Radio

It Shouldn't Happen to a Radio Presenter 18: Winning Silver at the Radio Academy Awards

13 May 2014 at 10:03

Awards ceremonies are strange beasts, particularly if you’re shortlisted for an award. You can’t really enjoy it until your own particular award has been doled out. Last night’s Radio Academy Awards were no different (yes, they used to be The Sonys but Sony ended their sponsorship last year). LBC were up for ten different awards, an achievement in itself bearing in mind Radio 5 Live hadn’t got as many nominations as us.

I only did two hours of my normal four on Drive yesterday and at 6 I hightailed it to the Grosvenor House Hotel with my producer Matt Harris and our political editor Theo Usherwood. And guess who the first person we bumped into was? The one and only James Whale. It was brilliant to see him again. He then introduced me to David ‘Kid’ Jensen and Steve Penk, a radio legends in their own right.

LBC either won or got a bronze in the first four awards that we were nominated for. The magnificent Tom Swarbrick won a Gold for his documentary Slavery on our Streets, and it also won a Bronze in another category. He then won National Radio Journalist of the Year, an amazing achievement at his tender age. Tom is one of life’s nice guys with a wonderful sense of humour, which he brings to the radio in his own unique manner. I had the pleasure of working with him when I was doing the Sunday morning show and Nick Ferrari must know how lucky he is to have him as his Breakfast Show reporter. To win 3 awards in your career is quite something, but to win three in one evening is going some, even for someone as talented as Tom. It couldn’t happen to a nicer or more talented guy.

Chris Evans was hosting the event for the sixth time and kept it going at a good pace. And so we eventually got to Interview of the Year, the award I was shortlisted for, along with Iain Lee (BBC Three Counties), Winifred Robinson (Radio 4), Becky Milligan (Radio 4) and Stephen Sackur. At last year’s awards I was also up for an award but didn’t make the final three. Bearing in mind the names I was up against I was pretty sure I wouldn’t this year either. The interview I was nominated for was the one I conducted with James in Woolwich shortly after the Woolwich murder had taken place. James was an eyewitness. For a full account of what happened you can click HERE. Here’s a brief taste…

I’m writing this forty five minutes after coming off air from possibly the most challenging four hours of radio I am ever likely to be faced with. So forgive me if this is at all rambling or disjointed. Sometime after 3pm this afternoon Jay Louise-Knight, our travel reporter came over to my producer Matt Harris and said there was an ongoing incident in Woolwich. It looked as if someone had been killed with a machete or samurai sword and that armed police had shot the two people behind the attack. Eavesdropping, it was clear to me that this was a story which would dominate my four hour Drivetime show. At that point it had never entered my head that it could be a terror incident. As details started to come in I tweeted out asking for witnesses to phone our newsroom – frankly it was more in hope than expectation, but at around a quarter to four I noticed Matt was deep in conversation with someone on the phone. As the clock edged toward 4pm I wondered what on earth he could be talking about seeing as we needed to head down to the studio. It soon became clear. “Do a short intro telling people what we know – then get into the call quickly. James was there. He can tell us everything.”

And indeed he did. I’ve done some emotional interviews in my time. As it went on I thought to myself: “He’s still in shock”. It was gripping listening and in some ways very upsetting. I suspect I wasn’t alone in trying to hold my emotions in check. And for once I succeeded.

Here’s the audio of the interview.

Well, I didn’t win, but I did come second and got a Silver Award. I’m not going to lie. I was disappointed not to win. Who wouldn’t be? But to lose out to Winifred Robinson, a brilliant broadcaster is certainly no disgrace. Yes, I wanted to win for myself and for LBC but I know how much it would have meant to Matt and Laura who have both been so integral to whAT I’ve done at LBC. Matt was sitting beside me, but Laura left LBC a couple of weeks ago to head back north. Coincidentally yesterday was her first day in her new job at BBC Radio Newcastle. I’d have given anything to have rung her and told her we’d won. But it wasn’t to be.

We also won a Bronze and a Silver for Call Clegg and a Special Award acknowledging how our phone-ins with politicians have changed the way they are held to account. We were also up for Station of the Year, but lost out to BBC Radio Ulster.

