YouGov’s weekly poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%. Full tables are up on the YouGov website here.

The regular trackers would appear to have been impacted by the elections at the start of the month – David Cameron’s net approval is up slightly to minus 1 (from minus 3 last week), Ed Miliband’s approval is down to minus 21 (from minus 12 last week), which equals his lowest rating to date. Nick Clegg’s rating is minus 52 (from minus 50 a week ago), his lowest rating ever.

YouGov also asked about perceptions of the two main party leaders – primarily aimed at seeing to what extent if any Cameron was becoming seen as arrogant or unpleasant. People saw Cameron as arrogant by 46% to 39%, but he was seen as likeable by slightly more people (45%) than saw him as dislikable (42%) and, overall, public perceptions of him are still positive. His is seen as strong (by 51% to 27%), competent (by 52% to 30%) and as up-to-the-job (by 48% to 36%). His big weakness is not arrogance, but being seen in touch with ordinary people – 30% think Cameron is in touch, but 53% think he is not (which, of course, probably plays into the Conservative party’s wider problem of being seen as a party for the rich).

Looking at how people answered the same questions about Ed Miliband, the most positive findings were that Miliband was seen as honest (by 41% to 18%) and open-minded (by 42% to 22%). The most negative were that Miliband was seen as weak (by 44% to 19%), not up-to-the-job (by 45% to 25%) and unlikeable (by 45% to 31%). I’ve been cautious in the past about concluding too much from Miliband’s negative ratings – he was new in the job and had plenty of time to turn things about once people got to know him. He has now been in the job for well over six months – Labour would be right to be concerned about perceptions of Miliband.

Looking at some of the other questions, a majority of the public (55%) remain opposed to the government’s NHS reforms, and even most of those who support it think the reforms should be amended to address public concerns.

There were also some questions on superinjunctions. A majority (55%) of respondents continued to think super-injunctions are an unacceptable restriction on the freedom of the press, compared to 30% who think they are an acceptable way of people in the public eye to protect their privacy. Despite this, there was not much sympathy for the Twitter account that broke the alleged contents of some of the injunctions – 35% thought this was the right thing to do, but 44% though it was wrong.

While I haven’t had chance to look at it properly yet, there is also a big chunk of new polling on Michael Ashcroft’s website here.


454 Responses to “YouGov’s Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Interesting to compare the reaction to Laws to that nearly a year ago when it all came out (pun not intended, but whatever). If you look at the reaction in a poll here (f/w 31.05.10):

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-Laws-310510_0.pdf

    The percentage saying he should ‘never’ return to Cabinet has increased from 31% to 48%. (The other categories aren’t one to one compatible). Some of this may be due to a reduced number of ‘Don’t know’s; some to declining support for the Lib Dems – though even those are now less forgiving 27% up from 21%; a lot from increased ‘never’s from Tories (23% to 45%). Voters seem to be generally more unforgiving.

    In way this is surprising, you might expect time to soften opinions. This may partly be due to the ridiculous delay in the formal investigation, so that people were thinking ‘is that still not sorted?’. But I think it is also because of a feeling of ‘unfinished business’ about the whole expenses matter. Politicians clearly felt everything could be put behind them after the GE, the public is less easily satisfied.

    I felt a bit sympathetic to Laws at the time, mainly because of the arbitrary way in which the rules were framed and changed, and in which those MPs who were penalised were chosen. (I feel less sympathy now due to the way his partner’s new property was purchased). However the problem of arbitrariness still remains and the lack of any basic principles, to decide what MPs can claim for, is one cause for the friction between them and the public.

    Of course the Press doesn’t help (when does it ever) denouncing claims of pence for mortgages (do they want them to ask for more?), while you know every accounts clerk in the country was thinking ‘I bet that’s to make the payment match the paperwork’.

