YouGov’s daily poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11% – it’s a lower lead for Labour than we’ve seen in YouGov’s recent polls, but I’ll just leave that with my normal caveats about not reading too much into a single poll. It may be Labour’s increased hackgate lead receeding… or it may just be margin of error, and we’ll find Labour’s lead back to around 8 points tomorrow.

There is not much change from last week in how the political leaders are perceived as having responded to the riots – 45% think Cameron has responded well, 49% badly (from 45% to 49% last week), 42% think Miliband has responded well, 41% badly (from 40% to 40% last week). The standard leadership ratings for Cameron and Miliband remain largely unchanged too.

Most of the questions are still riot related – Almost half (48%) of people think the sentences for rioters are about right, with the remainder more likely to think they are too soft (31%) than too harsh (14%). On the specific case of the two men given 4 years a piece for failing to incite riots through Facebook, 32% think the sentences were too harsh, but 50% think they were right and 13% too soft.

Looking at further measures that have been suggested, 95% would support making those involved help repair the damaged caused, 81% would support naming and shaming those under 18s convicted, 81% would support making those convicted apologise to their victims. 68% would support stopping the welfare benefits of those convicted. On the question of evicting people who are convicted of rioting from council accommodation, 62% of people would support evicting tenants themselves if they involved in the riots, but this drops to only 34% when asked about evicting families whose children were involved in the riots.

Looking at longer term responses to the riots, 56% of people would support the re-introduction of national service, with 32% opposed (there is a strong correlation with age here, two-third of over 60s would support it, under 25s are marginally opposed to it). A national citizen service, requiring compulsory community work for all young people, is more popular – 77% would support it with only 14% opposed. There is less support for the government promoting marriage in the tax and benefit system – 39% think it should, 48% think it should not be the government’s place to promote marriage.

Moving to the topic of tuition fees, only 29% of people think that a university education is worth £9000 a year. However, they are evenly split on whether this means people will be better or worse off financially from going to university. 40% think graduates will still be better off as increased salaries will outweigh the costs of going to university, 42% think graduates will end up worse off.

Finally, on trains 79% of people think current fares represent bad value for money. 47% think the government should maintain rail subsidies, even if this means larger cuts elsewhere. 24% think that the government is right to cut subsidies.

Full tabs are here.


157 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 36, LAB 40, LDEM 11”

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  1. @ John B Dick

    “I don’t know anything about Edinbugh, but every party has lazy and stupid councillors who believe what they are told without challenging spurious data manipulated to produce the desired result.”

    I feel like every party has some loveable idiot. Someone who people tend to love but acknowledge the elevator doesn’t stop at the top floor.

    @ Old Nat

    “Though if you lived in Tripoli, who would you have turned out to express your support for before today, and who would you be doing it for today?”

    You might say anything but more likely, you might shut up and not say anything. You wouldn’t neccessarily go out and celebrate joyously in the streets. I think it’s rare that someone goes out to celebrate in the streets what they didn’t want.

    Reminds me of Hillary superdelegates who switched to Obama on the last day of the 2008 primary. Nice words? Yes. Joyous celebration? No.

  2. @ Old Nat

    “Does anyone know?

    The largest group of EU citizens enjoying free teriary education in Scotkland are Irish. There is a long tradition of people from Northern Ireland attending Scottish Universities.

    Most people from Northern Ireland are entitled to have Irish citizenship. If my kids were from there, I’d certainly be encouraging them to become an Irish citizen (even if I was from a strong Orange background ) if they wanted to go to Uni here.

    How prevalent is that?”

    It reminds me of all the people (including foreigners) who pretend to be Californians so that they can get in-state tuition rates at the UCs. As you might have guessed, in-state tuition rates are far lower than out of state tuition rates.

    There is a move to allow the kids of undocumented immigrants to obtain in-state tuition rates even though they’re not citizens. I’m supportive of that move (I haven’t been following closely but I think that Moonbeam may have already signed it into law, it passed the legislature).