It was a great evening, nice to meet up with old friends and acquaintances, especially fellow Hammer Mark Sandell from the World Service with whom I exchanged some superb West Ham gossip. My lips are sealed.

Just finally, a word to acknowledge a few people who have been there for me all the way during my career in radio. Jo Phillips, producer of the late lamented Sunday Service, set me off on this magnificent journey back in 1999 and has been a tower of strength ever since. Jonathan Richards, who saw in me something that others hadn’t and offered me my break on LBC back in 2010, and along with Chris Lowrie and John Cushing supported me brilliantly in my early days. Louise Birt who grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and made me a far better presenter than I ever thought I could be. James Rea who gave me the chance to host the Sunday morning show, and then Drive, and who has led LBC to great things in the last two years. Richard Park, Ashley Tabor and Stephen Miron, who run Global Radio, for their unstinting support. All my production teams, especially Matt Harris and Laura Marshall who got me through my first year on Drive.

In the last year I’ve had a Sony nomination for Speech Broadcaster of the Year, won a Silver Radio Academy Award for Interview of the Year and been named Radio Presenter of the Year at the 2013 Arqivas. I suppose I must be doing something right, but I still feel a complete amateur! I still finish every show thinking “another day I haven’t been found out!” I wonder if that’s common among other presenters!

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has been in touch since last night. I’m really overwhelmed. I know blogposts like this can come across as incredibly self-indulgent, especially when you only win a Silver, but it’s the only way I have got of paying tribute to everyone who has been so supportive to me in recent years. So please forgive me if you’re about to use a sick-bag…

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LBC Book Club: Pam Ayres

Pam Ayres discusses her autobiography THE NECESSARY APTITUDE

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UK Politics

European Election Result Predictions: Northern Ireland

13 May 2014 at 08:21

Over the last two weeks I have been trying to predict the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s now turn to Northern Ireland, where 3 seats are up for grabs. Northern Ireland is the only UK constituency to elect MEPs by the Single Transferrable Vote system, rather than D’Hondt.

2009

UUP/Con 1
DUP 1
Sinn Fein 1

In 2004 the result was identical. In 1999 Sinn Fein lost out to the SDLP.

My prediction for this year is this…

2014

Sinn Fein 1
DUP 1
SDLP 1

Sinn Fein and the DUP are almost guaranteed to win one seat each. The question is whether the SDLP or the UUP will win the remaining seat. I don’t know enough about Northern Ireland politics to make a confident prediction, and I suspect a lot will depend on whether the nationalist community turns out in far greater numbers than their unionist counterparts.

Predicted Winning Candidates

Sinn Fein – Martina Anderson
DUP – Diane Dodds
SDLP – Alex Attwood

OTHER REGIONAL PREDICTIONS

East Anglia
South East
London
South West
West Midlands
East Midlands
North West
North East
Scotland
Yorkshire & Humber

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Iain has a blazing row with George Galloway over Margaret Thatcher (Part 1)

TalkSport, August 2009

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European Election Result Predictions: Yorkshire & the Humber

12 May 2014 at 09:11

Over the next two weeks I will be trying to predict the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s now turn to Yorkshire & the Humber, where 6 seats are up for grabs. The constituency corresponds to the Yorkshire and the Humber region of the United Kingdom, comprising the ceremonial counties of South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, East Riding of Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It was formed as a result of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, replacing a number of single-member constituencies. These were Humberside, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Sheffield, Yorkshire South, Yorkshire South West, Yorkshire West, and parts of Cleveland and Richmond and Lincolnshire and Humberside South.

2009

Con 2
Lab 1
LibDem 1
UKIP 1
BNP 1

In 2004 the result was Labour 2, Conservative 2, UKIP 1, LibDem 1. In 1999 it was Labour 3, Conservative 3, LibDem 1 (the constituency had 7 members in 1999).

My prediction for this year is this…

2014

Con 2
Lab 2
UKIP 2

The Tory Edward McMillan-Scott defected from the Conservatives to the LibDems during the last Parliament and remains their lead candidate. With 13% of the vote last time, if this holds up, it is not impossible, but I’d say unlikely. This is a strong region for UKIP and it seems highly likely that they will make a gain here, even without the efforts of the redoubtable Godfrey Bloom. If the Tories retain their two seats Olympic rower Alex Story will join the Parliament. I worked with him a 18 Doughty Street.

