Weekend polls

YouGov in the Sunday Times have topline voting intentions of CON 42%, LAB 37%, LDEM 12%. It also has what I think are the first questions on William Hague’s statement – the balance of opinion comes down strongly on Hague’s side on whether he is telling the truth or not (46% think he is, 12% think he isn’t) and whether he was correct to release his personal statement (59% think he was, 17% that he wasn’t). However, on the question of whether the initial decision to share a room with his advisor was an error of judgement, the public are more evenly divided – 43% think it was an error, 42% think it was not.

There is also a YouGov poll in the Scottish Mail on Sunday. Holyrood constitutency voting intentions there are CON 19%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, SNP 29%. Holyrood regional voting stands at CON 15%, LAB 36%, LDEM 12%, SNP 26%. Note that the write-up in the Herald says the poll was conducted a month ago. I guess they’ve got the dates wrong there, and it was actually carried out this week – I’ll confirm when I get in the office on Monday.

As we get close to the Pope’s visit to Britain this month, there are also two polls asking questions about it. A poll for the Tablet by MORI found 25% supported the visit, 11% opposed it with 63% having no strong view. 29% of Catholics interviewed said they were likely to go to one of the events during the Pope’s visit.

Asked about the Catholic church in general 49% had a positive view about the Catholic church having strong moral views. 41% agreed it was a force for good, with 17% disagreeing (this was asked as a split sample – the other half of respondents were asked about religion in general, where 52% thought religion was a force for good, and 22% a force for bad. On the specific issue of the child abuse scandal, 55% thought the Catholic church had responded badly, only 11% thought they had dealt with th

MORI also tested if people could identify Pope Benedict – 65% correct identified a photo of him. This compared to 50% who recognised Rowan Williams, 73% Fabio Capello, 86% Simon Cowell, 90% David Cameron and 95% Prince Charles.

There was also a ComRes poll on the visit for Theos. ComRes asked if people agreed or disagreed with 12 statements taken from the Pope’s encyclical letter, Caritas in Veritate. In almost every case people overwhelmingly agreed, largely one suspects because they were pretty bland, inoffensive, non-religious statements, such as “We must prioritise the goal of access to steady employment for everyone” or “The natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure”. The only statement that people disagreed with was the sole one to mention god: “Poverty is often produced by a rejection of God’s love”, which 81% of people disagreed with.

Despite agreeing with most of the statements he made, people were broadly negative towards whether or not the Pope should comment on world issues. Only 18% thought he responded wisely to issued (49% disagreed), 40% said they generally disagreed with the Pope’s views (20% disagreed) and 41% thought the Pope should not speak out on social and political issues (36% disagreed). I suspect the apparent disconnect between these two banks of questions is down to people associating the Pope with his views on things like abortion, homosexuality, contraception and the church’s child abuse scandal, rather than his views on the environment and the economy.


288 Responses to “Weekend polls”

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  1. “I agree. Although I was taken to Sunday school almost every week of my life from aged 4 to 12, I am not religeous.”

    I went to sunday school too (though not for as long – they didn’t like me drawing pictures of the devil which was far more interesting!)

    I also grew up in house where my parents smoked and even though statistics show that I am much more likely to smoke as a result – i don’t.

    All that proves is that not everyone is the same and not everyone will be ‘indoctrinated’ into smoking / religion. However, exposure at a young age is still far more likely to make you religious than non-exposure.

    I’m sure I’m now going to to get a lot of angry people sounding off at me about comparing religion to nicotine addition.

  2. @ Amber Star

    “Some elements of early Quantuum were leveraged to produce a ‘quantum’ processor. I see you acknowledge that this is not quantuum per se by using ‘ ‘ around quantum.”

    Quantum is often abused as meaning something large, as in quatntum leap when the opposite is the case. It should be used to refer to a discrete amount, such as the energy levels within the electron structure of an atom.

    Quantum computers are quantum mechanical systems that may be described by a wavefunction. When a measurement is made on the system, the wavefunction collapses – like opening Shrodingers’s box to find either a cat or an expired cat and in this process effectively performing very large numbers of simultaneous calculations simultaneously. They are ideally suited to particular types of computational tasks.

  3. @Tonyotim
    Your comments about faith schools are helpful as I have viewed them as simply indoctrinating the pupils in the particular religion. But clearly this view is incorrect.

