Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, echoing the one point Labour lead we saw in the YouGov/Sunday Times poll at the weekend. The previous time that YouGov had shown a Labour lead as low as 1 point was back at the start of September. There is also a sharp uptick in net government approval – today’s figure is minus 19, the highest (or least low!) since May. It is looking as though the veto has given the Conservatives some sort of boost in support, though of course how long it lasts is an entirely different question.

The overnight poll also had some more detailed questions on Europe – the Sun have already tweeted that 58% think Cameron was right to use the veto, 21% wrong, but I’ll update more fully tomorrow when the full details are available.


98 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%”

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  1. @WelshBorderer

    You said “…Remember Cameron has finally used the V word – they will think again before antagonizing us further, as many media reports are now emphasizing…”

    Given that they are creating their own treaty (using either the EU bureaucracy and courts or newly-created ones, depending), why does the EZ17+ need to antagonise us? You only antagonise people who can stop you doing things. The EZ17+ can just do as they wish via the new treaty, then either tell us what they’ve done post-facto or let us find out via CNN.

    Regards, Martyn

  2. @ Old Nat

    “I have the excuse that I’m still on US time!”

    Isn’t jetlag the worst? What always gets me is how tired I feel after a long trip and how I’ll go to sleep at what I think is a reasonable time, only to wake up a few hours later and be completely unable to sleep even if I feel tired.

    Anyway, I responded to your last comment to me but it was put into moderation. I don’t really want to repeat myself but I’ll sum up some key points.

    1. The United States is not an empire and not imperialistic.

    2. When we commit imperialist acts, they’re unnatural and often harm us.

    3. Fallen soldiers from Vietnam and Iraq are often seen as victims and not as heroes. Hence the popular slogan, “support the troops, not the war.”

    4. I can think of an equivalent to Scottish Studies courses.

    I’ll just say that I take the following position. I have a great deal of pride in my country. Always have, always will. That doesn’t mean that I’m blind to history and can simply ignore past atrocities and bad acts or manipulate them by making up facts in order to make them sound like good things (I’m not a Republican presidential candidate). i

  3. @ Martyn

    Once the EU treaties were amended to include a provision to require prior submission and approval of national budgets by the Commission, how long do you realistically think it would take before the UK was cajoled into doing the same? Do you recognise that this is a demand to which the majority of British voters are never likely to agree if asked ? So why allow the EU Treaty to be amended ? It’s a line in the sand. Or as the Greeks whom I hugely admire would say OCHI !

    One way or another UK gave £8 billion to help Ireland. Their Government gave us nothing in return last Friday, for whatever reason maybe historical – see earlier post. The impression I have is that the Irish Government may be regretting its stance, as they probably did not act in their own long term interest.

  4. WELSH BORDERER

    As an archaeologist, you should have recognised that Ireland was part part of a common pre-historic culture that had nothing to do with current political boundaries.

    if you don’t ….

    I fear you misread my comment. I wasn’t referring to those in GB being subject to “outside domination and exploitation”, but us (yes, all of us imperial Brits) subjecting others to that experience.

    As to your “collective experience of being invaded or threatened with invasion and domination from continental Europe”, that isn’t a “historians” view. It’s a strangely isolationist view.

    From a Cornish point of view, why should “continental Europe” have been more of a threat than proximate England?

    You are simply repeating the English myth of historical events – and doing yourself no favours in the process!

  5. @WelshBorderer

    You said “…I am a bit antagonistic tonight because I really do believe that on this issue the PM is standing up for everyone in Britain – and being unfairly attacked…”

    I agree that the PM is standing up for the UK – as I said in a previous post, I think he was bounced into this by the French. But this is the point – he was bounced by the French. Everything he wanted to achieve he failed to achieve, and everything he wanted to prevent he failed to prevent.

    This is straying into partisanship, so I need to emphasise that Cameron was right to do what he did. But nobody, not Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, UKIP, Green or whatever, has come to grips with the new reality: the European nations are doing what they like, in concert and in a way that looks like a federal nation, without our consent nor influence. That has been against English foreign policy since at least the Tudors.