Predicted Winning Candidates

Conservative Party – Timothy Kirkhope, Alex Story
UKIP – Jane Collins, Afjad Bashir
Labour – Linda McAvan, Richard Corbett

OTHER REGIONAL PREDICTIONS

East Anglia
South East
London
South West
West Midlands
East Midlands
North West
North East
Scotland

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LBC 97.3: Iain talks to Michael Gove Who Reveals if He is a 'Whopper' Man

Michael Gove talks about his love of Burgers

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TV/Film/Theatre

Attitude Column: Gay Stereotypes on TV Are Changing

11 May 2014 at 19:29

Think about the gay characters you see in TV and movie dramas and then think about how many of them accurately reflect your life or the characters of your gay friends. Not many are there?

On the positive side there are many more gay characters in soaps and other TV shows, but they do tend to be of a ‘type’. The three main gay TV chatshow hosts are all as camp as a row of tents – Alan Carr, Graham Norton and Paul O’Grady. Nothing wrong with that, but it plays into a completely over the top gay stereotype.

Even East Enders, the show which broke new ground in the late 1980s by screening the first gay soap kiss between fell for the gay stereotype ‘muscle mary’ character, Christian.
In Coronation Street Sean Tully plays an uber-camp barman whose ex- boyfriend Marcus – played by Charlie Condou – a not overly camp male nurse, has now suddenly started a relationship with the lovely Maria, as if this is quite normal for someone who up until that point had been a gay man who predilection for cock had never been in doubt. I know soaps exaggerate for effect, but I have never come across a gay man in his thirties who suddenly developed a penchant for lady gardens. Talking of which, the soap should be praised for its portrayal of Sophie Webster’s coming of age as a lesbian. They’ve done it without resorting to any trace of a stereotype and even some full on girl on girl snogs have failed to attract the attention of the Daily Mail.

But the ‘normal’ gayers in the broadcast media are few and far between. Maybe it’s just the shows I tend to watch, but spotting a ‘normal’ gay man or woman on TV seems as rare as a memorable speech by Nick Clegg.

Waterloo Road, the edgy Edinburgh based school drama, is an honourable exception. Over the course of ten series they have run a series of gay related story lines each populated with totally believable characters. In the recent series they even handled the controversial subject of a 14 year old girl who wanted to be a boy, who was sensitively mentored by her lesbian teacher Nikki Boston, played by the excellent Heather Peace. Not too many years ago the BBC would have been hounded by the Daily Mail for this storyline. No longer. When Peace joined the show, three series’ ago, my heart sank. An ex-army officer with a dodgy lesbian stereotypical dress sense seemed to be what we were in for. But she made the character her own (God, I sound like Louis Walsh) and more importantly made it believable. Similarly, the coming out story of Josh Stevenson, played by William Rush, was a textbook example of how to impart a social message without going over the top. The reactions of Josh’s father, his teenage contemporaries and his teachers will have mirrored those of real life parents, kids and teachers all over the country.

Other TV dramas could learn a lot from the producers of Waterloo Road.

One of the few places on TV and radio where you find completely ordinary gay people is in the world of news and current affairs. By saying ordinary, they are actually generally fairly extraordinary people, but the thing they have in common is that most people wouldn’t even know they are gay. Some of them have been open about their sexuality while others don’t see the need to be. And that’s fine.

But when you think of the likes of Jane Hill, Clare Balding, Evan Davis, Eddie Mair, James Max, Stephen Dixon or Paddy O’Connell, you don’t automatically think ‘gay’. OK, in Paddy’s case I’ll make an exception but only when he’s presenting the Eurovision semis on BBC3, but you get my drift. And the thing is, they are people who’ve made it in their chosen area for their competence. Their sexuality has played no role in what they have achieved either in a negative or positive way. And isn’t that just the way it should be. Equality will only be achieved in this country when our sexuality becomes almost an irrelevance. Just as I cringe whenever I hear the phrase “the gay actor” or the “gay Labour candidate”, I inwardly smile whenever I see an article about a gay person of note which doesn’t even mention their sexuality because it’s just not relevant to the piece. I well remember my irritation when many years ago I was described in The Observer, by their left of centre political editor as “Iain Dale, the gay Conservative candidate”. It wasn’t that I was ashamed. Far from it. But I was a political candidate who happened to be gay, not the other way around. They didn’t do it again.

