The latest monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor for Reuters is out, and ha topline figures of CON 37%(+2), LAB 39%(-3), LDEM 11(+1). Changes are since the last MORI poll in May.

On leader ratings there is once again a drop for Ed Miliband, following the pattern we’ve seen from other pollsters in the past few weeks. Miliband’s net approval stands at minus 14 (34% satisfied, 48% dissatisfied), down 6 from a month ago (the reason he gets a higher rating here than some other leader trackers is probably because the wording is “satisfied”, rather than “good job” or “doing well”. Only 9% of Conservative voters tell YouGov Miliband is doing well, but 25% of Conservative voters tell MORI they are satisfied with the way Miliband was doing his job. I suspect they don’t all mean that in a complimentary way…)

MORI found people evenly split on whether or not they supported public sector strikes against job cuts, pay levels and pension reductions – 48% said they did, 48% said they did not. they also repeated a question they’ve asked in the past about whether trade unions have too much power – 35% of people agreed, higher than when last asked in 1995 when it was only 24%, but much lower than the 75% who agreed in 1975. 76% agreed that trade unions were essential to protect workers’ interests, little changed from 1995 or 1975.

Full tabs are here.


118 Responses to “Ipsos MORI – CON 37, LAB 39, LDEM 11”

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  1. @ Roger Mexico

    “John B is right, we do tend to forget how quickly public opinion on social issues swung round (except perhaps abortion). Homosexuality is the classic case, but divorce, illegitimacy and related issues saw the stigma drop from them as quickly if earlier. In all cases it mainly happened not for the usual reason of an older, more conservative generation being replaced, but because of people actually changing their minds.”

    I don’t know. I think there’s a combination. Younger people usually change their minds first. Then the older generation dies off. Then what was once controversial becomes normal.

    Interesting background on the 1967 decriminalization of gay sex in the UK and the influence of the Catholic Church. I have a feeling that your decriminalization was a lot more civil and gentile than California’s decriminalization of gay sex in 1976. Basically, upon a deadlocked 20-20 vote, George Moscone (the State Senate Majority Leader) locked all the State Senators into the chamber. He kept them locked up while a private plane was dispatched to Colorado to pick up the Liutenant Governor, Mervyn Dymally, from a conference he was attending and was rushed him back to break the tie on the floor.

  2. @ Statgeek

    “Perhaps they, like many Scots feel that’s a private matter, that should not be overtly politicised. Should they also start directly trying to appeal to Hetrosexuals?

    I think there’s a danger that some perceive a lack of ‘pro-LGBT’ politics as anti-LGBT politics, which isn’t the case at all. Politicians don’t single out individual religeons or football teams either. They can’t win in such situations so avoid them. IMO it’s a good thing if they do. They can’t be anti-something (as a party) if they never talk about it.”

    Well, sexual orientation is not a private matter, it’s a public matter and it’s everyone’s business as I like to say. And one’s sexual orientation is not akin to one’s choice of professional sports team to be a fan of or one’s dietary and nutritional choices. It’s a characteristic that’s a fundamental aspect of personhood.

    When you say that you can’t be anti-something if you never talk about it, that’s not true. If you look the other way when there is discrimination, you’re enabling that discrimination. Just because you don’t talk about something, doesn’t mean you don’t have a position or that it doesn’t matter. There was a time when Democrats in the U.S. used to avoid talking about racial discrimination and gender discrimination. The truth was in both instances, they were enabling that discrimination with their silence.

    Now as far as Scots Nats go, there may be an LGBT Scots Nats group. I just thought it was interesting that I saw groups for all three other parties but not them. The lack of a group or a website does not mean that the SNP is an anti-LGBT party. They have an openly gay MEP and their leader supports marriage equality.

  3. There may well be a tactic in branding the SNP as ‘Scotlands Conservative Party’, by portraying them as reluctant and foot-dragging on social issues. It would certainly damage the SNP if they could be repositioned to ‘the right’ in people’s perceptions.

  4. SoCalLiberal

    Well I said ‘mainly happened’ (sorry about the split infinitive folks). Obviously the progress of the generations has some effect, you can see that by higher opposition in older age groups, but the changes in opinion happened too fast for it to be the main reason.

    I think the 1967 decriminalisation raised a lot of passion at the time, but I suspect that because it happened (just) before the politicisation of personal issues it may have been less politically divisive. That said, if you look at the Wiki article, the language used in promoting it would have been seen as, at best, patronising even ten years later.

