YouGov’s regular poll for the Times this week shows another Labour lead, with topline figures of CON 36%(-1), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 7%(+1). Fieldwork was on Monday and Tuesday, and changes are from the middle of last week. We’ve now had four polls with fieldwork after the Davis/Johnson resignations – two from YouGov, one each from Opinium and Deltapoll – and all four have shown the Conservatives falling back behind Labour.

YouGov also found 40% in favour of a referendum on whether or not to accept the final deal, 42% of people were opposed – the highest level of support for a second referendum that YouGov have found so far with this tracker.

There was less support for Justine Greening’s idea of a “three-way” referendum between remain, Theresa May’s deal or no deal: only 36% thought that should happen, 47% were opposed. In the event it did go ahead, people said they would vote to stay – on first preferences support stands at Remain 50%, Leave with the deal 17%, Leave without the deal 33%. Once leaving with the deal has been eliminated and second preferences reallocated, the final figures would be 55% remain, 45% leave with no deal.


1,819 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 36, LAB 41, LDEM 9, UKIP 7”

1 33 34 35 36 37
  1. Reggieside,

    “nothing vague or contentious there – and pretty much how it is taught if you study economics”

    No but the problem is that even if there is a clear definition if people choose to use it to mean something quite different or malicious you can’t really stop them.

    At some point over the last decade our “Democratically Elected Representatives” morphed into the “Westminster Elite!” largely because things got tough and we wanted someone to blame.

    I am sure that their is a clear definition of zionism but for many it’s now just code for anti-Semitism and even mentioning it can get you labeled a racist.

    For decades the term liberal which we see as one of moderation here has been viewed in the states with it being seen as an insult akin to Communism.

    what these terms actually mean and how people choose to use them can be very different.

    Since the banking Crisis Ne0-Li8 has been weaponised by those disadvantaged by it’s consequences.

    Peter.

  2. We seem to have forgotten the problems and waste of resources that the government trying to select winners to invest in caused. Just like we’ve developed selective memory about how bad British Rail was.

  3. Carfrew

    I just choose to ignore any post which contains the term as a pejorative adjective. I ignore most posts which are heavily seasoned with pejorative adjectives as they are unlikely to be informative.

    It certainly speeds up going through the posts here.

  4. Carfrew

    “They soon revived it when they needed it during the banking crisis though! Plenty of stabilisers and old-fashioned stimulus, along with the more modern approach of finding stimuli with less government borrowing – QE, Help to buy etc.”

    fair point. It was the first phase of the New Deal too. It didn’t really work, but bought time for the second phase.

    My problem is with the artificial contrasting of various neoclassical economics schools. As usual, practice is much richer.

  5. Alan,

    “I just choose to ignore any post which contains the term as a pejorative adjective.”

    A typical, wishy washy, fuddy duddy, wooly, namby pamby mushy, liberal, elitist, metropolitan, urban male, neo-socalist, new man, metrosexual attitude!!!!!

    Peter.

  6. ProfHoward

    Thanks for the reply. If you are right it would seem to reduce Mrs May’s room for movement. Will Labour help Mrs May?

    There is a good post here on Brexit and GFA

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2018/08/01/playing-with-fire-brexit-and-the-decay-of-the-good-friday-agreement/

  7. I think the UK car industry is a big success story, even if foreign owned. Both in terms of quality and quantity.

    I wasn’t old enough to drive in BL days, but I understand the former wasn’t that good then?

  8. Peter Cairns

    If I read that I might have sprayed my monitor with tea (PG Tips, n=1).

  9. @Colin

    I think you’re confusing two rather different things. My argument wasn’t about how public opinion on our EU membership was fluctuating over time, it was its salience as an issue. I can well imagine support for our continued membership waxing and waning in sporadic polls, especially with the likelihood of it being conflated with domestic political and economic issues (immigration, economic booms and busts etc) at the time, but for most of the period we were members, it was never an issue that seemed very important to citizens of this country. Indifference maybe, but not something that animated them compared to crime, the NHS, the economy, security etc. As Mr Wells will no doubt testify when people were polled, it featured very low down on most people’s lists of what made them get out of bed in the morning.

