Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

The View from 22 — Obama in free fall, an EU referendum promise, Andrew Mitchell and Tory strategies

18 October 2012

9:12 AM

18 October 2012

9:12 AM

Has Barack Obama rediscovered his magic powers just in time to take him back to the White House? In this week’s magazine cover, Harold Evans writes that the 2012 election has been disastrous for the Democratic Party but incumbent president has may have woken up just in time.

On this week’s View from 22 podcast, two Spectator writers discuss whether Obama is on track to win the approaching election. Contributing Editor Douglas Murray thinks he will, albeit reluctantly:

‘Most people go on sense of some kind. My sense is that Obama will probably just scrape back in but my hope is that he doesn’t. Apart from anything else — I think that so many people in Britain and across Europe have think this in the bag — feel outraged that Americans would dare to vote for anyone than President Obama that I would love to see them the morning after.
While assistant editor Freddy Gray agrees, he suggests an Obama win would be down to Mitt Romney’s poor campaigning:
‘I think the state by state breakdown still looks just to be edging in his [Obama’s] favour, but it is going to be very tight. I think the real reason Romney will fall short is that he has left this dash to centre a bit late and I don’t think the independents are going to go towards him in sufficient numbers.’
James Forsyth also joins to discuss his political column, explaining two reasons why David Cameron needs to offer an EU referendum by Christmas:
‘The first thing he needs to do is to reassure the Eurosceptics, who now make up the vast majority of his own party, that he is serious about addressing the European question at some point in the near future. The second thing is that he needs to deal with the UKIP threat. If the Tories come third in the European elections in 2014 behind UKIP, he will have — as someone in Downing Street put it to me last week — the mother of all party management issues on his hands. 

‘I think that he hopes that saying ‘we will renegotiate and then we will put that to the British people, but after the next election’ will be enough to buy him some time. And what the Tories desperately need on the European issue is time.’


Fraser Nelson discusses our opposing articles by Mathew Parris and Tim Montgomerie on the best way for the Tories to win the next election. And what do our guests think about Andrew Mitchell and yesterday’s unemployment figures? Listen with the embedded player below to hear what we think about the beleaguered Chief Whip and the latest economic figures. You can also have the latest podcast delivered straight to your machine by subscribing through iTunes. As ever, we’d love to hear what you think, good or bad.

The View from 22 – 18 October 2012. Length 23:48
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Show comments
  • Curnonsky

    The only part of “renegotiate” that will come to pass is “renege”.

  • Peter Cartwright
    • HooksLaw

      This is the point the obsessives miss. The Eurozone will need a new treaty. We will have to negotiate our place within the EU or our relationship with it, and then there will be a referendum.

      Its inevitable there will be a referendum and its equally likely that that referendum will be won by the party that have negotiated it.
      The question you have to ask is which party do you want to do the negotiating ? Labour or tory.

      The answer is of course a no brainer. The problem is that the usual suspects have no brains

      • an ex-tory voter

        “Which party do you want to do the negotiating”

        With my lack of brains I am struggling to see any difference in the stance of the Tories under Cameron and Labour under Milliband (or anyone else for that matter).
        As for negotiating, based on Cameron’s performance to date I prefer to delegate that task to a mushroom.

      • Vulture

        As I have noted before, Hokkie, you and your ilk spray insults around with abandon because your arguments are very poor.

        No Conservative, no democrat, and no-one who believes in a free, independent and prosperous Britain can possibly support membership of an organisation that has proved itself criminally corrupt, wasteful of billions of our money and bent on turning Britain into a powerless province of its Stalinoid superstate.

        If objecting to that and not voting for the party which backs it makes me – and millions like me – ‘obsessives’ then so be it.

        David Cameron is an unprincipled opportunist who used to wear the badge of shame that is the EU logo as his cuffliinks. To expect him to stand up for Britain would be like expecting the late Jimmy Savile to read your teenage daughter a nice bedtime story.

        The fact that the Tory party, who are overwhelmingly hostile to the EU keep this duplicitous and unpleasant man as their leader explains why John Stuart Mill dubbed them the Stupid Party.

        • Augustus

          “David Cameron is an unprincipled opportunist…”
          Yes. Take the EU’s proposals for so-called ‘mechanisms for fiscal solidarity’. In a BBC interview Cameron said: “There will come a time I believe where you’re going to need to
          have two European budgets – one for the single currency, because they’re going
          to have to support each other much more, and perhaps a wider budget for
          everybody else.” He must be nuts if he thinks Britain won’t be ensnared in this dictatorial fast moving process, in which tax money and debts of countries and banks are shared under an almighty Brussels power grab
          dealing out who gets what. Countries like Germany and Holland will be
          keeping weaker countries afloat. This will result in North Europeans, classed as ‘rich’ for ever subsidizing South Europeans classed as ‘poor’
          resulting in a very unstable and unfriendly state of affairs. So much for peace prizes!