    As for your situation, I’d just kick all the Irish out. Who needs those Irish anyway? J/k. :)

  3. So I have kind of a random question that stems from a family argument at dinner tonight.

    Are Euros accepted in the UK as currency and welcomed as tips? My understanding is that since you guys stayed with the pound and never switched to the Euro, you couldn’t use it in the UK and people generally wouldn’t accept it. Some people seemed to believe though that I was wrong and that I was an idiot who didn’t know anything and had wasted money (by converting Euros into pounds when I entered your lovely nation).

    I thought I should ask a crosssection of Brits who came from all corners of the UK and belonged to all different political parties as to the status of the Euro as an accepted currency.

    (Also, do not wish to start a debate on whether you guys should abandon the pound for the Euro).

  4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/21/libyan-rebels-close-in-on-gaddafi_n_932370.html?1313933483

    Apparently, Tripoli has been taken by the rebels. However, I do wonder if this will be the end of the battle for it.

  5. SoCalLiberal

    Euros aren’t legal tender in the UK. There are (or were, I can’t remember seeing any lately) some stores in London, and possibly a few other places where tourists frequent, that have decided to accept notes. But they decide the exchange rate etc…

    If you had a credit card from a Eurozone country the acquiring bank will usually allow you to pay in Euros or Pounds, but if you choose Euros they choose the rate (rather than your own bank). This has nothing to do with the shop though, they see the transaction in pounds.

  6. @ The Sheep

    “Euros aren’t legal tender in the UK. There are (or were, I can’t remember seeing any lately) some stores in London, and possibly a few other places where tourists frequent, that have decided to accept notes. But they decide the exchange rate etc…

    If you had a credit card from a Eurozone country the acquiring bank will usually allow you to pay in Euros or Pounds, but if you choose Euros they choose the rate (rather than your own bank). This has nothing to do with the shop though, they see the transaction in pounds.”

    Right (that’s what I thought) and of course my credit card offers the option of paying in dollars or pounds or in European countries in dollars or Euros. You can’t use a currency that is not legal tender. You would think this would be common sense. Apparently not.

  7. @ The Sheep

    Here’s an interesting rationale for the “tip in Euros” argument: according to some, Euros are perfectly acceptable to leave tips in because those accepting the tips will use them to take vacations on the continent. Of course by that rationale, you can leave tips in pesos in California because we’re so close to Mexico and will make sure to use those pesos on vacation in Mexico. That’s pretty ridiculous really.

    One summer back in high school, I worked as a poolboy at a hotel. I can assure you that every single tip I received was in dollars. None in pesos, none in Euros, none in pounds, and none in any of the other European currencies still in existence. :)

  8. Markit’s household finance index has fallen for the third month in a row to it’s lowest figure since 2009 (when the index was created) – available cash to spend fell by it’s fastest pace and savings fell by their steepest amount.

    What a good day for the markets, to have bad news buried – I bet the financial markets see quite a boost upward today, from the Libya news.

  9. And Cameron has cut short his holiday early to come back to comment on Libya – it’s good to see he’s learnt quickly from his mistakes.
    I think that’ll do well for the perception that he’s willing to listen to the public.

  10. @AW,

    I’m not sure exactly how your weighted polling average is calculated, but I’d suggest that it needs looking at. Both the Labour and Tory figures seem oddly high given the last 20 or 30 polls on the list. Labour in particular seems to be too high, given that since March they’ve only scored 45 once (and that was three weeks ago) and have scored 43 or less numerous times.

    The Tories have only scored one 37 in the past month, but have scored quite a few 35s and less.

  11. Just done a quick tot-up. The last 19 polls (in the list on the right) have been YG dailies with an overall average of 43.1. All of the non-YG polls immediately before that have Labour on a lower figure. Even if the result is rounded up, rather than to the nearest number, it is hard to see what weighting could put the total at 44.

  12. @Neil A,
    If you click through to the page, it looks like it’s only using the past 5 (except the latest) yougov polls for it’s average.
    So 44-44-42-43-43, weighted with 0.97, 0.7, 0.45, 0.23, 0.03 will give 44.

