Monday, October 05, 2009

The Top 100 Most Influential People on the Right: 50-1

Here is the second and final part of the Telegraph Top 100 People on the Right List. You can see the 100-51 list HERE. To read the biographies of those in the Top 50 click HERE. The article explaining the choice of the panel, printed in today's Telegraph follows...

In compiling the annual list of the 100 most influential people on the Left or Right of British politics, we came very close to putting someone whose identity we do not know at number 2 in both lists. We will call him or her “Deep Moat” – the Whitehall whistle-blower who shook British politics to its foundations by leaking the entire database of MPs’ expenses claims, published by the Telegraph.

Even before that expenses scandal, David Cameron was doing well as leader and as a prospective prime minister. But then a pretty good year turned into what is likely to be the year before he becomes prime minister. Of course, anything can happen in politics and there is still some time before polling day, but the election is now the Conservatives’ to lose. Cameron remains at number one because of what he made of the opportunity offered him.

It did not have to be that way: some of the worst stories from the expenses scandal involved Conservative MPs. Andrew MacKay, number 29 in last year’s list, was the most high-profile victim, but the mud did not stick to the Tories in quite the same way as it has done to the Labour government. That was largely because Cameron was rock-solid in his response – quick off the mark, tough in dealing with offenders in his own party and consistent in articulating what people felt about the scandal. Admittedly, a scandal like this is easier to deal with in opposition, but it could easily have been fluffed.

The Left’s only other route back, the economy, has also provided fertile ground for Cameron. His tougher stance at Prime Minister’s Questions and stubborn battles over the need for cuts mean he has had an outstanding year as Prime Minister designate.

The story in the rest of the shadow cabinet, the Conservative Party and the broader Right of British politics is more mixed. There has been relative stability in the top 25, but significant numbers of MPs have slipped down, often because of the need for a period of silence on their part following the expenses scandal.

There are also seven new entries in the top 25. Kenneth Clarke pushed his way in because of his dogged fight against Lord Mandelson. Eric Pickles and Theresa May climb the rankings for similar reasons – they add a weight of experience to the attack. It is likely that a Cameron cabinet will include a good proportion of former ministers and many more experienced hands are coming back in to front-line politics now that power is clearly within the Conservative Party’s grasp.

While Cameron has been good at wielding the axe when needed, as Alan Duncan recently discovered, many in the top 10 stay put, representing a unified team. The only interloper is MEP, columnist and Telegraph blogger Daniel Hannan, who has bounced up from 86 to 10. In Hannan, the Right of the Conservative Party found a voice. There is always a tipping point in opposition politics when the prospect of victory becomes apparent: Hannan seems to have decided that this moment has come, and that the Cameroonies needed reminding that they are leading the Conservative Party and not New Labour Mark 2. His verbal assault on Gordon Brown in the European Parliament was a YouTube sensation, but he has also articulated a radical view of localism and stirred up heated debate over the role of the NHS. Assuming the Tories form a government, he is unlikely to rank quite so high next year, but on his performance this year he has earned his high place.

Hannan was not the only one to find success online. Another maverick entry, for his contribution to the unsettling of No 10 alone, is the blogger Guido Fawkes, up 50 places. Again, he is unlikely to be here next year, unless the scoops keep coming, but his role in the Damian McBride email scandal placed him front and centre in one of the biggest political stories of the year.

While a significant number of middle-ranking MPs have slipped back over the year, a couple have bucked this trend. Damian Green has continued his steady climb towards the top 30. He had a good expenses crisis, and with the lifting of the investigation into leaks on immigration (which saw him arrested in the House of Commons), his trajectory towards a big job in the government continues. However, the real star this year, rising 82 places to 14, is Philip Hammond, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury and a key player in the battle over public expenditure.

While shadow chancellor George Osborne concentrates more on general political strategy, it has been Hammond who has taken the fight to the Government on the deficit. The political strategy work that Osborne has been doing is set to continue after the election, with stories of a joint administration, or West Wing-style office combining the staffs of the Chancellor and PM. Although this might not survive the actual transition, the core of Osborne’s team will be central to implementing the project and so his backroom team, Matthew Hancock, Rupert Harrison and Rohan Silva, make a joint entry at number 39.

Financing the general election campaign will not be cheap, and the Government holds the advantage in the pre-election period. The £2.5 million recently given to the Conservative Party by City supporters should even the playing field considerably. That included £1 million from the property tycoon David Rowland, a high new entry, who returned to live in the UK to make the donation and has promised more in the future.

By the time we compile the next list, of course, there will have been a general election. Of the candidates who might be returned for the Conservatives, one of the most impressive, Priti Patel, makes an entrance at 75. She is contesting a new Essex seat with a notional Conservative majority of around 7,000 and is expected to be a leading member of the new intake. In fact, all of the future cabinet and most of the future ministers in a Conservative government are contained in the top 100. Many of the future special advisers and the think-tankers, donors and campaigners who will shape the administration are here.