    Incidentally you were slightly wrong in an earlier statement about LGBT advances all coming from Labour. The extension to Scotland (and I think Northern Ireland) and the age reduction to 18 came under the Conservatives, and the first attempt at age equality from a Tory backbencher. The parliamentary tradition about such ‘matters of conscience’ was that changes tended to be introduced as private members bills by backbenchers and MPs voted according to their personal beliefs rather than as whipped by their Parties. And I think, on the whole, secretly gay Tories tended to support (or avoid) reforming legislation rather than hypocritically backing the anti-gay viewpoint.

    In that sense ‘Section 28’ was a bit of an anomaly, an attempt to introduce US-style ‘dog whistle’ politics to the UK. In retrospect it was a short term success but a long term failure for the Conservatives.

    I assume John B Dick meant the Church of Scotland, but you must remember that is completely separate from the the Church of England and not a sister-Church. Indeed there are CoS churches in England and CoE (Episcopal) churches in Scotland, though confusingly the royal family switch from being CoE to CoS when they cross the border northwards.

    And if you want a tutorial in the narcissism of small differences (and to get completely befuddled), I suggest you google your way through the history of the CoS and its splits and their splits and their splits and all the subsequent mergers (and the splits those caused).

  5. @ Socal Liberal

    “Well, sexual orientation is not a private matter, it’s a public matter and it’s everyone’s business as I like to say. And one’s sexual orientation is not akin to one’s choice of professional sports team to be a fan of or one’s dietary and nutritional choices. It’s a characteristic that’s a fundamental aspect of personhood”

    When you say that you can’t be anti-something if you never talk about it, that’s not true. If you look the other way when there is discrimination, you’re enabling that discrimination. Just because you don’t talk about something, doesn’t mean you don’t have a position or that it doesn’t matter. There was a time when Democrats in the U.S. used to avoid talking about racial discrimination and gender discrimination. The truth was in both instances, they were enabling that discrimination with their silence.”

    When you make this kind of statement I never know if you’ve omitted to precede them with IMO, or if you see them as “universal truths”? 8-)

  6. @Socal Lib

    Or even “timeless truths” ! 8-)

  7. @ SOCALLIBERAL

    “Well, sexual orientation is not a private matter, it’s a public matter and it’s everyone’s business as I like to say. ”

    With “Liberal” in your name I presume that remark was some sort of joke.

    It would be a repellant idea, redolent of the regime in the 1930’s which someone refered to earlier.

  8. SoCalLiberal
    “If you look the other way when there is discrimination, you’re enabling that discrimination. Just because you don’t talk about something, doesn’t mean you don’t have a position or that it doesn’t matter.”

    Have you ever read 1984 by Orwell? That line could have been a quote from it. He invented the Thought Police for that book.

  9. Neil A – I think that’s all down to timing. At the end of April YouGov was showing a Labour lead of 5-7 points, so roughly the same as now.

    Then at the start of May YouGov showed the Labour lead dropping for a couple of weeks… before reversing again. I put that down to a temporary halo effect from the local elections which faded away. Take that away, and YG’s Labour lead has been steady for months.

    I think there may have been a drop in Labour’s lead in other companies though that hasn’t been reflected in YG. I think a lot of that difference is down to turnout factors… if that narrowing is down to Labour supporters saying they are less likely to vote, then it would explain the difference (YG don’t weight by turnout away from elections, so it wouldn’t show up).

    All this is typing as I think though, I need to do a proper post looking at it in full detail at some point. Often things that look plausible at first sight turn out not to be true when analysed properly.

  10. Jay Blanc

    The “Tartan Tories” claim is worth somethng as an insult, but Labour would be ill advised to make anything more of it for its unsupportable and very far from the truth if you believe Scottish voting compass.

    There are two kinds of lies: believable lies and unbelievable lies. The danger with the Tartan Tories insult is that at any moment the UK government – without the foreknowledge of either the SNP or Labour – could prove it risible.

    Roger Mexico

    There are, or rather were, I think, two congregations of the Cof E in Scotland. The Scottish Episcopal church is independent within the Anglican communion. It has many small congregations in small buildings in the highlands. Low church English migrants often favour the C of S.

    The well established practice of the Royals is one indication that whatever unforseen inconsistencies may emerge if Scotland becomes independent, the Queen of Canada will adapt with with a smooth transition that comes from experience. The other players havn’t done it before.

