There are two new polls out tonight. First up, the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 41%, LDEM 8%, Others 13%. A two point Labour lead is low by YouGov’s recent standards, but not out of line with an underlying average of four points or so.

Secondly there is the monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Independent. Topline figures there, with changes from ComRes’s last phone poll a month ago, are CON 34%(-3), LAB 38%(+2), LDEM 14%(+2), Others 14%. That’s a movement towards Labour, but will to some extent be a reversion to the mean after ComRes’s last phone poll showed a rather unusual Conservative lead. Perhaps more interesting is the 14% for the Lib Dems – their highest score with ComRes since May.


240 Responses to “New YouGov and ComRes polls”

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  1. Interesting Scottish crossbreaks (no really!).

    Con 23%
    Lab 31%
    Lib 7%
    SNP 35%

    To give some insight to how the YG methodology changes are affecting results, I’ve included some graphs:

    h ttp://imageshack.us/f/513/60day.png/

    This shows the last 60 polls, and includes a trendline (although you can see the trend by looking at how the peaks and troughs rise and fall).

    To really highlight the changes see the poll from 60 polls back:

    h ttp://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/232/pie1.png

    and compare it to the most recent:

    h ttp://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/249/pie2.png

    Bear in mind that ‘pie1’ was a good Labour poll for the time, while the most recent is a fairly good one for the SNP, and a very good one for the Conservatives.

  2. Greek referendum part 1
    =======================

    Since I assume the Greek referendum will be a subject for discussion, let me repost what I posted on the previous board

    @all re the Greek referendum

    The Greek referendum will be to accept or reject the (recently agreed) EU deal. It’s intended to be held “within a few weeks”/”early next year”. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/31/us-greece-referendum-idUSTRE79U5PQ20111031

    Some of you may remember I set out three ways in which the Euro could split: the Stephanie Flanders way (people withdraw cash from Greek banks and do not redeposit it anywhere); the Open Europe way (a government prints Euros sans ECB permission); and the Roger Bootle way (a government can no longer sell bonds denominated in Euros at any feasible interest rate).

    If the referendum rejects the deal, the Greek Government is in trouble: it’s so deeply in debt, it’s borrowing to cover its salary payments. So if EU/ECB/IMF money stops coming in, all Greek civil servants stop being paid anything. So the probability of one or more of the above happening goes up *very* quickly…

    Ooops.

    Regards, Martyn

  3. Greek referendum part 2
    =======================

    OK, so how do you do a crash currency switch in the middle of a crisis? Some of you may remember I discussed the Latvia experience in the 90’s, which did exactly that when the roublezone collapsed. The steps are as follows:

    * Step 1: Day 1: freeze all bank accounts, allowing nominal withdrawals per person per month
    * Step 2: Month 1-Month 6: introduce new temporary currency, allow it to circulate in the financial markets but not everyday life. This allows it to drop like a stone and find its own level.
    * Step 3: Month 7-Month 24: unfreeze bank accounts, convert to new temporary currency. New temporary currency continues to decline but less fast.
    * Step 4: Month 25: convert to new permanent currency.

    The trick is to use an intermediate temporary currency, to absorb the shock of a crash devaluation and then be discarded.

    Isn’t Lord Wolfson offering a prize for this… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  4. @Bill Patrick

    “In what sense was the USSR not appeasing Germany in the Nazi-Soviet pact?”

    In the sense that they believed they had no choice, that Germany was being encouraged to attack them, and that the west would not come to their aid. (Recall that only 15 or so years previously, western European nations had directly supported the ‘whites’ in the civil war that followed the revolution.) If Russia had indeed been attacked by Germany without response from the west, there seems little doubt that Germany would have won easily.

    The 2 years’ grace gained by the pact enabled a vast programme of militarisation that completely dwarved anything seen in either Germany or the UK, and that in the end won the war for the allies.

