ICM have a new poll out in tomorrow’s Guardian showing Labour in the lead. Topline figures, with changes from ICM’s last poll a month ago, are CON 35%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 18%(nc). The poll was conducted directly after Ed Miliband’s conference speech, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This is the lowest any poll from any company has put the Conservatives since the general election, though that’s probably connected to the high Liberal Democrat score. There is a significant spread in Lib Dem support across different pollsters – YouGov tend to show them between 12-14%, the most recent polls from Populus, MORI and ComRes all had the Lib Dems at 14-15%, ICM have them steady up at 18%.

In other findings, concerns about the spending cuts continue to creep upwards 43% said they thought cuts had gone too far as opposed to 37% who think the balance is about right, slightly less supportive since than in July. However, the coalition continues to be trusted more on the economy than Labour – 50% think they are best to ensure a prosperous future compared to 31% for Labour.

On Ed Miliband, 28% think he will move the Labour party to the left, 41% think he will keep it in the centre and 8% think he will move it rightwards.

A final intriguing point was ICM’s question on what people would like to happen at the next election. The overall picture was that 40% wanted a Conservative led government (19% on their own, 21% with the Lib Dems), 39% a Labour led government (26% on their own, 13% with the Lib Dems). The interesting bit was that amongst Conservative voters only 50% wanted the Conservatives on their own, 41% prefered a Con-LD coalition. In contrast, when YouGov have asked the same question they have found 72% of Conservatives would prefer the party to rule alone, 25% prefer the Con-LD coalition.


317 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – 35/37/18”

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  1. @Colin – “She is a loose cannon-with a mouth bigger than her brain.”

    My God! She has a brain?

  2. Not sure if anyone has seen it, but theres a new ComRes poll out:

    Con 39 +2
    Lab 36 +1
    Lib 15 unchanged

    Conducted between 29 Sep and 1 Oct.

  3. Gracious, I only just noticed the UKPR average on the right.

    Con 39
    Lab 38
    Lib 14

    Labour short by 9 seats.

    We’ve all argued til the cows come home that an average is probably the most accurate picture, but it tends to be a week or two behind.

    I hadn’t realised it had actually narrowed that far.

    Good job there’s no Angus Reid now to skew things ;)

  4. @BILLY BOB
    I can’t work out if you’re offended or amused by my anagram of Nadine Dorries. If you’re offended, my apologies.

    As for Eoin, I’ve never found his posts ‘pompous’. The word ‘playful’ springs more to mind. That’s the problem sometimes with forums like this. We don’t get to see people’s faces, hear their tone of voice. Someone once complained about too many smilies but in fact they’re useful. They give an extra depth of meaning to our comments, albeit a primitive one.
    I’m certain Eoin’s politeness is genuine though.
    He once said to someone here, and it stuck in my mind;
    “Try not to see disagreement as a negative thing.”
    That’s advice worth remembering. ;)

  5. I see the coalition are ending stop and search on the streets, but bringing it back in schools.

    Glad to see we’re not pandering to the Daily Mail on policy any more ;)

  6. Alec,

    Have you studies the Irish economy pre-Lemass? Growing up, we had a farm in Eyrecourt Co. Galway. It was unelectrified, it was basically a peat bog, and the only vechile was the tractor. To understand the best route for Ireland is to measure what was before. Also Corportation tax as I was discussing it, was in isolation to the Euro and consumer debt and indeed housebuilding. You have conflated all of these matters to add to the weight of your argument. So lets go back and do the opposite. Lets examine Irish trade and industry pre- Lemass and lets compare it to post Lemass. There is one main difference. We attracted multinational companies. Prior to the arrival of them our economy was based in the agricultural and food sectors… I have examine the Irish census data from 1951 to 1981 and contrasted the occupational profile of its citizens. Farmers sons and daughters stayed on the rural and often poorly electrified farms through their 20 until either a) the dad died and they could take the farm themselves or b) until they were married off… Our trades were in butter, cheese, red meat, poultry, fisheries, abeer and spirits and ham. The only way we could keep down unemployment was migration and lots of it. Our textiles trade has been in steady decline for the last 50 years. We had no secretariat of note, our consumer industry was based around small wholesale. Our fuel cosumption was a mix of red diesal and turf. Our infranstructre was atrocious with no dual carriageway in the who of ROI to speak of.

