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. Amber

    What is more likely is that the Fiscal may well decide that any falsehood made by Coulson in the Sheridan trial was irrelevant to the trial verdict, and that Coulson’s status as a credible witness – given that he was a witness for the defence – was of little moment in determining the trial outcome.

    However, that is a matter for the legal process. The purpose of my post was to outline that perjury in Scotland is defined differently from the manner that most are used to.

    On Jubilee matters, I did like the spoof Hootsmon story re the Royal Salute from Edinburgh Castle –

    “Unionist Cannon Fires 21 Shots at Holyrood – All Miss (Leith B*ggered Though)”

  2. @ Old Nat

    The verdict was 8-6 against Sheridan. The prosecution dismissed Sheridan’s defence (that NoW had conspired with, bribed & manipulated people into bearing false witness against him) as “pure fantasy”.

    Had Andy Coulson admitted that there was even the possibility of wrong-doing by employees & agents of the NoW would that have given some credibility to Tommy Sheridan’s defence? I’d say so.

    IMO, it will have been the prosecution’s characterization of the defence as “pure fantasy” which has opened the door for both a prosecution of AC & an appeal by Sheridan, if there is any evidence e.g. that AC knew more about Glenn Mulcaire & his activities than he admitted in court.

  3. @ Paul Croft

    “Now this begs the question of course of WHERE in this country there are jobs and what should happen to people who, whether they try hard or not, can’t find one??”

    There are a lot of people who work very hard to find jobs who can’t find them, even highly educated people. I hate when those people get stereotyped and pigeonholed as lazy losers who simply don’t want to work.

    I think what your government does in terms of forcing young people who are on unemployment benefits to perform free labor for private sector employers is absolutely atrocious (and probably helping cause’ more unemployment as Amber Star has pointed out repeatedly…..she’s a far smarter economist than I am). Thank god the U.S. government doesn’t have such a policy (a rare saving grace moment in what is otherwise a large steaming pile of public policy stupidity) but I’ve noticed a number of Americans who are advocating this “work for free” philosophy to unemployed graduates. I have a feeling that Britain’s system is something that we probably would adopt if Romney wins in November. Scary thought.

  4. @ Amber Star

    “The verdict was 8-6 against Sheridan. The prosecution dismissed Sheridan’s defence (that NoW had conspired with, bribed & manipulated people into bearing false witness against him) as “pure fantasy”.”

    8-6? (Insert gaping mouth wide open and shocked expression on face). There’s no unanimous jury requirement for a guilty verdict?

    @ Old Nat

    “What is more likely is that the Fiscal may well decide that any falsehood made by Coulson in the Sheridan trial was irrelevant to the trial verdict, and that Coulson’s status as a credible witness – given that he was a witness for the defence – was of little moment in determining the trial outcome.

    However, that is a matter for the legal process. The purpose of my post was to outline that perjury in Scotland is defined differently from the manner that most are used to.”

    Question. Do you have a separate habeas corpus process and/or procedure for proving innocence for convicted individuals or are convicted individuals limited to just an appeal? So for example, government brings charges against someone for murder. They’re convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Presumably they’ve got a time limit on when they can file an appeal of their conviction. Let’s say they don’t file an appeal and agree to serve their sentence. But let’s say 10 years later, there’s newly discovered evidence that casts doubt on their conviction or even suggests evidence of innocence or perhaps there was critical evidence that the prosecution withheld from the defense at trial, could an appeal be filed then? Or let’s say, same scenario, there was an appeal in the case but the higher courts affirmed the conviction. Could the convicted person go back to a court with newly discovered evidence or would their appeals be exhausted?

    (I guess that’s a lot of questions but I am genuinely curious).

  5. Comment regarding the investigation into NI activities here in Scotland:

    “Operation Rubicon has uncovered widespread malpractice – in connection with the Tommy Sheridan case but also in connection with phone hacking.

    “Our main focus has been on who ordered illegal activities. It is fair to say we are confident that there will be further arrests.”

  6. @ R Huckle

    “You may have seen this YT vid.


    Would be great if there was a comeback for political campaign songs.”