  5. Phil

    I’m not sure that it’s that strange. The electorate don’t operate with a single mind. While most clearly didn’t want Labour in power, that doesn’t mean that they actually wanted any party to have an absolute majority.

    I think that generally, Scots do understand how our electoral system works, so for many people continuing to vote SNP for the constituency, but someone else on the list would make sense.

    In an actual campaign, though, I’d expect that to result in increased list seats for the minority parties (apart from the LDs, of course).

  6. @Bill Patrick

    Cockburn was engaged in a propaganda war, same as Orwell to some extent.

    With regret he quoted Napoleon:

    “Well, you join battle, and afterwards you see.”

    As he saw it the government’s anti-communism was a risk to national survival; he was determined to awaken awareness to their deluded pro-Nazi sentiment.

  7. Billy Bob

    You make a good point.

    Between the wars, politics was polarised between the fascist and communist positions, and it was often difficult to hold any centre ground.

    To interpret statements made then in the sense of 21st century politics is to misunderstand them.

    I was surprised at my aunt’s funeral to hear that she had been a member of the Communist Party at University. I’d always known her as a Highland Liberal activist (though from the Crofters Party wing).

  8. Martyn

    You are Hjalmar Schacht and I claim my 5,000,000,000 drachmas

  9. Thanks for your comment Old Nat.

    My one-time sister-in-Law’s father was from a line of Scottish communists who undewent desperate deprivations on account of their sincerely felt beliefs. Her mother, aged eight, was put on a bicycle with her sisters in Poland during the war – and told to go find their relatives in Austria!

  10. Billy Bob

    There is no adequate response to that story.

  11. @Roger Mexico.

    You can have your 5 billion drachma. And if you have 10 billion drachma, you can buy *two* bags of crisps… :-)

    On a more serious point, I’m thinking about a possible New Drachma to USD exchange rate. Given that nobody wants to hold it, the issuing authority won’t be able to issue it for ~6 months, and the Greek government’s expenditure is *way* more than its income, would *anybody* buy a bond issued by Greece denominated in New Drachma? “Hi, we’re a Government that can’t run a country. Wanna buy a loan? We pay you back in this brand-new currency we’ve just invented” Not being funny, but…who’d buy it? Serious question.

    Regards, Martyn

  12. @ Billy Bob

    “My one-time sister-in-Law’s father was from a line of Scottish communists who undewent desperate deprivations on account of their sincerely felt beliefs. Her mother, aged eight, was put on a bicycle with her sisters in Poland during the war – and told to go find their relatives in Austria!”

    What happenned to Communists in the U.S. during the Red Scare was an absolute disgrace and downright unAmerican. The SCOTUS cases upholding convictions of Communists are truly cringeworthy to read (I’m glad they all got later overturned). There were a lot of people who had their careers destroyed by blacklisting.

    Actually, my mom had some distant relatives who were Communists. Her Aunt Rosie (though in my mother’s family “aunt” and “uncle” often refer to people who aren’t aunts and uncles….sometimes refers to people who aren’t even actually related) used to be a New York City garment worker and union organizer who would organize strikes in garment factories in the early part of the 20th century. She was a good Communist as was her husband. However, in the 70’s or 80’s, when they both got to finally visit the Soviet Union (having retired to suburban north San Diego County from NYC), she was somewhat disillusioned and saddened by it though not her husband. My mom says she confided in her “don’t tell your uncle but it wasn’t all that great. I didn’t like it.”

  13. @ Old Nat

    “I was surprised at my aunt’s funeral to hear that she had been a member of the Communist Party at University. I’d always known her as a Highland Liberal activist (though from the Crofters Party wing).”

    I think it just goes to show you that people’s personal politics really can change and dramatically. One of the things about the Blacklisting that was really offensive is that people who had been Communists in college or even attended some Communist Party meetings but weren’t actually Communists. They were labeled as such for mere interest in Communism and then attacked for it. That was wrong.

