Tonight’s YouGov/Sun poll has topline figures of CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%. Yesterday’s 2 point lead looks like it was just a blip, and the 6 point leads we’ve seen from YouGov lately are restored. Tomorrow will be the first chance to see if Ed Miliband’s speech has had any impact, though lots of the fieldwork will be done before people see the news tonight or the newspaper reaction tomorrow, so worth waiting until Thursday before drawing any conclusions.


509 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 37%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%”

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  1. Lurker

    I cannot profess to know a single German accountant.

    Just saw some of the “highlights” of the speech again on TV. Although I am not a Labour supporter I have to say it was palpably the worst speech by a major party leader I’ve ever heard, and that includes IDS. Just embarrassing.

    The Tories will be sleeping easy tonight. On that note, bon soir.

  2. @ Liz Hancock

    Amberstar must be at the conference. I wonder if she will have time to give us an update on the mood in the conference hall.
    ————————————————-
    I was there; I’m not sure if Crossbat was here because he said: “It was a speech almost totally devoid of rhetorical sparkle and, apart from the passage on the NHS, it failed to catch fire in the Conference Hall.”

    My experience, my son’s & the people I spoke with had a very different view to Crossbat’s. Everybody listened with rapt attention. It was not a rabble rousing speech; it was a speech for people who support Labour & for people who would like to support Labour, if Labour would give them even half a reason to.

    Many of the activists, me included, were very much enthused. We felt that Ed had given us something to talk about with voters. This was a speech that didn’t tell people what they should think. It was a speech that didn’t proscribe answers. It wasn’t hemmed in by specific policies – & this lack of ‘policy wonk’ stuff will be criticised but we don’t care. Because Ed has left it open: We can discuss, debate & most of all, listen to what people believe is the way to deal with the issues which he articulated today.

    Policies & definitions & structure will follow in due course. But not today. The media has been used to Labour speeches being for them – to discuss & analyse & bore us to tears with talking head expert commentary. But today was not for them, it was for us.
    8-)

  3. Looks like the polls aren’t moving much this conference season,
    so far.
    Perhaps that slightly helps the Conservatives if that’s about to change, as they get a chance to reply last.
    But the effect, if any, probably doesn’t last very long.

    (I think 2 conferences did change things.
    In 1980, a bad Labour conference seemed to be the tipping point to create the SDP which fractured the anti Conservative vote until the end of the decade,
    and 1986 when the Tories did manage a relaunch after a bad mid-term and poor local election results).

    The polls are tight because the economy is still weak and confidence is low,
    but on the other hand, people also realise Labour’s role in this not long ago.

  4. @ Sergio

    Alec, the problem with every single example you’ve come up with is that they can be circumvented by clever accountants.

    In other words, unworkable.
    ——————————————-
    I’m a ‘clever accountant’; I can think of loads to workable ideas which would encourage good companies & put some brakes on the predatory ones.

    Do you think it has been an [un]happy accident that Germany is associated with manufacturing & the Uk with financial services? Or do you think that has been the result of policies combined with the cultural & business ‘atmosphere’?
    8-)

  5. RiN,

    ‘Lol’

    Didn’t realise you were such a genius….. ;-)

  6. On this side of the border, I thought Ed made a great speech!

    Labour, having agreed yesterday that SLAB would make its own decisions on purely Scottish matters (it took them 12 years to come up with that?) Ed then decided to make a speech which totally ignored the devolved nations.

    His “British” speech was peppered with England only examples. (Sorry Ed, Westminster doesn’t decide on the rules on social housing allocation outside England).

    Those in England, won’t have noticed, because they are used to Britain/England being concatenated (which partial devolution creates). It is being noticed here (and presumably in Wales).

    Thanks Ed! You are making your party even less relevant here.

  7. @ Old Nat

    “Duffel coats were very fashionable in 1960?s Scotland

    Henry is probably far too young to know of these days. :)”

    I looked them up online. They seem pretty cool looking. Although I’m not sure I’d like the fabric they’re made out of. I’m not sure I’d want the feeling of wearing a duffel bag. I nearly bought an overpriced coat today at Brooks Brothers but thought better of it.

    @ Redrich

    “Hi – where in the DC area do you live – my wife grew up in Potomac so I know the area well.”

