Sunday round up

The full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here. On the leader ratings David Cameron is back down to a rather more typical minus 6 (from minus 1 last week), Ed Miliband is on minus 45 (from minus 48 last week) and Nick Clegg’s rating declines again to minus 47 (after rising to minus 38 last week). The rest of the questions covered the treatment of bankers and education, amongst other things.

Two-thirds of people supported the decision to strip Fred Goodwin of his knighthood, and a similar proportion (63%) would support stripping other senior executives of those banks that needed bailing out of their honours. There was also high support (72%) for Stephen Hester being pressurised into forgoeing his bonus. Relatively few people agreed with the arguments that stripping bankers of honours and stopping their bonuses was damaging the business environment (25% agreed), or was detering foriegn companies from coming to Britain (17%).

On education, there are divided opinions – on whether academies will improve school standards marginally more people think they’ll make things better (27%), than think they will make things worse (24%). 29% think they’ll make more difference. On free schools the balance is in the other direction, with significantly more (33%) thinking they’ll make things worse than make things better (23%), with 23% thinking they’ll make no difference. In a separate question 44% of people said they were opposed to private companies being commissioned to manage free schools.

One other question that’s worth noting. YouGov asked if the current historically low interest rates were good or bad for respondents’ own finances. 23% said good, but 36% said bad (with 31% saying they made no difference). As one might expect there was a heavy age skew here – people between the ages of 25 and 59, that is, people most likely to be taking out mortgages, were most likely to be positive about low interest rates. People over the age of 60, that is, people most likely to be living off savings income, were most likely to be negative about low interest rates. None of this is surprising and we’ve seen results like this before, but it’s good to have a reminder that low interest rates are not a good thing for a large chunk of the electorate.

There was also a Panelbase Scottish survey in the Sunday Times. On the referendum question 37% supported independence, 42% opposed it and 21% were undecided. The Sunday Times’s website doesn’t appear to show voting intention figures, but I have seen them reported elsewhere as having shown CON 14%, LAB 29%, LD ??%, SNP 50% for the Holyrood regional vote and CON 13%, LAB 29%, LD ??, SNP 48% for Holyrood regional vote. I haven’t had them conformed at all.

Finally, alongside the normal swingometer on the site, I have now added a version using the provisional recommendations of the Boundary Commissions for the new boundaries here. Note that the seat projection based on the average polls is still based on the current boundaries, since those are the ones that would be used if there actually was the proverbial “general election tomorrow”.


197 Responses to “Sunday round up”

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  1. @ Colin

    “The colour Red has a long & honourable association with what Valerie describes above as “social justice and fairness”.

    It also, if we are honest, has a dishonourable association with the forcible suppression of dissent & minorities.”

    I think both social justice and economic fairness (of which I’m a believer in) can be associated with the color blue. I’m reminded of what Jim Webb (D-VA), the former Navy Admiral, said in his 2006 victory speech about his political affiliation. It was not a recent development due to his stance on the Iraq War and foreign policy but it was longstanding because of his belief in social justice and economic fairness.

    I’m also a believer in feminism and gender equality and I think Valerie is too. That can be associated with the color blue as well.

    As for forcibly suppressing dissent and minorities and claiming that’s associated with the color red, don’t you think that’s a cheap shot? Whatever the Chinese and Russians have done in their long, sordid histories, when has Labour ever done that? Or even condoned that? For that matter, when have Australian Labor (also red), the French Socialists (also red), or the Canadian Liberals (also red) ever done that?

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  2. @R Huckle: “Would it matter whether an independent Scotland had a reduced credit rating ?”

    To a degree, yes. But by the time it could be a matter of practical concern it may not be S&P, Fitch or Moody’s ratings that matter so much. The Chinese agency Dagong seems to reach quite different conclusions from the US agencies.

    The Dagong ratings look like the sort of thing I might come up with if my criteria included extras like “possesses lots of raw materials we can seize in case of default” and “isn’t too big and scary for us to invade” :-) Adding those to the model, an independent Scotland might be rated higher than the UK.

    [Yes, I *did* watch Top Gear yesterday. How did you know that?]

