We finally have a proper poll on the Labour leadership contest. In the Sun tomorrow YouGov have a poll of Labour party members, and of members of affiliated trade unions. Full results are here.

Amongst Labour party members David Miliband leads on first preferences, with 38% support, though Ed Miliband is not far behind on 32%. Diane Abbott is third with 13%, Andy Burnham on 10% and Ed Balls last on 7%. The second preferences of Diane Abbott and Ed Balls’ supportes split in favour of Ed Miliband, with Andy Burnham’s supporters splitting pretty equally between the two.

When all respondents are asked to pick who they would prefer between the Milibands (as a way of estimating what would happen once all the second, third and fourth preferences had fallen out), David Miliband and Ed Miliband are exactly equal amongst Labour party members, with 50% a piece once those who didn’t express a preference are excluded.

Turning to Trade Union members, David Miliband again comes top on first preferences with 34% support, followed by Ed Miliband on 26%, Diane Abbott on 17%, Burnham on 13% and Balls on 11% – the same order as amongst members. Second preferences of trade union voters though split either evenly between the Milibands, or in favour of David – meaning that David Miliband leads his brother by 56% to 44%.

The final section of the electorate college is the MPs. YouGov did not poll them, but has based a projection on the work Left Foot Forward have done, based on MPs nominations (adjusted to reflect the nominations that were “lent” to Diane Abbott from supporters of other campaigns). Their second preferences are based on a canvass of Abbott, Burnham and Balls supporters by Left Foot Forward, but relatively few would give responses meaning that YouGov have mostly assumed they will split evenly between the Milibands.

The conclusion of this, is that the race is between David and Ed Miliband, and it is very close. On YouGov’s current figures, David Miliband is ahead, but this is based solely upon the Trade Union vote and some quite flimsy assumptions about how MPs second preferences will split. The big trade unions have mostly endorsed Ed Miliband, and once they contact their members urging them to back Ed it may well shift the trade union vote in his favour. Equally, we really do have very little information on MPs second preferences, so the MP section of the college really could go either way.

Based on the polling so far, David Miliband leads, but it is perfectly possible for Ed Miliband to win.


259 Responses to “David Miliband narrowly ahead in YouGov Labour leadership poll”

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  1. @Roland Haines
    Tiz good that your sensitive area has not been damaged. Especially so since AW has snipped you a couple of times ! :)

    The hard facts about unelected Tory PMs may be unpalatable to blues , but they are hard facts nonetheless. Perhaps we should all think about glasshouses, stones, kettles & teapots etc before sounding off about toher side. ?

  2. @ Frederick

    You made some interesting points, but to be honest the majority of Labour Party MPs and members could not stomach a Coalition with The Conservatives.

    For myself, I simply do not accept philosophically the Tory viewpoint on most things. It is beyond liking or not liking an idea, its a deep-seated difference. You may call it tribal, I call it deeply held philosophical beliefs.

    I cannot imagine any circumstances that would change this viewpoint…

  3. Garry K. It is too easy to say that a party could do with a period out of office.

    I think that defeat has exposed Labour as a party with few ideas on the basis of which to rebuild. If they had stayed in office, particularly if they had been in a minority government or coalition, they would have been driven to evolve by economic circumstances and events, rather as is happening to the Tories.

    Particularly if Brown had been replaced.

  4. @ Frederick

    If you think the Labour Party has few ideas, please come to one of our meeting…you may be surprised but we have quite a few…

  5. Frederick

    I think that defeat has exposed Labour as a party with few ideas on the basis of which to rebuild.
    ———————————————————————————

    It has been ten weeks since the election. It takes time to absorb the consequences of defeat, and because so far their is no grand plan, it’s no disaster.

    How long did the Tories take post 1997? And Labour from 1979?

    Organisations must renew. Big business changes its leaders frequently to keep things fresh. I doubt many big company CEOs stay more than four or five years, let alone thirteen!

    The way forward is to elect a new leader and rebuild slowly and gradually…we’ve probably got four years minimum, so why be hasty?

  6. @ Frederic Stansfield.

    “On this poll, my guess is that Ed Miliband will win, ”

    If it turns out that way, I feel DC will quite pleased.

  7. Garry K.

    I used to belong to the Labour Party.