    I’ve never seen that video before. The title is intellectually dishonest as it’s not a bipartisan slap. Every single politician pictured is a Democrat. Well unless you count Monmohan Singh who’s in one of them. He’s a member of Congress (though they’re leftwing too and I don’t think that he was the target). Plus, the lyrics are all about taxes. Puhleeze. Most of the people who complain about taxes being too high don’t actually pay them.

    Some songs are adopted by political campaigns and they become associated with campaigns. In Britain, you have “things can only get better.” In the U.S., we have “Beautiful Day” by U2 and “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac and “Happy Days are Here Again.” There are some songs that are played at election night campaign events that become associated in my mind, for example “I got a Feeling” played by Kamala Harris’s campaign at her 2010 election night event, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” by McFadden and Whitehead at Antonio Villaraigosa’s 2005 election night spech, Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher” and Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, and Delivered” played at Barack Obama’s election night victories. Then of course, I’ve got songs in my own personal life that I associate with various politicians, campaigns, and elections. For example, for really close elections that last late into the night, I like to play “One Night Man” by Ricky Martin. It’s a fitting theme. But that’s just me being odd.

    Some songs, however, are specifically written with political movements in mind. Or perhaps civil rights movements. For example Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way”, Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”, Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”, the Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion,” James Brown’s “Say it loud, I’m Black and Proud”, Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom”, “War, What is it good for” by Edwin Starr, and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going on” among many numerous others. Then are gospels written like “ain’t gonna study war no more” and “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” And then there’s Bob Dylan’s “Political World” which many people believe is a song advocating his prolife views. Then there’s his song “Maggie’s Farm” which many people beleive was his advocacy of socialism.

  7. I saw all this coverage on the local news tonight and all these great images of boats on the Thames to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. The event was impressive as it looks like huge turnout. I had no idea how big of a deal this event was for all (or most) of you. Some local British themed pub restaurant was on the news too as a handful of Brits had congregated there to watch and celebrate the Jubilee. Must be nice for them, especially if they’re expats.

    When I was a kid, I went through this unfortunate stretch of time where nearly every summer I was out of town for the Fourth of July. It was always kinda fun to find other Americans (some were expats but others were just vacationing) on the Fourth to celebrate with.

    I see why one of you wished you could have a holiday like this every year that wasn’t reliant on what the Royal Family was doing. This (and the wedding) are great unifying events and occassions for everyone to celebrate.

    I can also see why some Scots Nats aren’t as enthusiastic about this. I guess the Jubilee might be for a Scots Nat what Christmas is for a Jewish person. Everyone is out celebrating and having fun and you’re kinda left out of the fun. Oh you’re welcome to join but you really don’t want to. (Reminds me of a recent story about how large numbers of Muslim Americans were starting to celebrate Christmas).

  8. Okay, some of you (maybe the Scots) will find this hilarious. I’m watching an episode of Cupcake Champions tonight (which is part of the larger Cupcake Wars show, a trainwreck television show). The event that they’re making cupcake fors is for Disney Pixar’s new film ‘Brave” which apparently takes place in “ancient Scotland.” (I put it in quotes because I’m not sure that Scotland was called ‘Scotland’ in ancient times and the animated characters are all speaking English with strong Scottish accents so I’m not sure this is an actual depiction of ancient Scotland but perhaps more midieval Scotland).

    Anyway, for the first round they were all asked to make a cupcake containing one of the following favorite Scottish ingredients: Salmon, whiskey, turnips, mutton, and oats.

    Yes, I admit it, it’s a trainwreck and I can’t look away.

  9. Oh and the host of the show (who’s a total moron) is wearing a kilt for this episode.

  10. Okay, so one of the contestants got mutton (normally they pick their own ingredients but in this special episode, they had to fire a bow and arrow at a target pad to hit which ingredient they would get). This contestant is a baker from Utah and looks like a chubby and younger version of Ann Romney.