This article first appeared in the May issue of Attitude Magazine

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to Joan Collins

Joan Collins discusses her book THE WORLD ACCORDING TO JOAN.

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UK Politics

European Election Result Predictions: Scotland

11 May 2014 at 09:01

Over the next few days I will be completing my predictions of the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s now turn to Scotland, where 6 seats are up for grabs.

2009

SNP 2
Lab 2
LibDem 1
Con 1

In 2004 the result the Conservatives had 2, Labour 2, LibDem 1 and the SNP 2 (there were 7 seats then). In 1999, when there were 8 seats for Scotland, Labour had 3, the SNP 2, the Tories 2 and the LibDems 1.

My prediction for this year is this…

2014

SNP 3
Lab 2
Con 1

All my contacts tells me that LibDem support in Scotland has totally collapsed. Given the voting system any LibDem collapse could benefit the Conservatives. Either the SNP or Labour will get three seats. It’s possible that unlikely that either the Greens or UKIP could overtake the LibDems and grab a seat, but UKIP don’t poll well in Scotland so I don’t expect that to happen. Last time the SNP jumped from 19% to 29% share of the vote. They only need to gain a couple of per centage points to grab that third seat, and I expect them to do that. Labour’s vote continues to decline in Scotland. In the last three Euro elections it’s gone from 29% to 26% to 20%. We hear a lot about the disastrous Tory performance in Scotland but in the last Euro elections they were only 4% behind Labour. However, the Tory vote is bound to decline further this time. It’s possible they could lose their one remaining seat, I suppose, but I think they will just about hang on.

Predicted Winning Candidates

Conservative Party – Ian Duncan
SNP – Ian Hudghton, Alyn Smith, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh
Labour Party – David Martin, Catherine Stihler

OTHER REGIONAL PREDICTIONS

East Anglia
South East
London
South West
West Midlands
East Midlands
North West
North East

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LBC 97.3: Iain Dale talks to James Graham, Writer of THIS HOUSE

James Graham talks about

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Radio

It Shouldn't Happen to a Radio Presenter 17: Avoiding The 'N' Word

10 May 2014 at 19:45

There are many words you can’t say on the radio. You can imagine what many of them are. The ‘N’ word is one of them. There are clear guidelines on the use of this word. It’s not that it is absolutely verboten, but as a presenter you may only use it in specific contexts.

BBC Devon presenter David Lowe, who has presented a programme called ‘Singers & Swingers’ for 30 years, played the song THE SUN HAS GOT HIS HAT ON on his show and it proved his undoing. He was sacked by the BBC because a single listener complained that it contained the ‘N’ word. On his blog he tells the whole sorry story…

AFTER more than 32 years of programme-making for the BBC and UK Independent Local Radio, I have hung-up my headphones for the last time. Why? Because I made a silly mistake. Yes, I know we all make mistakes, but where political correctness is concerned in UK today, there is no room for excuses or forgiveness. That said: let me stress here, I have no quarrel with anyone at the BBC in the West and South West. However, I do have issues with a repressive system that encourages wholly disproportionate reactions to innocent errors of judgement.

On April 27, I featured an 82 year old recording, one I’ve heard hundreds of times over the years, and even featured occasionally on my programmes. Unbeknown to me, however, that recording by Ambrose & His Orchestra of “The Sun Has Got His Hat On” contains a line of lyric that includes one of today’s ‘forbidden’ English language expressions … the “N” word! You’ve got to listen very carefully indeed to actually hear it but, yes, it is there on the recording.

I was alerted to my error by an email from the BBC management who had, in turn, received a complaint from a listener who, by his own admission, never listened to my programmes, but just happened to switch-on his radio sometime after 8 pm on Sunday April, 27.

