While much of our circumstances remain anything but normal – the outbreak continues and the country remains in partial lockdown – politics as usual has started to re-assert itself. Or at least it has in terms of public opinion. The rally around the flag period appears to have ended and people are once again willing to be critical of the government. The government’s approval ratings have dropped and the large Tory lead in the polls has deflated.

In one sense it was inevitable that this would happen sooner or later – partisanship would reassert itself. The specific trigger however seems to have been the badly handled announcement of the minor lockdown relaxations on the 11th May, at a time when the public had very little appetite for any relaxation at all. That knocked the Conservative lead in the polls down to the low teens, and first pushed their approval rating into negative territory.

That was compounded by the Dominic Cummings affair. Certainly polling on the specifics of the Cumming affair were strongly negative, with most of the public thinking he had broken the rules and should resign. More importantly it appears to have damaged the government’s wider support, with the three polls conducted since then showing a Conservative lead of only 5 or 6 points. Note that all three of those polls were conducted at the start of this week when the story was still at its height – it remains to be seen whether the polls have yet to pick up the full damage, or whether they will recover now the story has moved on.

As the Cummings story fades somewhat, the focus is likely to go back to how and when the government ease the lockdown relaxations. The announcement that people will be allowed to gather in groups of up to 6 in their gardens actually seems to have gone down well, with two-thirds of people supporting the change. The more substantial change in the week ahead though is the re-opening of schools, something which most polling has suggested people are opposed to. If the opening of the schools is seen as a failure (or worse, if death rates or infection rates are seen to start creeping back up again), it can only further damage the government’s standing with the public.


6,450 Responses to “Politics returning to normal”

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  1. Hireton

    I have always thought that the best approach is to establish the voters you wish to win an election and to focus on retaining them unless you can make incursions into the other side (GE19/GE1997 et al). I would prefer 6,000 Poly Toynbee fans to be angry at Boris than one Con GE19 voter – that would be more concerning electorally.

    It is also the approach of the SNP, and I suspect Sir Kier cares little for people like me who would *never* (I would if far right candidate was Con leader) vote Labour. It’s called politics.

    One Nation means supporting policies across the population for the good of all areas. I think that is Boris’s plan – hence “no austerity” pledge. Doesn’t mean everyone will support what he does, but you need to keep your voter base. The other side loathing you is of no concern.

    FYI: I voted for Jeremy Hunt last year and I voted remain.

  2. CBX isn’t there the snag that very strong antipathy towards a party leader can increase voting turnout for rival parties?

  3. Crossbat

    I’ve not heard if Ron Manager,
    Don’t get me wrong, I have always had a soft spot for the Villa and I see them as a proper football club.
    The truth is Brum has never punched its weight when it comes to Football. As the country’s second city, your teams should have done much better over the years.
    My old man always said the Midlands is an odd place. He reckoned it never knew if Brum should be a rival to London or lead the provincial cities and , as such, didn’t do either. Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow have much bigger profiles than Brum.
    As with much else, the old man was right, methinks.

  4. Prof Howard

    Indeed. That is the risk. But I think having a solid ROC wall with no real right wing opposition (bar the Tommy Robinson nut jobs) against a LOC wall which is more likely to fracture however slightly to Green and Lib Dem is a more coherent electoral strategy. I think on a pure utilitarian basis, this is more likely successful and thus less risky in comparison.

    I preferred Cameron as PM, and he was of himself less divisive, in my view, but I don’t think he could carry a 40%+ coalition in a GE.

  5. @Hireton

    “Not so long ago you were pointing to the possibility that the UK would follow the USA down the Trumpian road of divisive partisan politics.”

    We must be careful not to tar all our ROC posters with the same brush, but I have noticed a tendency towards what you describe.

    The tone I find particularly disturbing, even depressing if I thought for one minute that they were right (which I don’t), is this smug assurance that the Tories are home and dry politically, whatever may occur, because their multi-faceted culture war dog whistles will cover all eventualities. You know the sort of stuff; “PR? Nah, we just play the metropolitan elite card and the troops in the Red Wall will lap it up.”. The self serving response is always “you can’t beat us at the culture war stuff.” Whatever you try, we’ve got all bases/dog whistles covered.