  2. @ tsitsikama

    Three possibilities sprang immediately to mind:

    1. This could be a cover for the government purchasing the underwater share from existing share-holders i.e. spending MORE to prop up the banks & vested interests under cover of enabling a ‘popular’ share ownership scheme; or

    2. This could be a good excuse for setting up a trust to the hold the shares on behalf of the option holders. This would:
    i) take the heat off the government when the banks pay large bonuses. It was up to the trustees to decide what was in the best interests of all us potential shareholder. They decided it was best to pay huge salaries, bonuses etc. to keep key bankers happy.
    ii) also allow the trustees to vote in ‘our best interests’ regarding selling off parts of the banks etc. Again this takes the heat off the government for anything that it doesn’t want to be associated with.
    iii)prevent a left-wing government – if the Tories lose the election – from having a controlling interest in these banks & voting in a ‘left-wing’ way; because the trust would be set up in such a way that a change in government didn’t result in a change of trustees; or

    3. The government may just side-step the entire trust thing & say that the shares will be converted to non-voting shares that are ‘dormant’ until the options are exercised. This would effectively hand all the power to the existing voting shareholders to do pretty much anything they wanted to do; & giving all the power to those minority shareholders until the options are above water &/or vest would significantly push up the current value of the non-government shares.
    The reason for the Trust thing would be to make it harder legally (as opposed to politically) to reverse what the incumbent government has done.

    And this is off the top of my head as one who simply has some knowledge of these things; a real expert could likely achieve a lot more ‘clever stuff’ under such cover than I am able to come up with.
    8-)

  3. Thanks for that Amber, all very interesting stuff.

    We’ll just have to wait now to see what they actually do. That is if they dare now that you are onto them. LOL.

  4. Some thoughts here on the RBS proposal, including the avoidance of problems resulting from a Government disposal of so many shares:-

    h ttp://www.thisismoney.co.uk/investing/article.html?in_article_id=533836&in_page_id=166&position=moretopstories

  5. I have this morbid fear that one day, The Blessed Anthony passes away peacefully and quietly, leaving us all alone on an endless thread, randomly posting for ever and ever, with no one to move us on to the next thread as the endless infinity of time itself beckons……

  6. I just did my civic duty as an American and voted this morning though I felt very British doing so. I voted at a precinct located on Charing Cross Road, it was raining out, there was only one race to vote on, and my brother (who went with me to vote) was wearing Burberry.

    If it wasn’t for the voting in a garage part and the provisional ballots, it’d be the British dream.

  7. @Alec

    Perhaps a case of going “out of history into history and the awesome responsibility of Time”

  8. Beautifully poetic Alec :-)

    It is a beguiling image as we wait for a celestial analysis of trends ……and you repeat for the millionth time that you don’t trust David Cameron-a man who has only just been in power for a thousand years.& has not yet proved himself :-)

  9. It could be a very specialised, niche episode of The Twilight Zone…

  10. @ Colin

    “Be careful who you share your admiration of Jim Murphy with-he is a dirty word in some of the further reaches of the Labour Party.

    One has to be aware of their colour coded factions these days -like malfunctioning traffic lights in some mad game of competitive flashing

    And they have the bare faced affrontery to exploit political faction in the LibDems !

    I hope they keep it up-the voting public have a record of turning their backs on political parties at war with themselves.”

    Lol. All parties have divisions. It’s natural in a democracy. And exploiting the divisions is natural too. Frankly, I never understood the differences between Brown and Blair, they seem exactly the same ideologically, complimentary to each other in terms of individual talents, and sharing similar goals. The whole difference between the two was all about style. The Kobe-Shaq feud had more substantive differences.

    @ Mick Park

    “Oh I’ve no doubt they do need a pep talk and said that part of the message was required. Your illuminating stories help illustrate that.

    My point about the downside is that this is still the Jim Murphy parachuted in by EdM and it looks somewhat crass for a newcomer to their grief to be telling them it’s not as bad as it looks. Murphy has some good scottish credentials and for Labour he is a polished performer but he’s still going back to westminster after this postmortem while the SLAB contingent have to live this result for the next four years.

    Murphy’s problem is messages like that should be delivered idealy by the scottish leader while Murphy stands next to him/her and backs them up 100% in that view.
    That there is no scottish leader yet is unfortunate but just underlines how far there is to travel and how carefully he must tread if he doesn’t want to start a factionalising war by being seen to support one candidate or another by echoing or rubbishing a view any leadership candidate holds.

    I doubt he went into this with any illusions but Murphy will soon be reminded how acrimonious things can get in SLAB. There are long memories and unfinished fueds from time immemorial still festering in the ranks. The breakdown in relations between SLAB and Labour and the conflicting views about the campaign did not come out of a clear blue sky.”

    I see your point but my gut feeling tells me that he’s not seen as an outsider and is probably well liked by most Labour activists. And I think there were some who were questioning why he wasn’t more involved in the Scottish campaign.

