This week’s YouGov/Sunday Times poll has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 42%, LD 9%. Full tables are here.

The tables also include some questions on long term care for the elderly (the answers are unsurprising… people tend to think that wealthier people should pay for their own care, but bridle at the idea of making them sell their homes. They tend to support a higher level of assets than the current £23,000 when means testing), and on Olympic tickets. 23% think the distribution of tickets was fair, 23% unfair. 34% would have preferred if they’d been sold on a first-come-first-served basis, compared to 31% who think the ballot system was the best way of distributing them.

I’ll be back on the site properly from tomorrow.


250 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 37, LAB 42, LDEM 9”

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  1. Lord Tory
    “No, I have difficulty listening to cant which is anti anything proposed or supported by David Cameron.”

    Of course you do.

  2. On this “sexualisation” malarky, I largely withhold my opinion because there’s so little rigorous evidence being used by either side, but here’s an a priori view: how much do I trust parents to look after their children appropriately? It varies from “very little” to “not at all”. How much do I trust the government to responsibly micro-manage the upbringing of children? It’s solidly at “not at all”.

    Parental responsibility, in this case, seems to me to be the lesser evil.

  3. Bill Patrick

    Well said.

  4. BillP,

    Without a shadow of a doubt, its not really a left right divide, its just common sense that the state cant help this situation. Sadly kids with chavs for parents have very little chance in life in general, which is just so tragic.

  5. Well, I would concede that whatever happens, it seems like they are fighting a losing war. People are more sexualised than ever before, and this feeds through to children, who are are no exception. This problem will only get worse and worse with the passing of time – a bit like the problem of social care for the old, absent fathers etc. etc. No one party has the answers because they are part of wider social and cultural trends. Politics is only able to make a feeble attempt to respond to them.

    I am one of those realists that just accepts the world as it is. I am never going to be the ‘dreamy type’ who tries to change the world – it is, quite frankly, too tiresome and pointless. Life is too short. We are simply too powerless to change the world.

  6. AmbivalentSuppOrter

    Aye

  7. I suppose you guys are right, thinking about it. Those who try to prevent a prevailing social trend, I guess, are just wasting their own life (and energy). It will happen anyway – a bit like a child born to awful parents is pretty much doomed from the start. No amount of parental education, or money, will change that.

    I guess even morality is a very fluid concept, and one that means something different to different people. I think the freedom of the individual to do what he/she wants is more important than upholding social order. If it dooms society in the process, then so be it. After all, the individual is key.

  8. @AmbivalentSuppOrter – “… just how ‘soft’ the Lab and Tory vote is at the moment.”

    There were two small clusters of polls showing circa 10% Labour leads… one around early/mid Feb, and again in early/mid March. These coincided with examples of incompetence (forests/pre-Sarkosy confusion over Libya etc), irrelevance(Big Society re-launches), bad inflation news, NHS controversy, Spring conferences… that kind of thing.

    If you think the current state is Lab 42%, Con 37%, LD 10%.
    then the softness would be in the range of 44-40%, 39-33% and 11-7% respectively?

    You could say Labour has been firmly in 40+ territory for 6 months now with a capacity to increase, whereas Tory support has shown an ability to fall towards the mid/low thirties depending on the ebb and flow of events.

  9. AmbivalentSuppOrter

    There are obviously limits to what an individual can do.

    What those limits are vary from culture to culture, society to society, and over time.

    I need to read up about the proposals but for now the concept seems utterly bonkers IMO.

  10. @Billy Bob,

    Well, the point is, I think only the very bare minimum of Tory and Lab vote is hard, core vote. Therefore, I think the results of the next GE could really be anything, depending on what happens in the meantime. I see no real reason, or underlying evidence, which suggests that the Tory vote couldn’t fall below, say, 35% – or, indeed, that the Tories can’t score 42%+. The same goes with Labour. We saw the ‘core vote’ argument was a fallacy at the last GE, when Labour scored just 28%. Most people are simply not as politically engaged or tribal as people on here.

  11. @Mike N,

    “What those limits are vary from culture to culture, society to society, and over time.”

