Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'UK Labour'

“The Blair Years” – Alastair Campbell

January 23rd, 2012 · No Comments · Democracy, Politics, The Media, UK Labour, Uncategorized

For all its faults, our political process is a good one, and the means by which much meaningful change is made. That is not a very fashionable view to hold, but as someone who has operated at senior levels in journalism and politics, around a decade in each, it is my respect for the media [...]

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Tags:·journalism··New Labour··The Media·UK

Immigration and Race – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Complexity, Culture, Democracy, Electoralism, Ethnicity, Humanism, Leadership, Morality, Multi-culturalism, Philosophy, Policy, Politics, Sociology, UK Labour, United Kingdom

The politics of grievance can be harsh and it is never easy moderating a group where the sole focus is immigration. But immigration, like crime, like welfare abuse, is not an issue we can avoid; we must deal with it head on. Not just because of the sense of unfairness that people hold but also [...]

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Tags:·Focus Groups·Immigration····Refugees

In Defence of Focus Groups – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Democracy, Electoralism, Political Communication, Politics, Progressive Politics, UK Labour, United Kingdom

Despite the small numbers sampled, and the obvious lack of empirical rigour they entail, focus groups are the form of polling that I prefer. Although their scientific validity is less than that of an opinion poll, they are in a sense truer because you can talk to people as they really are, not as abstractions [...]

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Tags:···Focus Groups··

Sustaining a Reforming Government – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 11th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Democracy, Electoralism, Ideology, Means and Ends, Policy, Political Communication, Politics, Progressive Politics, Socialism, UK Labour, United Kingdom

David Marquand calls this the progressive dilemma: ‘How to transcend Labourism without betraying the labour interest; how to bridge the gap between the old Labour fortresses and the potentially anti-Conservative but non-Labour hinterland; how to construct a broad-based and enduring social coalition capable of not just giving it a temporary majority in the House of [...]

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New Labour – The Results – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 10th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Electoralism, Ideology, Leadership, Means and Ends, Politics, Power, Progressive Politics, Socialism, UK Labour

Labour’s journey was over too. It had won an extraordinary victory on 1 May. The statistics of success were a mirror image of the failure of 1983, the election that had finally persuaded me to get involved. In 1983 Labour had lost by 144 seats, in 1997 it won by 179 seats: a shift of [...]

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Tags:··UK Labour

News Bulletins are Fragmented and Confusing – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 10th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Newspapers, Politics, The Media, UK Labour, United Kingdom

On Sunday I wrote my first long strategy note of the campaign. ‘The electorate are not connecting with the election and do not understand most of the issues. They find news bulletins fragmented and confusing.’ This last point was important. Night after night I would show people the news (in focus groups), and they would [...]

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Tags:·Focus Groups·journalism·newspapers··The Media

Institutions for Mediating Popular Sentiment – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 10th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Democracy, Electoralism, Politics, UK Labour, United Kingdom

Greenberg says of the use of modern polling techniques in political campaigning: “It doesn’t need defending. It is part of the democratisation of modern elections. Just as governments have changed, just as parties have changed, campaigns have changed. Democracy has changed. The institutions that used to be effective in mediating popular sentiment have atrophied, and [...]

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Tags:···Focus Groups···UK

“The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Democracy, Electoralism, Leadership, Politics, UK Labour, Uncategorized, United Kingdom

Focus groups do not of necessity involve dilution of principle or compromise – to say that implies that the voters are fools, which they are not. They want politicians who are tough, honest and courageous, and who govern with principle. That is why they respected Margaret Thatcher and in the end lost faith in John [...]

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Tags:···Focus Groups··UK

Gould’s First Focus Group – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Electoralism, Politics, UK Labour, United Kingdom

I took my courage in my hand and conducted my first group. No one trained me, I just did it. And I loved it. I loved the direct contact with the electorate, the way that I could put arguments, hear arguments, confront arguments, develop ideas, feel the intensity of a point of view and hear [...]

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Tags:··Focus Groups·

The Nonsense Mystique of Focus Groups – “The Unfinished Revolution: How New Labour Changed British Politics Forever” – Philip Gould

January 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Campaigning, Electoralism, Politics, UK Labour, United Kingdom

With the exception of ‘spin-doctors’, no campaigning phrase has been imbued with a greater air of nonsensical mystique than ‘focus groups’. Why focus groups should have gained this elevated position I cannot tell. Old-fashioned qualitative research, another name for the same thing, has not taken off in people’s imaginations in the same way, nor has [...]

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