the end to Bob Dole)

If George H W Bush was the last New Hampshire winner to get to the White House you have to go back to 1976 and Jimmy Carter on the Democrat side. One thing of course as President you don’t want is to be a one term President. What do Bush Senior and Carter have in common? That’s right, both were one term Presidents. Going back further to other New Hampshire winners who got to the White House, John F Kennedy ended up being assassinated, Richard Nixon had to resign in disgrace and Gerald Ford was also a one term President.

Then there are other winners who did not get the nomination, Gary Hart on the Democrat side who ended up losing to Walter Mondale and in the early New hampshire Open Primary races in the 1950’s Estes Kefauver beat Harry S Truman, Truman, having dodged this bullet, won the Presidency and went on to serve two full terms. On the Republican side Henry Cabot Lodge Junior won New Hampshire in the year Barry Goldwater got the nomination. One man who did win New Hampshire and get the nomination was Al Gore, who of course lost to the hanging chads of Florida in the General election If only he had lost New Hampshire perhaps? Michael Dukarkis was another who won the state but lost in November. Only one man since the 1960’s broke the curse winning New Hampshire and going on to serve two full terms as President, namely Ronald Reagan.

So as you enjoy the New Hampshire race, be aware of the history and beware reading too much into it. The Open nature of the Primary makes it a one off. New Hampshire is also a state where the right tend to be more Libertarian and the left more traditionally left than most of America. These may be reasons why winning New Hampshire is not always a pointer to a smooth ride to the White House, or a great ride should you manage to get there. Can either of this years winners break the curse of New Hampshire? There is a very good chance winning New Hampshire in 2016 will remain a poisoned chalice for those who are handed it.

 

The unusual role of a politician competing for power

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David Cameron has been doing it for years, Ed Miliband did it, One of Jeremy Corbyn, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall or Andy Burnham will soon be doing it. George W Bush and Barack Obama did it successfully twice. Al Gore, John Kerry, John McCain and Mitt Romney did it and failed. Competing for power is an unusual role. It brings the challenge almost nobody in any other aspect of life has to do.

Let’s take my own social media activity as an example. This blog like many is a small series of publishing. It is not widely read, if you are reading it thank you. I also have a twitter account followed by roughly 1,100 people, and to those people I thank you too. The true relevance of my view of the world is fairly small. I don’t hold any position, I am really not that important. And yet, from time to time, I still get responses from people who don’t agree and are stirred to make me important enough for a brief period of their life to respond. People who see what I have written and choose of their own accord, usually uninvited, to come onto my timeline. Some to put a different view. Some to show their displeasure of my view in rather less polite terms.

My follower base who are interested in politics are mainly on the Conservative (not all, but mainly) side of politics and generally people who broadly agree with me. To maintain it, I don’t have to impress or even give a monkeys what those who don’t agree with me think. Crossing swords with these people will not in most cases be seen as a negative by those who follow me. In some cases it will be seen as a positive, indeed the times I see my follower base go up is generally more often than not after a spat with a ‘Twitter leftie.’ It’s unlikely I will change that persons mind, I doubt many twitter arguments ever do. As long as those who enjoy, for whatever reason, what I do continue to do so, then that is fine by me. and the same will be true for them,

In most aspects of life the same is true. Please your own and the rest don’t matter. Manchester United do not have to cater or try and win the approval of Manchester City supporters. A Church preaches to the converted, as long as it is sustained by it’s own congregation, those outside do not really matter. One public house in Nottingham called The Dragon that I frequent from time to time actually has been known to discourage certain types of people from going, they cater for their regulars first, and they are happy with that

The common theme is that in non of these examples do any of these institutions have to care about those who may be antagonistic towards them, their ways, their views, their approach or indeed any big or small aspect of anything they do. The same to an extent is true of a minor political party.The Green Party for example do not currently make any real attempt to woo Conservative minded voters. They try and grow from the left yes, but targeting people who they suspect will have at least some sympathy with their message.