    Very true. Fortunately, many of those social and cultural controls are being challenged by my generation. I guess I like the idea of a free individual – free to think and do as he/she likes. Even morality is an individualised and out-dated concept IMO.

  12. I’m not sure that “feeling uncomfortable” about the way other people dress their children is a strong enough reason to make a law preventing said people dressing them so.

  13. I know the issue of revised constituency boundaries and reducing the number of MPs to 600 regularly comes up on this site but I’m not sure if the Liverpool University study has come up specifically. See link to BBC article:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-13665221

    It suggests that although roughly even numbers of seats would be lost across the parties – 16 Con, 17 Lab & 14 LDs – that would represent 24.6% of the seats the LDs won last year, compared to 5.2% for Tories and 6.6% Lab.

    The BBC article goes on to say:
    “A revolt by LD backbenchers & peers could potentially derail the plans and stop the Cons gaining what they believe would be a significant advantage at the 2015 general election.
    Would LD MPs be tempted to renege on the coalition agreement and side with Labour to try to save their skins?
    With the the public’s resounding ‘no’ to AV still ringing in their ears, even at that stage, and the coalition entering its final days, it would be a brave person who bet against it.”

  14. @Nick Poole,

    “I’m not sure that “feeling uncomfortable” about the way other people dress their children is a strong enough reason to make a law preventing said people dressing them so.”

    It’s not because people feel ‘uncomfortable’, but because many deem it morally wrong to sexualise children.

    But I guess it’s going to happen anyway.

  15. The IMF must have dealt Labour a bit of a blow on the economy front, even with worse than expected figures they gave the Chancellor a green light without a “too deep too fast” or “move to plan B” in sight.

    For me, the past few months have made Labour look flighty in the face of bad data with unfounded calls to make a massive shift in economic policy. Long way to go in this government but I think Osbourne has at least shown himself to have bravery and conviction to not flinch. Of course flexibility is another requirement of a good Chancellor, (which he may need to show in future), but leaping to Balls’ tune would have been a mistake for the UK.

    Not sure how much this will affect polling, most people won’t be interested in or listen to the report. Although important, it’s not one of the driving forces of the polls.

    Overall good news for the UK which everyone should be happy with, no risk on downgraded credit on the horizon.

  16. “The stability and efficiency of the UK financial system is a global public good due to potential spillovers and thus requires the highest quality of supervision and regulation.”

    Meaning my job is in jeopardy to protect the income of the rich. For “global” read “a narrow sector of banking and finance gnomes.”

  17. If it is morally to sexualise children, whatever that means, best make a law against it.

    ummm

    What sort of law should that be? No more Britney Spears?

    Okay, you got my vote on that one.

  18. Missed a “wrong” somewhere.

  19. @Alan – “… flexibility is another requirement of a good Chancellor”

    In the veiw of most commentators this “flexibility” is to increase borrowing in the event of higher than expected unemployment.

  20. @ Alan
    I myself am an economist and clearly the IMF (which extremely anti-deficit in its very nature) has decided to buy itself some time while it sees how the economic picture unfolds. It clearly stated that IF growth continues to falter, a deviation will be required.

    The question then is, do you believe growth will continue to falter? The IMF says no -strong growth will resume. The leading economists writing in the Observer (and myself for what its worth) believe growth will be sluggish at best for the next few years, actually hampering the government’s ability to reduce the deficit.

    Balls did not call for a major shift in economic policy – he called for a slower rate of deficit reduction. I actually think he should go further and call for money to be pumped into the economy. There is NO DEBT CRISIS facing the UK and there is no risk of a credit downgrade. This is a fallacy created by the Conservatives to frighten people into accepting massive and unneccesary cuts to public spending – i.e. it is ideologically driven.

  21. Billy Bob

    and if unemployment continues to be higher that expected over a significant period then maybe it would be right to consider tweaking the plans.

    The IMF seems to think that George Osbourne was right not to listen to Balls and completely shift economic policy over “unexpected and temporary” figures.

    I’m sure that plenty of Labour supporters that support Ed Balls views of reaching for the credit cards at every hint of trouble. We’ll never know if you are right as it’s Osbourne’s course we are following.