    I was out of work for a period which almost exactly coincided with the period of the Labour Government – I left a job about a month after it came power and got temporary employment (which has now finished) during the election campaign. I wasn’t unemployed all that time. For much of the time I was looking after an elderly relative. Two of your party’s policies particularly damaged me. Firstly, your delaying to the very last moment implemetation of European commitments on age discrimination which any committed Labour government should have implemented at the earliest opportunity, not least to get people into work and to help prevent the horrendous pensions problems which your party has bequeathed. Secondly, your exploitation of people to look after relatives, not least with grossly inequitable lack of financial support for people in such situations in England, as opposed to Scotland.

    I did not say the Labour Party lacked ideas, but that it lacks ideas on the basis of which to rebuild. There is nothing fundamentally different from the ideas that failed under Brown and Blair – as opposed to Attlee or even Wilson.

    And let me add, the Labour Party has left a record of broken promises, incompetence, and what looks horribly like self-serving self-interest which will make it very difficult (as I have pointed out in a letter to “Kent on Sunday”) for Labour to be believed if they do put out new policies.

    And I am not alone in these perceptions. Labour did little for Kent, where before the election it had half a dozen seats, none of which are now even in the first hundred on Labour’s notional target list. And there are just two Labour County Councillors.

    The “hung” parliament perhaps hides the situation that Labour is now down to 1980s levels in South and East England, outside London (see recent discussion on the Hastings and Rye thread, albeit Hastings is an exception to this situation).

    Exactly what the country needs in its economic plight is politics with imagination to break out of the mould. And, as you point out in relation to Labour ideas in relation to the Tories, your party would have great difficulty in making such a breakthrough.

    In my view we need a twenty-first century political philosophy, although what it would be is not so easy to see. Conservatism. Socialism and Liberal Democracy all evolved in a world which is long gone economically, socially and technologically.

  8. I suppose I’d better defend my statement that “Clegg played a blinder”. Everyone is forgetting that coalition wasn’t the only possibility. The Tories could have decided to form a minority government.

    Now that immediately puts the Lib Dems in almost the same position as they would if they tried to form a rainbow coalition with Labour etc. Enough votes have to be collected, this time to defeat the government. The only extra you’d have would be the unreliable and demanding DUP. And the only reward would be an election that you didn’t want.

    I suspect that the Lib Dems may have looked at the situation in Canada, where a minority Conservative government has been doing more or less what it wanted, because of a divided and uncoordinated opposition.

    Of course you could try for an agreement to support a minority Conservative without coalition. But you would have less power and influence and the Tories could pull out much easier whenever it suited them – reverting the situation to the above.

    That’s why Clegg’s hand was weaker than it looked and why I think he played it well. The coalition agreement did include a lot of Lib Dem policy and not all the Tory policies discarded were unwanted by Cameron.

    Of course how well it went since is another matter. He was unlucky to lose Laws and foolish to replace him with Alexander (one of nature’s bag-carriers in my opinion), not least because he should have gone outside his inner circle to fill the vacancy. And I still think the whole tax and business area may be what causes things to fall apart – and sooner than some people think.

    Frederic Stansfield wonders why a Grand Coalition was not considered. I rather mischievously raised the possibility (to general derision) just before the election; admittedly in a situation where the Lib Dems had enough seats to form a solid coalition with either party. In that case Labour and Tory might cling together to keep out PR.

    Apart from the fact that the resultant fall-out would have probably delivered a Lib Dem overall majority at the subsequent election, I was soon convinced by the reaction that any such Grand Coalition would be emotionally impossible for the majority of both Parties and impossible to deliver.

    Wayne – I notice you haven’t actually denied my accusation. That is assuming you’re not really Roland’s sensitive feminine side. :P

  9. I just watched the ‘ Five days that changed Britain’ prog in full. I thought both Brown and Cameron came across as people one could do business with, while Clegg seemed a bit of a chancer. Would you buy a 2nd hand car from this man? For the first time ever I’m looking forward to the Lib/Dem conference. Is Clegg actually gonna be there?

  10. @ Frederick S

    “I think that defeat has exposed Labour as a party with few ideas on the basis of which to rebuild.”