    Anyway, how’s this for a Scottish cupcake? She made a spiced scone cupcake with ground mutton with a goatcheese mashed potato frosting (that had pear juice in it) topped with a pomegranate cherry compote on top. Scottish or not Scottish? I’m not sure I’d want to eat that….. (FYI this would be a much better episode if this was for some sort of SNP Convention and Nicola Sturgeon or Pete Wishart was the third guest judge……for my taste anyway).

  11. @ReginaldMauding

    Interesting comment but hardly likely to apply to me as the only misery I can remember in my life was when i was eleven and the mother i adored died. I have had ill health in the last few years but have managed it very well as i am sure my family would confirm.

    I think that a much more likely explanation is that actually I am right and left wing posters are generally more miserable than those of the right. When they descend to personal abuse as Bazsc did then I suggest that implies anger presumably because they have lost the argument.

    @Peter Cairns

    I do not have time to compile a list of useless jobs, if I set my mind to it it would probably take several months to produce. However the website of the Tax Payers Alliance will help you out. They list hundreds off them. It applies to this Government alsmost as much as the last, because although it would like a smaller state it does not seem to have the courage to produce one. Eventually of course economic poverty will force it on this country anyway unless we mend our ways. I thoroughly enjoyed posting yesterday while i watched the jubilee but I have better things to amuse me today so I will leave you all in peace.

  12. TOH

    I did not descend into abuse – I was merely pointing out the way that you interact on here is bizarre

    Can you please again tell me why being opposed to the monarchy and the faux patriotism we saw yesterday makes me miserable?

    As to your last paragraph, if you start using the Taxpayer’s Alliance as source material then you know the argument is lost……

    Anyway have to go of to work now – someone has to provide that GDP……

  13. Good Morning All.
    Should be end of Half Term today, does anyone know why half term is this week and not last week? Thank you very much.
    To be fair: (as they say in football commentaries), the ‘Left’ provided me, at least, with the NHS, schools, rights for work when I was very ill; just to mention three issues.
    Sidney Webb is good on this, when lampooning ‘individualists’.
    Joe Chamberlain’s defence of municipal socialism is also very apposite.

  14. Good morning everyone
    And a good morning indeed it is for the French left. Yesterday it was voting day for us residents outside France, one week earlier than France proper, for the General Election. For the first time, we elect our own MPs, instead of our votes being added to the votes of our “original” constituency. For that effect, 11 constituencies were created for us, according to the geographical area we reside. In the PE of April-May, 8 of these 11 gave the majority to Sarkozy. But yesterday, in 8 out of 11, socialist candidates lead the polls. The most spectacular reversal took place at the very constituency where I voted yesterday , the 8th one (Southern Europe), comprising Italy, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel. This constituency, because of the overwhelmingly right-wing orientation of French in Israel, was the best for Sarkozy: 49% at 1st round, 63% at the runoff, despite the fact that Italy, Greece and Turkey voted Hollande. So, the results of yesterdays vote are as follows:
    Socialist 30.5 (Hollande 1st round: 24.2)
    UMP 22.2 (Sarkozy: 49,0)
    Ind. right 14.5
    Green 10.5 (Joly : 4.0)
    Center 9.9 (Bayrou: 6.9)
    Left Front 6.3 (Melenchon: 7.7)
    NF 3.8 (LePen: 5.3)
    PRG (Left Lib.) 0.8 (Hollande in PE)
    Others 1.6 (Dupont+Cheminade: 1.6)
    Troskysts 0.0 (Poutou+Arthaud: 1.3)
    So, even if we count together the two right-wing candidates, at 36.7, their score is 12.3 points behind that of Sarkozy. The total sum of the left-wing candidates votes is 48.1 (35.9 in last PE), and socialist candidate Mrs Daphna Pozanski-Benhamou will very probable win the runoff and be our MP, which was totally unthinkable two days ago! In Israel she was third, behind the centrist and the independent right-wing candidate, but she won convincingly in Italy and Greece and overwhelmingly in Turkey, whereas the Green candidate did very well in Italy (he resides in Milan) and the Left Front candidate in Greece (she is a French-Italian living in Athens). The UMP candidate did not win anywhere, she was fourth in Israel (she is French-Israeli, as most candidates) and a distant second everywhere else. The runoff is on June 17, this time together with France proper, and the same day (again!) with Greek snap GE!