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  3. SoCalLiberal

    I agree with what you wrote about the reasons for remembering the Holocaust (though I rather dislike the term itself with its origins in sacred sacrifice). But it is not unknown for it to be used as an ‘excuse’ for actions of the Israeli government (especially in the US) which always strikes me as a sort of insult to the dead.

    On the subject of nationalism, do you know Orwell’s essay on the subject:

    http://orwell.ru/library/essays/nationalism/english/e_nat

    it was written in 1945 so many of the contemporary references will be obscure, but the basic ideas still seem to be true to me.

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  4. @ Roger Mexico

    Too often we have basically allowed Israel to do whatever it wants even when those things damage peace prospects in the area and are actually more harmful longterm to Israel’s security. There’s a great deal of political pressure too on this. It’s unfortunate.

    I have not read that essay on nationalism but I will check it out later.

    Speaking of nationalism, a month ago when I was in San Francisco, there was a quote on my hotel room wall by some great philosopher/writer (I forget who) that “Californians are a race of people, not merely inhabitants of a state.”

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  5. Israel? A country which sits well outside its international boundaries on land conquered by violence, who wilfully ignores international law, is nuclear armed (300 bombs at the moment), applies collective punishment, jails people without trial, has the USA vetoing hundreds of UN motions on its behalf and who has invaded all of its near neighbours.

    Why am I meant to support them?

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  6. While I’m lobbing rocks northwards, I must comment that this new-found enthusiasm for the term ‘United Kingdom’ among the Nats is a bit strange. More to the point it’s being used inaccurately as far as I can see. The term mainly came into use to describe the United Kingdom of Britain and Ireland after the union of those two parliaments in 1801. Hence the need to include the word ‘Northern’ after 1923.

    The idea that it somehow represents the Union of the Crowns is unhistorical. ‘United Kingdom’ rather than ‘Great Britain’ only appears with the Union of Parliaments in 1707 and even then as a descriptor rather than part of the official title.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminology_of_Great_Britain#History

    After all if the ‘United’ bit referred to the monarch, you’d have to add “and Canada, Australia, …” to the end of it.

    Nobody referred to the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Hanover” between 1714 and 1837 even though they had the same monarch and other ‘personal’ unions that Salic Law has wrenched asunder were not called similar things before.

    I’m sorry but the SNP cannot claim to be both splitting up the UK and keeping it going at the same time. :)

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  7. SOCALIBERAL

    @”I think both social justice and economic fairness (of which I’m a believer in) can be associated with the color blue.”

    So do I-as a UK Conservative supporter.
    My reference wasn’t meant to be a piece of partisanity-it was a reference to the long , proud association of the traditional left with social justice & fairness !!

    @”As for forcibly suppressing dissent and minorities and claiming that’s associated with the color red, don’t you think that’s a cheap shot? Whatever the Chinese and Russians have done in their long, sordid histories, when has Labour ever done that?”

    …….err……….never …………I wasn’t refering to UK Labour……….I was refering to Russian & Chinese Communism !!

    You didn’t really understand my post did you?

    Ah well :-)

    It was a complement-made for context.

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  8. @”It was a complement-made for context.”

    ooops-should have followed “fairness!!”

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  9. ROGER MEXICO

    For shame! You are indulging in rhetorical tricks. :-)

    If there is to be a “fair and clear” question, then it needs to field tested to check that it doesn’t conflate different issues in voters minds.

    Among the few bits of Scottish history that most were taught in school was the Union of the Crowns and the Union of the Parliaments as separate events.

    The enthusiasm for including the “United Kingdom” in the question comes from the No camp. They think it would load the dice in their favour.

    Hence the need for a question to be proposed by the Government (as it has been) then field tested for technical issues (as is proposed) before the final version is enacted in legislation.

    Why would anyone have a problem with that?

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  10. should Scotland go it’s own way, what would happen to RBS? Would English tax payers own a fair proportion of an ostensibly foreign owned bank? Just a query if anyone knows the answer.

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  11. Good Evening, briefly in I am before teaching again this evening.

