There are two new polls tonight – a new ComRes telephone poll for the Independent has topline figures of CON 37%(+3), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 12%(-3), Others 14%(nc). Changes are from the last ComRes poll conducted by telephone a month ago, rather than their parallel online polls for the Independent on Sunday. It’s the first time this year that ComRes have produced a poll without a Labour lead.

Meanwhile YouGov’s daily poll in the Sun has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. YouGov had also been showing a narrowing Labour lead earlier in May, but it seems to have disappeared over the last few polls.

(I do not have regular internet access this week, so updates will be few and far between, and I will not be monitoring comments)


396 Responses to “New ComRes and YouGov polls”

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  1. “Are you a refugee from those other sites?”

    Many of the refugees from the MSN boards, which closed down on 21 March, relocated to:-
    http://cuttingedgeuk.proboards.com/index.cgi

    Further refugees and other new members are welcome – and we even have a thread for discussing opinion polls!

  2. @Mike N – “Don’t look for Lordtory there, I work under different nom de plumes.” [From @Lordtory] – the person you are thinking of would NEVER have used a French term….

    @Lordtory – welcome, whoever you are. Nice to have new people, different views etc, although there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on that tells me we might not agree on everything.

    On healthcare; three stories in the news tonight throw some intriguing light on NHS reforms. The abuse in a Winterbourne View hospital, the effective bankruptcy of Southern Cross, the biggest care home company in the UK, and the Voice of the City poll for City AM showing overwhelming support for Landsley’s NHS reforms.

    Winterbourne View is a privately owned hospital, Southern Cross is a private company with a history of venture capital and private equity fund involvement, and Lansley wants far greater private provision in healthcare, backed by the same people who backed Southern Cross and Winterbourne View.

    It would be fallacious to claim that no private provider could ever successfully deliver good quality and excellent value healthcare in the UK. However, what Lansley’s supporters (and some posters here) claim is that only a private market in healthcare can lead to excellence and value for money.

    These news stories tell me that this ideological preference for the private sector is misplaced. There is in effect a land grab underway for healthcare in the UK, with no clear evidence (and actually plenty of counter evidence) that private provision is better that NHS state service. All the fiercely intelligent city types managed to do with Southern Cross is bankrupt it, and the private management of Winterbourne view has clearly been appalling.

    Maybe worth remembering next time we are told the NHS needs more of the private sector discipline?

  3. Old Nat,Of course it was a compliment,I greatly respect
    your knowledge of polling matters.My comments, such as
    they are ,are always based on things as I see them,and I
    Hope common sense.I firmly believe that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and never use it, if it can at all be avoided!

  4. Ann (in Wales)

    Alas, I am but a humble supplicant at Anthony’s feet (unless we’re talking about polling in that country whose very name offends some on here :-) )

  5. OldNat

    It might have more to do with people being (on average) less community-minded in London and the South. After all it’s whether you are aware of the cuts rather than whether you are affected by them. If you’re less likely to read the local paper or listen to a local radio station or belong to local voluntary groups or talk to your neighbours, then you will be less aware of what’s going on.

    It may also be in part a partisan effect. Those are also the areas with the highest Conservative vote, so supporters may be eager to minimise the effect of the cuts – likewise there are less opponents, specifically Labour, to make the most of it.

    Finally, it may actually be true. The settlement to local authorities was deliberately harsher on the cities (remember London is mainly suburban) and other areas seen as needy. Tories saw this as evening things out, Labour as penalising those in greatest want. So it should be expected that those where the cuts are lightest would feel them less.

  6. Old Nat,Well I think that you and Amber Star are splendid
    but I do not want you to get too big headed ,so I will say good night.I am glad that you have not taken offence at my
    clumsy phraseology.

  7. Roger Mexico

    Thanks

    As to the latest YouGov – I wonder if this is some sort of confirmation of yesterday’s ComRes, even though YG show LD unchanged, it does tend to show LD lower than in other polls.

  8. Ann (in Wales)

    Thanks. goodnight.

  9. I’ve been away for a while so not sure if people picked up on the really poor manufacturing PMI data earlier today. UK manufacturing now looks like it is stagnating, with a probable contraction on the way. Last month new orders slowed sharply, which is being reflected in the slowdown now. Today’s figures have new orders contracting – suggesting very strongly that in a month or two UK manufacturing will be in full decline. This has great significance for overall UK growth.

