There is a new ComRes poll in the Independent tomorrow with topline figures – with changes from ComRes’s most recent poll in the Sunday Indy – of CON 39%(-1), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 16%(nc). The poll was conducted between the 24th and 26th October.

Clearly there is no significant change from the this previous poll, but that in itself is significant as since the last lot of polls the media narrative has moved away from blanket coverage of the banking crisis to more normal politics (in this case, George Osborne, Peter Mandleson and a rich Russian’s yacht…)

More tomorrow…


54 Responses to “ComRes show 8 point Tory lead”

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  1. this poll shows that the conservatives lead over labour is not changing and that people are still unsure about labour but more unsure about the conservates, on the other had this poll is good news for the lib dems who’s vote has gone down in the last few months it has not fallen again but they are still not out of the woods more work to do by all parties

  2. Measured response from Stuart. It’s not clear what comes next; clearly there is still the possibility of a surge back to the Tories but it now seems less likely, at least for a little while. A bit of a “wait & see ” poll perhaps? To me it seems that some voters deserted Labour when the Government seemed to be clueless and not really doing anything for much of the early part of this year, but have returned now the Government is at least seen to be busy and actively trying to find solutions to the current crisis. Whether this small but definite Labour recovery can be sustained and built on remains to be seen, and I’m no oracle.

  3. If Labour are able to keep the gap around the 10 point level for a while this undoubtedly means they have gained a great deal since the Summer.

    Whether they can maintain that gap or decrease further remains to be seen as the economic news worsens. I doubt it myself.

    However Politics is now certainly more interesting and much more to play for now. Game on.

  4. Others at 14%.

    After weeks of oscillation a flat poll makes me suspicious that the different tendencies at play under the surface have cancelled each other out as the narrative shift occurs.

    For the tories to fall under the psychological barrier of 40% after they touched 52% a few weeks ago represents a clear change beyond any margin for error which must be worrying for some strategists.

    The financial crisis is showing some dividends for Labour, though it would be an exaggeration to say Brown is experiencing a second honeymmon after his drastic reshuffle – will this latest relaunch take off now that old ‘New Labour’ spinmongers have reentered the fray?

  5. Classic example of the current media narrarative:

    Opinion poll shows British PM Brown bouncing back

    LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s handling of
    the financial crisis has helped his Labour Party slash the lead enjoyed by the
    opposition Conservative Party, an opinion poll showed on Tuesday.
    The ComRes survey for The Independent newspaper put Labour on 31 percent,
    compared with 39 percent for David Cameron’s Conservatives and 16 percent for
    Britain’s third major party, the Liberal Democrats.
    Labour’s inroads into the Conservative lead — which was 19 points in the
    same poll conducted two months ago — raises the possibility of a neck-and-neck
    result and a hung parliament if results were reflected at the next election, due
    by mid-2010.
    The survey is the latest in a series of opinion polls which show Brown
    bouncing back after months of disastrous ratings which put his Labour Party
    around 20 percentage points behind the Conservatives.
    Brown, who was finance minister for a decade before he took over as prime
    minister from Tony Blair last year, has been playing up his financial
    credentials and experience as qualities which make him the best man to steer
    Britain through tough economic times.
    ComRes polled 1,001 adults between Oct. 24 and Oct. 26.
    (Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Paul Tait) Keywords: BRITAIN
    BROWN/POLL
    [email protected]
    vs

  6. Ind/ComRes – Scottish sub-sample (usual caveats apply):

    Sample size = 91
    (% change from UK GE 2005)
    Lab 38% (-1%)
    SNP 34% (+16%)
    LD 12% (-11%)
    Con 9% (-7%)

  7. Since the last ComRes poll for the Independent, which was on the 29th September (this is not a Sunday Inde poll) the change in voting intentions are:

    Con -2% now 39% last Comres/Inde 41%
    Lab +2% now 31% last Comres/Inde 29%
    Lib -2% now 16% last Comres/Inde 18%

    The recent polls show how fickle the UK voters are – just 2 months ago the Tories enjoyed a massive 19% lead in the ComRes poll for August which would give a majority to the Tories of around 212. Just 8 weeks later and now we’re talking about hung Parliaments – what’s changed? Not a lot I’d say apart from the perception that the country seems in a far worse state than 2 months ago!