    And 44 isn’t really that far out – my 30-day weighted figure is at 42.9 and my 7-day weighted figure is at 42.5 (but this was highly distorted by the 40, before that it was steady at around 43.
    My weighted ‘monthly’ figure* has had Lab on 42.9 pretty much for the past 4 weeks – Libs on 9.4 and Con on 35.6.

    * Constructed by taking the average unweighted weekly figure, and weighting it against the past 4-weeks.

  13. @Tngedfringe -“Markit’s household finance index has fallen for the third month in a row..”

    Not too sure about this as it is a very new survey, although Markit seem to know what they are doing. Corroboration is provided though by a BRC survey showing retail footfall down by 1% in the last three months and a seperate business confidence survey out today that is heavily negative.

    More worry though are the broader indicators. In the US the bond markets are signalling an expectation of deflation, while in Europe the real M1 money supply in Germany and Holland is already contracting and in Italy iit is doing so at an alarming rate. We do seem to be on the brink of a potential deflationary spiral, which is the very last things we need.

  14. @Tingedfringe,

    Yup I think that may be the problem. The average is supposed be over the polls for the last 20 days. Currently it is based on a tiny subset of YG polls.

  15. I was taken aback by the bare-facedness of the lying this morning on the news, when some spokesman insisted that Gaddafi’s troops were a legitimate military target and they were in no way supporting the rebels.

    Along with supplying arms and providing air support to the advance, the only extra support they coud give would be to send in troops.

    Now I am not saying whether or not such military support is a good thing or not, but I will say that it doesn’t seem to be much about supporting the resolution and avoiding civilian casualties and everything about regime change.

    I expect to be lied to, but the brazenness of it shocked me. It’s like they don’t care that everybody knows it is a lie.

    One step further than dodgy dossiers and made-up WMD, and into straightforward newspeak.

    I am not partisan about this, I hate war and I pretty much detest the misinformation (newspeak for lies or propaganda) that goes with it.

    I suggest we hand Libya over to the rebels and get out. Any whiff of imposing a “democratic solution” and we make a whole tranche of new problems and probably enemies.

  16. The developments in Libya are (so far) good news.

    It is to be hped that it will end very quickly without (too much) loss of life or damage to infrastructure.

    It is also to be hped that there is no political vacuum that could lead to conflict between competing factions (tribes).

    A few things which have bothered me…for example, how strong were the rebels? Indeed, how many of them were there? The death/assassinaton of one the rebel leaders seemed to have prompted an uptick in the rebels’ fortunes. Why?

  17. @Tingeedfringe – “I bet the financial markets see quite a boost upward today, from the Libya news.”

    Dream on. Dow Jones continued to fall late yesterday even as the Libya news was coming through, the FTSE opened this morning around 1% down and has fallen below the psychologically important 5000 barrier, the CAC is down a similar proportion and the DAX has opened over 2% down.

    Not a scrap of joy on the markets I’m afraid. This might just be the defining week of the three year long crisis.

  18. “Oil prices have fallen as markets expect a rise in production as a conclusion to the Libyan unrest nears.

    Libya’s oil production has fallen to around ten per cent of normal capacity

    Brent crude oil was down $3 as to $105.62 a barrel on early trading, while US sweet, light crude fell 0.8% to $81.57 in trading in Asia.

    Oil production in Libya was around 1.6 million barrels a day before the unrest, making the firm the 12th largest producer of oil in the world.”

    Sky News

  19. “Market reaction early Monday to the very fluid situation in Tripoli seems to be one of cautious optimism. Asian stock markets are mostly higher, despite the selloff in the U.S. Friday.

    Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is up 1.4%, Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries is up 1.2%, while markets in Japan, Singapore and mainland China are nearly flat, but in positive territory.

    The connection between Libya and Asian stock markets is, of course, oil. The six-month battle for the North African petroleum rich nation has kept benchmark Brent Crude well above $100 a barrel. When oil is that expensive, it acts like a tax on economies, especially those that are already struggling in Europe and the U.S. And because Asia makes what consumers in the U.S. and Europe take, the price of oil in Tripoli matters everywhere.

