There is a new new ComRes poll in tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday, topline voting intention figures stand at CON 36%(-1), LAB 30%(-3), LDEM 23%(+2). Changes are from ComRes’s last voting intention poll at the start of the month, and show a slight widening of the Conservative lead but nothing significant once one takes into account the margin of error. Note the contrast in Lib Dem support between this and the Harris’s poll in the Metro a week and a half ago, which both show very little change from the general election, and the drop we’ve seen in Lib Dem support from YouGov and to a lesser extent ICM. That will be something to look at in more detail if it persists and once the pollsters post-election methodologies have settled down (presently ComRes seem to be weighted recalled vote to the actual shares of the vote from 2010, which I expect will not be their long term position).

On other questions, ComRes asked if people agreed that child benefit and/or pensioners winter fuel allowance should be means tested – 53% agreed that child benefit should be “withdrawn from better-off familes”, only 39% agreed winter fuel allowance should be “withdrawn from better-off elderly people”. It provides an interesting contrast – I can think of possible explanations (for example, people may think that elderly people who are in need are more likely than families to be detered by a means-test) – but of course, the polling questions themselves don’t tell us people’s reasons.

The other questions, 38% agreed with the statement “The coalition government is deliberately exaggerating the financial problems to justify cuts to the public sector” and 48% agreed with the statement “I would be prepared to pay more income tax rather than see public services cut”.

UPDATE: Hmm. The Indy on Sunday have the Conservatives as being up one point (or at least, they do at the moment) – changes are quoted as being from the ComRes poll on the 2nd June, which is here and definitely has them on 37%. Presumably just a typo.


232 Responses to “New ComRes poll – 36/30/23”

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  1. ‘I genuinely believe this is why the UK Cons have made a mistake in their European alliance.’

    Must admit I think the group the Cons are in with in the EU are the equivalent of a group with BNP and the English Defence League, need I say more? Certainly DC is talking sensibly and I suspect the group was joined to just shut up the nutty Tory rural rump (the Empire still lives, long live fox hunting – nothing else matters). But basically that EU group is embarrassing, the sooner we get out of it the better.

  2. @JACK
    Glad you said that. I’m not being partisan. The European grouping genuinely doesn’t match the policies of the present day UK Conservative party.
    The problem was that it became an election issue and was seen as an attempt to smear the Tories.
    I think they made a mistake and it became too late to do anything other than defend it.
    Now the election is over they should quietly leave the grouping.

  3. Will it be a case of one in, one out?
    John Hutton joins to review pensions, just as recent appointee and namesake Will questions an overreliance on the opinions of Mervin King, who is not ‘infallible’; describes the chancellor’s approach as ‘hysterical… brutish’, and concludes: ‘“The ground has not been laid; the economics are dubious even for deficit hawks; the support tiny; the implications dire.”

  4. Julian,

    Thanks for that. Methods certainly do vary from comapny to company- never mind from country to country….

    Regarding the 48% favouring an Income tax rise- that is an absolutely massive figure… I am certainly one of that 48%. They can put it up by 3% and it would not cause me a fidge……..

  5. D Telegraph reports that GO has shown special interest in 1981 and 1988 budgets… and has been advised by former tory chancellors that the mistake they made was… not being radical enough.

  6. BILLY BOB

    I could not understand Will Hutton’s appointment ( as opposed to that of JH)

    I wonder if this was a subtle trap to expose the statist, protectionist , anti business, dragnet of the leftist voice in UK politics?

    If so -it’s worked a treat ;-)

  7. @Colin – you’ve got me thinking, perhaps the whole coalition thing is a subtle trap of some kind… but I’ll let that idea simmer for a while ;)

  8. Georgie Porgie pudding and pie…. pushed for cuts and made us cry…… when the voters’ came to play, georgie porgie was thrown away ;)

    Actually, let it not be said to loudly but I anticipate GO to make a good chancellor….

    England (ahem the UK) is a tiny little place yet its economy proportionately outperfoms orpunches above its weight…

    I would say on balance that Britain has been led by some of the best chancellors world over. I wont say it too loudly that the majority of them have been celts :)

  9. Even Howe was a Celt…. yuk

  10. @Eoin – History no guide, but GO youngest chancellor since Randolf (who lasted 5 month) :)

  11. @ Julian Gilbert and Virgilio

    I fully agree with the carefullness of trying to identify East-European parties with their UK counterparts (although it sometimes work better with other continental countries).

