In terms of support for the strike, there is a pretty clear picture. YouGov have been asking questions on whether people support or oppose strike action for the Sun and Sunday Times quite regularly over the last year and have consistently found people more likely to oppose than support the strike. In the most recent questions the teachers strike was opposed by 49% to 41%, civil servants striking were opposed by 51% to 39%.

This has been broadly consistently since June – while it varies slightly depending upon what sort of workers you ask about and the other questions in the poll, generally speaking around 35%-40% support the strikes, 49%-55% oppose them.

It makes a little difference whether polls ask about public sector workers, civil servants, teachers, headteachers – there is marginally more support for teachers than “civil servants” – but we are talking a percentage point or two, not a vast contrast.

There was also an agree/disagree question on support for strike action in a ComRes poll for ITV this week, 38% agreed that they supported the strike action, 47% did not. There was also a TNS poll yesterday, which asked a rather strange question on whether people thought public sector workers should strike (40%) OR the government should continue with the reforms regardless (37%), which is rather tricky to interpret as it deals with both whether people should strike and whether the government should proceed.

While people are generally opposed to the strike, they are not without sympathy. While ComRes found people opposed the strike, another poll conducted slightly earlier found that 61% of people agreed that strikes were justified, and another found 48% of of people said they had sympathy with people striking against cuts (as opposed to pensions, though my suspicion is the difference is more sympathy -vs- support!).

Turning to the issue itself, people are pretty evenly divided upon the pension changes. 41% of people say they support the pension changes, compared to 44% opposed (although in this case, opinion has moved slightly in the government’s favour – in July the break was 41% support, 46% opposed, in June 37% support, 47% oppose).

Suffice to say, opposition to the pension changes is greater than support for the strikes (albeit, not by a huge amount). This shouldn’t be particular surprising – if you support the pension changes you are hardly likely to support strike action over them, yet there will undoubtedly be some people who oppose the pension changes but think strike action is unwarrented or counter-productive.


258 Responses to “Polling on the strikes”

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  1. To move away from the economy and pensions for one moment. What sort of a ridiculous, stupid, media sodden country is it, where the Prime Minister has to “distance himself” from a comment, made by a “celebrity” on a programme for retards. God help us and save us.

  2. @colin

    If you lend something to someone who defaults on the loan, and it was pretty obvious they would default, the fault is not with them but with you.

    A brilliant short comment which shows the mindset of the left.

  3. @Chouenlai

    Do you suggest it is only the left who think those who take high risk strategies are to blame when the hazard occurs? Is “protect those who take risks at the cost of everyone else” the mindset of the right?

  4. @Chouenlai

    When that PM had been part of the same ‘social set’ as said celebrity, and had accepted public endorsement from said celebrity, and even appeared to be taking advice on transport issues from said celebrity?

  5. ‘Only stopping the country going bankrupt. You can’t go on spending a third more than your income without going the way of Greece and Italy. Note that the coalition cuts are about the same as Labour said they were going to do before the election. Whichever way the election went, cuts were coming. Labour couldn’t have made their prediced level of cuts without cutting anything that affects people. It was always going to be tough.’

    An excellent post.

  6. I would like to distance myself from Mr clarksons remarks, as would any real human being. We should all distance ourselves from Mr clarksons, preferable by shooting him up to the moon if not further.

  7. @JAY BLANC
    If you borrow money and don’t repay it, the fault lies with you. That is the bottom line. I remember the time when banks who showed caution and probity in lending were castigated for so doing. Comments like yours, which let the feckless of the hook for their irresponsibility are as bad as the banks who encouraged the nonsense. And yes it is all of us who pay the price.

  8. I wish to distance myself from RiN’s remarks. We have no right to dump our toxic waste on the moon.

  9. Chou.

    1) Can you point to a single other study which backs up the analysis of Terry Arthur’s? I’ve read his analysis. It is based on a particular opinion that the abolition of ACT resulted in poorer stock market performance. This is a highly subjective interpretation. He may we be an actuary, but he’s not averse to picking and choosing his numbers in a way that no other analyst I am aware of does.

    2) No one lives in a political vacuum. Mr Arthur less than most. As a member of the Libertarian Alliance, he’s scarcely apolitical himself.

    3) So we’re led to believe that the pensions industry went to pieces after the removal of a large public subsidy? Industries like that we’re called enemies of the state in the 1980s.