Suffice it to say, the listener in question was “horrified” by what he heard, and added, “I hope that someone in authority will deal with Mr Young appropriately.” (He referred to me as David Young throughout his email, a copy of which was forwarded to me with the BBC complaint alert). By the way, I know of no other complaint. Of course, there may have been others, but none have yet come to my attention via post, email, Facebook, Twitter or on my Blog.

Nevertheless, I admitted my mistake immediately after listening closely to the ‘offending’ track. I then apologised to my BBC managers, and offered to apologise to the listeners at the beginning of, and again during, my programme on May 11. Alternatively, I offered to fall on my sword.

A series of emails between myself and the BBC ensued over the following few days, including one which stated, “We would prefer that you don’t mention anything about last week’s broadcast.” In the end, the BBC wrote to say, “Regrettably … we will have to accept your offer to fall on your sword to resolve the situation.”

So, first and foremost, here’s what I would have said on-air on May 11, had I been granted the opportunity of doing so: “I would like to apologise unreservedly to all of you, especially those who may have been offended by the track in question.”

Unfortunately, this was a genuine error on my part … the first of its kind I made in my 32 years of broadcasting … but, given today’s unforgiving obsession with political correctness, I have been compelled to pay the ultimate price.

Sadly, many thousands of BBC listeners have now been deprived of a programme they have come to look-forward to each week, while I’m left to ponder this: how can one oversight on my part, followed by one email complaint (that I know of), have such a negative impact on the lives so many innocent people? Maybe the answer lies in the fact that this regrettable episode provides proof of the damaging effect political correctness in all its pernicious forms is having on British society today?

Sorry folks, but I made a stupid mistake and I was left with no other option but to fall on my sword. In closing, however, let me say this: it has been an honour to entertain you for so many years, and I thank each and every one of you for your support for my efforts.

Unbelievable behaviour by the BBC. One rule for Jeremy Clarkson, another for others. And this from the very same BBC that has recently shown the Robert Di Niro film A BRONX TALE which contains at least 30 mentions of the ‘N’ word. Hypocrisy writ large.

However, the story doesn’t end there. David Lowe has today updated his blog with this…

MY HEARTFELT thanks to all of you, not only here on the Blog, but also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for your support and kind words over the past 24 hours or so.

The BBC have, this evening (Saturday May 9, 2014), magnanimously asked me to return to my former Sunday evening programme slot, but I have respectfully declined their offer.

Let me explain why. As some of you will know, I am partially disabled by Dystonic Tremor: a condition rooted in the central nervous system. To put it mildly, these past two weeks have played havoc with my tremor symptoms, and it’s going to take quite some time for me to get back to where I was before this “N-word” issue blew-up … if I ever do.

I feel sure, therefore, most of you will understand that I now need to focus on recovering, as best I can, the limited dexterity I enjoyed before this regrettable episode began.

Thank you again for your support. With my sincere best wishes … David

So he’s told the BBC where they can stick it, and you can hardly blame him. The Mirror have taken up the story and they quote a BBC spokesman.

“We have offered David Lowe the opportunity to continue presenting his Singers and Swingers show, and we would be happy to have him back on air. “We accept that the conversation with David about the mistake could have been handled better, but if he chooses not to continue then we would like to thank him for his time presenting on the station and wish him well for the future.”

What a way for the BBC to treat someone with 30 years’ dedicated service. It’s like something out of an episode from W1A.

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Iain Talks to Labour MP John Woodock About His Depression

John Woodcock explains his decision to go public on his depression.

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UK Politics

European Election Result Predictions: North East

10 May 2014 at 09:02

Over the next two weeks I will be trying to predict the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s now turn to the North East, where 3 seats are up for grabs. The constituency corresponds to the North East England region of the United Kingdom, comprising the ceremonial counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and parts of North Yorkshire. The constituency was formed as a result of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, replacing a number of single-member constituencies. These were Durham, Northumbria, Tyne and Wear, and parts of Cleveland and Richmond.

2009

Con 1
Lab 1
LibDem 1

In 2004 the result was identical to 2004. In 1999 it was Labour 3, Conservative 1 (the constituency had 4 members in 1999).

My prediction for this year is this…

2014

Con 1
Lab 1
UKIP 1

This is probably the easiest constituency to call. Last time the LibDems got a seat with 17.6% of the vote, with UKIP only 2.2% behind. I doubt there is a single LibDem who believes they won’t be beaten into fourth place.

