Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, Others 16%. The five point Labour lead is bang in line with recent YouGov polls, but it’s worth noting that within that 16% for others UKIP are on 8%, their highest since the European election in 2009.


188 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 35, LAB 40, LDEM 9”

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  1. @ Alec

    @Amberstar – re your rescue scenario; as has been pointed out, the US is locked in it’s own dance of death between Democrats and Republicans – their dispute makes the French/German disagreement look positively benign.
    —————————————–
    The US is not locked into any financial ‘dance of death’. US bonds took a downgrade & didn’t even blink.
    8-)

  2. @Colin

    Not really. The Parliament works: in goes Commission proposals, out goes approved/amended/rejected legislation in a timely fashion. Similarly, the External Action thingamybob works: in comes the opinions of 27 countries, out comes added clout when they agree. Nobody is currently proposing removing these.

    We can argue about the cost of two Parliament sites and the expenditure on MEPs and translation, and we can argue about whether X should be dealt with at the national, intergovernmental or supragovernmental level, and you may be right. But to jump from that to “unfit for purpose” is unwarranted, particularly when you consider the Euro is obviously broken and is costing several orders of magnitude more.

    In short: focussing on things that work and cost millions of Euros whilst ignoring the Euro, which doesn’t work, has cost hundreds of billions of Euros, destroyed at least three governments (Virgilio?), may end up costing trillions of Euros and may bring down all EZ17 states down simultaneously…may, just possibly, be fixing the wrong problem…:-)

    Regards, Martyn

  3. @ Alec

    China’s municiple authority at risk debts are between 10 – 30% of GDP – there is an Eastern credit crisis unfolding right now and no amount of pleading will see the Chinese state pour cash in Europe when they will have their own economy to rescue.
    ————————————
    China prints its own money. It owes shedloads of money to Germany for stuff it has already bought & Germany is also where China’s future economic capacity is currently under construction!

    China won’t stand blithely by & watch the US buy Europe in a firesale; China will want cut in on the deal to protect its trade with Germany.

    There will be an external bail out, if Germany doesn’t get its act together; it may well be via the IMF, within which the French have considerable power (hence Sarkozy’s lack of hysteria about Germany rebuffing him).
    8-)

  4. MARTYN

    I’m not convinced about the Parliament & I think the cost is an unwarranted pot of goodies for far too many people. It needs a Daily Telegraph job doing on it-but they wouldn’t react anyway.

    I think the External Action thing is an unneccessary duplication of national foreign offices. THe incumbant is shall we say under a certain spotlight.

    You decide what you think is a problem for you-I’ll decide what is a problem for me.

    The euro is a problem-as was correctly forecast.

    THe structures & governance of EU are, in my view unwieldy, expensive, unproductive, undemocratic, remote from & unresponsive to the people, not conducive to decision making, -and in dire need of deconstruction & rebuilding.

    I think Merkel or Sarkozy said something to the effect that The Euro IS EU-so there is not much point in saying the euro is a problem but everything else is fine.

  5. Amber

    The thing about the US downgrade is that it was only S&P and a couple of days later it was announced that they would be investigated concerning their role in the subprime debacle, the only rating agency to be so. I think the rating agency’s have got the message!! Hence no more downgrade of the US apart from the Chinese rating agency. I have nothing more about this investigation and my guess is that as long as S&P do the “right thing” it will quietly disappear.

  6. @ Alec

    1) Coordinated and big tax raids on wealth assets. Target the extremely rich and tax a proportion of their wealth, with sufficient gusto to generate a significant reduction in total national debt ratios.
    —————————————-
    Nah, they’ll just QE the wealthy’s non-physical/ non-productive assets away to zero rather than tax them. And by ‘wealthy’, I mean anybody who has savings, pensions etc. as well as the 1%
    8-)

  7. RiN,

    Are you suggesting that a system where bond rating agencies operate only with the approval of the government might contain less-than-transparent elements?