    As somebody else has pointed out- its the summer and 10 weeks since the changing of the locks. One thing is certain though:

    Labour will have a very young and very talented front bench team after the 2010 conference (aided by the departure stage righ, er, left of several dinosaurs).

    Don’t worry your head about a lack of ideas and practical policies being worked up over the coming 12- 18 months: just in time for my prediction of a coalition meltdown in mid 2012 :-)

  11. @ Colin @ 6:25

    My problem is not the aim, but the second set of pdf files on the page.

  12. @Valerie

    “Is Clegg actually gonna be there?”

    Only for about half of it- he has managed to engineer some DPM duties to get him off that rusty and tricky hook.

    Wise man- but yes, as you point out, a total and utter chancer ;-)

  13. With Labour supporters still, undestandably, in denial, it seems fairly certain to me that they have fallen into the trap that the Tories did after the ’97 defeat, they have convinced themselves that they have people in the old comfort zone capable of taking them to victory in 4 yrs time. What they should do is to take advantage of the Harriet Harman effect and wait until someone untainted by th Blair/Brown years emerges from the ranks, I can think of some serious contenders but they have no chance agaist the old guard who simply morph into what the spin doctors tell ’em they need.
    Whichever Miliband gets in, will have to contend with the resentment of the left and the bitterness of the EB faction. Time for new blood, get over the loss, stop kidding yourselves, and move on.

  14. @ Ken

    I can assure you that no-one I know in the Labour Party are thinking about Brown vs Blair etc, who was left and right and who can carry on the torch for either.

    Within the party their is broad acceptance than all this is for the dustbin and a fresh start is required. No-one is kidding themselves or in denial, and once a new leader is place, will be focussed on the task at hand – protecting those less fortunate who will no doubt pay the price in the cuts to come.

  15. LASZLO

    “My problem is not the aim, but the second set of pdf files on the page.”

    Is being obtuse a way of life for you Laszlo ? ;-)

    Just spell it out in simple terms please.

    What is your objection to the publication of this information?

    Thanks.

  16. Watching the news just now, I was interested to see a young woman being interviewed about the subject of work, a concept she failed to grasp, she was smoking, and in the background was a huge flat screen telly, she said she couldn’t afford to work, it wasn’t worth her while. she merely survived on benefits. She takes tax payers money as a right, I have a slight problem with this, since I pay tax, don’t smoke, and don’t have a huge flat screen telly……….today, I worked for 13 hrs., I feel a little re-calibration is required. :-)

  17. @KEN
    I agree that the current period is one of austerity in all Europe, but it is a mistake to think that a left-wing policy is just a matter of distributing money for free. To be left-wing or left-leaning is a philosophy, a stance in life, that promotes social justice, gender equality, minority rights, freedom of expression, solidarity with those whose rights are violated all over the world. So one can implement or favor a policy of cuts and austerity and be left-wing, as in the case of Dominique Srauss-Kahn and George Papandreou, among others.

  18. @ Ken

    In many senses both Cameron and Clegg could be described as Blairite. It has no definitive meaning, but to me New Labour was about pragmatism. If two opposing parties join together to agree a practical programme that individually prior to the election they would not have supported, this is pragmatism.

    I agree that it may be a while before Labour come back, so the next leader may not be Prime Minister. Like post 1979 it took Michael Foot (admittedly a wrong turn) then Neil Kinnock and John Smith, before TB made it across the line. There will be false dawns, but we will get there. No Government lasts forever!!

    Currently the average man in the street, who is not well off, has no-one really representing them at the moment. I think the effect of the Coalition’s policies will be pulling up the draw bridge of support, leaving the well off okay, but the rest of us finding it tough. This is the group who needs a party to represent them, and creates a real opportunity for Labour

  19. @VIRGILIO…………….You just described a classic Tory., I don’t recognise any of the characteristics you laid out as the intellectual property of the Left.

  20. @GARRY K…………I think that the average man in the street is very well off, I’m one, it depends what you define as well off, everything is relative. I was in India recently and if you think, sitting in the comfort of your British, ( I assume ) home, you are not well off, I suggest you have a quick sanity check.

  21. @Ken

    @VIRGILIO…………….You just described a classic Tory., I don’t recognise any of the characteristics you laid out as the intellectual property of the Left.