  11. @ Alec

    “I have this morbid fear that one day, The Blessed Anthony passes away peacefully and quietly, leaving us all alone on an endless thread, randomly posting for ever and ever, with no one to move us on to the next thread as the endless infinity of time itself beckons……”

    Wow, a foreboding vision. Scary. :(

  12. I just did my civic duty as an American and voted this morning though I felt very, very British. That’s because I voted at a precinct located on Charing Cross Road, it was raining out (cold and gray too), there was only one race to vote on, and my brother (who went with me to vote) was wearing a rain coat, a scarf, and had an umbrella from a British designer.

    If it wasn’t for the voting in a garage part, the provisional ballots, and those great little “I voted stickers”, it’d be the British dream. :)

  13. SOCAL

    “Frankly, I never understood the differences between Brown and Blair, they seem exactly the same ideologically, complimentary to each other in terms of individual talents, and sharing similar goals. The whole difference between the two was all about style. ”

    This was not true.

    The differences were considerable throughout their time together in government & revolved around the politics of State sector vs Private sector.
    Style certainly separated them as well-but that wasn’t the divisive issue.

    It is a battle which continues today it would seem -in the absence of both of them !

    It amuses me to consider that whilst Blue & Yellow ( with a dash of Orange) produces a rather fetching Green……………Red, Purple & Blue combine to a rather muddy brown…….or should that be a Muddy Brown :-)

  14. @ Jay Blanc

    “Having spent some time in the US, I’ve seen the kinds of TV ads for prescription drugs. They provide vague enough descriptions of what the drug does so they’re not promising much, they’ll show a cheerful elderly couple walking their dogs, or a happy mother playing with their children. And list the conditions that “could” be helped, often described in a way that minimises significance, so a drug intended for clinical depression and schizophrenia is marketed as helping ‘not feeling yourself for long periods’. All with the small-text at the bottom of the screen saying ‘Patients should consult with a medical professional before…’

    And of course, the drug companies pay for ‘conferences’ at resort hotels in Las Vegas to push the GPs towards more use of pharmacology fixes.

    So that often much of a US GP’s time is spent with appointments with a ‘patient’ who tells them the list of symptoms they heard off the TV ad, and say they want that drug. And the sad fact is, they often give them a prescription for it.”

    There’s three different issues here:

    First one on the ads…some of them border on ridiculous. Like when they’re playing music songs and people are dancing or running through fields of flowers. “Say goodbye to Restless Leg Syndrome!” The vague statements and the small print to consult with a medical professional are required by the FDA.

    The second issue on conferences. The FDA rules are this: drugs are only approved for certain purposes. And if you market a drug for a purpose that it is not approved for (even if it’s on the market), you are selling that drug illegally and you are in a whole heap of trouble. This is why food companies that make certain health claims run into legal trouble. If Lynn Featherstone, growing tired of politics, decides to manufacture cookies and sell them in the U.S. and markets “Lynn Featherstone’s patented gourmet English chocolate chip cookies” and claims that the cookies can help treat gonnoreah, and that’s put on the packaging, she’s going to be, for purposes of the FDCA, selling an unapproved drug. Believe it or not, this sort of thing happens and the FDA comes down on food manufacturers for it. So what you get with a lot of drug companies is their attempts to get around this by creatively marketing to doctors. So drug company reps will sometimes go off-script. And there are attempts to covertly market drugs for off-label uses, which of course can’t be marketed legally but CAN be prescribed legally.

    Third issue is doctor responsibility. Before you start taking drugs, you need to have a serious discussion about those drugs and about the symptoms, not just prescribe as if it’s candy (plus you want to get this patient out just as quickly as possible just so that you can move on to the next patient dollar or so that you can go play golf early at the club). A serious discussion is going to weed out the “I heard it on tv” symptoms. But that’s an issue of medical ethics and medical responsibility.

  15. Having been away for a couple of days and just checking what I’ve missed – the eclectic nature of this Board is wonderful and I think, Anthony, that your moderate approach to moderation,
    results in stimulating and relevant contributions from aout 97.5% of the contributors.