  8. @ RiN

    The thing about the US downgrade is that it was only S&P and a couple of days later it was announced that they would be investigated concerning their role in the subprime debacle…
    ——————————–
    Yep, anybody who takes on the US can expect a kick in the…. wallet.
    8-)

  9. Alec,

    (1) raises the hilarious prospect of bond holders being taxed on their bonds in order to pay back those bonds. I don’t think that would be good for the long-term attractiveness of government bonds as an investment.

    However, a wealth tax at least acknowledges the fact that even a 90% top rate of income tax, heavily and international enforced, would not be sufficient to even begin to match the skyrocketing deficits.

    I agree on (2) and (3). I also suspect that, until the Eurozone’s aggregate demand problems are sorted out, their debt problems will not be tractable.

  10. @Colin

    You said “…I think Merkel or Sarkozy said something to the effect that The Euro IS EU-so there is not much point in saying the euro is a problem but everything else is fine…”

    If one wishes to fix problems, it’s a good idea if one addresses issues that are actually problems. If one focusses on the Parliament (which works and costs millions) and ignores the Euro (which doesn’t and costs hundreds of billions), then that raises an obvious question.

    You said “…the structures & governance of EU are, in my view unwieldy, expensive, unproductive, undemocratic, remote from & unresponsive to the people, not conducive to decision making, -and in dire need of deconstruction & rebuilding…”

    Hmm. The Parliament is productive (it produces legislation), democratic (it’s elected), responsive to the people (it’s elected) and conducive to decision making (it can and does amend/reject legislation). How would you rebuild the EU without a Parliament, and why would you want to?

    Incidentally, addressing your point about “conducive to decision making”. Be careful what you wish for: do you really want a unified EU with a single overarching executive? Because the way things are going …

    Regards, Martyn

  11. @ Alec

    2) Announce wholesale defaults on sovereign debts as necessary. To prop up banks, supply them with central bank backed guarantees/bonds/whatever, redeemable in say 10, 20, 30 years time?, equivalent to the face value of the defaults, but with zero interest.

    These would maintain banks capital ratios but would degrade slowly with inflation over a long period, spreading the losses but perhaps avoiding a sudden crash.
    ————————————-
    Defaults are not going to be allowed. Because if the eurozone defaults & thrives, where will it all end? Governments all over the world will be defaulting at the drop of a hat – & you know that’s not going to be allowed to happen…
    8-)

  12. Martyn,

    “The Parliament is productive (it produces legislation)”

    That’s one of its biggest flaws.

    Anyway, how much power does the EU Parliament have?

  13. @ Alec

    3) Get the weak currencies out of the Euro – painful, I know, but it’s going to happen anyway – control it as best you can.
    ——————————————————
    Nah, ‘cos that’s just another way of defaulting so it’s not going to happen.
    8-)

  14. @Bill Patrick

    I normally consider myself honour-bound to answer factual questions (it’s useful practice), but this one (“…Anyway, how much power does the EU Parliament have?…”) needs a longer answer than I can cheerfully give on a Friday night. I would be grateful therefore if you’ll let me say “actually, more than you think” and leave it at that.

    Regards, Martyn

  15. RiN

    “Belgium downgraded, Outlook negative”

    Very interesting- this is where being located near to the Franco-Piigs banking epicentre outdoes your own thrifty (flemish) frugal fiscal management.

    There is so much devolution in Belgium that not having a Belgian government (but having effective Flemish, Walloon and Brussels governments) means its actually does not matter!

    Though I have to say I don’t ‘rate’ the credit agencies: we really do need a better method of calculating risk and spreads than this IMHO.

  16. Colin – been out (nice Indian with my wife seen as you ask)
    I don’t think we are that far apart in our analysis but perhaps in our conclusion.
    We both agree that the EU has gone beyond what is required to produce as level a playing field as possible for the single market. I agree with you about the democratic defecit and about the lack of accountability we (EU citizens) have over the commission. It seems you are becoming nuclear in your prescription whereas I think reform is still possible.