  4. “Some elements of early Quantuum were leveraged to produce a ‘quantum’ processor. I see you acknowledge that this is not quantuum per se by using ‘ ‘ around quantum.”

    The principles of quantum mechanics have also been used to design the transitor circuitry used in (non-quantum) microprocessors that feature in a wide range of consumer electronics devices, including the computer that I am am writing this message on.

    Confusing it is.

  5. @ Gary,

    I agree, my comment about not being indoctrinated was a personal anecdote & not evidence based at all.
    8-)

  6. GARY

    A great post.

    I agree with it allmost all of it.

    Evolution has been an interest of mine for a long time , and I have some wonderful books on the only subject which is worth a candle when you get down to it-where living things came from.

    Some while back, I made the mistake -on an entirely different type of forum-of trying to exchange logic & knowledge with a committed adherant of Creationism, and it’s ofshoot, Intelligent Design.

    After some weeks, I gave up when I established that this chap lived close to one of the greatest Paleontological Museum collections in the USA, but had not visited it-and yet constantly refered to “Creation Museums” to make his case.

    Just on “Faith Schools” one of my granddaughters went to a CoE primary school. Her brother still does. It teaches the “Christian ethos” to children who are members of a practicing christian home, and children of other faith homes.

    It is a fantastic school producing well educated, well disciplined & happy students.
    Judging by the mix of parents at the school gates, most of the children are Sikhs, whose new temple is being built next door to the school.

  7. @Mike N,

    If that were the case, the question I think you would have to ask yourself is why is it in many parts of the country, that Muslim (And other faiths)parents chose to send their children to Catholic schools? I know that is certainly true in my own area.

    They see it is not as indoctrination in catholicism (which would surely not be desirable) but rather education that comes from a value base similar enough to their own to be a desirable alternative.

  8. Quantum computers – somewhat (actually a lot) out of my depth here, but I vaguely recall reading a few years ago about these in the context that the computing could be undertaken or might occur in another dimension.

    I’ll have to see if I can fnd it again.

    @Amber – re your comments about time. There is an argument that time per se does not exist and that it is an illusion. I recall reading in an issue of American Scientist (I think that was its name) several years ago that leading scientists were seeking input from philosophers to address (resolve?) the issue.

  9. @GARY
    You have much in common with Tony Blair. A Labourite, but also a war monger. For if you believe Yorkshire would become part of The Northern & Caledonian Workers Paradise, without the most appallingly bloody civil war, you know nothing of Yorkshire. You have taken South Yorks and turned it into the “whole of Yorkshire”. I think East Yorks and North Yorks not to mention parts of West Yorks would have a great deal to say about to your viewpoint.

  10. @ Zeph

    Yes, I agree – pure science thinking often has practical uses. I am very interested in both quantuum theory & its use in computing – but it is a long road trying to understand it all.

    Are you talking about energy waves from quarks or have I lost the plot? 8-)

  11. “Whilst I think there is a lot of weight to what you are saying, I think you come close to making a (IMO) mistaken assumption that Education (and for that matter Science) can be neutral, objective and value-free – it can’t because we as human beings can’t, however much we try. ”

    I know what you mean – but I actually think thats what we should be striving for. Thats not to say we shouldn’t teach morality but there is a wide range of moral and pilosphical isses that can be discussed without necessarily being biased. Allowing people to come to their own value judgements through education is pretty powerful. It means people reading, accumulating knowledge and thinking for themselves rather than regurgitating what they have been told.

    “I think there’s therefore an argument that in order to avoid “indoctrination” or manipulation, the best way to do this is for the educational establishment to be explicit about their values and views in order that they may be held up to question.”

    I’d rather establishments were neutral. I’m not necessarily against openness about peoples’ opinions but that opens up a whole can of worms in itself. If every teacher had to publish their religion and political persuasion how would that affect schooling? How many teachers might be put off entering the profession?

    “IMO some faith-based schools do this better than secular establishments. I say this from experience of working with clients in a Catholic High School, who were very far from being indoctinated, but able to question what they were being taught about religion and take it or leave it for themselves.”

    I’m very glad to hear it. I just don’t understand why your high school has to have the word Catholic before its name. If it gives a good education and doesn’t indoctrinate then why should it even be a church school?

    Ultimately, what is the point of church schools? Why are churches interested in schooling? Shouldn’t they be concentrating on churches. praying etc rather than setting up or running schools?

    There will always be suspicion of indoctrination, whether it is true or not, as long as the church has any active role in schooling.

