As well as the figures from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll there is also a new ICM poll out today, the first monthly ICM/Guardian poll since the election. Topline figures with changes from ICM’s last poll are CON 39%(+1), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 21%(nc)…exactly the same as the latest YouGov figures. 59% of people approve of the coalition between the Conservatives and Lib Dems, with 32% opposed.

There was also a question on PR – 56% of people said they supported a more proportional electoral system, 38% were opposed.


670 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – 39/32/21”

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  1. @ MATT

    Our ‘Human rights’ culture is the hallmark of a civilized society. I will never forgive any politician who removes those rights from us.

    I am very much a unionist but I would vote for Scottish independence with the HRA written into our constitution, if a British government tried to remove the HRA.

  2. @Amber,

    “Our ‘Human rights’ culture is the hallmark of a civilized society. I will never forgive any politician who removes those rights from us. ”

    Very few people, myself included, would argue with the fact that human rights are totally necessary in the formation of any civilised society. However, many, like myself, feel that they have gone too far in some areas of public life.

  3. @Amber,

    It’s kind of similar to ‘elf and safety’. What started off as a noble (and much-needed) ambition has, in some (but not all) cases, turned into lunacy. I guess political correctness also falls under the same/category.

  4. @ Matt

    You are a fair & open minded person – when you have the necessary information. Please do not assume that every negative attributed by the tabloids to the HRA is fact.

    There are rights to privacy enshrined in HRA that the tabloids are very much against. They appear to be on a mission to have the HRA repealed. It is, IMO, for their own personal benefit.

    You mention teachers being unable to maintain discipline in school. Please, ask yourself, is this really a consequence of the HRA? Also ask yourself, why should a teacher’s job involve physically assaulting a child? I would not want to be a teacher with that duty as part of my job description. The vast majority of teachers do not want it; & they question the motives of colleagues who do!

  5. @Amber,

    “You are a fair & open minded person – when you have the necessary information. Please do not assume that every negative attributed by the tabloids to the HRA is fact.”

    I don’t read tabloids. I make my own mind up on issues. All my opinions are based on fact and personal experiences. I do a bit of voluntary work for a charity (and have worked in a school) and so I know how ridiculous political correctness and ‘elf and safety’ has got.

    “You mention teachers being unable to maintain discipline in school. Please, ask yourself, is this really a consequence of the HRA? Also ask yourself, why should a teacher’s job involve physically assaulting a child? I would not want to be a teacher with that duty as part of my job description. The vast majority of teachers do not want it; & they question the motives of colleagues who do!”

    I didn’t say I supported caning/physical disciplining. However, more sanctions need to be made available. They don’t necessarily have to be physical, but teachers do need more powers than they currently have.

  6. Ironically, I don’t think there are enough ‘human rights’ in some areas.

    “You are a fair & open minded person”

    Likewise, Amber – even if we don’t often agree on many issues. XD

  7. @ Matt

    Again, on health & safety, I think you are repeating received ‘wisdom’. Do you have personal knowledge of the Act? Could you list the onerous parts of the Act that you consider excessive & in need of repeal?

    Please, if you are truly interested in laws, governance & politics, use your obvious intelligence critically when faced with sweeping generalisations.

    I would say, try to decide for yourself, from a position of knowledge, then discuss & debate the issues with those ‘lazy’ minds who have fed you ‘everybody knows’ this is human rights, elf n safety gone mad etc.

    RE: political correctness. I do not care about that. Whether a woman who acts is spoken of as an actress or actor, I do not really care. ;-)

  8. @ Matt

    I truly did not assume that you read tabloids :-) But their opinions spread through the population & are repeated, unthinkingly, by many people who should know better.

    Seriously, you will benefit intellectually if you challenge them to tell you which sections of health & safety are unnecessary & why. 8-)

  9. @Amber,

    “Again, on health & safety, I think you are repeating received ‘wisdom’. Do you have personal knowledge of the Act?”

    I base this all on personal experiences. Many of the other people who work at the same charity (and help out in other organisations like scouts) say that some of the health and safety regulations are ridiculous. For instance, when we went on a school outing literally just a few yards outside the school gates (to observe nature), I was reliably informed by one of the teachers that they had to fill in several forms assessing ‘potential risks’ beforehand (I worked voluntarily in a school for a while, you see).