  22. @ALAN
    Thanks for the post Alan. I have been waiting for a whisper about the IMF. It will of course be written off by the majority on this site as a Tory puppet outfit. The bearded wonders from the White Hot land of academia who write letters of outrage are far more to their taste.

  23. I suspect Osborne does have a plan B, but if he revealed it, it would 1) make the government seem to lack confidence in its own economic management, thus undermining public and consumer confidence, and 2) make the Chancellor seem indecisive. I guess the Tories are biding their time, and just see how it goes. In other words, they are really gambling with our economic future!

  24. The BBC website has a somewhat balanced veiw of the IMF report:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13668574

  25. I think the Tories think high unemployment is useful tool for keeping down wages. If they can cut welfare too and force people to work for less too, even better.

    And as soon as they abolish or lower the minimum wage they can bring the whole secret weapon into action.

    The IMF has only ever had one economic policy anywhere it has become involved. Austerity. And yeah it works…if you are a banker. Not much fun if you are a peasant like me though.

  26. @Nick Poole
    Is anyone actually suggesting a law that prevents Kev & Chardonnay Chav from dressing little Mylie like a miniature slapper ? I thought the idea was to ask clothing retailers not to stock and sell the offending garments.
    But of course, an opportunity to post vitriol about the PM cannot by passed by.

  27. @lordtory – trouble is that it was the ‘establishment’ economists – like the IMF – who got it all so catastrophically wrong in the last decade (or chose to get it wrong!), so people understandably have very little faith in them… I think the City and its allies need to remember that it was it that was bailed out by the country, not the other way around…

  28. @mike n
    As you say the Beeb report seems very balanced. It still puts Osborn firmly in the right however. The “economist”
    up thread who says we don’t owe any money, is much more likely to be listened to on here however.

  29. Joe,

    It’s not that the state can’t help, but that it probably won’t. I call it the Dangerous Dogs Act problem: politicians get caught up in a justifiable public panic; they introduce some off-the-cuff measures that have flaws; as the public panic subsides, politicians lose interest and we’re stuck with half-baked measures.

    The only people that might keep an interest are those fanatics who are consumed by the issue or those who have a stake of some sorts. So sometimes we get the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) problem, which was when the federal agency set up by the US government got totally captured by the very transportation cartels it was supposed to regulate. The result was that the market was closed off to competition and an agency orginally set up to regulate railways (which were then natural monopolies) started regulating and restricting things like trucking (which is most definitely not a natural monopoly).

    I’m not a libertarian and I think there are definite cases for state intervention in people’s lives. But in this particular case, my concern is that we will get flawed measures based on a temporary panic, which will fester around once people lose interest and only the fanatics will keep an interest in the subject. (Arguably the same thing happened after the Dunblane massacre and with fox hunting.)

    The solution to any sexualisation of children is for (a) parents who do a bad job to be held up to moral standards and (b) that we actually condemn those businesses of which we disapprove. There is a good case for rediscovering the concepts of respectability and shame, because we all need guidance by the community in working out what we should do, but I don’t trust David Cameron to design state measures that will sort this problem out.

  30. @Lordtory
    I can assure you I do not have a beard.

    Of course we owe money but we are the 5th largest economy in the world and are debt as a % of GDP is lower than most of the major industrial economies.

    @Alan
    Regarding the “credit card” comment. This is the type of over simplified and misleading commentary we get from Osborn. The fact is, we WILL be using the “nation’s credit card” as he likes to call it each and every year of this coalition. The question is, how much should we add to the card each year?

    Remember, the Coalition is NOT paying off the national debt, it is merely slowing the rate at which the debt increases. Sorry to anyone who thought we were all going to be debt free by 2015.

  31. @ Ambivalent Supporter & others. I’m not picking on AS, I’m just using his comment as a good one to discuss.

    If I were a feminist, I’d pay more attention to how young girls/teenagers in particular are increasingly being sexualised due to the media/fashion etc. I’m frankly amazed that more feminists are not showing serious concern about how teenage girls/young women are being put under increasing social (and other) pressures. Until women are freed from these pressures, equality will be but a distant dream.
    ————————————————————-
    !!! Minority opinion alert !!!

