The brief media fuss over Michael Fabricant’s paper on some sort of Con-UKIP pact has included various references to old canard that UKIP cost the Conservatives 21 or more seats at the last election.

“At the General Election in 2010, UKIP cost the Conservatives, on a realistic estimate, around 20–40 seats, just by standing and taking a mere 3-4 % of the vote.”

This is nonsense of the highest order, but however often the argument is knocked down it refuses to lie down and die. At the last election there were 21 seats where the number of votes that UKIP got was larger than the number of extra votes the Conservatives needed to win. Where the argument that UKIP cost the Conservatives up to 40 seats comes from is beyond me, if every single UKIP voter has instead voted Conservative they would have got 21 more seats, no more.

However that is something of a big ask… every single UKIP voter voting Conservative? UKIP support has historically come disproportionately from the Conservatives, but not exclusively so, they take some votes from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and people who would otherwise not vote. Neither would those people miraculously go back to the Conservatives in the absence of UKIP – they were, presumably, unhappy enough with the Conservatives to want to vote against them, many would have found an alternate route to express their unhappiness, or just stayed at home.

Back in 2010 YouGov did a survey of 706 people who voted UKIP in the 2010 general election. It included questions asking which parties they would consider voting for in the future, and which parties they had voted for in the past.

Looking forward only 27% said they would consider voting Conservative in the future (compared to 9% who said they would consider voting Labour and 8% who’d consider voting Lib Dem). Looking back 20% of them had voted Tory in 2005, 12% were people who had backed Labour in 2005.

If we use that data, we can make an estimate of how many seats UKIP might have actually cost the Conservatives. Say UKIP had vanished, the 27% of 2010 UKIP voters who said they’d consider voting Tory had done so and the 8% and 9% who said they’d consider voting Lib Dem and Labour had done that…the Conservatives then would have won an extra five seats. If instead we look at how people voted in 2005, and assume people went back to their old voting habits in the absence of UKIP, then the Conservatives would have won one or two extra seats.

The idea that UKIP stopped the Conservatives winning 21 seats is lazy nonsense based on unsustainable assumptions (delightfully called “the politics of not understanding data” by Justin Fisher yesterday), a myth that deserves putting to bed for once and for all. A better estimate is around five seats.


160 Responses to “A myth that will not die”

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  1. Martyn

    Don’t confuse good for the country with popular, lots of people vote for what is bad for the country (look at the Tory/Labour* vote!).

    I think a negotiated exit from the EU might be a solution that works for everyone, if the markets remain open and we are present and have influence (and a veto against the Eurozone bloc) for talks related to a single market. The rest of the EU can do their political union thing without us casting a veto every time.

    I think my last comment was fairly obviously a tongue in cheek look at one of the few ways a country could benefit from being out of the free market (when it results in people artificially pushing profits away from where they are made to where is the most efficient). It wasn’t intended as an attack on the Swiss coffee growers

    Bail

    It’d depend on where the votes came from to make up that 10%. You can go onto any swingometer and subtract 10 from the tories and look at all the results up to subtracting 10 from labour and see what the results are. It smacks of a bit of playing fantasy politics, like working out what share of the vote the LDs would need to get an OM.

    Phil

    I think more important is not where the UKIP vote came from (although part of the story) but how much will go back and where is it more likely to go back to?

    As you say, a lot of the UKIP vote comes from the Tories, it’s a fairly big assumption that the ratios will return in the same proportions in the event of a closely run election campaign (If it’s not close the question is moot)

    Frankly, I think it’d be a stupid campaign to focus on Europe. The big issue is the economy, (if the election is close, the economy will have recovered, if not then no amount of campaigning will matter). In that scenario whoever wins the argument of the economy (things would be even better under labour/don’t trust them to wreck the economy again) will likely win the election.

    *delete according to party affiliation

  2. @Alan
    “….how much will go back and where it is most likely to go back to”

    Yes, that is the question. The problem is, we can only speculate as to an answer to the first part. What we can conclude though, is that if UKIP’s current polling remains unchanged, they’ll have done enormous damage to the Conservatives’ electoral prospects. In that sense, where UKIP’s current support has come from does matter.

    Here goes with the speculation. Will UKIP’s support fade? Possibly, but you can’t predict that with any certainty. You can make a good case that a lot of protest votes will return to Conservative type in the run up to 2015. But equally they might still grow a bit yet before any falling back, with the timing of the 2014 Euro elections being very opportune for them.