    I console myself that they’re seriously mistaken and hubristic, but the disturbing thought for me is that, post-Brexit,this is what Tory politics is about now?

    Of course the really scary though is what if they’re right after all?

    Gulp.

  6. Way to go Frosty (or should I say Dom)..

    https://www.itv.com/news/2020-06-28/uk-s-top-civil-servant-sir-mark-sedwill-cabinet-secretary-national-security-adviser-to-stand-down/

    Also “a message to EU, rudely” (The Specials)

    “Stop your messing around (ah-ah-ah)
    Better think of your future (ah-ah-ah)
    Time you straighten right out (ah-ah-ah)
    Creating problems in town (ah-ah-ah)
    Rudely
    A message to EU, Rudely
    A message to EU

    Frosty has a new job to go to, so tick tock Barnier.. blink hard and blink soon else Australia it is (or WTO – ball in your court either way)

  7. A thought on the narratives

    Biden and Starmer

    As a person that believe we would leave with no deal, the obvious result would be a Johnson victory so as one of those that did not want a Johnson victory I suppose I count as a ‘Corbynista’….

    ;-)

    In my musing about Trump and his problems, I have noticed that some of the ROC commentators are in the same muddle about Starmer and I think Trumps strategist are about Biden

    In truth as TREVOR WARNE has said
    I think he’s doing a good job as he now backs Brexit, backs easing out of lockdown and is purging the Corbynites/istas – still wouldn’t vote for the Red Team but he does look good in a suit and nice hair ;)

    So he is not triggering them as much as Corbyn would but he is on the wrong team so obviously would not support him. It is the grudging acceptance of say Liverpool being far away the best team this year being a Arsenal fan. It may be true but you but is as far as it goes

    Well I see that is a win. Labour had some unique issues to overcome a bit like Clinton, Corbyn was seen as I used to half joke and “An immigrant and tree hugging, Islamic apologistng sandal and elbow patch wearing, unpatriotic, antisemitic, marxist terrorist sympathiser”

    I remember COLIN state to me he truly believes that he was an antisemitic so pretty much nailed his position.

    So why has Starmer done so well without as some people are claim having not done anything. Well I think people misunderstand the situation you can only win support by contrasting yourself with the opposition and the first thing that you notice is whilst Corbyn is a campaigner, he is not seen as a leader and is not seen as decisive moreover he was even put in play by those who oppose him because he had a different voice. The real problem was that as I have said that part of the Labour ‘moderates’ problem was they were so busy trying to trianglulate a voice they could not come up with policies or an approach that worked and Corbyn ended up the only one with a coherent plan

    Starmer is Labour leader because he is not Corbyn and that is the biggest thing. If the best you can do is that he is a “boring remainer lawyer with nice hair and a suit”, then those that are uncommitted unlike most of us on this site will take a look at him. If you could write my jokey tagline about him then you have so much material you get to write a set of headlines in your head. Corbyn was a target rich zone and whilst I believe Corbyn as PM would not be as bad as the target rich zone of headlines would have predicted that does not make for a good position.

    So what did Corbyn leave us. Well he left us a Tory party supporting base at least on this site that supports borrowing and MMT. If you had said to me in 2015 that Tories would have abandoned monetary policy then I would have been somewhat surprised. But I think Corbyns move left gave permission to this not only that I think the drip drip of mistakes and omnisahambes of Tory party did not help. from memory I believe there was only one Budget (I believe Hammonds) which did not lead to a reversal of some central policy.

    So where do we go from here?

    Well Starmer has three big issues to solve in my view:
    He is not the party, so his own personal rating are not enough. He needs the Labour Party;s ratings to climb too. That means to my mind policy and I suspect that is a slow process

    He also need the Tories to f#@k up and continue to f#@k up and that to my mind may take 2 terms of drip drip failures as I believe people the Tory Dam is pretty deep but the drip drip effect is already happening and we find that the issue of the overspills the dam could be innocuous,. remember the EU referendum was not considered a big deal to concede by Cameron at the time.

