Full tables for the YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now up here, covering u-turns, strikes and more on the jubilee.

On the regular leader ratings David Cameron’s net rating is at minus 26 (no change from last week), Ed Miliband’s at minus 28 (from minus 23 last week), Nick Clegg at minus 55 (no change), so Ed Miliband has dropped back behind Cameron. Other ratings though are more negative for Cameron. 59% think he doesn’t have a grip on the government, 68% think he is out of touch and people think he is weak rather than strong by 50% to 33% (compared to 45% weak and 39% strong a week ago). Less negatively, 42% of people do at least still see him as likable (interestingly enough this was something that we also saw with Tony Blair – long after his other ratings were negative, people still thought he was likeable).

Asked about the recent U-turns 50% think this is a sign of weakness or incompetence, while 33% see it as a sign the government is willing to listen. This is a significant shift from when YouGov asked a similar question a year ago and people were pretty evenly split between the two answers, suggesting that whereas people were once willing to give the government the benefit of the doubt when it came to u-turns, it is now starting to be seen as a negative sign.

There is majority opposition to both the proposed teachers strike and the industrial action by doctors. 55% are opposed to the teachers strike and 62% are opposed to the doctors action, which is only supported by 28%. 59% of people already see doctors as being very well paid and 33% think their pensions are already too high.

Unlike most of the other professions YouGov ask about, there is not even majority support for doctors having the legal right to strike. 48% think they should not be allowed to strike, compared to 44% who think they should. To put this in context, a majority of people think nurses, teachers, railway workers and fuel tanker drivers should have the right to strike, with majorities thinking that police officers and firefighters should not.

194 Responses to “More from YouGov/Sunday Times”

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  1. The Other Howard (TOH),

    Had a look at the Tax Payers alliance and can see why you like it. Hyperbole as a way of like.

    Picking out unproductive job of the week may tickle the tabloids and reinforce the prejudices of those who believe we have a bloated public sector but the statistics tell a different story.

    They go on about unproductive jobs in the almost 500 advertised every week, but don’t say how many go those 500 are unproductive.

    Equally they don’t point out that we have a public sector workforce of over 6.5 million meaning that annual job vacancies of 25,000 only represents 0.4% of the workforce.

    So given that even they accept that many of the jobs advertised are necessary we probably get down to less than one in 1,000 that can’t be justified.

    Given that the public sector workforce will fall by 600,000 over the next three years I can’t see much evidence even within the Tax Payers Alliance figures of large numbers of unproductive jobs, because even if half of these were all unproductive rather than through efficiency we would still be looking at less than 5% of the workforce.

    The only way your plan would work would be with in excess of an Irish contraction, something like a 20% cut in wages and staff. That would certainly save money but it wouldn’t be achieved by cutting unproductive jobs in would need cuts in services too.

    However with that as Paul Krugman pointed out would also be a huge rise in welfare costs and a contraction in consumer spending hitting the consumer sector and VAT income.

    Slash and burn only works if you can move to another part of the forest and then come back when it has renewed. To a degrees international capital can do that, move to the cheap far east till our costs reduce.

    However as one of the many who would have to stay in the burnt out clearing grubbing for roots, it isn’t an attractive prospect.

    They do point out lots of adverts full of management speak but as a former Councillor I have worked with lots of excellent necessary hard working officers who had job descriptions are intelligible as a Star Trek script.


    Correct you are on Cherie. Many English people resent working class women who rise above their station, especially from her background.

  3. @colin – I said the argument itself was redundant – I didn’t say whether they were a viable carbon reduction route or not – that’s entirely a different thing.

    Wind turbines remain the cheapest and most competitive form of low carbon energy (substantially cheaper than nuclear) but carry with them some significant downsides.

  4. ALEC

    We have been around this circuit of disagreement before .

    Repeating the trip won’t be very productive.


    @” Many English people resent working class women who rise above their station, especially from her background.”

    Boy oh boy-for teacher & a catholic , you have a worrying catalogue of chips in those shoulders, and a surprising willingness to use personal opinion as though it were fact.

  6. Cyprus looks like it’s slipped in under the radar as the next country needing a bail out. Quite tickled by Rob Peston pointing out that the Cypriot central bank is led by a man named Panicos.

    What I’m finding quite strange is that what are clearly witnessing now is the complete unraveling of the established right wing financial orthodoxy. The US was prevented from launching a properly scaled fiscal package by right wing Republicans who also ensured that much of what was done was poorly focused.