    As a charity club, we are now much less inclined to go on trips because the paper work required for a 4 hour trip once a year is overwhelming!!!

  10. @Amber,

    Re: Questioning everything.

    I am a great believer in questioning everything. That is why I do not support a few of the policies the Conservative party stands for. Politically speaking, I am very open minded. 8-)

  11. @Amber,

    “I truly did not assume that you read tabloids :-) But their opinions spread through the population & are repeated, unthinkingly, by many people who should know better.”

    I agree with that. That is why I avoid tabloids (and the tabloid mentality) at all costs!

  12. @Amber,

    “Could you list the onerous parts of the Act that you consider excessive & in need of repeal?”

    I’m not sure that anything necessarily needs repealing – just a more common sense approach allowed in situations where none exists at the moment. :-)

  13. @Matt and Amber Star – re H&S. I’m with Amber on this. I waged battles with my last employer who did what most do and over egg the H&S legislation. If you look at the HSE website it’s actually highly informative and you’ll realise (through feature’s like their ‘Myth of the Month’ series) that the HSE is quite sensible and straightforward. The big problem is employers not following the guidance properly and the insurance industry making ridiculous demands.

    The HSE is in fact deeply worried about turning H&S into a box ticking exercise as they feel this deflects people from the real job in hand. A good example is PAT tests for electrical goods. My ex employer spent about £150,000 pa running annual PAT tests by a contractor for their head office and other buildings, despite me showing them the guidance from HSE that office equipment needs to be fully checked only every 3 – 5 years, can be done in house by a suitably trained individual, and that evidence suggests annual testing by external contractors tends to remove from staff the notion of making basic safety checks themselves and in fact creates more risk.

    Don’t blame health and safety – blame poor management who mis apply health and safety.

  14. @Alec,

    “Don’t blame health and safety – blame poor management who mis apply health and safety.”

    The problem is that I don’t believe that poor management is always to blame.

  15. Alec, Matt, Amber,

    You are both correct.

    Matt is mostly referring to the risk asessment exercises that need to be carried out where children are concerned. These are extensive and indeed to put teacher’s off. A teacher is not just bound by HS but also their GTC as well as risk of civil actions….

    Alec/Amber the Health and Safety legislation has worked tremendously well bar some teeething problems..

  16. @Eoin,

    “Alec/Amber the Health and Safety legislation has worked tremendously well bar some teeething problems..”

    That is my point. Health and safety legislation has had many positive effects over the past few decades, and perhaps does not require a great deal/any revision, just more applied common sense. :-)

  17. @ eoin

    Sorry I did not respond earlier to your post on inner city youth but had to pop out and I am afraid this will be a quick post as well.

    Boarding School IMO would be a superb idea from 14 to 17 or 18 but the cost would be horrendous.

    The grammar school was a way for a certain number of the to escape but that now is all but finished.

    Perhaps Gove’s idea of individuals, groups and other organisations setting up schools with a stronger ethos towards discipline and standards is a way forward.

    In the end I totally agree with you that is is a pressing and urgent problem but with no obvious or immediate solution.

  18. A bit like political correctness IMO. It has had many positive effects over the decades (i.e. in helping to reduce racism, sex discrimination etc.), but common sense should always prevail. Unfortunately, quite frequently it doesn’t.

  19. @John F,

    It is interesting that you and Roland with extensive knowledge of the group I am referring to both see the benefits of tackling the problem early.

    I have another idea. If we expanded our social worker team so that 2 people were posted per case rather than one person. 1 of the people could be the current well educated/ qualified staff we already have. But secondly if they were accompanied by a senior citizen of rela life experience (perferably parents themselves). They would receive basic training and pay but they would be there to advise the social worker and laise with child intervention or withdrawl for a set period if need be.

    A parent can cover up neglect on visits quite easily, especially to a young and childless social worker, who however well intentioned will probably be easier to pull the wool over their eyes.

    It would be a good way to unite all three generations and put respect for are elders back at the heart of the society. This need not be very expensive if the senior citizens were recruited through the foster home network but in a roaming/travelling capacity.