    In Hungary for example Fidesz is a far right party by West European sense (economic and socials sense – it’s ideal is the 1930s Hungary, although it is very tolerant towards sexual orientation, not because it count much), yet it is described as centre-right (partly because there is a party there that is right of the BNP). It has a Socialist Party whose economic policies were right of the Tory Party, and so forth.

    I think describing the Slovenian exception (as far as it is an exception) as a result of Yugoslavia’s openness is highly problematic. It would require explaining the difference with the other successor southern Slavic countries, but also the fact that Slovenia is more tolerant than Austria in all the features you mentioned.

    I think the fact of being the “empire centre” of the former Yugoslavia (the average living standards was triple of the Yugoslavian average, they used Kosovar migrants for menial jobs, oh, by the way, racism is ripe in Slovenia, so it causes a bit of a problem for your argument), being an Alpine republic (with its valleys and strong local communities), being dependent on being a subcontractor to various West European companies and the fact that they were the only East European country that did not go through shock therapy also have something to do with it.

  12. *Randolph*

  13. @ Billy Bob

    “not being radical enough.”

    I watched BBC’s summary of next Tuesday’s budget twice today. It sounded very, very scary… I don’t think they reported it like this without some knowledge.

  14. It’s quite late – sorry for all the typos and grammar mistakes. :-(

  15. @ Billy Bob

    Your “conspiracy theory” sounds quite plausible. But I don’t think they are really so clever :-).

    It’s more like the demasking of many individuals’ “party affiliation” being simply the question of daily bread winning.

  16. BILLY BOB

    “the whole coalition thing is a subtle trap ”

    Yes-it might well be…………..but for whom is the question ? ;-) ;-) ;-)

  17. I have read many suggestions for Mr Osborne. Some on here, some from the UK media, on how these cuts could be made fairly. How they could be a chance to overhaul the entire welfare/tax system radically in a way that would make the UK fairer, leaner, and more competitive.

    If George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the enormous knowledge, intellect, intelligence and might of the UK treasury behind him, CHOOSES to simply tinker with the same old suspects (and it will be a choice) and his choices mean that we enter a double dip recession, a death spiral or worse still, a depression; if they mean higher unemployment, suffering and an infinitely more “Broken Britain”. If they mean winters of discontent and (as I heard this morning) a restriction on union rights, then the Conservatives will not be re-elected for a generation, just as Mervyn King predicted.

    This is my only solace.

  18. ….. After all, for any cut announced, there needs to be a corresponding suggestion on how the economy will grow.
    Growth, anyone remember that????
    Still. I am not Chancellor of the Exchequer and can only pray that the man who is, is clever enough to walk the wire.

  19. @ Sue Marsh

    then the Conservatives will not be re-elected for a generation, just as Mervyn King predicted.
    __________________________________________

    IMO the cuts will work. The Cons are beginning to move the battle ground from cuts because they are necessary, to cuts because there is no need for a big State Sector.

    For instance they were quite clear that they did not continue with the loan to Sheffield Forgemaster because they did not think it was the governments businees to invest in private companies. They have also made it clear that the Free Schools policy is about the state pulling away from the management of schools.

    I think you will find that they will shift the battle lines and the Cons, and LD will start to argue more and more for a smaller and less intursive state with eventually much lower taxation.

    I personally hope they win the arguement as IMO the state is terrible at delivery of services compared to the alternatives.

  20. John Fletcher – I understand your (and other blues) opinions all too clearly. I heard them all before, in the 80s

    It will not surprise you to find that MY opinion is you are horribly, horribly wrong.

  21. @ Sue Marsh

    It will not surprise you to find that MY opinion is you are horribly, horribly wrong.

    _______________________________________

    Not at all surprised Sue. But what will be intersting over the next few years is who can win the arguement with the electorate.

    On the economy, I think growth will be decided not by domestic policy but by events elsewhere. For instance China floated the Yuan for 2 hrs this morning and all stock markets instantly rose by over 1%. China has also authorised wage increases.

    BMW is taking on more workers and cancelling holidays becase of demand from SE Asia.

    Essentially IMO if the global economy starts to grow, which it seems to be doing, then the CON/LD coalition will be able to ride on its shirt talis.

    Pure luck for them of course, but they will get the credit, just as GB got the blame for the recession.