    ———————————————————————————

    The difference between between classic right and classic is seen within the Coalition they way it handled the Graduate Tax idea.

    The Tories have pooh poohed the idea by all accounts as they see it’s unfair that better paid Graduates pay more for their degree.

    My Wife got a really good degree, but worked with Dementia patients to improve their condition. Her degree studies helped her to assist vulnerable people in their last years – yours and my parents for instance. Because our Society does not value Old People or Dementia care, her pay was low.

    Many graduates earn more in the City. Why should my Wife pay the same for her degree as a Banker, as she will earn far less, yet arguably do a more valuable job in people terms?

    The right too often rely on markets to value most things – an error in human terms, as market knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

    That is an example why I am proudly lefty-wing

  22. @ Roger Mexico
    Thanks for your explanation. I think you underestimate DC’s determination to be in Govt and his desire for ‘stability’ though. If NC had played hardball I think he could have got more. I believe DC was being honest when he said he thought he was just going to be leader of the opposition: if NC had really played a blinder, he could have got more concessions at that stage.

    @ Valerie
    NC will be wearing hard hat and bullet proof vest, I think.

    @ ken

    “Oh, and by the way, we can’t afford left wing policies, there’s no money left.”
    There are taxes that _could_ be raised that ConDem won’t raise.

  23. @GARRY K……………Your wife is obviously an admirable and caring person, more power to her elbow, caring for the elderly and infirm is a vocational commitment. We will never agree on the political issues of family structure and responsibilities, I suspect, but both my parents were nursed at home by our family network, and both passed away cared for by their family, my mother suffered from dementia and died at 97.
    It’s a matter of conscience and perspective, not right or left, markets are not defined by anything other than value

  24. Interesting to see we have not one, but two “Coalition rift” stories breaking tonight.

    First that it looks like there’ll be a LibDem resolution of opposition to “Free Schools” and “Academies”. And that the local Conservative councillors are opposed to it as well.

    Second there’s the internal Conservative arguments about who was told what about “Labour have offered the LibDems AV without a referendum”, when we now know no such offer was made. The Daily Mail is up in arms over it, but that’s a given.

    Even if they’re groundless, the constant rattle of stories like this do make the Coalition appear to be both beset on all sides, and ready to tear it’s self apart. It will be interesting to see if this moves polling.

  25. @BEN FOLEY…………That’s alright then, easy peasy, tax the wealth creators…………..brilliant !

  26. You know what? IDS may just be the politician of his time.

  27. @Garry K
    “Because our Society does not value Old People or Dementia care, her pay was low.”

    I think this is a use of the word ‘Society’ in the sense that made Mrs Thatcher say ‘There is no such thing as society’.

    Who exactly is this ‘Society’ that values your wife’s efforts lowly?

    It’s very simple. There are relatively more people compared to demand who are willing or able to care for the elderly than to be investment bankers. Therefore the wages will be lower. If you think that supply annd demand has no place in the valuation of jobs, then you are living in a fantasy world. This is not a question of rigt or left, just reality versus fantasy.

  28. @KEN -” I suppose the Politburo always come first.”
    By Politburo I presume you are comparing the Labour Party to The Soviet Communist party?
    Is that fair?
    Or indeed factually correct?

  29. There was speculation that the Milibands were in cahoots & that Ed was there to draw the left away from the other Ed.

    Assuming that did have any bearing on Ed M’s decision to stand, it would be somewhat ironic if he actually wins (& I think he will). ;-)

  30. @ Pete B

    The point I was trying to make is that The Graduate Tax would have been fair because the people who go to Investment Banking and make squillions would pay more tax that those who go into low paid, often public sector jobs.

    In conclusion, education free at the point of delivery, but the more people earn, the more tax they pay – good old fashioned redistribution

  31. VIRGILIO

    ” So one can implement or favor a policy of cuts and austerity and be left-wing,”

    ………and one can “promote social justice, gender equality, minority rights, freedom of expression, solidarity with those whose rights are violated all over the world.” and be “right-wing”.

    These labels have always been crude, and simplistic.

    Blair blurred the edges on the left hand side of the spectrum.
    Cameron is blurring them on the right hand side of the spectrum.

    Political difference can occur in one area-like the economy say-but disappear in another area-like social policy.