    Now, that’s not to say that some people didn’t get very, very excited about the EU. Self evidently, they did and do and that’s why we find ourselves where we are today, but it was a nurtured grievance fomented by the British Right, a contrived controversy in many ways that eventually ended up the subject of a referendum. It never should have been, but it was because of a perfect storm of political cowardice and incompetence from a disastrous PM and, it has to be said too, the emergence of a very effective right wing demagogue called Mr Farage.

    So, I’m afraid you and I are having parallel arguments here. The polling evidence I’m alluding too has nothing to do with how people responded when asked about the EU and our membership over the 40 year period, its the salience of it as an issue that I’m talking about. There is extensive polling evidence there that shows that it was a subject that was of low importance to voters for nearly all the time we were members.

    We’re on different pages.

  10. Jonesinbangor

    “I wasn’t old enough to drive in BL days, but I understand the former wasn’t that good then?”

    Ahh, you haven’t lived if you haven’t experienced the Austin Allegro and the Morris Ital – both wonderful examples of British car excellence – even if the latter was the result of an Italian designers attempt to make the ageing Marina look modern. And then there was the Austin Princess… Vanden Plas edition of course with that wonderful oversize grill. All finished off with those pinnacles of British car design… the Maestro and the Montego. Great days.

    To be fair though, Peugeot and Citroen weren’t producing anything that great at the time.

  11. ON at 10.53 yesterday:

    “Clearly, the policies of the Israeli state towards the Palestinians (and vice versa) are valid concerns. Precisely the same is true of the policies of the Spanish state towards the Catalans (and vice versa).

    What remains wholly unclear is why the behaviour of one foreign state towards a portion of its population, causes an (apparent) ideological divide when the behaviour of another foreign state causes no consequence.

    … and then a bit later in response to a comment by Profhoward, including the clause: “Israel’s appalling behaviour towards Palestinian people”, ON writes “Doesn’t that comment make you “anti-Semitic” according to the rubric that abhors any criticism of the state of Israel?”

    Isn’t ON’s first argument somewhat disingenuous when “one foreign state” happens to be a Jewish homeland and when the history of the Jewish people in the last 1,700 years has included systematic discrimination, exile, demonisation, persecution and mass killing by Christians, Muslims and modern (racist) antisemites?

    ON’s second question, sadly repeated ad nauseam (by many on the left and many in the softer, liberal class) is clearly rhetorical and self-serving. There is NO such ‘rubric’. What is antisemitic, in my opinion, is to assert, in line with the IHRA illustration which the LP has specifically omitted, that “the existence of the state of Israel is a racist endeavour”. Much can be said about this definition. Obviously it is designed to delegitimise the very idea of a state for the Jewish people. Obviously, from it flow all the tropes linking Israel/Zionism with Nazism and apartheid. In turning against Jews the very mumbo-jumbo concept of ‘race’ that was used to justify the Holocaust only compounds the original crime, and is deeply felt by most Jews and their gentile friends.

    In so far as the IHRA illustration above can be construed as the definition of ‘anti-Zionism’, then, yes, anti-Zionism is (yet another) antisemitic trope. However, if anti-Zionism is used as a synonym for anti-Israel in the sense of strong disagreement with
    Israeli government policies, then antisemitism does not arise. Obviously, it’s very dangerous when the same word means two quite different things.

  12. @steamdrivenandy
    “There are a number of rarely acknowledged housing problems to add to the second home issue.

    The cost of moving (and other factors) means that lots of houses are extended and this reduces the availability of smaller, cheaper houses both for first timers and downsizing. The average size of existing houses (not new build) is inexorably rising.

    There are many, many under occupied houses, with one or two empty nesters in 4 or 5 bed properties where they are unable to find suitable smaller places to live. This blocks such houses for new families and means they’re forced to purchase new builds. It would be far better if developers built properties suitable for downsizing so that the blocking ceased to happen.”

    In West London there is certainly no shortage of downsize-ready property – I live in one myself and many people are moaning that nobody builds family homes. Nearly all new developments are predominantly one or two bed flats with a very small mix of 3 beds.