  22. It’s just a pointless argument.

    As you say, this is ideological. You want a smaller state.

    We tried that before and the country was left on it’s knees.

    Nothing we’re seeing is new, the implications are already known. I could list exactly the outcome of all these proposals, but there’s no point. You might get your improved economy (as in 97, though your summation above conveniently ignores the nightmare unfolding in Europe), but we will get a destroyed infrastructure.

    It’s so predictable.

  23. @ Sue

    Sue, I am not trying to convince you of my arguement, just speculating on how the next few years will go for this Government and whether the electorate are ready for thier view.

    If they can manage the cuts and keep the economy growing, then surely they will be in a strong position to win the argument.

    A smaller state does not mean the infrastructure need suffer.

    Allow me to give you 2 examples.

    1. Tax credits for the middle class, middle income earners. Absolutley pointless. Taking money in taxes with one hand and then returning it with the other. It just creates a mass of inefficent bureaucracy. Let them keep the money in the first place and save on all bureaucrats.

    2. IVF treatment on the NHS. Infertility is not a health risk, and its treatment is not what the NHS was created for. We are overpopulated anyway and there is a desperate need for good families to adopt and foster.

    I could go on and on as you can imagine, but cutting back dramtically in these areas has no effect whatsoever on infrastructure.

  24. Almost poetic article by Jeremy Seabrook challenging the cosy guardian reader’s hope that Cameron brings something new to Conservatism.
    h t t p://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/20/spectre-laissez-faire-haunts-britain

  25. @John Fletcher – “The Cons are beginning to move the battle ground from cuts because they are necessary, to cuts because there is no need for a big State Sector”

    and “I personally hope they win the arguement as IMO the state is terrible at delivery of services compared to the alternatives”

    It is interesting that you clearly see what I also see, in that GO’s cuts are not driven primarily by fiscal necessity but by an underlying ideology. Your second quote shows that you agree with their ideology, but I would have to point out that when compared to the US or virtually every other private insurance based health system, the UK NHS always comes out as miles more efficient. For example, the BMA has secretly reported a large drop in consultants earnings in many specialism since Labour came to power as the NHS was doing much more and the demand for private treatment fell drastically in many specialisms.

    I’m content to accept that the public sector can have inefficiencies and is not always as efficient as the private sector, but please don’t perpetuate the myth that this is a golden rule. For one thing, the private sector deliberately doesn’t get involved in many things the state does – they only want to run activities that can be done efficiently so they leave the difficult things for the state to do.

    Secondly, remember the incredibly impressive efficiency of the global financial system since 2007, or the current great example of BP’s legendary efficiency as they trash the ecology of the gulf. You glibly assert that governments can’t do efficiency, but it really isn’t a one way street.

  26. @john Fletcher – to avoid a long post – I do agree with your last post re tax credits and IVF. I also see huge disparities in pension subsidy for the well off and the huge sums of lost revenue through tax evasion and avoidance.

    For example, HMRC believe we lose £18b pa through ‘carousel’ VAT frauds, and a further £28b through use of legal loopholes.

    The US has long had a statue that forbids trade with Cuba, but also forbids individuals and companies to trade with others who trade with Cuba. So a UK company couldn’t import or export to Cuba and continue to have any dealings with the US, either direct or through intermediaries.

    A simple law on these lines used against tax havens by the UK (the world’s fifth largest economy) would effectively collapse entirely the global tax haven scam and return billions of unpaid taxes to both the UK and other struggling democracies.

    These things can be done if governments want to. Instead they choose to savage public services. I suspect we could quite easily close the deficit without a single redundancy if we wanted to.

    The freeze is council tax is the final example of the underlying ideology. It does nothing to close the deficit (quite the reverse) but is all about shrinking services.

  27. Kyle Downing

    As someone from “up there” who lives “down here” but goes back “up there” regularly I am equally convinces that the NATS will win with an increased vote in next year’s Scottish elections.

    The reasons are many but boil down to who would make the best First Minister which is no contest.

  28. EX-PAT:

    “I am equally convinces that the NATS will win with an increased vote in next year’s Scottish elections. The reasons are many but boil down to who would make the best First Minister which is no contest.”