    Last year the Tories were calling for Cameron to go,then suddenly he’s on course for a 200 seat majority!! A few months ago Labour were calling for Brown to go and if the polls carry on like this in May Brown will call an election and get a 10 seat majority before calling another poll in 2012!!! It’s not impossible!!! What turmoil that would cause for some!!! – the vote is very soft for all parties apart from the Libs who I’d say can count on 16% at present but that’s likely to rise and stabilise at around 18% next year IMO.

    If Brown somehow manages to pull off a miracle and keep hold of the Glenrothes seat then that will probably have the effect of adding another point or two to Labours poll ratings.

    Out of interest a GE with results of Con 37 Lab 33 Lib 18 would produce a hung Parliament with Labour short of a majority by 24 seats (Con 274 Lab 302 Lib 43. Now that would be interesting because a Con/Lib pact still wouldn’t provide a majority, they would still be 9 short.

  8. So KTL you think it is “game on” for Brown which was actually a headline in the Independent a while back but proved short lived. I suggest you wait for at least the upcoming YouGov poll in the Telegraph plus the weekend polls conducted after ‘yachtgate’ has died a death before rushing out on a limb.
    It still remains more than likely that the Tory lead will be back to where it was as memories of the financial crisis fade and the economic reality sinks in.Labour are boxed in by the loomimg recession. They hold no cards and like the Republicans in the US they will pay the price for things going wrong on their watch and whether that is fair or not is beside the point. The election is still very much Cameron’s to lose.

  9. Very true the election is Cameron’s to lose – if he doesn’t win however, then the Tories do have a very big problem on their hands – how long before Boris becomes leader? :)

    On the polls, the Telegraph poll will show a better result for its Tory readership,The Guardian will show better results for it’s Lib readership and which ever paper (not the Inde) that supports Labour, will show better news for them! It’s how it goes if you look at the previous polls – the political bias of the paper paying the pollsters affects how the results are arrived at!!!

    There’s quite a lot of people on tracker mortgages – I wonder how reductions in base rates to an all time low interest rate of 2-3% will play out in the polls? Unemployment will probably peak arount 2.3 – 2.5 mil which by historical standards is not a massive increase in the midst of recession. It’s a very volatile time for the main two parties I would say, with nothing certain apart from a big worry of banana skins ahead for some high flyers from all parties!!!

  10. “the political bias of the paper paying the pollsters affects how the results are arrived at!!! ”

    Utter rubbish, and libellous rubbish at that. The methodology all the main pollsters use is open for inspection, and they all use identical methodology regardless of the client. For example, YouGov use exactly the same methodology when doing a poll for the Mirror – the most left wing of the main newspapers – and the Daily Telegraph, the most loyally Conservative. ICM use the same methodology for the Guardian as they do the Sunday Telegraph. MORI use the same methodology regardless of who (or if) any newspaper publishes it. Populus used the same methodology polling for the Sunday Mirror as they regularly do for Times.

    In every case the sampling is the same, the wording is the same, the weighting is the same.

    ICM do tend to be a pollster that produces nicer figures for Labour and the Lib Dems, and indeed their major media client is a left of centre paper – but their methodology has been consistent since the 1990s when they were the pollster showing the nicest figures for the Tories…while working for the Guardian (and the minor adjustments they have made to their methodology this year have benefitted the Conservatives at the expense of Labour).

    Newspapers may well put their own partisan spin on the figures, and the subject (though not the conducting or necessarily the wording) of other, non-voting intention questions will be picked to suit the story the newspaper wants to, but the methodologies don’t change – nor would they. Political polling for newspapers brings in an insignificant amount of money for the bigger polling companies. It’s main function is a shop window for them to show off their accuracy and trustworthyness, which is what serious corporate clients want. No pollster would risk those things and the major clients it brings for the comparatively tiny amount of money available as a media pollster.

    As I’ve always said in the past when these things have come up, it’s an illectual cop out to say polls are biased by their clients when the methodology is there to see. If one poll is nicer for the Lib Dems or Labour we can look at the tables, see it has been weighted differently, don’t knows treated differently, different questions asked – we can tell why they are different and work out what to make of them.

  11. anthoney makes a valed point that all polls are done no matter what the paper its being done for on an independent set of methodology for each polling agent.