  16. @ JAYBLANC thanks for walking into my not so subtle trap. OK I jest, but honestly that is the point I was making, neither side is right, but neither wrong…..I don’t understand my fathers view but that does not mean it wholly comes from ether of those two poles..I do not believe he is some mindless puppet to society, but cannot accept society doesn’t play part in shaping you…and that is the thing which needs comprehending before this issue can be effectively moved forward. Why do you think half way through my whole argument I suddenly without warning switch it on its head…..I was proving a point that there is no simple answer to the people that parliament works for and to take anyone stance will prove nothing more than oversimplified and for what of better word, condescending. You cannot force social change but you cannot clean your political hands of parliaments social responsibility to the people. It is about finding a balance between giving people the freedom, liberty and power to move as they personally wish without taking such heavy hand as to presume you know where their life belongs. Maybe you disagree, I know my personal beleif on the issue is not fact, , but this way I view it.

    PS and to all you labour’s who deny this way of thinking, I grow up under your government and know actually how you treated me and rest of my generation in your attempts to get us out of our own dispassionate ways. That is not to say you didn’t have successes, you did, I just do not think your way worked anymore than the ways before it because like all of them, it treated the people too much groups of polarised masses.

  17. @ Amber Star

    “I loathe the TV ads for drugs. I find them repetetive & insistent i.e. that you are bound to have a medical condition of some sort that you are in denial about. You are missing out on life, short-changing your friends & family by being ‘substandard’ & you could be within hours of dropping dead.

    I have found – anecdotally – that children & teen-agers are most affected by the message. They worry about grand-parents, parents, friends & siblings.

    And of course such advertising can build resistance to thinking about one’s health as a bulwark against such incessant clamour to think about it all the time. That can lead to real symptoms being ignored by oneself or, if noticed by relatives, dismissed as ‘advert induced nannying’.”

    I appreciate your view on this and you’re clearly not alone (even in the U.S.) on those who dislike drug company advertising.

    You bring up though an interesting point about beauty product ads (and FDA has the least amount of authority to regulate cosmetics). A lot of drugs or medical procedures are elective procedures for beauty. Drugs designed for certain purely medical purposes sometimes have cosmetic purposes that drug companies will invest the time and research into developing and having approved by the FDA. I think there are a number of people out there who have certain body features that they feel bad about and would like to change but don’t think is possible to change. If they see an ad for a product or procedure that could help them, they may have hope for changing it. In that regard, I don’t see drug advertising as a bad thing.

    @ Crossbat/Nick H

    “Alas, if only that was true. This is lazy moralising in my view and an argument quite often used to defend entrenched privilege and, in many cases, pure luck in terms of life’s outcomes and rewards. There are exceptions, of course, where people have become wealthy and affluent as a result of extraordinary hard work, personal sacrifice, courage and diligence, but in many cases, fortune is the key, where an individual’s life chances have been loaded very heavily in their favour from birth.”

    Once again I find myself agreeing with you (though I should note that plenty of people born into wealth and privilege have f**ked up their lives and blown it all). I don’t have a problem with inherited wealth but I do think that it does prove the point that those who have the most haven’t neccesarily gotten it by their own sweat and toil (not to say that they aren’t entitled to it).

    Of course, I see nothing wrong with being poor or working class. I have a problem with people who live in abject poverty or who are homeless when they need not be. I would also note that many of the people who work the jobs that make society work are those who are paid very little for very hard and in some cases dangerous work. I don’t disparage that, I respect that.

    Also……

    “These early life experiences deeply influenced what was to become my political credo.”

    I have those too but I often try and explain them by reffering to movies and popular television shows to explain the route of my views.

    @ Liberal Student

    I think the social boundaries of the past disappear when everyone has equality of opportunity. You can’t practice law without a law degree (well not anymore) but if you’re happier being a plumber than a lawyer, you should be a plumber. My hair stylist has a masters degree in psychology yet he much rather prefers to work in a hair salon.

  18. DavidB
    he isn’t here (or ‘back there’, I just dropped in) or has another space allocated for any post without the word ‘poll’ in it.

    So mine’s safe.

  19. @Liberal Student (Yes we do exist)

    “CrossBat You are mixing up the idea that everyone has the right to something with the idea that everyone should have something.”

    You may be misunderstanding the point I was making. I wasn’t arguing for equality of outcomes, or that everyone should be entitled to “have something”, I was bemoaning the inequality of opportunity from birth. I fully respect and understand your father’s contentment with the job he did, and the lifestyle he pursued, and there is no crude egalitarianism in what I’m arguing at all.