  15. @ Valerie

    Check this out:


    Thought you, as a feminist, would appreciate.

    @ Virgilio

    I shouldn’t be up so late but congratulations! Your constituency set-up is pretty unique but sounds interesting. The UMP has some problems with Sarkozy gone. I think whether Hollande gets the numbers he needs will probably be apparent next Sunday when the rest of the French vote.

    Your district is dominated by Israel. I’ve heard (perhaps incorrectly) that Sarkozy has some Jewish ancestry. Do you think that helped give him a benefit among Israeli French voters who overwhelmingly voted for him even as French voters residing in other countries within your district voted for Hollande? Also, are there constituencies set up for French voters residing in the U.S.?

    Again, got to hand it to you for being able to vote in two different elections on the same day.

  16. Just time to comment before i go walking in the Surrey Hills.

    Perhaps i am just better mannered it reads like abuse to me. Your comment re Tax Payers Alliance is what i would expect, anything that points out the error of your beliefs is dismissed out of hand.

    @ChrisLane 1945
    If i had relied on the NHS I would be dead by now. I was refused a biopsy of the NHS in 2003. I had it done privately and was diagnosed with a serious prostate cancer. The fact that i am still alive is down to excellent health care (private). Last year I was diagnosed with AF but denied the follow up tests that should follow. Again thanks to a private cardiologist I have had all the tests i need and am much better.

    Have a nice day all.

  17. SoCalLiberal

    8-6? (Insert gaping mouth wide open and shocked expression on face). There’s no unanimous jury requirement for a guilty verdict?

    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.

    However, according to this consultation paper:


    There are some particular safe-guards embedded in the Scottish criminal justice system. While there are three verdicts, both “not guilty” and “not proven” count as acquittals. If no majority is achieved the accused must be acquitted rather than re-tried. Finally, the Crown must always corroborate the essential facts of the case: that the crime was committed and that the accused was the perpetrator

  18. @SocialLiberal
    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.
    You are perhaps right, there was a pro-Sarkozy bias in Israel that has partially gone now he is not part of the picture. The 8e constituency is, in my opinion, a case of gerrymandering, they “added” Israel to the left-wing leaning Southern Europe so as to “neutralize” our votes, but obviously it did not work, because Sarkozy voters either did not show (participation in Israel was very low in comparison to PE) or were divided between the right-wing candidates on issues of Israeli domestic policies (the centrist candidate is a moderate pro-peace activist, the independent right-winger is a “falcon” of the Likud who criticizes even Nentanyahou for his declarations on the Palestinian issue). Local factors played a minor part in other countries too: the Green candidate is very active in Italy, where he resides, but also in Greece, so he had very good results here, and the Left Front candidate is strong in Greece because of her residence here, and secondarily in Italy because of her origins. In Turkey, where these factors do not play, the left-wing vote was overwhelmingly concentrated on the socialist candidate, who is also a very nice and open-minded lady. According to 1st round results, the socialists will get from 6 to 8 seats out of 11, which was beyond any expectation on the basis of the PE results. In general, the Socialist-led alliance seems poised to have comfortable majority in the forthcoming GE.

  19. Still a little confused about the import of Old Nat’s comment about the different status of perjury under Scotish Law.

    A transcript of the testimony (in six parts) can be found here:


    What struck me is that Sheridan questions Coulsons at such length and on so many aspects of the hacking scandal (“Can I just remind you nothing is a matter of record in this court until either you or I talk about [it]”). Coulson did recieve some preparation specific to the Scottish system from NI lawyers, but one gets the impression that he did not expecting this level of questioning, and is wondering what he has stumbled into.

  20. If the right to strike is now something to be disputed and polled, then we really have reached a low in civilisation. What else is up for discussion? Voting? Democracy? Surely the media and politicians could make cases against all that too, if they wanted to. If they did so for several decades without any response no doubt polls would show majority opposition to democracy.