    He needs for the left to either challenge him and lose or just disappear. To that I think that the RLB incident was a surprise for me not because something like this came up but that the this was the hill the Corbyn supporting wing seemed to think that this was the hill to fight on. What was more intriguing was the interviewee retracted the very words and apologised seemingly melting the hill to a rather deep hole. For my part I would not be asking why Starmer sacked her but why she felt that was a good reason to to be a martyr for when there was several PR approaches to get out of jail. All when the state of Israel is going to annex part of the West Bank it seems strange way to think you are helping the Palestinian cause

    That he has control of two of the items and not all three is a saving grace for the Tories, however if I am a Tory strategist I would be worried. Some of what they are going to do is very ideological with no real backing in data added to the fact Johnson is best with bluster and optimism and that suits where we are but at some point the sh!t hits the fan and you have to deliver something and I have always said that money on the supply side does not bring the level of opportunity and part of the problem I see with build build build and spend spend spend is that this to my mind is not the problem hitting the issues of the left behind towns, our lacking of productivity our issues with wage growth and the distribution of assets and debt

    If I take Middlesbrough as an example of build build build spend spend spend this clearly did not change the state of peoples lives the real problem is that no one has really answered why. But in truth that is another long rambling post

    Is Starmer doing well? undoubtedly
    Is there a ceiling to where he can do well at the moment? Yes and I will say he is just about there at the moment.
    Is there opportunity for growth? yes look at the left behind towns and their view of him is vastly different to that of Corbyn.
    Could Labour win and election? At this point I doubt it they need some 40 seats to force a hung parliament

    I think Starmer knows his weak points in a way that I suspect the previous leadership failed to understand

    As other have said that what Johnson and Rishi do is going to be important. Remember the opposition do not get to drive they are the back seat hecklers at best

    Lastly I continue to say that the electorate are often do not change their mind easily and often don’t do so even when given the opportunity

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/people-deny-reality-even-as-things-fall-apart-zq2h3sdp3

    It was somewhat true of Corbyn and I suspect it will be true of the issues surround the left behinds and brexit. I would point out it was true for austerity since people voted for it and moaned about it happening in 2015

  8. CBX (if I can call you that by that contraction, as you seem to be nice friendly chap – or chapess, if I am making an unwarranted assumption)

    Congratulations on using the normal protocol on here.

    Other contributors are referred to by their moniker, or a variation on it, while public figures like politicians are referred to only by their surnames unless a first name is added to ensure disambiguity.

    Titles – Ms, Miss, Mrs, Mr, Sir, Reverend, Lord, General etc are normally eschewed as being unnecessary

  9. Old Nat

    CBX is fine … and I am a chap :)

    Congratulations on using the normal protocol on here.

    Sorry,I’m being a bit thick – which protocol, sorry?

    Titles – Ms, Miss, Mrs, Mr, Sir, Reverend, Lord, General etc are normally eschewed as being unnecessary

    I once read the Debretts guide. Most of the rules and regulations are a total load of nonsense :)

  10. Old Nat

    CBX is fine … and I am a chap :)

    Congratulations on using the normal protocol on here.

    Sorry,I’m being a bit thick – which protocol, sorry?

    Titles – Ms, Miss, Mrs, Mr, Sir, Reverend, Lord, General etc are normally eschewed as being unnecessary

    I once read the Debretts guide. Most of the rules and regulations are a total load of nonsense :)

  11. @ PTRP – Well Sir Keir certainly makes an excellent LOO ;)

    I strongly approve of him in that role.

    Doormat when you need him to be and focusing on purging the Far Left (just in case he does end up PM). What more could CON ask for with 4yrs to a GE?

    Tony Blair MP was “i’M Tory Plan B” and the LAB faithful state that Sir Keir is “Cookite” (ie Blairite but against Iraq) then he’s OK as a Plan B.

    Also, if Scotland haven’t left by GE’24 then for Sir Keir to be PM he’ll almost certainly have to do a deal with Queen Nicola – although I’d personally like to see Cherry on the cake by then (as plenty of folks doon Soof doubt Queen Nicola actually wants Indy – time to call her bluff IMO and I’m pretty sure Dom+Rishi know how to do that) ;)

  12. @John33

    “RoC ( probably a tad farther) comments today are absolute box office!”