    You’re not a feminist. I am. When women of any age can wear whatever they want without judgemental men & prudish women labelling them ‘whores’ or ‘overly sexualised’, then feminists like me will be happier.

    I have tried to resist posting what is certainly a minority view because this site is about polling – i.e. majority beliefs. But I couldn’t let AS’s comment pass without a response.

    1. Some of these ‘inappropriate’ clothes are not made for children. They are made for Asian men & women, many of whom are smaller than Western children. The garments are sold as adult clothing but worn by Western children.

    2. ‘Sexy’ clothing is in the eye of the beholder. If 7 year olds in ‘sexy’ clothing don’t turn *you* on, then the clothing itself isn’t ‘sexy’. If 7 year olds in ‘sexy’ clothing do turn *you* on…. oh, dear. I myself have never looked at a child – male or female – & thought: My, don’t you look sexy?

    3. Research has shown that people who are sexually attracted to children most often prefer them to be dressed like children: Shirley Temple frocks or Boy Scout uniforms etc. Therefore, Dave & mumsnet are cheering for the wrong crowd, IMO.

    4. It isn’t the children who want “inappropriate” clothes; they just think the clothes are pretty. It’s not the fault of the children – or their broadminded parents – if many (most?) adults are judgemental or prudish & think that women or children in pretty clothes with silly, facecious or ironic slogans are overly/ overtly sexy. It’s the prudes who are seeing ‘sexy’ where they shouldn’t – they are the ones who need an attitude adjustment.

    5. If it was up to the prudes, we’d still be wondering if women have knees or not…
    8-)

  32. Amberstar

    Brilliant !

  33. Swebb,

    I’m assuming that you are an academic economist. I don’t get much of a chance these days to talk to academic economists, so here’s a question that has been puzzling me: what do you think about the inflationary impact of NOT going ahead with the cuts?

    Keynesian axiom: fiscal policy affects aggregate demand. Budget deficits, ceteris paribus, are expansionary; budget surpluses, ceteris paribus, are contractionary.

    So, given the government is engaging in fiscal retrenchment, the government’s fiscal policy is exerting downward pressure on inflation. Were it not for the cuts programme, inflation would probably be starting to gallop and might even reach double digits by 2015 for the first time since… Well, the last time the Tories were in government.

    We’ve got NGDP growth of around 5%, so the liquidity trap argument for fiscal stimulus is gone. No-one advocates the old “lid on the pan” strategy of fiscal stimulus + wage & price controls anymore.

    So, given that inflation is above target, surely the logical Keynesian approach at this time is to reduce inflation by closing the budget deficit. George Osborne is following the textbook Keynesian strategy: reduce the budget deficit and public investment in response to above-target inflation.

    Now, you might say that inflation is the responsibility of the Bank of England, not George Osborne. Ok. But, if that’s the case, then a looser fiscal policy would simply evoke a tighter monetary policy from the BoE. To go back to the counterfactual case: say the government wasn’t cutting the deficit right now. I don’t think anyone believes that we wouldn’t have seen interest rates shoot up by this point.

    Furthermore, since you say-

    “The leading economists writing in the Observer (and myself for what its worth) believe growth will be sluggish at best for the next few years, actually hampering the government’s ability to reduce the deficit.”

    – you MUST believe that the cuts are having a downward impact on inflation. The only way they can have an impact on growth is via aggregate demand and (unless you’re willing to revive the idea that inflation is supply-side-driven until full employment) this must mean that you’re willing to tolerate accelerating inflation. (Which would prompt a rate rise. Which would bring growth back down…)

    Therefore there is no aggregate demand case against deficit reduction at this point. The orthodox Keynesian fiscal policy at this point is to bring down inflation through contractionary budgets. One might say that the BoE will offset such a counter-inflationary strategy by keeping monetary policy loose, but that entails accepting that the cuts cannot reduce growth.