    I agree that the PM is standing up for the UK. My worry is that he failed.

    Regards, Martyn

  6. @ Welsh Borderer

    “I am a bit antagonistic tonight because I really do believe that on this issue the PM is standing up for everyone in Britain – and being unfairly attacked.”

    I feel your pain. I know what it’s like to support things that others politically similar to you don’t for seemingly partisan reasons.

    I don’t know enough about the workings of the EU to know whether Cameron made the right decision (it seems to me that he made the right one).

  7. SoCalLiberal

    We must agree to disagree about the “American Empire”.

    On my side, I would argue that “Manifest Destiny” was clear imperialism. Post-war American policy to create pro-American (ie puppet) regimes in other countries also matches the definition of imperialism.

    The writings in the “American Empire Project” series, also continue that argument.

    You applauded my recognition of my country’s role in imperialist exploitation. No doubt, you would want to follow my example? :-) or you could be a Welsh Borderer!

  8. Martyn

    “That has been against English foreign policy since at least the Tudors.”

    But Scottish foreign policy, was exactly the opposite of that for centuries.

    If you are going to deploy historical arguments, then you need to recognise all of their implications!

  9. Okay this is completely off-topic but I find this really ironic.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/12/atheists-takes-santa-monica-nativity-scenes-spots-in-park.html

    I think all the atheists out there (like Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband) will appreciate the irony and humor in this. :)

  10. SoCalLiberal

    I like that!

    It matches my arguments above, that those promoting particular myths, get very upset when alternative views are promoted,

    Naturally, that has nothing to to do with my comments on your denial that America is an imperialist country! :-)

  11. @ Old Nat

    “We must agree to disagree about the “American Empire”.

    On my side, I would argue that “Manifest Destiny” was clear imperialism. Post-war American policy to create pro-American (ie puppet) regimes in other countries also matches the definition of imperialism.

    The writings in the “American Empire Project” series, also continue that argument.

    You applauded my recognition of my country’s role in imperialist exploitation. No doubt, you would want to follow my example? or you could be a Welsh Borderer!:)”

    I recognize the past wrongs that my country has committed (and hope that I can recognize and work to correct the present ones) and believe we have a responsibility to acknowledge them, to repudiate them, and to correct lingering injustices that remain because of them. I think the point of learning this history is not so that one can feel bad about one’s country but so that you can recognize and correct present and future injustices. Only by educating yourself on the mistakes of the past can you really do this.

    I take the position that I can acknolwedge the bad (see, e.g., slavery, segregation, forcing Native Americans onto reservations, CIA sponsored dictatorships, Iraq) without deciding that those make us imperialist or have that take away from the good we’ve done as a whole.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on American Imperialism.

  12. @ Old Nat

    I think you may have mis-read Martyn’s post… he is saying that, since Tudor time, England has involved itself in the economic & political situation(s) within Europe.

    As has Scotland; though often with different objectives & alliances to those of England.
    8-)

  13. @ Old Nat

    I just spit my milk out laughing at Jon Stewart. His take on questions to Ron Paul after the latest Republican debate by David Gregory “that’s kind of like saying to you “hey, why don’t we go out to dinner on Saturday night? I know this great little romantic place. And we can talk about which one of your friends I’d really like to f***.” And then, describing an exchange between Rick Perry and Mitt Romney during the debate “oh my god! You have an Evangelical and a Mormon deciding on how much to bet on which one is the bigger liar!”

  14. Labour, for the past 15 – 20 years have been the centrist party regarding Europe.

    The Tories have had to be dragged (kicking & screaming?) by businessmen & financiers into closer union with Europe.

    The LibDems (& oft times, the SNP) have appeared to enthusiatically embrace the European project.