  14. @ Alec

    “Absolute shocker from Greece. They’ve announced a referendum on the austerity proposals!. Stunning. This means that the bail out deal supposedly announced last week is effectively now on hold and will fall unless the Greek people vote for it. It’s a remarkable display of how utterly incompetent the entire Eurozone governance has been.”

    I’m no expert on Greek politics. In fact, I know almost nothing about it but I would assume that a referendum on the austerity package would fail and dramatically so.

    @ Billy Bob

    “Cockburn was not the messiah, but his work with The Week
    since 1933 had by this time had its effect.”

    Is this guy related to Admiral Cockburn? (Or did the admiral just live a really long time?)

  15. @ Robin

    “In the sense that they believed they had no choice, that Germany was being encouraged to attack them, and that the west would not come to their aid. (Recall that only 15 or so years previously, western European nations had directly supported the ‘whites’ in the civil war that followed the revolution.) If Russia had indeed been attacked by Germany without response from the west, there seems little doubt that Germany would have won easily.

    The 2 years’ grace gained by the pact enabled a vast programme of militarisation that completely dwarved anything seen in either Germany or the UK, and that in the end won the war for the allies.”

    My understanding is that Russia was caught completely off-guard by Germany’s 1941 invasion. That allowed the Germans to advance as far as they did and only falter because of the Russian winter. The Germans might have gotten farther had Hitler not been so personally racist and rejected initial Soviet defections to him.

    Also, Europeans weren’t the only ones who invaded Russia to help the White Russians. The United States and Japan did too. (Yes, I am aware.)

  16. @ Richard in Norway

    “Which country is this, does it have 20 millionaires in its cabinet?”

    None of them are worth as much as Nancy Pelosi (or Mark Warner).

    @ Robin

    “With good reason. The diplomatic traffic from the time makes very clear that the UK weren’t interested in an Anglo-Soviet alliance, while the Russians were near desperate to form such an alliance. It was a diplomatic blunder of the most staggering sort, that rather than face Germany down with the threat of a war on 2 fronts (3 if you count Cz), we waited until we had no obvious allies with appreciable military strength and *then* declared war.”

    The Anglo-Soviet alliance and the American-Soviet alliance were marriages of convenience. Much like the current marriage of Nick Clegg and David Cameron. Or quite possibly Kim Kardashian’s marriage to whoever she’s getting divorced from now (I forget his name…….she just had a 10 million dollar wedding like three weeks ago and she is already divorcing).

    It probably was a strategic blunder but considering how much the UK disliked and feared the Soviet Union, it makes sense. And I’m not sure that an alliance would have stopped Hitler. Afterall, he invaded the Soviet Union while still at war with you and then decided to open up a third front against the United States.

  17. @ Crossbat11 (from the last thread)

    “And don’t forget the shameful stance taken by quite a large section of the right wing press in the 1930s too. Lord Rothermore, friend and supporter of Lord Beaverbrook of Daily Express fame and owner of the Daily Mail, moved that paper to an increasingly pro-fascist stance in the 30s, supporting Oswald Moseley and his National Union of Fascists. He thought Mosely displayed “sound, common sense Conservative doctrine.” He also met Hitler on a number of occasions, claiming him to be a “man of peace”. He, and his paper, vigorously supported Chamberlain and his policy of appeasement and he was said to be devastated when we eventually went to war against Germany.”

    In fairness, Joe Kennedy was a major supporter of Hitler. He’d even had dinner a few times with him. He kept giving Roosevelt information that Britain was about to fall any moment to the Nazis and was excited by the prospect. This was due to his strong hated of the Brits. Fortunately, Roosevelt didn’t listen to him. Kennedy also appreciated Hitler’s anti-semetism as he had Jewish enemies (the Bronfmans) in the liquor trade.

    But Joe Kennedy’s views were not reflective of the Democratic Party even if he was a Democrat. Therefore, I would argue that the right wingers who supported Hitler were not neccessarily representative of the Tories.