    “In order to practice what I preach, I should point out that I am a Christian, but not a creationist.”

    Fair enough – and as you’ve probably gathered from my previous posts I am an atheist socialist scientist.

  12. @Tonyotim
    I’ve learned someting today. Thanks

  13. @ Mike N

    Time is amazing, you begin to study it & realise you do not have enough time for your studies; but you should have – because time could be an imaginary, human construct therefore perhaps you can just imagine some more of it so that you have enough! Oh, the irony. ;-)

  14. “The principles of quantum mechanics have also been used to design the transitor circuitry used in (non-quantum) microprocessors that feature in a wide range of consumer electronics devices, including the computer that I am am writing this message on.”

    Thats absolutely right. For example, the humble hard drive uses quantum mechanics by exploiting Giant Magneto-Resistance.

  15. Why do left wingers take themselves and their opinions so seriously? Some of you really are the most pretentious bunch I have ever heard off. My daughter went to C of E schools from 5 to 12 and my son went to same from 5 to 18. Neither have been damaged by the experience, on the contrary they received the best state education available anywhere in England.

  16. Mike B
    from ages back
    VA is Voluntary Aided. The ‘voluntary’ is the incorporation of church schools into the state education system. The Aided bit is that the SoS picks up all the costs (95% are staff costs) although the staff are employed by the Governing Body, not the Local Authority.

    VC is voluntary controlled. The same as VA only the staff are Local Authority employed. This distinction could be important in times of disputes.

    As I said in my post, I never really got to the bottom of what would happen if a C of E school was closed and the land sold for housing or something. It must have happened quite a lot since the 1944 Act (Rab Butler), which also lays down that a daily act of worship shall be held (but does not tell one who to worship IIRC).

    Who gets the dosh on closure -I don’t know.

  17. @Amber
    Yes, indeed.

    Youngsters have so much time.
    The older one gets the quicker time flies.

  18. ROLAND

    “You have much in common with Tony Blair. A Labourite, but also a war monger. ”

    Lol – I nearly fell off my chair at that… :-)

    “For if you believe Yorkshire would become part of The Northern & Caledonian Workers Paradise, without the most appallingly bloody civil war, you know nothing of Yorkshire.”

    You’re right – it was too much to ask.

    “You have taken South Yorks and turned it into the “whole of Yorkshire”. I think East Yorks and North Yorks not to mention parts of West Yorks would have a great deal to say about to your viewpoint.”

    Please don’t start marching on Wakefield just yet!! It was only an idea…and it was Ambers idea – not mine (points and runs away hurriedly away like a big girls blouse….)

  19. @Roland

    “Why do left wingers take themselves and their opinions so seriously?”

    Lol.

    Pot, kettle, black

  20. @ Roland & Gary

    LOL :-) No bloody, civil war please. We could settle it with a nice game of Scrabble (old rules, no proper nouns instead).

    As soon as I wrote that, I imagined a bloody, civil war being fought over which Scrabble rules were used in the avoidance of a civil war. 8-)

  21. @MIKE N
    66.6% of mine are tongue in cheek wind ups.

  22. ‘@Mike N,
    If that were the case, the question I think you would have to ask yourself is why is it in many parts of the country, that Muslim (And other faiths)parents chose to send their children to Catholic schools? I know that is certainly true in my own area.’

    Because
    a) there are very few Muslim schools
    b) the key aspect to academic success is actually not the school but home background. Parents don’t know that but think its the school. Middle class parents send kids to middle class schools (in this case religious).

    And yes, home background is across the board in western countries the key determinant in academic success, able to be measured in many ways – kind of talk in home, parental education, type of films watched, sorts of excursions, amount of books actively read… There are far too many academic surveys proving this so please dont challenge it you are wasting your time

  23. @Roland
    “66.6% of mine are tongue in cheek wind ups.”

    yes, and you’re really good at it. :-)

  24. I wouldn’t like to see the spread of schools in the UK that are actively against the teaching of science, evolution, sex education, etc. I think that for the good of our society all young people should have the opportunity to learn about these topics and be able to make up their own minds about how they should live their lives.

    @ Mike N
    It’s Scientific American. A good publication that helps to debunk a lot of the commonly held myths. The Americans publish a large number of scienctific papers despite the effect of creationism on their education system. Britiain is often considered to punch above its weight in this respect, but

    @ Amber
    “Are you talking about energy waves from quarks or have I lost the plot?”