So that leaves those who are competing for power. Given in so many aspects of life devoting your energy to those who are like-minded or back what you do anyway is so natural, the role of competing for power is an alien one. To win you have to target some people who do not instinctively support you, some may not even normally like you and get them to put their cross next to your party on the ballot paper, This it should be said is not just a quirk of the electoral system, it is true around the world under a range of electoral systems.The individual at the top also has to convince the activists of the party he or she leads, usually including many who hate the other side with a passion and will think targeting people who do not agree with you as a betrayal of what you are there to stand for.

This is particularly tough for someone leading the party out of power. At least in Government you can do things that make your grassroots feel it is worth it. In opposition their are policies, theories, talk about how to win again, but no ability to do anything and often a feeling that if you are going to do some things that are not in keeping with the purity of your values, what is the point of it at all?

The gap between activists and key voters who wins determine elections partly explain the appeal not just of Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump right now, but of Michael Foot, of William Hague, of Iain Duncan Smith, of John Kerry, of Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale and many more. Those offering more purity appeal to the part of opposition and it is the grassroots who choose who gets the shot at competing for power. Note though everyone of those who got the chance to lead and compete for power I have just mentioned failed to win in the end (In Duncan-Smith’s case did not even get to the election.)

Those who were successful like Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, George W Bush and Angela Merkle to name a few, all found an approach to reach out to a wider electorate.. Whether for example it is Clause 4, New Labour, Compassionate Conservatism, Bill Clinton backing a balanced budget or David Cameron backing gay marriage, all those successful challenged the party activists and put positions that made them feel uncomfortable,  Why? Because they understood that to win, they needed the support of people who did not instinctively agree with them and give them a reason to vote in their favour. Those above who failed went for purity, preach to the converted, keep your own people happy first, something that is absolutely fine in most areas of life, how you and I behave on social media, but doomed to failure if you are a politician competing for power. It’s an unusual role competing for power, requiring the ability to do the exact opposite of the natural thing to do, engage those who don’t agree with you and many of your own side privately cannot stand, try and change their minds in getting them to support you and appealing wider than your home base, while at the same time balancing keeping your home base on side. I have some admiration for all of those who succeed, even if I totally oppose their politics, because it takes a special set of skills to pull it off.

Political round-up – Iran, Unions and more Jeremy Corbyn

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Obama announces Iran deal – Republicans not impressed

Barak Obama has announced what he states is an ‘historic’ deal with Iran which, if implemented, put’s an end to Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon. The Rose Garden announcement was aimed at congress and very cautious. Obama was keen to stress the consequences if Iran did not stick to strict inspection regimes within the deal. The likely Democrat nominee for the 2016 US Presidential election welcomed the deal. Her Republican rivals Jeb Bush, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have all opposed the deal stating it adds to rather than reduces the risk of tension in the middle east. Moderate Republican John McCain has also criticised the deal.and the response from Israel has been furious with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu making clear Israel do not agree and are not bound by this deal and calling it an ‘Historic Mistake’

Strike Plans

The Government have brought forward plans to impose a 50% turnout and 40% threshold to be passed before a legal strike can take place in England and Wales. On the face of it, the Government who brought in elected Police and Crime Commissioners many who were elected on turnout of less than 20%, now bringing this in looks quite astonishing. However David Cameron is confident he can shake that comparison off and the public will support this measure. The unions as you would imagine are very upset and they are laws all four of the Labour leadership candidates are agreed (for a change) they would look to repeal. It is a measure of the Conservatives current confidence that a measure as blatantly political as this can be considered.

Poll says Jeremy Corbyn in front

The New Statesman has released private polling leaked to it that suggests that the extremist candidate Jeremy Corbyn is leading the other three candidates on first preference votes in the Labour leadership contest. The trend also appears to be confirmed by a second poll seen by the Daily Telegraph.  The analysis states that many moderate supporters left the party under Ed Miliband and young members now joining, along with those affiliates through the unions, are much further to the left. This it appears may be giving Corbyn the edge. One Labour moderate Tom Harris, a former Glasgow MP, has accused the party of ‘putting it’s finger in it’s ears and loudly say I’m not listening’ when advised they need Tory voters back in order to stand a chance of winning in 2020. My main experience of the left is via Twitter, and Harris has got it spot on.