    Speaking of which, Brent Crude on the IntercontinentalExchange is down 1.5% to $107.08 Monday morning Hong Kong time. Not exactly a euphoric plunge, but a muted move makes sense given how fluid the situation remains in Libya, with lots of uncertainty around what should happen if the Gadhafi regime capitulates.”

    Wall Street Journal

  20. Alex Crawford -Sky reporter in Libya deserves an award for her work.

    In the thick of it-yesterday whilst speaking to camera , a sniper bullet zinged past her & she dived for cover.

    She was with the action all the way in to Tripoli.

    Absolutely exemplary war correspondent. Coverage up there with Al Jazeera.

    BBC very poor.

  21. Alec

    Dream on. Dow Jones continued to fall late yesterday even as the Libya news was coming through, the FTSE opened this morning around 1% down and has fallen below the psychologically important 5000 barrier, the CAC is down a similar proportion and the DAX has opened over 2% down. Not a scrap of joy on the markets I’m afraid. This might just be the defining week of the three year long crisis.

    Getting up later than you. Perhaps your earlier pessimism is unwarranted and that Colin and Tinged Fringe are on the ball. The FTSE is rising.

  22. Yep-FTSE rising in early trading.

    But it’s a mugs game tracking that by the hour-FTSE is “effect”

    Oil price effect much more significant-it is “cause”

    Scenes in Tripoli amazing.

    After 40 years of suppression , just to remember what freedom means must be an achievement.

    Good luck to Libyans for a better future .

  23. Agreed we can’t get into debates based on the minute by minute shifts on the market, and @Colin is perfectly correct in that there will be an effect on oil prices.

    However, Libya’s contribution to global oil prices is limited and the real issue is the decline in prices driven by fears over the broader economy. In this sense falling oil prices don’t signify market confidence, although I’m welcoming the first fall in petrol prices at my local garage in a long while.

  24. @ Alec

    “However, Libya’s contribution to global oil prices is limited”

    In a way that highlights the significance of it for us.

    In 2009 79% of Liyan oil exports went to Europe.
    (China took 10%)

    Libya has been logistically & strategically important to Europe as an oil supplier. Recovering the 90% of that output lost during the conflict has significance for European economies.

  25. So, not to put too fine a point on the UK’s Libya venture…it is all about energy access?

    One might argue that we are witnessing imperialism. And a potential source of future escalating conflicts across the globe.

  26. At 1.6m bpd , Libyan (max )oil output seems to be around 8.5% of European consumption.

    That is significant.

    The other significant thing is the prospect of reconstruction based exports for European companies-perhaps for UK , French & Italian companies in particular.

    Gaddaffi’s massive spending on water supply infrastucture in the eighties generated huge business for UK construction & supply companies ( my own included at that time)

    Libya will be a very rich country , in which oil revenues will hopefully accrue to it’s people more fully in future, and in which infrastructure spending is going to be significant.

    That should all be good news for European economies-provided we can help Libya to build the institutions of democracy after fourty years of control by his Revolutionary Committees & their web of informants & enforcers.

    A tall order-but there is the lesson of Iraq to learn from.

  27. Apparently Al Megrahi the Lockerbie bomber has been in touch with the Scottish government looking for asylum. But has asked this time for an accommodation upgrade, as he did not enjoy the food during his last stay.

  28. Libya normally produces around 2% of total global oil output, so while it relatively small it isn’t entirely insignificant, but on it’s own isn’t really likely to shift global prices much beyond the short term day to day market sentiments. It won’t affect the fundamentals.

    @ Mike N – I think that’s possibly being unfair. These calculations will certainly go into the balance, but Libya has a special place in the annals of national revulsion, both for Gaddafi’s treatment of his own people as well as his direct links to overseas acts of terror. Putting aside Lockerbie bombings and support for the IRA where there is a certain amount of argument possible, doing nothing about the people who shoot police officers from inside one of your own embassies is enough on it’s own to put this man in a special place all of his own in my book.

    It’s unrealistic to think we can ever escape self interest in foreign affairs, but there are a lot more reasons also to get involved in this particular case, not least that an intervention was winnable.

  29. Alec

    Yes I agree with your sentiments about revulsion of Gaddafi.