    The one thing which annoys me most is self proclaimed “left leaning ” adherants claiming that all lifes highest ideals emanate from them.

    The truth is that fair & just outcomes for people are espoused by the vast majority of politicians. It is the means of implementing them , and comparative success which defines political difference.

    Terms like Authoritarian & Liberal have a much more relevant role in calibrating the political spectrum, than Left & Right.

  32. PETEB

    ” If you think that supply annd demand has no place in the valuation of jobs, then you are living in a fantasy world.”

    …………a fantasy world which some tried to create in reality.

    They all failed-usually with the political leaders who defined “equality & fairness” for their people, being thrown out of their state mansions & palaces by the disillusioned masses

  33. GARRYK

    Re Paying for University Degrees-I agree with Sirena Bergman in the Guardian.

    She says, why not reduce the number of pointless & irrelevant Degree courses, thereby reducing the arbitrary number of people who have been crammed into Universities, thereby raising the standard of the remaining Degree Courses, and reducing the cost of maintaining our universities.

    Is The Guardian a “left wing” newspaper would you say?

  34. Colin

    Who decides what is a pointless course?

    It amuses me that many people seem to believe that universities are deliberately running large numbers of degree courses that don’t teach anything.

    But then everyone disagrees about what they should be teaching.

    If our universities are so crammed with courses and degrees that are worthless and pointless then why do we have so many foreign students coming to this country to attend our universities, often at greater costs to themselves than is charged to UK citizens.

    The reality in my experience is that most degrees are useful, or include useful courses. Like many things in life getting a degree is not all about what type of degree you get but what you do with it and the knowledge you have obtained afterwards.

  35. Garry K

    I understand why many on the left like the idea of the graduate tax but I think it would be poilitically unpopular and would just encourage a lot of people to get any other qualification other than a degree.

    I have just completed an honours degree with the OU but if I was thinking I might end up paying extra tax then I could have done a diploma and many different professional qualifications instead and never got a degree.

    A better plan, if you want to ensure that those that can most afford end up paying, would be to simply have a higher rate of income tax that catches everyone above a certain level. Perhaps even introduce a new band or reduce the income threshold at which the higher rates are paid.

    The disadvantage of this is that those that haven’t been to university end up subsidising those that do but the advantage is that the cost is diluted across many more tax payers.

    However, we are happy to accept the principle in the NHS that those that aren’t sick during their life subsidise the care of those people that have lifelong problems, so why should we balk at the idea of a free universal education service to the age of 21 paid through general taxation?

  36. @ Colin

    Is The Guardian a “left wing” newspaper would you say?

    ————————————————————————————-

    It used to be, however I am not sure any more……

  37. @Colin “Terms like Authoritarian & Liberal”

    That would actually be- correctly in the binary sense- authoritarianism and libertarianism.

    Clegg made it clear that the LD’s were a ‘liberal’ party NOT a Libertarian party- that being the sort of chuff you get emanating from backwoods places like the IEA and ASI.

    The binary de jour (indeed decade) however is

    Communitarianism Vs Individualism (sorry Colin- this is politics and ideas and you can get away from those ‘isms- however much you’d personally like to strip away critical and detailed thinking from these debates or believe that we are at the ‘end of history’ (that misnomer was settled several years ago…) .

    History is on the side of the former and Cameron is desperate to audaciously (and without substantive intellectually underpinning other than Phil Blonds ‘red Tory’) grasp it for his project in much the way Blair did with Amitai Etzioni and also Will Hutton’s stakeholder capitalism in 1995- 1998 (before getting clunking fisted)

    But the massed ranks of the tea party‘esque Tories (personified by Osborne and Davis) are not going to let him- as also suggested by Mike Smithson at PB yesterday (who thinks it will be the Tories who crack first rather than the LD’s and has laid bets to that effect).

    David Milliband has been a paid up Communitarian since the mid 1990’s…… ;-)

  38. Garry K

    I understand why many on the left like the idea of the graduate tax but I think it would be poilitically unpopular and would just encourage a lot of people to get any other qualification other than a degree.

    I have just completed an honours degree with the OU but if I was thinking I might end up paying extra tax then I could have done a diploma and many different professional qualifications instead and never got a degree.