Predicted Winning Candidates

Conservative Party – Martin Callanan
UKIP – Jonathan Arnott
Labour – Judith Curton-Darling

East Anglia
South East
London
South West
West Midlands
East Midlands
North West

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LBC Book Club: Iain Dale talks to horror writer James Herbert

James Herbert talks about his latest book ASH and his career as Britain's leading horror writer.

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Diary

ConHome Diary: What Will Cameron Be Remembered For?

9 May 2014 at 14:38

Now I know Boris Johnson has never won an award for attention to detail, but here is one detail will need to take on board if he really intends to stand at the next general election, as he surely must. In order to be selected as a Conservative candidate you actually need to be on the approved list of Conservative candidates. And according to my sources at CCHQ Boris isn’t on that list. It may be that he thinks because he is the Mayor of London he doesn’t need to be, and can just waltz in anywhere and put his name forward. It would be a brave soul on the Candidates Committee who sought to veto him, but there’s always one, isn’t there? The trouble is, if Boris puts in an official application it would be bound to leak, which is why he presumably hasn’t done it. Oh what a tangled web we weave.
*
Those of us who were beginning to take UKIP seriously as a political party were somewhat surprised to see them select Roger Helmer as their candidate for Newark. Now I rather like Roger Helmer, but anyone who thinks that as a by-election he will be anything other than disastrous wants their political antennae rewiring. Nigel Farage tells me Helmer’s views on homosexuality and other things have changed and that he has recanted his previously strongly held view. Indeed, there’s a lengthy statement on his website doing just that. But does he really think anyone in the media will do anything other than use these views to beat UKIP with a very big stick? And how can Helmer campaign properly in the by-election when he is supposed to be campaigning all over the East Midlands to secure his European Parliament seat? UKIP have treated the electorate of Newark with contempt, and shown they are not serious about winning.
*

The history books suggest that most Prime Ministers are remembered for one thing. If we go through all post-war PMs it seems even more of a truism.
Churchill – Winning the war
Attlee – The NHS
Eden – Suez
Macmillan – Saying ‘most of our people have never had it so good’
Douglas-Home – Counting with matches
Wilson – The white heat of the technological revolution
Heath – Joining the Common Market
Callaghan – Winter of Discontent
Thatcher – Falklands
Major – Black Wednesday
Blair – Iraq
Brown – The financial crash
So when David Cameron falls on his prime ministerial sword, what exactly will he be remembered for? Libya? Gay marriage? If he’s not careful he will go down as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland who lost Scotland. I don’t think many people realise how near we are to that becoming a reality. In recent weeks some commentators, led by Ben Brogan, have speculated that if that happened, David Cameron would have to resign. Well, it’s easy to see the logic, isn’t it? This week Number Ten poured a cup of cold sick over the suggestion. As usual, they got it wrong. It would have been far better to say nothing and not dignify the suggestion with a comment.
*
I’ve been posting European election result predictions on my blog all week, going through the country region by region. I’ll be posting more predictions over the next few days at www.iaindale.com. In many regions the result hardly changes even with quite a dramatic swing in the vote. At most two seats change hands. Some regions are so small that it’s almost impossible for any change at all beyond one seat because of the ridiculous D’Hondt system of PR. Strangely that system isn’t used in Northern Ireland which uses STV. Why that it, I have no idea. It’s small wonder that turnout is so low when voters know that however they vote, the end result is more or less the same. Bearing in mind that few people could name a single one of their MPs, I wonder if it might not be fairer for there to be a national list rather than regional ones. Or alternatively, allow people to vote for individual candidates rather than just cast one vote for a party. In that way the parties couldn’t be able to give sitting MEPs preference on their lists and they’d actually have to fight for their seats.
*

Labour’s Party Election broadcast this week didn’t bode well for the tone of the election campaign over the coming twelve months. Labour’s strategists clearly think it’s a strategic masterstroke. Judge for yourself.