  12. What the polls are saying today are largely irrelevant. If Labour is still only 10% behind in 3 months then that’ll be significant.

    On Friday BBC’s news gave 20 minutes on the recession. The news has now started to do ‘people stories’ where they illustrate just how the recession is ruining people’s lives. It is this that’ll grow the Tory lead.

    Richard of Tatton – the tracker mortgages will not see the benefit of 2% interest rates. As an example – Nationwide will not track below 2.75 Base Rate and they are adding 2% to the basr rate. 3 Weeks ago they were adding 1%. They really don’t want new deals to be below 6% it seems.

    You can also expect Cameron to jump all over the CHANGE mantra if Obama wins next week.

  13. Statistically if all the tiny Scottish sub samples for say the last 6 months (or so) are put together do we then have anything valid?

  14. It might be if you could then weight that aggregated data to the demographic profile of Scotland…but you can’t.

  15. sunbeam – my tracker will reduce my payments by up to £380 per month if the base rates drop by two points. I don’t know how many other people that will catch, but it should give the consumer spending figures a boost from my house!

    In the meantime, the story seems to be unfolding more along the lines of “this is what they did in the last recession, here’s what they are doing now”. There are differences: no-one in Govt is saying TINA, whole industries are not being left to the markets to sort out. Quite a contrast.

  16. Jack,

    “Statistically”: no, definitely not.

    However, *** subjectively ***: yes!

    Sub-samples are merely insubstantial straws in the wind, but if you see 30 such straws all travelling in the same direction then even a fool can tell which way the electoral breeze is coming from!

    Eg, if 99% of the Scottish sub-samples since early 2006 have had the Lib Dems in the 9% – 14% range, then it is very safe to conclude that the Scottish Lib Dems are at least 10 points down on their great 2005 result (23% and 2nd place) under Charlie Kennedy.

  17. Stuart,

    But if 99% have them in the range 9 to 14% and the last three have been 9% or 14% the collation of all those samples could mask an important upward or downward trend.

    I use them in the way you suggest, subjectively to suggest trends but adding them together doesn’t give you anything extra worth having.

    Peter.

  18. John tt – So would have mine if it wasn’t for the fact that my tracker is up for renewal. There are over 4m trackers so many will benefit….. until the trackers are up for renewal.

    There is no doubt that anybody who sees their mortgage reduce will be better off now than they have been in recent years. Especially as prices fall for other products as the recession kicks in.

    However politics is as much about perception as it is reality. If people prerceive to being poorer than they will react accordingly. My mum believed we were still in recession in 94 despite the fact that the economy was booming. She voted Blair in 97.

    Never underestimate the effect ‘Fear!’ and ‘Change!’ can have on elections.

  19. If you put them in parentheses to signify headlines, then I certainly don’t underestimate that power.

    Actual fear and desire for change don’t really go hand in hand. Confidence and desire for change are a much better combination, and fear + desire for no change are a slightly better motivator than fear + desire for change.

    The problem is that it could get much worse if we had a govt that allowed free-market forces to dictate who survives in a job, notwithstanding that those market forces have been proved to be a bit dodgy in recent months. The fear of a Tory Govt could easily out-weigh the fear of not having a change.

  20. John TT

    “sunbeam – my tracker will reduce my payments by up to £380 per month if the base rates drop by two points. I don’t know how many other people that will catch, but it should give the consumer spending figures a boost from my house!”

    An interesting point – all borrowers will rejoice if interest rates go down a lot – but will it make people spend more or will people use the money to reduce their debts instead. I have seen many comments thinking that people are more likely to do the latter in the middle of a recession.

  21. Well it’s going to be interesting to see what Brown & Darling bring forward in their Keynsian solution.

    So far we seem to be talking about mega construction projects in the South East-an interesting approach to nationwide unemployment.
    But as ever with GB-and to quote Polly Toynbee of all people :-“Gordon Brown seems unable to stop saying things so blindingly untrue that you wonder how he gets the words out.”

    As john tt observes, the debate on how successful a new public works programme would be is raging.

    Midst all the comment I rather liked this quote :-

    “We used to think that you could spend your way out of a recession and increase employment by cutting taxes and boosting government spending.I tell you in all candour that that option no longer exists, and in so far as it ever did exist, it only worked on each occasion since the war by injecting a bigger dose of inflation into the economy, followed by a higher level of unemployment as the next step.”