    The media is almost completely against strikes of any sort and is willing to propagandise any strike story against the strikers. That’s the same media that is being enquired into for corruption and crime. Can anyone remember any media body (apart from the left-wing press and I don’t mean the Guardian) that supported any strike at all? The fact that such stories are as rare as hen’s teeth proves media bias against strikers.

    They are still deciding what people ‘think’ of the rights previous generations died for.

    What is desperately needed is reform of the media, some recognition of the validity of the laws that govern labour and workers’ rights, perhaps by respecting our membership of the ILO as a starter, not scurrilous and opportunistic attacks on them, and some respect for workers.

  21. BAZSC

    “he faux patriotism we saw yesterday ”

    There was nothing “faux” about it-people don’t stand waving in the rain, or sitting in front of sodden sausage rolls all draped in the national flag , in those numbers ,for hours on end unless they mean it.

    You will just have to put up with it – Brits love their Queen.
    She really does mean something to them.

    The only concession I would make to you however, is that I do think this love & respect is there for the current sovereign.

    I think it will be a different matter if/when her eldest son succeeds her, and you may find yourself on firmer ground.

    Hopefully you are going to have to wait for some time.

  22. MIKEMS
    Well spoken sir. Thank you.

    My one caveat would be, and it is not insignificant, that the UK Trade Unions deliberately destroyed the last Old Labour Government, when Callaghan and Healey were pulling the country around after years of neglect by all governments since 1951.
    Notably, the Maudling boom, the Barber boom and Wilson’s demise in terms of health. Men like me will never forgive the Jones/Scanlon/Clive Jenkins/ Alan Fisher etc crowd.
    Rant over, off to work now!

  23. @Colin – a late revision on numbers! When I read the Telegraph headline yesterday about 1 million watching, it turned out to actually say ‘…and a million hands waved back’.

    Obviously, if we assume the vast majority of royalist still have two hands, and they are the kind of uncool nutters who do manic two handed waves, it’s safe to assume the actual numbers were nearer half a million.

    Glad that’s settled…..

    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?

  24. ALEC


    Sky settled on 1.2 million

    Actually by my calculation , two seven mile stretches of river bank,with a crowd 7 deep , shoulder to shoulder the entire length is a MAX of 250 k………..so who knows?

  25. @ MIKEMS

    The YG poll asked about the right to strike for “essential public workers”, not for workers in general. The majority view was that only doctors, police and firefighters should be prohibited from striking, and that other groups should have that right. Police are currently prohibited from striking, and although the BMA received a mandate (of sorts) for strike action, they are only requesting that doctors stop non-urgent work on 21st June.

    The YG poll suggests that the public are very unsympathetic to doctors (like poiticians and journalists). The only plausible complaint that the BMA has is that doctors are being untreated unfairly with respect to pensions compared to other public sector workers on similar pay and receiving similar pensions. I think that the BMA’s action is short-sighted and having voted no, intend to work normally on 21st June.

    @ Virgilio

    Are the overseas French voters citizens of the states in which they reside? If so, I don’t understand why the France allows them to vote in its election, as their allegiances are likely to lie elsewhere (as you illustrate). Most countries require individuals to renounce their citizenship if they become a citizen of another country.

  26. @Colin – I did read an article in yesterday’s Telegraph which repeated the ‘2 billion watched the royal wedding’ line, despite this being patent nonsense.

    Still, having seen the new reports I have to say it was disappointing that the rain was so bad, as the spectacle would have been greatly enhanced in sparkling summer sunshine. However, rain is very British, and there is a certain symmetry to the whole affair, as I understand it lashed down on Madge’s coronation day.

    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.

  27. There was a long exchange between The Other Howard and various other people yesterday in which several people really didn’t live up to the spirit of the site’s comments policy (left wingers are all miserable vs right wingers are all thick is not conducive to non-partisan discussion!)

    I did ponder going through and moderating it, but it seemed to have come to a natural end. Before it starts up again though, let’s put it to bed now.

  28. This is a little reported part of the epic failure of Euro leadership over the financial crisis- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9309393/BIS-warns-global-lending-contracting-at-fastest-pace-since-2008-Lehman-crisis.html

    The lately discovered teutonic drive for stability within banking markets led to the notion of forcing banks to improve their capital ratios, but to force this in the teeth of the storm created by coordinated austerity is utter madness.