    Not sure about exterminating the Electoral Commission though. A bit ‘Daleky’ for my taste. Surely a smidgen of reform, or re-alignment to RoC objectives (dictatorial hegemony?), so as to give the impression of democracy.

    Exterminating the people who validate your mandate is a little much. :D

  13. @PTRP

    “Is Starmer doing well? undoubtedly
    Is there a ceiling to where he can do well at the moment? Yes and I will say he is just about there at the moment.
    Is there opportunity for growth? yes look at the left behind towns and their view of him is vastly different to that of Corbyn.
    Could Labour win and election? At this point I doubt it they need some 40 seats to force a hung parliament”

    I agree almost entirely and have written something along the same lines myself. The only thing I’m still demurring on is calling GE results this far out. Balance of probability predictions are OK but, even then, the imponderables (Brexit, pandemic fall out etc) during this Parliament have never been so many and varied. They render GE forecasts ludicrous.

    What I like about your political analysis though is its nuance and doubt. I try to aspire to that too because there is nothing more tedious, or frankly silly, than people barking assertions as if they were incontestable truths. That’s not political discussion, it’s more taunting people with opposite, usually more self-doubting, opinions and beliefs.

  14. Elsewhere:
    French local elections – low turnout, strong performances by Greens, Socialists, and the Far Right.
    Polish Presidential Election – strong performance by populist right incumbent.

  15. TOH

    “just a rant”

    Just!?

    It was a wholesome rant, The word means “to romp, to roister, make merry, revel, to indulge in boisterous fun”,

    Of course you may be using it in some dialect form, common in your area.

    English, in all its manifestations, is a wonderful vehicle for humour.

  16. @ PH – Duda (Poland) slightly worse than expected at the margin.

    Trzaskowski will pick up the AB Duda vote in Round2.

    Odds have shortened for Trzaskowski although Duda is still just about favourite. That will be close..

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/28/poland-presidential-election-duda-343541

  17. Thanks Trevor, happy to be corrected; looks to be quite an exciting second round.

  18. Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill writes to Boris Johnson saying “we have agreed that I will stand down”. Interesting choice of words (Nick Robinson BBC)

  19. TW,

    “ , so tick tock Barnier.. blink hard and blink soon else Australia it is (or WTO – ball in your court either way)”

    Yeah, if they don’t give up the high ground they’ll be forced to mow us down as we charge up it…. that’ll teach them!

    Peter.

  20. @ PC (SNP) – “they’ll be forced to mow us down”

    I think Frosty can walk faster than a lawn mower or are you suggesting Ursula is going to launch an invasion?

    We saved Europe twice last century. They are on their own in this one.

    However, by all means get SNP to move to Plan B so you can Leave.UK and Rejoin.EU (please, pretty please).

  21. @CROSSBAT11

    I agree almost entirely and have written something along the same lines myself. The only thing I’m still demurring on is calling GE results this far out.

    I have a theory that the electorate is often behind the curve their sentiments and their voting often trail the reality hence the Aaronovich article. It is why I use the Iraq war as an example of how as an electorate you can persuade direction that does not match your real feeling

    For example Thatcher was brilliant in persauding unionised workers that unions were to blame for UK ills. I remember a poll asking unionised worker if unions had too much power to which 80% said yes and then when asked if their union had to much power 92% said no.

    We have the same issue if you ask people on welfare, they would argue that they need it but everyone else is a scrounger.

    So I believe it takes a lot to overcome that level of indoctrination especially in a world where we as a society are more isolated and we are more siloed than ever before.

    So I suspect that three thing will hit UK, firstly the idea that you can just spend money and it will turn the left behind town into not being left behinf belies that the money is not the main issue for the left behind towns per se. or else why is Altrincham doing well compared to Bury or Oldham?