  20. Ipsos Mori data
    We have not had much comment yet on this. I was impressed by the flight from Labour by very young women (18 – 24) and young men (25-34) and wondered whether this was due to couples finding it difficult to get on the housing ladder. Given that these groups turned out better than in 2005, it could not be due to young Lab voters staying away could it?

    The very young men were the only ones not to swing from Lab but swung to LD as we heard they were to do (Facebook, etc).

    I note more breakdown is promised – Labour must be very concerened by the above trends with young people.

  21. Eoin

    the country is broke- you are arguing for social work to go from one person per case to three per case. Get real. The problem at the moment is too much paper shuffling in the area. Cut 90% of it so people can do the job. Cheaper, quicker, more effective.

    (And yes, my wife deals with the social workers every day in her job)

  22. Matt,

    Common sense would prevail more if we relied on Common Law rather than statute – especially Stautory Instruments.

    Unfortunately, Common Sense is not very common, including among legislators, regulators, judges and officials at all levels – which is why Common law is itself under threat from excessive statutury law.

    The more detailed the regulations, the more prescribed (or worse, proscribed) our actions, the less freedom we have to apply common sense.

    Pace Amber, but when people complain about HRA and Elf &Safety they do not waste time thinking about which bit of the statute / regulations / guidance notes or whatever it is that is constraining their activity. This is just another aspect of the erosion of responsibility.
    This happens since once one has ticked all the required boxes one can absolve oneself from actually thinking about the reality of what one is doing.

    Apart from H&S, this is a common ailment in anti-terror and AML regulations which become mere processes totally divorced from real risks.

    Yes, imposing greater “responsibilities” on people through statute actually undermines personal responsibility.

    Time to tear up the statute book and teach people to think for themselves and take proper responsibility for their actions (or omissions).

  23. ‘JOHN FLETCHER
    @ eoin

    Boarding School IMO would be a superb idea from 14 to 17 or 18 but the cost would be horrendous.
    The grammar school was a way for a certain number of the to escape but that now is all but finished.
    Perhaps Gove’s idea of individuals, groups and other organisations setting up schools with a stronger ethos towards discipline and standards is a way forward.’

    Where to begin? You are so wrong overall. The damage is done well before 14 so Boarding school not merely is expensive but a waste of time for most (I point out that the very bad can already attend 365 day state boarding schools or Monday Friday – under EBD provision. And the cost is horrendous as the student staff ratios are far better / worse than private boarding schools (classes of nno more than 6 for example)0>

    The damage is done earlier.

    Grammar schools is merely a way for the middle class to escape into semi private schools, basically it had no impact on the poorest families. (Proof- you can pay to be coached for Grammar entry).

    Gove’s idea is pathetic. Why? In the western world the strongest predictor of academic outcome is home background (able to be measured in all sorts of ways but which all correlate together; Mother’s educational background, amount of books read in a house, language exposure etc.). Schools are about jumping through curriculum hoops, home is about education. So, motivated parents start up a school for their children- it will do well. But further down the line the sink school is left like now in Grammar school territory.

    The way to improve schools is simple. Remove 90% of the paperwork.(Why should OFSTED inspect any schools whose exam results are average or better?) Remove CASPA it proves nothing but requires a full time staff member to enter data… etc.

  24. Jack,

    At what point did you feel I was advocating three per case? Perhaps you could re-read. I suggested 1 full time as normal. And a senior citizen who has experience, accompanying a qualified perosn on a case and helping with intervention/ withdrawl. I even suggested a pre-existing foster system as a pool/system from which to recruit. This means less paperwork would be required.

    The casot of these NEETS or whatever you want to call them, to the economy is vastly greater than that of employing an experienced person in their senior years. (Long term benefit) thus making it economical.

    These matters are very ‘real’.

  25. In terms of well meaning philanthropy, old Charles Dickens still might have something to say. His approach was very much that we do not neccessarily know what is best for other people. He advocated removing abuses, giving access to light, fresh air, clean water, simple provision.

    Can’t remember any details :-( but listened to an interesting interview on Women’s Hour a couple of years ago with a researcher who claimed that the effect on youngsters who are targeted for intervention is often a persistent increase in their sense of low esteem which outweighed other positive effects. This sounds rather defeatist, but we must be sure of what we are doing, before meddling to appease the needs of our own consciences. Something to bear in mind anyway.