    Now if we examine Corporation tax on its own. With nothing else conflating the issue (consumer debt, housebuilding, banks). Afterall, AIB is an indigenous company. What Irleand had done is equip a high % of its young adults with knowledge relating to IT, software and very basic engineering. This was done by the establishment of a dozen or so regional technical colleges churning out about 10-15,000 of these kids annually. they now work for some of the biggest companies in the world.

    Intel Ireland is the largest intel base outside the US.
    Google has its main European base in Ireland. Aboot laboratories and Bell Labs are also prominent in ROI.

    crucially, these companies continue to expand in the south. Unlike other comanies who swtiched to Czech, etc… Ireland looks set to retain its presence in the hi-tech industries.

    Now I would appreciate you answering a straight question:

    Why did those companies choose ROI, and is it a good thing for ROI that they are there?

    Your post seemed to indicate that inward investment at a fast pace was a bad thing. But I will let your elucidate that point for fear I have read you wrong.

    To sum up, I am against low corp. tax in large social democracies with a well established indigenous economy. It is unnecessary. But in small untransformed agricultural based economies such as ROI, it is essential.

    You might enjoy this link:

    h ttp://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/govt-corporation-tax-rate-a-cornerstone-of-policy-476011.html

  7. Alec,

    This is a better artilce, covering the same story.
    h ttp://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2010/1002/breaking6.html

  8. Tom,

    Nobody knew about that poll. Thank you for it.

    It would seem to correlate more with YG findings than ICMs

    Blue are now 35% (ICM) 39% (ComR) 41% (YG)
    Red are now 37% (ICM) 37% (ComR )39% (YG)
    Yellow are now 18% (ICM) 15% (ComR) 12% (YG)

    That gives us an average of

    Blue 38%
    Reds 38%
    Yellow 15%

    maybe we can conclude that reds almost drew level on their conference week…

  9. Eoin
    Thanks for that. I did know a good bit abou the background. However my main point is that whatever the rights and wrongs, the era of competitive cuts in business taxes to attract investment is over. As if on cue, the FT has an article on Ireland’s debt situation today which concludes with a comment from the relevant EU commissioner, “In the coming decade, it is a matter of fact (sic) that Ireland will not continue as a low tax country. Rather it will become a normal tax country in the European context.”
    The article mentions continuing ministerial commitment to low corporation tax but points out that if Ireland needs help then this will be part of the bargaining process.
    I have posted earlier on the interest to British readers of Fintan O’Toole’s book on the Irish melt-down
    Of course I should say it is the importance of this issue in Scottish debates which primarily inteests me

  10. Barney,

    As if on cue indeed! I understnad your interest in it vis a vis Salmond’s ‘arc of prosperity’. You are also right that as a tool to ‘attract’ new investment it is waning. In ROI their chief concern is with keeping their existing investment there and persuading them to expand in ROI. Out of the main 9 parties on the Island, Sinn Féin are the only arty ambivalent towards low corp. tax. I think small economies like ROI are a special case. If Corp. is to rise, it would only be a matter of time before google & intel left…. As for their meltdown, you know my views on that… They really didnt fix the roof when the sun was shining. :)

  11. Eoin – I would be very grateful if you would answer my question?

    Otherwise I shall have to leave it to Anthony to answer

  12. Eoin – Oh yes, and I asked you a while ago (but you didn’t respond). With reference to my little test:

    Psychic?
    Stalked?
    or
    Hacked?

    Those who agree your posts are a “picture of politeness” might be interested in the answer?
    __________________________________________

    Is this your question? I think you are asking how did I know that you emailed the 5 candidates? Is that right is that what you are asking? If you can confirm that first, then I am happy to answer.

  13. Eoin – Specifically how you knew DM had answered?

  14. Sue,

    I did not ‘know’. I simply deduced it from your posts on the test. That is the plain simple truth.