  30. Alec

    Have you seen the Guardian article by Caroline Lucas?

    Here’s an extract: “Research by Unicef suggests that the UK is one of the worst places to live as a child or teenager in the developed world – largely thanks to the growing gulf between the haves and have-nots. This is not something that the government has shown any interest in tackling.”

  31. listening to DCs news conf from Downing St. It appears there has been a significant amount of preparation for the Libyan transition by both the NTC, Europe and the Arab League. For example medical supplies have already been transported to areas near the conflict ready for distribution. IMO much better planning for the aftermath than in Iraq. Bodes well for Iraq’s future.

  32. SoCalLiberal

    When the Euro first came into existence quite a few businesses offered to take them, usually at a very favourable rate to the themselves. That faded away pretty fast – the customers objected to the rates and the businesses found the monetary gain didn’t outweigh the cost and extra time.

    The only exception is Northern Ireland because Ireland uses the Euro and many shoppers from ‘the South’ go north because prices are cheaper there due to lower VAT and duties among other things. A lot of businesses near the border run completely on dual currencies and I expect that the Euro is widely accepted elsewhere.

    None of this however excuses tipping anyone in the UK in Euros. Not everyone can take holidays (or even go back home) regularly, even if they do they might be going to part of Europe outside the Eurozone. Also many places in the UK ‘pool’ tips, so that causes extra problems. Tipping in Euros in the UK will be greeted with as much enthusiasm as if you did it in the US.

    By the way we’re always told here that using a credit card to pay in a non-local currency when abroad (eg paying in pounds in the Eurozone) works out more expensive.

  33. TINGED FRINGE

    Good to see Cameron returning promptly from his fourth holiday of the year – he may well have his fifth holiday next week if Libya goes well. As for venue, my money is on Tunisia so he can get some media exposure by nipping across the border to Libya and becoming the first NATO leader to do a post-Gaddafi visit – now wouldn’t that look good!

  34. I hope and think that Libya will settle down in the next month or so, as I am not sure that Gaddafi really had a strong tribal following. He appears to have some followers, but how many of these were on the government payroll remains to be seen. I guess that once Gaddafi is unable to pay them, many will disappear.

    The bigger problem country is Syria, where if a civil war breaks out there, I am not sure NATO will be able to intervene in the same way. Also the Arab League and others will also find it difficult. Neighbouring countries such as Lebanon/Iraq could be affected by refugees and I think preparations should be made by the various international bodies, just in case they are needed.

  35. This is an interesting story and adds something to the earlier debate over wealth, assets and taxes in my view – http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/9199566.Empty_Kendal_property_handed_to_family/?ref=mc

    Assets like housing are both private and social resources. We restrict the supply of housing via planning laws, but we haven’t as yet instituted any compensating restrictions on demand in terms of multiple home ownership, so leaving skewed market forces to determine the housing market creating all kinds of problems.

    This local story demonstrates one way that privately owned assets, if being managed in a way that damages society, can be seized and redirected for social good.

    In my view it links to the banking crisis, where debts likely to create a social harm were socialised to prevent greater harm. A similar approach to misused assets in the private sector is one way to help us through the ensuing crisis.

    Personally, similar to the way we restrict harmful private behavoir in the criminal code, I don’t believe individuals have the inalienable right to own property and do with it as they will if by exercising that right they damage society as a whole. In Saxon times the concept of ownership only existed in tandem with notions of responsibilities, something I feel we could yet learn from.

  36. Scotswaehae

    “Outside Edinburgh, and the posher parts of Glasgow, University isn’t as pushed as it is in England.”

    I wouldn’t agree with that so far as the highlands and Islands are concerned. There is a long tradition of, and respect for, the bright pupil who leaves to go to university and makes a successful career in a profession – often medicine – possibly involving emigration.

    These people are admired and remembered by those they left behind because of their background starting in a small village school with all the other children in the community, and therefore demonstrating that with talent, ambition, good health and a little luck that potentially anyone can do it.

    For adult self-improvement, the OU find that Inverness is a hotspot. Maybe it’s the dark winter nights.