    There is another issue militating against downsizing and that is the regressive tax regime. Anyone of my age (60s) in London who like me bought a modest 3 bed in the 80s and upsized to a 4 bed in the 90s (because people told me I was undermortgaged) will have enjoyed a regime of minimal property tax ever since rates became polltax became council tax and zero capital gains tax.

    Since I sold my 4 bed house – admittedly in a moderately up-market suburb – about 5 years ago it’s value has increased by the thick end of half a million (tax free)

  13. Pointer

    “ON’s second question” was an ironic remark (which I thought was obvious from the smiley), and its clarification in a later post should have made that even more obvious.

    Still, irony is sometimes difficult to recognise in a written form [1] – especially by those who can get excited by taking it at face value.

    [1] I have previously suggested (though it would be too tedious to implement) the use of “Fe” to indicate an ironic comment.

    Shevii

    Thanks. We had a fabulous lunch (prepared by one of Scotland’s top chefs) today, and are hosting a lunch for family and friends on Sunday (but I’m not paying for them to get more than an adequate lunch!)

  14. Good evening all from a warm and dry Winchester.

    PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    “A typical, wishy washy, fuddy duddy, wooly, namby pamby mushy, liberal, elitist, metropolitan, urban male, neo-socalist, new man, metrosexual attitude!!!!!”
    ____________

    You’ve described a typical Gina Miller worshipper beautifully.

  15. OldNat

    Irony? Hmm. What about the ‘rubric’ you refer to? Do I take it you agree with my analysis? Or was I getting over-excited?

  16. CB11
    @”We’re on different pages.”

    Twas ever thus CB11. Sigh.

  17. Pointer

    As that great leader of UK parliamentarianism observed – “Calm down, dear”. :-)

  18. Acute observers will have noted the irony employed in the above comment (even without the use of “Fe”)

  19. From a quick scan of the tables in this YG poll

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/07kprp1z3i/Results_180627_representedbyparty_w.pdf

    it seems to have even less value than their one on tea.

    Lots of it is taken up with responses to “Do you think any of the main political parties come close to sharing your view when it comes to the following issues…”, where the dominant response appears to be “Dunno” on most issues.

  20. And why would any serious pollster ask “Do you think the government should be prepared to militarily intervene in other countries when necessary?”

    Obviously, if there were circumstances where a government felt it was “necessary” to intervene militarily the necessity would be uniquely appropriate to that circumstance.

    It would be more interesting to see the responses to “Do you think the government should be prepared to militarily intervene in other countries when unnecessary

  21. @Steamdrivenandy – “We seem to have forgotten the problems and waste of resources that the government trying to select winners to invest in caused. Just like we’ve developed selective memory about how bad British Rail was.”

    It’s funny how memories can be short. It sounds like you’re basing your analysis on the period immediately preceding the Thatcher years, selectively omitting the lessons learned when private infrastructure companies failed in the years before the first wave of nationalisations.

    For example, you could have said “we seem to have forgotten that failing private sector rail companies begged the government to nationalise the industry, or that private electricity generating companies couldn’t agree a single voltage system and so had to be instructed by act of parliament in 1925 to do so, or than nationalising the fragmented gas supply companies in 1947 was the only way we could develop a proper gas network etc etc”.

    There are plenty of examples of the private sector failing to deliver the required outputs, and needing privatisation. It’s just they we’ve forgotten how the state was so effective at developing networks and infrastructure that we now rely on.

  22. Further to the excitement over milk in first or last. it appears that in some strange place called “Headingley” they put the milk into the teapot!

    https://twitter.com/HeadingleyMkt/status/1024578607233085440

    Sounds like the kind of place where they would involve themselves in strange practices like voting Leave or watching crickets (though entomology is a worthy endeavour).

  23. We live on a small ’70’s estate of 27 four bed houses, with a primary school at it’s entrance. 21 of those houses are occupied by single, or double empty nesters. Only five have traditional families in and two of those have pre-school toddlers. Five of the houses are occupied by their original purchasers from 1972.
    There will be some who don’t wish to downsize, but many do, for a variety of reasons, mostly due to age, infirmity and finance, but they can’t find suitable properties to free up their house for family usage.

