Open thread

Tonight is our day off from the YouGov daily polling and I’m not expecting any other polls overnight. It’s been a while since I’ve had an open thread, and I’m having to moderate a lot of partisan arguments on the normal threads as the polls tighten. So, the comment policy is suspended here for you all to have party political arguments (the quid pro quo is that you all stick to the policy on the other threads!)

434 Responses to “Open thread”

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  1. DanBuck

    **Pity the NHS does not have such customer (patient) focus. I thought Labour had adopted market policies**

    I would suggest it’s difficult to have focus on what customers want in the NHS as operations are needed very often without warning etc.

    Q What would you like from the NHS?

    A An operation on my tendon but I don’t know when I will hurt myself – or it could be something very different like super-glue has stuck my finger together. ;-)

    And also, it’s not as if it’s a regular item like washing powder from the shop.


  2. Yeah come on everyone, play my whimsy game!!!
    I actually really DO think it has a serious point and it’ll do you all good.

    4 fantasy cabinet members from the party you DON’T support and two vetos.

    Show us you can do it!!!

  3. @Ken

    You sound like a jolly polite chap. Were you in the old Bullingdon Club by any chance or was it the”Hang Nelson Mandela Society”?

  4. @ DANBUCK

    RE: I think you will find even the Labour party has encouraged the company to grow.

    Then why are you complaining? 24 opening, lottery tickets & supermarket booze were all Labour’s ‘gift’ to your industry.

    RE: I would back this up by the performance of the pound in the last 24 hours alone.

    Which makes business more competetive in overseas markets.

    And I actually don’t care what currency speculators do to the GBP. What I resent is governments who play along & cost us £Bns. Here’s hoping Darling & Brown have enough sense to leave well alone.

  5. That’s very interesting. That throws into doubt the results in Angus & Perth/N Perthshire, possibly Ochil & S Perthshire, and Labour will perhaps start fancying their chances of survival in Dundee W.

  6. *sigh* suppose I’ll be serious just for one comment. Back to the NHS…..

    It is customer (patient) focus that has been the main change. My hospital has worked tirelessly to improve patient experience and it has worked. Shorter waits, email appointments/results, quicker pain relief, better food, SAM (Self Administered Medicines) Information sharing (I am now copied in on letters about me!! Wow) Appointments to suit ME. It’s a long job but great strides have been made.

  7. Obviously I meant that the Scottish poll was interesting.

    If I may say a Tory I admire – no longer an MP – Teddy Taylor, for his honesty & bullshit-free quality. And it’s hard not to find his conversion to reggae endearing too.

  8. The Mail ‘exclusive’ -yes Brown really does get angry at times.Let’s have a lot more please.It really seems to be helping the Tory poll rating no end.Cameron’s big mistake this week was to jump on the ‘bullying’ bandwagon just as the wheels fell off. Let’s hope he comes back for a second helping.

  9. @ Al J

    You seem to miss the point somewhat, which is typical of Labour leaning supporters. It shows completely why the public sector fails so often.

    In emergencies like you suggest of course it is what it is, its the experience of the customer (patient) which is key.
    The other day I was talking to a senior consultant at my local hospital and he said the problem is top down targets do not actually help the patient they hinder. They give an impression of improving services when in actually fact that is false.
    He said there needs to be a focus on the output as he put it ( customer) not the input (NHS and its teams), something which is common in the private sector. If that happened the money Labour (very welcome) pumped into the NHS would get to where its needed the customer (patient).

  10. So is it terrible for the SNP, Good for Labour or both (or neither?) Does it have any implications for the GE?

  11. @ KEN

    RE: Millionaires, Muslims & Marginals.

    Labour are popular with muslims, according to the theology poll.

    But I was thinking of Mondeo Man (all these M&Ms, I’m thinking of opening a sweet shop). Tony is still pretty popular out there.

  12. Again, all the criticism of the NHS I’ve heard today comes from consultants.
    They are not often the best judge of what works for the patient in my experience.

  13. @ AMBER STAR

    If only Labour were so simple and gave us the road to success!! If thats what you believe I think you may be a tad out of touch with the private sector.

    I live in a marginal and I can tell you that GB and his government are not popular at all.

    Bringing this back to polling, the polls have narrowed and from what I can tell locally this is because the Conservative party has up to now been generally quiet since Xmas. Labour has had a good run. So many people just hate GB and feel over taxed and over burdened by this government. As for the economy most people realise although this was a global issue there is one major fault that can lay at GB’s door – you do not run deficits when the economy is in boom. Various people have made that point quite clear to me.

  14. @ SUE MARSH

    I’m claiming Portillo & Boris; my other two are Heseltine (Westlands – helicopters always provoke a debate) & David Davies (for his stand against detention without representation).

    I’m veto-ing Lawson & Lamont. Wow we hate their chancellors (apart from Ken Europe Clark).

  15. @ Ken – It’s funny, for decades the tories had all the evil geniuses and we had….. well… Michael Foot really.

    Now we have the evil geniuses (Mandy and Campbell) and you all just hate it.


  16. @AMBER STAR………….Alliterate you may do, illiterate ( politically ) you may be ! :-)

  17. @ DANBUCK

    RE: You do not run deficits when the economy is in boom. Various people have made that point quite clear to me.

    I’m glad they are acknowledging UK was in constant recession/ depression throughout the last Tory administration. Which is why they don’t get to lecture Labour about the economy.