    Manufacturing data globally is looking significantly worse, and there is a slow motion banking crisis going on in the Eurozone which hasn’t yet hit the headlines. Co -ordinated austerity was what we tried in the 1930’s and it was a disaster. At the behest of the financiers we’ve just done it again.

  10. Incidentally – I’m not sure what the Downing Street guarantee to Southern Cross care home residents means for NHS reforms. If private companies are to make profits from the taxpayer for supplying healthcare, but then leave the taxpayer to pick up the tab when it fails, it undercuts entirely the market function.

    The free market system is effective where company failure can be tolerated. In services where this is unacceptable, I wonder what is the point of the market discipline? As with the banks, this raises the moral hazard issue. Companies will be encouraged to slice costs and suck out profits, with failure bailed out by the taxpayer. I’m still waiting for any convincing evidence that the free market principle is better at providing healthcare than state provision.

  11. Alec

    “I’m not sure what the Downing Street guarantee to Southern Cross care home residents means for NHS reforms. If private companies are to make profits from the taxpayer for supplying healthcare, but then leave the taxpayer to pick up the tab when it fails, it undercuts entirely the market function.”

    Does the English Government have a direct role in referring the elderly to organisations such as Southern Cross? If not, their “guarantee” seems somewhat dangerous. It’s rather like the banking situation – private profit : public loss.

  12. @Alec,

    Presumably it depends on the form of the guarantee the government offers. If it merely promises to pump cash from the Treasury into Southern Cross in soft loans etc then you may be right. I’d prefer it to propose buying the assets (ie the care homes) of Southern Cross at firesale prices, running them as state-owned private companies with a view to eventually assessing whether to a) sell them off as a single entity to a “new” Southern Cross, b) sell them off piecemeal to existing companies, and to smaller management buyouts or c) keep them in public ownership or in a non-profit capacity equivalent to housing associations etc. That approach would guarantee the coherence of the service provided, ensure continuity for existing staff and residents, and in all likelihood provide a reasonable return, or at least avoid a significant loss, in the long term. And it would also provide a little laboratory in which the government could compare and contrast outcomes from the different approaches (if, Heaven forfend, they ever felt like a bit of evidence-based policymaking..)

  13. @Alec,

    If the world economy is going to tank again, I’m not sure it can be laid at the door of austerity. Many of the world’s governments didn’t go for austerity at all (Gordon Brown Saved The World, remember), and I am not all convinced that the international credit markets could have coped with huge lending to the entire planet over a 10+ year period to “buy” prosperity back. It may simply be that our system as currently configured is broken and needs to fall apart to be rebuilt. I hope not, as the human consequences would be appalling, but I really don’t buy that there was an easy and obvious way out the problems.

  14. Neil A

    “I’d prefer it to propose buying the assets (ie the care homes) of Southern Cross at firesale prices”

    Does Southern Cross actually have many assets in England? Here their problem is that they largely operate within premises owned by others and can no longer afford to pay the rents.

  15. Alec

    If private companies are to make profits from the taxpayer … but then leave the taxpayer to pick up the tab when it fails, it undercuts entirely the market function.

    PFI ?? Banks ???

    Welcome to the wonderful world of late capitalism.

  16. Oldnat,

    I think it’s true that people are, on the whole, less dependent on government services in the South. Mostly that’s just a consequence of wealth, but there are other reasons too. The South has colossal numbers of immigrants, many of whom aren’t entitled to some of the things that are being cut back on. Scotland has so few immigrants by comparison that you can probably barely comprehend what I mean by that. It is also more densely populated, and so certain services (buses for example) can be provided with a smaller public subsidy than elsewhere and are therefore less vulnerable to cuts.

    The structure of the government’s grant cuts, as others have mentioned, is probably a big factor too. Some wealthier areas are barely having their grants cut at all. Whether that is unfair or not entirely depends on the prism you view it through. Many people believe that the poor deserve everything and the rich deserve nothing.

  17. Roger Mexico

    “late capitalism”

    Slartibartfast: “Hurry up or you’ll be late”
    Arthur: “What do you mean?”
    Slartibartfast: “Late as in the late Arthur Dent, it’s a sort of a threat you see?”