    In fact, when he broke tradition and ran for a third time in 1940, one of the reasons Roosevelt did so was because he realized he had no obvious successors and that Joe Kennedy might run for president (something that was unacceptable and he was happy to prevent).

  18. I don’t know why a referendum in Greece is so horrific. Democracy, no?

    The pollling so far suggests a big “ochi”, but you never know.

    The people are forcing the wise leaders to do what they should have done in the first place. Which is, consider the wishes of the majority.

    Never underestimate what social unrest and mass disobedience can achieve.

  19. @ Crossbat11

    I guess I should take this time to reiterate my belief that the sins of the father are not neccessarily the sins of the son. :)

  20. NickP,
    It’s so horrific because it’s one of those Catch-22 situations.
    Greeks say ‘Yes’ to the bailout and we try to struggle (almost entirely relying on the Chinese, who we haven’t asked) to help Greece (and possibly other countries) out of a horrible mess.
    Possibly failing, leading to default, a major recession in the eurozone (without the government money, this time, to bail it out).
    Possibly leading to mass unemployment (I’m sure Greece and Spain will say, ‘Already got that!’), a new great depression and a return to 1930s politics.

    And how does 1930s politics go? Tends to be the really horrible authoritarians who get in to power.
    I’m sure a lot of people will say, ‘No! Never! Not with our modern liberal sentiment!’ but you can already see authoritarian personality in huge swathes of people.
    For those with anarchist/libertarian leanings like myself, this is very, very bad news. ;)
    Of course, it depends whether things swing far-left or far-right – I’d suspect in this country, far-right.

    Or the Greeks vote ‘No’.. possibly leading to…

    So hopefully they vote, ‘Yes’ and we can scrape on by until we get back in to solid growth – at which point we’ll have the resources to bail out the failing nations.

  21. @ Nick P

    “I don’t know why a referendum in Greece is so horrific. Democracy, no?

    The pollling so far suggests a big “ochi”, but you never know.

    The people are forcing the wise leaders to do what they should have done in the first place. Which is, consider the wishes of the majority.

    Never underestimate what social unrest and mass disobedience can achieve.”

    I think that some people find it horrific because they feel the outcome will scuttle the EU deal reached on Greek debt.

    Referendums are okay though I’m not a fan of direct democracy. Of course, I see a rationale for it when elected representatives stop listening to their own constituents.

    Social unrest and mass civil disobedience can both acheive a lot but they are different things really.

  22. I’m sorry but a lot of European leaders meeting and deciding how much pain to inflict on another country ain’t my idea of a solution anyway.

    What if the Euro powers got together and agreed austerity for us? Told us to sell off the NHS and all and any assets?

    Bad enough that the Government do it anyway, without it being imposed upon us.

    No. If we have a democracy we need some people to vote for who actually support the views of the people and are not part of the get rich, stay rich and pull the ladder up consensus.

    Whoever iw as saids the risk is extreme politics? Yes, that’s the risk. But if you carry on beating the people, you can’t expect them to vote for more, can you?

  23. NickP,
    But it’s Catch-22.
    Either some suffer or we all suffer.
    I’m actually glad it’s gone to a referendum – it should have done the first time austerity was imposed on Greece.
    But the consequences if they say, No, could be a lot, lot worse than if they say Yes (and have to suffer worse austerity).

    In other news –
    Apparently the 0.4% growth predictions for today are reliant on the ‘0.5% was knocked off by the Tsunami and Royal Wedding’ assumptions and that the 0.4% is clawback (like the 0.4% in Q1 to make up for -0.5% in Q4).
    So if the assumptions over the amount lost were wrong then we’re probably looking at 0.1% or less.
    Finger crossed that the ONS weren’t just inventing excuses (it’s too cold for growth, it’s too hot for growth) for the chancellor.

  24. @NickP – “I don’t know why a referendum in Greece is so horrific. Democracy, no?”