    This is one of the key reasons why the money supply numbers across Europe have been collapsing since late last year and is directly feeding in to the developing collapse in the real economy.

    I strongly suspect that the name ‘Merkel’ will in future years feature hugely in economic text books devoted to explaining why Europe led the world into a completely self inflicted depression, and she will be remembered as the most devastatingly naive global leader for a generation.

  29. ALEC

    Yes-shame about the rain.

    I would like to have seen Gloriana in the sun-was very impressed with it.

    In the Canaletto 1748 painting , the boats on which it is modelled seem huge-unless his perspective is deceiving.

    Anyway must stop wittering on about this now-bloody Cliff Richard next -that’ll put a dampener on things -even if it’s dry.

  30. @Colin – I’m quite looking forward to the beacons tonight. Apparently they have already started lighting them across the commonwealth, but there are over 4,000 due across the UK at 10pm tonight, including a full string across Hadrian’s Wall quite near me. Should be good if it stays clear.

  31. ALEC

    Lucky man-glorious part of the country.

  32. “There was a long exchange…”
    And it meant that nobody posted about the polls that have been released!

    Angus-Reid (Since April)
    Labour 45% (+4)
    Conservative 29% (nc)
    LibDems 9% (-2)
    UKIP 8% (nc)

    Cameron’s Approval -24 (+2)
    Miliband -15 (+9)
    Clegg -46 (+2)
    No surprise in Miliband’s approval gain, given the +4 to VI.

    Survation (Also since April)
    Labour 37% (nc)
    Conservative 29% (-1)
    LibDems 13% (nc)
    UKIP 12%

    Approval –
    The Queen +64
    Miliband -25
    Cameron -29
    Clegg -43

    Keep – 71%
    Abolish – 21%

    Next King –
    Charles – 41%
    William – 39%
    Republic – 21%

    Who do you trust more on the economy?
    Cameron vs Miliband –
    Cameron 34%
    Miliband 29%

    Balls vs Osborne –
    Balls 28%
    Osborne 26%

  33. Chrislane,

    We all have diffferent memories of those days. Mine are that workers were struggling to survive on wages that lost a lot of their value over three years from 76 to 79. Also, the union leaderships did all they could to keep their members on side and not upset the govt. They didn’t want strikes at all and did all they could to prevent them. I remember this vividly because I was trying to break the Social Contract from below.

    I was a member of Sogat, supposedly one of the most militant unions, but we worked on poverty wages that were cut every year by significant amounts. That was to help in the ‘fight against inflation’ which we didn’t cause.

    The biggest lie of the period is that unions were militant and ‘held the country to ransom’ when, in fact, they had held the country together to weather the capitalist’s storm. They paid the price when their own members rebelled and the tories took adantage by blaming the leaderships and rushing laws through to chain workers further. That was the recognition we got for increased poverty in the national interest. Soon, to add insult to injury, we would be considered ‘the enemy within’.


    I don’t draw a distinction between ‘essential public workers’ and other workers. Who decides what is ‘essential’ and to whom? Why if some workers are ‘essential’ are their wages and conditions so easily disturbed by politicians?

    Slicing workers into groups like that and deciding that some of them haven’t got rights undermines the whole concept of workers rights itself. All that is necessary is the constant integral expansion of who is described as ‘essential’ and there go our rights.

    Rights are rights, full stop. Not to be negotiated or bartered. Current constraints should be done away with, not extended, since these constraints go against our international obligations under the ILO.

  34. Oh, and there’s an agree/disagree poll from ComRes/Independent –
    “Building new wind farms is an acceptable price to pay for greener energy in the future”
    Agree – 68%
    Disagree – 23%

    I wonder what the result would have been if they were asked “Not meeting renewable energy targets is an acceptable price for keeping the natural beauty of the countryside”..

  35. Cherie Blair allegedly refused to curtsey when she met the Queen. The Daily Mail & other right-wing media were absolutely vile about her throughout Tony Blair’s time as PM. At the time, I never quite worked out what she’d done that deserved the level of vilification that was directed at her by the media. Looking back, I think it probably had its roots in that simple refusal to sweep the floor of Buckingham Palace with her skirt.