    Insofar as there is an argument against the cuts, it is that they are a rapid reduction of the size of the state. But that is a position that is just as “ideological” as that of the Tories. If one wants a social democratic country, I can understand why one would dislike the cuts. However, let’s not pretend that there is a sustainable growth argument against the cuts.

    PS: I agree with you that the UK has no debt crisis, in the sense that Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain have debt crises. As a country with our own currency, we can always inflate away our debts.

  34. It is a bit of a daft debate about the IMF report, as I seriously doubt whether anyone has any confidence in what economists have to say. Fred Goodwin was once the worlds best banker wining a number of awards and we all know what happened.

    To say I have no confidence in anything the IMF, OECD, WEF, OBR or BOE have to report on financial matters would be an understatement.

    At some point in the future China will replace the US as the worlds biggest economy. India now has a middle class of over 330 million people. The point is that the world is changing and as Asia becomes stronger, the western economies will struggle to compete, particularly if they have to sell debt, to maintain the living standards of their citizens. More debt equals higher taxation and a less competitive economy.

    So I agree with reducing the deficit, but not at the current pace, which has a chance of strangling the economy, while inflation means a period of realtime reduction in living standards. If less money is spent in the economy, companies earn less so pay less tax and they put off decisions over investment. I can therefore see that there will a be prolonged period of stagnation, unless the government gets the banks lending to companies who can produce goods/services to export. Never again should the UK rely so much on financial services and the service sector.

  35. @SWEBB
    If I am the 5th wealthiest man in my village but 3 of the 4 above me are broke, it is not much comfort.

  36. R Huckle,

    This is starting to annoy me now-

    “So I agree with reducing the deficit, but not at the current pace, which has a chance of strangling the economy, while inflation means a period of realtime reduction in living standards.”

    Wouldn’t reducing the deficit reduce inflation? How can reducing the deficit reduce growth, but not inflation?

  37. Amber Star,

    Good points, except 5. Frankly, I think this showing-off of unmentionables has gone too far! We should cover up unmentionables. Especially table unmentionables- an uncovered table unmentionable is representative of the moral decline of our society!

  38. @ Top Hat

    “Our Boundary Commissions are non-partisan, but generally speaking favour the Conservatives, as the population trend in the UK tends to be out of the cities into the country, which means city constituencies (usually Labour) have to be altered to include more voters (making it comparatively harder for Labour to win), and that rural constituencies (usually Conservative) have to be altered to include less voters (making it comparatively easier for Conservative to win).

    It’s not always been like that, and in the ’80s I seem to remember it was the other way round, as people were moving in to the cities rather than out, but that’s how it has worked for the past decade or so.

    So, no party has choice over seat boundaries, but they can affect the number of seats via legislative changes, as well as the strictness of variance (so 5% either way of a 76,000 electorate, rather than 10% either way). That’s, roughly speaking, why the Tories decided to pass this through – initial estimates showed Labour losing 25 seats, the Conservatives losing 15, and the Liberal Democrats losing 10 as a result of the seat changes, would have given the Conservatives almost a notional majority at the next election (just 8 seats short), and additionally made them notionally bigger than Labour and the Liberal Democrats combined, so there would be no need for coalition – minority government would be a semi-viable option . Of course, that’s a somewhat cynical approach, and I’m sure there are a great many Tories who honestly wanted a smaller, more efficient House of Commons, but I think it is safe to say that it was a large source of motivation.

    However, the earlier estimates seem to have been mistaken, and it is turning out that the Conservatives and Labour look to be losing roughly equal amounts of seats – which means there’s no tangible benefits (well, democratic fairness, perhaps, but I’m not sure that’s the first thing at the forefront of the minds of many MPs), so Conservative backbenchers are getting very unhappy, and the Lib Dems are absolutely seething because this would decimate them – in fact, as decimate is only 10%, it’d be even worse. Seeing as Labour will do anything it can to raise complaints about this, I think we could see some very serious rebellions arising on the matter when it comes for review in 2013. Could be a very major milestone in Coalition relations.”

    Thanks for this. Non-partisan redistricting is ultimately the best way to go even if natural shifts wind up favoring one party over another. In the spirit of honesty though, I voted against the fair redistricting measure for my Congressional seats and my state legislative seats (both times). But that’s not because I oppose the principle. I just oppose unilateral disarmament.