  18. DanBuck
    @ Al J

    **You seem to miss the point somewhat, which is typical of Labour leaning supporters. It shows completely why the public sector fails so often.**

    That was rather a flippant remark by me, but you put your comment in relation to a supermarket -so I made a joke of it. I thought we were having a lighter moment.

    With reference to targets, I can personally vouch for them as recently I had a minor op within one week of seeing the consultant and within 5 or so weeksof seeing my GP. I may be wrong but isn’t that target driven? If it is -the benefit to me is not an illusion.

  19. @SUE MARSH……Evil I don’t admire, genius…Beethoven, Picasso, Einstein, Federer, et al, I do. Mandy fired twice for corruption and greed, Campbell, defender of Robert Maxwell, drunk, general sleazebag, I don’t.

  20. Danbuck

    But, its pretty clear that the tories are losing the economic argument and Im not sure everyone would agree with your assessment of Labour’s running up of the deficit being a determining factor in this recession.
    Remember, unemployment is lower is this recession, repossessions are lower and most importantly inflation is lower in this recession than in the 80’s and 90’s recessions. Its these factors that people notice and have an effect on thier lives and I wouldnt be surprised that a combination of these factors are whats leading people back to Labour.

  21. The Tories will not win this election. I will have a bet with anyone. My prediction is a Labour win with 13 seat majority.

    People do not trust the Tories. This is 1992 situation. Major (the grey man) was boring but people (including me) just didn’t trust Kinnock. I’m the same now. I cannot see how anybody would trust him he’s doing his best to be Blair but failing badly.

    Anyone fancy a wager I will bet my house on Labour win 13 seat majority…..

  22. @ KEN

    RE: Alliterate you may do, illiterate ( politically ) you may be !

    You are on fire tonight. But you will have to take that back if I’m right & Labour get 38% of the vote come the GE ;-)

  23. @AMBER STAR…..I refer you to my previous comment, but I like you and if you hit hard times you will always have my sympathy. :-)

  24. I was sitting here thinking about all the positive things we enjoy today or have the benefit of and who game them to us. Correct me if i am wrong but have not all the major social initiatives come via either a liberal or labour government? ie: universal sufferage, pensions, free health, compulsory education, national transport, maternity pay, sick pay, unemployment benefits, equal pay, race equality, minimum wage, regional government. I am not trying to be controversial here but the tory’s in one form or another have held government for around 150 years since the office of prime minister (through first lord of the treasury) was established in 1727. I would have thought there would be some great effect put in place by them. Outside of right to buy, what have they done to make a real difference or are they just like a court appointed administrator? I am happy to be wrong so please enlighten me.

  25. @ AL J

    No the point about the supermarket is great, but it if you spoke to people that worked in the private sector they would explain to you their frustrations with the public sector. Its what I hear and I tend to agree – in summary; over manned, out of touch and paid above the level of inflation. The public sector has not yet been through the recession. That’s people opinions.

    The problem is with the NHS there is some great examples of how it works well.. I would never say other wise but there is some example’s where they get it wrong and I think through using it day in day out for the last fifteen years or so it needs to be customer (patient) orientated. The problem is in the UK as soon as someone steps up and criticises constructively the NHS ( I mean politicians) they are seen as hating the system when in actual fact it needs reform desperately. The good people are never recognised and celebrated (like the private sector) and best practice not usually shared and the poor systems are never weeded out.


    As for the previous Tory administration – Its about time Labour stopped all that as we could all talk about the previous Labour government’s and its failings, not to mention the current governments problems. The fact is Labour is in power and has been for thirteen years or so and its about time they stopped blaming others for their own failures.

  26. @DAVID C……….Have you told your wife that she is about to be made homeless. I believe you would have been entitled to some sort of sympathy payment but unfortunately we Thatcherites don’t like irresponsible people throwing our money away, that’s why we have to get rid of Gordon and his economically illiterate cronies.


    that is exactly what the tories were doing in 97, remember the winter of discontent.

  28. @ P WILL S

    Accept your point and perhaps I am seeing it through other eyes but those jobs “saved” by the government will eventually go if they are not needed. You are just putting off the inevitable. So what you are doing in my view is saving the bad times for another day when in actual fact best to get it over and done with.. I have always thought best to “bottom the economy out” and then recover. As what will happen is this will all be put off and the recession prolonged or (hope does not happen) a double dip… The job losses will have to happen eventually if there is no need for those jobs. I don’t like saying it but its a fact of business and life.

  29. @ EPOCHERY

    I just about remember but I am quite young, maybe selective memory!!

  30. Sue – for the implications of the Scottish poll, see my comment in the thread above.




  32. .Danbuck

    It depends whether the economy recovers and recovers strongly as to whether there needs to be further job cuts( as you said), but lets not be in any doubt that there have already been many job losses. My personal feeling is that the economy will recover strongly, and that if not from an economic view as you take, then at least from a social one- unemployment is not a price worth paying.

  33. @Christopher

    Up above I saw you say Labour has generally been popular for the most part during their 13 years.

    Just remember Iraq war was in 2003. Labour has been in officeduring the iraq war for 7 years out of the 13 years since 2010.

    I don’t think there is another government in the world that supported the war and is still in power. Major was thrown to the wolves for far less than what Labour has done.

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