    Whilst Salmond is undoubtedly the biggest character and most charismatic leader in SCottish politics, I’m not sure that its that simple. At the last Scottish election, with unpopular Labour administrations in both Westminster ansd Holyrood, the SNP managed to become the largest party by one seat largely based on the argument that its time for a change and selling the whole election as being about making Alex Salmond first minister. Whilst the SNP administration has done an Ok job, its hardly set the heather alight, with Labout out of power everywhere, the anti-Labour vote will be reduced, the SNP can no longer play the opposition card, its hard to see the Labour vote not improving somewhat, which would be all they need to overtake the SNP. The SNP can try to squeeze the Con-Dem vote by opposition to Westminster cuts, but Labour can also play this card now and I’m doubtful the SNP can match their 2007 performance in the current curcumstances. And I say that as somebody who is filled with absolutely no enthusiasm at the idea of Ian Gray as First Minister.

  29. @ Alec

    With regard to cuts, we’ve got quite a serious situation here. At the moment the Coalition, and the Tories in particular, are giving every sign of believing their own propaganda. The trouble is that, despite what the Press proclaims, most of government spending does not go on diversity consultants or wine cellars. It goes on front line services.

    Those in the Westminster bubble (who, to be fair, probably use public services less than the rest of us) have come to regard cutting government spending as a form of virility. The Conservatives however promised to ring-fence large areas of spending, so, as you pointed out earlier in the thread, the percentages required in the areas they can cut are enormous

    What’s more, few of them have any experience of working in large organisations, public or private. So they have the old fashioned top down approach to cuts, which in turn relies on the “overpaid” managers you are busy denouncing to do the cuts for you. So front line services will be what gets cut, not least because that’s the easiest thing to do in a hurry (this in my opinion was the best reason why they should have delayed even the £6 billion cuts).

    Furthermore they (and this applies to all three Parties) believe in the models of “saving money” that have been dominant for the last three decades. So contracting out, privatisation, PFI and so on will be given yet another whirl on the merry-go-round. But all the easy gains from these are long gone and so many are in any case illusory.

    There probably are a lot of efficiencies to be made in government spending, but going through the same cutting rituals is not the way to do it.

  30. But the SNP can now play ‘we actually have experience and have delivered’ card, where before there was a big scare tactic played by others (cant vote for SNP they have never had power).

    So, yes Labour is now in opposition and so will get some sympathy votes away from the SNP but equally the SNP has experience and delivered so will get votes from those who were scared to put a party in with no experience whatsoever. I think it will cacnel out. Not least as the reason that Labour is in opposition is that we voted them out because they failed. They will need some time in opposition (and that Includes Holyrood) before they seem electable…

  31. @ Alec

    I agree with you that tax loopholes should be closed. But there should also be cuts so that direct tax can be lowered for all who work. I also think that VAT is a much better tax than income tax, given that the basics are protected from the tax, each individual has a choice to pay the tax or to save their money.

    The best way to grow the economy is to have the lowest possible rate of income and coropration tax to reward work and business acumen.

    I also do not think that everything the USA does is good or that the state does is bad.

    However there is a clear distinction developing between Lab v the Con/LD on both the size and the competences of the state.

    Though this was behind the politics of the 80’s it was never so clearly articulated. The arguements were about individual services. Now certainly the Con’s are no longer afraid to say clearly that they believe in a smaller state. This does not mean a less fair state. As you point out there is nothing fair any more about the state pension v private pension.

    Lab believes that the state should not only provide the necessary basic services, but be a major redestributor of wealth and manipulator of education, law, and immigration in order to socially engineer a placid, dependent population maleable to their political beliefs.

    Such a state IMO simply stifles initiative, entreprenurial flair, indepencence and originality, self confidence and recoursfulness. I do not believe that ths is really what the British people want for themsleves.

  32. There are two differences from the 80s which are slightly more positive going forward.
    Firstly the world economy is much broader based. The US,UK and Europe were the economic centres of the world. The 1979 Volcker credit crunch brought these economies and, therefore the world, to a halt. Japan was the only beacon whereas now the BRICs are growing at a pace. Similarly in the 30s the economic power was concentrated in a few hands and there was no help to the global economy from elsewhere. ‘USA gets a cold, the world gets pneumonia’ is no longer true for the BRICs and their satellites . How much the growth of the BRICs helps us is debatable but some will trickle down.
    The second is that the 80s followed the very difficult 70s. The country had already been in a dire economic situation for at least a decade. The current situation is after a long period of growth and a massive investment in infrastructure. That infrastructure now requires maintenance not rebuilding. Frankly the country in 1979 was in no fit state for any economic shock.