    HANNAH.
    I disagree with you about Israel and the origins of 1967 and 1973 Wars. Pro active strike against armies massing on her borders, never accepting the 1948 UN ruling.
    I support the Nation of Israel in her current borders as well, and am glad that democracy may be coming to some of Her neighbours.

    (The other issue that seems to be beyond the pale in the public discourse is you know what, cf the UCL ruling last week)

    OLD NAT,
    I too thought you were a girl! (Not that I want to be discriminatory or anything- but If I knew you were a man I would probably have been more robust in my responses!

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  12. I sometimes wonder if the cybernat strategy to build support for Independence has deliberately included the trolling of UKPR threads so that people are willing to cast off the Scots if they’ll just knock it off for a week…

    And Israel/Palestine? Like Roger Mexico, I’ll agree to some and disagree to other posts, but really, here is not the place for it…

    It will be interesting to see what tonight’s YG results are. I don’t think the weekend was all that good for the Coalition parties, with growing opposition to the NHS reforms and the charges against Huhne being more widely known. The government’s steely resolve on ‘bonus culture’ seems to be reliant more on hoping that people turn them down than on action.

    But Labour seem stuck on 40-41%. Maybe we are entering a new period of polldrums, but not perhaps the 42-36-10 of last spring.

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  13. CHRISLANE1945

    So my references to Mrs Nat confused you?

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  14. CHEESEWOLF

    You can’t use “ownership” in two ways like that. RBS belongs to the shareholders (of whom the UK Government is the largest), although it is registered in Scotland, that doesn’t describe the ownership.

    The RBS group owns banking interests in many countries – which are registered in those countries, so a prospective rUK Government would be like the present UK one, and own foreign registered banks.

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  15. @ Roger Mexico

    Thanks for posting link to the Orwell essay. Certainly looks like something to get one’s teeth into!
    Couldn’t resist.quoting this:

    “Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also — since he is conscious of serving something bigger than himself — unshakeably certain of being in the right”.

    Now I know where Robbie Alive goes for his quotes!

    :-) :-)

    :-) :-)

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  16. I tried the old Swingometer with the vote share of the 2001 and 2005 elections and it clearly underestimates Labour seats massively and overestimates the Tories massively again…As you guys have a lot more experience with this,maybe you can throw sme light?

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  17. “French Socialist election frontrunner Francois Hollande has widened his lead over President Nicolas Sarkozy despite a flurry of measures being advanced by the conservative leader to boost employment and competitiveness, a poll showed on Tuesday.

    The opinion poll published by IFOP/Fiducial showed Hollande extended his lead for the first election round on April 22 to 6.5 percentage points from 4 points two weeks ago, with 31 percent support against 24.5 percent for Sarkozy.

    It found Hollande could win a second-round runoff on May 6 with 58 percent versus 42 percent for Sarkozy, an increase of two percentage points for Hollande versus two weeks ago.

    The poll was conducted shortly after Sarkozy, eager to cast himself as busily working to solve France’s problems up to the very end of his mandate, was interviewed on prime-time TV on Sunday to detail reforms he aims to push through parliament ahead of the election.”

    Reuters.

    Looking forward to seeing this particular chat parmi les pigeons. :-)

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  18. Smukesh – the old swingometer is the boundaries for the 2010 election. There were different boundaries for the 2001 and 2005 elections.

    Basically it goes like this:

    Initial review boundaries – 1950, 1951
    First review boundaries – 1955, 1959, 1964, 1966, 1970
    Second review boundaries – F1974, O1974, 1979
    Third review boundaries – 1983, 1987, 1992
    Fourth review boundaries – 1997, 2001, 2005 (E&W)
    Fifth review boundaries – 2005 (S), 2010
    Sixth review boundaries – 2015?

    There have also been a couple of minor tweaks here and there other than this (primarily Woodford in 1955 and Milton Keynes in 1992)

    So actually, because the fifth review seats went into effect an election earlier in Scotland than in E&Q, the last time two elections in a row were fought on the same boundaries was 1997 and 2001.

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  19. ANTHONY WELLS
    `Smukesh – the old swingometer is the boundaries for the 2010 election. There were different boundaries for the 2001 and 2005 elections`.