    Dupont. I used to live in West End.

    I’ve never been out to Potomac but I’ve heard it’s really nice.

    A year ago, the incumbent mayor, Adrian Fenty, won my precinct by an 83%-16% margin over his challenger Vincent Gray, who I put up signs for (I couldn’t actually vote for him as I’m registered in California….proving the old adage that signs don’t vote, lol). Believe it or not, it wasn’t the worst performing precinct in the city for Gray. I credit my signs. :)

    “The political term Liberal here has slightly different connotations than in the US where it is strongly associated with the left. In the UK its conjures up images of people in wool jumpers and duffel coats :)”

    I know, I know. The slightly different connotations of “Liberal” between nations that speak the same language (Canada and the United Kingdom vs. the United States) make it so that the term can be used in a way to confuse everyone or at least make me laugh. :)

    @ Henry

    “This refers back to a previous discusson,where OldNat admitted to some Liberal allegiance in his youth, and also to wearing a duffel coat. However, it was a fashionable duffel coat, whereas I wore a rather tattered one.”

    I remember Old Nat saying that he was once a Liberal. That’s why I joked that that was the reason we got along so well (we were both Liberals). I don’t remember him mentioning the duffel coat.

    There was once an ad against Howard Dean in Iowa where this old woman lists off a rant against him mentioning seemingly every liberal stereotype (though I only remember sushi-eating…mainly because I don’t eat sushi really). “You tell him to take his sush-eating self back to Vermont!”

  8. @ Billy Bob

    Winning the trust of commentariat will be task in itself for Labour…
    —————————————————–
    I wonder, how many potential Labour voters listen to the commetariat?
    8-)

  9. @ Old Nat

    Labour, having agreed yesterday that SLAB would make its own decisions on purely Scottish matters (it took them 12 years to come up with that?) Ed then decided to make a speech which totally ignored the devolved nations.
    —————————————–
    Labour in Scotland have had separate policies on devolved matters for ages. What we haven’t had is separate admin/ leadership structures. Personally, I consider policy to be more important.

    I spend a fair bit of time discussing this with Sarah Boyack, amongst others, over the past few days.
    8-)

  10. @ Henry

    This was the ad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4-vEwD_7Hk

    Is this how you guys use “duffel coat wearing” and “sandal wearing” to describe Liberals?

  11. Amber

    “Labour in Scotland have had separate policies on devolved matters for ages. What we haven’t had is separate admin/ leadership structures.”

    I agree. Which is why the spin that” Labour is creating an independent party in Scotland and Ed Miliband will no longer be leader there” is unadulterated crap.

    (I was being ironic!)

    Doesn’t alter the reality that ED simply concatenated English/British issues, with absolutely no understanding (or at least recognition) that such practice is no longer acceptable in Scotland.

    I doubt that Sarah had any input into Ed’s speech!

  12. @ Old Nat

    “Labour, having agreed yesterday that SLAB would make its own decisions on purely Scottish matters (it took them 12 years to come up with that?) Ed then decided to make a speech which totally ignored the devolved nations.

    His “British” speech was peppered with England only examples. (Sorry Ed, Westminster doesn’t decide on the rules on social housing allocation outside England).”

    Wait a minute, isn’t this what you want? You don’t want leaders of the unionist parties addressing issues that only the Scottish government can handle.

    Besides, you have to acknowledge politics. Ed can’t begin every line of his speech saying “well we’re going to do this in England but not in Scotland because of devolved powers and possibly not in Wales due to what our lawyers come up with.” Well he could do that but then his speeches wouldn’t be very effective.

  13. @ Old Nat

    His “British” speech was peppered with England only examples. (Sorry Ed, Westminster doesn’t decide on the rules on social housing allocation outside England).
    —————————————————
    So, Old Nat, tell us about how Holyrood decides the rules on social housing allocation in Scotland. I’d like you to tell us about the most recent legislation which the SNP passed on this, or about the legislation which the SNP have tabled for this parliament.
    8-)

  14. SoCalLiberal

    Of course, it’s what I want!

    I love it when the Unionist parties are trapped by their own decisions.

    By concatenating “British” and “English”, they make an equivalence between them. I love these guys!