    You’re doing just fine. It is an immature and speciailist field that I don’t work in, and I could probably do with picking up a book on the subject. From my limited understanding:

    A quantum computer would consist of some matter that can exist in different quantum states (or qubits) just as components of a non-quantum computer components exist in one of two states (or bits) 0 or 1. For instance this could be a paricle with different discrete spin states. But as quarks are sub-atomic particles I don’t see how they could be uses for this purpose.

    Quantum computation would involve the initialisation, superposition, entanglement and collapse of the quantum particles. Basically setting them up for the calculation, governing how they combine with one another, and reading out the results.

    By perform operations on multiple qubits at the same time in parallel quantum computing would speed up certain types of calculation.

  25. Uh-oh, feel like I’ve walked into the wrong website.

    Has UKPR left a forwarding address?

    This thread really needs a trend-changing poll….. :lol:

  26. It seems from the boring w/e political poll that the much vaunted Hague story and indeed the 2nd bite of the Coulson cherry has not gained any traction at all.
    As predicted by silly old me. The public even seem to feel sorry for Hague. (I don’t, I have lost all faith in the man.)
    Unsurprisingly in view of AWs largest preponderance of clients at present, Richard Dannatts story in the Telegraph gets no mention whatever. It is now in the open, that British service people were endangered, wounded and killed as a result of the Brown/Blair feud. I have stated this several times, but now the then serving Chief of Army Staff has said it in a national newspaper. An exercise in “Labour Values” about such a serious dereliction might make a change from this interminable leadership contest.

  27. @Jack

    “b) the key aspect to academic success is actually not the school but home background. Parents don’t know that but think its the school. Middle class parents send kids to middle class schools (in this case religious).”

    Two out of the three catholic high schools in Edinburgh sit in the more deprived parts of the city and could in way, shape or form be described as middle class.

    Whilst in general it is true that home situation is a much greater determinor of educational outcome than school establishment, it is not universally true for every child and young person and I have worked with many children who have actually benefitted hugely from changing schools and (regrettably) a few who despite having a suppirtive home environment and attending a “good” school have still gone off the rails.

  28. @ Zeph

    It’s no wonder economics doesn’t make any sense really :)

  29. @Nobody in particular

    The current MSM consensus is that the LibDem vote is collapsing and LibDem voters are returning to the two-party fold, (chastising themselves with birch-twigs and mortifying the flesh for the CONs, on bended Anne Summers knees and looking up with mouth open for the LABs). This may well happen but I’d like to see some proof – specifically, do we have an in-the-doodoo metric for the LIBs? To that end, I have gone thru Anthony’s poll figures for 87-92,92-97,97-01,01-05,05-10 and, for every poll number, worked out when was the last time the LIBs scored that number prior to the Coalition. The results are as follows:

    The In-The-Doodoo-Meter (LIBs)

    04 (1989/8/21, MORI)
    05 (1990/6/9, ICM)
    06 (1990/4/24, MORI)
    07 (1989/11/1, Gallup)
    08 (1990/9/8, ICM)
    09 (1997/4/4, MORI)
    10 (1997/9/8, ICM)
    11 (2008/12/11, Ipsos-MORI)
    12 (2009/12/4, Opinium)
    13 (2009/12/24, Opinium)
    14 (2010/2/13, Opinium)
    15 (2010/3/22, Opinium)
    16 (2010/4/10, ComRes)
    17 (2010/4/12, Opinium)
    18 (2010/4/14, YouGov)
    19 (2010/4/12, ComRes)
    20 (2010/4/13, YouGov)
    21 (2010/4/13, ComRes)
    22 (2010/4/15, YouGov)
    23 (2010/4/23, Ipsos-MORI)
    24 (2010/5/4, YouGov)
    25 (2010/5/1, ComRes)
    26 (2010/5/5, ICM)
    27 (2010/5/5, Ipsos-MORI)
    28 (2010/5/5, ComRes)
    29 (2010/5/5, Angus Reid)
    30 (2010/5/1, BPIX)
    31 (2010/4/28, YouGov)
    32 (2010/4/30, Harris)
    33 (2010/4/20, Angus Reid)
    34 (2010/4/20, YouGov)

    So the last time LIB scored 9% was in a MORI poll on 1997/4/4, the last time LIB scored 11% was in an Ipsos-MORI poll on 2008/12/11, and so on.