    Labour have maintained a professional distance from the United States of Europe project, whilst at the same time embracing a pick ‘n’ mix of institutions & policies which advanced particular policies which Labour were in favour of. Did Labour often have to compromise on something else to achieve what it wanted? Yes, of course…

    Would Labour have signed the treaty, in the form which is now in? I think not… but Labour would have negotiated a formal opt out, rather than play a part in the pantomime which we have been watching over the past few days.
    8-)

  15. @ Old Nat

    “I like that!

    It matches my arguments above, that those promoting particular myths, get very upset when alternative views are promoted,

    Naturally, that has nothing to to do with my comments on your denial that America is an imperialist country! :)”

    I like it for a different reason. There are all these morons who are obsessed with their “War on Christmas” and enforcing their views on everyone else. They’re getting bent out of shape over the fact that people say “Happy Holidays!” to one another (as if that’s the most horrible thing someone could EVER say!). For years, they’ve pushed and pushed to have their nativity scenes placed on public property. They’ve waged countless legal battles for this. They haven’t cared if they’ve offended others (in fact they hope to) and they haven’t cared if they send a message that’s contrary to what others may want or believe. Now they’re getting a taste of their own medicine with something that’s incredibly offensive to them. It’s a lesson to be careful for what you fight for. They asked for it.

    There’s a lesson here for conservatives. Don’t do unto others as you would not want done to yourself (I think it might even be a religious one).

  16. Ladbrokes have finally seen the hopelessness of the Tom Harris bid. Their latest prices (prices yesterday in brackets):

    Macintosh 8/11 (4/6)
    Lamont 11/10 (6/4)
    Harris 20/1 (8/1)

    Very, very tight between the top two now, with a fair sum of money clearly going on both of them. I haven’t got a clue who is going to win this, but it is now looking highly likely that the party is going to be riven straight down the middle 50/50 between Ken fans and Johann fans, making it very awkward for the leader.

    Recent examples were the Miliband/Miliband split last year and the Davidson/Fraser split a few weeks ago. With weak support among important groups within a party (eg. the large group of Scottish Labour MPs) it is going to be hard, if not impossible, to keep the party focussed and united.

  17. More findings from this quarter’s Ipsos MORI Scottish Public Opinion Monitor are published in today’s Times (I suspected they had bought the whole shebang and were choosing which bits to publish, including the usual Westminster VI findings):

    – “… 33 per cent of Scots voters want a referendum as soon as possible and another 31 per cent want one within the next two years…

    Mr Salmond, however, insisted last night that he would not hold the referendum until the second half of this five-year Scottish Parliament, meaning not before 2014.

    That option is now preferred by only 29 per cent of Scots, down eight points from August. Three per cent oppose any referendum at any time, down three points from four months ago.

    The consolation for Mr Salmond is that the poll finds that support for independence among Scots certain to vote has risen by three points since August to 38 per cent. While a clear majority of Scots — 57 per cent — still believe that Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom, this has declined since August, again by three points.
    Professor John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde, said the changes might be little more than the variability of all polls.
    The poll suggests there is solid support for more financial and other powers for Holyrood — so-called “devolution max” — with 68 per cent supporting it (a rise of one point on August) and 28 per cent against (unchanged from August).

    The poll also suggests that more men (42 per cent) back independence than do women (33 per cent). The highest support (58 per cent) for a separate Scotland is among Scots aged 25-34, while the lowest (32 per cent) is among Scots aged 35-54.
    There is a socio-economic divide, with independence supported by 51 per cent of those in the most deprived areas, against 23 per cent in the richest.
    Independence is backed by only 61 per cent of SNP voters and 17 per cent of Labour voters.”

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/scotland/article3256217.ece#comments

    So, only 3% of Scots are opposed to an independence referendum!! If you had told political commentators that finding even as recently as ten years ago, they would quite simply have refused to believe it. Now it is a reality: everybody (or darn near it) wants this referendum.

    The 68% support for Devo Max is also a bit of a stunner. Ought to get the brain cells ticking over at a fair rate within the SLAB and SLD parties.