    The UK, now by common consent, has made the big mistake of ignoring growth and failing to be proactive within the economy, while across the Eurozone, German Conservatism has dominated the response, demanding out and out austerity and failing completely to comprehend the impacts this will have.

    Meanwhile, commentators and political thinkers persist with promoting great fallacies about economic growth and the relationship between state and private sectors, even while the 40 year hegemony falls apart in front of our eyes.

    Right wing politicians are reduced to claiming that we must protect our AAA status come what may, despite the fact that the ratings agencies are completely incompetent and we have direct evidence that the consequence of losing AAA status is that nothing happens.

    I guess the question remains, why did we get it so wrong, and why are policy makers still not realising this?

    I suspect that this comes back to the spat yesterday between @Amberstar and @The Other Howard, where Amber pointed out the difference between managing economies for globe trotting super wealthy wealth creators/wealth concentrators [delete to suite].

    For a long time now, government treasuries have effectively been captured by right wing economic thinkers coming to and from the finance industry, and governments themselves are both increasingly formed from narrow sections of society with a gross over representation of the very wealthy, allied to the fact that they increasingly mix only with the very wealthy (ref Cameron’s ‘Leader’s Club’ and £50K diners). When things go patently wrong, there are few voices around them to contradict the falsehoods being perpetuated.

    Protection of capital has come to dominate the global governance agenda, with the pre requisite that society banks the risks but leaves the profits with the stateless globetrotters and financial institutions.

    It isn’t now working, even by it’s own terms, but sadly I see precious few admissions of abject failure from the right, and I suspect things will need to get a whole lot worse before they wake up and realise that trickle down economics based on doing what the markets ask has been a total failure.

  7. @Alec
    I enjoy your posts but your comments on Green matters seem confined to the carbon question.
    Likewise, the public debate on the environment is entirely about alternative energy sources & carbon emissions. The latter is an abstract subject & bores most people — including myself — to death.

    I’m much more interested in what I would call Green-Space issues: access to, & the extent of, urban parks & the unspoiled countryside; wildlife & habitats; forests & rivers; the coastline; the quality of beaches etc etc.
    When the Coalition came into power it eliminated the Regional Development Agencies, almost its first act, & since then hundreds of smaller but important environmental agencies have disappeared. Local councils see such matters as soft targets for cuts.
    This carnage has scarcely made an impact on the public record & I am disappointed that the Greens, at least judging by the propaganda that comes through my door, have not exploited the huge public interest in Green Space matters & focus so narrowly on the Carbon question.

  8. @Robbiealive – “I enjoy your posts but your comments on Green matters seem confined to the carbon question.”

    To be honest, I rather thought I was doing the opposite. I was actually saying I was in some ways less worried about carbon issues relating to renewable energy, rather focusing much more strongly on community ownership. This leads to sustainable communities in a much wider sense.

    If a community can own a single large turbine outright, it has the potential to earn profits of hundreds of thousands a year, which if managed within a structure such as a community interest company or IPS, can only be used for a legally verified community purpose.

    I fully agree with much of your analysis, but for this, you could pretty much buy as many green public spaces as you liked.

  9. @ Colin

    A chip on the shoulder comes from one’s own experiences – which one can forgive & forget. Although, I’ve often thought that forgetting rather renders the forgiving obsolete.

    Observation of society & how it affects other people does not equal having a chip on one’s shoulder, IMO.

  10. Again, on Angus Reid… things did go a bit haywire before the 2010 general election.
    Looking at the five polls *preceding* the first leaders’ debate though, they are not far off the actual result:

    Con 39%, 37%, 38%, 37%, 38%
    Lab 26%, 28%, 27%, 26%, 28%
    LD 21%, 22%, 20%, 22%, 22%

  11. @ Alec

    There is a bail-out ‘pot’. IMO, We are now in the ridiculous position of countries/banks racing to get the maximum they can from the bail-out fund before it is emptied by other banks getting there before them! It is a run on the ‘bail-out bank’ by the banks. :roll:

  12. @ Billy Bob

    You are really cheering me up now. I rather like Angus’s 45 – 29 in Labour’s favour. :-)

  13. @ Alec
    I certainly ignored certain aspects of your post. I was picking on you for what I would see as the failure of the national debate. Hardly fair!

  14. @ Chrislane1945
    “Many English people resent working class women who rise above their station, especially from her background.”
    You may be right. Certainly one can contrast the constant attacks on C. Blair with the sycophancy directed towards S. Cameron. The D. Telegraph female correspondents, who slagged Cherie, & were not above attacking Sarah Brown, never stop drooling about Sam Cam.