    The shocker is the fact that the Greek PM sat round a negotiating table last week and signed up to a deal without telling his EU partners (nor his own government) what he was planning).

    You also need to understand that Greece isn’t the problem anymore. They’ve already been shafted by their own profligacy and the incompetence of the advice forced upon them by EU politicians desperate to preserve their own political reputations.

    Italy is now a far greater concern, as they can no longer borrow at sustainabale rates. In these conditions, it’s only a matter of time before they collapse and swamp any bailout fund. Announcing a Greek referendum now effective kills any chance of market stabilisation for countries like Italy and Portugal, and also means the chance of negtiation a big investment from China all but evaporates. Would you commit £1tr to a plan where leaders are making things up as they go along.

    While I have great sympathy for the Greeks, this decision has huge implications for millions of people across Europe. It begins to look like the beginning of the end.

  25. I notice also that Theresa May is making big noises about the need to ‘clear the protesters quickly’ out of St Pauls. (Despite reluctance from the Church, it seems that it’s largely the Corp of London’s doing).

    When you need a distraction – lots of media attention as police ‘remove’ the ‘violent mob’..

  26. At least this is not polldrums.

  27. OECD growth forecast for the Eurozone is also a bit worrying –
    1.6% growth this year. 0.3% next year.
    They haven’t updated the forecast for the UK since May – but the Treasury’s independent average prediction is 1% for us this year.
    IIRC we generally underperform compared to the Eurozone – so hopefully, if the OECD is correct in their eurozone prediction, we buck the trend.

    And underlying lack of growth this year, followed by no growth next year would be tragic for this country.
    Fingers crossed time!

  28. I don’t know why the protesters need to be moved at all.

    And Alec, perhaps the Euro leaders need to get back round the table and work out how to share the pain a bit more.

    It needs to (have I heard this somewhere before?) a plan for employment and growth, not a narrow shaving of some debt attached to demands for smaller pensions and wage/welfare reductions.

    What’s happening here is happening Euro wide. The idea that the voters of any country will meekly accept poverty for the vast majority to preserve the wealth of the bankers et al is not what democracy is all about.

  29. Surely the Greeks are already poverty-stricken, they just haven’t realised it yet.

    We can discuss how their pain should be “shared” all day long, but the truth remains that their public finances have been in the red for donkey’s years and still are.

    It’s not really about “choosing” austerity. If you’ve no money, and noone offers to buy you dinner, you go to bed hungry.

  30. An interesting article by Polly Toybee in the Grauniad. Here’s a a selected para:

    “…Cameron does have a talent for surfing the zeitgeist. Just as he caught the mood in opposition with going green, hugging hoodies and poverty pledges, now he sniffs a change in the prevailing wind. Yesterday he wrote: “For too long the British economy has been characterised by unfairness and imbalance, short-term thinking and short-term gains. Our ambition is to build a new and better economy, where opportunity, wealth and work are spread more widely.” He lifted that thought right out of the Ed Miliband conference speech, words that might have come from a speech on the steps of St Paul’s. The sentiment heralds no change of policy, but he feels the pulse of the country.”

  31. neil a

    The whole western world has been selling to a bubble for a while. If Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK are left to go hungry, where’s the market for these goods nade in the rest of Europe?

    It’s not Greece that’s broke, it’s the whole Western world. Needs a rethink that doesn’t involve demonising and punishing one country. Otherwise you WILL see extremism, war, closed trade areas etc.

    Better find another solution
    (why not phone up Robin Hood
    And ask him for some wealth distribution?*)

    *a bit of the Clash, there

  32. Interesting point on Newsnight last night. Six of the nine commissioners of St Pauls (who form the management committee for the cathedral headed by the now departed Canon) are from or have strong links to the City financial sector. This is where the strains are coming from.

    As an atheist, I do find the whole situation wildly amusing. All the nonsense preaching about helping the poor and disposessed, and the self righteous garbage trotted out by religious infantalists in all the churches, mosques and synagogues around the word. If you actually believe in a god, why not trust in it, and if you actually believe what you preach, stand up to super rich and tell it like it it is.