    I wonder/if when the Times will publish the Westminster VI findings?

  18. @ Amber Star

    “Labour, for the past 15 – 20 years have been the centrist party regarding Europe.

    Labour have maintained a professional distance from the United States of Europe project, whilst at the same time embracing a pick ‘n’ mix of institutions & policies which advanced particular policies which Labour were in favour of. Did Labour often have to compromise on something else to achieve what it wanted? Yes, of course…”

    I believe you. I love how generally non-plussed about Europe Labour seems. Like for all the talk of melodramas within the Labour Party and a love of dissent and distate of actual power (something common for most leftwingers), it’s reverse in the UK on the issue of Europe. Tories will tie themselves up in knots and battle each other out in destructive, emotional ways on Europe issues while Labour sits back in a non-plussed way and passes the popcorn (or the biscuits).

  19. @ Stuart Dickson

    “Very, very tight between the top two now, with a fair sum of money clearly going on both of them. I haven’t got a clue who is going to win this, but it is now looking highly likely that the party is going to be riven straight down the middle 50/50 between Ken fans and Johann fans, making it very awkward for the leader.”

    Yeah, it does kinda make it awkward for Miliband. Especially if the decision is seen as a slap in the face rejection to him and not simply a principled choice. For example, Nancy Pelosi once wanted the late John Murtha (D-PA) to be House Majority leader. He lost to favored candidate (who Pelosi had previously defeated for her positions) Steny Hoyer (D-MD). It wasn’t seen as a rejection of her as several of her closest allies and most loyal supporters nominated Hoyer, gave floor speeches for him, and helped him round up the votes he needed. They weren’t rejecting the Speaker, they were simply going their own way on a different decision.

    I have a feeling that Miliband’s choice being rejected for Labour leadership would be viewed differently. And not just because the British press mostly consist of a bunch of politician-hating vultures who work hard at making American journalists look good. But because your political leaders tend to get more deference on their decisions for leadership choices. Plus it seems like those Labourites who opposed Ed’s leadership bid seem to be backing Mackintosh for leader of Scottish Labour over Ed’s handpicked person. But maybe not (I haven’t really been following this very closely).

  20. @ Amber

    “Would Labour have signed the treaty, in the form which is now in? I think not… but Labour would have negotiated a formal opt out,”

    Isn’t that precisely what DC tried to achieve?

    Of course you can only negotiate if the other side is willing to compromise. Do you really think that France and Germany were willing to compromise and allow us opt outs Nein! Non! So Lab would have got nothing either! But for appearances sake may have been permitted to sidle up and initial something which then would permitted the ‘EU stamp’ on the EZ restrictions.

    Such an agreement would have allowed EU institutions to over-ride any UK protestations in all future implementation and policy discussions. Now the EZ+ inter-governmental agreement bloc will have to take full note of the UK’s views when it comes to the implementation of EU policy. It is at those various EU committees/councils/groups that the real EU power lies and the overall policies are translated into rules and acted upon. The UK may not be at the table for the EZ+ internal discussions, but we will be there at the various all-important EU committees.

    It was NEVER an option considered by Germany and France that the UK should have ANY say in the EZ policies and rules. As was made very perfectly clear at previous EZ discussions, the UK could state its opinion and then leave! The doors then closing and the ‘EZ decisions’ taken, without the UK being in the room, on what was actually going to happen to the EZ. I would have liked to have said ‘EZ discussions and decisions’ but it has been blindingly obvious that Germany ( and to lesser degree France) would decide the scope of discussions and dictate any decisions fore the EZ.

    There is another aspect that has not been aired properly so far. Because this is NOT an ‘EU treaty within the EU treaty’, should some none-EZ members in the future want to walk away from some or all of the new financial Euro aspects, they will find it a lot easier than if it had been incorporated as part of an ‘EU Treaty within an EU treaty’ itself. Some of the peripheral countries may have cause to thank the UK for its stand in the future.