  3. Statgeek,

    I am viewing it on an iPad most of the time and it is about 2′ wide with small text!!!

    Pete B,

    if 70% of the vote is still getting them 90% of the seats and the third party with 20% is only getting just over 10%, then I doubt they are that worried.

    to all intents and purposes only two parties can win and as the last few years have shown the best that a minor party can hope for is the occasional semi suicidal coalition.

    Peter.

  4. Hard to be completely precise about this, but it seems to me that UKIP being a relatively new party, it has naturally attracted new voters, and some ex-voters who previously gave up voting and then started going for UKIP. This does explain some of their support at the last election. The rest of it presumably comes from everyone else – and as we are talking a total of 3.1% of the vote, fractions of that aren’t very big, and any “UKIP effect” would be easily swamped by other effects.

    This “UKIP effect” may well be larger and more noticable in the next election – I reckon they may well pinch 1-2% from the Conservatives and get about 5-6% of the vote. If it’s a tight election – and that seems to me a reasonable bet at this point – then that is significant. If it’s a landslide for anyone then it’s irrelevant.

  5. Alan
    “…Frankly, I think it’d be a stupid campaign to focus on Europe. The big issue is the economy,…”

    Yes, but Europe is a major (perhaps THE major) influence on the economy. Not just the £40m/day subsidy we pay, but also all the constraints they impose on trade with the rest of the world.

  6. RICHARD IN NORWAY
    Bit of a mixed bag you’ve got there, and I agree on the CEOs, whose behaviour and benfits should be both morally and statutorily governed. As to MPs though, no I don’t think they have signed up to their own or their family’s restriction of rights to public sector services where there is an alternative that meets their needs within the law and morality. On expenses also, I am wary of penalties which apply criminality in areas where morality and domestic, in this case Party and House, rules already govern, and where the same infringements in private life would not be taken to law or the police. Too many basically good people get damaged and lost to service for errors of judgetment in otherwise impeccable lives, which would be reprimanded and repaired by a caring social or commercial system in the real world

  7. PETERCAIRNS

    I think you identified the critical thing as being FPTP.

    Playing “historical what-ifs”, if the election in 1999 had been purely the constituency seats, then Labour would have had 73% of the seats with 39% of the vote. LDs would have been the principal opposition party – 16% of seats with 14% of the vote, with the SNP in 3rd place – 10% of seats with 29% of the vote (and no Tories).

    Under these circumstances, one could easily envisage, the LDs gathering up the Con vote in 2003 and providing a very different two-party duopoly in Scotland.

  8. UKIP may be a relatively new party , but the disenchantment of voters with the choices on offer is not , pace declining turnouts and reduced Lab/ Con share .

    Add to the mix the UK version of democracy where many voters are effectively disenfranchised by not living in a marginal seat and thus their vote is less important than others’.

    The next election may be tight , but a significant number of independent minded voters will not be influenced by this .

    UKIP is pushing the Conservatives in many English Council by elections – gaining or making safe seats marginal . It is a massive assumption that they will return at an election in sufficient numbers

  9. @Socal

    Thanks — I didn’t realise how long ago all that is now!
    — The Clinton years seem like yesterday!
    :-)

  10. Good Morning All. Cold here.

    12% Labour lead, with UKIP in double figures, ahead of the Lib Dems.

  11. YouGov

    Con 31 Lab 43 LD 9 UKIP 11

    :-)

  12. Good Morning CL45

    Cold everywhere !!

    :-)

  13. Morning all!

    Changing tack, another myth dies.

    We now have figures from HM revenue & Customs showing that following the hike to 50% in the top tax rate under the last government revenue from those earning over £1m dropped by £7 billion. So much fo 50% tax rates.

  14. The next election is looking less tight every day.

    Latest YouGov / The Sun results 27th November – CON 31%, LAB 43%, LD 9%, UKIP 11%; APP -36

    Although to be fair, it is really no change at all. But as that Con VI flirts with 30 (and below?) you might see some more “major immigration speeches”, some “tough talking” on crime and Europe, and a flurry of welfare scrounger outrage.

    Played all their cards too early?

  15. the other howard

    No other possible factors then, like collapsing from healthy growth to flatline/recession?

  16. NICK P and ANDYO.

    I think that many UKIP and LD votes will go to the Cons, so these two parties’ strengths are exaggerated in the YG figures

  17. &NickP

    Sorry you have just got to face facts, taxing the rich more will just hinder economic activity not help it. It’s been shown time and time again, just watch what happens in France over the next year or so if you want more proof.