  17. MARTYN

    You & I have a very different view of the purpose of the EU& attitude to it’s structures & governance.

    I think it one of the most expensive sledgehammers with which to crack a nut , that has ever been overdesigned.

    Let’s leave it in the enigmatic vein with which you responded to Patrick.

    :-)

  18. @Colin

    Thank you.

    Regards, Martyn

  19. Martyn,

    I probably should have refined the question more anyway, since conceptions of what a “powerful legislature” will vary e.g. in the UK we’re used to powerful legislatures that determine the executive branch.

  20. JIM JAM

    @”I don’t think we are that far apart in our analysis”

    Agreed.

    I doubt that any meaningful reform is possible because of the inbuilt inertia of the vast civil service like structure-and also because the decision making process at European Council level seems so protracted-inevitably so given the membership perhaps.

    But the EZ is certainly headed for change of some sort , and maybe that will raise questions about the wider EU structure.

  21. @Amberstar

    “@ Frank G
    Or the other scenario Germany leaves the Euro and sets up a strong DM. The strength of the DM is such that it soon overtakes the Pound Sterling as a major currency trading standard and ranks itself alongside the US Dollar.
    ——————————————-
    Germany cannot do this without the consent of the other Eurozone countries….. ”

    Sorry to have to disagree with you for the first time in ages, but I suggest that, given a will, in present circumstances Germany could take any unilateral action it wished to, and dare Brussels to do its worst. Many decades ago a different Germany made a habit of tearing up treaties at will – unlike then this would now be a force for good rather than bad IMO. Not that that’s a prediction.

  22. @Amberstar – OK – I said I wasn’t a global financial expert, but it’s worth recalling that the general tone of your posts (it’s OK – something will come along and sort it out) mirrors precisely what most people thought in the early 1930’s. Nothing came along them except a decade long depression, millions of blighted lives, the rise of fascism and the bloodiest conflict the world has ever witnessed.

    I do so wish the people who seem to think we’re not in a real crisis and that these things could never happen again would quietly ponder the lessons of history.

  23. @Martyn

    “I normally consider myself honour-bound to answer factual questions (it’s useful practice), but this one (“…Anyway, how much power does the EU Parliament have?…”) needs a longer answer than I can cheerfully give on a Friday night. I would be grateful therefore if you’ll let me say “actually, more than you think” and leave it at that.”

    You might equally have said “not enough”.

  24. The Telegraph is reporting that on Monday the OECD will announce it’s forecast that the UK will go into recession for the first half of 2012. They say Osborne was told on Thursday and it sent ‘a lightning bolt’ through Whitehall.

    The polling impacts of the announcement itself could be interesting to watch. I guess the coalition has some cover from the Euro crisis, but I really don’t know how the mass of voters respond to the reasons/excuses etc. Either way it makes earlier statements that we’re ‘out of the danger zone’ or ‘a safe haven’ look very complacent.

    It’s going to be interesting.

  25. ALEC.

    Interesting news from the OECD.

    The Council By election results are very interesting.

    The Tories and Lib Dems would be in trouble, I think, if the Opposition had a leader who could be PM, and with some clear policy principles and in the media age, some ‘sound bites’

    Did anyyone see the Newsnight marketing slot on ED? It showed the clip when he said with a smile that ‘I am not Tony Blair’. The comrades’ cheers and hisses followed his words and his smile.

  26. I think the political impact of entering recession in 2012 would be slightly dependent on the comparitive performance with other countries.

    If things don’t change direction, “recession” will be a fairly mild word to describe what’s going to happen to quite a few countries and their populations.

    People will starve.

    Recession would be extremely embarassing for the government, but if the country avoids disaster then even a recession may look like “A Safe Haven”.