    That EZ meeting had very little to do with solving the Euro financial problems today! It was all to do with trying to get ever closer political and economic union in the future. It was Sarkozy and Mertle trying to set their ideas for the EU future into EU concrete before they depart their national political scenes. It is interesting that Sarkozy’s main rival in the forthcoming French Presidential elections has already gone on record as saying that he did not agree with all the new agreement points and would re-negotiate if elected.

  21. @OldNat:

    As a fellow Scot I understand your obsession with Scottish history, as let’ be fair, we’ve had a raw deal over the last couple of hundred years (Clearances, upperclass land privileges, Faslane, the oil, and lets not forget the charming idea to test our nukes in Scotland), however, unlike you I don’t seem to be tied to it. For the first time in the history of the Union we’re slowly moving towards what the United Kingdom should really be about; a Union of 4 countries (though historically as you said Wales is technically a province, but I like the Welsh, so lets drop that notion), working towards the betterment of all four.

    What has to happen is for UK policy to be less London-centric and more pro-UK, and for some recognition that there is a somewhat justified sense of national grievance, and steps should be made to appease that grievance. At the same time rabid nationalists have to calm down little, and be prepared to accept that the past isn’t everything, and times are a-changing.

    Scotland has massive potential, and we are culturally different to much of the UK, however, far closer than we are to the majority in the EU. If Scotland gains independence we’ll either rely on the Sterling, which means we won’t really have full fiscal autonomy, or the Euro, which means we’ll be made to sign up to programmes like law-enshrined fiscal austerity. We will also see crisis’ like the RBS banks have the potential to shrink us.

    Please, PLEASE, as someone who just wants the very best for is country, don’t let your knowledge of history blind you in your choices for the future. Be willing to accept that people can change, and move on from the past.

    Again, similar to Ireland; we did some pretty bad things there, we have to accept that, apologise, and try to clear the air properly, instead of slowly tiptoeing towards it, which will enshrine national grievance rather than placate it. I for one (and I can’t remember who was against this, sorry!) am glad that we bailed Ireland out, first off because it saved our own banks, and second off, because it was the right thing to do.

    We have to accept the past and move on.

    (incidentally I support the teaching of Scottish history, but I want more than a Braveheart-style Scotland is great history, if we’re going to teach, then do it right, and include the bad things too, because Scotland’s history isn’t perfect either).

  22. Talk of Labour working with the LibDems to break up the coalition is nonsense (except perhaps as a LibDem bargaining tool against Cameron).

    Labour want a majority government as much as the Tories do and could end the current government with two words – proportional representation.

    If Labour seriously offered PR, the LibDems would have to break the coalition and accept that (with some sort of electoral pact) or face a worse electoral defeat in 2015 than currently predicted by the polls.
    But Labour aren’t – because they want to keep the coalition going until 2015 in the hope of gaining a majority.

    And the LibDems can’t really break up the coalition now without serious hurt – so all the ‘coalition divide’ talk is just panto – the Tories have positioned themselves in to a position of dominance in the coalition and it’ll stay that way. (This isn’t a criticism – it shows domestic political skill for Cameron to be able to turn a coalition in to a defacto majority).

  23. If only Sarcozy had said “Oui” things would have been so different.

  24. @Martyn – “Cameron was right to do what he did.”

    Cameron would have more credibility if he admitted that he prepared to fail, and succeeded in that objective.

    There were other ways to have reached a noncommittal, inconclusive outcome for the summit (regarding the UK’s position). As it is we have been sent to Coventry.

    My hope is that committee scrutiny will make it a priority to address this breakdown, identify what went wrong and make suggestions to rectify the situation asap.

    The current view that UK will magnanimously allow the “26” use of EU institutions in return for concessions may prove to be as deluded as the original negotiating platform.

  25. “Top economists reveal their graphs of 2011”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-16090055

    Some very interesting graphs- OK in the way that the word ‘interesting’ is used in that old Chinese proverb !