  18. The Other Howard

    From growth to recession or even some “inventive accounting”?

  19. @TOH
    “taxing the rich more will just hinder economic activity not help it.”

    Better not to tax them at all then….Perhaps there should be two bands exempt from tax, those at the bottom and those at the top. Mind you, many of those at the top are already exempt from tax in their own way….

  20. @CL45

    I take your point — but we did this to death a few threads ago !!

    :-)

  21. ANDYO.
    Really?

    But Labour should be afraid of Lynton Crosby. Documentary on him soon on Radio 4.

  22. Re this morning’s UKIP 11%. There’s no tracking data, but 19% of 2010 Conservatives who are decided (about 15% including DK/DV) would now vote for UKIP.That compares with just 2% of 2010 Lab and 7% of 2010 LD.

    Fabricant’s comments seeking a UKIP/Con pact were widely reported. Might they have had some polling impact? I wonder if they acted (a) to make some more wavering Conservatives consider switching allegiance and (b) to put off wavering anti-EU Labour supporters by confirming that UKIP are just the Conservatives on steroids.

  23. NickP, TOH
    I don’t think either of you are going to convince the other on taxing the wealthy.
    It is interesting to note that views on taxing the wealthy (whether it’s good or bad for the economy – rather than ‘it’s complicated’) coincide quite nicely with general ideological viewpoint.
    Almost like there could be a connection there. ;)

    The UKIP figure is interesting – it’s going to be reported too much, when it could just be MOE, but it’ll be interesting to see if that feeds in to the media narrative more generally.
    We’ll have to see if UKIP can reach a polling tipping-point – if they can, all forecasts could be off.

  24. Socal – re Perot myth good date.
    What about the Nader (spelling?) effect in 2004, did it cost Gore in Florida or anywhere else for that matter?

    Re UKIP in 2015.

    I am with those who think much of their VI will fall by the time of the GE probably above 2010 to for example 4%; and that the cons will benefit disproportionatley. So when I see 8% UKIP I add 3% to Con VI reckoning they will get most back. As the Lab Party will be more pro-Eu (less anti) at the GE ex Lab UKippers may well be more likely to stick with them.

    I think Alec has it right, though, that the major impact of the growth in prominence of UKIP is the effect on Cons policy, potentially making the necessary traingulation to get centrist votes more difficult and/or risky.

  25. “Although to be fair, it is really no change at all. But as that Con VI flirts with 30 (and below?) you might see some more “major immigration speeches”, some “tough talking” on crime and Europe, and a flurry of welfare scrounger outrage.”

    Don’t worry, Lynton Crosby will already have a plan in place to this effect. The inventor of “dog whistle” electioneering won’t miss any of these tricks, I assure you!

  26. @TOH
    …..thanks to bringing forward of income between tax years by accountants, no doubt. Had there been a second year of the 50p rate, that opportunity wouldn’t have existed. But Osborne abolished the 50p rate, just when it stood a chance of becoming effective in its second year.

  27. @the other howard

    Those figures dont back up your argument at all. Its a tax evasion accounting trick.

    Yes the 50% top rate is shown as reducing the tax take. Thats because the top earners shifted large chunks of their income to be included in the previous year – at the lower rate. This year they will show their income as coming in the next tax year so as to avoid the top rate again.

    If you keep the 50% tax rate year on year they wouldn’t be able to do that.

  28. Reggieside

    Spot on.

    And of course, the effect will be that in tax year 2013/14 as a consequence of income being deferred to that year the taxable income will be higher …leading to an increase in tax revenues despite the top rate being reduced to 45p.

    I expect there will be some people convinced by claims that reducing tax rates increases tax revenues!

  29. @ Virgilio

    “All true!!! Sarkozy was the king of the ridiculous, but unfortunately he represents a strong current in French thinking. For the record, the RUMP group has now 68 MPs, and it is the 3d group in the French National Assembly (Parliament), after the Socialists (296) and the UMP (124), and ahead of the Centrist UDI (31), the Greens (17), the Left Liberals (16) and the Left Front (15), whereas there are 7 non-affiliated MPs (2 of Bayrou’s MD, 2 National Front, 1 various far right and 2 various right), plus 3 vacant seats.”

    Well I don’t think that actually happenned. That was more of a SoCalLiberal comes up with an SNL opening sketch idea (one which involves a very frustrated and genuinely annoyed David Cameron, who spends most of the conversation rolling his eyes and sighing).