  27. Alec

    Unless we discover a new cheap source of energy, then we will look back on these days as a golden age. As I keep saying there is no escape from debt destruction, we can only chose how we destroy it. Germany seems to want to go down the path of deflation and defaults. The UK and US have decided to half heartedly take the inflation path but are unwilling to allow real wages to keep pace with real inflation. The wealthy are desperately searching for a solution where they can keep their wealth. While the rest of us are only starting to wake up to what is going on. Most of our so called wealth is a fantasy, especially paper assets, no one is going to get out of this without a substantial reduction in wealth. This present sovereign debt problem is only a small part of the whole, you could say that the credit crunch was the prologue and the sovereign debt crisis is act one. Still ahead of us we have the personal debt bomb, more bank and insurance failures and the collapse of the private pension funds. We can all imagine the political and social effects these events will create, it is most unfortunate that just when we need a more cooperative, sharing and tolerant body politic we have instead been driving the other way for some time now. In these circumstances a return to some kind of rightwing dictatorship might be the best we could hope for, there are worse alternatives!!

    Anyway that’s enough cheerfulness for now.

  28. Neil A.
    In Bournemouth the different church denominations are organising Food Banks for families to use in these difficult times.

    Bournemouth, I believe, is one of the most prosperous towns in this country.

    Therefore I think people here will not starve. UHT milk, pasta, tinned fruit and tinned veg are helping our people survive.

    Donations are being collected, for example at our beautiful Christchurch Priory.

  29. @ChrisLane,

    I wouldn’t expect the people of the UK to starve, even without charity, although obviously any and all relief is welcome.

    But there are countries in the world who do not produce sufficient food to feed their populations, and where there may soon not be sufficient buying power to meet the cost of importing what they need.

  30. On the “campaign of vilification” against Ed Miliband, it intersted me to see the Ipsos MORI findings this month…

    His net satisfaction is now -15%, ( -14% last month), Cameron is unchanged on -14%, Clegg is -2% on last month at -30%. By the Ipsos MORI measure, govt approval is up 2% on October and currently at -32%.

    On recessions, wikipedia gives 2008-09 as lasting 1.5 years (6 qtrs), however, after 14qtrs GDP is still 4% down (from start of recession).

    No figures for 1919-21;
    1930-31 recovery after 16 qtrs with double-dip,
    1973-75 recovery after 14 qtrs with double-dip,
    1980-82 recovery after 18 qrts,
    1990-92 recovery after 13 qrts.

  31. Alec

    Everyone knows we are heading into recession, if we aren’t already in one. My guess is that when they do the number crunching in a years time it will show either third or fourth quarter as being the start, mind that still depends on the dodgy inflation rate. I don’t think it will impact polling until it really bites and even then the voters are not really being offered an alternative. If it does show up it will be in others and non voters, I would not be surprised to see non voters hit 30% at some point next year.

  32. RiN
    “I would not be surprised to see non voters hit 30% at some point next year.”

    You might be right, but I think that it is more likely that we will see a rise in the “Anyone but the three main parties” camp.

    I wonder if we’ll end up with a National Government again as in the 1930s?

  33. The German Constitution thing…

    When we look back at the 29-39 era, the blindingly obvious question is: Why didn’t they come off Gold earlier?

    Will future historians ask: Why didn’t Germany simply change its Constitution?

  34. it seems the predicted recession (which I accept is probably coming) is going to be a mild one. now, I know we’ve all that before, sometimes it turns out as described, sometimes dead wrong. Mild is okay compared to the last one (if we can quite convince ourselves we got out of it properly, ahem) but any sort of recession, flatness, non-boom is bad news right now.

    then there’s the problem of political blame. this new recession will still be blamed partly on Labour unless the goverment really goofs up and/or sticks to an unworkable plan a that might prove the wrong track. Then again if it’s not a mild recession, then there’s an open goal for Labour.

  35. Reading tonight’s posts, it seems the options are either:

    a) sell bonds, buy shares in armaments manufacturers, and make sure the anderson shelter is in good nick; or
    b) learn portugese, russian, hindi, or mandarin, according to choice, and make sure your passport is valid.