  26. I wonder if Cameron has inadvertedly taken a stand against austerity and opted for pro-growth (i.e. borrowing) for Europe?

    I’m beginning to dislike the current blueprint for fiscal union which seems to embed austerity forever into EU Law. A charter for the rich…unless they also embed strict laws about tax rates and make them progressive (i.e direct not indeirect as currently).

    Fiscal Union with socialist/Keynesian thinking…yeah! Fiscal Union that nails down the rights of banks to stomp on the head of the poor…non, merci.

    So good one, Cameron.

  27. The LDs in this gov are now irrelevant and will be ignored by DC and his colleagues.

    The LDs cannot risk a GE in which they would be annihilated.

    All NC can do is ‘beg’ for scraps from DC to offer to his party to placate them and thereby avoid a leadership challenge.

    Well, this coalition has wrought a huge political change in the UK. Namely the demise of the LDs and polarisation between right and left. And we shouldn’t overlook the elimination of PR from the landscape.

    I have to say DC is proving a canny operator.

  28. Amber…

    It depends how you define centerist – center of the British opinion is much closer to the Tories – hence the poll boost – centerist in a european sense yes maybe, but the tories have the more in touch and popular approach

  29. TingedFringe – You have to remember that Lab-Lib dont have a majority, so cant offer that without NI help

  30. @Mike N:

    I think you are broadly right…..

    Though I also think that the LibDems have been out negotiated from the outset…and as over the Referendum on AV they could have asked for a higher price and would certainly have got it…

    Cameron is gifted in political tactical skills but he has a tendency….the rather like Wilson….who had similar problems with an unruly left wing….to equate short term tactical gains for a strategy….GO is the strategist….and without saying I’m a historian and therefore right…I’ll venture this….

    The most important event of this year was the discovery that GO’s strategy is so far off course…it cannot get back on course before the next election has come and gone….

    That for example not only makes the Conservative electoral prospects more difficult but potentially that of the LibDems even worse…

    In fact it may be difficult for the LibDems not to be in a formal alliance with the Conservatives at the election….and that being the case we may well see a replay of Asquith and Lloyd George……

    And none of the above means neither part cannot win the next election any more than these events yet count out EM from holding victory’s palm.

  31. John Murphy

    I agree with your comments/assessment.

    I do wonder however whether it will be possible for the LDs to enter an electoral pact with the Cons knowing that there is a gulf between the parties on EU policy. Of course, so many things could happen before GE 2015.

    I agree that the failure of GO’s economic strategy is the big event of 2011 that will feed into everything from here on. (Perhaps the big event of 2012 will be the demise of the Euro and a further huge crash in global activity.)

  32. Chou:

    On the last thread you left as comment…I’ve put my reply there since it seems unhelpful to carry debates over the threads and I know AW disapproves when we all stray to far from polls…..

  33. I rather think the Euo will not collapse….

    But the markets have taken a one way bet and have big money riding on that outcome….rather like the ERM crisis in 1992 which i seem to recall dragged Italy briefly from the mechanism as well as the UK….

    the EU will fight them off with scraps hoping the market dog can be kept at bay….messy but possibly effective…

    And the politics of France and Germany presently make the real solution difficult for each country to reach and it is as difficult for the US to do anything much since it too is in its election year…

    We will muddle through with little growth…though Obama’s policies may be turning at last to some advantage to him…and….well I rather think it will be a year of storms until next November than the G20 will get its act together…

    But that may make 2013 as difficult economically and politically as 2011-12….and that really will affect our politics…

  34. ‘All NC can do is ‘beg’ for scraps from DC to offer to his party to placate them and thereby avoid a leadership challenge.’

    Terrific emotive language, reflecting a confrontational way of looking at politics which I don’t share i.e. all are opponents are cunning manipulators, weak or stupid (depending on Party).