  15. Amber

    You really haven’t got it, have you?

    Ed is suggesting changes in the rules for social housing allocation in England (but doesn’t say that his powers – were he PM – would be limited to England). He uses that example in a “British” speech – something which he would be powerless to do anywhere than England, unless he abolishes devolution.

    Now, if you are telling me that SLAB are proposing a similar change in the social housing allocation rules in Scotland, then I (and the Scottish LAs) would be keen to hear that.

    Which categories of those on the housing lists are you planning to downgrade?

  16. @ Amber Star

    “Labour in Scotland have had separate policies on devolved matters for ages. What we haven’t had is separate admin/ leadership structures. Personally, I consider policy to be more important.

    I spend a fair bit of time discussing this with Sarah Boyack, amongst others, over the past few days.”

    That’s cool. What’s she like?

    I don’t think that admin/leadership structures are that important either. However, I think they are important if it becomes unclear who’s in charge and it’s not clear who’s making the policies. Of course I come from the land of no admin/leadership structures and a party that takes in all the various left wing interests and decides which left wing policies to promote and push for in an election after turning its conventions into Fight Club. Whoever wins Fight Club has their ideology triump. :)

  17. @ Old Nat

    “Ed is suggesting changes in the rules for social housing allocation in England (but doesn’t say that his powers – were he PM – would be limited to England). He uses that example in a “British” speech – something which he would be powerless to do anywhere than England, unless he abolishes devolution.”

    Do you think anyone really cares about this outside of con law officianados like yourself? I mean, what about all the protestors who went to the U.S. Embassy in London to protest the execution of Troy Davis? Or any of the others throughout the world? There’s nothing that the United States government could have done about it. Obama opposes the death penalty (well I think he does) but he was powerless to stop it. Do you think any of those protestors really care?

  18. @ Old Nat

    “Of course, it’s what I want!

    I love it when the Unionist parties are trapped by their own decisions.

    By concatenating “British” and “English”, they make an equivalence between them. I love these guys!”

    So they become Americans? Lol. :)

    I’m always happy when the opposition makes itself look stupid or alienates core supporters.

  19. Amber – Do you know if Ed is considering.Lord Glassman’s idea (articulated before the speech on Sky News) of structured employer-employee committees?

  20. SoCalLiberal

    In a stable state (for example, a Confederal UK) then such matters would have little effect – for the obvious reason that it wouldn’t happen. Obama doesn’t make major speeches to the USA about local matters in Illinois.

    The UK is not a stable state.

    Prior to your growing movement for independence, did many of your citizens give a damn about a tax on tea?

    Of course, most Scots (like most others in the UK) didn’t stop work and listen to Ed’s speech. But they do read the papers, and look at online sites, and talk to each other at work and in the pub.

    Politics is primarily about perception.

  21. So cal

    I have just watched Jon Stewart with special guest star Ron Paul. Jon is a typical east coast liberal I believe, and Ron Paul is definitely not. Is this Jon taking pity on RP because he’s been shut out of the mainstream media or does Jon actually like him.

  22. @ Old Nat

    You really haven’t got it, have you?
    ——————————-
    I think it’s you who haven’t got it. It’s LEAs & Councils in England who make the most significant input to social housing policy – exactly the same as Scotland.

    Ed is leader of the Labour Party. Ed’s speech was for the voters, the members, the councillors – not just MPs.

    I realise it’s a difficult concept for the SNP, that the Labour Party in Scotland could have a devolved leader who doesn’t report to Ed but still, voluntarily, acknowledges Ed as the leader of our Party; the leader who articulates the over-riding principles & direction of the Labour Party for members, councillors, Westminster & devolved parliament MPs. Is that too co-operative, communal, inclusive & unauthoritarian for your liking? ;-)

  23. @ Amber Star

    “I was there; I’m not sure if Crossbat was here because he said: “It was a speech almost totally devoid of rhetorical sparkle and, apart from the passage on the NHS, it failed to catch fire in the Conference Hall.”

    My experience, my son’s & the people I spoke with had a very different view to Crossbat’s. Everybody listened with rapt attention. It was not a rabble rousing speech; it was a speech for people who support Labour & for people who would like to support Labour, if Labour would give them even half a reason to.