    So how deep in the doodoo are the LIBs?
    From this we can see that the LIBs are back around their 2008/2009 poll levels: kinda up to their ankles. If they start polling 10’s and 9’s, then back to 1997 levels: up to their waists. If they start polling 8’s, 7’s or 6’s, then they’re back to 1989/1990 levels, so up to their chest. Below that it’s gargling horrible.

    Incidentally, this may explain the lack of panic from the LIBs and the disconnect between LIB perception and CON/LAB perception. CON/LAB think “Hey: they’re polling 12/11% – that’s terrible! They must be scared witless!”. LIBs are thinking “Hey; we’re polling at 2008/2009 levels and we’re IN GOVERNMENT! F*** YEAH! PAAART-AAAAY!” and swinging from the chandeliers like Gremlins.

    Hope that helps, regards, Martyn

    PS: I’ve omitted the 80’s Gallup polls that gave fractional shares (e.g. 7.5%) on the grounds I couldn’t stop giggling at the spurious accuracy.
    PS2: If anybody wants a similar exercise done for LAB and CON, I promise I’ll give it the same commitment as a LAB manifesto promise on AV.

  30. Must pass on the Australian politics headline–

    ‘Crook Supports Abbott’…

    Okay; the semi independent ‘Crook’ has decided to support the Conservative party there (led by Abbott). Wasn’t it more fun when you didn’t know…

    Looks like the real independents are deciding in the next day or two. Labor is still more likely at the moment to ‘win’…

  31. @ROLAND HAINES

    You said “…you know nothing of Yorkshire. You have taken South Yorks and turned it into the “whole of Yorkshire”. I think East Yorks and North Yorks not to mention parts of West Yorks would have a great deal to say about to your viewpoint…”

    Er, East Yorkshire? Don’t you mean the East Riding (of Yorkshire)?… :-) :-) :-)

    Regards, martyn

  32. Martyn
    Thanks for the tonic. I think that after Sept 25th we will see a row-back on AV.

  33. @MARTYN
    The buses are “East Yorks” and the old regiment prior to all the amalgamations were the The East Yorks, so East Yorks is good enough for me.
    However, the smart botty answer is as follows; Riding is an Anglo Saxon word meaning division of 3. Therefore now there are four, east, west, south and north, the word Riding is redundant.

  34. @MARTYN
    Good post at 4.14. Informative and entertaining. I particularly liked the ‘swinging from the chandeliers like Gremlins’ bit.

  35. @Roland

    Really shouldn’t need to explain this by now… But effects of Coulson/Hague won’t show up till later this week/the weekend. Because of the combination of publishing lag, and the time it takes for a story to settle in to public opinion. Remember how this worked during the campaign?

    Coincidently, anyone noticed that the Government line has gone from “We back Coulson entirely” to “The investigation is an operational matter for the Metropolitan Police Force and we will not comment” this afternoon?

  36. @Roland Haine,
    yes Roland, you were right about the Hague story although I feel that he is on borrowed time.However the coulson affair seems to be gaining traction by the hour.

  37. Martyn,

    Your work on the LDs was most informative- thankyou

    May I trouble you with a few queries? I note the YG lowest on your list was an 18% in April ’10 (forgive me If I have read it incorrectly).

    What was YG’s lowest before that?

    It is just that I notice a lot of Opinium’s on it… Your Gallups’ Mori’s and ICM’s I follow but if you could claer up YG’s lowest it would be great.

    Entirely anecdotally but with some previous calculations by myelf, I read a YG 18 as a +1 on a MORI or a +2 on an AR, notwithstanding that YG’s may/maynot be closer to the mark. Put simply, based on preponderance to give a higher tally for others among sey COMRES and MORI, are we to read these run of 12%s by YG as being lsightly lower, if they were polls with another polling company? I say this with particulr attention being paid to the ‘others’

    ICM/YG tend to have a 1-2% lower score for others, thus leaving more to spread around the big guys..

    The other online companies tend to give ‘others’ and even bigger % but they have all hit the dirt since May ’10.

    Apoligies for any convolution, I hope my request makes sense.

  38. @ Zeph

    Quantuum theory, I can almost follow. When engineers actually use areas of quantum for practical purposes, I do have a feeling of awe.

    I work in the semi-con industry, in finance (obviously not engineering!) I try really hard to understand what the ‘boffins’ are up to but it’s really hard.