  24. @Colin – You say that Brexit was not a right wing political project. I think it would be more accurate to say that it was not purely a right wing political project. Part of its problem is that it is a movement made up of people who want very differing things – more protectionism v. almost total free trade, for example, I would have thought, however, that the people who kept the torch burning over all these years were a generally right wing section of the Tory party.

  25. @Alec

    But that’s the frustration with the privatisation innit?

    The state took the risk and invested in the infrastructure, now private companies cream off the profits?..

  26. I BOW to the power of your memory Alex. If you were politically aware in 1925 that must make you at least 103 years of age.

    I remember DeLorean and the like and travelled daily on BR into Euston in the ’70’s and ’80’s before Mr Major’s privatisation.

    In the ’90’s I was a regular GNER customer York to Kings X, a much, much better experience.

  27. Deary me, OldNat, your evasion through sarky condescension does rather show you up.

  28. Panic tonight amongst the last ditch Remainers that May is going to be offered a vague Brexit (“aka Blind Brexit”).

    It’s not blinking, but the deal is now very close.

  29. @Charles

    “I would have thought, however, that the people who kept the torch burning over all these years were a generally right wing section of the Tory party.”

    Very much so. Of course there were people opposed to our membership of the EU on the Bennite Left in Labour, who regarded it as a “capitalist’s club”, but their influence over the direction of Labour, in and out of government, was negligible. They had other and bigger fish to fry and I don’t recall either the Wilson or Blair governments ever being troubled by these anti-EU noises off stage. On the Right, however, not only did a rabid anti EU obsession spawn a completely separate right wing single-issue political party, UKIP, dedicated to campaigning for our withdrawal, it also fostered a hardcore rump of Tory MPs who made it their life’s work to wag the Tory dog, in and out of government, in such a way as to drive our continued EU to the top of the political agenda in this country. The right wing tabloid press became their raucous megaphone in the process.

    This is essentially the point I’m making. The EU as a running political issue was put there by a relatively small section of the British Right, not by the public. As Francis Irving so succinctly put it, and I paraphrase his words a little, most people didn’t give a toss.

    One further thought on how the EU became conflated with immigration. When my old mate in the Skinners Arms waxes lyrical on the subject, and he’s a real Brexit boy is old Bill, once he’s reminded us that he hasn’t got a “racist bone in his body”, what do you think I should tell him when he moans that “if you go to Moseley these days it’s like going to Karachi.” He thinks all these immigrants, mostly second and third generation, are here by dint of our EU membership. He thought they’d all go home once we voted out.

    Old Bill’s a bit confused, like many I suspect.

  30. On railways

    Devising the fastest train in Europe (faster than TGV) in the 1970s, except that the brakes were devised separately, so they couldn’t stop the high speed train, not to mention that the rails could cope with the speed, so the trains able to do 170 mph travelled at 70 mph.

    Ignoring the structuring of the British manufacturing industry is quite detrimental.

  31. @Steamdrivenandy

    “In the ’90’s I was a regular GNER customer York to Kings X, a much, much better experience.“

    ———

    Ah yes, the halcyon days of privatisation, early on before they get to keep hiking prices down the line!! (See energy prices for another example).

    Have a chat to those people nowadays who have to pay a fortune for a season ticket and can’t even get a seat.

    But to add to Alec’s point about the State serving to integrate things, it also tends to invest in the more difficult things that though worthwhile, the private sector struggles to do, either because too big, too risky, or too long a time frame.

    For example, things like space, and all the benefits that have come from satellites. And the internet, and indeed the web. Quite a lot of research has state funding. Or, the government created a market to support the private sector early on, as in the case of computer chips.

    Some things, like the jet engine, struggled to get enough funding privately, then the government stepped in, like the jet engine, which then got handed to Rolls Royce. Rolls themselves of course, were rescued successfully by the state. Other firms that initially required state assistance – e.g. the car industry during the twin ravages of the oil crisis and the rise of the Japanese – we didn’t sufficiently assist, but other countries did rather more, like the French with Renault, who now also have a stake in Renault.