    There are a range of policies, often detailed on the LD web site, which are important, agreed and being implemented. The political landscape would have been quite different without LD influence and DC has quite a tough job explaining his approach to his right wing on benefit increases, basic tax allowances, protection of lower paid public sector pensions, etc. to protect the more vulnerable and failure to lower tax promised for inheritance, stamp duty, actually raising tax on capital gains, and refusing to introduce married person’s allowance that may advantage less deprived families.

    Most of these would be opposed by the majority of Tory voters and certainly not a priority for implementation. Please correct me if I am wrong Chouenlai or Colin and I will retract.

    I fully accept that the stance of the LDs on DC’s EU episode did not work well, possibly less popular than Labour’s position. Originally, NC backed DC, and then under pressure from the Party Chair and some Lords he changed his position totally; now it appears we have softened are position and various broadcasts, with the likes of Evan Harris and David Laws, as well as gentle examinatoin of DC’s approach in the Commons.

    For the first time since the GE ( and the second time in the last 5 years) I am critical of the LD approach, both because we were not consistent and secondly because the Party did not listen to ordinary LD members and voters until it was too late.

    This I believe will delay the LD recovery, but not prevent it, and the Coalition will continue its policies on austerity, while accepting LD proposals on a range of social and financial issues to help the more vulnerable in society.

  35. On the plus side reports this morning Sweden may join the UK to make it 2-25, and there has been the expected dip in inflation to 4.8%.

    Meanwhile Jose Manuel Barroso is asking why Cameron rejected the compromises on offer and instead persisted in demands for an effective veto on all single market legislation: “obviously, out of the question.”

    Recriminations pouring in over the negotiating stance, not least from among Whitehall officials.

  36. @TINTEDFRINGE

    Labour will never offer PR if they have any sense. Labour gain the most from FPTP (higher ratio of seats to VI than the Conservatives). If they offer it, I’d expect them to campaign against it.

  37. Billybob

    ‘On the plus side reports this morning Sweden may join the UK to make it 2-25, and there has been the expected dip in inflation to 4.8%.’

    Thank you for the (double) good news. Do you think that Eire may also be sympathetic at least, because we have helped them out a little, actually work very closely (and well I believe) together and Eire may be concerned that at some point their control over Corporation Tax may be in doubt?

    3-24 looks so much better than 2-25.

  38. I know I’ve sought to be humourous about the big-bladder technique (allegedly) employed by DC at the summit, but if he did employe it I have to question whether the PM was in the right frame of mind for negotiating the UK’s position and demands.

    Whenever I’ve been desperate for a pee I tend to stop listening and instead focus almost exclusively on my own predicament and needs.

    Of course, perhaps this is what DC intended. But how would we react to a leader of another country adopting such techniques and tactics I wonder?

  39. @Billy Bob

    Meanwhile Jose Manuel Barroso is asking why Cameron rejected the compromises on offer and instead persisted in demands for an effective veto on all single market legislation: “obviously, out of the question.”

    I have listened to the Barroso speech and whilst I am clear that he mentions a compromise proposal being rejected, it is very unclear if the compromise was turned down by DC or by the French/German alliance. Can anyone clarify who turned down Barroso’s compromise – with facts please, not partisan opinions?

  40. @Mike N

    “Of course, perhaps this is what DC intended. But how would we react to a leader of another country adopting such techniques and tactics I wonder?”

    Not a very fair comment maybe. Propose that DC may have intended something and then try to denigrate him as though your pure unsubstantiated supposition as was actually true. Sounds a bit ‘partisan’!

  41. ROB SHEFFIELD

    @”“Top economists reveal their graphs of 2011?

    Great link -thanks.

    Those comparative Labour costs never fail to stagger me.

    How did it happen?

    Will it ever be narrowed?

  42. FrankG

    The G site carries a report DC employed this tried and tested technique that he used before.

    And just to be clear, I’d be concerned if a Lab PM engaged such technique at such an important event.

    If it is true that DC used this technique at the summit I suggest we all should be concerned.