    Mind you, they say the same about finance. But they are being funny. I could teach these guys finance in a week; it would take me many years to really understand what they do – & I doubt I could ever catch up with them.

    So thanks for discussing this subject with me. There’s not many who would try. 8-)

  39. Roland,

    Your 3.24pm was a goo dpost. And I agree with it. It will be nice to get back to ‘judging’ the man by his ministerial brief and not how he wears his briefs.

    Coulson, could be clear on technicality, if Roger Mexico’s post is anything to go by a day or two ago.His potential misdemeanor was at the very least of a more relevant nature.

  40. @ Roland

    Why do left wingers take themselves and their opinions so seriously? Some of you really are the most pretentious bunch I have ever heard of.
    ————————————————-
    Pretentious? Moi? 8-)

  41. JAY BLANC
    Its about time you learned that however much you personally get an erotic thrill from potential Tory embarrassment, the polls rarely move as a result of them. I really cannot be bothered to argue about this kind of thing, but the Met have access to everybody’s mobile phone calls if they want them, so where is the story? What will they investigate? If you believe that the unpopularity of G Brown finished the last lot and you do, how did they survive with the huge stinks they created so very many times? Many of those stinks were were very embarrassing for Labour, this Coulson thing will come to nothing. It is only pursued because Labour are not being listened to on any other issue.

  42. Now that the Scotland poll is on YG’s website and verified hopefully we will have some propoer analysis of it.

    If I am not mistaken, (please correct me if I am), this is by far and away Labour’s best ever polling in a YouGov constituency vote… (39%)

    Also, it is by far away the reds record score in the regional vote under s YG poll (36%).

    Historically, YG poll very accurately in the parliament/assembly elections so this must surely be the first clear sign that 5 MAy 2010 is going to be a good night for reds…

    I still think even at this stage, that if things went their way they could carve out a majority.

  43. @Martyn “@Nobody in particular”

    Great post – but somewhat disappointing to see things ain’t so bad for the LDs as many here (including me) hoped.

  44. On the YG Scotland poll. That is the lowest YG have ever had yellows in the Scotland constiuency vote. It is at its joint lowest with TNS_BMRB but they are normally a bit skeewif anyways (a bit too kind historically to the red vote).

  45. Quite strident conservative backbencher opposition to the PVC Bill (Alternative Vote Referendum) so far in it’s second reading.

  46. The Constitutional Reform Select Committee chair is also very negative. “Denied us any adequate opportunity to conduct scrutiny”

  47. A point of some interest to those paying attention to the seat reduction bill, Irish Nationalists are quite favourably disposed towards a seat reduction for NI. We are likely to drop from 18 to 15 and both Sinn Féin and the SDLP think that is a good thing, since it weakens the Union.

    Can anyone tell me whether the SNP or Plaid have made similar arguments?

  48. It starts to look from these Backbencher comments, lead not in the least by David Davies making a strident defence of FPTP, that the Conservatives will face a problem whipping their party to vote for the PVC Bill. Should Labour be able to whip a vote against on grounds of opposing the seat reduction, this makes it a lot more interesting!

  49. @Roland – “It seems from the boring w/e political poll that the much vaunted Hague story and indeed the 2nd bite of the Coulson cherry has not gained any traction at all.”

    This isn’t the entire story. Among Lib Dem peers and MPs Coulson has had a major impact, with many of them now saying it’s a test of the Lib Dem role in the coalition that Cameron sacks him. This is going to be the biggest part of this story.

    As I said earlier, the public won’t be directly swayed by this, but it affects the overall mood of the government, and in time these things build up unless the momentum is shifted by other things.

    Incidentally, guess who persuaded cameron to hire Coulson? Step forward the man with the fabled and visionary judgement, none other than William Hague… He’s also apparently told friends he would love to retire to Montana and run a ranch. Life mirroring art?

    I would say Roland, that I agree entirely with your comments on funding and equipping the war(s). I’m not a pacifist, but in general I object to war unless it is absolutely unavoidable. However, once my country has gone to war, whether or not I agree with the decision, I would expect any government to prosecute that war with extreme and total commitment. It’s the least we can do for the people we command to fight for us.

  50. Watched some of the Commons session and it looked like Clegg was taking fire from all corners…

    Roland, I think you could be underestimating the potential damaging effect of the Coulson stories, but it’s probably good news for William Hague, as the media will turn their gaze from him to the NOTW allegations.

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