    In other words, other countries prosper by assisting their private sector more, like the Americans recently saving their car industry after the Crunch. Given that the state frequently takes on the more challenging assignments it doesn’t do badly, especially when you look at the failure rate of the private sector.

    A particular example of note was just how BADLY the private sector failed is the banking crisis, and once again, the state had to save the day. Rather than people forgetting about the state’s failures, what happens is people aren’t aware of the states’ successes and somehow miss how often the private sector messes up. And they use the internet, another big state success story, to complain about how the state can’t pick winners!

    There are also things the private sector may not do because although valuable, it doesn’t serve the profit motive. For example, investing in treatments rather than cures. Hence it was co-ordinated state action that got rid of smallpox.

  32. @OLDNAT
    In the interests of strict accuracy, whatever their other odd habits, Leeds voted remain. Headingley, with a large student population, being I suspect even more strongly inclined.

    Some may find that an odd habit in itself of course (most of the rest of the county for example).

    Milk in the pot though. Dear me.

  33. @Jonesinbangor
    @Steamdrivenandy

    “The state took the risk and invested in the infrastructure, now private companies cream off the profits?”

    ——

    Indeed. It was easier for BT once privatised since the bulk of the copper network had been built.

    A lot of the people who moan about the state might not even be literate enough to write that stuff were it not for the state.

    Despite the obvious value in literacy, the private sector did not manage to provide nearly enough schools to cater for the demand. Because it’s hard to earn enough to pay for the education if you’re not already literate. Catch 22. So, the church stepped in and then the state to ensure universal coverage.

    There are just so many problems with the dismissal of state investment.

  34. Pointer

    No doubt you have good reasons to get “over-excited”, but my objections to your post were based on your total misunderstanding of my comments.

    To clarify, I was using “rubric” ironically as a term describing how people often use their misunderstanding of sound policies to justify their erratic interpretation of them.

    A good example would be those who assumed that because the word “black” was includes, that the nursery rhyme “Baa black sheep” was derogatory to black people and should be banned.

    The IHRA definition’s use of examples where criticism of Israel can be used as “cover” for genuine discriminatory attitudes to Jews is quite reasonable. Of course, that is also true of many other examples of discriminatory behaviour towards groups of “others”.

    For their own political motives, some will adopt the technique of slamming any statements which are critical of a particular policy of any state as “racist” or “sectarian” or any other negative label.

    These kind of responses are seldom designed to protect the group being discriminated against. Instead, they are self-serving political weapons.

    I am less sympathetic to the concept that the Jews (whether religiously or genetically defined) must, therefore, have a state in which only they can be full citizens. That seems to be a very “othering” interpretation of citizenship. Are they the only people entitled to such an exclusive occupation of the land in which they originated?

    The Armenians also suffered genocide. Estimates are that 1-1.5 million were exterminated. There has been an Armenian community in Jerusalem since the 7th century. Israel only recognises them as “permanent residents” (like the Palestinians) and not citizens. Since I am a strong advocate of civic nationalism, you will understand that such attitudes are abhorrent to me.

    Those with their own political axe to grind might label these later comments of mine as anti-Semitic (because they have neither read nor understood, if they did) the IHRA definition.

    I presume that you don’t fall into that category.

  35. Peter W

    I am grateful for the correction re the Europhobia (or rather lack of it) in Headingley.

  36. @ALAN

    “I just choose to ignore any post which contains the term as a pejorative adjective. I ignore most posts which are heavily seasoned with pejorative adjectives as they are unlikely to be informative.

    It certainly speeds up going through the posts here.”

    ———

    The problem is you have to read the post to determine how heavily seasoned with the perjorative it is.

  37. Correction

    “…like the French with Renault, who now also have a stake in NISSAN” that should be of course.

  38. On privatisation, I have no ideological stance on ownership of providing companies, but where there are effective monopolies, outsourcing them outwith public control seems very unwise.

    A good example would be NHS England.

    https://www.onmedica.com/NewsArticle.aspx?id=6e609f83-09a1-4be8-8517-16ea1e5f6594&utm_source=eshot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20180801_CSNews_NonPromoGP

    “NHS England’s decision to outsource primary care support services to Capita Business Services Ltd (Capita) was a “shambles”, according to a report by MPs on the influential parliamentary public accounts committee.