  43. @OldNat

    I *know* Scotland had different relationships, particularly with respect to France and Scandinavia. But I don’t think anybody in pre-1707 Scotland thought that a single European state bigger than the Western Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Polish Commonwealth, the Hanseatic League, most of the Kalmar Union and the Balkans combined would be a good idea. Or even comprehensible.

    @Amber

    Thank you

    @Billy Bob

    Gottit, thanks

    @Henry

    Ireland? Dunno. The new treaty per se may not trigger a referendum in Ireland. But the new treaty requires each country to change their constitution to incorporate a balanced-budget clause (very approximately) and in Ireland that does trigger an automatic referendum, and I don’t know if that’ll pass. (This is true of other countries, incidentally – Denmark, for example). So the new treaty can be *signed* quickly, but it’ll take *years* to ratify.

    Regards, Martyn

  44. FRANKG

    The only “compromise” I have read about is the Van Rompuy suggestion of use of something called Protocol12.

    It was a route to a quick fix, without the timetable of a full Treaty / Treaty change.

    I read it was somewhat dubious legally-& DC said no to it anyway .

    If your eyes are still unglazed before you get halfway through this, you are a better man than I :-) :-

    ht tp://www.europolitics.info/institutions/question-marks-over-van-rompuy-s-protocol-12-proposal-art320539-37.html

  45. Welsh Borderer

    “….do we really believe the myth that they [the Germans] work harder than the rest of us ?”

    They don’t work harder, they work smarter.

    It’s not smart to work hard, but some find it hard to work smart.

  46. @FrankG

    Have posted this link before, but you may havre missed it:

    h
    ttp://www.economist.com/blogs/bagehot/2011/12/britain-and-eu-1?page=1

    Here is Ian Gow’s take fwiw:

    Barroso has blown apart Dave’s main justification that he was “defending the single market” by saying his six-point demand threatened it – and he, Barroso, tabled a compromise talking about protecting the single market and, specifically, financial services. The pent-up venom towards the UK is also now spewing out in the European Parliament – including from anglophiles.

    What people don’t seem to get is that Merkel also went out of her way to help Dave as she doesn’t want Germany irrevocably tied to France and is closer on economic policy etc to the UK. But the demands he tabled at 3am on Friday last week, senior sources say, were for an effective veto on all single market legislation: “obviously, out of the question.” What if Merkel had demanded special protection for the German car industry – VW (soon to be the world’s biggest car-maker), Mercedes and BMW? Or Sarko for the French energy sector – EDF/GDF Suez/Areva? Cameron would have gone crazy…

    @Mike N

    Thanks for the background on the Powellite (Enoch, that is) bladder technique, it goes a long way to explain the centre page picture of the PM in last Sunday’s Observer. And yes, the medical opinion is that it impairs cognitive ability.

  47. Scotswaehae

    “I want more than a Braveheart-style Scotland is great history, if we’re going to teach, then do it right, and include the bad things too, because Scotland’s history isn’t perfect either).”

    That was the point I was making upthread. The romantic crap about the Jacobites, Glencoe, Queen Mary etc, which was the staple of so-called Scottish “history” did us no favours.

    Over the last 40 years or so, there has been the development of a real analytic history in Scotland, that no longer pretends that the Slave Trade was just the work of those bounders in Bristol and Liverpool. The Tobacco Lords were in it up to their necks. In fact, I can see a folly built on an estate bought and developed from the profits of slavery, from my study window.

  48. Scotswaehae

    “Please, PLEASE, as someone who just wants the very best for is country, don’t let your knowledge of history blind you in your choices for the future. Be willing to accept that people can change, and move on from the past.”

    With regard to current constitutional issues, that change CAN happen is not in doubt. The question is whether there is a reasonable prospect that it WILL happen. Near the end of my life, I am focused on the prospect of change in time for my grandchildren to benefit. My judgement is that it is now clear that indepedence, though not the ideal option for the goernance of these islands, is now to be preferred.

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