The Pleasure and Pain of Leadership for Labour

I think the Labour party are in a difficult place right now. Especially when you look at the list of MPs and wonder who can chukkastand their ground in Parliament against the Prime Minister.  When I see Chukka Umunna in the running I have to smile to myself as personally I think he is too young and inexperienced for the post right now. He will be in a better position in 5 years time when he can fight it out in the next general election with David Miliband in being leader of the Party.

One would tAndy Burnhamhink Keith Vaz the Labour stalwart would be front and centre for the new leadership role but as politics goes his 2001 issue would come to the fore once again so he is out of the running.   Whoever is elected new leader of the Labour Party will be cannon fodder for the Prime Minister who has years of experience of dealing with PMQs.  Labour needs a new team in a time when the Conservatives are a well-oiled machine. If anything, the next 5 years may be a bit easier for the Tories as they are free from their shackles with the Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Yvette Cooper is an interesting choice for leadership. She has the experience and Ed Balls is her husband. Personally if he had kepYvette-Cooper-at-Labour-conference-Manchester-2014t his seat he would have been leader in my opinion. I think it will be between her and Andy Burnham although I think Diane Abbot should try again. Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott are the only two Labour hopefuls left after the 2010 Labour leadership election.  Whoever the leader is, they will need to create a strong unit. This is quite difficult at the moment as everyone points fingers and gives there opinion why things did not go Labours way in the latest elections. They will need to bin their election manifesto and have a complete rethink looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and putting together something thDiane-Abbottat will unite a nation behind them into believing that they are the leadership for them.  It will be hard work but nothing like putting together three 5 year plans and taking the country forward into 2030.

The new team could be the new young leaders of tomorrow headed by Tristram Hunt with Andy Burnham and Chukka Umunna in support. Something similar to the 1997 big three New Labour team of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson.Blair_Brown_Mand

In the meantime Team Tory is full steam ahead in trying to get the country out of deficit with the SNP acting as a dropped anchor in slowing the process down

2015 Election – Political Strategy and PR messages

It is amazing looking back after an event and seeing the strategy that was taken in making a political campaign a success or was it that the plan worked better than expected.

Ed Miliband with David Axelrod

Ed Miliband with David Axelrod

At the start of the 2015 political campaign Labour had David Axelrod as their main political strategist who was one of President Obama’s advisors in the US.

The Conservatives had the Australian Lynton Crosby as their campaign manager who was brought in initially to help Boris Johnson win the Mayor of London election in 2010. They also had Jim Messina who was Obama’s Campaign Manager which raised my eyebrows especially as he was consulting from the US during the election.

So when did the political strategy start for the Tories. For me it was when the Prime Minister said he will do one debate but only with all the political seat holders. The Labour party and many others were saying that the Prime Minister was scared. However, when looking at it now it was quite a clever ploy. As the Labour Party normally rely heavily on their Scottish seats in parliament and that there was a Scottish referendum in 2014 as to whether Scotland should become Independent or not. As far as strategy for the Conservatives is concerned it would be wise to try and lower the amount of Labour votes in Scotland. This could be tactically done with a 7 party debate live on TV where newly elected Nicola Sturgeon (she took over from Alex Salmond after Scotland did not vote for independence in 2014) could become the face of Scotland in the UK.

The second debate did not include the Prime Minister or the Conservatives and was in my opinion the start to Ed Miliband’s downward spiral. There were two defining things to the second political debate: debate_milibandthe absence of the Liberal Democrats and Ed Miliband telling Nicola Sturgeon that Labour would never form a coalition with the SNP. In my opinion as far as Scottish voters were concerned having just voted to remain part of the UK they wanted to be told that they would have a voice in Westminster. This was a key message of the SNP but was somewhat muted by the Labour party.

If I was a Scottish voter and standing in the booth – my question would be – who can give me the bigger voice in Westminster? Unfortunately for the Labour Party, the messages of improvements for workers, was just not strong enough for the Scottish vote. I think too much time and effort was spent on making Ed Miliband a leader for the Labour Party than Ed Miliband leading the country. In the last few weeks of the Campaign Ed Miliband was good. But by that time it was too late. That Ed Milliband should have been seen a year before. Ed in my mind will always be the Labour leader who “forgot” to talk about the deficit at the Labour Party Conference. He made an amazing speech the following week or it may have been a few weeks later and afterwards I was left confused as to why a better speech was done after the Party Conference. All it did was make me doubt him as a leader. I still feel it was a mistake his brother would never have made but as they say ‘that is politics’.