  37. SoCalLiberal @ Old Nat

    “Osama Bin Laden tried to blow up our Parliament (Congress) and failed. We celebrate his execution and we’re tarred by Europeans and some Brits as bloodthirsty monsters. You celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and no one says a word. Forgive me for asking what the difference is? ”

    Most just see it as an agreed date in which we can all have our bonfires. In Scotland, of course, we put Margaret Thatcher masks on the guy.

  38. @ ALEC

    “This local story demonstrates one way that privately owned assets, if being managed in a way that damages society, can be seized ……………..I don’t believe individuals have the inalienable right to own property and do with it as they will if by exercising that right they damage society as a whole.”

    Your remarks indicate that you believe that ownership of Kendal property was taken from the Freeholder.

    This is not so-Empty Dwelling Management Orders ( the powers in use in this case) provide for enforced management of a property-not transfer of title ( an idea which I find quite incredible )

    “Guidance for Residential Owners” in respect of EDMOs states in it’s Summary :-

    “Your right to own and sell your property cannot be taken away by an Empty Dwelling Management Order. What the legislation does allow is for local councils in certain specific circumstances to take over the management of empty residential properties with a view to agreeing with owners a plan to bring them back
    into occupation. This can only happen where the council has been unable to persuade the owner to bring the property back into use and considers this course of action is necessary as a last resort.”

  39. @John B Dick

    But it does beg the question about whether “going to University” is the best way to do that. I had a lively discussion with RobSheffield some months ago about whether a degree was a prerequisite to enter the professions (I argued that it was not, although the line has become blurred for medicine). I was pleased therefore to see an article in yesterday’s Sunday Times stating that it was not necessary, and giving three examples (accountant, IT contractor, legal executive) where people had entered these professions without benefit of degree.

    The sooner people stop confusing “a degree” with “entrance exam to a profession” the better… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  40. @ SOCALIBERAL

    ““Osama Bin Laden tried to blow up our Parliament (Congress) and failed. We celebrate his execution and we’re tarred by Europeans and some Brits as bloodthirsty monsters. You celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and no one says a word. Forgive me for asking what the difference is? ”

    Nice observation-there isn’t a difference.

    Indeed , your perceptive comment prompts the thought that the two events are very similar.

    Bin Laden wanted to destroy a culture which did not meet his own religious & ideological beliefs.

    Fawkes was part of a plot to assassinate King James 1, and restore a Catholic monarch to the throne.

  41. Martyn

    “an article in yesterday’s Sunday Times stating that it was not necessary, and giving three examples (accountant, IT contractor, legal executive) where people had entered these professions without benefit of degree.”

    Indeed -it was the way I entered the first mentioned of those three professions.

    That article highlighted the increasing number of places for study & qualification being offered by the major accounting firms to school leavers.

    I think this trend will spread across professions .

  42. @ SOCALIBERAL

    “Osama Bin Laden tried to blow up our Parliament (Congress) and failed. We celebrate his execution and we’re tarred by Europeans and some Brits as bloodthirsty monsters. You celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and no one says a word. Forgive me for asking what the difference is?”

    Time.

  43. Nick Poole

    “I expect to be lied to, but the brazenness of it shocked me. It’s like they don’t care that everybody knows it is a lie.”

    There are two kinds of lies: Believable lies, and unbelievable lies.

    The latter are an insult to the person who is expected to believe the lie becuse that it is implied that the perso being lied to is stupid.

  44. @ Oldnat & Scottish fees: from last night.
    “the number of non-UK EU students attending Scottish Universities — who pay no fees — has rocketed in the last decade, as such continental students are getting a free lunch.”
    “Just as Scots students attending those Universities in continental Europe who have no tuition fees are getting a “free lunch” too. Your narrow nationalism is a tad embarassing.”
    ———–
    Being accused of narrow nationalism from north of the border is an amusing trope but you miss the point.

    “Recent surveys show that most EU students [18,000 in total] in Scotland came from Ireland, where fees are up to £6,500 a year, France, where fees can range from a few hundred to thousands of Euros, and Germany, where Universities are free in some states but in others cost at least a £1,000 a year, plus other charges.”