    Typical CoE gurning, handringing claptrap.

  33. Alec
    “…around the word”.

    Would that be the ‘word of God’? ;-)

  34. @NickP,

    How is declining to lend to a fiscally delinquent government “demonising one country”? Left to her own devices, Greece will collapse. She’s not being put upon by the international community.

    As for the rest of the world, well the UK government is gamely trying to reach a point where it isn’t dependent on borrowing large sums to survive. Something you’re dead against.

    I agree there is a role for additional tax on the rich to help balance the books. The problem is how exactly to do that in our interconnected global economy. The rich are not our captives. I am all in favour of tackling that issue, but it is a far wider canvas, involving touchy issues like the independence and financial sovereignty of a number of small nations.

  35. On the St.Pauls issue, I am basically neutral.

    I don’t have a particularly high opinion of the motives, methodology or value of the protest. But in general I think protest should be permitted and facilitated where possible, even where I don’t support it (isn’t that the point? Permitting a protest you agree with is hardly tolerant). And I can’t honestly see that the situation is truly at an impasse.

    I’d support a negotiated standoff, with a smaller number of tents, a higher rate of occupancy, further concessions to the Cathedral in terms of the positioning of the protest vis entrances etc.

    And in return, access to facilities (including fresh water and toilets), permission to remain indefinitely and an agreement to limit policing to a small observation mission. And, of course, agreement not to try and silence or frustrate the protest.

  36. Neil

    I’m sure your sophisticated, wide canvas solution will look a lot like cutting welfare and pensions, shrinking public services and cutting corporation tax.

    Which is exactly what you’ve got.

    So when it don’t work, it will be my turn.

  37. 0.5% growth.

    Awful. But probably a relief to the government in the current climate of severely depressed expectations.

    No double dip yet, at least.

  38. Richard in Norway

    @”Which country is this, does it have 20 millionaires in its cabinet?”

    Probably- but its a Socialist administration-so thats OK isn’t it ?

    And being in the cradle of Democracy-they insist on asking the people whether they would:-

    a) Like to continue cutting their living standards in return for enough bailout to keep the country running
    or
    b) Like to stop cutting their living standards & not have the bailout.

    If the people say-er a)-the people get stuffed & the millionaires carry on regardless.
    If the people say -er b) the people get stuffed even more & the millionaires all sod off to somewhere else.

    It’s called people power-aka the unwillingness of the Socialist millionaires to tell the people that they bankrupted the country & need Germany to pay for everything now.

    :-)

  39. @NickP,

    Hmm, no. I’m not saying I wouldn’t support those things, but what I meant by wider canvas was redesigning the international taxation market to make it more feasible to squeeze money out of the wealthy. The current situation is more likely the World Championships of “Beggar My Neighbour”.

    As for cuts to welfare and public spending “working”. Well, my definition of working is that they cost less money after you’ve cut them than before. Some people argue that it’s “cheaper not to cut them in the long run”. I’m not convinced.

    There is of course a completely different alternative, involving Communist apparatchiks, guns and a New World Order. We’ve been there once before..

  40. It’s interesting that the ONS is suggesting that the 0.5% Q3 figure needs to be seen in the contxt of the royal wedding and Japanese tsunami which suppressed Q2 growth. Clearly they see the Q3 figure as something of a bounce back, rather than actual underlying growth.

    Meanwhile, the October CIPs data from manufacturing is shockingly poor – a fall from 51.1 to 50 was expected, but it’s come in at 47.4 – well into contraction.

  41. @ Alec
    “Typical CoE gurning, handringing claptrap.”

    So you re not impressed then? Gurning in Urban Dictionary = “The muscle tension in the face that usually ends up with the jaw and tongue rolling and teeth grinding as a result of amphetamines.”