    Valerie

    Those who are anti-gay certainly talk about it. The rest of us, if we are not ourselves gay, just get on with life. If I was anti-gay. I’d keep quiet about it, because it sometimes is the case that those who shout loudest are unsure of their own orientation.

    I’d expect change in this parliament with little opposition. Patrick Harvie, the first openly gay party leader in the UK, will ensure that the issue is dealt with. A parliament with a healthy proportion of women MSP’s is a very different thing from a Conservative dominated legislature with a high proportion of men educated in single sex schools.

    I don’t care what orientation or gender my MSP is. I don’t care if my dentist is a Tory. I just want them to be good at their jobs.

  11. Neil A

    Things would tend to appear in YouGov polls first because those polls usually appear first, being published the same or next day after the last of the data was collected. The usual exception is the Sunday Times ones which are two days after. That said when there is a longer delay it can be a big one such as with the recent London poll.

    By contrast, other pollsters take longer, for example this MORI is published 4 days after the end of fieldwork. Fieldwork also tends to be spread over a longer period for other pollsters, while most YouGovs are collected in under 24 hours. This means that any changes happening at the end of the other pollsters’ fieldwork may be swamped by earlier data, but picked up by YouGov.

    YouGov’s larger samples also mean that it is easier to tell if changes are significant or not.

    There are also differences (some controversial) between YouGov and the others in terms of weighting and how polling is done. However one big methodological one is that YouGov not only don’t use likelihood to vote, they also don’t ‘squeeze’ their undecided voters.

    The danger with using likelihood and ‘squeezing’ is that you may get misled by the views of a lot of people who may not vote anyway (even if you don’t include them at full value). However if you don’t take such people into account, you may reduce your sample size too much and also miss out on the important ‘swing’ voters, currently undecided. YouGov don’t have the first problem but might be affected by the second – it’s notable that they do use likelihood to vote in the run up to elections.

    One thing that YouGov also have going for them is the high level involvement of their panel members. Of course this is true in part of all poll respondents – they’re the people who sign up for the on-line consumer panel, or don’t put the phone down on the pollster, or don’t walk past (or shut the door on) the nice lady with the clipboard. However YouGov’s do seem particularly involved – you only have to look at the percentage who voted in May compared to the actual turnout. This may itself lead to problems.

    According to the latest Sunday Times survey 2% belong to the Labour Party, 2% to the Lib Dems and 1% to the Tories – more than you would expect (all should be a bit under .5%). Even the National Trust is over-represented. Having said that none of these figures are wildly disproportionate enough to really affect the results and the groups most under-represented are those least likely to vote.

  12. Roger Mexico

    “we do tend to forget how quickly public opinion on social issues swung round (except perhaps abortion).”

    I wonder whether there is now much difference between Catholic women and others in the incidence of abortion and how it has changed over time, and whether the Church’s “timeless truths” are as respected as they are with contraception.

  13. On likelihood to vote.

    The question is: How would you vote *if* there was/were(?) a GE tomorrow?

    Unlikely, but yes I’ll answer your question…

    Would you be certain to vote (*if* there was a GE tomorrow)?

    Oh yeah.

    *Absolutely certain*?

    If they get the ballot papers printed in time, sure.

    (Isn’t there at least an element of paradoxicality about being hypothetically “absolutely certain”?)

  14. Jay Blanc

    “But I could also see them having problems with rogue MSPs, egged on by Souter, pushing “Family Values” policy with anti-gay tones.”

    Without Souter, that has been done in the past, in at least one constituency, but only in campaigning at constituency level without the involvement of the candidate.

    I would be surprised if it happened again. So would the SNP leadership.

  15. Certain to vote (if the Lord spares me)

    If the candidate is the local party secretary with whom I am engaged in a neighbour boundary dispute, then that might affect my vote.

    Does the candidate make no difference at all?

  16. No Yougov tonight?

  17. John B Dick

    I don’t have a series but YouGov did a survey of Catholics last year for the Pope’s visit here:

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Life-YouGov-CatholicSampleAbortion-020910.pdf

    Some interesting figures – though of course it’s not just RCs who are nominally opposed to abortion.

    I can’t find any figures, but I believe if anything Catholics have a higher incidence of abortion – possibly boosted by women from Ireland (both bits). I’m afraid Scotland already has abortion tourists.