    MPs described NHS England’s decision as a “short-sighted rush” to cut by a third the £90m it cost to provide these services regardless of the impact it would have on the 39,000 GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists affected as well as potentially putting patients at risk of harm.”

  39. PTRP (7:36am)
    “In truth we also have a good stock of foods because of the fact I contract and if things dry up we have less income if the I loose access to the EU I have less income so already we have been stopping lots of spending and are saving and overpaying the mortgage because I am not confident in the government to even have a set of emergency measures in place.”

    I’m glad we agree.
    —————————–
    PTRP (7:47am)
    “in Texas where they started to require noting ethnicity of person stopped it was noted that hispanics suddenly became white when being stopped such was the disproportionate cases of being stopped.”

    To me hispanics are white, though I do understand that they’re not always counted as such in the good old USA.
    ——————————-
    Charles (8:09)
    “Personally I can’t see much wrong with omitting the ‘anti-Israel’ examples from the international definition of anti-Semitism. Israel is not and should not be immune from criticism.”

    Agreed.

    “In fairness to Corbyn he has said clearly that anti-Semitism is unacceptable. What else should he do?”

    He could be seen to be taking strong action rather than bland statements.
    ———————————–
    Francis Irving (10:33)
    I skip-read the report you linked to (it’s nearly my bedtime), so apologies if I missed something. One flaw I can see is that it seems to assume that people live in rented accommodation before buying their home. I would be interested to know how many people do that, as opposed to living with their parents while they save up. Also, why this obsession with buying a home? I’m glad I bought mine, but I understand that on the continent for instance home ownership is less common than it is here.
    —————————————-
    SteamDrivenAndy (6:37pm)
    “We seem to have forgotten the problems and waste of resources that the government trying to select winners to invest in caused. Just like we’ve developed selective memory about how bad British Rail was.”

    Absolutely. Despite a slight recent drop this link shows passenger numbers have doubled since 1990 (I can’t remember exactly when privatisation happened).

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jun/14/fall-in-uk-rail-passenger-numbers-casts-doubt-on-viability-of-franchises
    —————————————–
    CB11
    “Now, that’s not to say that some people didn’t get very, very excited about the EU. Self evidently, they did and do and that’s why we find ourselves where we are today, but it was a nurtured grievance fomented by the British Right,…”

    Don’t forget Tony Benn was a leading member of the ‘No’ campaign in the seventies, and that strand of left wing thinking has not disappeared. For instance Corbyn has been anti-EU over the years and so has McDonnell (because they won’t let him nationalise everything). This is why it’s been a buried problem. Both major parties were split on the issue, so they ignored it for forty years. You can’t just blame the ‘British Right’.
    ——————————————————–
    Guymonde (9:27)
    “There are many, many under occupied houses, with one or two empty nesters in 4 or 5 bed properties where they are unable to find suitable smaller places to live. ”
    “In West London there is certainly no shortage of downsize-ready property – I live in one myself and many people are moaning that nobody builds family homes.”

    Aren’t these two statements contradictory?
    ————————————————————-
    ON (9:40)
    “(but I’m not paying for them to get more than an adequate lunch!)”

    Have you ever listened to the radio comedy “You’ll have had your tea?”. You’re doing a great job living up to the stereotype! :-)
    —————————————–
    Carfrew (12:17)
    “But to add to Alec’s point about the State serving to integrate things, it also tends to invest in the more difficult things that though worthwhile, the private sector struggles to do, either because too big, too risky, or too long a time frame.

    For example, things like space, and all the benefits that have come from satellites. And the internet, and indeed the web.”

    The UK is the only country to have had the capability to launch satellites and then withdrew. One of ours is still up there. And do you seriously think the internet and the web are because of the government? Sure, some of the ancestors such as Arpanet and Janet had some government backing, but the explosive growth is down to private initiatives.

    You make some good points about government successes, but the point about private industry failures is that they go broke and are replaced by something better, whereas government failures in this area just keep on being propped up and swallowing taxpayers’ money – e.g. BL and others in the seventies and early 80s.
    ———————————————————

  40. @Pete B

    The reason for the explosive growth of things like the internet is that such phenomena that undergo network effects tend to undergo exponential growth. Growth which starts slow and accelerates, like population growth.