  15. A very useful article on Labour’s reaction to IDS

    h ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/oct/01/labour-support-universal-benefit-credit

    __________

    And if, like me, you find GO a bit craftier than his caricature depicts him, then this article is also worth a read

    h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/georgeosborne/8038087/George-Osborne-growth-will-come-from-the-aspiration-of-the-British-people.html

  16. @Julian Gilbert – a friend once bought me a book called ‘The Baroque Arsenal’ (about the arms race, not football) on the strength of my enjoyment of unusual word juxtapositions and the mental chain-reactions they can set off, so, ‘inane disorder’ was greatly appreciated. :)

    Six of one, and half a dozen of the other, is not a bad rule to go by when it comes to conflict resolution. ;)

  17. @Julian Gilbert – a friend once bought me a book called ‘The Baroque @rsenal’ (about the arms race, not football) on the strength of my enjoyment of unusual word juxtapositions and the mental chain-reactions they can set off, so, ‘inane disorder’ was greatly appreciated. :)

    Six of one, and half a dozen of the other, is not a bad rule to go by when it comes to conflict resolution. ;)

  18. Below are snippets from the New Statesman coverage this afternoon of the ComRes end-of-conference poll for the Indie.

    Con 39 +2
    Lab 36 +1
    LD 15 =

    Conducted 30th September thru to evening of 1st October

    Given that it was run in the 24 hours after LPC finished and a full 6 days since EdM was elected it is not very good. One is almost tempted to say thank buddha that the CSR is only a few weeks away. But of course I am not thanking anyone for that oncoming CSR.

    If the Tories buck the trend and get a conference bounce that would be significant IMHO: and would have to be linked- at least in part- to events at LPC 2010…..
    *****

    “THE YEAR OF THE BOUNCELESS CONFERENCE?

    Today it’s good news for Tories and bad news for Labour: a ComRes phone poll for the Independent puts the Conservatives back in front on 39 per cent, Labour on 36 per cent and the Lib Dems on 15 per cent.

    In year’s past he would have expected to be the recipient of a significant post-conference bounce. Indeed in his write-up of today’s numbers, Mike Smithson automatically cautions “that polls taken during the conference should be treated with some care because of the heavy media coverage”.

    A week and a half ago — two days after Nick Clegg’s keynote address — Lib Dems saw their rating barely shift, and there has been little sign since that the party’s week in the media spotlight has done them any good.

    The Conservative Party conference, which kicks off in Birmingham tomorrow, has already been dubbed the “cuts conference”, and the suggestion is that this will be a downbeat affair to match the state of the country rather than a celebratory meeting for a party that has regained power for the first time in 13 years. This is hardly the tub-thumping environment to leave conference-goers, let alone the wider public, on a high.

    We’ll get the first sense of whether that is indeed the mood as delegates gather on Sunday but it will be intriguing if to see if Cameron can buck this “bounceless” trend. “

  19. I think polls are being cherry-picked for this “No conference bounce” narrative. Looking at the over-all trends (as I’ve done on my own blog, link in the name on this post) tells a slightly different story. The LibDems did get a boost of sorts from their conference, in that they halted the terrible losses they’d been getting, and scraped together a mild increase. Labour’s boost may well be over-masked by how much they’re already increasing.

  20. Here is Osborne’s view today on EdM.

    Of course unsurprisingly tribal but nonetheless the view which I would assume is going to be the basic Conservative line going forward.

    It will be one Labour need to comprehensively retort (by both policies and actions) if they are to stand any chance at all…

    *******

    “But is he Red Ed?

    “I’m going to call him the leader of the opposition.”

    The influence of the trade unions and the circle of Gordon Brown cronies around Mr Miliband make him laugh off the talk of a new generation and new politics.

    “I’ve seen more pictures of Neil Kinnock on television in the past week than I’ve seen in 20 years. That’s old politics.”

    In particular, he is struck by the absence of any intellectual spark from a party that used to be a forcing house for political ideas.

    “The intellectual pulse is not there. They’re flatlining.”

    He is also keen to remind us that Mr Miliband was at Gordon Brown’s side for more than a decade and played a central part in the mismanagement of the economy.

    An early test will be whether Mr Miliband delivers on his promise to march with the unions to oppose public spending cuts the day before the review is announced. “The story of British politics is now a contest between the vested interest and the national interest.”