  36. @ Tinged

    Thanks for the polls :-)

    Almost everybody ignores Angus Reid as being too volatile. It’s record of accuracy is not good. I think it had overblown Con for most of the time before the 2010 election, then closer to the GE it had overblown support for LD. It now seems to have Labour a bit on the high side & Cons a bit too low.

    Are Survation prompting for UKIP? The 12% is much higher than we’ve seen from other polling firms. I think they are prompting; perhaps somebody will confirm or correct me on this.

  37. @Daodao
    French law does not make any distinction, as far as voting rights are concerned, between expats and bi-nationals. ALL French citizens, regardless of the way that they have acquired their citizenship, have the right to vote in the country of their permanent residence, either this is their “original” country or not. So, if I resided, say, in Argentina, I would vote in the 2nd constituency of French abroad, whereas now that I reside in Greece, I vote in the 8th constituency where Greece belongs. There are of course some differences between being an expat and a bi-national, but these do not regard the voting rights. For instance, if I resided in another country besides Greece, the French consulate would have to protect me from any abuse, litigation etc. with this state and ensure a fair treatment even if I am accused of something serious, whereas in Greece it has no such right nor obligation, for here I “belong” to the jurisdiction of the Greek state for these matters. I admit of course that bi-nationals apply sometimes different criteria to their vote, taking into account the interests of their “original” country, but this cannot be prevented even if they were obliged to abandon their former nationality. I personally never thought of voting for a French election on the basis of what is beneficial for Greece, I operate strictly in French-politics frame (I must admit that I never faced such a dilemma, France and Greece were always close allies), and vice-versa my Greek vote is determined by Greek politics. French-Israeli bi-nationals are more often “accused” of such a behavior, but this is a special case linked to a trouble historical past and present, and I do not want to pass judgment on them, I think that in the end every citizen has his/her consciousness that guides his/her choices and their is no law in the word that can impose this.

  38. @Tingedfringe – I saw the ComRes wind farm poll but refrained from mentioning it as I was getting on so well with @Colin.

    I have to admit to tiring of the whole approach to wind power contained within these polls. I spend much of my professional life trying to get renewable energy projects (including large turbines) up and running, but I do this for community projects, not commercial developers.

    What constantly fascinates me, and equally frustrates me, is the impact on local attitudes of differing ownership models. Very commonly, where communities are asked to support a commercial wind development, with profits going to private developers, often big multinationals, they (quite rightly, in my view) kick up a stink and object.

    Where we construct projects designed to produced community ownership of wind developments, we have secured local votes in favour in excess of 80%, with the majority of the remainder being ‘don’t know’ rather than ‘no’ votes.

    This is entirely because the judgement of landscape and noise impact then becomes set against the benefits of community ownership. In the case of a single large turbine, this could mean net annual income for the community of several hundred thousand pounds a year. In my book, this should be the future on onshore wind – local community ownership.

    I understand that we believe some Westminster politicians read UKPR in their spare time, so if any of you are reading this, stop banging on about the tariff rates for wind power and start thinking about differential rates for community ownership.

    Your target should be for appropriate wind developments, but only if they are owned by communities. This would deliver green energy, make communities self financing, and is an ideal first step towards the Big Society, if you’re still flogging that particular dead horse.

  39. SoCal,

    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!

  40. @ Alec. You talk a lot sense my friend.

    I’m glad I gave Jenny Jones my second preference vote. I bet you can guess where I put my first! ;-)

  41. daodao

    I don’t understand why France allows [citizens of other states]to vote in its election, as their allegiances are likely to lie elsewhere … Most countries require individuals to renounce their citizenship if they become a citizen of another country.

    Actually a lot of countries don’t mind – there’s a good if not comprehensive article on Wikipedia:


    Even when there is supposed to be an objection to dual nationality, the objection may not be reciprocal and in any event the consequences don’t seem to enforced very often.