    As more people use it, it attracts still more people. Similarly, as it gets more investment, it attracts still more.

    Smartphones followed a similar pattern.* (Indeed solar energy is also undergoing exponential growth, and has done so for four decades). The point being the state had to initiate the investment in the net during the early phase, because the private sector had not done so. Then you can hand it over to the private sector when it is more developed and they are actually interested, as growth accelerates.

    * And smartphones contain a number of technologies that were state funded. GPS, for example.

  41. @Pete B

    “You make some good points about government successes, but the point about private industry failures is that they go broke and are replaced by something better, whereas government failures in this area just keep on being propped up and swallowing taxpayers’ money – e.g. BL and others in the seventies and early 80s.“

    ———

    Well, some private sector failures are too impactful to allow to fail. We had to save the banks, because their freezing up was causing other business to fail as overdraft facilities were withdrawn, causing more business to fail in turn as orders or supplies dry up. We lost seven percent of the economy real quick and we had to stop the spiral downwards.

    And it’s not inevitable something better will replace. After we lost a big chunk of manufacturing in the Eighties, a significant chunk of the resulting unemployment stubbornly remained. We’re sort of trying to do something about it now by encouraging the zero hours thing, but you might not call that “better”.

    And if not for immigration we might not have growth at all.

  42. @Pete B

    People often talk about BL, but they don’t mention successful turnarounds like Rolls Royce. Or indeed the banks. The car industry was a particularly tough challenge, because hit by a triple whammy of the oil crisis, the rise of the Japanese with their new production approach, and of course management issues at BL.

    Solving this was never going to be quick. It was a real challenge. That’s why governments step in, when it’s that challenging it defeats the private sector, like the banking crisis. The oil crisis alone spanned nearly a decade. And as you put it, we propped up rather than giving them something more transformative. But other countries like France with Renault gave them more investment and reaped the rewards.

    The Americans saved their car industry really. We are competing with that. It’s worth it because it’s strategic, supports other industry. You might not bother with other things. Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that state intervention of this kind is relatively new compared to the private sector, and so lessons are still being learned.

  43. “Don’t forget Tony Benn was a leading member of the ‘No’ campaign in the seventies, and that strand of left wing thinking has not disappeared. For instance Corbyn has been anti-EU over the years and so has McDonnell (because they won’t let him nationalise everything). This is why it’s been a buried problem. Both major parties were split on the issue, so they ignored it for forty years. You can’t just blame the ‘British Right’.“

    ——-

    Yes, it’s not a left-right dimension, but more of a liberal-illiberal dimension. The Liberals tend to want free trade within the EU, and free movement etc., while others are opposed.

    It’s a bit complicated though, because the EU is also a bit protectionist. Hence you see people arguing for free trade within the EU but not outside. Alternatively Leavers want to escape EU protectionism AND yet may want to use leaving the EU as a chance to protect their home industries better.

    No wonder the posts are lengthy then.

  44. The cumulative effect of all trade deals must mean the UK is better off than it was before it left the EU, or what is the point of leaving? Can any Brexit supporter say this is certain?

  45. It’s only fair I put this clip on here. Does make me feel a little better, though i’d ask what deals?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUW1TFT7CY

  46. CHARLES

    I can’t add to the IPSOS MORI article & Bogdanor lectures which I posted here.

  47. “One flaw I can see is that it seems to assume that people live in rented accommodation before buying their home. I would be interested to know how many people do that, as opposed to living with their parents while they save up. Also, why this obsession with buying a home? I’m glad I bought mine, but I understand that on the continent for instance home ownership is less common than it is here.”

    Yes, it’s certainly true that if you are lucky enough to have parents in commute range of your job, and they are still together and have a large enough home, you can live with them. Alas, that isn’t the case for many.

    Indeed, the obsession for buying a home in the UK is a problem – absolutely agree. I’d put lack of security of tenure high up my list of fixing that. It should be impossible to kick out someone who continues to pay market rent and doesn’t trash the property, and they should have say 2 months notice. The situation isn’t symmetrical – the landlord should own many houses and be professional, the tenant is living in a home and trying to bring up a family, and shouldn’t have the insecurity.