    There is also a lot of anecdotal evidence from the US of even those fanatically opposed to abortion being happy to have one themselves because they feel their case is different.

  18. The website is showing an update happened at 22:00, but I can’t see anything different. We’ve not got the problem of the 12 v 24 hour clock again have we?

  19. clicking through the YouGov site gets 37/42/9/-25

    i.e. nothing we didn’t already know…

  20. @Crossbat11 (2.14pm) – many of us have been saying similar things for a considerable time. Politics has been captured by global finance and business interests, to enormous detrimental effects.

    If we organised our economic policy based on what the French told us to do, there would be uproar, but we allow the banks to dictate and we hardly grumble. This will change in due course, as everything always does, but it will take a number of Greece’s before this point is reached I fear.

    On other matters: interesting to see Cameron backing performing circus animals. Not altogether surprising – he’s been a big fan of the Lib Dems for some time now.

  21. @Alec

    “many of us have been saying similar things for a considerable time. Politics has been captured by global finance and business interests, to enormous detrimental effects.”

    Indeed Noreena Hertz wrote a book about it in 2001 called ‘the silent takeover’…

    This tonight from the BBC news website is incredibly welcome news (though I note the continuing poor likeability ratings):

    “Ed Miliband is seeking to change his party’s rules so that he can choose who he wants to sit in the shadow cabinet.

    The Labour leader has decided his party’s MPs should lose the right they currently have to elect the party’s top team every two years.”

  22. @ Roger Mexico

    “Well I said ‘mainly happened’ (sorry about the split infinitive folks). Obviously the progress of the generations has some effect, you can see that by higher opposition in older age groups, but the changes in opinion happened too fast for it to be the main reason.

    I think the 1967 decriminalisation raised a lot of passion at the time, but I suspect that because it happened (just) before the politicisation of personal issues it may have been less politically divisive. That said, if you look at the Wiki article, the language used in promoting it would have been seen as, at best, patronising even ten years later.

    Incidentally you were slightly wrong in an earlier statement about LGBT advances all coming from Labour. The extension to Scotland (and I think Northern Ireland) and the age reduction to 18 came under the Conservatives, and the first attempt at age equality from a Tory backbencher. The parliamentary tradition about such ‘matters of conscience’ was that changes tended to be introduced as private members bills by backbenchers and MPs voted according to their personal beliefs rather than as whipped by their Parties. And I think, on the whole, secretly gay Tories tended to support (or avoid) reforming legislation rather than hypocritically backing the anti-gay viewpoint.

    In that sense ‘Section 28? was a bit of an anomaly, an attempt to introduce US-style ‘dog whistle’ politics to the UK. In retrospect it was a short term success but a long term failure for the Conservatives.

    I assume John B Dick meant the Church of Scotland, but you must remember that is completely separate from the the Church of England and not a sister-Church. Indeed there are CoS churches in England and CoE (Episcopal) churches in Scotland, though confusingly the royal family switch from being CoE to CoS when they cross the border northwards.

    And if you want a tutorial in the narcissism of small differences (and to get completely befuddled), I suggest you google your way through the history of the CoS and its splits and their splits and their splits and all the subsequent mergers (and the splits those caused).”

    I know that the Episcopalian Church in the United States split off from the Church of England. They had to change because their loyalty to the King became treasonous. The Episcopalian Church symbol is the English flag except for one quarter being blue with white stars. Traditionally, Episcopalians have been thought of as fairly conservative but they’ve actually been quite liberal, in terms of their own church laws and political activism. I think of that church as being comprised by a bunch of Obamacans (Republicans for Obama).

    I find it amazing that there are more openly gay Tory MPs now than openly gay Labour MPs (and perhaps even more openly gay Tory MPs than Labour and Lib Dems combined). Last summer, I was having lunch with a friend of mine (who equally loves politics and may run for office some day) from college and I told about him about this development and I questioned what might happen if there were one day more openly gay Republican members of Congress than openly gay Democrats. He stopped, and with a profound look on his face, told me “that’s the day Jesus comes back to earth.” Incidentally, my friend is a Muslim. :)

  23. @ Colin

    “With “Liberal” in your name I presume that remark was some sort of joke.

    It would be a repellant idea, redolent of the regime in the 1930?s which someone refered to earlier.”

    No, it was no joke. The whole concept of “it’s a private matter” strikes me as heterosexist and demeaning towards LGBT persons. And I hardly see how you can find the idea repulsive when it exists as an every day reality.