      • TomTom

        There won’t be an EU. It is economically unsustainable. The political pressures are going to explode and National Socialism will return to Europe as it is in Greece and will in Spain and Italy and Romania and Portugal

  • Augustus

    Before he was elected Barack Obama was Superman. He was faster than a speeeding bullet. He was more powerful than a locomotive. He was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He could bend steel in his own hands. In fact, he could bend steel with his mind. But once he was elected he fell victim to Presidentile Dysfunction- a very special type of impotency. It is caused by a particular and uncommon type of Kryptonite – not green, red or white, but Blame Kryptonite. Blame Kryptonite that has claimed little Barack. Exposure to Blame Kryptonite results in the afflicted blaming everyone else for everything. So, having blamed everyone and everthing he’s powerless, he can’t get anything done, not in four years, not even with five trillion dollars. So why re-elect an impotent man? Why give him more time to be unsuccessful?

    • Fergus Pickering

      That is well said.

    • Baron

      Augustus, my blogging friend, fear not, the messiah’s toast, the vote of repentance ain’t no longer blowing into his sail, he’ll walk into rich obscurity, loved by the groupies, ignored by those who still have some common sense left.

      • Baron

        why hasn’t anyone reprimanded Baron for the double negative? Please, do someone.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Of course Cameron will win. One, though not the only reason, is that he and his henchmen, Gove, Osborne, Duncan Smith and the blessed Teresa, are so much more intelligent than their counterparts in the Labour Party. Consider, say, Andy Burnham, a big hitter who couldn’t hit his way out of a paper bag. And those Eagle women, Lord, Lord. Most bloggers here hate Cameron, as the Staggers people hated Blair. What THEY want. Staggers and Speccie gropuies alike, is a leader who can’t win so that they can all be pure in a huddle safely away from power while other people hve to dirty their hands..

    • an ex-tory voter

      So intelligent they could not beat Gordon Brown? Ha bloody ha!!

      Milliband may only be a socialist, but he is a far bigger threat than Gordon was at the last GE.

      I really cannot see Cameron coming close to beating him, particularly as he makes a habit of “pissing on” his core vote.

      • Fergus Pickering

        You don’t know anything about it, do you? Cameron achieved an uprecedented swing, more than twelve points ahead of the Labour Party. An amalgam of Maggie, Churchill and Benjamin Disraeli could not have bettered it. The Tries were kept from their rightful ho0ld on power by the unfairness of the electoral boundaries. And they may be kept from it again by those gits in the Liberal dems. But my bet is Cameron will get the boundary chang es through. He’s a good operator when he has his mind on the job and is not wasting his time with ‘principles’. As I’ve said before, the Tory party has no principles. It is a tendency. Name me one inalienable principle which is Tory. Can you? One to which the three leaders I mentioned would all subscribe. Pshaw!

        • an ex-tory voter

          If I were you I would not make it a “large bet”. As for principles, you are correct, Cameron does not bother himself over much with them, which is precisely why he is failing and why enormous numbers of loyal Tories will vote UKIP very soon.

        • TomTom

          Cameron had the worst performance of any leader becoming PM. He scraped in and will never do so again.

      • HooksLaw

        Dumbo – if you and other thickos voted tory instead of UKIP then we would have a majority. But EU obsesionalists hand seats to labour. The split of libdem votes has it seems now evaporated so any right winger who does not vote tory is condemning the country to a left wing government.

        Like wise any overt swing away from the centre will see votes evaporate back to LDs or labour.

        Basic political self interest seems to pass you by.

        • an ex-tory voter

          I want to live in a free, democratically governed, sovereign nation, As far as i am concerned everything else is a sideshow. If that makes me a “dumbo” then so be it, I will wear that badge with pride.

          • M. Wenzl

            But we do live in a free, democratically governed, sovereign nation.

        • TomTom

          How can anyone vote Tory ? As Fergus says – they are Unprincipled

    • ToryOAP

      Fergus, you are 100% correct. Many here dislike Cameron for his closeness to the libtards, for his refusal to hold a pointless EU referendum and for his weakness and constant U-turns. I primarily dislike him because he never fulfills the promise, it’s all foreplay and no orgasm with the man. He does however have some very able reformers in Gove, IDS, Pickles and possibly May. Maude is doing well and Hammond has his pluses. Compared to the wankers on the opposition benches these are political giants. The economy is recovering, much to Balls and teletubby’s chagrin, and Cameron is making the right conservative noises now. The nearer we get to an election, the more tory he will get. I think he will get a slim majority and we will see the end of Balls, Milliband and the libtards as political forces.