It’s sub-Harry Enfield. And that’s being kind. I’m told the LibDems had one a couple of weeks ago which poked fun at Ed Miliband, but was actually funny. Well, maybe amusing rather than funny. This one may play well in a student union and among people who genuinely hate Tories or Nick Clegg, but would it win over a single floating voter? I doubt it. Indeed, it may have achieved quite the opposite. Someone emailed my LBC show saying they were a long time Labour voter but this PEB made him realise that Labour isn’t serious as a political party and they take the electorate for fools. He said he would now be voting UKIP. Incidentally, I also had two callers on Wednesday who were both UKIP switchers … from the LibDems. Now there’s funny.

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LBC97.3 Iain Talks to Ann Barnes

Kent Police & Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes defends her stance on Paris Brown, the Youth PCC who had to resign over inappropriate tweets.

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UK Politics

European Election Result Predictions: North West

9 May 2014 at 11:46

Over the next two weeks I will be trying to predict the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s now turn to the North West, where 8 seats are up for grabs. The constituency corresponds to the North West England region of the United Kingdom, comprising the ceremonial counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. Following the passing of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, the North West of England formed one constituency from which candidates are elected using the d’Hondt formula. In the election preceding this Act, MEPs were elected from first-past-the-post constituencies. These were Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Wirral, Cumbria and Lancashire North, Greater Manchester Central, Greater Manchester East, Greater Manchester West, Lancashire Central, Lancashire South, Merseyside East and Wigan, Merseyside West, and parts of Staffordshire West and Congleton.

2009

Con 3
Lab 2
UKIP 1
LibDem 1
BNP 1

In 2004 the result was Con 3, UKIP 1, LibDem 2, Labour 3. In 1999 it was Con 5, Lab 4, LibDem 1 (the constituency had 10 members in 1999 and 9 in 2004).

My prediction for this year is this…

2014

Con 2
Lab 3
UKIP 3

Like the East Midlands is a very difficult constituency to call. However, one thing is for sure, the BNP’s Nick Griffin will be out of the European Parliament. It’s highly likely that the controversial LibDem MEP Chris Davies will be out too. If this happens it is likely that UKIP will gain at least one seat, if not two. Labour is likely to gain at least one too, with the Conservatives dropping one. The Greens shouldn’t be totally ruled out, either. Last time they were only 0.3% behind the BNP.

Predicted Winning Candidates

Conservative Party – Jacqueline Foster, Sajid Karim
UKIP – Paul Nuttal, Louise Bours, Steven Woolfe
Labour – Theresa Griffin, Afzal Khan

OTHER REGIONAL PREDICTIONS

East Anglia
South East
London
South West
West Midlands
East Midlands

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UK Politics

European Election Result Predictions: East Midlands

8 May 2014 at 11:14

Over the next two weeks I will be trying to predict the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s now turn to the East Midands, where 5 seats are up for grabs. The constituency corresponds to the East Midlands region of England, comprising the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and the non-Metropolitan county of Lincolnshire. The constituency was organized as a result of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, replacing a number of single-member constituencies. These were Leicester, Northamptonshire and Blaby, Nottingham and Leicestershire North West, Nottinghamshire North and Chesterfield, and parts of Lincolnshire and Humberside South, Peak District, and Staffordshire East and Derby.

2009

Con 2
UKIP 1
Lab 1
LibDem 1

In 2004 the result was Con 2, UKIP 2, LibDem 1, Labour 1. In 1999 it was Con 3 Lab 2, LibDem 1 (the constituency had six members in 1999 and 2004).

My prediction for this year is this…

2014

Con 2
Lab 1
UKIP 2

The East Midlands is a very difficult constituency to call. Both the LibDem sitting MEP Bill Newton Dunn, and the sitting UKIP member Roger Helmer started out as Conservatives. Helmer will certainly be re-elected but it is doubtful Newton Dunn will hold on, having just scraped in last time with only 12.5% of the vote. The question is whether that will be enough to give UKIP or Labour a second seat. UKIP will certainly gain a second seat if the Tory vote drops much anyway.

Predicted Winning Candidates

Conservative Party – Emma McClarkin, Andrew Lewer
UKIP – Roger Helmer, Margot Parker
Labour – Glenis Wilmott

OTHER REGIONAL PREDICTIONS

East Anglia
South East
London
South West
West Midlands

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