  18. @OldNat

    “Does anyone know why London and the South of England have a higher percentage saying that “I am not aware of significant cuts to services in my area”?”

    I would guess it’s because most Tory councils in the SE didn’t get much/any of a cut in funding. The funding formula was “reformed” so as to avoid cuts in Tory areas.

  19. Neil A

    Thanks

    Part of it is also media narrative as well, I suppose. Scottish LA funding has been cut much less than in England, but cuts are still made of course.

  20. Neil A/OldNat

    My understanding is that Southern Cross financed their expansion by selling off their properties with a guarantee of continually increasing rents. The problem is that local authorities (because of government cutbacks) are driving income down. Southern Cross are appealing to their landlords for a rent moratorium, but there is no reason why they shouldn’t say “No thanks, take your residents elsewhere”. Which leaves local and national government with problems (not to mention the poor residents).

  21. @Oldnat,

    Presumably if the reason they can’t pay those rents is the financial burden imposed by the debt they’ve accrued playing the markets, then there is still an “asset” (in the sense of a business that is a going concern) even if it doesn’t own the premises concerned.

    If the owners and investors of Southern Cross allowed their company to be used as a casino then they can and should be allowed to lose their shirts. My wife works in a privately owned care home and the rents are upwards of £350 per week. I refuse to believe that the business itself cannot be made profitable, even if the people who own it are so heavily leveraged that they can’t meet the payments on their loans.

  22. Robin

    Thanks to you too.

    Forgive my ignorance of local government in London, but I thought Labour still controlled many of the boroughs there, even though it is a Tory mayor.

    (I could go look it up, but it’s late – not Arthur Dent late :-) )

  23. @Robin,

    Well, there’s that prism again. My understanding is that Labour “reformed” the grant system to award more money to their own areas. The current government has partially “reformed” it back again. Poor areas still get a vastly greater sum from central government than wealthier areas.

  24. Roger Mexico

    “My understanding is that Southern Cross financed their expansion by selling off their properties with a guarantee of continually increasing rents.”

    Thanks. I hadn’t realised the mechanics of what they had done.

    “The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) says it has been aware of the company’s predicament for some time and is working with them to ensure financial stability and the residents’ welfare.” (STV)

    I wonder what that staement means exactly.

  25. Labour controls some of the inner and semi-inner Boroughs, but not that many really. No doubt when the next London Council elections arrive that will change dramatically.

    People sometimes forget what a leafy, beautiful and quietly bucolic place much of “London” actually is.

    But to go back to my point about immigrants, many of the residents of inner London aren’t entitled to help from central or local government because they haven’t lived in the UK long enough. They probably are genuinely unaffected by cuts to public spending, other than the reduction it produces in the spending power of the area they live in and therefore their own job prospects.

  26. We could be doing with Barney’s, or Peter Cairns’ expertise at this point.

  27. OldNat

    “I wonder what that sta[t]ement means exactly.”

    Headless f*****g chickens

    Southern Cross has 31,000 residents in its homes according to the BBC. Although LAs only legally have to rehouse the people they have placed there, in practice they will have to cope with the mess.

    Maybe rather than ‘late capitalism’ I should have called it ‘zombie capitalism’. There’s no reason it should live, but it keeps on moving (and it certainly seems to have eaten the brains of some of those it has come in contact with).

  28. Roger Mexico

    I was being far more circumspect in my comment. :-)

    Fortunately, while there is a care home (not Southern Cross) opposite our house, the cemetery is over our back wall.

    Mrs Nat reckons that tipping me over the wall might be preferable to sending me across the road.

  29. @Neil A
    1. “My understanding is that Labour “reformed” the grant system to award more money to their own areas. The current government has partially “reformed” it back again.”

    Every government changes the grant system to councils to some extent or the other. But the minor tinkering by Blair did little to change the pattern of grant allocations he inherited and was very modest indeed compared to what we’ve seen from Pickles in just one year.

    2. “Poor areas still get a vastly greater sum from central government than wealthier areas.

    Differences exist and so they should. But they are generally quite small once you take the flat rate reallocation to councils of revenue from national business rates into account.

    You may be in favour of flat rate taxes regardless of differences in ability to pay, but if not you have to accept that councils in areas with lower property values need more grant in the absence of being able to raise as much in council tax as other areas. The problem is that in this year’s council settlement Pickles and Cameron have watered down the principle, and in doing so have by stealth gone quite a long way down the route first mapped out by Thatcher and the poll tax in 1988.