    :- James Callaghan in 1976.

  22. Good News for the Tories so far. It does not seem that the George Osborne/Peter Mandleson affair has damaged their lead any more so David Cameron must be counting on his blessings on this. I know an eight point lead is nowhere near as much as what it was 6 weeks however with eighteen or so months before the next GE I would say that is a healthy lead at this time.

  23. KTL –
    Debt reduction if I had my way, but you don’t know my wife!

    Seriously, Christmas coming up, I think the impact would be spread – and dependant on just how safe individuals feel in their own particular set of circs.

    Quotes from 1976 are interesting, Colin. The difference now is that we are heading for deflation, not inflation, so boosting inflation now need not lead to high unemployment at the next step. (Though I admit lower growth in 2011 + than we would have had without extra borrowing now).

  24. The ComRes poll puzzles me only in one respect. Is it really the case that ‘others’ are only 2 points behind the Lib Dems? And at a time when Labour seem to be pulling ahead of the SNP in Scotland? God knows I don’t want to start Mark Senior off on one of his crusades about a bias in this or that poll against the Lib Dems but this poll finding is a bit hard to swallow.
    The only explanation I can come up with other than that of sampling errors is that in this period of turmoil the soft top end of the Tory vote has drifted off- albeit temporarily-to the minor parties of one sort or another. George Osbourne’s faux pas last week which rightly calls into question his judgement can’t have helped convince them to return just yet and if they don’t or possibly even if they do then I predict that David Cameron will early in the New Year carry out a reshuffle. Next Shadow Chancellor? I’m going to have a few bob on William Hague…..I’d love it to be Ken Clarke but he is 67 and Europe might still be a stumbling block.

  25. Anthony, I stand corrected on my wrong assumptions re the papers paying for the polls and subsequent results! It was an impression I had gained from looking at some previous results but I am happy to be corrected on the issue and accept my error!!!

    Re Tracker mortgages – a tracker mortgage tracks the BOE base rate and has no connection with the Standard Variable Rate which are different for many lenders. Anyone on a Tracker mortgage will get the FULL benefit of ALL reductions in the BOE base rate.

  26. Yet another, what some people on here, would call an Outlier POLL.Maybe they should ignore all the POLLS until they show what the want to see.

    Paul P has apoint with regards the media. If you look at the headlines…”Tory vote slashed to 8%””Tory vote continues to slid”etc etc, this despite the fact that it has only dropped one percent. They have made comparisons to a poll two months ago to beef up the story. To me this shows that even though the momentum maybe small with regards the opinion polls it is there and the lead is falling slowly but surely.

    Maybe more importantly they have a much bigger media momentum, yhe reaction to this poll, the coverage from the “Corfu caffufle” where Osbourne seems to have come out an awful less better than Mandleson(see politichome100 survey result) and tonight with regards more money needed by the IMF to help ailing countries from richer countries.He then mentions how the oil producing countries should be pulling their weight more, nothing to do with peoples perceptions of the price of oil and OPEC. I can imagine the huge profits from BP will be brought to the fore in the coming days.

    The Labour party seem to be setting the media agends once again after many many months of reacting to the Conservative led one. It is still to be seen if he can continue this day after day and someone else will have to take the strain for him at some point.
    Hhowever right or wrong the public perception is on him, they seem to think economics is his forte and the polls prove they trust him in the current economic crisis. At least if the Ashcroft question does appear again this weekend, at least the Conservatives will get some media time, though not exactly for the right reason, as Cameron seems to be following Browns media agenda, a role reversal from only a few months ago.

  27. “we are heading for deflation”

    Really?!-must have missed that prediction.
    Has anyone explained that to Unison?
    I look forward to the double digit % reduction in food prices/gas & electricity prices/council tax which would be needed to deflate my household budget.

    The counter recessionary “strategy” being talked about will, in my humble opinion , stem the inevitable job losses by very few-and none in the public sector which will escape the ravages meeted out in the real world.

    Meanwhile a large consituency of private sector retired people will be hammered by the twin evils of stagflation-rises in their council tax/energy/food intensive living costs, falls in their savings income, and the collapse of their defined contribution pension pots.