    I’m normally a cheerful optimistic soul (as social democrats have to be in this age), but I’m getting a nasty attack of gawd ‘elp us syndrome.

  36. @KeithP – “… this new recession will still be blamed partly on Labour”

    Strangely though, Tories are calling for tax cuts, or other borrowing to fund growth…. some are even calling tor a temporary VAT cut.
    OECD are expected to advise a slow down/delay to public spending cuts

  37. @ Amber Star

    “The US is not locked into any financial ‘dance of death’. US bonds took a downgrade & didn’t even blink.”

    Well that was only one agency and it’s an agency that has tarnished its name and even their downgrade was from A+++ to A++ so…. In any case I don’t think we’re locked into a financial dance of death.

    @ Alec

    “The Telegraph is reporting that on Monday the OECD will announce it’s forecast that the UK will go into recession for the first half of 2012. They say Osborne was told on Thursday and it sent ‘a lightning bolt’ through Whitehall.”

    Well that sucks. There are signs right now that the U.S. economy is starting to kick it into high gear right now, which is a good thing. What’ll be interesting to see is if Republicans win the White House next year and presumably retain control of the House (and I see them winning only with Romney) and unemployment is still high, I’m wondering what will happen when the new Romney administration decides to launch massive public spending programs aimed at job growth. Will there be an outcry from teabaggers about the deficit or will most people just go along with it? I can’t answer anymore.

  38. @ Steve Coberman

    “b) learn portugese, russian, hindi, or mandarin, according to choice, and make sure your passport is valid.

    I’m normally a cheerful optimistic soul (as social democrats have to be in this age), but I’m getting a nasty attack of gawd ‘elp us syndrome.”

    Well I speak Russian (kinda) and my passport is still valid. I think being a cheerful optimistic is a good thing. So I suppose I’d be okay under your scenario. But I don’t feel pessimistic. Being a cheerful and optimistic soul is a difficult thing to acheive so if you can remain one, give yourself a pat on the back. Last night at dinner, I realized that my dad (despite his veneer of pessimism, negativity, cynicism, and depression) was still deep down, an optimist. That made me happy.

  39. @ Amber Star

    “Italy, Spain & perhaps even France are being lined up as next for ‘scalping’. There is going to be a political & economic backlash against Germany.

    Merkel is playing poker, thinking she has all the cards. But she has only 52 of them & there are several decks in play.”

    You have an interesting take on this. A lot of the Euroskeptics in Britain (the Tories and UKIP) have always suggested that the EU was just a tool of the French and Germans to take over the rest of Europe. Something both had tried and failed to do militarily. Who can fault a Brit (or a Scot) for looking at the EU and the Euro with a great deal of fear (how many wars did we fight to prevent you two from doing this before?). Looking at the way all these crises have played out, it seems like those Euroskeptics have a point.

    For that reason, I think it’s unlikely that France gets scalped. Or if they do get scalped, that will bring down the EU and the German-French alliance here.

    “Here’s the thing, the USofA is the most powerful economy in the world… whether we like it or not, it is.”

    Well some of us like it. :)

    “When the ratings agencies downgraded the Stars ‘n’ Stripes to make a political point, everybody else was going to have to be downgraded too… & now it’s happening.”

    As I said before, it was only one agency. And it was kinda reckless because I don’t think we were at any real threat of defaulting. I still don’t think we are. The stuff that the super committee failed to agree on, I think those cuts (which are supposed to kick in January 2013) are going to be reversed when the next Congress is sworn in.

    But here’s my thinking on this overall, why are these credit ratings important? Who benefits from these credit ratings? They’ve been around for less than a 100 years. It seems to me that the worries about government deficit concern what is good for the markets. Those who invest for a living and those who are stock brokers, they seem to care the most. If every country around the globe now goes into austerity mode, it would make these same people incredibly happy. Yet we know that it will create a great deal of economic pain. Do you ever get the feeling that we have the wrong priorities?