I think Nick Clegg was in a false state of security being part of the coalition government during the elections. The Liberal Democrats are a small party and not taking part in the second debate was a major

Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg

error. Most voters knew the Liberal Democrats would struggle for votes during the election but by missing out on the second debate I felt they (Lib Dems) were not willing to fight for votes. If the party has no fight in them for votes how will they fight for you when they are back in parliament? After that happened I thought the Lib Dems were just hot air for the rest of the electoral campaign. Also they were missed by the public in watching Labour and the SNP fight for votes

With the predicted loss of Labour seats in Scotland, and the Liberal Democrats’ predicted loss of seats (due to their false promises in the 2010 election), the Conservative strategy would have been to focus on gaining the predicted seats that the Liberal Democrat maslows_needswould lose in the election. How do you win over those seats? By consulting Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs of course. Well that is part of it. First scare everyone to death by saying the Labour Party is getting together with the SNP even though Ed Miliband denied it on TV. Psychologically as a voter I was thinking mmm Labour are being sneaky. So as a voter thinking some parties are being sneaky and we are coming out of a deficit what messages do I want to hear? The one word which got the Conservatives elected in 2015 is the word ‘Security’. In selling terms this is known as providing the solution to your problem.

So in short give SNP a voice and let them fight it out with Labour on Live TV. From there it would be up to Labour to fight for their seats in Scotland which for many years were almost guaranteed Labour seats. As the Conservatives were not going to get seats in Scotland anyway the aim was to secure 23 which were Liberal Democrat seats to get a majority in government. So while the Labour party concentrated mainly on getting votes in England their Scottish stronghold was dissolving.

The Lib Dems were easy targets. After almost being labelled ‘not trustworthy’ after the last elections in 2010 they had to pull some miracle out of the bag. What were their messages? There were so many messages which were red lined and others were not it was quite confusing. There was also Nick Cleggs effort of telling voters to vote for Lib Dems in a tactical vote so that they could decide either to join Labour or Conservatives in a coalition. How confusing for the voter! Personally you vote for the party of your choice – why would you need a middle man party who you can’t trust to decide who they want to team up with?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Hartley/REX (4131263a) Lto R Lord Feldman, Lynton Crosby, Jim Messina (Obama's campaign manager wjho has been hired as an advisor to the Conservatives) and Grant Shapps. Conservative Party Annual Conference, Birmingham, Britain - 29 Sep 2014

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Hartley/REX (4131263a)
Lto R Lord Feldman, Lynton Crosby, Jim Messina (Obama’s campaign manager wjho has been hired as an advisor to the Conservatives) and Grant Shapps.
Conservative Party Annual Conference, Birmingham, Britain – 29 Sep 2014

There must have been high fives all round from the strategy team at Tory HQ on 8th May. So what is going to happen now? I think SNP will have loud voices in Parliament. It will be hard work for the Prime Minister but his party has the majority and the Labour party are a smaller team on the other side of the room. Job done for the election campaign and now on to something completely different – The next 5 years in government.

Ed Miliband’s drastic change in image

I wrote a little about Ed Miliband in 2012 about how he could change his PR image. My goodness in the last 6 months he seems to have changed drastically.  I suppose it is things you do to gain support of the masses.  He has slowed down his speech a lot.  He looks a lot calmer as well.  He has stopped the usual tell sign of closing his eyes every time he finishes his key message.  I am sure he is working on it hard though because it has reduced quite a lot. It did manage to happen during the launch of the Labour manifesto and his tongue also managed to pop out a few times which makes which left the viewer raising their eyebrows. He is trying hard but it is one of those things when you hope he’ll have a day when everything goes right and it doesn’t.  Winning an election does not have to be pretty

I must admit I looked at the Foreword written by Ed Miliband of the Labour Manifesto. The first paragraph is not promising unless he is trying to prove he is uneducated.  “We are a great country. With great people. In the last five years I have heard your stories, your hopes and your dreams. And I have heard too your frustrations.”

I suppose this is his speech notes and a full stop is a breath rather than a comma. No, he uses a comma as well, who knows what for though. I find it difficult to understand the sentence – “With great people.” It makes no sense at all by itself.

After today I have noticed a very clever political ploy – Get an actor to say your words and guarantee something you can’t deliver. Then say you have better values than your opposition! ;-)  Martin Freeman in Labour Ad  My thoughts are what happens if you cannot deliver your guarantee? It’s quite simple – you put back your goalposts so that you are never wrong. Even better, never give a date by when you are going to do something – just say you want to do something when you are in power. The “unthinking” masses will then go for the leader that want to change things for the better.

edm

David Axelrod is working hard!

david axelrod

Golf Balls Demystified

golf balls

So do the different numbers on a golf ball mean anything? Truthfully – not really – It helps that when you play golf with friends that you all don’t play with exactly the same brand and number of ball as it can be confusing. If you are both playing with a Srixon 1 then you will have to mark them otherwise if one is playing with a Srixon 3 and the other a Titelist 3 there is no real difference between the balls.

The development of golf balls in record speed

The” featheries” were the first golf balls ever made. They were small leather balls stuffed with goose feathers.

After that the gutta percha ball was invented. It was just a solid rubber ball that did not fly very well. The ball improved and flew better the more people used it and it got more scuffed and gained scrapes and dimples.