    If the Tories realize they will be losing seats (and colleagues) for seemingly no reason, do you think they might reconsider and revoke their seat reduction? And, assuming the Lib Dems voted against the measure, would Labour MPs back up the government to get their seats back?

  39. @ Bill Patrick

    “On this “sexualisation” malarky, I largely withhold my opinion because there’s so little rigorous evidence being used by either side, but here’s an a priori view: how much do I trust parents to look after their children appropriately? It varies from “very little” to “not at all”. How much do I trust the government to responsibly micro-manage the upbringing of children? It’s solidly at “not at all”.

    Parental responsibility, in this case, seems to me to be the lesser evil.”

    I take it you guys don’t have parental rights. I don’t think the government has any place micromanaging the upbringing of children except under reasonable conditions.

  40. SWEBB

    “The leading economists writing in the Observer (and myself for what its worth) believe growth will be sluggish at best for the next few years, actually hampering the government’s ability to reduce the deficit”

    Do you mean these leading economists who wrote to THe Observer?:-

    •Prof Richard Grayson, Professor of History at Goldsmiths .
    •Ian O’Shea, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London
    •Henning Meyer, senior visiting fellow, LSE Global Governance
    •Professor David Marquand, Oxford University -Visiting Fellow, department of politics-formerv Labour MP.
    •Pat Devine, University of Manchester – “chartered environmental psychologist”.
    •Professor Jonathan Rutherford Middlesex University – Professor of Cultural Studies .
    •Professor Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London – Professor of Media and Communications.
    •Professor Stefano Harney, Queen Mary, University of London – Chair of Strategy, Culture and Society.
    •Professor Gregor Gall, University of Hertfordshire -Professor of Industrial RElations.
    •Dr Gregory Schwartz, University of Bath – Organization Studies .
    •Professor David Knights, Bristol Business School – Ethics, Gender and Diversity Studies, Financialization, IT and Innovation.
    •Professor Alison Pullen, Swansea University – Reader is Organization Studies.
    •Dr. Olivier Ratle, University of the West of England, Bristol -Organization studies and Science and technology studies.
    •Dr Damian O’Doherty, University of Manchester – human resource management, organization theory, and labour process analysis.
    •Professor Adrian Sinfield, University of Edinburgh – Emeritus Professor of Social Policy.
    •Professor Stephen Linstead, University of York -Professor of Critical Management
    •Professor Simon Lilley, University of Leicester – Head of the university’ School of Management.
    •Professor Andy Danford, Bristol Business School – Professor of Employment Relations.
    •Professor Diane Elson, University of Essex -Professor in the Sociology
    •Stuart White, Jesus College, Oxford University – Tutor in Politics , Labour Party adviser and contributor to LabourList.
    •Colin Crouch, University of Warwick – Professor in Governance & Public Management.
    •Ian Gough, Emeritus Professor, University of Bath – Professor of Social Policy.
    •David Donald, Glasgow Caledonian University – Senior Lecturer in Politics and Government”.

    ?

    I believe Labour’s Compass Group coordinated the Observer “economists”.

    …………which is interesting to say the least :-)

  41. So Cal Liberal,

    This is the UK. We haven’t traditional bothered with things like formal rights, including parental rights, because traditionally the idea of government getting involved in such things was so unthinkable.

    The limits of self-regulation in government are as apparent as the limits of self-regulation in banking. The British constitution developed on the assumption that no government would consider micro-managing how parents would dress their children…

  42. @AmberStar
    Post @June 6th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Well said…

  43. Colin,

    It’s not quite the 364 economists who wrote to the Times in 1981, is it?

    Oddly enough, I have books from two of the smartest of the 364 (Roger Middleton’s classic “Government Versus the Market” and the great Alec Cairncross’s “The British Economy Since 1945”) right next to me. They cover the early 1980s at various points, but while Alec Cairncross has space to tell us just what comprises £M3 as opposed to M5 and Roger Middleton just manages to squeeze in a comparison of UK and Bulgarian defence spending, they couldn’t quite fit in the affair of the 364. I wonder why…

  44. @ BILL PATRICK
    I agree regarding table legs. In our home we have French knickers covering the upper portion of the leg which would correspond to the thigh of a person. I think this shows good taste.