    Many of the activists, me included, were very much enthused.”

    How was JM’s speech? I saw pictures of it but did not get to watch it (can’t watch BBC online stuff). He looked pretty hot. But his speech might have been drivel. I was curious to get your opinion since you’re at this thing (sounds exciting btw! You have no idea how happy I’d be if I got to go to Charlotte next summer).

  24. @ Old Nat

    By concatenating “British” and “English”, they make an equivalence between them. I love these guys!
    —————————————-
    It’s only viewed in such a way by you, Old Nat, through the prism of your special interests & pre-occupations.

    Are you saying that Sarah Boyack & Jim Murphy & Iain Gray & Ken MacIntosh & Gordon Brown & Alistair Darling & Douglas Alexander are less patriotic than you? That they are happy to devote their working lives to a Party that doesn’t recognise their affinity with Scotland?

    Because if that is what you are saying, it’s a rather blinkered way to view very dedicated people who are proud to be Scottish & British.
    8-)

  25. @ Richard in Norway

    “I have just watched Jon Stewart with special guest star Ron Paul. Jon is a typical east coast liberal I believe, and Ron Paul is definitely not. Is this Jon taking pity on RP because he’s been shut out of the mainstream media or does Jon actually like him.”

    I haven’t seen the episode. Jon Stewart, like most American political reporters and very unlike British political reporters who make a mockery of journalism, treats his guests with respect regardless of their individual politics. Of course he’s a comedian and not a political reporter. But he’s not going to be rude to those on his show. He never is.

  26. Amber

    Oddly enough, I do understand exactly where you are coming from – and where that is leading to your going to.

    Interestingly, I note that you have adopted the new(?) Labour line of being Scottish patriots. Parroting the party line isn’t very persuasive – though I suppose you have no choice.

    That you see no problem with concatenating English and British issues is, of course. only possible because you are looking through ” the prism of your special interests & pre-occupations.”

    ” proud to be Scottish & British.” – You are sounding very Margaret Mitchell-ish!

  27. SoCalLiberal

    I’m heading back to the USA in mid-November. looking forward to seeing “The Daily Show” again – the international edition available here, isn’t nearly as good.

  28. @ RAF

    Amber – Do you know if Ed is considering.Lord Glassman’s idea (articulated before the speech on Sky News) of structured employer-employee committees?
    —————————————–
    Yes, I believe the Party is thinking along these lines. It wasn’t in Ed’s speech but it’s being considered. I was talking with Will Hutton*, amongst others, about it.
    8-)

    * name drop alert! I was going to shoe-horn it in somewhere, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to get it out of the way. ;-)

  29. @ Old Nat

    “Prior to your growing movement for independence, did many of your citizens give a damn about a tax on tea?”

    Are you still upset that Boston never paid the fines imposed by the British (or English) government after the tea party? This is like Boris Johnson demanding that Barack Obama pay parking fines to London (even though this is prohibited by international and British law….what a buffoon).

    “Politics is primarily about perception.”

    110% agreed.

    “Of course, most Scots (like most others in the UK) didn’t stop work and listen to Ed’s speech. But they do read the papers, and look at online sites, and talk to each other at work and in the pub.”

    Do you really think what Ed has to say is that important or that followed?

    “In a stable state (for example, a Confederal UK) then such matters would have little effect – for the obvious reason that it wouldn’t happen. Obama doesn’t make major speeches to the USA about local matters in Illinois.”

    He does and he doesn’t. It’s rare that you’re going to have a president weighing in on purely local matters (though it does happen…..it took FDR and the Navy to stop Robert Moses from one of his destructive projects in New York City). But there are a lot of issues that are discussed by federal politicians that are really matters for the states and vice versa.

  30. @ Old Nat

    Parroting the party line isn’t very persuasive – though I suppose you have no choice.
    ———————————————–
    OMG! You’re right. I have no choice. Ed is standing behind me right now with a gun pointed at my head. He & a couple of Westminster MPs are each doing 8 x 7 shifts to make sure I don’t depart from the Party line at any time.

    You’re losing it, Old Nat. :-)

  31. SoCalLiberal

    Sorry, I don’t think you understand the dynamics of politics here, at the moment.