    The question is: how many Scottish students get a free lunch outside the UK?
    Scottish students could study in Ireland but presumably are deterred by hefty fees. They could study in Europe but would need a fluency in the requisite foreign language. On the other side, Irish students pay no fees in Scotland & have no language problem. It also seems highly likely that the proportion of generalist northern European students fluent in English & hence capable of attending a UK Uni is much higher than the proportion of comparable Scottish [British] students who are fluent in a foreign language & hence capable of studying on the Continent. The EU students have a structural advantage in the Uni exchange! hence the Scottish government’s dewsire to close the “loophole”.
    The evidential problem is that we have no data on the numbers of Scottish students at EU Unis which do not charge fees? In their absence, are you seriously suggesting that more than a trivial number of Scottish students do attend such Unis? I bet!
    This does look like an unintended consequence of a domestic fees policy. I can understand why the Scottish government is unhappy about it, but their options seem limited, unless they pursue “narrowly nationalist” policies.

  45. SoCalLiberal

    “Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament”

    Osama Bin Laden tried to blow up our Parliament (Congress) and failed. We celebrate his execution and we’re tarred by Europeans and some Brits as bloodthirsty monsters. You celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and no one says a word. Forgive me for asking what the difference is?

    Four hundred years. Though at least the Brits gave Guy Fawkes a (sort of) trial. ;)

  46. Colin @ Martyn

    “an article in yesterday’s Sunday Times stating that it was not necessary, and giving three examples (accountant, IT contractor, legal executive) where people had entered these professions without benefit of degree.”

    Indeed -it was the way I entered the first mentioned of those three professions.”

    The premier institute in these islands, requires graduate entry, though it didn’t when I trained. There was, however an academic year at university as part of the course.

    Entry and exit qualifications to a profession are influenced by supply and demand, which in turn is influenced by salary levels.

    In 1878 Cty of Glasgow Bank (the Enron of its day) gave such a boost to the Glassgow Institute of Accountants and Actuaries (1854) that almost a century later the impact was still discernable.

    Half the members work outside Scotland. Many, like Fred the Shred, reaching the top of every sort of business even though, as has been pointed out, unlike Terry Wogan, he holds no banking qualification.

  47. An amusing cartoon on PB. A Libyan rebel says surely Gaddafi can’t have gone on holiday.

    …………………………….

    I am surprised by the speed and ease with which the rebels have advanced on and entered Tripoli. Had the Libyan army been pretty much destroyed by Nato airstrikes? The rebels are hardly seasoned well-trained warriors/soldiers. And there seemed to be relatively few of them.

    IMO, the extent of Nato ‘support’ must have been much greater than we have been lead to believe.

    Let’s hope genunie democracy emerges and is widely supported rather than another form of dictatorship.

  48. R Huckle

    “Apparently Al Megrahi the Lockerbie bomber has been in touch with the Scottish government looking for asylum. But has asked this time for an accommodation upgrade, as he did not enjoy the food during his last stay.”

    Don’t believe it. My information, though not from personal experience and not recent, is that the food in Scottish Prisons is quite good because labour is free. Expenditure is higher than privatised nursing homes and healthier than privatised school meals.

    The idea of releasing Megrahi to the house his family occupied was rejected because of security difficulties.

  49. @ SOCALIBERAL
    “Osama Bin Laden tried to blow up our Parliament (Congress) and failed. We celebrate his execution and we’re tarred by Europeans and some Brits as bloodthirsty monsters. You celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and no one says a word. Forgive me for asking what the difference is?”

    No difference really, except the serfs didn’t have a voice then & AW’s ancestors hadn’t thought about a polling site.

    Having said that, I cheered on the news of OBL’s death. It’s one of the few things Obama has achieved.

  50. On a polling matter, the Guardian reports that “According to a poll by Survation, the Tories’ share of the vote in South Derbyshire would slump from 45.5% a year ago to 31.9%, with Labour claiming the seat by shooting up to 45.9%.”

    This is a constituency affected the gov’s decision to award a contract to Siemens rather than to Bombardier.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/aug/22/bombardier-conservatives-south-derbyshire

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