    Without re-heating the argument, I feel that the tragedy of our society, both economically and morally, is the waste of human potential; a waste arising from accidents of birth rather than ability or the potential to contribute. We enshrine disadvantage, and accentuate it, from the cradle to the grave. Your father was happy with his lot, and good luck to him and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but think of those people, raised in poverty and condemned to inferior education, housing, employment, pay and health, who quite simply never have a chance to realise what they could one day become. Some make it, miraculously, and do great things with their lives but many don’t and it’s not a poverty of aspiration or ambition; it’s chronic and ingrained disadvantage. A disadvantage, I would argue, that the fortunate and privileged amongst us have a vested interest in maintaining.

    Always remember that the middle class are extraordinarily skilful at pulling up the social mobility ladder beneath them and then arguing that those left below wouldn’t have been able to climb it anyway! lol.

    @Sapper

    Forget Corelli Barnett, try the “Culture of Contentment” by the great US economist J.K. Galbraith. It may change your view of the world and you know me, Sapper, I always welcome repentant sinners!!

  20. @ Colin

    “This was not true.

    The differences were considerable throughout their time together in government & revolved around the politics of State sector vs Private sector.
    Style certainly separated them as well-but that wasn’t the divisive issue.

    It is a battle which continues today it would seem -in the absence of both of them !

    It amuses me to consider that whilst Blue & Yellow ( with a dash of Orange) produces a rather fetching Green……………Red, Purple & Blue combine to a rather muddy brown…….or should that be a Muddy Brown ”

    Hmmm. Their differences seemed relatively minor to me. They were both New Labour modernizers. But Blair was better looking and more personable while Brown was more book smart. But you’d know better than I would on actual differences.

    I love blue as a color. It’s one of my favorites.

  21. @SocialLiberal I agree 100%, I think that is about as close to a social fact that you get. The problem is not what we want as a result, but how to achieve such a thing because your not just trying to change the system, your trying to change natural luck itself.

    =back on topic, what do you think to the slightly concerning growth of drug dependence among the American youth? This is not illegal drugs, but actual legal drugs being given for often erroneously diagnosed ‘mental illness’ (Last statistic said 1 in 5 American teenages was using prescription drugs which is scary)

  22. @SocalLiberal

    You and I are a mutual admiration society and, as I’ve told you before, I greatly enjoy reading your posts. I learn a lot from them too, not just about yourself but your country’s politics too. I studied US politics in the 70s, but I’m criminally out of date, although my fascination remains undimmed.

    As a matter of interest, what are the US press and public making of the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn? The French Left think it’s a Sarkozy/US inspired conspiracy but, leaving the politics aside, it’s got the potential to be one of the biggest falls from grace since Kurt Waldheim, hasn’t it?

  23. @ Colin

    The key paragraph from the article that you linked is:

    The consensus among analysts is that Lloyds and RBS will return to trading above 74p and 51p, respectively. If the shares never rose above their floor prices, individuals would be unlikely to sell and would not make any money, however, there would at least now be an army of small shareholders rather than one big Government stake.
    —————————————————————–
    The question that must be asked is:

    Would these shares carry voting rights?

    If neither the public nor the government would have voting rights for this unusual class of shares, then it is a ‘scam’ to increase the influence & value of the other shares.

    And if the point about people holding the shares, rather than selling them & flooding the market is true, that also means the Treasury will never get its money back. 8-)

  24. @ Crossbat I do not think that was an argument (then again maybe I am too use to social forums haha) but instead quite an interesting conversation looking at the contrasting views of how to achieve the same perceived aim. I do not think you completely understood my point, however I made it rather obliquely so not surprising and to be honest I do not have anything I disagree with in your reply anyway and respect what you put there so no point making rebuttal haha.

  25. @all

    Some of you may remember that I release a set of diagrams every four weeks depicting the party poll numbers. The latest set should have been released on Sunday but were unavoidably delayed, for which I apologise. The latest set are below:

    * Term_yellow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625645211058/
    * Term_red: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625645207632/
    * Term_all: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625491341803/
    * Term_blue: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625617047896/
    * Term_gray: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625491334241/
    * Raw_all: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625484575847/
    * Historical_grid_all_week: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625484534863/
    * Grid_all_week: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625478048341/

    The diagrams cover the period 2011-04-07 to 2011-05-04, i.e. weeks 049-052 since the 2010 election.
    The next set will cover the period 2011-05-06 to 2011-06-01, i.e. weeks 053-056 since the 2010 election and will be released on/before Sunday 2011-06-12, subject to known problems.