  30. Phil

    “you have to accept that councils in areas with lower property values need more grant in the absence of being able to raise as much in council tax as other areas.”

    So why are Labour (at least up here) so committed to keeping Council Tax as the basis of Local government finance?

  31. @ John Murphy

    “@Socalllib
    ‘You can boil it down to this. Should the poor man have to give up his cherished weekly meal at MickeyD’s just so that the wealthy man can continue to enjoy expensive meals at Gordon Ramsey’s latest creation? Again, to quote Chief Justice Warren, is that fair?’
    You have the bones of the argument is that from that reduction we can make a nourishing jelly – but it means we must reject the menu on offer and make our own broth.
    The solutions on offer around the world only ensure a further repetition the mistakes.
    This is the craziness of the 1930s – it’s like giving another sharp knife to the man who’s just cut off your arm in the hope that next time he’ll either cut off someone else’s arm or your leg. Either way it’s crippling….”

    I think we are making a lot of the same mistakes of the past. I’m not completely opposed to deficit cutting either. But I approach it with some perspective on what it actually does in the real world, as opposed to economic models produced by the “economic geniuses” in right wing think tanks. I also think that the left needs to come at the deficit from this perspective when offering a solution to current economic problems. It can’t just be technical arguments or alternatively angry rants/unprincipled oppositon. There has to be an alternative vision.

    Also, I love your nickname of “SoCalLib” for me. Greatly enjoyed and appreciated. :)

  32. @OldNat
    We both know quite well that council tax isn’t a flat rate property tax, even if (in contrast to the old domestic rates) it doesn’t vary in full proportion to property values. But that wasn’t the point of your post.

    You make my point regarding Blair’s timidity on council finance – one example of which is that we’re still operating a system of local taxes virtually unchanged from that brought in by Heseltine 20 years ago.

    I do hope the SNP don’t chicken out of major changes to local taxation in Scotland, not least because it could overcome timidity towards reform in England that is still too evident in Labour circles. Just because the SNP didn’t expect an overall majority isn’t any reason to go back on all those manifesto pledges it didn’t expect to be held accountable for!

  33. @ Craig

    “Depends what you mean by “done well”; Attlee done more in his first term than Blair done all premiership. I’d rather a short, but effective leftist government than a emasculated centrist that stays in power for a decade and a half and doesn’t/can’t significantly change anything.

    As one person brilliant described Blair’s rule at the time of the 2001 G/E landslide (which coincidentally had by far the worst voter turnout ever – especially so in heartland Labour seats) – spending all the time neutralising the opposition and doing nothing to inspire the supporters.”

    In terms of doing well, I don’t think Labour would have had a victory of the magnitude they did without Blair in 1997 even though they would have likely won anyway without him.

    Regardless of the turnout, he still won and still won in a landslide in 2001. You can’t factor in non-voters because they chose to exercise their right not to vote. I think in that election, what was ironic is that in a lot of the marginal seats, Labour’s margins actually increased and had an increased swing. The swing against them nationwide was largely due to Labour’s vote falling in their areas of core support. Low turnout might have occurred as a result that most people assumed Blair was going to win anyway.

    @ Lord Tory

    “I did not expect to defend The Rt Hon A Blair Esq. But I must say that Mr Attlee had much more to go at. So much more needed to be done in 1945 than in 1997. The Land Fit For Hero’s reforms that did not work had been dumped long before Blair and the institutions such as the NHS and Education just needed tinkering with. What I would say is that, had I been a grown man in 1950, I would have shaken Mr Attlee’s hand, (and some of his cabinet,) but had I met Mr Blair in 2006, his body guards would have had to pull me of off him.”

    You know what’s funny? In my 10th grade European History class, we learned about Attlee defeating Churchill after World War II. So many of the students in the class (those who were actually paying attention/cared) were upset by this development and were aghast at how a great wartime leader like Churchill could be rejected by the voters and replaced with Attlee (I think of all British PMs, Churchill is probably the most well known to Americans and the most beloved). The teacher, who felt the same way, seemed to indicate that students felt this way every year when he taught the material.