  40. @ Richard in Norway

    “It the Jehovah’s witnesses among the feral underclass(I can say feral underclass cos I am one). This economic meltdown is not harming their cause either.”

    My proctor during the Bar Exam was a Jehova’s Witness! I didn’t find this out till after the exam. She was very nice and did not know that Jehova’s Witnesses were First Amendment Champions. I considered this to be a good luck charm.

  41. @ Old Nat

    “As I heard someone, over here in the USA, say the other day, “Now we will return Iraq to the people we fought the war for – Haliburton.””

    :(

  42. RE: potential poll impact of OECD giving thumbs down to George….

    I can’t see it making much difference- perhaps a short lived couple of points drop for the Tories (which will go to labour, UKIP, green and non voters I.e. won’t have much impact on their totals).

    The country is split down the middle (as far as those willing to give a vote intention are concerned) with less than 20% for non red/blue and a burgeoning ‘two fingers to the lot of you’ brigade.

    Most of these latter refusniks will vote at the next GE IMO (just like Spain where turnout from 2008 to 2011 was down just 3% despite the entreaties of the ‘indignados’ occupy rag tag army).

    But I can’t see the difference between Tory and Labour (on YG) straying from a 4-8 point lead (for whoever) all the way to the next GE and more often than not less than 5%.

    We live in novel polling/ political times and this will be reflected in the closeness of the result next time around.

  43. @ SoCaL

    Yet we know that it will create a great deal of economic pain. Do you ever get the feeling that we have the wrong priorities?
    —————————————————–
    Yes. But I think Obama did the best thing for the US economy & that it will work. It may not work fast enough to keep him in the Whitehouse; in which case :-( we may see the Republicans reap the benefits – as the Tories initially did from Labours policies – only to reverse them & waste all the good that’s been done.
    8-)

  44. @ Phil

    Sorry to have to disagree with you for the first time in ages, but I suggest that, given a will, in present circumstances Germany could take any unilateral action it wished to, and dare Brussels to do its worst.
    ————————————–
    It is not for fear of Brussels that Germany will remain attached to the euro. Germany cannot walk away from the euro without it costing the German economy billions – maybe even trillions – of euros. Germany is a creditor nation, who’s debts are denominated in euros.
    They cannot ‘tear up’ the euro treaty & expect those debts to be honoured.

    Germany’s non-eu markets are Russia & China. Both nations are in love with the euro; it is the only currency with potential to challenge the mighty USD. They will not let Germany walk away from it, unless Germany makes them an offer which they can’t refuse on re-pricing existing contracts & euro holdings in another currency. This would cost Germany further billions.

    So, I’m not sure we do ‘disagree’, in that I am aware Germany could, theoretically walk away from the euro. But I almost entirely convinced (over 99% probability, IMO) that Germany won’t.
    8-)

  45. @ Alec

    @Amberstar – OK – I said I wasn’t a global financial expert, but it’s worth recalling that the general tone of your posts (it’s OK – something will come along and sort it out) mirrors precisely what most people thought in the early 1930?s.
    ———————————————–
    I have not said “Something will come along.” I have said the IMF will come along. Preventing a European recession leading to war is precisely what the IMF was created to do. Have you forgotten that?

    The IMF was created by some of the most brilliant & forward looking thinkers the world has ever known; it was created for exactly this type of situation. Until now, it has been a most peculiar institution because it has been doing things it was never created to do. But in the EZ crisis, its purpose becomes clear & the levers which it has at its disposal begin to make sense.

    Alec, you are not ‘arguing’ with me: You are ‘arguing’ with Keynes. Good luck with that…
    8-)

  46. @ Amber Star

    “Yes. But I think Obama did the best thing for the US economy & that it will work. It may not work fast enough to keep him in the Whitehouse; in which case we may see the Republicans reap the benefits – as the Tories initially did from Labours policies – only to reverse them & waste all the good that’s been done.”