    Thanks a lot Anthony for clearing things up…If there`s a boundary review almost every election,this one`s got attention because of the reduction in seats,or is there anything else special about it?

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  20. @Smukesh,

    This is the first review under the much more stringent criteria for having constituencies of equal size.

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  21. Neil A
    `This is the first review under the much more stringent criteria for having constituencies of equal size`

    Thanks a lot…That`s cleared things up

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  22. @ Valerie: Orwell & Scottish Nationalism
    “Thanks for posting link to the Orwell essay . . . .Now I know where Robbie Alive goes for his quotes!”

    How dare you!
    The essay on nationalism is in vol. 3, see also [ignoring scattered refs.] vol. 4, pp. 327-29: G.O. adopts a critical, although largely sympathetic, view of Scottish nationalism;
    The following comments may be of interest:
    “Scotland could & should be much more autonomous”. “If people believe they have a special [Gaelic] culture which ought to be preserved, & that language is part of it, no difficulties should be put in their way . . .”
    “In some ares [of life] . . . Scotland is almost an occupied country.”
    Finally, “Obsession: . . . the smallest slur upon [the nationalist’s] own unit, or any praise of of a rival organization, fills him with uneasiness which he can only relieve by making some sharp retort.” Sound familiar!!

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  23. ROBBIEALIVE

    Glad that you aren’t locked into a 1940s Englishman’s view (of what was often a rather reprehensible idea) of Scottish nationalism.

    “Scotland is almost an occupied country.” – Jeez!

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  24. R Huckle – the fairer sex, eh?

    Ironic that the link is to the Daily Mail, which often contains reports and op-eds that are aimed at demeaning immigrants and playing up both illegal immigration and welfare fraud. Dacre today seemed to be completely blithe to the effect that his newspaper has on public discourse.

    Both he and the woman on the tube add to the shame of this nation (I won’t say which one I mean, lest I raise the ire of the Scots)

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  25. As Neil says, there are new rules this time round (though the rules have also been changed in the past too).

    It would be wrong to think past ones haven’t occassioned lots of fuss though. The fourth and fifth reviews were unusual for having little fuss – the third review saw a major court challenge against it’s implementation, with Michael Foot going to court to try and block it (ironically on the grounds that the seats were insufficiently equal), the second review was perhaps even more contentious – the then Labour government refused to implement the recommendations, ordering their own backbenchers to vote it down, it was finally implemented by the Conservatives after the 1970 election.

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  26. DANIVON

    “(I won’t say which one I mean, lest I raise the ire of the Scots)”

    Why? Was she Welsh?

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  27. @Danivon and R Huckle,

    To be fair to many concerned on all the YouTube videos, I reckon there is a very good they have got mental health issues. Either that or they are on drugs. Perhaps both?

    There are a few similar vids on youbtube, and in every case the people ranting have looked in a poor mental state, either through drugs or mental illness.

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  28. @SmukeSh,

    Perhaps it’s also the fact that the proposed changes are more controversial (i.e. equalisation of boundaries leads to lack of consideration of local and historical ties), in addition to the fact that it looks like they will have a more marked partisan effect on future GEs.

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  29. @ Roger Mexico,

    I was talking about the right of return… Of course it is sad & unfair, but if you can name any displaced group of people who ever got their land back, I’ll be surprised.

    And if the museum of which you spoke was a ‘shrine’ to lost property, then I would agree with your comment. But it is not.

    Sometimes the living must move on; that does not mean they should forget or cease to mourn the ones who were killed. I would not ask that of anybody because I could not do it myself.
    8-)

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  30. @ Oldnat
    Glad that you aren’t locked into a 1940s Englishman’s view (of what was often a rather reprehensible idea) of Scottish nationalism.
    “Scotland is almost an occupied country.” – Jeez!”

    What on earth are you talking about? I’ve no real idea, but I shall try & make sense of your comments.

    It is surely possible to refer to an interesting historical viewpoint — G.O.’s –without subscribing to it. If you are embarrassed by some aspects of Scot. Nationalist history, that’s your problem. As G. O. said: “every nationalist is haunted by the belief that the past can be altered.”
    The phrase “In some areas [of life] Scotland is almost an occupied country”, which you silently truncated, more rhetorical trickery!, referred to what Orwell saw as the dominance of English culture amongst an anglicized Scottish/Edinburgh upper-class. Is this an inaccurate viewpoint?

