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. @AMBER STAR…………………Sorry, how could I know that your contributions are ironic ? ;-)


    RE: You may be a fully paid up member of the loony left but I suspect most people put more faith in Morrisons and Tesco’s to deliver life’s essentials than any of Labours schemes and bureaucracy-heavy quango’s.

    Yes, many women I speak to are planning to have their next baby in Tescos ;-)

    In all seriousness, my son worked in a Tesco in Edinburgh for a while. He said the waste was unbelievable. Don’t take his word for it. Have a look in the dumpsters round the back of most supermarkets. They are over-flowing with dumped goods.

  3. I sense from Hague’s speech today that the Tory’s are only just starting their campaigning.

    I wonder whether the polls will start to widen again.

    It will be interesting to see the polls in another week or two. I sense that Labour may have had it’s last flourish – briefly rallying before dropping dead. ;-)

  4. Mike

    I don’t think people will be blown over by Cameron’s unscripted speech tomorrow. It worked once but won’t have the same impact it did 2-3 years. And this time there won’t be an ”IHT” moment. in fact that IHT policy looks inappropriate now.

    Labour still has a budget coming up -no doubt Darling will seize the moment and pull a rabbit from his hat.

    Bad weeks come and go -lets see the trend!!

  5. As someone who runs a small private business, people like Amber star make me mad.

    We pay heaps of taxes already and are regulated to the hilt by overlaying bureuacracies who often demand of us totally contradictory things. In reality for many small businesses it is now almost totally impossible to make a profit and obey the exact letter of every law and regulation.

    We have come to this point as a result of having people in charge who have never run anything more demanding than an egg and spoon race. As always the socialists can find endless ways of spending money and absolutely no ways of making it.

    The Blair years were totally wasted thanks to Gordon Brown. No effective reform of the public services were possible because of him and as a result billions of pounds were squandered.

    Our economy will continue to go down the drain if Brown et al are given the chance to cling to power, they will continue to socially engineer our country and strip it of anything that doesn’t fit with the Harman view of the universe and the hardworking and law abiding amongst us might just as well give up getting up at dawn to work and sign on and bleed the state even drier.

    Please God someone save us………………………….

  6. It seems The Mail have a tape recording confirming another one of Rawnsley’s allegations, the aid (who was left ‘shocked and upset’) being elbowed out of the way in a fit of anger.

    ” He was in a really bad mood. He walked up the stairs. And I leant forward and he went, “Outta my way!” And did that [Dr Wood makes a sweeping gesture with his arm] “Get outta my way!” Then he walked off.’
    SM: ‘You were shocked?’
    SW: ‘Yeah, yeah definitely. He’s never punched me. He did push me aside . . . I was slightly shocked. I stood there and went something like, “Christ Almighty!” . . . Gordon can be rude in a kind of routine way.’ “

  7. @ KEN

    I like this site – people are good natured & not at all stereo-typical. Even though we have differences of political opinion.

    No communista am I – I’m in favour of Ethical, Social Capitalism – at least until there’s a better alternative.

  8. A lively day. I have squeezed out the last drop of “partisanity” and will now manage clear headed, cool, analytical comment on polls to come.
    Generally really enjoyed all the comments and learnt lots of stuff. Now and then a bit scared by the zealous tone.
    Ironic that Roland appears to be a truly progressive conservative, but probably would HATE to be thought of one. Others just proved most of what I always suspected.

    My rationale? As a Space Cadet? Oh, so many, but maybe crystallising into this: Labour have instilled one message so successfully, it might be all they really need in the end.
    The FEAR of another Tory government hit home with every Labour voter and this idea that whatever else, the Tories must not be allowed back in seems to galvanise voters more than all else. That’s why I think the Get at Gordy message hasn’t worked. It’s just reminded anyone who’s ever voted Labour why they must do so again, even if they have doubts. It’s made them think who they’re really afraid of.

    Not biggin up da Labour massif, just my gut. The big question for the Tories? Are we any less afraid of them than we were in 97, 2001 and 2005?

  9. Yes, Gordon has been caught out. The Mails recording seems to show that he lied in his Channel 4 interview when he said he had never pushed anyone.

    It’s not the push that’s important; it’s the lie.


    Yes, the Mail has a taped interview where a senior aide tells a story of being swept aside – his pride was hurt but not much else.

    If someone is blocking your path & refuses to move aside, what would you do? Call the police?

    The tape’s not exactly a smoking gun, is it?

  11. @ Amber Star – Well I am a champagne socialist, New Labour Blairite who believes in (broadly) free markets.

    Hee -good job I’m off to bed, don’t think I want to see the reaction to THAT one.