  33. @ Roger Mexico
    There probably are a lot of efficiencies to be made in government spending, but going through the same cutting rituals is not the way to do it.

    __________________________________________

    I agree. If that state is going to do something it should do it well. Of course we shaould have the best NHS and Armed forces possible

    The secret is the simply stop doing a lot of what it does, but is unnecessary.

    Examples: Equality and Human Rights Commission . What is the use of that? It is just a talking shop that the tax payer had to fund. It does not produce anything expect for reams of paper and lots of hot air. Also IVF (see earlier post).

  34. @Alec,

    “It is interesting that you clearly see what I also see, in that GO’s cuts are not driven primarily by fiscal necessity but by an underlying ideology. ”

    So what you’re saying is that the Tories are going to make massively unpopular spending cuts and tax rises, risk being out of power for a generation, just out of ideological convictions? You obviously have a lot more faith in politician’s than I do! Especially, as David Cameron was labelled a ‘dictator’ by many Labourites on here (and elsewhere)!

    It’s also worth remembering that Alistair Darling admitted that Labour’s cuts would ‘be tougher and deeper than those implemented by Margaret Thatcher’, if Labour were re-elected. Notice Labour didn’t say where they were going to come from (like the Tories/Libs too, admittedly).

  35. So what you’re saying is that the Tories are going to make massively unpopular spending cuts and tax rises, risk being out of power for a generation, just out of ideological convictions?
    ———————————————
    Yes.

  36. “But the SNP can now play ‘we actually have experience and have delivered’ card, ”

    Experience certainly. How much they’ve actually delivered (or can persuade voters they’ve delivered) will be one of the key points of the campaign.

    They’ve frozen council tax, but got no nearer to actually replacing it. Increased police numbers, but failed abysmally in reducing class sizes. The Al Megrahi fiasco will doubtless play a part in the campaign as well.

    But the crucial point is that it would only take a very small swing bacl to Labour for the SNP to lose power. I’m not convinced that the scare tactics used against SNP last time actually worked that well in putting people off voting for them. “It’s time for a change” definitely did work. Its going to be very very hard for the SNP to hold on.

  37. @Amber,

    So you believe that the Tories and DC do this out of ideology? And yet you claimed he would do anything to hold onto power because of his ‘dictatorial’ ways? See the contradiction? You’re basically saying ideology is more important to him and GO than staying chancellor and PM. Dictators and power-hungry rules don’t do that.

    Obviously, in light of Alistair’s admission of the massive spending governments that would have taken place under Labour, spending cuts must be needed (especially as this isn’t supposedly Labour’s ideology?

  38. This is the problem I have with the Labour argument IMO. No one, the public included, believed it (apart from diehard Labourites). The public thought there would be massive public spending cuts regardless of who was in power. Opinion polls show this. AD’s pre-election admission reveals all as well.

  39. @ Alec

    I agree with you that there’s enormous savings to be made by closing up tax and customs loopholes and just by tighter enforcement of the current rules. This has partly been down to previous government cuts -they’re not front-line services you see (even if they’re producing more income than they cost) and partly due to a “don’t touch the rich” attitude from both HMRC and its political masters.

    But there are real technical problems for HMRC as well. It does seem to be extremely difficult and slow to prosecute complex fraud (and related activities) in Britain. Despite what lawyers say, this isn’t because of uncomprehending juries, but because of the attitude of the courts. The whole area needs serious attention, but I doubt it will get.

    There must also be a much more effective replacement for fairly disastrous FSA as well, but whether there’s the political will for that is another matter.

    However I think you’re wrong to concentrate on the tax havens in the way you suggest (full disclosure I live on the Isle of Man), partly because the UK is itself viewed as a tax haven by the rest of the world. But that’s a comment for another time.

  40. Also, if massive spending cuts could happen without touching ‘frontline services’, surely the only way of doing this would be through cutting waste. However:-

    1) I am very dubious that such massive cuts could come from solely, or even mainly, from cutting waste.
    2) If there is waste on such a massive scale, why weren’t such inefficiencies cut by Labour before? Especially as we would be talking about tens and tens of billions of pounds.