    I, on the other hand, was the lone student who was (1) paying attention and (2) not unhappy to learn of this. And the reason why was Tony Blair. I knew who Tony Blair was, I liked Tony Blair, and I knew that he and Attlee belonged to the same political party. As a result of blindly associating the two of them, I was pro-Attlee.

    I still like Blair but he made a lot of mistakes. I bought his book (it was half off at my local Borders fire sale), haven’t had time to start it yet. I’ve heard me makes a lot of praises of George W. Bush in it, which makes me question my previously held belief’s about Blair’s judgment and intelligence. But I’ll reserve judgment till I read the book.

  34. @ Neil A

    “People sometimes forget what a leafy, beautiful and quietly bucolic place much of “London” actually is.”

    I love London though admittedly I’m probably not familiar with the bucolic, leafy sections except to the extent I’ve clicked on descriptions of constituencies representing these zones in Parliament on this website (unless you count Bray as part of the greater London area). But I find the crowded, touristy center city parts and neighborhoods beautiful too. Even some of those areas can take on a bucolic feel at points. I haven’t been in 9 years but I will get a brief visit in a few months which is exciting.

    People complain about the sprawl and the disorganization of city streets and all but I must say as a native Angelino, I find London to be totally intuitive and easily navigable.

  35. @ Barbazenzero

    “That would be fine, if you included uniformity of access to the court, but I think you missed the point oldnat tried to make about using one legal jurisdiction to limit the access of another legal jurisdiction to the Supreme Court.

    In this instance, all the people in states which have signed up to the European Convention on Human Rights (=all EEA member states + other European states from Albania to Ukraine) are agreed in having that jurisdiction with the European Court of Human Rights in Strassburg. The problem is that denizens of the “home” nations of the UK do not have uniformity of access to it.

    What’s different here is that the Scotland and England have different legal systems, enshrined in the Treaty of Union and the Acts of Union, plus the UK Supreme Court is not actually a “new kid on the block” but an expansion of the old English House of Lords when sitting as a court, which never did have jurisdiction over Scottish criminal matters.

    What the Blair/Brown government did was simply to rename it for English and Welsh purposes but to insert it as a new layer between the Scottish legal system and the ECHR, with different rights of access to E&W vs Scottish cases. In “normal” countries, this would be seen as fiddling with the constitution, but of course as neither the UK nor its “member” nations have anything approaching a codified constitution, “anything goes” that can command a majority in the House of Commons.”

    So then, prior to the establishment of the UK Supreme Court, who was the final court of appeal for Scots before appealing to the European Court of Human Rights?

    Are there any larger bodies of individual constitutional rights that historically are considered to be applicable to all citizens of the United Kingdom? Or have your individual legal rights always depended on one’s citizenship?

  36. Phil

    “Just because the SNP didn’t expect an overall majority isn’t any reason to go back on all those manifesto pledges it didn’t expect to be held accountable for!” :-) :-)

    My earnest wish is that the SNP will follow the mantra of “we don’t have a monopoly of wisdom” and accept the the Green policy of Land Value Tax is better than Local Income Tax.

  37. @ Old Nat

    “Alas, I am but a humble supplicant at Anthony’s feet (unless we’re talking about polling in that country whose very name offends some on here )”

    Which country is that?

  38. SoCalLiberal

    “So then, prior to the establishment of the UK Supreme Court, who was the final court of appeal for Scots before appealing to the European Court of Human Rights?

    Are there any larger bodies of individual constitutional rights that historically are considered to be applicable to all citizens of the United Kingdom? Or have your individual legal rights always depended on one’s citizenship?”

    1. Prior to the UK Supreme Cort, the final court of appeal in civil cases was the UK House of Lords. The final court of appeal in criminal cases was the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. Human rights appeals could be made direct to Strasbourg.
    2. After the creation of the UK Supreme Court, the final court of appeal in civil cases is the UK Supreme Court. The final court of appeal in criminal cases is the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. However, “devolution issues” are also a matter for the UK Supreme Court. It is on this basis (and not human rights directly) that the UK Supreme Court takes appeals from the High Court without their permission – in contradistinction to the Appeal court of england and Wales which requires to give permission for an appeal to be made to the Supreme Court.

  39. SoCalLiberal

    “Which country is that?”

    Isle of Man, perhaps?