    One last point. Re : The Mail and bullying. For the love of God let it go!! It’s not working. !Flash! GB barged past someone once!!!
    What’s wrong with us all????

  12. I am new to comment on this site but….


    Completely agree. I have watched this site for a few weeks and decided not to comment until now but I agree these comments make me mad.
    As someone who works as a manager in Tesco, AMBER STAR talks complete cobblers. We are one of the most efficient retailers on the planet. No argument, no discussion FACT. How anyone can say different completely explains why dreamers still think Gordon Brown (GB) has the answers for this country.
    GB told us last summer that there would be no Labour cuts and branded David C Mr 10% – total nonsense. We have had the longest recession since the 1930’s, enterprise has been destroyed yet Labour’s plan is to keep spending public (taxpayers) money – I assume until they are rescued by the IMF. I note that one Labour minster thinks their is no shame in going to the IMF for money – Fantasy.
    As for the NHS in terms of its record, yes investment has flowed into the NHS but with no reform. That is not sensible in any walk of life let alone government. I know GP surgeries in which partners have had 50% pay increases but still work the same hours.. (No weekends and no late nights) What other industry would award extra pay without extra productivity..

  13. It’s rubbish – It’s been played up by the Mail – the aid said ”Brown has never hit me”


    Make up your mind

  14. I think the Labour ‘ dead cat bounce ‘ has confused the blind faithful, ( any business finance analyst worth their salt would tell you that ). I think Labour peaked too early and will pay for it over the next few weeks when the Tory campaign starts.


    RE: As someone who runs a small private business, people like Amber Star make me mad.

    That wasn’t necessarily my personal opinion. But it is how business is perceived by many voters. The top dogs make a bundle; everybody else lives to serve them.

    I feel sorry for small businesses tarred by the tax dodging, bonus grabbing, golden parachuted, top dogs who have given business a bad name in the past few years. The people on the street are less objective about it than I am.

  16. CEO of Tesco gave a great talk at Labour conference this year supporting GB.

  17. @ DANBUCK

    RE: As someone who works as a manager in Tesco, AMBER STAR talks complete cobblers. We are one of the most efficient retailers on the planet. No argument, no discussion FACT.

    That’s why I suggested UNEMPLOYED looked for himself round the back of his/ her local Tesco. I don’t expect anybody to just take my word for it.

  18. @ JASON

    “Compared to this point in 2005 Lib Dems are clearly polling worse.”

    I think you’re wrong about this. Just done a quick calculation. Average Lib Dem poll rating this month is 18.9%. In Feb 2005 it was 19.4%. I don’t think the 0.5% difference is of huge significance.

    It’s right that over the course of the 2001 – 05 Parliament Lib Dem poll ratings were considerably higher than they have been over this Parliament, but people forget that by early 2005 much of the Lib Dems’ Iraq War bonus had subsided.

    Historically Lib Dem ratings tend to rise as the General Election approaches because of greater media exposure. I’m pretty sure that happened in both 1997 and 2001. I think this is likely to happen again. The TV debates give Nick Clegg a great opportunity to remind the public that there is an alternative to Labour and the Tories. All the talk of hung parliaments should help the Lib Dems as well. Logically people should be more enthusiastic about voting for a party that has a chance of exercising real influence on national policy after the General Election.

    My prediction:

    Con 38
    Lab 32
    Lib Dem 22

    Don’t want to give a seat prediction but suspect that a larger swing in the English marginals will mean that the Tories get a small majority (20-30). I think the Lib Dems should manage a modest increase in their number of seats (up to 70) with gains from Labour and incumbent Lib Dem MPs doing well against the Tories (cf 1979).

    I should confess that I’m a Lib Dem activist, so would much prefer a hung parliament but (sadly) still think a Tory majority is more likely at the moment. I hope I’m wrong.

  19. Nice freestyle site today, new Big Issue on Monday, another 2quid into the Taleban coffers. ;-)


    “It seems The Mail have a tape recording confirming another one of Rawnsley’s allegations, the aid (who was left ‘shocked and upset’) being elbowed out of the way in a fit of anger.”

    Its on the MoS website- have a look.

    It is yet another serialisation: this time someone called ‘suzie mckenzie’ who has been writing an hatchet-j, er, unauthorised biography timed to come out in the middle of the GE campaign.

    Shes spoke to an male aide and it amounts to ‘shouts a lot; swears a lot; storms around and down corridors a lot when angry’.

    Its absolutely nothing yet again.

    I was of the opinon that commentators were wrong when they were saying the impact on public opinion of bully gate was getting to be like Trooper gate (people feeling the press had gone to far and should syop) …but now I am coming to the conclusion that it is.