    Manifestations of sexual orientation are everywhere, both gay and straight. When people talk about their girlfriends and boyfriends or their spouses whether at work or at lunch with friends or with their families, their sexual orientation is on display. When parents drop their kids off at daycare at theme parks when they’re on vacation, their sexual orientation is on display. When professional athletes have their wives sit in the players’ wives and mistresses section, their sexual orientation is on display. I could go on.

    Now, I don’t suggest that that people should be forced to reveal their sexual orientation if they do not want to. And so to the extent that my comment suggests that, I am of course joking. For the overwhelming majority of people, personal sexual orientation is not a private matter.

  24. SoCalliberal

    “For the overwhelming majority of people, personal sexual orientation is not a private matter.”

    Very true. However, that does not make it necessarily a relevant matter to take into account when electing someone, any more than their personal religious orientation.

    You might like to have a scan of this article

    http://www.scottishreview.net/index.shtml?utm_source=Sign-Up.to&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=241434-Why+is+Roseanna%27s+Catholicism+an+issue%3F

  25. @ Pete B

    “Have you ever read 1984 by Orwell? That line could have been a quote from it. He invented the Thought Police for that book.”

    Please. I’ve read 1984. It was a highly disturbing book but it’s completely irrelevant to what I’m discussing. It’s not thought police. Haven’t you ever heard of the statement “First they came” by German pastor Martin Niemoller? It’s very easy to look the other way when people discriminate against others who aren’t you. You can sit back and watch as people get bullied or harassed and attacked and say “not my problem.” But ultimately, that’s just enabling the discrimination. It’s akin to saying “that’s okay, keep on going.”

    Now, in the context of political parties, things are a little different. I don’t think the SNP is anti-LGBT party at all. Frankly, it’s a fallacy to impute the anti-gay feelings of some of their supporters to say that the party believes that. There’s also a difference between doing outreach and standing by on issues of discrimination. Take Chuck Grassley, a Senator from Iowa, for example. He’s an Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferer and he consistently uses his franking privileges to send out information to his constituents about his experiences with the condition and various ways to treat and live with IBS. That’s outreach to his constituents who suffer from IBS like he does. Other Senators who don’t frank their constituents with mail about their IBS are not doing similar outreach but that’s not discrimination against those with IBS. But, let us suppose hypothetically that there was governmental or even private discrimination against individuals with IBS. If you sat back and said “well it’s not our issue but if a bill comes up to give IBS sufferers equal rights, we won’t oppose it, that’s enabling discrimination. There’s a critical difference there.

  26. @ Valerie

    “When you make this kind of statement I never know if you’ve omitted to precede them with IMO, or if you see them as “universal truths”?”

    Well, I think when I write, I am stating my opinion. So rarely do I write “IMO”. But sometimes I mix opinion with things that are established fact or legal doctrines. I sometimes write IMO though for things where I’m speculating. Hope that clears up any confusion.

  27. @ Old Nat

    “Very true. However, that does not make it necessarily a relevant matter to take into account when electing someone, any more than their personal religious orientation.

    You might like to have a scan of this article”

    I will take a look at this article (I’m kinda taking a night off from bar studying…I’m worried my mind is going to explode after a time).

    In terms of voting for a person based on personal characteristics, I think you and I are largely in agreement. I would add that the same is true of race and gender.

    I have the following caveat on this though:

    I think diversity in elected and appointed officials is a good thing for the community and society as a whole. Therefore, while characteristics are not relevant to one’s qualifications for the job, it’s fine to promote the increases in diversity in government as well as working to maintain it and celebrate it.

    What Sonia Sotomayor brings to the Supreme Court is a great benefit.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/21/diabetes-sotomayor_n_881620.html?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl6%7Csec3_lnk1%7C216727

  28. SoCalLiberal

    Suppose someone had genuinely-held opinions such as ‘If someone is homosexual that is fine, but it is not an ideal orientation because sex has evolved in order to produce offspring”

    Should he be allowed to express that opinion? In this country he would run the risk of being accused of a ‘hate-crime’.

    “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”

  29. Pete B

    In this country he would run the risk of being accused of a ‘hate-crime’.

    I doubt that is true in England, certainly it’s not in Scotland. We are currently wrestling with the problem of sectarian behaviour in football, and trying to define behaviours with intent is complex – but worth trying to attain.