  21. @ Rob Sheffield

    Labour can expect no bounce whatsoever from more media coverage; IMO, the Party will be inclined to drop when there is heavy coverage – the media have no interest in anything positive, they are simply pointless little bloodhounds searching relentlessly for anything that can be construed as a gaffe.

    There were more cameras & microphones on David than Ed, whilst Ed gave his acceptance & leadership speeches. David’s remark to Harriet was the highlight of the conference for the media! And Andy Burnham’s speech about the NHS, which Sue said was one of the highlights of the conference? T’was no mention of it in the mainstream media.

    Labour must win the next election one vote at a time; we know this – hence the Movement for Change & similar initiatives. 8-)

  22. Eoin – thanks for the Telegraph GO interview link above.

    In it he answers the question I posted on here yesterday – Where does the growth come from?

    “It will come from the aspiration of the British people to do better, to export, to get on in life. I’ve been looking for ways and I will continue to look for ways to support the aspirations of the British people. Growth will come from a competitive business environment, stable public finances and actually improving the education and welfare systems so people aren’t trapped in worklessness and children who leave school at age of 16 are ready to compete in this world.”

    Any improvements to education and welfare systems would surely take years to influence growth figures.

    It all seems to come down to one word.

    Hope.

  23. Well I knew I’d get it in the neck (again). I picked on the Labour Party for “pointless internecine squabbling”, partly because they do seem to raise it to new heights, but mainly because it tends to be retrospective and so even more pointless. Tory and Lib Dem rows at the moment are about current policy and future actions. Labour needs to objectively examine what went wrong or right in government, but it doesn’t need to wallow in past personal disputes and ancient gang warfare.

    I’m also a bit dubious about the various claims of representing the “working class” as against the “liberal elite”. I’ve a lot of time for Jon Cruddas; though I must point out he’s actually from SW England and also has a PhD in Philosophy – which sounds fairly liberal elite to me. I suspect he’d be the last to say that his constituents in Dagenham are the “typical” working class – any more than the characters in Shameless are. The last person to base an electoral strategy on appealing to Essex Man (and Girl) was William Hague and he was rewarded by gaining a massive three seats. In south Essex. And nothing else.

    The imagined contrast between the “working class” – supposedly socially conservative and in favour of harsh law and order – and the “liberal elite” is also overplayed. Those at the bottom of the heap know on whose face the smack of firm government usually ends up. Polls usually show a much more nuanced response, among all classes, about crime and punishment than the tabloids would like.

    If the mythical “decent” working class of the Fifties – all scrubbing doorsteps and tinned peaches on Sunday – ever existed, it’s long gone. The class make-up of Britain is much more complex now. Labour does need to reconnect with the worries and hopes of those not in top few percent in income terms and not living in the more fashionable parts of the great metropolitan areas. One of the more telling details of the Labour Leadership results was the way most of the large CLP memberships were in London plus Central Manchester and some university cities – often not even in Labour-held seats.

    Labour also needs to pick up on something from the US (and heaven knows when does Labour ever pick up on anything not from the US). There it’s the middle class who are now the victims of the widening gap between the rich and the rest; and, if policies continue as they are, the same will happen in the UK.

    But most of all Labour needs to construct policies to deal with the future, not try to replicate magic formulae from the past.

  24. @ Rob Sheffield

    “The story of British politics is now a contest between the vested interest and the national interest.” George Osborne
    ——————————————————
    I agree with GO, this will be the battleground on which the coming election is fought.

    The dividing line will be: who are the vested interests? If it transpires that it’s the banks & large corporations who are to benefit from a race to the bottom in taxation & public services, Labour will win the next GE.

    Ed M’s team needs to ignore the media & mix with people. If they are over concerned by the way every word & action is reported, we will lose. Pick a pricipled stance & stick with it; that would certainly differentiate Labour from the other parties.
    8-)

  25. Oldnat and Barney,

    Thanks for your info re: Scottish Liberals.

    I have holidayed up there, and it really is paradise with midges. Not being offensive, things do seem to work differently up there.

    Your comments confirm that the Scots rarely forget a friend, or grudge…;-)

  26. @Roger Mexico
    “But most of all Labour needs to construct policies to deal with the future, not try to replicate magic formulae from the past.”
    ————————-
    I don’t buy the mantra that Lab need to ditch everything from the past. Nobody won the GE . The voters who gave Lab a hat-trick of healthy working majorities didn’t think we had umpteen years of failure. I am sure that blues would be happy with such a triple “rejection”.