  15. @Peter Cairns
    Thank you for taking the trouble to look at the Tax Payers Alliance website. Obviously we do not agree about the site but at least you looked. Your general line of argument seems to be that there are few non jobs in the Public Sector and little fat to cut. From recent exposure to the NHS and local Councils that is not my experience. Both seem very inefficient and over manned.
    For most of my working life I was either a Production Director, an Operations Director or in one case the MD of a Transport Company. Every time I took a new job I was assured that there was no slack in the operation and every time I found this to be untrue. On average I would say I was able to reduce costs by 20-30% over a couple of years, with significant productivity gains at the same time. This of course benefited the shareholders by way of increased profits and dividends. It also benefited the remaining workforce as I made sure the good management and workers remaining received terms and conditions matching the best in the industry sector. Certainly not a slash and burn approach.
    I am too old now, and enjoying my retirement too much to want to get involved again but I suspect that in many parts of the Public Sector similar improvements could be achieved with benefit hopefully to the tax payer or to other services (depending on the respective needs). It would mean taking on Public Sector Unions but having taken on TGWU during the 70’s I suspect it is perfectly possible.

  16. @AW

    Point taken, I probably let it go on too long. My apologies. I have posted to Peter Cairns as I felt i owed him a response but i am off to do other things now.

  17. @Robbiealive – “I certainly ignored certain aspects of your post. I was picking on you for what I would see as the failure of the national debate. Hardly fair!”

    No problems. I too think greens in general have tended to be a bit too obsessed with saving whales or big global issues, while other sections of the community see ‘the environment’ as things like having a park for local children that isn’t littered with druggies syringes. I think it’s a symptom of the overwhelming middle class nature of the green movement – most of them live in ‘nice’ areas so can afford to concentrate on more existential threats.

    I must also not be too unfair to my own party here – we do have a great deal of policy detail on all kinds of issues, to be fair, but I think it’s very difficult to get this across.

  18. @Alec:
    “Cameron has referred Warsi to Alex Allan, to investigate whether she has breached the ministerial code”

    Has he ? I haven’t been able to find any source for that and imagine he would refrain from doing so because that would surely raise even more comments on his protection of Jeremy Hunt.

    Saying that, didn’t Sir Alex Allen claim that he would resign if he felt he was being overlooked ? I’m not sure if he has had any investigating to do since arriving in post because Cameron doesn’t seem to think any of his ministers are ever in the wrong – despite how it looks to the rest of the world….

  19. Two new polls out today.


    Labour 37% (NC)
    Tory 29% ( -1)
    LD 13% (NC)

    Angus Reid

    Labour 45% ( +4)
    Tory 29% (NC)
    LD 9% (-2)


  20. @Chordata – From Politicshome – “Conservative Party co-chair Baroness Warsi has defended her ministerial trip to Pakistan, but has apologised to David Cameron for “any embarrassment to the Government it may have caused”.

    The apology comes in the wake of renewed pressure on the Cabinet minister, who was accompanied by her private business partner Abid Hussain on the visit.

    The Prime Minister issued a statement in response, in which he said there were “clearly some lessons for future handling”.

    Mr Cameron also said he had asked Sir Alex Allan, the adviser on ministerial interests, “to consider issues that have been raised with respect to the ministerial code”.”

  21. Well – we finally have our 15% Labour lead, but as it’s Angus Reid, will there be dancing in the streets just yet?

  22. @Alec

    16% – unless you know something about the roundings which I don’t :-)

  23. @alec

    Thanks :-)

    Sir Alex Allen will be relieved to have been given something to do, finally.

    Hunt next I hope.

  24. I post this out of disgust and amusement.


    Don’t read, if you are just eating a beef sandwich, using some of Sundays leftovers.

  25. TOH,

    At no point did I say that there wasn’t any slack or inefficiency, just that it wasn’t on the scale you thought or indeed hope.

    I tend to have only limited sympathy or patience for people who claim “allwe need to do to solve it is X”, when it becomes clear that they want it to be true rather than can prove it.

    That is one of the reasons I find I am as likely to argue here with people from the left as the right.

    Over the last 5 years Highland Council cut £64m from its budget while maintaining performance and moving up the rankings in terms of Scottish Councils.

    It wasn’t easy but it was done but it only represented 8% of the budget.

    Public service isn’t the Transport Industry, for a start it tends to be demand lead. In a private company if demand outstrips supply then the price rises and people have an incentive to invest and will do until supply increases and we get equilibrium.