    4) Can you let me know where this cushy public sector job and gold played pension of mine are? I wasn’t aware of them when working till 3 in the morning for the last 3 nights on technical reports for clients of my (private sector) company.

  10. HENRY.

    I think the Lib Dems may be in for some extra bile since they portrayed themselves as the Party of the Left- opposed to VAT increases, severe cuts which would cut demand, thus increase unemployment and therefore the deficit. (As has happened)

    They also played the pledge card to young people and their parents over university education.

    They did not give the impression that they would cut Tax Credits or the EMA’s for the poorer students with whom I work.

    I think Mr Clegg may have said there would be riots if tory policies were enacted.

    The Lib Dems have voted for Tory Measures.

    I agree that deficit reduction has to take place. Deflating the economy at a time of Slump is counter productive.

    The last Liberal-Conservative Coalition Government 1931-39 also pursued deflationary policies at a time of slump, as they also did 1919-1922.

    I declare that I am a public sector worker, including my PGCE training year after Oxford (History) coming to the end of 100 Terms service. If the Lib Dem/Con government do sack me that will not do anything for the deficit reduction strategy.

    The Food Banks in Christchurch, Dorset are testimony to the success of the policies of the Con/Lib Dem policies.

    They may laugh about us in Chipping Norton and Dining Clubs but it is morally wrong.

    Rant over- off to run on the beach and then tutoring.

  11. @ Colin Green

    “what is in it for the Liberals?”Only stopping the country going bankrupt.”

    Your inference is that politicians act in the “national interest”, which would certainly amuse even a sixth-form student of politics. All politicians care about, & have ever cared about, is winning the next election. It is this kind of naive approach which has got Lib-Dems voters in their current mess. I repeat: if all the Libs have to offer is eternal cuts & a vicious and Parliament-long attack on the living standrads & conditions of public sector workers then they aint got a chance.

  12. @RIN
    I would like to distance myself from the argument with IRAN. In fact along with Italy, I have surrendered to be on the safe side.

  13. @Jayblanc

    In response to my statement “…Debt-bubbles are caused by borrowers and/or people lending to borrowers…” you said “…The debt-derivative crisis was not caused by those who borrowed, but by those who lent, and those who traded the ‘debt-bundles’…”

    On this, we are not actually disagreeing (I assume you overlooked the “and/or”)

    You then said “…If you lend something to someone who defaults on the loan, and it was pretty obvious they would default, the fault is not with them but with you…”

    I don’t think we’re going to agree here, but no. One may question the wisdom of lending to those obviously unable to repay but the responsibility remains with the loanee. Assuming a free informed choice from both parties, no obviously excessive terms, and no conditions imposed post-agreement, responsibility for repayment must lie with the loanee.

    Regards, Martyn

  14. @Jayblanc (reposted for correct italicisation)

    In response to my statement “…Debt-bubbles are caused by borrowers and/or people lending to borrowers…” you said “…The debt-derivative crisis was not caused by those who borrowed, but by those who lent, and those who traded the ‘debt-bundles’…”

    On this, we are not actually disagreeing (I assume you overlooked the “and/or”)

    You then said “…If you lend something to someone who defaults on the loan, and it was pretty obvious they would default, the fault is not with them but with you…”

    I don’t think we’re going to agree here, but no. One may question the wisdom of lending to those obviously unable to repay but the responsibility remains with the loanee. Assuming a free informed choice from both parties, no obviously excessive terms, and no conditions imposed post-agreement, responsibility for repayment must lie with the loanee.

    Regards, Martyn

  15. @Colin

    “More seriously, the chasm which has grown between public & private sector will, imo, become an increasingly divisive issue in this country.”

    I think you’re being uncharacteristically melodramatic here. The only “chasm” is the one that exists in the imagination of those politically pre-disposed to resent the public provision of just about anything. All advanced economies and decent societies have large public sectors that provide goods and services that profit-centred and shareholder owned private businesses either can’t or won’t. These sorts of services range from policing to the care of our elderly, with much else in between, including our armed services and, as I said in another post on an earlier thread, the social capital, as opposed to profit, that these services generate is huge and immeasurable. They go to the very heart of what makes us a civilised and decent society. Fair and progressive taxation that funds the public provision of life changing and enhancing services like health and education, available to all irrespective of wealth and income, is the thin gossamer thread that binds us together in a united and inclusive society. Attempts to drive wedges between public and private, to nurture imagined grievances and to stir festering resentments, is to throw away a priceless social asset. We do so at our enormous peril.