    I have heard that Hollande has become very unpopular already. But he may have an easier time come 2017 if he faces a split opposition. Question. Is this Fillon splinter group truly ideologically driven or this just a personality split and contested party election gone awry?

    @ Martyn

    “No he wasn’t the king. But he was on the short list.

    Boom, boom.

    Pause.

    Tumbleweed.”

    Lol. That reminds me of the great Homer Simpson line. “Well Jimmy Carter is smarter but Scooby Doo can doo doo.”

  30. @OldNat
    Some recent historical “what ifs” in a UK context (assuming you’re interested, which is a big “if” admittedly)

    1. Brown called an election in October 2007 and lost. Cameron came in, took the full flack for the subsequent financial crisis, Labour economic reputation by and large intact, Labour landslide in 2012.

    2. LDs stayed out of coalition in 2010, forced a Conservative minority government to go to the polls again within a year on the back of unpopular proposed austerity measures. LDs overtook Labour in the popular vote.

  31. PHIL.
    Another ‘What If’

    Hague says GB should have called the GE in September or even July.

    He would have increased the Lab majority, the polls suggested.

    DC feared he would lose his career; away in Africa he was.

    Apparently Gordon ‘regrets’ his change of mind! His key advisor resigned. (Mc Fadden, I think his name was).

    Never mind!

  32. ““taxing the rich more will just hinder economic activity not help it.”

    You know, I don’t know if that’s true. However, I think overtaxing the rich is simply unfair to the rich. So I don’t support Hollande level rates of taxation or even the British 50p rate.

    @ Jim Jam

    “What about the Nader (spelling?) effect in 2004, did it cost Gore in Florida or anywhere else for that matter?”

    Nader may have cost Gore the election by his performance in New Hampshire. With New Hampshire’s 4 electoral votes, Gore would have won the White House without Florida. However, New Hampshire is a fairly independent state so while the number of Nader voters was far greater than Bush’s margin in that state, there’s no guarantee that those voters would have voted for Gore had Nader not been on the ballot. Some of those voters might simply not have voted at all.

  33. @SOCALLLIBERAL
    The incident you describe may have never happened, but the attitude of the personage is all there!! On a more political level, it is true that Hollande is not so popular now, not so much for the things he has done, but what he has not done yet… but it is too early to pass judgment on him… looking things from Greece (and Italy, which I occasionally visit) I would counsel my French leftie friends to be more patient…. the action of President Hollande will be judged after some time has elapsed… As for the rift in the UMP, of course it is a personal feud, the French right never had a stable party as the Conservatives in UK, the Republicans in US or CDU in Germany, labels and names change according to the leaders’ ambitions, but now there is also an ideological, or at least strategic background: the Cope camp defends a more “decomplexed right” that defends identity and security values, to the borders of Islamophobia, whereas the Fillonists are the more classical center-right, more liberal and tolerant and less inclined to create social fractures….

  34. @ Andyo

    “Thanks — I didn’t realise how long ago all that is now!
    – The Clinton years seem like yesterday!”

    You’re welcome. And they do don’t they? That was my childhood right there. I remember those happy, realtively carefree days. It does seem like yesterday.

    Then one day you wake up and you’re a teenager and life is all about what college you’re not going to get into and how the SAT is your entire life and you barely have time to sleep because you’re being overworked with prep school homework and afterschool sports practices and other ridiculous extracurriculars. Suddenly an evil and yet highly incompetent man is your President and to top it off he didn’t even win. Life suddenly becomes difficult and sad and in some ways hopeless. But then you listen to the Logical Song by Supertramp and take a deep breath and you feel better about things.

    On election day 1992, I spent the day at Disneyland. I still remember coming home and seeing the election results and learning that I had a new President and two new Senators. I can’t think of a better way to spend an election day (if you’re not going to be involved).

  35. Thanks Socal – you’re up late.

  36. @ Crossbat11

    Meant to ask you. Is this the kind of legislation that you belive will fuel the anti-gay backlash from tolerant people who are also fearful of the never-ending militant homosexual agenda? Or would this law be part of that feared radical never ending agenda that would be brought on by marriage equality?