    In the public sector when demand increases the price is often fixed.

    People often say, ” You wouldn’t get that in the private sector” and they are right. In the private sector all those sick poor people would be left to die.

    When much of what you do is demand lead and set by statute your ability to make efficiencies is hugely curtailed. A company can decide not to do deliveries to the far North or put up the price to do so, but a Health Authority can’t

    As a Council we had to provide transport to children more than two miles from school or if their was no safe walking route. That often meant that a child would walk to school in the rain just under two miles while a classmate drove by in a 4×4 BMW from a new built house 3 miles from the school with the Council picking up the cost through a parental contract.

    A private provider would have told the family in the new house to take a hike or find a different school.

    The problem with the cuts agenda is a bit like “Angle of Attack”. Normally a wing creates lift by splitting the air above and below as it flows over it. But if the angle becomes to step or if you go to slow the airflow breaks down and you lose lift.

    No lift no flying, you stall and crash.

    A growing view is that in order to avoid hitting the ground Osborne has pulled back to steeply and in an attempt to avoid the peak and has instead over going over the mountain sent us into the base of it.

    Can we be more efficient? Yes.
    Can we cut by more than 1% to 2% a year without doing more harm than good? No!


  26. @Peter Cairns

    Thanks for a thoughtful reply. I am afraid we must just beg to differ.Perhaps you have achieved excellence in your area, if so good for you. Down here there is massive waste and inefficiency. As I have said this Government is not much better than the last in this respect which is why I LOL when people talk about the cuts.
    Nice talking with you, as I promised AW I am off to do other things

  27. @ Mike MS

    “The Scots should be more annoyed about the monarchy than they are, since this current lot are usupers of the old Stuart line.

    I say let’s have a Cromwell in charge again, just for a change!”

    Well the Queen is more than just the queen of Great Britain, there are like 16 other countries that she “rules” over. But think they were celebrating or waving flags in Canada for her? Or Australia? I doubt it. This celebration is something that is uniquely special to those who are British. So if you don’t consider yourself Britisih and consider yourself solely Scottish, this isn’t a holiday that’s going to have great appeal for you. You might not hate it or despise it but you’re not going to be excited by it. Unless you work for the royals or are good friends with one and are caught up in the moment.

    I think that the experience of Cromwell has psychologically scarred all English permanently and the psychological scarring is passed down from generation to generation. You live in a place where most people have this anxiety of “oh god, what might happen to us if we ever got rid of those royals again? Cromwell could come back from the grave and this time he might ban cable TV! And Happy Hour!” And then you’ve got your royals in perpetual fear of offending the public because they’re all too aware that you (the public) might possible try to kill them again.

  28. TOH,

    But again you give no evidence only assertion. I se no reason why local government and the public sector in England isn’t making the same slow efficiencies that we have up here.

    For me the main difference between the public and private sector is that the public sector is almost by definition tasked with providing services for customers who under private sector conditions wouldn’t be provided for.

    You can call it a bloated public sector if you like but in many of the countries you seem to think we should emulate the weak are quite literally left to die.

    If there is massive waste and inefficiency then I need a lot more evidence than the bleating of the Tax Payers Alliance which when all is said and do is a lobbying organisation created by rich people who want to pay less tax.


    Thanks for your thoughtful posts.

    In terms of social analysis, it has been well documented, and teachers can be bad at this as well, especially in the state sector, in my 34 years of experience of teaching.

    Not chips at all I think, just experience, ‘Above themselves’ or ‘Up themselves’ or ‘Wanting more to which they are entitled’ are common expressions.

    Cherie is a clever working class-originally- woman who has worked very hard. She is a very nice person to know.

    Yes, they really want for Cherie and Sarah, in the way they did not do for Norma and Sam.

    John Major, sometimes, reflected on people looking down upon him, in his own party.

    On a happier note: The beach today was so relaxed and happy, with families and people of all racial backgrounds, and I am not a royalist man at all.

  30. At least Sir Alex Allan (£92,000 pa salary) will at last be doing something for his pay.

  31. @ Virgilio

    “I begin with your last question. Yes, there is the 1st constituency, which comprises USA and Canada. There no less than 18 candidates were present! The final results are:
    Socialist +Green 39.7
    UMP 22.1
    Center 4.9
    FN 4.3
    Left Front 2.9
    Left Lib. 1.0
    Independents 25,0 (13,2 right-wing, 11.8 various)
    It is an excellent result for the Left in a (moderately) right-wing constituency that voted 54% Sarkozy in PE runoff. To win in June 17, the UMP candidate will have to garner all independent right-wing votes, the FN and most of the “true” independents, which seems improbable.”