    I agree overall. He made mistakes (though not all his fault) but overall, he made the right decisions. And in some cases, he doesn’t have the ability to make choices in the same way that Bliar, Brown, and Cameron can. And yeah, it might not work fast enough. Though we’ll see what happens with his opposition, which could be termed the “Clown Car Primary.”

    I mean he got attacked for his Thanksgiving speech. Why? He didn’t mention “god” in the speech. I mean, jesus f**king christ, is there not anything they can’t find to criticize no matter how minor or trivial or non-existent? This is modern conservatism…criticizing the president for not mentioning “god” in an address about a non-religious holiday.

  47. @ SoCaL

    For that reason, I think it’s unlikely that France gets scalped. Or if they do get scalped, that will bring down the EU and the German-French alliance here.
    ————————————————-
    My last post, before I bore everybody to tears:

    I agree with you SoCaL. France will not get scalped & Merkel has already caused France to look elsewhere than the Franco-German alliance.

    France is turning now to the old, post war alliance: It is the IMF to which the French & Dutch look for a solution.
    8-)

  48. @ SoCaL

    This is modern conservatism…criticizing the president for not mentioning “god” in an address about a non-religious holiday.
    —————————————————-
    Did President Obama not say: “God Bless America” at the end of his speech?
    8-)

  49. SOCIAL LIBERAL.
    In this secular age we try to separate religion from politics and the public space.
    So in the name of decency, despite the fact that your words about the man whom some people believe is the Son of God were obviously not put into moderation, please do not write in the terms you did.

    You are a good man as well.

    PETE B.
    Good Morning. I think we already have a 1930’s style of National Government, this one does not have any ex Labour men in it. The Conservative-Liberal Democract Government are pursuing the deflation policies which were followed in the 1918-1939 Period. In that period for most of the time it was a Conservative-Liberal Government. (exceptions being 1923- 24 and 1929-1931= Macdonald’s minority Labour Governments.

    Cutting demand in the economy to balance the Govt Budget led to falling demand and rising unemployment, which led to falling demand. And the need for Food Aid to the poor.

    All happening again I am afraid.

    In this period, Labour was badly led.

    I think LCB Mowat’s history of this period is still the best account.

  50. @ Amber Star

    “Did President Obama not say: “God Bless America” at the end of his speech?”

    Apparently.

    http://www.aol.com/2011/11/25/obama-thanksgiving-speech-god_n_1113106.html?1322241721&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl2%7Csec1_lnk2%7C115659

    I think these people need to grow up and get a life.

    The true beauty of Thanksgiving is that it’s not a religious holiday. There’s no religion, no religious services, no gift giving, no guilt, no stress, no celebration of past wars. It’s a holiday that is inclusive to all that focuses on good food, family, and relaxation. People adopt it to fit different beliefs, cultures, and lifestyles. I know vegetarians who have tofu turkey, Latino immigrants who have turkey with tamatillo salsa, an English immigrant who makes a traditional English cheddar broccolli as one of her side dishes. There’s no rule as to what one must do or not do.

    So to attack the president on something like this is just ridiculous. It’s also ridiculous because the President doesn’t need to be espousing religious beliefs in the first place. These people should feel secure in their own religious beliefs, not feel a need to impose on others. And it bugs me that this is something that can now be hijacked and polarized by those with a narrow right wing political agenda. It’s as if there is nothing sacred.

    “My last post, before I bore everybody to tears:

    I agree with you SoCaL. France will not get scalped & Merkel has already caused France to look elsewhere than the Franco-German alliance.

    France is turning now to the old, post war alliance: It is the IMF to which the French & Dutch look for a solution.”

    You don’t bore me. I like reading what you have to say and I like seeing a different perspective. I’m not sure France and Germany have enough money to bail out everyone else.

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