But there are two names that might surprise you, and give a clue as to the way in which the old linear political spectrum – statism on the Left, free-market on the Right – has been disrupted. Lord Mandelson (18) and Lord Adonis (80) are both ministers in this Labour government, But, like it or loathe it, they are also architects and supporters of policy positions that will be central to Cameron’s government. Mandelson, as Business Secretary, has pursued business-friendly policies, and he might also succeed in shifting Labour back towards the fiscal centre, giving the Conservatives an easier task in power. Adonis, now the Transport Secretary beating the drum for high-speed rail, created the academy schools, a Blairite legacy on which Michael Gove’s bold education policy for parental control of schooling would build.

In both cases, many of the policies they advocate would sit as much at home in a Right-of-centre government as they do in a Left-of-centre one, thus qualifying them for both lists. The godfather of New Labour, Lord Mandelson, is therefore the most influential player on the Left and in the top 20 on the Right. It’s hard to think of a better epitaph for the age of Blair.

Iain Dale and Brian Brivati drew up the list with the help of a panel of experts from the Telegraph and elsewhere. Those working for the paper were excluded, unless they held other positions that gave them influence.

1 1 David Cameron MP
2 3 George Osborne MP
3 5 Andy Coulson
4 4 Michael Ashcroft
5 2 Boris Johnson
6 6 Steve Hilton
7 7 William Hague MP
8 8 Michael Gove MP
9 10 Edward Llewellyn
10 86 Dan Hannan MEP
11 17 Samantha Cameron
12 9 Michael Spencer
13 12 Margaret Thatcher
14 96 Philip Hammond
15 36 Eric Pickles MP
16 15 Liam Fox MP
17 58 Kenneth Clarke MP
18 NEW Peter Mandelson
19 19 Oliver Letwin MP
20 21 Tim Montgomerie
21 23 Iain Duncan Smith MP
22 16 Francis Maude MP
23 18 Patrick McLoughlin MP
24 77 Theresa May MP
25 33 Jeremy Hunt
26 14 Chris Grayling MP
27 54 Damian Green MP
28 11 Andrew Feldman
29 25 Dominic Grieve
30 31 David Davis MP
31 38 Matthew Elliott
32 20 Andrew Lansley MP
33 37 Greg Clark
34 85 Guido Fawkes
35 28 Thomas Strathclyde
36 22 Charles Moore
37 13 Sir Simon Milton
38 24 Nick Herbert MP
39 NEW Matthew Hancock, Rupert Harrison, Rohan Silva
40 57 Nicholas Boles
41 87 Nigel Farage
42 42 Michael Hintze
43 49 Jill Kirby
44 55 James O'Shaunnessy
45 48 John Redwood MP
46 47 Lord Harris of Peckham
47 NEW David Rowland
48 26 Stephen Gilbert
49 27 Robert Edmiston
50 66 Kit Malthouse


Anonymous said...

Another establishment love-in list......

Mirtha Tidville said...

Mandelslime on the right????...they`re having a larf..a tiger never changes its stripes.....If he`s on the right I`m a commie....

Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Dale,

You have "Boris Johnson MP" in at No5.

Boris Johnson is, of course, no longer an MP. Though it is curious to note that, since being elected to a powerful public office, you judge him to have slippped three places in the realm of the 'most influential'.

Is this 'influence' only that which may be exerted in respect of the Leader of the Party?

golden_balls said...

I've just witnessed the most bizare 50 minutes of the daily politics program i've ever seen.

An embarrassing interview with Boris where he looked so uncomfortable and the answers he gave were waffle and bluster and his dislike for cameron and his europe policy was obvious.

Then we had daniel hannan saying he wanted a referendum on the uk leaving the EU while ian taylor refused to debate with either daniel or farage. To finish we had cameron giving a lackluster interview is this really the man to change the uk ?

and to finish off this hour i now know where Samantha Cameron has her tattoo.

Bizare !

Ps i see comment approval is still in operation doesn't really work when your busy at the confernce iain.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Is there any way, Iain, in which you can be persuaded to top producing lists?

Is this some childhood pastime that you are still playing?

The lists, in multiples of 10, get more silly every month. This is the silliest of them all.

Anonymous said...

Only one Welsh Conservative on the top 100 list - must do better

Simon Gardner said...

Slightly surprised not to see Nick Clegg in this list.

Anonymous said...

These lists really are pointless. Does anyone really care? perhaps only egomaniacs? Waste of space. Wanna talk about the big stuff, recession, war, Iran, Afghanistan ?