    Yay, way to go for the American based French who are representing! Although since it includes Canada, I wonder how many in Quebec vote in it. There must be some though I figure a lot of Quebecers don’t like to think of themselves as French.

    Israel has traditionally been leftwing politically. They’ve gone way to the right on military and foreign affairs issues but there’s still a left wing current there that could rise again. Also, among Jews, ashkenazi and sephardic Jews tend to be far more left wing while Mizrahi Jews (who are slowly gaining in population in Israel) are more right wing. I would imagine that most Israelis voting in French elections would be Ashkenzai and Sephardic Jews. So while they may have voted for Sarkozy as someone who was a fellow Jew or as someone who was reliably pro-Israel, when that issue is removed, they may actually be quite ripe for the pickings by the Socialists, the Greens, and Bayrou’s group.

    So this may have been an unintentional dummymander.

    Now it’s interesting that you point out that France makes no distinction between citizens living abroad and ex-pats. I think the rule that the U.S. has accepted is that one who lives abroad is still a citizen as long as they don’t renounce their U.S. citizenship. This is why George Romney could be considered a U.S. citizen even though he was born in Mexico and moved from there without ever going through a naturalization process.

    You might be able to cultivate some votes in the greater Los Angeles area. Did you know that at the turn of the 20th century, Los Angeles had a huge wave of French immigration? In fact, the high numbers of French immigrants had a number of traditional city leaders worried that the French language would surpass the English language in LA.

    In fact, one of LA’s oldest planned neighborhoods, Bunker Hill, was built by a Frenchman (French Canadian actually), Prudent Beaudry. He also developed some of the Angelino Heights neighborhood. He served as mayor in the 1870’s and has a street named after him.


    Amazing Angus Reid figures. Are they credible?

    No desire on my part to upset anyone. I just speak as I have found. In my own personal life I have been very fortunate in this country. I just notice how the media seemed to have it in for Cherie Booth/Blair and John Prescott’s wife, Clare Short.


    @”n terms of social analysis, it has been well documented,”

    Has it?

    If you could provide the appropriate reference I will be interested to read this documentation.

    Until then, I continue to believe that a working class woman ( or man) who does well in life is someone who most people would respect.

    @”No desire on my part to upset anyone. I just speak as I have found. In my own personal life I have been very fortunate in this country. ”

    In which case I sympathise with you, for I cannot imagine a less appropriate environment in which to deride self help , than a school. THe schools in which you encountered this attitude must have been very poorly managed .

    @”I just notice how the media seemed to have it in for Cherie Booth/Blair and John Prescott’s wife, Clare Short.”

    Did you?

    I must say that I thought Clare Short got very good press for being an independent spirit. She got far less credit for this in her own political party.

    BY the same token, my memory is of a good press for Prescott’s wife-notably as a result of her dignified response to her husband’s appalling behaviour.

    Yes Cherie Blair got a poor Press-but it would be worth analysing the factors on which she was criticised often.
    I think you will find that her social roots, and professional achievements did not feature in them.

    Other factors most certainly did.

  34. @ Alec

    “I did read an article in yesterday’s Telegraph which repeated the ’2 billion watched the royal wedding’ line, despite this being patent nonsense.”

    Is it? My mom woke up at 1 or 2 am to watch the Royal Wedding with her dog, who’s an English breed.

    “On other things – I still think the discussion of 1970?s unionism and Scottish perjury laws is demonstrating a a uniquely quaint British habit of ignoring the continent.

    Europe is burning up – we’re about to enter the Great Depression Mk2. Aren’t there more important issues swirling about today?”

    You’re in splendid isolation! Nothing wrong with that. :)

    “One thing that did make me feel very British was the presence of a small republican demonstration that was also reported on the main news. Our history of non conformism is long and proud, and I think one of the reasons we’ve done so well as a nation, regardless of the specific issue at hand.”

    That almost seems like something Americans would do. Must be why we’ve got that special relationship thing still going.

  35. It would be interesting to know what Gordon Brown thinks of the press which Cherie Blair got.

    Does he still live in UK ?

  36. @ R Huckle

    That sort of stuff belongs in the privacy of your own home, not out in public.

  37. @ Roger Mexico

    “Scottish juries are normally 15 (but you can lose up to 3 during a trial) and a minimum of 8 are required for the verdict.”