  26. Jack,

    you will need to read consdierably further up the thread. John F, Roland, Mike N and james L were not discussing improving schools. We are talking about 18-25 long term unemployed and dare we say it unemployable.

  27. @Paul H-J,

    “Common sense would prevail more if we relied on Common Law rather than statute – especially Stautory Instruments.

    Unfortunately, Common Sense is not very common, including among legislators, regulators, judges and officials at all levels – which is why Common law is itself under threat from excessive statutury law.

    The more detailed the regulations, the more prescribed (or worse, proscribed) our actions, the less freedom we have to apply common sense.

    Pace Amber, but when people complain about HRA and Elf &Safety they do not waste time thinking about which bit of the statute / regulations / guidance notes or whatever it is that is constraining their activity. This is just another aspect of the erosion of responsibility.
    This happens since once one has ticked all the required boxes one can absolve oneself from actually thinking about the reality of what one is doing.

    Apart from H&S, this is a common ailment in anti-terror and AML regulations which become mere processes totally divorced from real risks.

    Yes, imposing greater “responsibilities” on people through statute actually undermines personal responsibility.

    Time to tear up the statute book and teach people to think for themselves and take proper responsibility for their actions (or omissions).”

    Thanks for your views, Paul. They are very sensible and well-reasoned IMO.

  28. @ Paul HJ

    Yes, let’s have a civil suit, judged with common sense, after somebody is maimed or killed. That’s so much better than regulations to protect employees.

  29. Intervention works. Turning a blind eye and hoping things correct themsleves is a mistake. Tearing up books, hoping for common sense and abolishing laws and paperwork is unbelievably negligent.

    We are talking about 2 million children’s lives. Intervention, intervention, intervention.

    Get them on the radar young, and put a homing beacon on them.

    How precisely we deal with it from then on is open to debate…

  30. Amber,

    Further up this thread you challenged Matt to consider the matter in detail rather than provide quick generalised reactions.

    Does this approach not apply to you too ?

  31. Eoin,

    What gives the intervenor the right to intervene in the life of the intervenee ?

    Intervention is the solution of those seeking to control others to comply with their own view.

    You may consider lack of intervention negligent. I call it the protection of freedom.

  32. @ PAUL HJ

    Does this approach not apply to you too ?
    ———————————————
    Yes

  33. @ Éoin

    You may be pleased to hear, Ed B has his nominations. 8-)

  34. As I understand it, Paul wasn’t saying that we should completely abandon all regulations per se. Just that we should allow a bit more flexibility (i.e. common sense) in many cases. I’m not saying this would work, but it’s an interesting idea IMO.

  35. @Paul HJ

    I acept what you are saying. :) In the case of fully fledged paid up members of society I would take ur point…

    Just try to picture a 14 year old afro-carribean fella living in inner-city nottingham, with an absent father and a history of truancy.

    He is more likely to see knives and drugs in a typical day than he is protein and calcium.

    What scares me the most is that there is an awful lot of them.

    Eocution, etiquette and civic cuty are lost treasures as far as this young man is concerned.

    He is describable by one word- unemployable.

    Maybe i am wrong but I desperately want to intervene in cases like this. Those of senior years in our society who are experienced with children coudl twin their expertise with professionals (social workers) as deal with these cases.

  36. Personally, I think we should retain many/all of the regulations, but also allow common sense to prevail. This should include abandoning certain safety assessment exercises which a) don’t improve the safety of people affected, and b) put professionals/volunteers of future trips/activities.

  37. @ Matt

    Paul HJ said:
    “Time to tear up the statute book and teach people to think for themselves and take proper responsibility for their actions (or omissions).”

    PHJ is taking the opposite to that taken by myself & Alec. In our experience, employers who use the excellent web-site available, can indeed use common sense in applying the rules to their own business.

  38. @Eoin,

    Dealing with issues of family breakdown in our society should be our number one priority. Until we face the fact that family breakdown (and dysfunctionality) and social problems are strongly linked, we will make little progress IMO.