PS> Are you sure Steve Hilton is a member of the Tory party?! I'm not. :)

moorlandhunter said...

I am a Tory voter and have been chaffing at the bit, shouting and swearing like a telly lout whenever a fool like Brown or one of his chav yes men or women come on and spout out the Labour buzz words, ‘It’s the right thing to do,’ ‘Tough decisions for hard working families,’ and other such puerile claptrap that they have belched out over the years in an effort to blind people with their lies.
I was so mad that they lied about the UK people having a chance to vote for the Lisbon Treaty and we are denied the chance of having a truly democratic vote about the running of our country for years to come.
Just as I began to gain hope that Labour were in their death throws at last weeks conference and a little smile played on my lips at the discomfort of Brown and his chavs, what do I hear from Cameron? He is not promising the UK a vote on the Lisbon treaty.
How utterly angry I was and at once became the shouting and swearing at the telly lout I thought I had put behind me when I witnessed the death throws of Labour.
Can I honestly say I will vote Tory now? I really don’t know as my illusion of Cameron being someone who is honest and would honour our wish for a vote on Lisbon seems to have disappeared like a fart blown out to sea on a Westerly wind on Beachy Head.

moorlandhunter said...

BYW. I am a CA member and support all they do in our countryside. If only the enviromentalists and greens would listen to them about Policing, rural post offices, rural housing and wildlife issues we would have a countryside that would be the envy of the world. Instead we have Natural England, a quango of limited thinking.

golden_balls said...

Not much debate on this blog
just like the Tory conference

BlairSupporter said...

Somebody missing here? The most influential person on the right, left or centre? A certain would-be President of the Council of Europe?

Won't mention the name in case it uspsets anyone still in denial.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Bliar Supporter

You must be referring to one Anthony Bliar who does of course have a wonderful track record of sending people to their deaths whilst starting illegal wars...

If thats being in denial then so be it..

Joe Public said...

Oh dear, Education, Education, Education has failed again.

"39 NEW Matthew Hancock, Rupert Harrison, Rohan Silva
40 (57) Nicholas Boles"

So if Matthew Hancock is 39th, then Harrison is 40th, Silva is 41st & everyone else bumped down two places.

sharon said...

It was a fabulous blog

John Chaytor said...

You are joking surely?

Where is Rupert Murdoch?

This Australian has corrupted British politics for over two decades and even took US citizenship so that he could try and corrupt their "fair and balanced" political outlook to benefit his business interests.

The fact that British politicians give this man the time of day shows how much influence he has.

Anonymous said...

Eric Pickles 15.hmmm i would have him at 10.close your eyes and listen to him.he could do the voice over for dicky attenbourgh in 10 rillington place...sorry

Paddy Briggs said...

Moorland Hunter

Chavs? Surely you can do better than that - although it is an original Jibe I grant you!

Anything less Chavlike than Brown's cabinet I can't imagine. But then no doubt any old insult will do in your world of bile and ignorance. Tally Ho!

Old Holborn said...

ha ha

Guiod makes it onto the list whilst Dale doesn't.

How we laughed

Red Ken said...

Iain quite simply the lists are pointless. I don't think anyone cares any more to be honest.

it seems such a silly idea to me.
My advice Mr Dale get a life and stop being such a bore...

Left Libertarian said...

why do you bother with these lists Iain? They all seem pointless.

Unknown said...

It is not a bad idea to be uptodate with the ideas and opinions shaping modern times.Manu (Shanker Mishra) an Indian based in Patna, Bihar, India has effected modern thinking even more than Obama Barak if you check comments on the net or aware of the developments in Europe.Did not he desrve to be in TIME 100 most influential persons list.Moreso Manu Shanker Mishra and the New Age
Movent even desrved the Nbel Peace Prize2009

Unknown said...

It is not a bad idea to be uptodate with the ideas and opinions shaping modern times.Manu (Shanker Mishra) an Indian based in Patna, Bihar, India has effected modern thinking even more than Obama Barak if you check comments on the net or aware of the developments in Europe.Did not he desrve to be in TIME 100 most influential persons list.Moreso Manu Shanker Mishra and the New Age
Movent even desrved the Nbel Peace Prize2009

Unknown said...

The least expectation which I had was that TIME Most Influential Person 2009 list or the Telegraph Top 100 Most InfluentialPeople List would show a proper homework having been done by its editorial board as they claim to have impeccable sources of information.Obviously this list of politicians, filmstars and so called thinkers is a result of some perversion. I agree that Manu (Shanker Mishra) is not only the most influential Indian 2009,but also the most influential person 2009 globally.The New Age Movement is truly a global movement. I have a feeling that this is a major expose of the likes of TIME magazine or New York Times,Telegraph which not only misinform but try creating media hype for those who are already its product.