  27. Amber,

    I fully support your views on how Ed should proceed.

    I really think that the media don’t really represent people, but their own interests. For example, the Murdoch empire is entirely out for its own progression. It wants the Government to castrate the BBC, so Sky can get some of the market the BBC dominates. The only interest for Murdoch is the commercial revenues they would gain. They have no commitment to quality, impartial journalism as anyone could tell by watch Sky News for more than 5 nanoseconds.

    Real people, talking over the dinner table, in the pub or at work, would really catch on to the approach we both think Ed should take. From my own point of view, the more the Daily Mail and Express screams at something, the more I know its the right thing to do. (If I agree with them, I get worried)

    Come on Ed,talk to the UK direct with a clear, principled vision, and you shall inherit Downing street my son.

  28. @Roger Mexico

    “But most of all Labour needs to construct policies to deal with the future, not try to replicate magic formulae from the past.”
    ———————————————————–
    It is not Labour who are reaching for their past – it is Cameron & Osborne.

    We will cut, cut, cut public services; then we will cut, cut, cut business & wealth taxes. Minutes before the election, we will announce planned cuts in income taxes for ‘ordinary workers’ & a planned give away of state assets to the people (neglecting to mention that the ‘people’ who’ll benefit most will be financiers & corporations who will ‘underwrite’ the giveaway when there is zero need to underwrite it at all).

    And for insurance, use the media to drive a wedge between center left & left.

    Thatcher’s election tactics #2.

    Shame on Labour, if they don’t have a game plan to deal with this. It’s all just a little bit of history repeating. 8-)

  29. @ Garry K

    Come on Ed,talk to the UK direct with a clear, principled vision, and you shall inherit Downing street my son.
    ——————————————-
    Amen to that! 8-)

  30. Roger Mexico

    “Labour also needs to pick up on something from the US (and heaven knows when does Labour ever pick up on anything not from the US). There it’s the middle class who are now the victims of the widening gap between the rich and the rest; and, if policies continue as they are, the same will happen in the UK. ”

    I have mentioned before the contrast between the iconic “middle class” who are the target of any US politician ( Obama never stops talking about them)…….and the pariah middle class who are the target of the UK political left.

    GB changed all that with his ” I am middle class” speech which suddenly announced them as a voting target ( despite his having unwound TB’s efforts at doing the same back in 1997).

    And here we are again with Ed Miliband telling us that he is working for the “squeezed middle” and “everyone who has worked hard and wants to get on”.

    But you have to define what you mean by middle class.

    For TB it was clearly the managerial & professional classes.

    For GB-who knows? it just got lost in all the other guff.

    For EM-Well we shall see -but I doubt very much whether it’s TB’s “middle class”-the people GO is going to start removing benefit from.

    Beware politicians appealing to the “middle class”-ask them who they mean-by salary level.

  31. “The story of British politics is now a contest between the vested interest and the national interest.”

    Agreed Amber and Rob S, this comment of GO’s is of the essence.

    I presume by vested interest he means the unions.

    How is it a vested interest to want to hold on to your job?

    This Coalition we were told was only formed “in the national interest”.

    For national interest read self-interest.

  32. Colin you are right, the middle class is certainly something that needs defining in the economic debate.

    For the Daily Mail it appears to mean those with a salary of at least 50k.

    In reality the average income is much more in the region of 20-25k.

    It is people on this kind of income level that I believe EM intends to target and certainly needs increased support from.

  33. @ Woodsman – “Hope.”

    The audacity of it!

  34. James L – Indeed :-)

    Well, it’s better than not having hope, I’ll give him that!

  35. Roger Mexico – “If the mythical “decent” working class of the Fifties – all scrubbing doorsteps and tinned peaches on Sunday”

    Loved that line.

  36. Also Re Labour bounce, the thread we’re commenting on shows a Labour bounce (or at least a Tory slip with Labour 2% ahead for the first time.)

    I think the simple truth is that we’ve seen such a lively few months of polling since the GE with such an unusual situation politically that maybe the conferences will have little effect.