    And of course Callaghan was refering to the inflationery effect of public spending itself-a factor evidenced in the NHS over the last few years.

    If UK’s public finances , the prospective reduction of interest rates to 1% or 2% and the proposed further increase in Government Debt continue to impact Sterling’s exchange rate,further inflationery pressure will build.

    None of this is easy-or predictable.

  28. Overall it wold be normal to expect oppositions to prosper in recessions, but perhaps what the recent poll movements have shown is that doubts about Cameron still exist. The other major issue is how people will perceive the global factors. If we see much worse, (or equally bad) news from many other countries it will make Cameron’s job of pinning the blame on Brown much harder.
    I also think that rather than the level of mortgage payments, i suspect what may sway people more is the perceived value of their property. On this score there will probably be some bad news for Labour.

  29. A number of posters have said that they think the recent Poll gains for Labour & losses for Conservatives reflect a “memory” of the perceived effects of “Thatcherism” in a recession.

    Looking at some data from the YouGov archive I can’t see it.

    Take three YouGov Poll dates:-

    25/09/07-The Post Blair Labour Peak-the “Brown Bounce”
    8/05/08-The Tory Peak
    18/10/08-The latest Poll

    and data for the three age groups-18-34 ; 35-54 ; & 55+

    The share gains/losses-Con/Labour-from Brown Bounce to Tory Peak-then from Tory Peak to Latest Poll ,and net Brown Bounce to date have been:-

    18-34s:- + 21/-23, then -13/+12 , making a net +8/-11

    35-54s:- +9/-18, then +1/+8 , making a net +10/-10

    over 55s:- +19/-22 then -9/ +12 , making a net +10/-10

    The group who have little or no employment experience of 1990 are the 18-34s-who have moved most from Tory to Labour since last May.
    The group who might have suffered most redundancies in 1990-the two older age groups-have moved least away from the Tories since last May…indeed the 35-44s have increased their support for Tories since last May-from 43% to 44% !

    Overall-from the Brown Bounce to date-omitting the Tory summer Peak all three age groups have moved as near as damnit identically -10% away from Labour & to Conservative….and this despite the advantages perceived by some for Gordon Brown inherant in the financial crisis.

  30. inflation, deflation or stagflation?

    the jury is still out on what the consequence will be, so it is still possible that the government measures will take effect and minimise any pain.

    We are entering the crucial period following the first intervention where the direction of travel starts to become clear, so the next move will be decisive.

    Either Brown will successfully shore up the foundations of the economy or the indicators will be judged too soon and it will all come crashing down.

    Expect another interest rate cut after which all eyes will be focussed on the christmas trading period to see how much consumer confidence has been effected – flat growth (or a flat decline of less than 2%) on the high street must be considered a success as it will show the public reaction to be restrained (we are getting the message), any overall gains will suggest premature (or foolhardy) exuberance, whereas massive falls will show panic to be spreading.

    I’m not surprised that the polls feel dormant in this phase of the crisis, Brown has traversed stage one successfully and has gained this window of opportunity as his prize. The importance of how this stage is handled cannot be stressed enough.

    For the opposition parties I think it is the quality of their advice which is most important. I expect Vince Cable to help solidify the LibDems support as Cameron and the Conservatives are shown to be easily distracted by events elsewhere (stirred up into a malestrom by the forces of murkiness).

    Cameron has a real problem in that any messages they have are gettin lost in the noise. For Ken Clarke to be rolled out to prop up their makeshift defensive strategy just shows the lack of talent and experience on the Conservative benches and damages the authority of George Osborne further. Yet even he cannot get a hearing for their proposals – the IHT and stamp duty changes have been drowned out and would have little effect while appearing to favour the few.

    When Cameron unilaterally ended the cross-party consens I expected him to come out all guns blazing, but it’s been more like he’s been trying to light a candle in a hurricane.

    This is now Brown’s election to lose and we will know whether or not he has by the US Presidential inauguration.

  31. Once again not a POLL to take much notice of – most people are in a quandry and desperate for someone to save them – they still have’nt figured out who got us here in the first place – they soon will and the POLLS will change dramatically.

    As usual – watch this space !