    That’s why I tried to refer you to the turbulence (and frequently contradictory thinking) in your own history.

    I’m asking you to think outside the box of your own political experience and the elevation of your earliest politicians to sainthood – including the distortion of your own history that is involved in that.

    George Washington wasn’t the first President of the USA. He was the 8th. That he was the first under your current Constitution (as duly amended) is immaterial.

  32. @ SoCaL

    Both Ed Balls & Jim Murphy gave very polished, media savvy speeches. They are very experienced politicians; professionalism in action but with obvious sincerity. I very much enjoyed seeing them live.

    That’s why Ed’s speech was stood out, actually. It was very different & much less media savvy. We knew he would likely get creamed for it, by the commetariat. But we didn’t care.

    I’m looking forward to Andy Burnham’s speech on education tomorrow…. of course, if it were up to Old Nat, I’d be banned from looking forward to a speech about education because Andy can’t possibly have anything of interest to say because he won’t be talking specifically about Scotland. :roll:

  33. Amber

    I have never had any doubt that you will parrot the BritLab line (whatever it happens to be at any point in time) because you are locked in to that perception – hence you have “no choice” unless you lose your British priority – which ain’t going to happen.

    All that is good for my side of the constitutional debate, because not only does your position lack flexibility of response – you don’t even understand how you come across to those who aren’t political geeks like us.

    Ed doesn’t need to to hold a gun to your head. You Are holding it there yourself, and are happy to pull the trigger.

  34. @ Old Nat

    Amber sounds like Andy Murray.

    “I’m heading back to the USA in mid-November. looking forward to seeing “The Daily Show” again – the international edition available here, isn’t nearly as good.”

    What’s different about it? It’s funny. For whatever reason, I’ve stopped watching it (I think I enjoy watching the local news at 11pm). But then my friend posts updates on her Facebook wall of Daily Show clips and I watch. The show is great but I rarely watch.

  35. Despite actually being a few hundred yards away at the time, I haven’t heard Ed Miliband’s speech yet (shout louder Ed!) as I went to the Magritte exhibition instead. Actually having been in Manchester the day after the Lib Dems finished. Birmingham three days before the Tories start and Liverpool during the Leader’s speech, I was surprised by how much of a bubble these Conferences are in nowadays. Apart from a few flags in Liverpool, you would be unaware of the existence of any of them. Maybe that’s the way the political classes like it, contact with the plebs being at a minimum.

    I think he’s right though in not trying to be the great orator. Partly because people don’t really want it (except for the commentariat), but also because nothing is worse that politicians trying to be what they’re not (think of Gordon Brown’s rictus[1]). What he should do is embrace his inner geek, people might prefer knowledgeable to rhetorical or the typical smooth faced politician. Despite all the hype of Cleggmania, Kennedy was always more popular than Clegg because he came across as ‘normal’, and even ‘geeky’ is nearer normal in most people’s minds that the careful blandness of most professional politicians.

    What Miliband should avoid, however, is Blair-like populist statements of the sort about housing allocation that was so heavily trailed. This is not because it is a box of worms (though it is[2]), or because it only applies to England[3], but because, due to the media hating him[4], everything he says should be thought through for practicality rather than mood music.

    Instead he should be willing to admit past Labour mistakes[5], while pointing out the Coalition are repeating them (message we learn from our mistakes). he should put out proposals tentatively (having made sure they’re watertight), to contrast with things like Lansley imposing his NHS ‘reforms’. And he should attack the media (including the BBC) for being distant from ordinary people and politically biased. I would keep on highlighting how they hate the 50% tax rate – a popular policy, one the the media loathe and can be easily riled on and be made to look personally self-interested (“Do you earn more than £150,000 pa, Andrew?”). They hate Miliband and are going to slag him off anyway, so might as well make them look biased.

    [1] Oddly enough his natural smile was charming, but like the rest of the private life he kept it private. Like many things about him this was honourable but not media-friendly.
    [2] Because everyone thinks their little Johnny is most deserving, even if he is entitled to zero points, earns £200k pa in the City and would buy it up and sell it as soon as he could.
    [3] Though Labour could do worse that contrast the actions of devolved Labour admins (past and present) with the Tories – assuming they are aware of what the former are.
    [4] Partly because he might be leftish enough to offend their proprietors/DGs, but mainly because by getting elected he managed to make nearly all of them look like complete fools who didn’t know their job. The fact this is true doesn’t help.
    [5] The usual suspects will run blabbing to their favourite Lobby member, but they probably would have anyway.
    [6] Oh dear, I seem to be turning into Martyn.