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  31. @Smukesh
    “I tried the old Swingometer with the vote share of the 2001 and 2005 elections and it clearly underestimates Labour seats massively and overestimates the Tories massively again…”
    _________________
    For 2005, it’s mostly down to the assumption of UNS in the swingometers, across every seat. The Conservatives did relatively well in marginals in 2010, and Labour relatively badly, in that the Cons won 14 more seats from Labour than they would have expected to on a UNS. Hence, projecting back to 2005 on the assumption of a UNS between 2005 and 2010, you end up starting with the Labour majority in 2005 a lot smaller than it actually was.

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  32. @Old Nat

    So Orwell can be dismissed as a “1940’s Englishman?”

    In your words, Jeeez

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  33. @Phil and Smukesh,

    Don’t forget that the old swingometer uses 2010 boundaries and not 2005 ones.

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  34. @Valerie, re Old Nat

    “So Orwell can be dismissed as a “1940?s Englishman?”
    In your words, Jeeez”

    I agree Valerie: it’s beyond belief. I really feel any further pursuit of this subject is a waste of time.

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  35. @Robbie Alive

    I always thought Old Nat was well read and had intellectual
    curiosity. Oh well. :-(

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  36. @OldNat
    “The enthusiasm for including the “United Kingdom” in the question comes from the No camp. They think it would load the dice in their favour.”
    ________________

    Wearily I trudge to the keyboard to register total disagreement with the assertion in that second sentence.

    Perhaps we ought to organise a rota system for sharing the burden of replying to your rather repetitive claims, since I suspect that most have got to the point where they can’t be bothered.

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  37. @SoCal
    “Btw, there is a difference between nationalism and patriotism.”
    I can’t find who said it (IIRC it was a Prime Minister/President) but I think it was best summed up with – “A patriot is someone who loves his country. A nationalist is someone who loves his country but hates all others”.

    Which is also what I think separates the SNP/PYC from the BNP – the SNP want independence because they love Scotland, not because they hate the UK. The BNP hate everything not British.

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  38. @Robbie, Martyn.

    “I wonder how many posters on this site had read a novel by Dickens by age 11.”

    “Given that a) “A Christmas Carol” is pretty accessible, b) many of us on this site are over 40 and remember a time when books competed against fewer media, and c) everybody on this site is (let’s face it) madder than a box of frogs, the answer is “probably quite a lot”.”

    I read Dickens complete works by the age of 14. I’m only 29, so don’t exactly fit the age stereotype. I also know of many people my age who love reading.

    I think the reading issue is mainly down to poor parenting and a failing education system. Sadly, I can only see the gulf between the brightest students and the average (or below average) students continuing to widen.

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  39. Robbie Alive

    ” what Orwell saw as the dominance of English culture amongst an anglicized Scottish/Edinburgh upper-class. Is this an inaccurate viewpoint?”

    I think it is. What had emerged was a dominant British political upper-class.

    Scots of the day identified the anglicised features as being of note, but the dominant aspect of the upper class has always been it’s ability to adapt to maintain their privilege.

    Have a look at some of Compton Mackenzie’s novels for a view of that.

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  40. @Valerie,

    Being well-read and intellectual doesn’t necessarily lead to common sense or logically (coherent) thought patterns/views. Some of the cleverest and most intellectual people I know are as thick as anything when it comes to real world common sense.

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  41. Phil

    That you disagree does not make you right. That the No camp would like to see “the UK” as part of the question does not make them unbiased.

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  42. @ Amberstar
    Me: “I wonder how many posters on this site had read a novel by Dickens by age 11.”
    ———————————–
    Amb. “I’d read all of them; & all of Jane Austen’s works too. Austen’s subject matter is not so serious as Dicken’s but,few can match her for grammar & sentence structure.”