  32. oh come on quit playing the broken record. If you don’t think there’s any point taking much notice of the polls Mike Richardson then please comment on a different site. We’re here to make sense of the polls in front of us.

  33. The Cameron thrust into the media is frustrating in that it is difficult to fathom out exactly what he’s doing.

    Is he still just biding his time to strike against Labour? Unlikely as he has already publicly ended the cross-party consensus; Has he been handicapped by Osborne’s faux-pas and cannot therefore give an effective joint Cameron-Osborne attack against Labour’s policies? Quite possibly, as it is clear that the Tory party are now finally getting some sound economic policies together but just aren’t fighting hard enough for a platform from which to announce them; Have his actions been masked by Brown’s ascendancy in the media? More than likely. Or is he just quietly sitting on the Tory lead in the opinion polls whilst he plans a shadow cabinet reshuffle in order to provide a revigorated attack against Labour? If so, then he had better get on with it as soon as possible.

    Personally, I feel he now really has to prove that the old addage is correct – ‘Cometh the hour; Cometh the man’ – and show the nation that he is truely the next PM come what may, appearing unpeturbed and defiant in the fickle nature of politics. Instead, it is still slightly worrying to see that he still shows signs of frustration when there is embarassing news about the party (Osborne, again)or when the party is being overshadowed by an upsurge in Labour approval.

  34. GB has gained in the polls beause he has successfully presented the current problems as a global problem and the focus has been shifted from the particular problems of the UK, who got us here, and how we are particularly badly placed to handle a recession.

    The third quarter growth figures were truly dreadful and indicate a dramatic slowdown much worse than in Western europe or the US. If it becomes apparent to voters, through the further drip-drip of economic news, that the recession in the UK will be much more severe and longer lasting than in W Europe or the US then Brown’s fig leaf will have been removed and it’s quite possible that the Tory lead will return to 20 points again.

    IMHO I think Labour are near their high point at the moment and with all the dreadful news to come I really can’t see them going any higher in the polls.

    Of course I could be wrong !

  35. On another point – I understand the pre budget report will be in 2 weeks time. This is the Tories chance to hammer the Government over their handling of the econmomy and to establih clear blue water between the parties over future Government spending.

  36. ““we are heading for deflation”

    Really?!-must have missed that prediction.
    Has anyone explained that to Unison?”

    Very probably, if they have connections with the real world. You can find such predictions (well, more warnings really) all over the financial press if you look for them.

    If interest rates are not cut substantially, we risk deflation (which isn’t the same concept as suddenly being able to afford to live, Colin) That risk is to be avoided. Otherwise we’ll have no growth for manuy years.

    Differences from the 70s include the lack of Union power, low interest rates, high employment, mobility within the workforce, and experience of the tried and failed laissez-faire methods of Thatcherism.

    KTL – establishing clear blue water could possibly mean being hammered in the future rather than hammering, so I don’t expect Cameron to propose anything substantial at all.

  37. KTL-I’m sure they will.

    I think you are right about the linkage between Labour’s Poll improvement & Brown’s story of the external causes for UK’s recession.

    I saw him interviewed in Scotland the other day saying that there had been “no early warning system” & he had been “trying to get one for years” -but “some countries ” were against it.

    This is the man who ignored numerous warnings about UK’s economy from IMF;refused the German Finance Minister’s suggestion for international oversight; put a hopelessly under-resourced FSA in charge of UK Banking oversight, and told all UK commentators from Vince Cable down that they were wrong about the dangers of UK’s debt levels.

    No wonder Polly Toynbee has seen the true Gordon Brown at last.

    The public seem a few steps behind at the moment.

  38. Hi all, talking about thatcher as I see it has been mentioned a couple of times, labour supporters have to beware that Brown is now being seen like ‘good old maggie!’, alot of people either like him or loathe him. With a large amount in the loathe department. That will be a future worry. I was given this to consider (by a staunch trade unionist); a man unelected, who is acting like he has a popular mandate from the people, who stopped all debate about himself within the power…no spending billions of the tax payers money. Answers on a post card please..

  39. john:-

    Deflation is the opposite of inflation, involving sustained price falls.

    It therefore reduces household costs.

    Deflation is a tax on borrowers & holders of illiquid assets, but accrues to the benefit of savers-the opposite of the effects of inflation on these groups.