    A law that requires the following to be implemented in all public schools within a 3 month period:

    “-Promote positive images of LGBT individuals.
    -Make available age-appropriate LGBT inclusive curriculum for elementary and secondary schools.
    -Require that newly adopted social studies materials include positive representations of LGBTV and persons with disabilities.
    -Include LGTBT sensitivity in outreach, education, and training for students, parents, and stadd.
    -Remind staff of their dutry to ensure that all students are safe and affirmed on campus, and to proactively intervene wit acts of bias, harassment, or bullying that they see, including, but not limited to LGBT-biased language and bullying.
    -Implement for all staff a training specifying legal responsibilities, effective practices, and concerns unique to LGBT individuals, similar to the district’s child abuse module.”

  37. One of the most telling pieces of recent polling was that two thirds of those polled thought the 50% tax on high earners should be retained EVEN IF IT DIDN’T RAISE ANY MORE MONEY.

    You might call it the politics of envy but this is a democracy and the people want the rich to pay more. They also want the loopholes that allow them to dodge paying tax to be closed.

  38. @ Jim Jam

    “Thanks Socal – you’re up late.”

    You’re welcome and I am. I’m going to hop into bed soon.

    @ Virgilio


    The incident you describe may have never happened, but the attitude of the personage is all there!! On a more political level, it is true that Hollande is not so popular now, not so much for the things he has done, but what he has not done yet… but it is too early to pass judgment on him… looking things from Greece (and Italy, which I occasionally visit) I would counsel my French leftie friends to be more patient…. the action of President Hollande will be judged after some time has elapsed… As for the rift in the UMP, of course it is a personal feud, the French right never had a stable party as the Conservatives in UK, the Republicans in US or CDU in Germany, labels and names change according to the leaders’ ambitions, but now there is also an ideological, or at least strategic background: the Cope camp defends a more “decomplexed right” that defends identity and security values, to the borders of Islamophobia, whereas the Fillonists are the more classical center-right, more liberal and tolerant and less inclined to create social fractures….”

    It seems rather bizarre to me, if not completely over the top and an act of extreme self aggrandizement to split up your own party based on a personal feud over leadership. After a battle for party leadership is waged, it’s time to let things go and move on. If there are key differences in the party and significant divides that lead to a split, that’s different because it’s at least principled.

    I don’t agree with the European right wing (or mainstream right wing) position on social issues. You don’t have to be someone who is actively supporting the Uganda “Kill the Gays” legislation to be a heterosexist/homophobe. You don’t have to run around promoting transvaginal probes, banning birth control, attacking Equal Pay Laws, claiming that legitimate rape doesn’t lead to a pregnancy and/or claiming that rape is god’s gift, and attempting to redefine rape laws to be a sexist. You don’t have to run around in white sheets, waiving a confederate flag, and routinely burning crosses to be a racist. And sometimes sitting by idly and letting others make those attacks and not standing up to them is just as bad. You endorse the discrimination by allowing it to happen and acting as if it’s okay.

    I feel that is the true nature of European Conservatism. I don’t want to invoke Godwin’s Law here but so tempted………anyway, it’s time for bed. Point is, Mitt Romney wanted to act like a European conservative. He hated the poor, hated those dependent on government, looked down upon those without money, thought his wealth made him superior to everyone else, believed that the poor should be starved in order to pay for the rich, felt unions should be crushed, and believed that the rich should be an exclusive elite club that can’t take new members. Social issues he never cared that much about. That’s not enough.

  39. @Socal

    :-)

  40. @Socal
    :-)

  41. R Huckle,

    ‘The LD’s will do better at the election in the seats currently held, than the polls currently predict. But in seats where they are not defending, the LD vote may well get spread as the polls currently predict.’

    I’ve been asking my tactical lib dem friends what they would vote (in one of Ashcroft’s target seats) if the national polls showed a certain Labour majority. More than one has said that they would switch to Labour because keeping the tory out wouldn’t be so important.

    Is there any more convincing evidence of how such tactical voters may behave in such circumstances?

  42. I agree with TOH that increasing the top rate tax to 50p was a mistake and probably reduced the tax take, but not by as much as is stated. Others have given reasons why the £7bn is misleading. I also suspect that many top earners have moved offshore for various reasons, not the 50p tax rate. I think many investment bankers have moved, as the City of London has lost business since the crash and various scandals being uncovered.

    The other question is how many of the 50p tax payers were only based temporarily in the UK ? Many of these people may be foreign nationals, who have returned home, due to the current economic climate in Europe.

  43. Is it just me -or do the last two posts from Socal read as particularly aggressive & unpleasant rants , dripping with hatred for “others”?