      • Les

        Can I respectfully remind you that the size of the UK economy is smaller now than when this lot took office? Recovering from their own depths maybe, but the continuing mismanagement is shocking

        • ToryOAP

          In a previous post you blame all of the USA’s ills on the previous administration. Are you saying that all of our ills are the sole responsibility of the Coalition? Or are you another troll numpty sent here by the axis of lefties?

          • TomTom

            The ills of the US are down to Clinton. He kept Senile Greenspan in place and he gasve China tariff free access to US and EU markets

  • Swiss Bob

    Gallup has Romney with a six point lead. This may be an outlier but this latest poll is just confirming the swing to Romney. He has someway to go but looks likely the winner.

  • TomTom

    Harold Evans is a well-known Republican (NOT) and James Forsyth is a Cameron Groupie. Do we have any views from the Observer-Speccie stable about the future of print journalism now that The Guardian is thinking of pulling the plug and going online as Guido suggested the Indie should do ? Aren’t journalists failing to sell newspapers because they are Paid Advocates for Parties/PR Lobbyists rather than seriously reflecting the needs and wishes of the Public ?

    Is Golden Dawn the real manifestation of the Post-EU Era where National Identity breaks free of Pan-European Ideological Enslavement ? Are we on the cusp of a new National Awakening as Kurdistan emerges from the ruins of the Post-Sevres World ?

    Why not focus on REAL Politics instead of Kabuki Theatre of Puppet Show Politics ?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Newspapers are not being sold because young people don’t read newspapers, nothing to do with their needs and wishes. Only older people without posh phones which contain their whole lives continue to read newspapers. Print newspapers may well be doomed, but it has nothing to do with political parties.

      • HooksLaw

        Newspapers are doomed because they are a load of overpriced shite. Every single one of them. It comes to something when the only newspaper worth reading is The Times and that is only average.

      • Vulture

        My 20 year old stepson reads a newspasper regularly, and my 12 year old daughter online. Admittedly the paper concerned is The Current Bun – but give them time.

        And the Standard announced yesty that its turned a profit after years of losses three years after Lebedev took it over and made it a freesheet.

        Like Mark Twain’s death, reports of the death of print are still a little premature. It may be that the Guardian is in trouble not because its a newspaper but because its a load of left-wing wank.

  • RKing

    How many more votes has Cameron just handed to UKIP with an annoucement like that?
    Get real Cameron and LISTEN to the people!!

  • Robert_Eve

    I remember the incredulity that hit the usual suspects when Dubya won a second term. Good luck Mitt!!

    • TomTom

      Not as much as with Truman and Dewey in 1948

  • @PhilKean1

    Cameron’s EU referendum is no referendum at all.

    – This is hard enough to swallow for those of us who have Britain’s national interest as our first priority.
    The choice he offers is to agree to what he has ‘negotiated’ – or NOT negotiated – which is more likely – or vote to stay as we are. There is no real choice, and no implicit threat to the EU’s conspirators to pressure them to arrive at a deal which might satisfy the majority of the British people.

    However, there is something about Cameron’s game-playing which is equally hard to swallow.
    Is his opinion of our intelligence so low that he actually thinks we can’t see through his undemocratic manoeuvring?

    • No, No, ******* No

      Bloody hell that is an insult if that’s true… I am seriously considering UKIP now.

  • @PhilKean1

    Talk of Cameron’s Party winning in 2015 is irresponsible ‘ talking-up ‘

    – For there is no chance.

    Playing the ‘talking-up’ game to condition people’s minds to the mere POSSIBILITY of Cameron’s Party winning is just wasting valuable time; time that should be spent working out how to avoid the electoral scenario which poses the greatest danger to the British people: Labour LOSING, and being forced to share office with the Liberals.

    Labour’s damage can be reversed in 2020 by a revitalised Conservative Party which has been disinfected of Liberals posing as Tories.
    However, there is NO coming back from the damage that the Liberals would inflict if our rank stupidity engineers a Lib-Lab pact.

    • TomTom

      The plethora of Economic Recovery stories being hyped up by David Kean et al is so Soviet. A Good News Offensive in the Chip-Shop Wrapper Press is supposed to revive morale by exhortation. I suggest big banners be draped across motorway bridges with slogans from Osborne and Cameron and lots of TV Specials showing the Triumph of British Enterprise and booming High Street Stores. Real Propaganda requires a better PR Man than the one in Downing Street

      • @PhilKean1

        But some seem to be buying it.

        • TomTom

          Some always will….Bernie Madoff developed his marks too