  30. @ Old Nat

    Re: Roseanna Cunningham

    I think that references to her “devout Catholicism” is meant as an ad hominem attack against her in order to criticize the proposed law. Rather than criticize the proposed law directly and point out flaws in it or argue that it restricts individual rights and give a detailed argument and analysis, it’s far easier to take a cheap shot at the proposer. It’s far easier to simply say “so and so is X, therefore because she is X, she wants this law.”

  31. @ Pete B

    “Suppose someone had genuinely-held opinions such as ‘If someone is homosexual that is fine, but it is not an ideal orientation because sex has evolved in order to produce offspring”

    Should he be allowed to express that opinion? In this country he would run the risk of being accused of a ‘hate-crime’.”

    To answer your question, hell yes. And tt wouldn’t matter if the views were genuine or not.

  32. @ Old Nat

    “In this country he would run the risk of being accused of a ‘hate-crime’.

    I doubt that is true in England, certainly it’s not in Scotland. We are currently wrestling with the problem of sectarian behaviour in football, and trying to define behaviours with intent is complex – but worth trying to attain.”

    I read an article about this recently where Jim Murphy claimed that he was subject anti-Catholic slurs at a professional soccer game. Are the stadiums privately or publicly owned and operated? To me that makes a critical difference in how any kind of rule or regulation should proceed.

    It seems bizarre to me that there are sectarian attacks. You know, there are some professional sports fans who get out of control. To the extent that it’s simply beyond embarassing. I think just about every Dodger fan on the planet was embarassed when a Giants fan was brutally beaten into a coma (for being a Giants fan) in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium. I don’t know why people feel the need to do that. I’ve never heard of anyone yelling out religious slurs or starting fights over religion. But I would not enjoy going to any sporting event that was like that.

    Also, do you think that some of this might be from alcohol? Dodger Stadium has gone extraordinarily downhill since Frank McCourt became the owner of the team in 2004. He basically put in all these tequilla carts on every level of the stadium, which has been a cash cow for him. He got rid of the old rule prohibiting the sale of alcohol after the 7th inning. And he got rid of the two alcoholic beverage at a time minimum. And he has increased the amount of beer sold in the stands. This has made the stadium a horrible place to attend games. That, along with major cutbacks in security spending (to further finance Mr. McCourt’s lavish personal lifestyle) have dramatically increased the level of violence, number of petty crimes, and general unpleasantness at the stadium. Alcohol, at least a lot of it, tends to impair judgment. Perhaps this might be a reason why some soccer fans would start yelling religious slurs at one another.

  33. @ Old Nat

    “I doubt that is true in England, certainly it’s not in Scotland. We are currently wrestling with the problem of sectarian behaviour in football, and trying to define behaviours with intent is complex – but worth trying to attain.”

    I meant to add as well (forgive my fatigue here) that I don’t get sectarian behavior in this day and age. Especially in any westernized country. I guess it comes from an overly sheltered upbringing. But you would think or at least hope that people would be beyond that.

  34. @ Anthony Wells

    I have a comment in moderation. I was hoping you could please remove it altogether. It’s not offensive or anything but I’m glad it went into moderation as it is repetitive, droning, and kinda pointless. Thank you. :)

  35. Socal Liberal

    You didn’t like Pete B’s cmment about , but you are so irrationally obsessed with/sensitive about one subject – i.e. the possibility of anyone not liking/not agreeing with gays – that you appear to have no idea how like George Orwell’s thought Police you are.

    It may be worht your while having a good long think about this.

    What frightens me is that someone interested in politics and law could end up making or interpreting laws – with this mindset.

  36. Socal

    “The whole concept of “it’s a private matter” strikes me as heterosexist and demeaning towards LGBT persons.”

    I am speechless!

  37. Judging by the commentariat, it seems that Europe is in trouble – not the Euro as such, but the idea of Eurpoe itself.

    Dan Hannan writes a fascinating piece in the Telegraph where he fully agrees with the analysis of the current Greek travails from the hard left – “Lefties are wrong about a lot of things. Their refusal to understand that excessive spending and borrowing were the cause of this crisis, and won’t be its solution, is almost heroic in its mulishness. But they are absolutely right about one thing: the policies being pursued by EU leaders are indeed a form of class war against working people, in effect if not intention.”
    He supports them in a call for an In/out referendum.