    Now, is there waste and are there misapplied resources in the public sector? Of course there are, but so too is there in the private sector. I’ve worked in a privately owned company for 35 years and the argument that therein resides a greater work ethic and nobility than can be found in public sector endeavours is frankly risible. Moral bankruptcy and social uselessness, some might argue, are the hallmarks, almost exclusively, of privately owned businesses. Take your pick from a whole parcel of rogues for examples through the ages.

    I rather liked Brendan Barber’s reasonably phrased and measured judgement of where we are in this argument on the so called public v private “chasm”. He said this: –

    “I simply don’t think people think about public sector workers in the way government appear to think about them, portraying them as leeches, parasites on the wider community.”

    I agree with him, although to read this blog on some of the days when the rightys take to their keyboards in their droves, one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise!

  16. RobbieAlive
    ‘Your inference is that politicians act in the “national interest”, which would certainly amuse even a sixth-form student of politics.’

    I am not sure how a six form student would claim to know all there is to know what drives people. When I was a sixth former I was certainly idealisitic, and had a fairly dim view of politicians, but I am not sure that the suggestion that anyone in any walk of life was idealistic would amuse me.

    ‘All politicians care about, & have ever cared about, is winning the next election.’

    I do not think this is true of politicians in any party; I certainly know Labour, Conservative and LD MPs who have claimed to be idealistic and I believe them.

    The one thing for certain is that you do not understand the LIberal/Liberal Democrat mentality. If they wanted to hold high office, then LDs would have joined Labour or Tories, and I am sure plenty of Liberals have joined Parties for this reason. However, LD MPs, both the ones I like and the ones I don’t, are idealists, and have chosen to ‘take on the world’ to pursue what they believe.

    The electorate in Constituencies know that which is why many of them, whether Tim Farron, Vince Cable or Danny Alexander will be re-elected time and time again.

  17. Colin, Chouenlai

    Thank you for your very positive comments earlier.

  18. @Henry
    “The electorate in Constituencies know ….. Tim Farron, Vince Cable or Danny Alexander will be re-elected time and time again.”

    I notice that you left out Nick Clegg – was that deliberate?

  19. RinN
    ‘I would like to distance myself from Mr clarksons remarks, as would any real human being. We should all distance ourselves from Mr clarksons, preferable by shooting him up to the moon if not further.’

    Naturally as a LD you find Clarkson’s remark about other human beings offensive. While he represents the anger felt by many non-strikers in an increasingly polarised country, if anything IMO he should be endorsing restraint rather than turning up the heat.

    I am glad that you are still waving the LD emblem; I once asked you why you thought of yourself as a LD and you gave an excellent reply, which made it clear that you are far closer to liberal democracy than socialism.

  20. LizH

    ‘I notice that you left out Nick Clegg – was that deliberate?’

    Liz, you are awful, but I like you.

  21. Crossbat11
    ‘All advanced economies and decent societies have large public sectors that provide goods and services that profit-centred and shareholder owned private businesses either can’t or won’t’

    You have raised an interesting point. Do you or anyone else know how we compare to say rest of EU average, US, Japan, Australia etc. in size of public sector?

  22. @Henry

    “Colin, Chouenlai
    Thank you for your very positive comments earlier.”

    I’d be careful, Henry, if I was you. There was an alleged Labour supporter who once graced these pages, a Mr Eoin Clarke of this parish in fact, and he too was a victim of the dreaded Chou and Colin embrace. They loved him to death, flattered him and positively cooed with approval when he delivered his stiletto thrusts into the nether regions of the party he purported to support. Then, quite suddenly, we heard no more of him, although he went through an identity crisis and changed his name before disappearing entirely.

    It was the Colin/Rolly Black Widow embrace that did for him, I’m sure. Be warned! lol

  23. He hasn’t disappeared, he lives here

    http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/

    (well, he probably has a proper house too, but he has a website there)

  24. Crossbat11
    ‘…cooed with approval when he delivered his stiletto thrusts into the nether regions of the party he purported to support.’

    I am lost by this comment; I am trying to think of any current LD policies I have not supported. True many of these are Coalition policies. Several times a week, I receive messages from our leaders, Clegg, Cable, etc. informing me of and explaining reasons for their policies. It has become clear to me as to D Abrahams, and Colin Green that the LDs are making some tough and brave decisions, which is why we support them.