    Of course it is usually associated with recession-or worse.

    But there are two constituencies -with different interests & different outcomes from changeing economic conditions.-Savers & Borrowers-or if you like Retired & Employed.

  40. Colin – at least you didn’t give me a link, but quoting whole sentences from wikipedia is poor style, if you don’t mind me saying so :)

    A hoarders paradise is not what I want – if Cameron proposes it, then fine by me, that’ll mean the Club Members will not prevail.

  41. john
    very happy to read your own source for your interpretation of “deflation”.

    Do you disagree with anything I have said on that topic ?

    “A hoarders paradise is not what I want – if Cameron proposes it, then fine by me, that’ll mean the Club Members will not prevail.”

    A most revealing sentence john.Your candour is commendable & leaves no room for misunderstanding.

  42. I think deflation is a bad thing. I suspect you think it’s a good thing and therefore I don’t agree. i also suspect most voters would rather have low inflation than deflation.

    I read the FT online a lot but if you put deflation into any search engine, you won’t find much of a good press for it anywhere.

  43. Much as I hope infrastructure projects don’t suffer in the recession, particularly rail,
    it does make you wonder why the government didn’t prioritise those things more during their term of office,
    and reign in this bloated high wage middle class beaurocracy of consultants etc. which I suspect delivers very little value.
    Bernard Donoughue’s point aswell, not just mine.

    On the point about the Lib Dems, well you’d have thought they could manage a point or two extra over the last week with a plague on both your houses, but it doesn’t seem they’ve made much impact atall.

  44. JJB – I have a dim memory of Govt depts under-spending their budgets in 2002-3, simply because they didn’t have enough projects to spend it on, and still had a cost-cutting mentality.

    When they want to spend money, it normally goes on new jobs and wage increases. Saving money means sacking people and reducing wage increases.

    I’m sure we’ve all seen unnecessary road works and pavement replacements occurring around Feb/March – it’s to finish off the budget. The solution? More jolly expensive quangos of course to keep an eye on such things.

    Having said that, I think there’s a strong case for spending on onfrastructure during downturns, in order to take better advantage of it when recovery happens. You’d want to build a new road before traffic increased, not at the same time.

    The other factor is timing/phasing. Normally infrastructure projects would be phased over many years so as not to create bottle necks of infaltionary activity.

  45. “I think deflation is a bad thing. I suspect you think it’s a good thing and therefore I don’t agree. ”

    You suspect far too much john.

    I must say your final para at 9.43 impresses me more, the more I read it .

    It must be the most succinct expression of Brownian prejudice ever published:-
    Savers & Old Etonians-the twin evils of Gordon Brown.

  46. I aim to please!

    Savers have just as much to fear from deflation as anyone else.

    However my prejudice against the waste of space/money that those particular Bullingdonites represent is almost certainly not shared by Brown.

    I don’t think he was ever close enough to their ilk to smell the rot, along with most of the voters out there.

    Enough evidence of it will emerge in the next Tory manifesto to swing a few votes away from them.

  47. “Savers have just as much to fear from deflation as anyone else.”

    Indeed so-but it was your description of them as “hoarders” in a “paradise” you would not wish for, to which I refered.

    Brown has exhibited similar disdain for savers over his term as Chancellor.

  48. Dan – I do wish people would stop referring to Mr. Brown as unelected. I know people have Presidential fever, but this is not America, and under the Parliamentary we do not directly elect our PMs, but the MPs and the party which chooses.

    Perhaps it shows the extent to which our system has become ‘Presidential by default’. Maybe a byproduct of the information age.

  49. No disdain intended. A savers’ paradise would be welcome – a hoarders one not. There is a distinction.

  50. Good-I didn’t mention “hoarders” though?

    Re The Bullingdon Club your remarks at 2.37pm are pretty dismissive-“waste of space”/”smell of rot” etc.
    I know that prejudice is irrational & can only guess at the source of yours in this matter.

    However do you really think that the descriptions you use could reasonably be applied to these former members of The Club for example?:-

    David Dimbleby
    Baron Beaumont of Whitley
    Raymond Carr
    Jason Gissing
    Boris Johnson.
    Cecil Rhodes
    7th Earl of Longford

    But perhaps for you it is Club Membership per se which negates all that might follow in a former member’s life?

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