  39. @Amber,

    “PHJ is taking the opposite to that taken by myself & Alec. In our experience, employers who use the excellent web-site available, can indeed use common sense in applying the rules to their own business.”

    But it’s not just employers who are fed up with health and safety requirements, Amber. Many people in the voluntary (and education) sector are really frustrated that the current health and safety requirements are often out of proportion to any actual risks. Hence, many are prepared to opt out altogether – sad, but unfortunately, increasingly true.

  40. Anyway, me thinks we have all exhausted the discussion on health and safety. My apologies for posting at length on it in the first place. 8-)

  41. @ Matt

    You are lovely & I feel like I am picking on you…. but:

    A risk assessment form is not difficult to complete. Would you hand over responsibility for your money to someone who couldn’t be bothered to fill in a form?

    Why would I hand over my son’s safety to somebody who considers filling in a form to be onerous.

    It is simply documenting thought processes – like we are doing here. It can be enjoyable & useful if approached with an open mind. ;-)

  42. I am all for people helping themselves etc.

    But what do you do with the ones who are incapable of doing it?

    Leave them to starve? Or feed them in return for making them virtual slaves doing menial tasks. Those are basically what used to happen until the welfare state. And it’s why it was invented.

    Has the pendulum swung too far the other way now? In which case the difficulty is likely to be stopping it swinging too far back.

  43. Amber,

    thanks for the info on ballsy :) I am very happy :)

  44. @Amber,

    “A risk assessment form is not difficult to complete. Would you hand over responsibility for your money to someone who couldn’t be bothered to fill in a form?”

    But since many people who work in the voluntary sector work for several clubs/charities at any one time, why would they want to fill out several forms, all for different clubs, detailing the risks of each trip they want to take (especially when most of the risks are just plain common sense). Each form takes quite a while to fill out, and if you work for, say, 4 clubs (and do 3/4 trips/activities for each every year, that’s 12/16 forms each year. Many volunteers I know do more trips/activities than that still.

    All this, and does it, more importantly, prevent one single injury/death (because someone has filled a form in)? I personally doubt it. It’s also rather patronising to those who do have common sense i.e. know that children need to cross the road with an adult etc.

  45. @MRSB,

    “I am all for people helping themselves etc.

    But what do you do with the ones who are incapable of doing it?

    Leave them to starve? Or feed them in return for making them virtual slaves doing menial tasks. Those are basically what used to happen until the welfare state. And it’s why it was invented.

    Has the pendulum swung too far the other way now? In which case the difficulty is likely to be stopping it swinging too far back.”

    An excellent post IMO.

  46. Further to my last post, a more appropriate question would be ‘should a teacher who can’t assess the risks to her/his students during an activity/school trip, without filling in a health and safety form, be teaching our children anyway’?

  47. @Amber,

    “You are lovely & I feel like I am picking on you”

    Don’t worry. I love a good discussion. :)

  48. Eoin/Jack – Channel 4 news did a great little article a week or two ago about a government scheme doing almost exactly what Eoin suggests.

    2 case workers took on a family failing on almost every level and worked with them for a full year. They incorporated all the services that family might need in one place.

    It was immensely successful, cutting anti-social behaviour, helping with family cohesion, nutrition, educational achievements and offering counselling and training. It has been cut now as it is “too expensive” but the average cost of this very successful scheme per family was around £60,000 – the same family being evicted, kids taken into care or prison etc is around £250,000!!!

    Intervention undoubtedly works, be it in families, childcare or drug abuse, there is just too little of it.

  49. Paul H-J “What gives the intervenor the right to intervene in the life of the intervenee ?
    Intervention is the solution of those seeking to control others to comply with their own view.
    You may consider lack of intervention negligent. I call it the protection of freedom.”

    Re : my post above, I perfectly see your point. I guess you are educated and intelligent and you’re right, there is no reason for anyone to intervene in your life. However, where I grew up, some are desperate for help, but just don’t know where to go. They love their children dearly, but don’t know how to look after them. They want to work, but are virtually unemployable. Intervention does not have to be an infringement and many welcome it.

  50. I can see there are some interesting debates going on here but has there been one on the Thirsk & Malton election, or are the reds trying to ignore it, as it does seem to provide a high approval rating of the coalition?

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