  25. 4) Can you let me know where this cushy public sector job and gold played pension of mine are? I wasn’t aware of them when working till 3 in the morning for the last 3 nights on technical reports for clients of my (private sector) company.

    When you come draw your doubtless inadequate pension, I hope you are still so forgiving.

    I have not attempted to look for further evidence above and beyond Mr Arthur, he is a senior British Actuary. More than that, I was in the thick of the pensions industry myself at the time and know from own experience. Frankly this view, that every article or action that criticise’s the previous administration, is the work of some bum who can be bought and sold, or is in the pocket of Lord Ashcroft is getting more and more sickening.
    The “large public subsidy” was to increase working peoples pensions. Please don’t say that is a bad thing. Get real Mr Lampton, working people received a very real disservice from the raid on A.C.T which no amount excuse’s will change.

  26. @LEFTY LAMPTON
    Sorry, post above to you.

  27. I was thinking about the relevance of yesterday’s yougov poll showing pretty much the same figures we’ve seen for months for all parties. Given the bad news contained in the Autumn Statement, the down grading of growth, missing of debt targets etc, combined with the public sector strike about to cause chaos for us all you’d have expected the figures to move one way or the other, but for them to revert to mean was surprising (for me anyway). Maybe the dent in support for the blues caused by the Autumn Statement was pretty much matched by the boost they got for standing up to ‘greedy’ public sector strikers (or vice versa – the statement reminded the public of ‘the mess Labour left’ but the strike posturing reinforced the ‘Nasty party’ image). But pretty much all news lately has failed to move the polls, at least for longer than a week or so, and not all stories can have come in neatly balancing pairs. It really is looking that the public has split into those who still blame Labour for everything and those who have already forgiven them or would back them over the Tories anyway.

    So what will move the polls? I had thought that 18 months in the ‘blame Labour’ message would have started to significantly wane allowing them to recover, but there is no evidence of that – either in the polls or anecdotally talking to friends. And this is despite members of the coalition no longer prefacing every single statement with a comment blaming Labour for the mess (they are still blaming labour of course, but it is no longer the first thing out of their mouths). Have the coalition got that message across sufficiently well to last until the election, or will people eventually start placing the responsibility for the economy’s performance on the current rather than previous government?

    However, any chance of a boost to the Tories from a job well done now appear to have been delayed until after the election at the earliest, so events notwithstanding I can’t see their support climbing any. It might enter a slow decline as those blaming Labour start to doubt the Tories as well, possibly resulting in further rises for UKIP, especially if (when) the eurozone implodes.

    As for the Lib Dems – in my view they have lost their ‘protest left’ vote for good, but then it in reality it was only ever really on loan anyway. Enter a coalition with Labour and voting Lib Dem is no longer a protest vote for lefties, so they would still have likely lost that support (and similarly any ‘wavering Tories have probably returned home). But the 8-10% we are seeing on Yougov is probably a good starting point to build from, representing core Lib Dem support, and with the higher profile they are enjoying they might be able to convince right-ish reds and left-ish blues to support them – assuming they avoid gaffs and don’t schism over the prospect of including Tory economic policies in their manifesto. But they will do exceptionally well to recover half their lost vote IMHO.

    Living deep in the south east of England, I can’t speak for the Nats as I don’t understand the political landscape there, and unfortunately (as I quite like them) I can’t see the Greens making many gains – they probably need a Labour government for lefties to protest about to build their vote significantly.

    So my prediction for the next year or so is Labour steady, Tories losing a few percentage points to UKIP, a slow Lib Dem revival, and something beyond my understanding occurring in Scotland and Wales. Now watch tonight’s poll show a decisive lurch one way or the other!

  28. @Henry

    “I am lost by this comment;”

    Probably because I wasn’t referring to you when I made the comment. I’d read it again if I was you.

    @Anthony

    “He hasn’t disappeared, he lives here
    http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/

    Yes, I know, and I am the very occasional visitor. From reading his posts when he was a regular contributor to this site, I thought Eoin was a likeable soul, but I found his observations a bit too gnomic and triangulated for my political taste. I wish him well though and do, on occasions, miss his moody celtic musings.