    Some posters probably really dislike Roger Mexico’s posts. :-)

  40. @ Old Nat

    So of all the U.S. Supreme Court cases you mentioned yesterday in talking about the decision to reverse the Scottish court, there’s a case you didn’t mention (and with good reason as I doubt you or anyone else in the UK has ever heard of it):

    Stansbury v. California, 511 U.S. 318 (1994).

    A man was convicted of the murder of a 10 year old girl he kidnapped off a public playground in Baldwin Park (and probably raped. Initially during the investigation, the police had a suspect (who wasn’t this man) and thought that the man, an ice cream truck driver, was a potential witness. They didn’t consider him a suspect. They brought him in and began interviewing him (thinking he was a witness). About midway through the interview, one of the interviewing officers realized that they had the wrong guy and in fact the witness was the suspect (I imagine this is the moment in tv crime drama shows where the eerie music plays).

    Anyway, the cop immediately stopped the interview and issued the man an immediate Miranda warning. Well they eventually arrested the guy, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He appealed his conviction and challenged, among other things, statements he made to officers prior to the Miranda warning. This didn’t persuade the Court as they reasoned that the officers did not think the guy was a suspect until midway through the interview and had no subjective intent to interrogate the guy. The California Supreme Court affirmed the conviction with only one Justice dissenting in part because of his opposition to the death penalty.

    Well the U.S. Supreme Court granted partial certioari and incredibly reversed unanimously. Why? The California Supreme Court misapplied the Miranda standard for interrogations. They had inquired into the subjective intent of the interviewing police officers as opposed to applying an objective standard, which is the standard under the 5th Amendment. The case was remanded and the California Supreme Court reaffirmed their prior decision, applying the proper objective standard for Miranda, to hold that the suspect was not in custody at the time he made incriminating statements. Three court cases, all unanimous (except on the issue of the penalty), all per curiam, from two high courts all to come to the same result.

    So why do I share this? The United States Supreme Court did not reverse because they decided to insert themselves into decisions of California law or to fix California law or to belittle the California Supreme Court or to suggest that California was not capable of running its own affairs. They reversed because California had misapplied federal law. What this demonstrates is that court decisions can be decided on very small issues and sometimes those issues don’t really mean anything when it comes to the ultimate outcome of the case. Instead the decisions are far more important for protecting uniformity of law and ensuring process is done properly.

  41. @ Old Nat

    “Isle of Man, perhaps?

    Some posters probably really dislike Roger Mexico’s posts.”

    Is Isle of Man even a country? Also, who would really dislike Roger Mexico’s posts? I love his posts. Then again, I can be a contrarian* on these things.

    *I consider myself a principled contrarian. That is, I don’t just take up opinions to be contrary to what’s popular just for the sake of being a contrarian (though many people are like this). In fact, frankly, I love it when I have an opinion that I find out is the majority opinion (or better yet, becomes that). But I am not afraid to take a position that’s contrary to popular opinion and I don’t do pop culture politics.

  42. @ Old Nat

    “Are there any larger bodies of individual constitutional rights that historically are considered to be applicable to all citizens of the United Kingdom? Or have your individual legal rights always depended on one’s citizenship?”

    1. Prior to the UK Supreme Cort, the final court of appeal in civil cases was the UK House of Lords. The final court of appeal in criminal cases was the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. Human rights appeals could be made direct to Strasbourg.
    2. After the creation of the UK Supreme Court, the final court of appeal in civil cases is the UK Supreme Court. The final court of appeal in criminal cases is the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh. However, “devolution issues” are also a matter for the UK Supreme Court. It is on this basis (and not human rights directly) that the UK Supreme Court takes appeals from the High Court without their permission – in contradistinction to the Appeal court of england and Wales which requires to give permission for an appeal to be made to the Supreme Court.”

    Thanks for this. Very informative (as usual). I have a few comments.

    1. I have to say that the idea that the England and Wales high courts have to give permission to the UK Supreme Court before the UK Supreme Court is kinda ridiculous. I am not a judge but I know this about judges, they do NOT like getting reversed. And if given the option, most will not give permission to be overturned.

    2. Notwithstanding my opinion that this concept is ridiculous, I’m all for equal opportunity crazy. Scottish judges should get the same privilege as English judges and Welsh judges.