  36. Amber

    Why should I care about an English politician talking about education in England, any more than a Finnish politician talking about education in Finland?

    I have a lot of relatives in England who have kids, so I am concerned for their futures. However, Finland has exceptional educational performance (and they totally rejected the Labour model of central micro-management of the system). Australia is cutting edge in many areas of education development, and Curriculum for Excellence (originated by Lab/LD and taken forward by SNP) is based on the Australian model.

    That you wish to enthuse about English Labour’s model of privatising English education, as opposed to the English Tory model of privatising English education is entirely a matter for you.

  37. Roger Mexico

    I do like your footnotes.

    My favourite one was from AJP Taylor who referenced a date in the introduction with ” Look, a date.I must be a historian”

  38. @ Roger Mexico

    I haven’t heard Ed Miliband’s speech yet
    —————————————————-
    If Roger didn’t hear it, did Ed really make a speech?

    I’m curious about why you go on to suggest what should be in a speech that’s already been made… You could probably find a copy on the interweb, if you wanted to know what was actually said. :-)

  39. Amber

    ” You could probably find a copy on the interweb, if you wanted to know what was actually said”

    Thanks for the suggestion. I didn’t listen to it live, because I was installing a new underground drainage system. I thought that might be an a more entertaining activity.

    When I saw Ed’s speech on the interweb thingie – I
    was right!

  40. @ Old Nat

    ….you don’t even understand how you come across to those who aren’t political geeks like us.
    ————————————
    LOL :-) Perhaps I come across as being interested in other things, besides being Scottish.
    8-)

  41. @ Amber Star

    “Both Ed Balls & Jim Murphy gave very polished, media savvy speeches. They are very experienced politicians; professionalism in action but with obvious sincerity. I very much enjoyed seeing them live.”

    That’s good. I think he’s very underrated as a politician but I’ve noticed that some Labourites are starting to look at him more as leadership material. People didn’t like his remarks about his religion being a bar to him ever being PM. I hope for his sake that he’s wrong.

    @ Old Nat

    “Sorry, I don’t think you understand the dynamics of politics here, at the moment.

    That’s why I tried to refer you to the turbulence (and frequently contradictory thinking) in your own history.

    I’m asking you to think outside the box of your own political experience and the elevation of your earliest politicians to sainthood – including the distortion of your own history that is involved in that.

    George Washington wasn’t the first President of the USA. He was the 8th. That he was the first under your current Constitution (as duly amended) is immaterial.”

    Washington was not our 8th president. There were no presidents prior to him. Thomas Gage doesn’t count.

    As far as political turbulence goes, I haven’t spent much time in Scotland. Maybe Edinburgh is different (and unrepresentative) but independence wasn’t anything that anyone was discussing or noticeably visible as a political flash point. The only place where this discussion took place seemed to be in newspaper articles (and usually from English politicians!). Now that’s a limited and narrow observation. But it was just a general sense I got….if the issue was important and a major source of controversy, it’s something you would have seen signs for and heard Scots discussing. Scots seem about as interested in politics as Americans are.

  42. Amber

    Being at conference no doubt intensifies a partisan position.

    However, since I referenced Finland and Australia …….?

  43. @ Old Nat

    “That’s why I tried to refer you to the turbulence (and frequently contradictory thinking) in your own history.

    I’m asking you to think outside the box of your own political experience and the elevation of your earliest politicians to sainthood – including the distortion of your own history that is involved in that.”

    Do you honestly think I’m unaware of this or don’t know about this? The elevation to sainthood of the Founding Fathers is a bit silly. But the praise is well earned in light of the fact that they took actions that so many around the world continue to be incapable of taking. John Adams knew when it was time to go. He was the first one in human history to figure this out. He hasn’t been the last but still few are like him. See, e.g., Ghaddafi. For that he deserves the praise he gets.