    Jury sizes and requirements vary from state to state. It’s technically not a constitutional right that jury verdicts must be unanimous from a 12 person jury but in 48 states plus the District, unanimous verdicts are required. And even in those that don’t require unanimity, they require near unanimity (so like 10 out of 12). Nearly all states have juries of 12. Unanimous verdicts are required on juries of 6 (and possibly up to 9).

    An 8-6 jury in the U.S. would likely result in an acquital, not a conviction. At the very least, it would be a hung jury requiring a prosecutor to bring new charges or drop the case. So that explains the mouth wide open look. :)

  38. @ Colin

    A timely reminder of how Clare Short was treated by some of the media:


  39. It doesn’t take too much Googling to dredge up some of the memories of Cherie’s “bad press” :-

    Carol Caplin, Peter Foster, Bristol property deals…government spokesman embarassed.

    Chairing seminars in Downing Street & apparently speaking on behalf of the Government.

    “‘As long as young people feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up, you are never going to make progress,’-Queen Rania embarassed.

    Euan’s homework & the MoD.

    Anji Hunter-Fiona Miller.

    Cliff Richard’s villa-and other nice places to stay.

    Election hairstyling bills .

    Being rude about Gordon & Sarah.

    Perhaps in retospect , if she had wanted to wield political power & influence, she should have got elected herself-maybe that would have improved her press ?

  40. Amber

    I hadn’t been aware of that. It’s a single issue though. Clare Perry MP is coming up against the same lobby in her campaign on internet pornography.

    I don’t think that represents the press which Clare Short got in Government-my impression is that she was seen as a breath of fresh air-an independent spirit.

    She resigned over Iraq if memory serves-say it all I think.

  41. COLIN.
    Hello again!
    Been tennis watching.

    We have had Michael Gove saying that state school teachers should desist from discouraging able working class children from applying for Oxbridge.
    We know there are very few chidlren with free school meals at out top universities.

    Few working class children are allowed to study Greek or Latin or have organised inter school sport.

    I agree that so many state school schools have been badly managed.

    I suspect that children from ethnic minority backgrounds have a hard time still.

    Personally, I was jealous that at Oxford the ‘posh boys’ seemed to have beautiful girl friends, lol.

  42. @Socal – “Is it? My mom woke up at 1 or 2 am to watch the Royal Wedding with her dog, who’s an English breed.”

    Short answer; yes.

    I’m not going to comment on you’re mother, as I assume you still love her, but yes, the 2b viewing figures really are patent nonsense.

    To get to the 2b figure, 30% of the entire world population at the time needed to be watching. In the UK, only 24m watched in the UK on live TV, which gives us around 36%. Neilson’s TV ratings reckon 22m watched it in the US (Hello Mother) – 7.3%. Already the total viewing percentage of 30% of the world starts to look flaky.

    Australian viewing figures were given as 4m, which gives around 18% viewing, while in Canada the networks counted 12m watching at some stage – a healthy 38%.

    The last remaining significant commonwealth country is India, where aMap recorded 42m, or about 3.5% of the population.

    Now we need to think about places like China, Indonesia, Japan, South America etc, but you would be hard pressed to generate 30% of global population watching if the commonwealth and the US combined could only muster less than 7% of their own populations watching.

    The best estimate I’ve seen was by Sporting Intelligence. They looked at figures from China, India, the USA, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Canada and Australia (half the world’s population) made a few checks elsewhere, and extrapolated a total figure of around 300b – less than half the figure of the last World Cup Final (that’s football).

    To put everything in context, in Japan they found more people watched the world figure skating championships taking place in Moscow at the same time as the royal wedding.

    So best wishes to your mother, but it is absolutely, completely, and utterly patent nonsense to think that 2 billion people watched Kate n’ Wills.

  43. @Peter Cairns
    Just back from the allotments with 11/2 lbs strawberries. I was not going to post again tonight but I do not want you left hanging in the air so to speak. Your argument is a clever one because you ask for evidence. We both know that I cannot produce that until i have taken control of a Public Sector operation and demonstrated the levels of savings I claim can be achieved. That’s not going to happen for reasons of age and infermity. However equally you cannot prove that it cannot be done. My experince says i could do it, yours says I could not. For that reason i suggest that continuing this dialogue any more is a waste of our time, we will just have to beg to differ. Your one of the posters I respect on this blog so have a good evening and no doubt we will amiably cross swords again in the future. Regards, The Other Howard.

  44. new thread re new polls

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