    Regards, Martyn

  26. (reposted to get round moderation)

    @all

    Some of you may remember that I release a set of diagrams every four weeks depicting the party poll numbers. The latest set should have been released on Sunday but were unavoidably delayed, for which I apologise. The latest set are below:

    * Term_yellow: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625645211058/
    * Term_red: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625645207632/
    * Term_all: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625491341803/
    * Term_blue: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625617047896/
    * Term_gray: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625491334241/
    * Raw_all: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625484575847/
    * Historical_grid_all_week: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625484534863/
    * Grid_all_week: h ttp://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625478048341/

    The diagrams cover the period 2011-04-07 to 2011-05-04, i.e. weeks 049-052 since the 2010 election.
    The next set will cover the period 2011-05-06 to 2011-06-01, i.e. weeks 053-056 since the 2010 election and will be released on/before Sunday 2011-06-12, subject to known problems.

    Regards, Martyn

  27. @ Colin

    It amuses me to consider that whilst Blue & Yellow ( with a dash of Orange) produces a rather fetching Green……………Red, Purple & Blue combine to a rather muddy brown…….or should that be a Muddy Brown
    ——————————————————–
    You are no art student, my dear.

    Red, purple & blue combine to make more purple.

    Blue & yellow do indeed make green but if you add to those orange (being red & yellow combined) you get (muddy?) brown.
    8-)

  28. I personally am thrilled to bits with that august body of men and women the NYPD. They jumped on Monsewer
    Crapard like any other potential danger to women.

    New York, New York, so good they named twice.

  29. @ Crossbat11/Nick H

    “You and I are a mutual admiration society and, as I’ve told you before, I greatly enjoy reading your posts. I learn a lot from them too, not just about yourself but your country’s politics too. I studied US politics in the 70s, but I’m criminally out of date, although my fascination remains undimmed.

    As a matter of interest, what are the US press and public making of the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn? The French Left think it’s a Sarkozy/US inspired conspiracy but, leaving the politics aside, it’s got the potential to be one of the biggest falls from grace since Kurt Waldheim, hasn’t it?”

    Well thank you for your kind words. I don’t think you’re that criminally out of date. I have a love of politics in general, a fascination, and a need to be politically active. For me, it’s only natural that my curiosity wonders off to look at politics of other countries (especially those where English (or whatever similar language is spoken in the United Kingdom) is the primary language).

    As for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it hasn’t gotten very much press coverage. I don’t believe that this is a conspiracy. For one thing, who is willing to commit a conspiracy for Sarkozy? Does anyone like that guy? I just imagine on Libya, where he, Obama, and Cameron had telephone conference calls that Sarkozy probably insisted that the conversation be conducted in French. I don’t think that New York local authorities are interested in international affairs or overseas politics. I would honestly be surprised if many people in the U.S. knew who Dominique Strauss-Kahn was or what he did (prior to this arrest of course). That would likely include the housekeeper in his hotel suite. I don’t know if you ever saw the movie “Maid in Manhattan” but hotel cleaning staff are usually not politically attuned.

    The man is innocent until proven guilty. Who knows what really happenned, I’m sure it’ll come out at trial.

    I am forgetting who Kurt Waldheim is. I’m trying to think of a politician who had this massive a fall from grace. I’d like to say John Edwards but I think Strauss-Kahn was in a far better position politically. Btw, that reminds me, ex-Governor Gropenfuhrer admitted that he fathered a love child and that’s why he and Maria are breaking up. Sad.

  30. @ Liberal Student
    “PS and to all you labour’s who deny this way of thinking, I grow up under your government and know actually how you treated me and rest of my generation in your attempts to get us out of our own dispassionate ways. That is not to say you didn’t have successes, you did, I just do not think your way worked anymore than the ways before it because like all of them, it treated the people too much groups of polarised masses.” Etc.

    Um. Speaking as one of the labour’s . . . . .
    As a parody of Jack Kerouac after 2 bottles of Tequila –not bad. As an advert for the previous government’s record spending on secondary & higher education –not so good.

  31. BlueOrange, as are
    RedGreen, and at a push
    PurpleGreen/Yellow

  32. Blue and Orange are complimenary, as are
    Red and Green, and at a push
    Purple and Green/Yellow

    (hit an html snag there).

  33. @socaliberal
    Kurt Waldhiem was General Secretary of United Nations.
    It emerged he served in the Waffen SS during the war. In light of the fact he was an Austrian, it was no great shock to many people.