    Hats off for reading all of Dickens! I must admit to having broken down on one or two, eg. Dombey & Son.
    As a pre-11-year-old, my reading of the classics was confined to “Classic Comics” which “did” them in 30/40 pages of pics/words. My favourite was R.H. Dana, “Two Years Before the Mast”! : I would give £25 for a copy.
    I also adored “War Picture Library” comics — I think Chou’s reading is still confined to these. .
    C. Tomalin says we should read Dickens, because he “is so relevant to today”: a view I detest.

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  43. COLIN
    “French Socialist election frontrunner Francois Hollande has widened his lead over President Nicolas Sarkozy despite a flurry of measures being advanced by the conservative leader to boost employment and competitiveness, a poll showed on Tuesday.”

    Yup, VAT is going to 21.2% (up from 19.6) which means my 1.99 bottle of Bordeaux from Lidle’s will burst the 2 euro level :(

    Not only is Sarkozy trailing Hollande badly (& has for a long time) he is only a few points ahead of the Front National candidate and it is not out of the question that he won’t even make the second round and that the battle royale will be between the far right & the far left.

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  44. I never really got on with Dickens, and I was a veritable bookworm. Did love Austen, though. Even if it was a bit soppy for a teenage boy. It taught me a lot about the fine line between gentlemanly conduct and demeaning condescension when interacting with ladies.

    I wonder if Tomalin herself was heavily into Dickens as a child. I think sometimes people project an image onto their childhood memory, some of which is actually taken from slightly later experiences in their life.

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  45. @Amberstar

    “And yet somehow, we got over it. Even the SNP now seems to be in favour of ‘independence within the United Kingdom’.
    The Palestinians need to move on with their lives – & I believe most of them would, if they were allowed to do so. ”

    I agree with the prescription where I disagree is with your assessment of what’s preventing it. The concept of an Israel/Palestine independent within a wider state is what’s called the binational solution and would be my preferred (if admittedly utopian) solution. Although, taking into account refugees, there isn’t a geographically and historically well defined Jewish Israel and Arab Palestine, like England and Scotland, so the model that tends to be used is either Belgium or Switzerland or a hybrid of the two.

    However this model tends to be the preserve of crazy radicals like me and Israel and it’s supporters regard it as quasi-genocidal, as they do any option that doesn’t result in a fully independent and sovereign nation state run by and for Jews, which, to them, is that sine qua non of the existence of the State of Israel (and this is what they mean by Israel having the “right to exist”). The existence of a large population of non-Jews with an equal if not greater claim to live on that land and exercise political and civic power within it represents a fundamental problem for this philosophy.

    Nevertheless, Israel has thus far shown zero intention of allowing the conditions that would permit a corresponding independent and sovereign state run by and for Arab Palestinians to exist alongside it (ceding East Jerusalem, control of natural resources, full control of borders and military and a contiguous territory). This is why the Palestinians can’t “get on with their lives,” not because of the “Sabre rattling” of the neighbouring Arab States, who despite the rhetoric, have been pretty compliant and non-threatening towards Israel for decades; not because Palestinians are somehow especially bigoted or violent, as often portrayed, but because that’s the logical and inherent requirement of the existence of a Jewish ethno-nationalist state within that particular stretch of land.

    This isn’t about relitigating history either. It’s about the fact that multitudes of Palestinian refugees remain stateless to this day, the Palestinian residents of the occupied territories exist in a geopolitical limbo, and Palestinian residents of Israel are in many ways second class citizens, who are just about tolerated if they are a clear minority and don’t exercise any communal power. Moreover that will continue to be the case until Israel either comes to terms with its history (as SoCal says: “You do it in order to teach people the evils that can stem from unchecked prejudice. You hope that you can educate people to rethink their own prejudices and their own lack of action to protect others from prejudice. You hope that by educating people on those evils, you can prevent such a thing from ever happenning again.”) or is forced to change its ways by outside pressure.

    @ChrisLane

    Which borders do you refer to? Israel is deliberately ambiguous about what its current borders actually are.

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  46. ROBERT NEWARK

    THanks.

    It is very intereting-if Merkel-or any other foreign politician-intervened in a UK GE, I can just imagine the furore.

    If Germany pushes this “top dog” thing too far, there will be a backlash.

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