  29. @crossbat
    Eoin Clarke is a socialist and a pacifist. Just about the worst combination for me. However, his truthfulness and genuine personality shone through and I liked him. The cleverest Labourite on this board is Amber, I like her also, even though she can be a very difficult opponent. A lady called Sue from Brighton, who like Eoin now runs her own website, is utterly rank Labour, but we had some great laughs. I suppose my late Fathers comment, if you cannot talk politics without it turning shitty, you are talking to the wrong people is true. Anyway, Henry, Colin and I “are all in it together”,
    Eoin, despite your attempted character assassination, was most certainly not.

  30. @Chouenlai

    “If you borrow money and don’t repay it, the fault lies with you. That is the bottom line. I remember the time when banks who showed caution and probity in lending were castigated for so doing. Comments like yours, which let the feckless of the hook for their irresponsibility are as bad as the banks who encouraged the nonsense. And yes it is all of us who pay the price.”

    Nope. Basically a misunderstanding of finance. If you borrow money without having the intention of repaying it, the fault lies with you. If you borrow money without haveing the capability to repay it (at the time you borrowed it) then the fault is shared – the lender shouldn’t have lent you the money in the first place. If you borrowed the money, the bank should have adjusted the rate to reflect the risk of default: risk based pricing.

    This can be at an individual level – see Greek bond rates – or at a group level. But essentially the rate implies a percieved risk of default during the period of the loan. Obviously its more complex than this as there are other factors like the financing of the loan itself, but nevertheless…

  31. Although I value this site for the banter, it’s also handy for the region-specific contributions from Virgilio (Continental Europe), SoCalLib (North of the Rio Grande), OldNat (Scotland), which give me a flavour of what’s going on there that the Beeb can’t provide at the individual level. Eoin used to be pretty handy for Ireland/NI reportage and that’s difficult to get quickly, so ’tis a pity he doesn’t post more.

    (We badly need a German contributor btw, there’s only so much you can get from Der Spiegel without wanting to stick pins in Schauble)

    Oh yeah, some guy called Anthony Wells posts occasionally too… :-)

    Regards, Martyn

  32. @ TheGreeny

    “As for the Lib Dems – in my view they have lost their ‘protest left’ vote for good, but then it in reality it was only ever really on loan anyway. Enter a coalition with Labour and voting Lib Dem is no longer a protest vote for lefties, so they would still have likely lost that support”

    “…only ever really on loan anyway” But, in my 20 years of campaigning I found the reverse to be true. Whe we won over leftish-Tories they frequently reverted when faced with a Labour governement. However, this was not true of ex-Labour voters – when you had won them over (which took hard work at street level) they became staunchly loyal – especially the working class ones. Indeed, they would stick with you whatever the national picture. It is these people I feel we will have betrayed if we don’t design a plan B and edge the Tories towards it, and then in 2015 come up with a non-Tory economic policy…..this was why I was so angry with Danny…….perhaps quietly LD ministers are – but they are so hopeless at “selling it” if they are.

  33. @sheep
    So at all times you carry all of the blame or some of the blame. When you get into capacity to pay you hit a minefield. Spanish holiday, finance on new car, going clubing a lot, skiing, it all meant I could not afford my mortgage payments.

  34. Crossbat

    ” when the rightys take to their keyboards in their droves” droves??? One swallow does not a summer make, and a half dozen does not make a drove. Though they do, do a good impression of a wagon circle, the poor persecuted things.

  35. Off the Wall this…..but all in the interests of increasing voter choice!

    How about Alex Salmond in 2015 going for PM of the UK? United Front of SNP, PC, and English Democrats – candidate in every constituency in Britain. Alex thus earns the right to be the 4th man at the UK-wide TV leadership debates. “Fourth Vison” of forming a UK government to give all four nations their own sovereign parliaments within a loose British Isles Federation. Would present us all with an interesting 4th option to support!

  36. Tony dean

    That is off the wall but I would like to see Alex debate our Westminster lightweights

  37. @The Greeny – “I had thought that 18 months in the ‘blame Labour’ message would have started to significantly wane”

    In his 20th Nov piece for the Observer Rawnsley’s opinion was that “… modern rulers get a breathing space of about 18 months to two years when they can dump on their predecessors before the electorate starts to focus pitilessly and unforgivingly on the incumbent’s mistakes.”