    The second issue is that Brexit will be a drag on the economy in a different way to COVID-19 and that COVID-19 hits the bigger part of our economy consumption of services, whereas Brexit basically adds friction to our exports

    So we have a double whammy to which we throw money at as an alternative to the obvious mitigations

    And lastly as Aaronovich states people will deny reality for a good while. He himself did over Iraq (like the majority of the electorate), much of the issues with Corbyn were overlooked despite the warning signs and I say it is looking like Brexit is going to be no deal due to the problems of defining what post brexit trade is going to be yet a majority don’t want a no deal brexit but cannot define what brexit should be

    There is just a tendency to fight a short term wars and set the narratives as such. If you think of the EU referendum I remember saying that how would you argue against nearly 30 years of euromyths.
    I remember a person on QT talking the whole issue of banana shapes and saying that it is a easily packaged answer to consume and yet the actual issues are much more complex. We shun the complexity which is why I think the Tories will fail since what they are trying to do is highly complex and I am not sure that you would want these people to be the ones to do it at the best of times. I remember the one paper that seriously looked at leaving the EU from a leaver perspective believe that the UK best position was a slow withdrawal in stages and cautioned without this it would be a best problematic. That is too complex a message to sell

    Hence I suggest things have to fail and fail badly before we say “Yep that was a bad idea”

    There is an engineering argument that say sometime you should build it find out why it does not work and then start again. I have been in many projects that basically cannot go back but understand that going forward is just a big mess.

    I think we are in that position now.

  22. @CROSSBAT11

    I agree almost entirely and have written something along the same lines myself. The only thing I’m still demurring on is calling GE results this far out.

    I have a theory that the electorate is often behind the curve their sentiments and their voting often trail the reality hence the Aaronovich article. It is why I use the Iraq war as an example of how as an electorate you can persuade direction that does not match your real feeling

    For example Thatcher was brilliant in persauding unionised workers that unions were to blame for UK ills. I remember a poll asking unionised worker if unions had too much power to which 80% said yes and then when asked if their union had to much power 92% said no.

    We have the same issue if you ask people on welfare, they would argue that they need it but everyone else is a scrounger.

    So I believe it takes a lot to overcome that level of indoctrination especially in a world where we as a society are more isolated and we are more siloed than ever before.

    So I suspect that three thing will hit UK, firstly the idea that you can just spend money and it will turn the left behind town into not being left behinf belies that the money is not the main issue for the left behind towns per se. or else why is Altrincham doing well compared to Bury or Oldham?

    The second issue is that Brexit will be a drag on the economy in a different way to COVID-19 and that COVID-19 hits the bigger part of our economy consumption of services, whereas Brexit basically adds friction to our exports

    So we have a double whammy to which we throw money at as an alternative to the obvious mitigations

    And lastly as Aaronovich states people will deny reality for a good while. He himself did over Iraq (like the majority of the electorate), much of the issues with Corbyn were overlooked despite the warning signs and I say it is looking like Brexit is going to be no deal due to the problems of defining what post brexit trade is going to be yet a majority don’t want a no deal brexit but cannot define what brexit should be

    There is just a tendency to fight a short term wars and set the narratives as such. If you think of the EU referendum I remember saying that how would you argue against nearly 30 years of euromyths.
    I remember a person on QT talking the whole issue of banana shapes and saying that it is a easily packaged answer to consume and yet the actual issues are much more complex. We shun the complexity which is why I think the Tories will fail since what they are trying to do is highly complex and I am not sure that you would want these people to be the ones to do it at the best of times. I remember the one paper that seriously looked at leaving the EU from a leaver perspective believe that the UK best position was a slow withdrawal in stages and cautioned without this it would be a best problematic. That is too complex a message to sell

    Hence I suggest things have to fail and fail badly before we say “Yep that was a bad idea”

    There is an engineering argument that say sometime you should build it find out why it does not work and then start again. I have been in many projects that basically cannot go back but understand that going forward is just a big mess.

    I think we are in that position now.

  23. The Cummings shake-up of the UK’s top officials continues

    UK chief negotiator David Frost will become the PM’s next National Security Adviser – but will also stay on leading the Brexit talks until they have concluded. He says the trade negotiations ‘will remain my top single priority’. (Nick Gutteridge )

  24. “We saved Europe twice last century. They are on their own in this one. ”

    So when we Leave, the 27 Remaining EU Member States will be ‘on their own’ ?!

    Hilarious.

  25. @Lewblew- “… mostly very spaced out.”
    @ Alec
    “Youngsters spaced out on Bournemouth beach?”