    Any Green Party comment on Huhne & Carbon Recapture projects, putative decision to reduce the feed-in tariff for solar panel projects by 50%, the recent collapse of most environmental agencies?
    In a grim economic era does the public give a damn about environmental issues?

  42. 0.5% growth in GDP well above the gloom mongers estimate. Their joy at a mere 0.1% growth last quarter and a refusal to accept the reason given for the dip is fortunately shortlived.

    The refusal of Greece to meet its debts or its recent commitments to its creditors will cause a real problem for the euro zone countries and as a result us. To an extent Germany and France, etc. have to take some of the responsibility for allowing a country that clearly could and would not pay its way into the euro zone.

    From our point of view we must continue to build up trading relationships with countries such as China and Brazil, while ensuring that we import from the eurozone no more than we export to them.

  43. There are three alternatives actually, communist apparatchiks, ultra-nationalististic father/motherland stuff or maybe a Government based upon what old men with beards interpret the word of God to be based upon one or other old book.

    It really is reprehensible to suggest that any alternative to what you want is necessarily an extremist one.

    We had a workable post-war consensus that has been ripped up since the eighties. I’d like to get some of that thinking back. Doesn’t mean I want Stalin, Hitler or the Ayatolloh (or Pope) in charge.

  44. NICKP

    @”It’s not Greece that’s broke”

    It is Nick-it really is.

    The whole country thought you can have a public sector dominated economy with high pay & welfare-without paying taxes.

    THey have thought this for years-its what GReeks do.

    And when EU let them in to EZ , allowing them access to cheap money & grants , they obviously thought it would last forever.

    But the countries who are paying for it all have decided it can’t .

  45. I’m afraid that is comfortable delusion, Colin. It’s not Greece that’s broke it’s all of us, and in fact the whole system.

    it’s not just the eurozone, it’s the banking system. It’s the City and Wall Street.

    If Greece goes it will be dominoes and each time you will repeat how it was all the fault of socialists as Italy, Spain, Portugal and eventually Farnce and the UK go down.

  46. Alec
    ‘Interesting point on Newsnight last night. Six of the nine commissioners of St Pauls (who form the management committee for the cathedral headed by the now departed Canon) are from or have strong links to the City financial sector.’

    Even sinners (the bankers) are allowed a church and it just so happens that St Paul’s is the City’s church. It is unfortunate for some of these clergymen that they have got tangled up (and in some cases have lost their jobs) with clearly politically motivated ‘faceless’ groups of troublemakers who pitch their tents to make their protest before scuttling off home.

  47. Henry

    I wonder what you’d have called Jesus if he had showed up and driven the moneylenders from the Temple?

  48. @henry – “Their joy at a mere 0.1% growth last quarter and a refusal to accept the reason given for the dip is fortunately shortlived.”

    I take it from this that you also therefore accept that the 0.5% Q3 figure is very bad news as it reflects a large element of rebound after the special circumstances lowering the Q2 figure?

    @Robbiealive – “Gurning in Urban Dictionary = “The muscle tension in the face that usually ends up with the jaw and tongue rolling and teeth grinding as a result of amphetamines.” ”

    Huh – urbanites! There’s been gurning down on the farm for centuries before we ever got amphetamines, although that stuff the vet brings for footrot don’t half make my eyes look funny…..

  49. @Henry – “Even sinners (the bankers) are allowed a church…”

    That’s right. You’re in government now – defend everything.

  50. NickP
    If Greece goes it will be dominoes and each time you will repeat how it was all the fault of socialists as Italy, Spain, Portugal and eventually Farnce and the UK go down.

    I do not accept that Greece’s problem rests with the Socialists, the whole country thought it was getting away without paying its taxes and basically not balancing its books. While it is fair that GB should take some of the blame for the financial crisis and failure to control banks, in the longer term UK’s brave decision to face up to its responsibilities and cut its cloth… seems to be paying dividends. I think we should all feel proud that UK is proving so resilient in these difficult times.

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