    A better plan, if you want to ensure that those that can most afford end up paying, would be to simply have a higher rate of income tax that catches everyone above a certain level. Perhaps even introduce a new band or reduce the income threshold at which the higher rates are paid.

    The disadvantage of this is that those that haven’t been to university end up subsidising those that do but the advantage is that the cost is diluted across many more tax payers.

    We are happy to accept the principle in the NHS that those that aren’t sick during their life subsidise the care of those people that have lifelong problems, so why should we balk at the idea of a free universal education service to the age of 21 paid through general taxation?

  39. @ ken @BEN FOLEY…………

    “That’s alright then, easy peasy, tax the wealth creators…………..brilliant !”

    No, not the wealth creaters, just their bosses and the parasites that own the business ;-)

    (I’m not trying to wind you up, or start an argument, just point out that different people view the “wealth creators” as being a different part of the workforce).

  40. SUE

    “You know what? IDS may just be the politician of his time”

    ;-)

    Yes-he has been working on it for a very long time.

    Caveats:-

    If they really intend to do it ( merge welfare benefit & personal taxation) they MUST :-
    * Get GO to concede there is an upfront cost to this , with payback later.
    * Make ABSOLUTELY certain , that a more simple system is not a cruder system in which huge gaps open up, through which the deserving fall.
    * Take their time over it & get it RIGHT.

    If they do all these things , it could be the central plank in a transformative shift in attitudes to welfare & work in this country. It’s spin off would be into educational achievement, economic growth, social cohesion, child welfare, health outcomes…….you name it.

    But it could be an almighty cock-up if it is botched.

  41. COLIN

    I’m fairly pessimistic about the IDS’s reforms. ‘Simplifying’ tax and benefits always sounds like a positive thing but is incredibly difficult to do without causing imbalances / unfair disadvantage to certain low income groups. Thats the reason the current system is so complex.

    Change for changes sake is not always change for the better.

    A lot of the coalitions plans hinge on the idea that people who are currently on benefits will be moved off benefits and into work. Thats going to be harder to achieve than people think, especially in the northern regions which are unlikely to enjoy the same level of growth/recovery as the south and London.

  42. ROB

    “That would actually be- correctly in the binary sense- authoritarianism and libertarianism. ”

    Actually, I think I meant what I said.

    “The binary de jour (indeed decade) however is
    Communitarianism Vs Individualism ”

    Is it?

    Insofar as I understand what those terms mean in the context you use them, I I do not agree that they are mutually exclusive. ( as I have already said to you)
    But of course it depends what one means by the two words-particularly “individualism”.

    As you use it, it sounds like a proxy for “selfishness” , or naked “self interest” . If that is what you mean by it-I would dislike it too-fortunately I see no sign of it in DC or the policies he espouses.

  43. GARY

    I agree with your first para.

    I do not agree that this is “Change for changes sake “. It is -as you must know- a central plank in welfare to work & social policy.

    So far as “Thats going to be harder to achieve than people think, “-well of course. Who would think otherwise?
    But that’s what these guys are there for-to achieve it.

    That’s why I voted for them. I don’t want to hear now that it’s all “too difficult”

  44. “The one thing which annoys me most is self proclaimed “left leaning ” adherants claiming that all lifes highest ideals emanate from them.”

    “social justice, gender equality, minority rights, freedom of expression,”

    Hmmmmm, you see this is where I struggle. You see, for me everything about politics is seen through the prism of history. Historically almost every piece of legislation aiming to further the above goals came from a left leaning government. Furthermore they were almost always opposed by right leaning oppositions.

    This is not partisan, but absolute fact and of course there are exceptions, but put simply, without the formation of a Labour Party, the goals listed would not be a part of government at all. It is why the party was created.

    It would be totally ridiculous to say that those within right leaning parties never hold those goals dear, they have simply rarely found them to be matters for legislation.

  45. COLIN

    I can understand your optimism – that tends to be the opinion of people post election after a new government takes over and starts to suggest reform.

    The coalition has many radical plans. But how many of them will disappoint? How many won’t go far enough for their own supporters and how many will cause public outcry and be dropped? Time will only tell.

    In some ways I feel that Cameron is playing the ‘hope’ card now and raising expectations with all the radical announcements – something he carefully avoided during the election.