  41. Rumours of the Lib Dems’ demise seem to have been somewhat premature. However, I’m making the economic prediction that there will be a period of reduced state largesse, such that the coalition will be unpopular for at least two or three years.

    It will be followed by a period of recovery in the polls as a result of a strong recovery (fed by low interest rates courtesy of the reduced budget deficit) as well as a “It was tough, but look at figures XYZ now and in 2009” factor. This will lead either to a narrow coalition win (worst case scenario for Cameron) or a narrow Conservative majority (best case scenario for Cameron) in 2015.

  42. BTW I agree with earlier suggestions that there is a need to overhaul the welfare system and crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance. That would be a good start IMO.

  43. @ Matt
    BTW I agree with earlier suggestions that there is a need to overhaul the welfare system and crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance. That would be a good start IMO.

    __________________________________________

    And IMO the first way to do this is to dramatically simplfy both so as to make them managable and enfocable.

    On of GB’s faults was that he was obsessed with micromanaging everything and tinkering with the minutea of everything.

    If Tax credits are dramatically reduced, that shold free up some of HRMC staff to get stuck into tax and welfare fraud/evasion.

  44. “each individual has a choice to pay the tax (VAT) or to save their money.” – But we want people to SPEND their money at the moment!!!

    Matt, this is not “what we believe” it is (as John Fletcher rightly outlines) a matter of fact. Read Matthew Parrish in the Times on Saturday for a Tory view on ideology of cuts.

    Again, I say, this is a pointless argument. We MUST have all seen the NHS managers, police chiefs, fire chiefs, head teachers etc interviewed on TV by now??? We MUST have heard them all say that it is not possible to make the cuts required of them without cutting hospital beds, nurses, doctors, operations, fire fighters, police officers??? If not, you are simply closing your ears and eyes to the inevitable.
    Freezing council tax will simply make it worse as LEAs struggle to find even more “efficiencies”

    No more free school meals for the vulnerable, additional payments for hospice care, closure of support schemes, drug programmes, work programmes – all definite in my area and not supposition.

    It is absolute rot to say these cuts will not hurt front line services or those in need – we’re seeing it already, and as 999 calls go unanswered, wards close, operations are not scheduled, local schools suffer as funds are syphoned off to “free schools”, the postcode lottery gets 100 times worse as government abandons targets and allow local services to be decided by those who may or may not be competent….. and on and on and on, first those most in need will be dismayed then more and more as they realise the cuts affect THEM, their families, their lives.

    You don’t need Amber’s crystal ball for any of this, it is already happening, as Roger Mexico says, those who believe it otherwise are simply believing their own propoganda.

    The Public Sector is not all bloated managers, it is nurses, doctors, binmen, police officers, teachers, teaching assistants, social workers and librarians.

  45. @John Fletcher,

    “And IMO the first way to do this is to dramatically simplfy both so as to make them managable and enfocable.”

    I totally agree.

  46. @Sue,

    “Matt, this is not “what we believe” it is (as John Fletcher rightly outlines) a matter of fact. Read Matthew Parrish in the Times on Saturday for a Tory view on ideology of cuts.”

    If DC is an ideologue then he cannot be a power-hungry ruler (i.e. dictator) desperate to hang onto power. You cannot have it both ways.

    Re: Cuts,

    AD did say that, and I quote ‘the cuts would be tougher and deeper than those implemented by Margaret Thatcher”, and ‘would be the toughest in decades”. Given the scale of this admission, some of the cuts would have inevitably come from most, if not all departments. Public services would have been affected.

  47. @ Sue Marsh.

    But we want people to SPEND their money at the moment!!!
    _________________________________________

    Who is the WE you talk about.

    I certainly don’t want people to spend money. I want them to pay off their debts and then save and invest their money in the British economy so we can have the savings ratio’s they have in Germany and a similarly successful economy.

    Spending our money on imported luxuries and flipperies from Asia is not the route to economic sustanability and success. IMO.

  48. @Sue,

    I think one area that should be immune to such cuts is the military. I would hate to see a lack of investment in much-needed equipment. They do such a great job too, and should at least be provided with the latest equipment.

  49. @Sue,

    I also agree that some departments should face fewer cuts than others. The NHS being one clear example. I think most people would agree that the non-essential depts should face the deepest cuts, with the essential depts. facing the fewest cuts.

  50. How on earth can power hungry dictators not be idealogue??? Surely dictators are the most ideological of all

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