    The last time I sat on a crowded beach was in Pembrokeshire a few years ago. I have never seen such a concentration of people, aged from mid-teens to over 60s, smoking weed. This took no account of the late teens who, appropriately cool, sat on grassy mounds behind the beach.

    I agree with Alfie & Lewblew that there is something unpleasantly snobby, dare I say anti-working class or at least “ordinary Joes”, about the criticisms of beach goers: drone pics of people on beaches showed they were more spread out than the low-angle shots would suggest.
    The government told people the Long Hibernation was over (except for those who have entered the Big Sleep, many of them needlessly, especially from Care Homes) & unleashed visitors on towns before nearly all facilities were available to accommodate them. The concentration of people in one place was pretty inevitable.

  26. TW,

    EU economy; UK 16% rest 84% ratio 5:1
    UK exports to EU 43%
    UK imports from the EU 51%
    EU exports to the UK 7%
    EU imports from the UK 5%
    Export ratio 6:1
    Import ratio 10:1

    Still don’t understand why we’d be charging up hill into their guns,

    Peter.

  27. @JAMES E

    Hilarious.

    I think that this is not hilarious as I stated above here is an article that explains why
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/people-deny-reality-even-as-things-fall-apart-zq2h3sdp3

  28. @JAMES E

    Hilarious.

    I think that this is not hilarious as I stated above here is an article that explains why
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/people-deny-reality-even-as-things-fall-apart-zq2h3sdp3

  29. PTRP

    Thanks – but that Times article is behind a paywall.

  30. @Trev

    No we did not. The Soviet Union, the USA and the Commonwealth saved Europe, then handed half of it to the USSR for 50 years. We were a cog, as was every nation involved.

    But for the Eastern front, we’d have faced the full force of the Wehrmacht in North Africa, and lost (3 million went into Russia in ’41, while Rommel had a couple of divisions). But for the USA, the USSR and Britain would have been starved of military and mechanised supplies, not to mention the US taking on the majority of the Far East theatre.

    Or look at it in ww2 tank production. The USSR produced 65,000 T-34s in all variants. The USA produced about 49,000 Shermans in all variants. In all, there were about 270,000 AFVs produced by the allies in ww2, and half were main battle tanks. The UK produced about 47,000 AFVs, which suggests the UK made about 20,000-25,000 MBTs in all.

    None of the British tanks were up to the task of fighting anything that came after the Mk IV tanks (e.g. Panther, Tiger etc), of which there were approximately 8,000.

    All the UK did was get off the land bit that the Germans were running riot over, then defend their bit of land in a home match (which was impressive in itself, but Dunkirk and the BoB did not win the war). Then we were a very handy staging post for supplies to the USSR, and as a jumping off point to Europe. It was 1942 before we were winning, and after El Alamein, it was alongside the USA.

    And let’s not forget the Commonwealth, Poles (as well as Bletchley and GCHQ can thank the Poles for cracking Enigma), Czechs, French, and many more.

    ‘We’ is a very subjective term. One thing is certain. None of us here were there in any of it, other than as children. I prefer to think of it as:

    “Everyone involved did their bit, and we suffered more than the USA, but less than the USSR”. (in casualties)

  31. Statgeek

    I’m afraid the mind-numbing effect of exposure to British exceptionalist propaganda on the likes of the Trevs makes them immune to minor matters such as reality.

    The clue is in the trope of “saving Europe twice”, as if WWI and WWII were simply two halves of the same football match.

    The mental confusion of those whose ignorance of history is so massive must resemble the chaos left by Liverpool fans.

  32. I suppose the Sedwell incident quashes those arguments Boris will no longer sack under performers. The allegation against him is that it was he who sent the Cabinet Office Tweet on “truth twisters”, and he had reportedly provided much of the information to Pippa Crear on Cummings. Borrowed time.

    CB

    One side don’t care what happens as long as they win.

    Before the Brexit shenanigans, and the “People’s Vote” nonsense I would have been against all of this type of thing (i.e. Sedwell). But those types started this off with the “take control of Parliament”, all the manoeuvring to stop a democratic result. It has cost that side the moral argument. Now everything has to be considered fair game.

    The argument at the time was don’t change the rules for one issue as you open the flood gates when a majority government comes in. Hillary Benn et al didn’t listen; they knew best. They are reaping what they have sowed.