    3. I think you have to give some credit to the Labour government for attempting to create some uniformity to the system. You had all civil cases in Scotland going before the House of Lords prior to the creation of the Court. I would imagine though that if Scots Law and English Law were different, you guys would have far more differences in civil than criminal law. If the House of Lords was the final court of appeal though, it would seem like you’d have UK intervention into Scots law. And so if anything, the UK Supreme Court would seem to have a more restricted ability.

    4. Civil cases are important, they can involve issues of individual constitutional rights just like criminal cases. Some of the most important individual civil rights acheivements in constitutional law come from civil cases.

    In any case, thank you for this information. I find it fascinating to see how different (and confusing) this system is compared to my own.

  43. Alec

    Fair comment on the implications from Southern Cross.

    Thirs was an unbelievably flawed model though-to have over 30,000 vulnerable old people living in leased premises should not have been allowed.
    Private Care Homes should at least be required to own the premises in which they place their old people.

    Which still leaves the truecost of providing the service-in a state owned/run home-or a private one.

    I see all major care home operators have written to all three major parties , urging a satisfactory policy for care of the elderly.
    I guess they mean that the state is not paying enough to provide appropriate care.

    This is a very urgent matter-planning for ones care in old age seems impossible-except in the knowledge that you will have to sell your house to fund “care” by -all too often-low grade staff on poor wages , who want to keep their clients chemically coshed & docile.

    This is a national disgrace.

  44. “So why are Labour (at least up here) so committed to keeping Council Tax as the basis of Local government finance?”
    I’d imagine that it has something to do with pleasing middle-class voters and the political ‘centre’.

    Local income tax would lead to the poorer paying less, which in turn means that the ‘aspirational’ pay more.
    Land value tax does exactly the same.

    Only with LVT you also get the ‘Why do you want to punish hard workers/savers/pensioners?’

    It’s also much easier to support the status quo, rather than change.

    Hopefully that comment wasn’t too partisan.

    For disclosure – I support LVT+, not only do you tax based on land value, you also tax on land usage.
    Farmland that’s in use? No tax
    First home? No tax
    Park/Forest land fully open to the public? Lower tax
    Second home? Taxed
    Empty land? Taxed
    etc
    So productive use of land is encouraged while excessive use of land is not.

  45. Before 1998 there was no Scotland Act and no Human Rights Act (though we were signatories to the convention)

    After 1998 for England and Wales the HoL could determine that both actions and laws ere incompatible with the human rights act. Unlike the US Supreme court the HoL can’t chuck out a law per se just point out that either the incompatible law or the Human Rights Act should be amended to be compatible.

    After 1998 the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (not the HoL but often the same key judges) became the final appeal court from Scotland on issues of devolution, Human Rights and EU law. They can kick out Scottish legislation if it is outside the powers granted to the Scottish Parliament by the 1998 Scotland Act.

    On creation of the Supreme court all of the above was passed to it.

    Appeals from English courts to the Supreme court need permission either from the Court of Appeal OR from the Supreme Court itself. From the Scotland on these new issues (as opposed to conventional civil law to HoL referrals) permission can come either from the Scottish court or two Scottish advocates. The Supreme court cannot give itself permission as I understand it.

  46. Rigger

    “permission can come either from the Scottish court or two Scottish advocates”

    That applies to civil cases appealed from the Court of Session.

    This probably isn’t the best forum for technical legal issues, however. Those wish to pursue it might be better to do so on the Scots Law site “The Firm”.

    http://www.firmmagazine.com/homepage

    The political ramifications that might affect polling are much broader in character. When we get a Scottish poll, we might see if there has been any effect.

  47. @SOCALIBERAL
    Of course Americans liked WSC, he was 50% American.
    His mother Jenny Jerome, was a beauty and had very feisty genes from her fathers side. The lady was not without a reputation in society, but managed to resist LLoyd George very readily. Unlike my great grandfathers cat (a tom).

  48. @ alec
    Thank you for your kind sentiments, I must say there is much that is interesting here. I very much agree with your post regarding care. However, I am teased by your comment to Mike N. Who does he think I might be, Reinhardt Heydrich ?

  49. LordTory

    “Unlike my great grandfathers cat (a tom).”

    Now, you can’t leave such an intriguing sentence remain unexplained! :-)

  50. @old nat
    I was saying that Lady Randolph nee Miss Jerome, resisted the close attentions of Mr LLoyd George. My great grandfathers cat was not so fortunate.

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