    It could be a risky strategy to blame everything on Brown (rather than world events), people might forget about him and start blaming Osborne (if and when the media takes that line).
    Consequently latest culprits are the eurozone and rising international fuel costs.

    The coalition will nonetheless perist with the “never trust Labour with the economy again” line especially during the next GE campaign.

    “His opponents have been saying for some time the problem with the chancellor is that he had a deficit strategy but not a growth strategy, and the absence of the latter would be the undoing of the former”, Rawnsley warns that this criticism is now becoming more widespread.

    Polls will move if voters decide that the pain (ongoing to 2017, and all blamed on Labour’s mismanagement) has been uneccessarily prolonged.

  38. @ Richard in Norway

    I agree. I think Salmond would take the other three to the cleaners! Even though I’m not a Scotsman I regard him as Britain’s currently most able politician! Who knows, in my ‘parallel universe’ he might put the wind up them all by stirring up a UK-wide Salmondmania as Clegg did – now that would be fun!

  39. I assume that Anthony hasn’t had time to put up a post on it, but as I suspected there were also a number of questions on the Autumn statement in last night’s YouGov. Here they are in all their glory:

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/se6vhsompl/YG-Archives-Pol-Sun-AutumnStatement-011211.pdf

    (Incidentally they’ve been up since 9:35, without as far as I can see anyone commenting on them – apologies to anyone who has – so no Eye-Spy badges for you lot)

    There are some bad signs in it for the Osborne – only 24% think he is doing a good job compared to 34% in Spring – but Labour isn’t doing much to impress as an alternative. Asked If Labour had won the last election and formed a government, do you think the economy would be doing better, doing worse, or would it be much the same the result is:

    Doing better 25%
    Doing worse 37%
    Much the same 29%
    Don’t know 9%

    So Labour needs to set out new policies – they can’t just continue with the line of being the same but nicer.

    The poll also shows the continuing hold of the importance of deficit reduction in people’s minds. Asked who would handle ‘Reducing Britain’s deficit’ best the Tories get 41% to Labour’s 19% – even though Labour leads on ‘Encouraging growth in the economy’, ‘Creating jobs’ and ‘Keeping prices down’. The Conservatives also lead on ‘Steering the economy through the economic crisis’ and ‘Supporting British businesses’, though in each case by only 7 points and with both Parties getting under 60% between them. So the deficit is still the Tory trump card.

  40. @billy bob
    One such as myself, cannot help noticing the number of quotes from left wing journo’s which grace these airwaves. I have no recollection of any of the few remaining Conservatives on this board these days, quoting Simon Heffer on a regular basis. Today has been a good example of one of my rare excursions into quoting an “expert”, in this case, in the field of pensions. Instantly, this man was written off as a Tory lickspittal. And yet, despite AW’s warnings and bans, the Guardian is seen as the UKPR bible by many. Now you sing the refrain of Rawnsley. Is this non-partisan I ask myself?

  41. @ Colin

    THis weeks’s OBR report forecasts that the deficit will fall to £79bn by end parliament , and £24 bn by end 16/17.
    —————————————–
    That’s a forecast.

    How accurate have the OBR’s forecasts been so far? Not at all accurate probably covers it.
    Come back & compare to Darling’s results when you have actual numbers…
    8-)

  42. , in my 20 years of campaigning I found the reverse to be true.

    great post based on plenty of experience. I don’t agree 100% with the last bit; I think a number of our torysceptic MPs, have come to the opinion that the cuts proposed are necessary, but are already influenced by LDs in shielding the most vulnerable, in terms of benefits etc. One MP who spoke to me a few weeks back was angry because he knew Labour would have made similar cuts, but in his opinion were weeping crocodile tears.

    I think in the manifesto, the Tory and LD will be very similar in the first half and then the second half with recovery underway there will be large differences as to whom will be the main beneficiary. Only my opinion.

  43. @roger mexico
    Please don’t spoil things Rog. Labour have a 5 point lead and Prof Curtiss says things look great. None of it was Labours fault and its only Tory lies that blind the off message mob.

  44. @ Chouey

    My disagreement with Amber was between the ACT issue and pension holidays. On that front, ACT has had a MUCH bigger impact than pension holidays.
    ————————————-
    Nope. Occupational Pensions Alliance, an independent body, have £18.5Bn lost to schemes from pensions holidays & £5Bn from the tax changes (25% of which was down to Chancellor Norman Lamont who brought in a 25% reduction, the other 75% was Gordon)

    Holidays £18.5Bn
    Lamont £1.25Bn
    Gordon £3.75Bn

    Holidays almost 5x’s as much of a ‘raid’ as Gordon’s so-called ‘tax grab’.