  34. Amber

    I assume the shares would be ordinary stock with the entitlement to dividend & a vote.

    Re colours :-

    “Red, purple & blue combine to make more purple”

    I agree-so it’s Purple Labour then ?

    “Blue & yellow do indeed make green but if you add to those orange (being red & yellow combined) you get (muddy?) brown”

    Just checked this with an online tool-the orange alters the shade of green-but it is still green.

    I tried just Blue & Orange because that is the most likely combination-some might say its the one we’ve got……..it produces Black!……..so I’ve gone off the whole idea of these colour combinations-I think they’re all bl**dy silly.

    I’ll stick to Blue-know where I am with that :-)

  35. @SocalLiberal

    Interesting observations about Monsieur Strauss-Kahn and, for what it’s worth, I don’t believe the Sarkozy conspiracy theory either. That said, politically, both he and Marie Le Pen stand to benefit from a weakened Socialist candidate in the Presidential race, and DS-K was thought to have a very good chance of beating Sarkozy who’s personal popularity is at an all time low. The French Socialists will need to find another credible candidate very quickly, preferably not Ms Royal.

    As for DS-K’s fate, and he’s got some form on this, then if he’s guilty, he deserves all that he gets because the charges are very serious. However, you’re right about the presumption of innocence until proved guilty (it’s the other way round in France, ironically!) and I hope he gets a fair trial.

    Good analogy with John Edwards; probably better than mine about Waldheim. He was a former UN General Secretary and President of Austria in the 1970s who had to resign abruptly when his former SS and Nazi connections were exposed. There was quite a body of evidence, some photographic, that he participated in Nazi atrocities during their occupation of Yugoslavia. He disappered from public life very quickly!

    @Liberal Student

    You’re right; it was a discussion, not an argument and I take on board a lot of what you say about social mobility. It’s a hellishly complex problem and, let’s face it, one that no Government, of whatever political hue, has managed to crack. The fun though, is continuing to try!

  36. Sapper

    Couldn’t agree more-said so to my better half.

    Doesn’t matter who you are over there-no one is above the Law.

    They dragged him off a plane-fantastic.

  37. @SoCalLiberal

    FYI – My post at 7.52pm was the last few words of a famous American political novel. The full sentence is:

    “But that will be a long time from now, and soon we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time.”

    Do you recongise it?

  38. @COLIN
    The latest brain wave from Labour is blue Labour. They will reintroduce smoking in pubs. Presumably the Queen would receive a pension and be repatriated to Germany, as opposed to being lynched on a lamp post.

  39. @ Liberal Student

    ” I agree 100%, I think that is about as close to a social fact that you get. The problem is not what we want as a result, but how to achieve such a thing because your not just trying to change the system, your trying to change natural luck itself.”

    Yeah, I see your point.

    “=back on topic, what do you think to the slightly concerning growth of drug dependence among the American youth? This is not illegal drugs, but actual legal drugs being given for often erroneously diagnosed ‘mental illness’ (Last statistic said 1 in 5 American teenages was using prescription drugs which is scary)”

    Well I don’t think it’s dependence if you need the drugs. Or if that is dependence, then dependence is a good thing rather than a bad thing. What does worry me with teenagers and children is that when their parents give them certain kinds of drugs, you are possibly altering their personalities and their minds and the minors are not really consenting. So it’s one thing to say that one takes medication and that it’s their own choice that they made personally. It’s quite another to take medication that they are forced to by others. The lines get blurred.

  40. @ Raf

    “FYI – My post at 7.52pm was the last few words of a famous American political novel. The full sentence is:

    “But that will be a long time from now, and soon we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time.”

    Do you recongise it?”

    Sadly, I do not recognize it. :(

  41. SAPPER

    Yes-they’ve gone colour mad-much good may it do them :-)

  42. YouGov 17th May:

    39-41-9 (-20)

    Not sure where the extra vote share for teh Tories is coming from, but I would guess it’s mostly those who went to UKIP for a while.

    For me, though, the telling thing is still that 2010 Con voters are still voting Con (90%), 2010 Lab voters are still voting Lab (91%) and 2010 LD voters are split 13-38-36 (Con-Lab-LD). This really hasn’t changed in weeks, and if it stays this way then the Tories simply cannot win an election.