    Meanwhile, Philip Stevens in the FT suggests that the European politicians have put the cart before the horse when they talk of a failing Euro leading to a failure of Europe. Stevens suggests instead that the Euro is in trouble precisely because of the pre existing failings in the EU.

    Martin Kettl;e picks up the theme in the Guardian under the headline “Greece, Schengen, Nato – it’s time to admit the European dream is over”.

    Wherever you look, it’s clear that people are beginning to think the unthinkable – that the great European experiement, fostered by a remote elite without real reference to the European voters, is failing.

    Crisis always tests institutions, and it’s pretty clear that the ‘ever closer union’ concept has failed on multiple levels. The big question is how quickly people realise this and adapt, and what shape that adaptation will take.

  38. I think we’ve fallen into another one of those long, but basically semantic arguments. I don’t think SoCalLiberal is implying that the personal sexuality of an individual should be a public matter, rather that the issue of equal rights for the LGBT community should be a public matter. On our journey from outright discrimination against homosexuals towards more or less fully equal status, we have been through a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” transition period when we “dealt” with sexuality issues by “not dealing with them”. I suspect most of the population are probably somewhere in that transition; with views like “I don’t mind people being gay, but I don’t want them to go on about it” and “I don’t mind what people do in private but I object to gay men kissing in public”.

    I think that is what SoCalLiberal is tilting against, the idea that homosexuality should be treated as a tolerated shame, rather than a perfectly legitimate strand of human experience. On that basis, I suspect most of us here would actually agree with that view, but we’ve become bogged down in the wording.

    There are still some areas where there is genuine and heartfelt debate, even amongst liberals, as to how far the entrenchment of LGBT equality can go. Gay clergy and gay marriage are the most obvious battlefields, with things like gay adoption and the right of B&B proprieters to refuse guests based on sexuality also having been in the news recently.

    I think SoCalLiberal’s point is that this debate is open to all of us, regardless of our sexuality, and in fact to shy away from it saying “nothing to do with me, I’m straight” is not truly a neutral position at all but treating the LGBT community as a “seperate polity”, almost like the risible “Asian” and “Coloured” assemblies in the late-Apartheid RSA Parliament.

    I happen to feel the same way about the abortion debate, when it is couched in purely feminist terms (ie “you’re a man so you have no right to an opinion on this”).

  39. Have I accidentally got an Stonewall forum? Not quite sure what this has got to do with the original post … were them some interesting social questions I missed further down.

    On last night’s YG VI – erm … not much to report … maybe that’s why we’ve diverted into a discussion on a side-topic.

  40. @Alec,

    I agree that the Euro project was horribly over-optimistic and badly managed, and that the current policy of enforced austerity (although I’m not sure there is a palatable alternative) is essentially a way of protecting the rich countries by placing the yoke on the ordinary citizens of the struggling economies.

    I’m not so sure that it’s bad for the concept of “Europe” in the long run. Despite the caricatures, most “euro-sceptics” weren’t actually anti-European at all, we just had a different vision of what Europe could and should be. Hopefully now that it looks like the “ever closer Union” approach may be holed below the waterline, there is a chance to recast a better “Europe of Nations” model with a better long term prognosis.

  41. @oldnat

    ” define behaviours with intent is complex – but worth trying to attain.”

    I fundamentally disagree that the job of the criminal law is to try to attain motivation. I believe it to be illiberal and Orwellian ( thought crime in essence) the job of the criminal law is to prevent breaches of law which damage others.

    There are plenty of laws in Scotland to combat violent or threatening acts, or incitements to hatred or violence, or breaches of the peace or disturbances or disorder. There is simply no need nor desirability to have any new law on sectarianism.

    The whole furore is ridiculous. It comes from a ridiculously overblown reaction to a fairly everyday squabble on a football touchline – there were three others in the SPL last year, each actually worse than the Lennon/McCoist spat in the actions of those involved, but they took place in matches that were largely ignored.

    The SNP government here does appear illiberal, populist and dare I say it , o the Right politically on this issue – as on may others in reality ( they are actually closer to a Gaullist party than a Social Democratic one – our very own Fianna Fail if you will.)

    They are effective from that position, and clearly adopting popular policies and portraying yourself as in tune with the dominant self image of the electorate makes perfect sense.

    On another point, in the Holyrood landslide, the labour seats which resisited most this year had a higher proportion of catholic voters than those which capitulated. Has any work been done on whether or not the SNP transfers from working class labour voters were predominantly non-catholic or was that shift across the board. it would be interesting.