    I don’t know how different your political sphere really is. It seems to me if not for the collapse of the Lib Dems, due to their decision to join a Tory led coalition, the SNP would not have won its majority. If anything, this suggests that Westminster politics have a huge impact on Scotland and are not the side show. Labour began its campaign with a huge lead only to see it dissipate when Gray went up against Salmond.

  44. SoCalLiberal

    You would have had a great career in the Soviet Comintern!

    “Washington was not our 8th president. There were no presidents prior to him. Thomas Gage doesn’t count.”

    John Hanson (1781-82) was your first President, followed by Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788)

    i know you guys love your current constitution – but why do you ignore everything that preceded it?

  45. SoCalLiberal

    “I don’t know how different your political sphere really is.”

    Indeed. Just as your country didn’t understand what the situation was in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia ……….

  46. @ Old Nat

    This may surprise you. Some people who visit this site are actually interested in the Labour Party Conference.

    If you aren’t interested &, in your view, it’s all about England & more boring than digging a ditch, I’m amazed you find commenting on it so irresistible.
    8-)

  47. @ Old Nat

    “You would have had a great career in the Soviet Comintern!”

    That’s beneath you I think.

    “John Hanson (1781-82) was your first President, followed by Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788)

    i know you guys love your current constitution – but why do you ignore everything that preceded it?”

    Between 1783 and 1789, what is currently known as the United States did not exist as a single unitary nation. It was comprised of 13 independent nations who were loosely affiliated with each other. The Confederacy was not an actual union or even really much of a government. It had no power to control the states and it had no powers that a normal country would have. The 13 colonies functioned as independent nation-states. Some even fought mini wars with each other to control territory. To the extent that the Articles of Confederation constituted a government, it did not constitute the United States. The United States was not founded until 1789. Thus, George Washington is the FIRST president of the United States.

    Your creative reinterpretations of American history are highly amusing. I mean, you would certainly do Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Chris Christie proud.

    “Indeed. Just as your country didn’t understand what the situation was in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia ……….”

    The many failings of U.S. foreign policy are kinda besides the point. My point is that support for independence in Scotland has been repeatedly shown as low and actually is lower now than it’s been in the past notwithstanding the huge surge in SNP support (aside from one poll, which still suggests that independence would lose in a landslide). This suggests that the support for the SNP is inclusive of many unionsts. Even Nicola Sturgeon (who I would vote for if given the option) acknowledged as much.

    When it comes to Scottish politics, it seems very much driven by national politics, not some independent view of Scotland. The Tories are hated even though the Tories have almost no presence in the Scottish Parliament. Labour has declined with the loss of a Scottish leader and the feckless leadership of Milliband, Ed. The Lib Dems have taken a nose dive over the decision of their MPs to join with David Cameron.

  48. @SOCALLIBERAL

    “The United States was not founded until 1789. Thus, George Washington is the FIRST president of the United States.”

    To be pedantic ( :) )…

    Since the ‘President of the United States’ has to be born of the United States, and it did not come into being until 1789, the first true President was John Tyler (b.29th March 1790). His successor (Polk) was also born after 1789, but Zachary Taylor, who followed Polk, was born in 1784, so he doesn’t count.

    All the others since are fine though. :)

  49. As far as “clever accountants” dodging the good/bad taxation, this is where workers n the board come in. The accountant has to discuss these things with the bosses and then Mr Shop Steward says, “no we don’t want to rename that payment as training, we actaully want to start an apprenticeship. Look at all the benefits…etc etc etc”

  50. Good Morning from a sunny Bournemouth, cold at the moment on the beach.

    Ed Miliband’s speech, for me, was a protrayal of ethical socialism, in the traditions outlined by Martin Pugh’s book: Speak to Britain, the sort of socialism which Hardie, the early Macdonald and Mr Bevin espoused.

    Whether it is feasible for a government to decide which businesses or individuals/families are in fact ethical is another matter, but it was, I think, an authentic speech.

    Hopefully Ed Miliband is growing into his role, and if the polls are correct about the Lib Dems flat lining, we may be into a tough fight between the Conservatives on the centre right and the modern Labour Party on the centre left.

    I am always a sucker for this, but I think Ed believes in something, more than just being in power.

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