    (reminder, I voted remain).

  33. @CBX1985

    Sedwill & Pippa Crerar?…………………… I should have known FFS!

  34. @ Oldnat, Statgeek
    T Warne is just engaged in a wind-up. It’s pub bore nonsense.

    If there is a link between the two World Wars in terms of “who saved whom” then it would be in the arrival of American troops.
    In WW1 the prospect of 5 million US troops in Europe by the end of 1918 forced the Germans to mount the Ludendorff Spring offensive, which turned out to be their last throw. If the US threat had not emerged then Germany, relying on the X divisions released by Russia’s collapse, could have defended for an indefinite period.

  35. CBX1985

    “…he had reportedly provided much of the information to Pippa Crear on Cummings. ”

    if that were true, he would undoubtedly have been fired for a serious breach of confidentiality.

    So I’d be very confident that it’s just something you (or some other troll) has made up.

  36. James E.

    Would he?

    Do you not think Civil Servants leak activities of people? Stating a conversation, or that “Cummings hasn’t been in the office” any other matter is not confidentiality.

    Dominic Cummings bank number is x; or protected matters is confidentiality. He could have made any manner of gossipy statement without any manner of comeback.

    It is easy to find out who tweeted the “truth twisters” statement, but they didn’t find out – but Mr Sedwell has been asked to leave.

    Nice try.

  37. There is a new thread up.

    CBX – can you take a look at Comments Policy? It can be found above the comments box. AW is keen for us to abide by it. Its easy to break them from time to time but in my view this forum is at its best when we adhere to them and I know that’s what AW thinks too.

  38. @JAMES E

    Not seen anything prior from @CBX1985 to suggest he’s got any interest in trolling, but in relation to his 9:58 it would certainly be fair to ask him to cite his references, ie where it’s alleged that Sedwill sent the “truth twisters” tweet and where it’s reported that he was Pippa Crerar’s source on Cummings…

  39. CBX1985
    “One Nation means supporting policies across the population for the good of all areas. I think that is Boris’s plan – hence “no austerity” pledge. ”

    That you should argue vigorously in favour of yr government is fine. But could you spare us this “One Nation” stuff. Beware propagandist (& in this case mythical) labels that politicians invent for themselves, esp when repeated by their supporters.

    The mere fact of Brexit has created two nations: & a No Deal version will be “good for all areas”? When a politician’s words are taken somewhat credulously at face value I always remember Marx’s truism: “we do not judge politicians by what they tell us about themselves.”

  40. CBX1985

    So you’ll be providing evidence for this in due course?

    As you say yourself – ‘nice try’.

  41. CBX1985

    So you’ll be providing evidence for this in due course?

    As you say yourself – ‘nice try’.

  42. Prof Howard

    It was more stated in jest than anything, so I will withdraw.

  43. There have been a few sources where I have seen it, but no firm evidence.

  44. New thread.

  45. @Hireton – “Not so long ago you were pointing to the possibility that the UK would follow the USA down the Trumpian road of divisive partisan politics……”

    Yes indeed.

    Depressing, but ultimately it’s a dead end, and some of the more sensible RoC contributors on here know it. As @Robbiealive has commented today, just look at the three most pathetic responses to CV19 around the world and then gauge the effectiveness of right wing populists.

    In governance terms, they can’t even tie their own shoelaces. All they have left is the segmentation, culture wars PR stuff, and with Trump imploding, perhaps the message might land sooner rather than later that this is never enough.

    Not so long ago you were pointing to the possibility that the UK would follow the USA down the Trumpian road of divisive partisan politics.

    Not fun to watch, but the UKPR cuttings library is filling up.

  46. UKPR record post?? Until someone else beats me!

  47. EOR

    “Not seen anything prior from @CBX1985 to suggest he’s got any interest in trolling…”

    You have, now.

  48. “We saved Europe twice last century.”
    @Trevor WARNE June 28th, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Wow! What role did you play?

  49. Last!

  50. The reference to the Econmist’s special report is as below, but you are correct it is behind a paywall

    https://www.economist.com/special-report/2020/01/16/housing-is-at-the-root-of-many-of-the-rich-worlds-problems

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