Caroline Lucas, on the WESTMINSTER HOUR this weekend: "I’ve taken great comfort from looking at the opinion polls coming out of Scotland at the moment, which show the Greens overtaking the Lib Dems; that is exactly the
direction I think we’re likely to be going in. We’ve got the Scottish Parliament elections coming up, as I say, on two polls now Greens have been ahead of the Lib Dems, and it’s very much our strategy to replace the Lib Dems as the third party in British politics."
Way to go!
Libya is no Iraq
SIR – I am disappointed that so few British people are backing Britain’s stance on Libya.
The Iraq attack has clearly cast a long and terrible shadow over the world in general and our foreign policy in particular. What a pity that so many people seem to be unable to take seriously the thought that maybe the UN intervention in Libya is on balance a good thing, because before their eyes is always the image of the quagmire, the illegality and the lies of Iraq.
Libya is utterly different from Iraq. It is a legal exemplification of the “responsibility to protect”, begun in response to an authentic uprising; whereas Iraq was an illegal war of aggression.
Dr Rupert Read
University of East Anglia, Norwich
A slogan needs to involve the listener, to make them think that there is a way that they can really be part of what is being called for. So, for instance, a slogan like “AV: The system to stop extremists” gives one the feeling that one can be part of the stopping of extremists by voting for AV. And one can, in the sense that if the AV referendum is passed then it will be easier to stop the BNP at the ballot box. But ‘Make it 50’ HIGHLIGHTS as central the actual numerical mechanism by means of which AV works. Not only is this cryptic and vague, it is techy/nerdy, and it focuses the listener’s attention directly on the need to get to 50%. Which will for many hearers immediately lead on to the thought, “But my vote never makes the difference between whether someone gets to 50% or not” – especially in a nationwide referendum! So the slogan hardly inspires participation in the referendum, and, by focussing attention on what it takes for a candidate to win, rather than on WHY one should be voting for that candidate (or for that option in the referendum), it fails the most elementary tests imposed by Lakoff or Westen. It doesn’t inspire, it doesn’t have a values-component. It summons up futility, disempowerment, and perhaps even hopelessness – presumably, the diammetric opposite of what was intended by it.
What a missed opportunity.