    The electorate seem to be deciding on different factors.

    I’m afraid I think there would have been a DM effect – I don’t think he was “priced in”, but perhaps I’m wrong. I feel EM has more to prove, whereas DM would simply have started doing the job.

  37. Just blatantly stole this from a friend, but thought Ed M might be interested……

    ?”First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, ….. then you WIN”. ~ gandhi [today, 2nd october, is his birthday]

  38. My mum always gave us tinned peaches with grated cheese. Does that make us lower middle class?

  39. Cozmo/Amber

    I’m not saying that Labour needs to ditch everything (or even most things) from the past, but some people still seem to have the attitude that New Labour was some kind of magic election-winning thing and the Party cannot deviate “one inch” from it. It might even consider if it won despite, rather than because, of some of the New Labour components.

    Colin/Woodsman

    In the US everyone thinks of themselves as “middle-class” (but then America is so much more class-ridden than Britain). I’ve seen references to “middle-class” people using food stamps – with no indication this was seen as unusual. However I was thinking of people who would be seen as middle class in British terms as well, who have also been squeezed over the last few decades.

    You’re both right we really do need to define who we talk about when we talk about “middle class”. Unfortunately those in the media apply it to themselves and the metropolitan elite (often not very liberal) and seem to have little idea about how the rest of the country lives.

  40. Julian

    “My mum always gave us tinned peaches with grated cheese. Does that make us lower middle class?”

    What an interesting question.

    It was tinned peaches & condensed milk from my mother. My father & her considered themselves working class.

    There is a book in this: ” Food as a Class Identifyer in UK social structure”

    You could probably get a Lottery grant to write it.

  41. Julian – I think that just makes you weird ;)

  42. Colin – I LOVE that idea. I might go for a PHD.

  43. Roger Mexico,

    In my view, you get it. I know the answer is certain to be no, but I’ll ask, is there any chance you might ever join Labour? :) (Please).

  44. Sue

    ” I might go for a PHD.”

    Go for it Sue-EM would bite your hand off for it-whole policy areas would be targetted by food category.

    Spam might make a comeback-Sunday tea as a child!

  45. Roger

    “In the US everyone thinks of themselves as “middle-class”

    mmm-not sure about that. It is much more complex IMO.

    Wikipedia on US Middle Class is very interesting.

    Yes-“Middle” is as moveable as “Centre”. For politicians, words like these mean what they want them to mean.

  46. @Roger Mexico
    “It might even consider if it won despite, rather than because, of some of the New Labour components.”
    ———————-
    I am trying to tune in to your thinking but I recall that NuLab was a brand image which Peter Mandelson had a big hand in creating. This approach worked well for three elections and Peter-M was feared and branded “The Prince Of Darkness”. Something worked and as a rule of thumb the more effective a leading Labourite is the harder the media work at destroying them.

    However, I think you are right to emphasise the need to look forward and adapt. I just don’t think we need to go overboard though mainly because I believe that governments lose elections rather than oppositions winning them.

    If the blues’ strategy is correct they may l win next time, but if they start to do a U-turn in two or three years time they will be conceding that they got it wrong. They may then still have enough time left to engineer a win, or maybe not.

  47. Julian – “My mum always gave us tinned peaches with grated cheese. Does that make us lower middle class?”

    Beyond the pale. ;-)

  48. @Eoin – I think you largely missed the point. I have no doubt that low corporation tax rates were essential to attract high tech industries. There were other very significant factors also however – education and training and a highly flexible workforce were also factors. But the bottom line is that Ireland is in a complete mess now (that looks highly likely to get significantly worse) and over rapid growth based on undertaxation of business is one of the key factors that stoked up the bubble.

    If Irish politicians had not used such low corporation tax rates that damaged neighbouring economies in order to stoke unsustainably fast growth, they would be in a better place now. It’s not a case of either or, but a more graduated point.

    I guess the other factor to consider is the Euro. I was, and remain, a staunch opponent of the single currency as it is a deeply flawed and dangerous concept in its current form. It can only operate properly with a uniform supra national tax structure and internal regional budget flows, as happens in the US or within the UK.