    Check out the Occupational Pensions Alliance website, if you don’t believe my numbers.
    8-)

  45. Mervyn King’s entreaty to the Banking and financial system to not pay bonuses at such a catastrophe moment in economic history is amazingly significant.

    Whatever happened to the notion of ‘paying the market rate’ and ‘paying for the talent we need’?

    He has just fundamentally challenged that argument.

    I would hope someone extends that out across our wonderful private sector- and says the same thing to CBI chef execs who have given themselves a 40% income rise this year alone.

    I wonder how this will impact on opinion??

  46. Rob

    What Mr king is saying is that it is politically difficult to bail out the banks again, you notice he also mentioned dividend payments as well. This is because the silly bankers have taken money from reserves to pay dividends and bonuses leaving them with very little to cover losses, in effect betting on bailouts. Mr king is subtlely warning the banks that bailouts might not be forthcoming. Of course its all talk cos at the same time Mr king was in the forefront of organizing the subsidized dollar swap lines.

    Free market economy, my behind!!

  47. CRossbat11

    Thanks

    Sky has just reported that Sarkozy is telling the French people that they can no longer afford the size of State & Welfare provision they have enjoyed.

    As Keynes is never quoted on UKPR as saying-it is time for “ruthless truth -telling”.

    The penny seems to be dropping over the Channel-lets hope it starts to do so here soon.

  48. YouGov also asked:

    George Osborne has delivered his autumn statement, in which the forecast growth of the British economy next year was reduced from 2.5% to 0.7%. Which one or two, if any, of the following do you think is most to blame for the low rate of growth?

    and got the replies:

    The debt crisis in the Eurozone 44%
    Debts run up by the last Labour government 32%
    The banks 31 %
    The current government’s economic policy 28%
    Higher world energy and commodity prices 15%
    Don’t know 11%
    Something else 2%

    This is a bit muddier than other attempts to get an answer for this because there’s no way of telling if people rated their second choice as culpable as their first, but it shows that Labour also has to act harder to pin the blame on the government.

    There’s also questions about where people think the Chancellor is helping most (summary every outside London and the South thinks London and the South) and assessing the rate of support for various policies.

    The war on the public sector is still (just)being supported with the 1% pay limit getting 47% to 41% but the increase in the state pension age is opposed 51% to 40%. As usual only the over-60s are in favour – given this shouldn’t they introduce it now and make it retrospective? As you might expect the most popular measure are cancelling the fuel price rise (84%) and pegging back the increase in rail fairs a bit (80%). Whether either will be remember past (or even by) the first week in January is another matter.

    Raising the levy on bank profits is also popular (74%) but no choice or information was given on how much, so some opposition may have been from those who thought it too little. Interestingly ‘Increasing the discount for people buying their council house to 50%’ is opposed 52% to 34% – even Conservatives oppose.

    Increasing ‘out-of-work benefits in line
    with inflation’ is opposed, but only by 44% to 40%, so this may not be as easy a target to pick as some on the right may think (and of course some opposition may come from those who think the increase should have been more).

    Finally the £50 each to be paid to South West Water customers may be designed to keep the SW Lib Dems sweet, but the public are against 49% to 24%. Even Lib Dems oppose 36% to 33%.

  49. Richard in Norway

    @” Mr king is subtlely warning the banks that bailouts might not be forthcoming.”

    Good

    @” Of course its all talk cos at the same time Mr king was in the forefront of organizing the subsidized dollar swap lines.”

    You are confusing lack of solvency -for which the remedy has been state bailouts, with lack of liquidity , for which the remedy is the concerted action by Central Banks to provide ( dollar) Lender of Last Resort facilities.

    The former is something MK is warning may not happen again.

    The latter happens all the time-it is what Central Banks are for-it is what they do.

  50. @ RiN

    MK is speaking, because this is all he can. It will likely be ignored (unlike on the Continent, where commercial banks follow government lines more closely – sometimes it’s positive, sometimes it’s disastrous). In the last 12 months, all the banks that paid dividends in the UK actually borrowed money to pay dividends. This is a forbidden practice in the US since Continental Illinois.

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