Martin Salter - working hard for Reading West

Martin’s Blog

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  • Saturday, June 5th, 2010
  • Goodbye, Brave New World

  • Back in 1981 I received a call from an old friend predicting the imminent demise of my party and urging me to throw in my lot with the recently formed SDP. “Labour is finished,” this excitable schoolteacher proclaimed, and what’s more, “the SDP are about to break the mould of British politics.”

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  • Monday, May 31st, 2010
  • Nervous new MPs feel stranded on a high wire without a safety net

  • Life at the moment can’t be easy for the 200 or so newbies who woke up on May 7 to find themselves Members of Parliament for the first time. In contrast to the 1997 Labour landslide that catapulted so many of us into the Commons in what already seems like another lifetime, this time it’s really not clear who’s in charge.

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  • Wednesday, May 26th, 2010
  • Now Cameron will really need to watch his back

  • Now that Graham Brady has won chairman of the 1922 Committee by a landslide, the Tory leadership will be desperately smoothing the ruffled feathers of their own troops. Not only are many unhappy over the debacle of the botched changes to the 1922, but an even larger number are appalled at the bureaucratic madness that passes for the new, improved expenses regime.

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  • Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
  • Labour must renew itself in opposition – a ‘progressive coalition’ would be electoral suicide

  • The Guardian really has had a bad election. First, it ditches Labour for the Lib Dems, only to see its former party do much better than expected without their support and its new stablemate perform poorly. Then it works itself up into a lather of excitement over the prospect of a “progressive coalition” which will be lucky to last out the month, never mind an entire Parliament. In a breathless editorial this morning we were told of historic possibilities

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  • Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
  • Politicians behave with dignity; journalists lose the plot

  • It is difficult not to be a little impressed by the dignity and seriousness shown by the three main party leaders and their chief negotiators as they seek to respond to an inconclusive general election result. Nick Clegg has honoured his promise to give the party with the largest number of seats the first opportunity to demonstrate that it can produce a programme for effective governance that can command a sustainable majority in the Commons.

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  • Saturday, May 8th, 2010
  • Even I Was Privately Predicting a Tory Majority

  • This time it should have been our turn to endure the misery of defeat at the hands of a resurgent party enjoying a workable majority and a clear mandate. What many commentators forgot is that the narrowness of the victory in 2005, coupled with recent boundary changes, provided a pretty shaky platform for Labour to launch an unlikely bid for a fourth term. On paper a majority of 66 looked good, but drill a little deeper and the figures showed that nearly all the 33 seats that Labour needed in order to retain the status quo were won with small or tiny majorities. Basically, it would not have taken much more than a puff of political wind to knock out the Labour majority.

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