  42. @ Alec

    Merkel’s Party is falling behind in the polls in Germany. The people of Germany are not stupid. They know that in or out, they will be picking up the tab for the eurozone debt. Their worst case scenario is Germany out & back to the DM. This would result in a soaring exchange rate for them & a huge write-down in the value of euro debt which is owed to German manufacturers, banks etc.

    They are also beginning to appreciate that Merkel’s approach is causing social & economic unrest throughout Europe; Germans do not wish to become hated throughout Europe again! If Merkel does not come up with a new approach to the euro crisis, we will see a Left/Green coalition government in Germany come the next election.

  43. @ Anthony

    Ah, I see. I thought you were off Jubilee-ing yesterday & we were having a no moderation day! :-)

  44. Alec,

    I just had a dispiriting letter from my MP about the new Energy bill.

    It’s all ‘leave it to the market’ I’m afraid. Energy policy is more or less decided in the interests of the current (!) providers. There is no plan, not even a plan to have a plan.

    Even in terms of insulation of the private rented sector there is nothing to force landlords to do the work, nor any rights for tenants (‘we want to encourage landlords into the market, not discourage them!’). But that means that the part of the housing stock that most needs work doing is going to be ignored again and tenants who complain can simply be evicted as now:

    It will be ‘… unlawful to rent out a house or business that does not reach this minimal standard (not yet decided)…’

    Yet ‘This requirement is subject to there being no upfront financial cost to landlords…’. Landlords will have a reason to do nothing unless they get public funding, and tenants have no recourse outside of asking the landlord.

  45. @ daodao

    The UK also allows citizens of other countries to vote in elections. Commonwealth citizines living in the UK can vote in UK elections (though not European Parliament elections). Similarly other EU citizens living in the UK can vote on European Parliament elections.

  46. ALEC

    In the spirit of your opening comments I will not respond on wind turbines……….except to say that I was pleased to read of the recent ruling by Mrs Justice Lang . :-)

  47. @Colin – I noted those comments, and interestingly we have had a similar experience in a completely different part of the control. In this case, development has been refused unless a clear community benefit can be demonstrated – eg the council will approve community owned turbines where there is demonstrable local public support, but with refuse purely commercial applicants.

    Essentially whether the things are viable means to reduce carbon emissions is essentially a redundant argument in many ways – that they earn massive profits is a given, and as long as that situation persists the debate needs to be about who gets the massive profits.

  48. @Amber Star – ” …everybody ignores Angus Reid as being too volatile.”

    People can question their accuracy, but they have in fact been quite consistent in showing a lower score for the Tories than other companies – consequently they were one of the first to show the lead switching from Con to Lab in 2010 – their range of values has been much tighter.

    I don’t know why this is, but their sample does seem quite stable.

    All polls since the GE:

    Con 29% – 35%, Lab 37% – 45%, LD 8% – 13%*

    *(excluding the first two post election polls of 2010 which had LD on 15% and 16%)

  49. “I say let’s have a Cromwell in charge again, just for a change!”
    Please – no.
    We don’t need someone declaring a ‘People’s Republic’ (Commonwealth in Cromwell’s time) only for them to act essentially as an absolute monarch [1] who is worse than the last guy.
    I’m an ardent republican – but I’d much prefer a neutered monarchy with strong parliamentary power (what we have now) to another Cromwell/Napoleon/Lenin/etc.

    [1] Hereditary succession + absolute rule = monarchy, no matter what presidential/chairman/supreme leader/emperor language you dress it up in.
    Kim Jong-un is a King and North Korea is a monarchy, no matter how much they claim to be a ‘democratic republic’, for example.

  50. ALEC

    @”Essentially whether the things are viable means to reduce carbon emissions is essentially a redundant argument in many ways – that they earn massive profits is a given,”

    But I have seen this from the very first Klondyke rush to the hills with suitcases full of bribes. And I was never persuaded that this was about “saving the planet”-or even the pretence of doing so.

    That someone like you can make this remark is a deeply depressing experience after all that has happened.

    I see that Evan Davis on Today this morning appears to be way behind you in the “realism” stakes. The BBC are still working from the Old Testament it seems.

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