    Quite a turnaround and politically dangerous as the public may well punish a government that promises the earth and starts out with energy and vision but fails to deliver due to division, opposition and controversy.

    Interesting times.

  46. Well Rob-it’s Saturday morning & I was going out-but its raining so what the hell.

    Can’t be talking about stuff if you haven’t a clue what it means.

    So-god help me-off to Wiki on Communitarianism”

    As I thought, by the time I got to stuff like this :-

    “2.That this relativism leads necessarily to a re-endorsement of the status quo in international politics, and
    3.That such a position relies upon a discredited ontological argument that posits the foundational status of the community ”

    …my brain had shut down.

    I really hate this sot of political theory waffle.

    Anyway-from what I can tell it has the feel of Big Society about it…..social enterprises etc. But it also has an authoritarian feel about it too.

    Why do these people always have to construct ideas in such stark opposition to something else. The world isn’t about “opposits” all the time-not in real people’s lives .

  47. @ Gary

    A Graduate Tax would not affect you, as with the Open University you pay yourself, therefore would be exempt from it.

    If this over time encourages more people to distance learn, great, as it would reduce pressure on conventional Universities ( I have done OU study btw, and they are fantastic)

    I agree a really good solution to many things would having top earners pay more tax (by abolishing the NI Ceiling for instance). However, this Coalition would never do that in million years, a their buddies in the city would disapprove.
    Abolishing the NI ceiling would stop it being regressive too. The Conservatives don’t mind regressive one bit.

    Well done on the Degree, I know myself the work involved with working as well as studying. You should be proud of yourself.

  48. Colin

    Totally agree with your comment at 9:40. Can someone please print it out and put it up on IDS’s and Osborne’s office walls? :D

    The only things I would add are:

    * Learn from the mistakes and build on the successes of the tax credits system. In particular, the famous workforce flexibility means people will have complicated earnings histories.

    * Remember the people running it are front line staff too. I don’t mean the consultant-types swanning spraying out buzzwords but the people dealing with the clients day to day. Get people who will be proud to do a difficult and complex job well and get enough of them.

    * Follow the Dutch model of large software development. Split it into smaller phases and get medium-large local companies to do them (ie don’t throw multi-billions at EDS and wait for it to fall down).

    * Don’t let the civil servants change the specs all the time to prove they’re doing something and don’t let the politicians change it all the time because of some “scandal” they saw in the Daily Mail

  49. Re : IDS.

    I have said many times on this very forum, that of all the current Tories, I trusted him most to announce a plan that he genuinely believe would address the problems of the benefit culture. He has devoted his life since leading his party to solving this problem, and he hasn’t done it from a nice comfy Westminster office, but from estates all over the UK.

    If one of the Labour leaders had announced a similar scheme, I would be voting for them without question and would believe them to be radical, forward thinking and innovative. The benefits system IS complicated, often unfair, frightening, confusing and it is absolutely true that many engage in work simply for the pride it brings them, not because they earn a single penny from the endeavour.

    Of course there are caveats and this is where the Tories may well define themselves.

    A single combined payment must provide a credible income.

    This must not be a fig leaf for swingeing cuts if it is to work.

    The system in itself should be the carrot, there should be no need for sticks.

    None should be excluded.

    If the above is without compromise, I could imagine his system radically altering our society. If it is watered down or perceived to be unfair or set up without the support it will undoubtedly need, it will be the Iraq or 10p tax fiasco of this government.

    If I were a prominent Labour person now, I’d cautiously welcome an innovative solution and offer it some support. If GO started to adulterate it, compromise it, I would seize the policy and ensure the electorate it would not be so under Labour

  50. @COSMO
    I am not going to let this small issue drop. Because it encapsulates the ridiculous attitudes oft displayed by Labour supporters.
    A poster makes a point that the UK could have had 3 unelected Labour PMs on the trot. You raise Major and Home. No one disputes these two walked into the job due to circumstances at the time, but 30 years apart.
    If you and others cannot see a big difference between 30 odd years separating this non elected PM issue on the one hand and 3 on the trot on the other hand, then you should go to Specsavers and a psychiatrist. You top it of by trying to make the matter some silly tit fot tat thing, and it isn’t.

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