  43. @Sapper

    I’ve been meaning to ask you this for some time, especially since you take such a justifiably high minded approach to politicians who go to clink. What are we to make of these two ermine cloaked bounders, Lord Taylor and Lord Hanningfield? Are we going to throw the book at them and are they going to join that Tory pantheon of Tory clink-goers, Lord Archer and Jonathan Aitken? The public awaits their fate and I presume you do too.

  44. @ Crossbat11/Nick H

    “Interesting observations about Monsieur Strauss-Kahn and, for what it’s worth, I don’t believe the Sarkozy conspiracy theory either. That said, politically, both he and Marie Le Pen stand to benefit from a weakened Socialist candidate in the Presidential race, and DS-K was thought to have a very good chance of beating Sarkozy who’s personal popularity is at an all time low. The French Socialists will need to find another credible candidate very quickly, preferably not Ms Royal.

    As for DS-K’s fate, and he’s got some form on this, then if he’s guilty, he deserves all that he gets because the charges are very serious. However, you’re right about the presumption of innocence until proved guilty (it’s the other way round in France, ironically!) and I hope he gets a fair trial.

    Good analogy with John Edwards; probably better than mine about Waldheim. He was a former UN General Secretary and President of Austria in the 1970s who had to resign abruptly when his former SS and Nazi connections were exposed. There was quite a body of evidence, some photographic, that he participated in Nazi atrocities during their occupation of Yugoslavia. He disappered from public life very quickly!”

    Re: Waldheim. Wow. That is a fall from grace.

    Remind me not to get arrested in France. Did you ever see the film the Pink Panther Strikes Again in 1976? There’s that hilarious interrogation scene that is even funnier in the context of the differences between English and French law. The scene of a bumbling French detective who harasses and insults a polite group of English people (while accidentally destroying an antique knight’s suit, destroying a priceless Steinway, setting himself on fire, and accidentally shooting the head of the Scotland Yard) and getting it back in his face is priceless.

  45. “But that will be a long time from now, and soon we shall go out of the house and go into the convulsion of the world, out of history into history and the awful responsibility of Time.”

    Sherwood Anderson – ‘Winesburg’?

    http://cuttingedgeuk.proboards.com/index.cgi

  46. @ Crossbat11/Nick H

    ” That said, politically, both he and Marie Le Pen stand to benefit from a weakened Socialist candidate in the Presidential race, and DS-K was thought to have a very good chance of beating Sarkozy who’s personal popularity is at an all time low. The French Socialists will need to find another credible candidate very quickly, preferably not Ms Royal.”

    You know, Royal was thought to be the savior of the French Socialists too. And she turned out not to be. And what a candidate polls early on and what we think of a strong candidate doesn’t always turn out to be that way. I think Royal can beat Sarkozy in a rematch. I think she can beat LePen too.

  47. @SoCalLiberal

    Maybe you haven’t read it. It’s All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.

  48. Any English policeman with experience will tell you that the French police are diabolical. And I put my closet Francophobia and Euroscepticism to one side before making that observation. Germany’s BKD, by contrast, are a shining example of both professionalism and SNP-style “that’s a good idea, let’s do it”-ism.

  49. @SocalLiberal

    “Did you ever see the film the Pink Panther Strikes Again in 1976?”

    Ahhh, you’re talking about one of our comedy giants, the great Peter Sellers who played the bumbling but endearing French detective Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther series of films. I saw many of the Pink Panther films, but many years ago and I don’t know if one of them was “Strikes Again”. The scene you go on to describe rings a bell though and the Sellers portrayal of Clouseau remains one of the great masterpieces of British post war comedy, certainly in my opinion. Sellers was known as a hilarious nightmare to work with because he regularly reduced his fellow actors on set to tears of laughter and they usually had to shoot every scene ten times before they could get through it without collapsing into fits of hilarity. A very funny man, but a surprisingly complex one too who’s personal life, like a lot of comedians, was a semi-tragic one.

  50. Looking at maximums and minimums on YouGov since the GE:

    May – Oct 2010
    Con 44-39%, Lab 41-32%, LD 21-11%

    Oct 2010 – May 2011
    Con 42-33%, Lab 45-38%, LD 11-7%.

    Breaking it down a little further
    Q1 Con 44-39%, Lab 38-32%, LD 21-12%
    Q2 Con 44-39%, Lab 41-36%, LD 15-9%
    Q3 Con 42-35%, Lab 44-38%, LD 11-7%
    Q4 Con 39-33%, Lab 45-39%, LD 11-8%.

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