  45. Bill Patrick at 4.18pm and 4.27pm

    You’re not taking this seriously.
    ;-)

  46. Mike N,

    I am giving the Conservatives’ proposals all the seriousness and respect that they are due…

  47. @ Amber Star

    “!!! Minority opinion alert !!!

    You’re not a feminist. I am. When women of any age can wear whatever they want without judgemental men & prudish women labelling them ‘whores’ or ‘overly sexualised’, then feminists like me will be happier.

    I have tried to resist posting what is certainly a minority view because this site is about polling – i.e. majority beliefs. But I couldn’t let AS’s comment pass without a response.

    1. Some of these ‘inappropriate’ clothes are not made for children. They are made for Asian men & women, many of whom are smaller than Western children. The garments are sold as adult clothing but worn by Western children.

    2. ‘Sexy’ clothing is in the eye of the beholder. If 7 year olds in ‘sexy’ clothing don’t turn *you* on, then the clothing itself isn’t ‘sexy’. If 7 year olds in ‘sexy’ clothing do turn *you* on…. oh, dear. I myself have never looked at a child – male or female – & thought: My, don’t you look sexy?

    3. Research has shown that people who are sexually attracted to children most often prefer them to be dressed like children: Shirley Temple frocks or Boy Scout uniforms etc. Therefore, Dave & mumsnet are cheering for the wrong crowd, IMO.

    4. It isn’t the children who want “inappropriate” clothes; they just think the clothes are pretty. It’s not the fault of the children – or their broadminded parents – if many (most?) adults are judgemental or prudish & think that women or children in pretty clothes with silly, facecious or ironic slogans are overly/ overtly sexy. It’s the prudes who are seeing ‘sexy’ where they shouldn’t – they are the ones who need an attitude adjustment.

    5. If it was up to the prudes, we’d still be wondering if women have knees or not…”

    Right on Amber! Right on.

    Frankly, I think the arguments that governmentally enforced prudishness is required in order to prevent the degradation of women are not reality based (and fundamentally misunderstand the nature of men). Men can mentally undress whoever they’d like without needing sexy clothes to induce it. And men can be turned on by any variety of different outfits or looks.

  48. @ Bill Patrick

    So, given that inflation is above target, surely the logical Keynesian approach at this time is to reduce inflation by closing the budget deficit. George Osborne is following the textbook Keynesian strategy: reduce the budget deficit and public investment in response to above-target inflation.
    —————————————————
    I can answer your question: The current inflation is not demand driven i.e. it is not excess Uk demand that is causing inflation – or so the Chancellor & BoE are often telling us.

    Therefore you are not interpreting Keynes on inflation in the context that Keynes intended.
    8-)

  49. @BILL PATRICK
    If David Cameron gets the votes from English and Welsh mothers who do care, he will not give a stuff what you think.

  50. @ Bill Patrick

    “Wouldn’t reducing the deficit reduce inflation? How can reducing the deficit reduce growth, but not inflation?”

    Inflation is simply a year on year look at the costs of a basket range of consumer goods. Many of these consumer goods are produced outside of the UK and are affected by increasing energy costs and of raw materials thus an increased cost of production,. Those goods that are produced in the UK, are also subject to increased costs of supplying them.

    The problem is that you have people with less money, as they have less real earnings/higher costs of living, companies paying less tax on diminished earnings, reduced investment in stock/equipment/staffing and a government having to make cuts/taxation decisions based on a sliding economy. If you have less growth than inflation, the country is going backwards.

    While the UK is going backwards, China is growing by an average of 10%. We are in a global market, so with China, India, Russia and all the other growing economies competing for energy/raw materials, the prices are likely to increase. Not to mention weather or other issues, which have affected certain countries and therefore the products they produce, as well as those they need themselves.

    So less growth does not equal less inflation. The cost of living can still increase for all the reasons given, plus many more, which you can research.

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