The next change in the golf ball was to hammer dimples and cuts on to the gutta percha ball and the performance of the ball improved.

The haskall flyer came next – a good ball but not much distance on it.

Players found that putting pimples on the ball made it go up and steer pretty well when you hit it but the drawback was low flight and low distance. They then started experimenting with what putting dimples on a golf ball would do. In the beginning all golf balls were the same with the same amount of patterns and dimples on the golf ball.

The modern ball has dimples making the ball travel higher, longer and straighter. There are many brands now like Titelist, Wilson, TopFlite, Srixon, Nike, Bridgestone, Dunlop and many others. All have dimples.

There are 3 types of balls

One piece – normally used at driving ranges

Twp piece – used by the average golfer

Three piece – used by the pro’s

The two-piece golf ball is a safe bet for beginner golfers as it will roll further and generate more distance than any other ball. Balls with three or more pieces allow the golfers greater control of the ball. By that they can put more spin on the ball, which can be a nightmare for beginners if you hook or slice the ball. If you would like to think of golf balls as the following – one piece – normally found at golf ranges only. Two piece is used by the average golfer. Three piece or more is used by the more experienced golfers to give them more control with the ball.

Get more information at http://www.golferslittlehelper.com

How to play golf

Playing golf is pretty easy. All you need to do is get the ball in the hole in as fewer golf shots as possible. When you start playing golf as a beginner you may get a little overwhelmed with all the information. But don’t worry almost everyone feels the same way when they start playing.

A golf course consists of 18 holes. Every hole you play will require you to get the ball in the hole either in three, four or five shots. If you get the ball in the hole in the required number of shots it is called a par. However as a beginner you are not expected to get the ball in the hole in the required number of shots all the time and so you get a handicap.

A handicap quite simply is extra hits than the required shots for par. So a 24 handicap has an extra 24 hits of the ball per round. So if the course par is 72, if you are playing to a 24 handicap that would mean your par is to try and finish playing 18 holes in 96 shots.

I have found in my experience that depending on the country you play in the course difficulty can be very different. For example if you play courses in colder countries like the UK the courses are usually easy but the weather makes them difficult to play. Most of my experience has been in the warm sunny climate of South Africa where the weather is great all year round and the course design makes the holes difficult to play.

Don’t over think the game. Just enjoy yourself. If you play the percentage game you will win. As soon as you start to gamble and hit the ball too hard the chances of making a mistake are much greater.

http://www.golferslittlehelper.com

How to break 100 and rapidly reduce your golf scores

Taylormade White Smoke Putter

Taylormade White Smoke Putter – http://www.golferslittlehelper.com

You don’t have to knock the dimples off the ball on every tee shot in order to lower your score. As a beginner the putting green is the perfect place to rapidly lower your score. So many shots are added to a beginner golfers scorecard due to missed putts which in all honesty are almost criminal acts preventing them from lowering their scores.

Make a note of how many putts you make in a round of golf. Are you 3 putting? How many times? If you add up all your three putts e.g. In a round you may 3 putt on 5 holes. If you scored 104 for the round you can see that if you had two putted on those holes that you would have broken 100. The easiest way to practice is to putt balls a certain distance consistently.

I like to putt the distance of my golf umbrella. That distance can be a tester but if you keep putting that distance either at home every night on the carpet or even the practice green at your local golf club. Putting is a skill like being a guitarist. How good do you want to be? The more effort you put in the more you will be rewarded.

Mistake by Golf Beginners: Sacrificing Strategy for Power

The infamous Charles Barkley Swing!

The infamous Charles Barkley Swing!

A big mistake beginners make is sacrificing strategy for power. Forget about being greedy in getting distance as a beginner. You are not Tiger Woods or Ernie Els so just play the game with normal golf swings keeping to the middle of the fairway and you will greatly improve your golf scores very quickly. Don’t gamble! Just play the game.

Let’s take an example – Try looking at using golf strategy to your advantage rather than trying to lash the dimples off the ball on the tee. By that I mean that a beginner will thrash a golf ball off the tee hoping to get a 250m driver so that the next shot may be a chip or medium iron into the green.

The reality is that the ball is sliced violently or even missed on some occasions. So the second shot may end up being played from a bad lie in the rough. This makes it a more difficult shot to play with chances of duffing here being extremely high. The ball may even go out of bounds so you could be playing shot number three off the tee. That second tee shot could be very nerve wracking especially if your aim is to bogey the hole. Forget about maximum power and look at what you achieve when you hit the ball normally at the golf range.

If you are hitting a 4 Iron on average 150m and a par 4 is 400m. Playing with a 4 iron you would be at 300m after two shots with a 100m shot into the green. That would leave you with two putts for you to finish the hole and be one over par. This is scoring a bogey on a par 4 without the use of your woods.

Relax and take it easy during your round of golf. It is not the person who hits the ball the furtherest but the one who gets the ball in the hole in the least amount of shots.

http://www.golferslittlehelper.com

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