  42. I have a feeling Salmond has realised anti-sectarian laws are not as straightforward as he originally thought. I should imagine it’s treason to stop anyone singing the National Anthem.

  43. I’m watching for any sign of a dent in Conservative VI polling or DC’s personal popularity polling after their first significant defeat in the commons over the Cruelty to Circus Animals motion. The reporting has been pretty harsh about the threats that came from the PM’s office to conservative back benchers who were going against government.

    What’s that old saw about the Englishman not caring about people in poverty, but willing to go the barricades over a mistreated animal?

  44. Neil A

    “…the current policy of enforced austerity (although I’m not sure there is a palatable alternative) is essentially a way of protecting the rich countries by placing the yoke on the ordinary citizens of the struggling economies.”

    How come you see that clearly about Greece, but you seem unaware that the Coalition is pursuing exactly the same policy here? Trimmed:

    Austerity is essentially a way of protecting the rich by placing the yoke on the ordinary citizens.

  45. Because they aren’t. And I’m not sure there’s a palatable alternative.

  46. Thanks to Neil A for (I hope) resolving what was basically a misunderstanding about what can be meant by ‘public’. I thought about writing something last night, but I’m glad I didn’t as he put it far better than I would have done.

    Hate crimes are a different matter and never easily resolved because context is often so important and yet difficult to define objectively. I’m sure the anti-sectarianism measures are well-meant, but you can see them leading to all sorts of embarrassments in terms of court cases and actions taken. And of course it leaves the field wide-open to that basic tactic of any sort of sectarianism – whataboutery.

    Furthermore, officious officials being officious, you can see all sorts of idiotic interventions happening because of it; rather like anti-terrorism legislation being used to stop tourists taking pictures of landmarks and London Bobbies.

    It must be said that the attack on Cunningham for being Catholic is actually so ridiculous, it ceases to be offensive. Everyone is well aware of the historic alignment between the Roman Catholic Church and Scottish Labour, so it just looks hypocritical as well as petty. Why is there something about Scottish Labour that makes ‘tin-eared’ seem inadequate? Once again I say ‘less John Reid, more Amber Star’.

    I do wonder though if there is a problem with the SNP that as a nationalist party they are over-sensitive to outside opinion of Scotland and so tend to over-react to such problems when they reach the wider media. It’s all very well To see oursels as others see us, but it can become an obsession. They also need to be careful about charging into complex legal areas without thinking things through, especially after ending up looking a bit foolish over the Supreme Court appeal.

  47. There’s plenty of money in the UK. So much in fact that if you took all the money away from its current owners and shared it out equally amongst everybody in the whole damn two islands everybody would be a (multi-)millionaire.

    So austerity instead of redistribution is clearly a yoke on the poor because the rich do not suffer at all.

  48. JayBlanc

    As usual YouGov have a poll for that:

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-yougov-circusanimals-080611.pdf

    Actually the question’s a bit odd

    Would you support or oppose a ban on using wild animals being used in circuses in this county (by wild animals, we mean animals not native to the British Isles)

    given that say horse and dogs aren’t ‘native to the British Isles’ but support was 67% to 19%.

  49. @Nick Poole: “So austerity instead of redistribution is clearly a yoke on the poor because the rich do not suffer at all.”

    Redistribution will drive the wealth overseas.

    And the poor use public services far more than the rich so any cuts on said public services are inevitably going to hit them the hardest.

    So, which is better in the long-term?

  50. Nick Poole
    “There’s plenty of money in the UK. So much in fact that if you took all the money away from its current owners and shared it out equally amongst everybody in the whole damn two islands everybody would be a (multi-)millionaire.”

    I really do despair that there are those in the world who actually believe this mantra.

    If we did do the above, then I bet that within 1 year, some would be multimillionares again running successful companies and employing people. Some would be bankrupt & back on benefits living off the productive and some would be dead on an overdose of drink, drugs & fast cars/women. And some would just gamble it away.

    The whole problem with the tax system as it is currently, is that it is seen as a means of re-distributing wealth. This is totally wrong IMO. It should be a means of raising money to pay for, inter alia, the defence and security of the nation, the sensible use of the NHS by those who are entitled, old age pensions and the support of the genuinely disabled and those who genuinely fall on hard times, until they are back on their feet again.

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