    Tory high command- on day of their campgain tactic switch and day before major speech by Cameron- must be fumimg at the MoS.

  21. @ KEN

    RE: I think the Labour ‘ dead cat bounce ‘ has confused the blind faithful, ( any business finance analyst worth their salt would tell you that ).

    Touche, my dear.

  22. The paper review on Sky news has just covered the Brown ”push”. How ridiculous. Even they think it’s a load of rubbish.

    I don’t know about you Amber -but we’re having a good laugh here ;-)

    Another one backfired lol

  23. @ AMBER STAR

    Those who work in the private sector on the front line unfortunately had to make terrible business decisions about levels of employment in their organisation’s maybe 18 months ago. Its about time the public sector went through that pain… I don’t want it that way but sometimes that’s fact.
    GB our great leader has never made a decision in his life, thats why he wont stop spending as he thinks spending our money is the answer to all our problems.. Its not… This has been proved through history. It will be proved again eventually.
    The only way to solve this country’s problem is to encourage private enterprise and therefore generate income for the economy. And it needs to happen now. This rubbish about keeping the apparent stimulus going is government propaganda. The jobs the government thinks it is saving will eventually go anyway, they are just putting off the inevitable.

  24. @ AL J

    I haven’t had this much fun since the “Michael Portillo Moment” ;-)

    That’s a bit cruel of me – Michael’s mellowed rather nicely over the years.

  25. @ Amber Star. Yeah, surprising about Portillo. I actually asked someone if they thought he was still a Tory the other day.
    Never thought I’d see the day I had a good word to say about Hague AND Portillo. On the same day!! Blimey throw in a bit of Ken Clarke and they could make some sense.

  26. Amber

    I like Portillo ”now” ;-)

    How about a David Mellor moment -aren’t I cruel ;-)

  27. I must say it’s pleasant to have a mutual rant without all the Scotch bringing everything round to the situation in Holyrood all the time. ;)

  28. @ Ken. Dead cat Bounce. I don’t like that. I hadn’t thought about bouncy dead cats. First comment to give me a shiver of fear all day.

  29. @Sue Marsh
    “Blimey throw in a bit of Ken Clarke and they could make some sense”

    Ken Clarke’s sound on most things except his fanaticism about Europe.

  30. Hey!! I’m on a roll. Patton. Chris Patton is quite sensible too. So that’s Hague, Portillo, Patton and Clark.
    I challenge a Tory to give me a list of Labour people they admire. Come on, it does us all good.

  31. @ DANBUCK

    RE: The only way to solve this country’s problem is to encourage private enterprise and therefore generate income for the economy.

    Yes, we need to sell people more food, booze, lottery tickets & cheap, imported goods.

    A 24 Tesco on every corner will solve all our problems.

    Or do you have any better ideas?

  32. I think I’m on to something here. If all the Labour supporters come up with a list of Tories that don’t actually make them vomit and all the Tories give us a list of Labour people that they can think of without shuddering, we may just have put together a workable hung parliament cabinet!!
    no-one knows any Lib Dems so we’ll all just have to agree on Vince Cable ;). Can we have Paddy Ashdown back too?

    So some on, fantasy cabinet, but you can only choose four from the side you hate.

  33. @ SUE MARSH………………….I’m a Tory, I recognise a nice bit of road-kill. Gordon and Mandy have had their moment in the headlights, guess who’s driving the car ? that nice Mr Darling ! Splat!! :-)

  34. @ SUE MARSH

    RE: Bouncey dead cats.

    Sweetie, Labour haven’t even started yet. I don’t want to give the game away – but do you honestly think that Mandelson (& maybe even Blair?) won’t do a ‘celebrity tour’ of the marginals?

    He’ll stroll around, smiling & being gracious & elegantly calling Hague, Clark et al “Losers” in a gentlemanly way.

    Dead cats are what the Tories are dragging out – because they’re live ones have no substance ;-)

  35. Oh, and you get two veto’s. Mine are Hannan and Osbourne

  36. @ KEN

    RE: “Splat”

    You’re on the ball tonight ;-)

  37. Sue

    I have one favourite LibDem -David Laws – because he always talks sense and told off Hezza on QT about the council tax and poll tax.

    My best Tories are mmmm mmmmm

    mmmm Ann Widdecombe -because she hates hunting with dogs

    Alan Duncan because he is the first Tory MP to arrange a civil partnership with his partner ;-)

    have to think about theother two -it’s VERY difficult ;-)

  38. @Tony M

    You said “20% Lib Dem – because there are always some indecisive people who can not make up their mind and don’t realise they are just wasting their votes”.

    I can assure you that I CAN make my mind up and have chosen to vote Lib Dem for very positive reasons.