    It’s a common story after the first year of tenancy expires for landlords to increase rent, knowing it is a pain and expense for the tenant to move, so they just pay the extra as that is easier.

    There are other reasons that need tackling which make people buy… As insurance against growth in rents. Because of the implicit tax relief of living in the same property that you own (unless they’ve avoided it with BTL chains etc, the landlord is paying income tax or corporation tax). Because mortgages tend to have terms and so are a way for people to save who otherwise wouldn’t. Because you can have pets or smoke. Because you can put up pictures. Because you can paint and change the furniture (most London rental properties are furnished). Because landlords tend (in general) to not be very good because they’re amateur, and they’re trying not to lose money day to day (it’s not really a profitable business, except due to house price inflation).

    All these rules are different in other countries, we’ve plenty of options to look at and pick from. It requires us to have rulers who understand the problem and act to improve it. The removal of 40% tax relief on mortgage interest is a start! More please.

    “And do you seriously think the internet and the web are because of the government? Sure, some of the ancestors such as Arpanet and Janet had some government backing, but the explosive growth is down to private initiatives.”

    This is a topic I actually know about as it is my industry…

    Tim Berners-Lee was a fellow at CERN when he invented the World Wide Web, which is a European and entirely state-run research organisation. We’d have Compuserve otherwise, which would not be as good or as popular.

    Moving later on, it was in part the EU’s action in “Microsoft Corp v Commission” which broke the morale inside Microsoft which led to its monopoly declining in importance.It was the free software / open source movement (at the time largely made by people employed at universities, which are largely state funded) that enabled both Google and Apple to have enough infrastructure to be able to compete with Microsoft.

    Finally, going really recently, it was the Canadian government who continued to fund Geoffrey Hinton and his staff at Toronto university when everyone else had given up on neural networks. They created deep learning, which has led to most of the AI improvements in the last few years.

    The state doesn’t and can’t do everything. It seems though fairly clear from the evidence of recent and older history across many industries that a good mix of state and private sector is best. Anyone claiming one or the other is amazing, or able to act to create the best products and services alone, is just wrong.

    Given this, and our geographical location, I increasingly am thinking of the post-Brexit UK as a Scandinavian social democracy (some of those aren’t in the EU either!). Or alternatively, if you prefer, a bit like calm Canada north of the slightly wild US.

    Not our current state in a time of change, but in my positive mood at the moment, how I think we will end up.

  48. That’s the logic I don’t understand either Pete.
    I just can’t see how losing the ability to influence the EU Single Market and cancelling membership can find compensatory business elsewhere. All the alternative markets are further away and therefore more costly to service. A lot have much lower unit labour costs which make us uncompetitive. All have established, more local supply chains which are going to be hard to overcome. Some are highly protectionist and heading further that way. Those that are keen seem to want to sell to us but not vice versa.

  49. @Jonesinbangor – “Panic tonight amongst the last ditch Remainers that May is going to be offered a vague Brexit (“aka Blind Brexit”).”

    Yes I noticed that too. Reports that hard core remainers (Clegg, Blair etc) are very concerned that the EU is wanting to help May secure a deal that leaves the future relationship very vague and still subject to substantive negotiations in the transition period. It is being reported (and being denied) that the EU is considering this through fear of a no deal crash out, and wishes to avoid this.

    Remainers are very worried because this means we leave in March, whereas they want a choice to be placed between a defined deal they think people won’t like, and a crash out, which would be a disaster, leading to a vote to remain. They are lobbying the EU to stick with their red lines and not agree a vague deal.

    This also highlights this idiocy of the leavers. They should have realised that their best bet would be to accept a fudged deal and not be so concerned about red lines etc. Instead, they are continuing with the no deal threat, which will simply mean remain once the impacts of a no deal become clear.

    Oddly enough, leave and remain extremists are agreed on something!

  50. So, since we’ve been in the EU we’ve benefited.
    https://www.inet.ox.ac.uk/news/Brexit

1 33 34 35 36 37