Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who Are The Influencers?

Total Politics is preparing a feature on the people outside elected politics* who nevertheless exert a great influence on politics and our system of government. We've already drawn up around 100 or so names, but I wondered who you might nominate. Some names we already have identified for consideration are Bob Geldof, Will Hutton, Rowan Williams, Jonathan Porritt, Fiona Phillips (God save us), Phillip Blond, Sunder Katwala, Stuart Polak, Vernon Bogdanor, Derek Simpson, Trevor Phillips and Joanna Lumley. Feel free to suggest others!

*Anyone who holds elected office, or is a member of the Lords is not eligible.


Obnoxio The Clown said...

Herman van Rompuy-Pompuy.
Robert Peston.
Rajendra Pachauri.
Al Gore.
Osama Bin Laden.
Ban-Ki Moon.

Hannibal said...

Donal Blaney - for the amount of training his Young Britons' Foundation provides which is already bearing fruit with elected councillors and (next year) MPs who have graduated from his courses.

nulli_secundus said...

But Rowan Willians is in the Lords, surely?

sillywupple said...

Rowan Williams is a member of the Lords so by your criteria surely must be discounted?

Not the Vicar said...

Oops! Dr Rowan Williams is a Member of the Lords. As the Most Rev & Rt Hon Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Primate of All England & Metropolitan, he is the senior Lord Spiritual...

Callum said...

The Most Rev and Rt Hon Rowan Williams is, of course, a member of the House of Lords...

ukipwebmaster said...

UKIP MEP Portal goes live:

Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Dale,

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a member of the House of Lords.

The problem with your restrictive definition is that it will lead to (say) Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor featuring high on your list but Dr Rowan Williams not at all. And yet the political influence of the leader of the Established Church is undoubtedly far greater than that of the Cardinal.

This is what happens when you try to mix religion and politics ;o)

Clameur de Haro said...

Iain, slightly astonished (with tongue in cheek)that your list of suggestions does not include Guido.

How about an additional list of people who OUGHT to be major influencers, but aren't? Too many to mention, but start with Eamonn Butler and Masden Pirie of the ASI, Robert Chote of the IFS, and Steve McKintyre & Ross McKitrick who blew open the hockey stick scam

Anonymous said...

Fern Brittan, she being the new Jeremy Paxman.

Carl Eve said...

People who "exert a great influence on politics and our system of government"

No-one's mentioned Rupert Murdoch - can't imagine why?

................................. said...

Derek Draper! pmsl

Demetrius said...

Sir Alex Ferguson (with or without gum). Arsene Wenger. 'Arry Redknapp.

simonh said...

Peter Tachell

Rob said...

Can't believe Guido hasn't been mentioned yet. He's had our MP's on tenterhooks ever since smeargate.

wycombewanderer said...

Nick Griffin certainly seems to influence new labour

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Steve Hilton
Andy Coulson

- as if the Tories win power tey will exert quite a lot of influence from an unelected capacity

Sarah Brown - the wife of an elected PM is going to be influential as she more than anyone will "have the ear of that person.

Samantha Cameron - reasons as above

Journeyman said...

Stephen Fry
John Sentamu - or is the Bishop of York in the Lords?
The mother-in-law

Kate j Norden said...

Senior Permanent Secretaries and the like

ukipwebmaster said...

Why.... Iain Dale of course!

PS - Thanks for posting the link.

Generian said...

I think you forgot Simon Cowell.

Generian said...

I think you forgot Simon Cowell.

Plato said...

Shami Chakrabarti
Alistair Campbell
George Monbiot

Anonymous said...

Some bloke sat behind a computer in a pair of Boxer shorts and nothing else!

Richard Drake said...

Agree with Bono, Cowell, Guido, Ferguson, Wenger.

What I've been wondering about is someone to balance Porritt. Is there anyone? It's a bit early for Delingpole. Philip Stott is a real scientist and environmentalist whom the BBC has used for years in various programmes, including the best discussions of global warming they they ever do on Today. I would like to think that he's on the list. He certainly should be, if influence had anything to do with rationality.

There again, on the other side, are Martin Rees and David King both Lords by now? George Monbiot? Stephen Hawking for sure. He's refused all the gongs, bless him, though he's also wrong on the prevailing catastrophism in my view.

Clive James has taken the right stance on the big issue I'm most concerned about and should be in the list for other reasons too.

Giles Marshall said...

What about the journos and newspaper owners? Someone's already mentioned Murdoch - but the Barclays? Rothermere? And then there's Nick Robinson, of course, maybe Marr. Tim Montgomerie should definitely be there - what about Philippa Stroud, of the Centre for Social Justice? Mark Thompson too.

The bloggers list won't be long if you're looking at real influence - but yours and Guido's names should feature.

Hmmm - quite a lot of these names are probably more influential than most elected reps., and one or two certainly pay not a penny to help the Treasury along!

Anonymous said...

