The Great Debate UK

Gordon Brown is in serious trouble today

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- Mark Kobayashi-Hillary is the author of several books, including ‘Who Moved my Job?’ and ‘Global Services: Moving to a Level Playing Field’. He is participating in the Reuters Election 2010 politics live blog during the leaders’ debates and on election night. The opinions expressed are his own. -

A pensioner, Gillian Duffy, complained to Gordon Brown about the number of immigrants coming into the UK – amongst other things. It’s a familiar complaint the prime minister will have heard many times before, but this time he made a private comment about her in his car just after the event – calling her a ‘bigoted woman’ – and Sky News had left their radio microphone on his suit … so the private comments were recorded and replayed to the world.

It was a private comment, and many would credit Brown with telling the frank truth. But many online discussions are already calling this a watershed moment, with the implication being that anyone who is concerned about immigration is now tarnished as a bigot by the prime minister.

Any sensible observer would see that Brown was just making a private comment about a member of the electorate who was allowed to let off steam in front of the media machine, but this could be a disaster for Labour.

Leaders’ debates highlight need for Scottish independence

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- Paul Henderson Scott has written numerous books on Scottish history, literature and affairs, including ‘A 20th Century Life’ and its sequel, ‘The New Scotland’. He has been Rector of Dundee University, President of the Saltire Society and of Scottish PEN and a Vice-President of the Scottish National Party. The opinions expressed are his own -

The television coverage of the forthcoming election has hardly mentioned Scottish issues and Alex Salmond, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), which forms the Scottish government, has not been included in the televised leaders’ debates.

from UK News:

Will a hung parliament create a serious hangover for British business?

parliamentElection day is fast approaching and with the poll gap narrowing between the Conservatives and Labour, there is a very real probability that the UK will end up with a hung parliament. For the first time since 1974, the UK may be left without clear political leadership.

- What will this really mean for British business?
- How will the markets and sterling react?
- Will a hung parliament scare off international investors?
- Could the economy survive a second general election within a year?

Winner Clegg dodges fray of battle in debate

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Tim Clark- Timothy Clark and David Greatbatch are professors at Durham Business School. The opinions expressed are their own. -

The debate is finished and the polls are in.  They consistently show that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was rated the best performer on the night.  Some instant polls put him over twenty percent ahead of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron.

From rotten parliament to reform parliament?

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tspic- Tony Samphier is a campaigns consultant and organiser of the election policy comparison web initiative DEMREF 2010. The opinions expressed are his won.-

The start of the general election campaign has, thankfully, seen the party leaders fighting over the political reform territory, particularly Gordon Brown and David Cameron, with the Liberal Democrats, traditionally full of reform ideas, slightly overshadowed.

Election may be fought on peak between dips

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campbellBy Ian Campbell

LONDON, April 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Gordon Brown says his Labour party will “secure the recovery” if it wins the UK election in May. The opposition Conservatives would kill the upturn, he says. Brown is right in one sense: the “recovery” can easily be broken. But only because it is so fragile in the first place.

The UK’s data looks more encouraging than it actually is. The UK needs exports and production to surge ahead. Trade figures released on April 13 might appear to herald that: February’s trade deficit was its smallest since June 2006.

from UK News:

Will a Hung Parliament create a serious hangover for British business?

ParliamentElection day is fast approaching and with the poll gap narrowing between the Conservatives and Labour, there is a very real probability that the UK will end up with a hung parliament. For the first time since 1974, the UK may be left without clear political leadership.

- What will this really mean for British business?
- How will the markets and sterling react?
- Will a hung parliament scare off international investors?
- Could the economy survive a second general election within a year?

from UK News:

Taking Twitter’s political temperature

Britain's first live television debates between the leaders of the three mainstream political parties are not the only new feature to add spice to the upcoming general election, which Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced will be held on May 6.

The 2010 vote is also the first time politicians and their strategy teams have had to factor in the micro-blogging site Twitter.com. The social media tool, which did not exist at the time of the last election in 2005, now has over 75 million users who between them sent four billion tweets in the first quarter of 2010.

Electoral future shrouded in mystery

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justin_fisher-Justin Fisher is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Magna Carta Institute at Brunel University. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Barring a huge surprise, it seems most likely that the general election will be held on 6th May 2010 — the same day as the local elections.

Why we need a bond market crisis

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copelandLaurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -

The spirit of Britain’s Christmas is looking disconsolate this morning. Santa Claus has failed to deliver what our democracy most needed. No, not a deal to let the French have the 2012 Olympics in exchange for a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau.  Nor the nomination of Tony Blair for the Nobel Peace Prize. Number one on this year’s wish list was something more realistic, and maybe far closer:  a gilt market crisis.

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