  44. @MIKEMS

    I don’t know how LD voters will behave. I have always suspected that a good portion of LD votes were from disgruntled Labour voters. When Labour took the country into the war on terror, I think they lost millions of votes from the left of politics and from ethnic minorities. Many of these will switch back to Labour.

    The Tories should be worried by what happens to the LD’s, as it will have much more of an effect, than votes lost to UKIP.

  45. MARTYN

    @”Many points made about the EU and the alternatives are either factually true or false, and so fall within my purview.”

    So that those of us who take an interest in EU matters, but do not have a “purview” in respect of it ,may place your advice in some sort of context, could you explain the exact nature of your EU “purview” please.

    Thanks

  46. @’Chrislane1945 – “But Labour should be afraid of Lynton Crosby.”

    Indeed. They were very afraid of him in the 2005 GE.

    @The Other Howard – re the 50% tax rate, while I understand your ideological stance, I would urge caution on jumping to conclusions over these figures. A correlation is not a causation.

    The first issue is that of scheduling of income. As some have already pointed out, when you are very wealthy, you have a great deal of flexibility as to when you declare income, and a good deal of this apparent loss (as with the apparent gain that we will get with the drop to 45%) will come from high earners scheduling income into the lower tax periods. This is obvious, and really shouldn’t be the subject of partisan debate.

    The second big issue is general incomes growth or decline. Previous evidence produced for lower top end taxes has come from the likes of John Redwood, who has produced apparently very persuasive charts of tax rates against tax take, which appear to prove lower taxes on high earners produces more tax.

    However, when you add in other factors like GDP growth rates or increase in earnings, you notice that the increase in tax take precisely matches these other factors. The impact of the change in tax rate becomes almost irrelevant.

    The way this issue is looked at really does need shaking up a bit, with today’s Telegraph headline a classic example of very poor journalism – ‘Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50p tax rate”.

    There is absolutely no evidence given for this, other than a sentence saying ‘it is believed that rich Britons moved abroad….’. It doesn’t even say who believes this.

    It also doesn’t mention that the rise to 50% came in the aftermath of a major stock market and asset slump, and this always has a disproportionate effect on incomes of the very wealthy, as these are the people who have most invested. Look at the ‘looses’ posted in things like the Sunday Times Rich list to identify the impact that the crash had at this time.

    Given this, it’s obvious that the tax take from the highest earners is likely to contract at such times – it always does.

    Conversely, we are almost certain to see a big jump in the tax take when the rate falls to 45%. Osborne gave a very long notice period for this, so again there will be massive rescheduling of income. Asset values have risen, and the richest 1% have done very well in the last couple of years, so this will increase tax take, and Osborne has also reduced the higher rate tax threshold, meaning many more people will be paying this rate.

    You can construct your tax policy on a series of dogmatic and ideological myths if you like. The Americans have done this for many years now. The result will be a declining sum available for public works, increased deficits, and no noticable impact on growth to compensate. This won’t stop the wealthy seeking to capture politics for their own ends however, but it is much to the detriment of society as a whole.

  47. @ COLIN

    No I didn’t find SOCALS last post offensive, just a little (or lot) unbalanced. It is not just European Conservatives who have ignored various matters, but politicians from all sides of politics. For example look at what has happened in Rochdale in recent years and that is not a Conservative area.

    I do get SOCALS point and I think there is some truth in it, that senior politicians have allowed the powerfull to prey on the poor.

  48. colin

    “Is it just me -or do the last two posts from Socal read as particularly aggressive & unpleasant rants , dripping with hatred for “others”?”

    au contraire, mon brave.

    Many of your attacks upon public servants might be classed in the same vein. All in the eye of the beholder.

    Depends who is the hater and who the hatee.

  49. NICKP

    Whatever I think of our civil service, I have never suggested that schools should be forced to “promote images” of a particular nature about them.

    Nor have I ever accused our civil service of “hating the poor,and those dependent on government, looking down upon those without money, believing that the poor should be starved in order to pay for the rich, etc”.

    Had I ever done so , you would have been the first , I feel sure, to draw attention to unpleasant nonsense.

    By the way Nick-Mrs. Carney really begins to look like a Lefty , the more I read about her. And the new Governor of BoE is contemplating a political career in Canada it seems-no prizes for guessing which party.

    I can see why EB is so relaxed about this guy :-)

  50. I wonder if Osborne is preparing the biggest U-Turn of all.

    Huge and direct stimulus.

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