Samantha Morton, David Beckham and Simon Cowell

Anonymous said...

by the way, the only thing Fiona Phillips influences is a rise in the rate of self harm.

Erskine May said...


"John Sentamu - or is the Bishop of York in the Lords?"

The Archbishop of York is automatically (along with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of Durham, London and Winchester) a member of the House of Lords.

Salmondnet said...

Heather Brooke
Tony Blair (as Cameron's role model)
Fraser Nelson
Andrew Neil
Prof Robert Hazell (as head of the UCL Constitution Unit provided the intellectual underpinning for our botched devolution settlement - influence entirely malign)
40+ almost anonymous judges of the Court of Justice of the European Union, none of whom appear to be British.

Conand said...

All the Quangocrats
All the Union Leaders
The Sir Humphreys
The Council of Europe
The UN Bureaucracy
The Activist Judiciary
Chief Constables
Some 'No-Alternative' comedians
Scientists for Climate Change
Seemingly, The Antichrist (although he/she may well be a UK parliamentarian)
Harry Potter
Obnoxio The Clown
The Usual Suspects

Bill Quango MP said...

Bernie Ecclestone
Terry Leahy
Simon Cowell
Derek Simpson
Lilly Allen
Martin Lewis
Kirsty Allsop
Sebastion Coe

NightGardener said...

Dave Hartnett - HMRC

richard.blogger said...

James Delingpole should be struck off any list. He is a ranter and has quite poor journalistic skills. (Other ranters, not mentioned so far, but who should also be barred, are 'Mad Mel' Phillips and Rod Liddle. Their screeching style of journalism should shame the profession.)

One journalist I would like to nominate, and perhaps surprisingly for an old leftie like me, is Peter Oborne. He may not have been as influential as he could be under Labour administrations, as a highly critical associate (rather than 'friend') I think he will be very influential (if not a thorn in the side) if Cameron should gain power next year.

The King of Wrong said...

Just ones that haven't been mentioned yet...

Mervyn King.
Prince Charles.
Jeremy Clarkson.
Polly Toynbee.
Anthony Watts / Steve McIntyre.
Charlie Wheelan.
Bob Crow.
Armando Iannucci.
Alistair Campbell.
Andy Coulson.
Richard Dawkins.
Richard Branson.
(Barack Obama.)
(Nicolas Sarkozy.)
(Vladimir Putin.)
(Silvio Berlusconi.)
(Angela Merkel.)

JohnRS said...

Baroness Ashton

Anonymous said...

Archbishop Cranmer, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor haas retired as head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. The current Archbishop of Westminster is Vincent Nichols, who should probably be on the list.

True Belle said...

Richard Branson influencing the airwaves at 36000ft!

Hammer said...

Henry McLeish, former Scottish First Minster. Almost certainly the most influential non-elected man in Scotland today.

Unsworth said...

I see that 'Chief Medical Officer' Liam Donaldson is desperately trying to stop children from being under the influence.

Or maybe he's just desperately trying - in every sense.

Still, not long now. He's on the way out, too. Soon to be followed by his lords and masters.

Unknown said...

Andrew Neil

He is leading a guerilla campaign at the BBC to try and raise the skeptics case against man made global warming. If he keeps it up he'll be sacked by the BBC as they'll think he's not a true believer.

ukipwebmaster said...

I have been known to move and shake in mysterious ways.
Does that count?

Unknown said...

I would like to nominate Jasvinder Sanghera of Karma Nirvana.

Although there are many campaigners against forced marriage and 'honour' based violence, Jasvinder Sanghera's campaigning and her books have rightly given her the highest profile.

Politicians and citizens of all political persuasions have read her books 'Shame' and 'Daughters of Shame'.

Her campaigns have resulted in the creation of the Forced Marriage Unit under the FCO. They have also led to practical measures to prevent immigration through forced marriage.

She is an outspoken critic of political correctness, because she recognises that political correctness has provided cover for 'honour' killings and abuses.

As an Asian woman campaigner her work undermines left wing dogma on protecting minorities at all costs. She has empowered the police to prosecute 'honour' abuses more robustly. We can only wish for a similar campaigner to tackle gang and gun crime.

Working in conjunction with Sayeeda Warsi, these two women could make exponential strides to bring minority groups into the British paradigm of freedom and human rights.

I therefore submit Jasvinder Sanghera for the Total Politics list of 100 Influencers.

The Leeds Pessimist said...

John Curtice and Tony King in their writing/tv/election roles in the media and academia.

Unknown said...

The Tulay Goren 'honour' killing is the second story behind BA strike on ALL news outlets tonight. The BBC 6pm news ran a massive report on the crime and so-called honour culture.

Jasvinder Sanghera will be in the papers for sure by the weekend. She is likely to ask why Labour has cut her funding:

Terry Hamblin said...

Jeremy Clarkson
Ben Goldacre
Bruce Forsyth