    If 20% support means that “they are just wasting their votes”, then that actually seems to prove that the current electoral system is ridiculous. 20% support should attract c20% of the seats and no vote should be wasted.

    And as you claim that, by voting Lib Dem in a Con/Lib Dem marginal I will let Labour in (which it won’t anyway), than that confirms my view that the Conservatives are now resorting to scare tactics because they know they are not going to win a majority. Since I declined to deliver leaflets for them or donate any more, I have had numerous silly warnings that I am wasting my vote and that I could let Labour in.

    All nonsense. But I might help to keep Osborne out of no 11 and that is extremely important to me.

  39. It’s time for change. Hang on … hasn’t William Hague already had his go? Dog-whistled off the stage I seem to remember. Still, Dave & George need a few social inferiors to prove their blokeish credentials I suppose.

  40. @ SUE

    For entertainment value, I’d love to nominate Boris Johnstone & Ken Livingstone – but I’m guessing mayors are excluded.

  41. omg

    I hadn’t thought of making a donation.

    It’s funny how one’s mind wonders while it’s reading all the posts. lol ;-)

  42. @AMBER STAR…………..I bet the labour activists in the marginals can’t wait to welcome the multi-millionaire JP Morgan banker and the man he fired twice for corruption, to turn up and charm the workers. :-)

  43. @ tony m

    I think your rationale for those polling numbers is flawed and based on outdated stereotypes of voting behaviour. Your assumption being that only well off people vote Conservative and poor people those ‘living off benefits’ as you describe only vote Labour. I think those in the private sector the majority of which will be on modest incomes, will have mortgages and may be small business owners, will be acutely aware of the government support to prevent repossessions, to allow deferring of taxes, giving of job guarantees etc. Those same middle class families will also be acutely aware of the tory pledge to remove from the vast majority of them family tax credits. Also, i think its safe to assume that Labour hasnt won 3 election based solely on the votes of poor people but crucially by holding on the key c1 and c2 groups which as you may recall put Thatcher and Major into power – are these the same poor people that you claim only vote for labour?

  44. @ Amber Star – I think Ken allowed, but you’re cheating by naming a Labour guy. Tories please!!

  45. @ AMBER STAR

    Thats retail and good business. It’s called giving your customers what they want, markets forces. It also more importantly means you know what your customers want. Pity the NHS does not have such customer (patient) focus. I thought Labour had adopted market policies.

    If you look at the total tax revenue we bring in for HMRC I think you will find even the Labour party has encouraged the company to grow. It makes’ sense even for this useless government. I might add we have expanded into overseas markets with great success. Something this government should have been encouraging all firms to do. By encouraging this we could if we as a country were competitive ( which we are not) bring in jobs and investment.

    What I love about Labour leaning commentators is that fact that they completely forget the GB “golden rules” and “No Labour Cuts” and “labour Investment” and the fact we have had the longest recession in our history.

    If you look at the GB “golden rules” that have disappeared along with the “we have abolished boom and bust” theory. No one takes Labour seriously on the economy. This includes business, the city and I would suspect most international markets. I would back this up by the performance of the pound in the last 24 hours alone.

  46. YouGov Scottish poll – Westminster voting intention:
    Lab 38
    SNP 21
    Con 20
    Libdem 15

  47. What is this poll of which you speak Warren. Is it new? Someone clever tell me what it means???

  48. @AMBER STAR…………..Are there any Muslims in them there marginals ? They would of course welcome Tony and his charming gay friend, snag is, they wouldn’t be able to see them for the security barriers. :-)


    Both are of you are to be congratulated. You are able to make sensible comments while surrounded by whimsy. I’m truly impressed – but, forgive me, I’m staying with whimsy for a while. We need some fun on a Saturday evening :-)

  50. For the Scottish contingent- the associated text:

    “ALEX Salmond’s support is slumping ahead of the UK general election and he faces being defeated at Holyrood in just over a year’s time, according to a major new poll published by Scotland on Sunday.

    The SNP has fallen a full 17 percentage points behind Labour on Scottish voting intentions for the Westminster election and is now just a single point ahead of the Conservatives.

    And the party is five points behind Labour on voting intentions for the Holyrood constituency vote, dropping below 30 per cent for the first time in its three years in power.

    Analysts forecast that if the voting intentions are carried through to the next Scottish parliamentary elections in May next year, Labour will be propelled back to power.

    The YouGov poll of 1,000 Scots, taken after a flurry of bad publicity for the SNP government in recent weeks, suggests that the party has lost around 4 per cent of its vote since the turn of the year.”

    Westminster YouGov poll Figure

    Lab 38
    SNP 21
    Con 20
    Libdem 15

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