    While it isn’t a fault of the Irish government per se, their business tax policy in the context of the Euro has crippled their economy for the foreseeable future. Use of competitive devaluation of tax rates appeared to work for a good few years, but only because there was no compensatory exchange rate adjustments or budgetary outflows to under performing Euro areas. All the pressures remained largely isolated within the Irish economy.

    Now you have a disaster. A complete and total economic disaster. By June 2007 the total external Irish debt (money owed to overseas creditors) was $1.8tr or $448,000 per person – the second highest in the world, and equivalent to 981% of GDP.

    If I was Irish and was given the choice between living on a bog and having a sustainable corporation tax policy or personally owing the rest of the world half a million dollars, I’d probably settle for the bog.

  49. New Labour did not win Tony the first election.

    In that election anybody could have won promising anything; the country was so totally tired of the Tories who had nothing to offer bar slash, burn and privatise. Come the 2nd election TB was still not toall anathema as people still remembered how pointless the Tories were, The final victory was won despite TB and the illegal wars

    A dead fox would have won the first

  50. @Roger Mexico

    (A) “I’ve a lot of time for Jon Cruddas; though I must point out he’s actually from SW England and also has a PhD in Philosophy – which sounds fairly liberal elite to me”

    Several clangers here I am afraid.

    I knew him in Warwick Uni Labour club in the late 1980’s

    1) His childhood was from the urban south coast and then later inner London
    2) His dad was a docker
    3) He was reading for a PHD in industrial relations within the Business school and as far as I am aware did not finish it because he went to work as an advisor to the Labour party’s trade and industry spokesman at the time.

    My dad was a lorry driver and my mum a nursing auxiliary: I am a university lecturer. But I- like JC- come from a working class background and- I would guess- have a better understanding of their aspirations, fears and opinions than does any middle class trot, er, metropolitan liberal ;-)

    I believe that is what JC was saying on C4! He was not referring to Kinnock but those LP members (and affiliates…) who actually were using the ‘party back’ nonce-sense.

    Kinnock did not come up with that. Though the charge stands that he then went about defending it to all who would listen. Damaging.

    (B) “But most of all Labour needs to construct policies to deal with the future, not try to replicate magic formulae from the past.”

    Well that is about as meaningless and bland a statement that can be made in politics”

    Any politician of any stripe can claim the mantle of ‘the future’. It does often go farcically wrong of course i.e. Blair, Obama and- quite possibly-Cameron.

    What Labour- of course- needs to do is propose policies that appeal to the maximum amount of voters as possible. Not simply our left wing comfort zone.

    Centrist policies have the accolade of potentially being both forward thinking and electorally popular ;-0

    @Amber

    “Ed M’s team needs to ignore the media & mix with people”

    As long as that does not include going on marches (no matter how adrenalin-inducing it feels to be surrounded by tens or even hundreds of thousands of the UK’s 60 million population): then I agree with you :-)

    “T’was no mention of it in the mainstream media.”

    We need to be careful about getting obsessed Fox-news style with notions of the ‘mainstream media’. If we have a good (or perish the thought bad) narrative to communicate we will get coverage. Sure the conference was overshadowed by the leadership election but one could debate what the poll numbers might have been under different circumstances.

    Nonetheless both a conference AND a new leader REALLY should have given us a couple of points. I think we are fooling ourselves if we try to argue the opposite.

    I am pessimistic but let’s see how the numbers develop: 1) in the immediate term of the next month and 2) by next summer.

    BTW I hope you are right . I just am not convinced. Yet.

    @Julian Gilbert

    “My mum always gave us tinned peaches with grated cheese. Does that make us lower middle class?”

    Simple. Given you are over 35: it depends on your fathers occupation :-)

    @Garry K

    “I really think that the media don’t really represent people, but their own interests/ Real people, talking over the dinner table, in the pub or at work, would really catch on to the approach we both think Ed should take /Come on Ed,talk to the UK direct with a clear, principled vision, and you shall inherit Downing street my son.”

    How *can* you do that if you don’t do it via the vehicle of the media ???!!!

    Ward meetings and marches ??!!

    T’internet ??!!

    These vehicles can all assist. But Labour needs to engage with the mass media if it is to have any chance at all in 2013-2015.

    Totally unavoidable.

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