Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 32%, LAB 43%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 7%, so back to a Labour lead far more typical of YouGov’s recent polling than the fourteen point lead last night.

There is also a new Opinium poll out today, which also gives Labour an eleven point lead. Opinium’s full topline figures are CON 31%(nc), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 9%(+1). Changes are from Opinium’s last poll a fortnight ago and show no significant change.

211 Responses to “New YouGov and Opinium polls”

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  1. Amber/Alec,

    “Every time the banks are mentioned, Alex Salmond loses a lot more credibility than Darling.”

    We are back to the phoney war.

    All your No points are part of a concerted attempt to stop Independence.

    They are all workable and represent a fiscal agreement that would be in both Countries interests in the event of Independence.

    However until a yes vote no one opposed to Independence will admit that their I any merit in any SNP proposal.

    There is nothing in the SNP plan that the Bank of England can’t and won’t sign up too, but they won’t admit that.

    Right now if Alex Salmond announced a cure for Cancer, Darling would declare it a disaster for MacMillan Nurses.


  2. @ Alec

    Don’t you think that the reason the banks don’t get touched criminally, is that they are treated as part of the state machine. They are an elite and on the same level as royalty. This goes back hundreds of years, where the bankers mixed with royalty and the gentry. I don’t think this situation has changed and may be the reason that no one is rushing to investigate any criminal wrong doing.

    Also very few politicians are calling for criminal enquiries, as some of the party funding they receive comes from some banks.

  3. @Peter Cairns – it’s interesting that the opposition to transaction taxes cite the increases cost of transactions as a negative, but that these very same arguments aren’t ever applied to bankers fees, which presumably have exactly the same effect.

  4. I once informed my aged headmistress aunt, for whom i was EPOA, that her Midland bank account was now held by the Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation.

    Her expression was aweful to behold.

    The notion of Bankers on a par with Royalty (R H I think) first brought a scoff from me, and then I thought about the Prince of Wales’ financial activities and it caused me to reconsider.

  5. er, awesome, forgive urban vocab.

  6. Alec,

    There is the difference that one is at least in theory a payment for a service while the tax would just be a deduction and charge on the activity itself.

    As to whether the fees are justified, well it’s a bit like estate agents, many charge a percentage of the sale price, but it is difficult to see why it takes four times more effort to sell a £400k house than a £100k flat.

    The counter argument is that flat fees would penalise first time buyers selling low end properties.

    I suspect the fees are set at what they think they can get away with.


  7. Some more interesting data from that Scottish Ipsos-MORI poll at the beginning of the June. The Future of Scotland campaign (“civic Scotland”) also asked “: Who do you think should be responsible for making decisions in each of the following areas?”

    3 areas are already wholly or largely devolved (Housing & homelessness : Environment : Sport & culture), the others wholly or largely reserved to Westminster. The results are consistent with polling over some years.

    Sco, UK, Issue
    80%, 18%, Housing & homelessness
    69%, 29%, Environment
    69%, 27%, Sport & culture
    67%, 32%, Welfare and benefits
    64%, 34%, Energy
    64%, 34%, Employment law
    57%, 41%, Tax
    57%, 40%, Economy
    45%, 53%, International development
    33%, 65%, Defence
    32%, 66%, Foreign affairs

    Instead of politicians posturing and telling the people what they should want, we need a bit more humility from them. Try to persuade us – fine – but at the end of the day, they are our servants, not our masters (at least in Scotland).

    Civic Scotland is working to produce a formulation of powers for Holyrood that actually represents majority Scots opinion on the constitutional issue. One side of the debate appears to be willing to listen, the other seems a bit more intransigent.

    An interesting couple of years ahead! :-)

  8. Oldnat,

    Are there party breakdowns for those figures?


  9. Peter

    Tables don’t seem to be up yet on the MORI site. The only party info on the Future of Scotland briefing

    is that “37% of SNP voters want to leave the UK in charge of defence and 36% want to leave UK in charge of foreign affairs.”

    Since 45% of voters are SNP voters in that poll, that doesn’t seem surprising.

  10. Old Nat

    I deduce from those figures that if the UK agreed to subsume itself on the last two issues to an NATO and EU function ( I know we’ve got Rasmussen and Mrs Kellner already) then job done for the SNP?

  11. Howard

    It would certainly largely be “job done” for those of us who have argued for decades that the UK is too big for the wee things and too wee for the big things!

  12. Howard,

    What I suspect the figures show is that whether it be some accommodation over shared defence with Independence or Devo Max where defence remained at westminster it would only last until the next Iraq.

    Scots will be happy with the UK leading on defence……. until it goes wrong!


  13. Ed Mili calls for banking enquiry…If the government are confident that Labour are to blame,they should agree to this…But at a time of recession,an enquiry could worsen economic outlook

  14. @OldNat

    So, how much exactly is the SNP offering to pay the English for our services in running your foreign policy, international development and defence? You realise we’re going to have to work on commission on top of the fees.


    I disagree.

    For once I agree with VC-we just need to get on with regulating & , where possible prosecuting.

    At long last the FSA seems to be getting it’s finger out-(though the fine it handed out to Barclays looks derisory)

    I credit VC & GO with putting some impetus behind this-not least the fact that the FSA gets replaced by the new Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority next year.

    It is good to see compensation plans being forced on miscreant banks by both FSA & VC.

    The upcoming implementation of Vickers is the next big piece of legislation-hopefully putting investment bankers behind a ring fence where they will bear the consequences if they carry on with these practices.

    With regard to the political angle-whilst I think GO set out the context pretty well in the House during his LIBOR statement, as before, they don’t translate it into political capital outside the HoC.

    There is a very good story & they need to tell it. A few tag lines wouldn’t go amiss. GO had one in the House:-

    “Darling and Brown rejected calls for a radical overhaul of the banking system; their 2009 Financial Services White paper was described by George Osborne as “more of a white flag than a white paper”. Citing the City’s contribution to the UK economy, Labour rejected a major restructure of regulation.”

    I can suggest another one :-

    LIBR + Labour’s Impotent Ballsdup Regulation.

    I read that a US Senator in the US Congressional Committee hearing into JP Morgan , asked why so many of these banking scandals emanated from London.

    I have no doubt that GO could provide a resounding answer.

    Having said all this , I don’t actually think there is much to be gained by Cons from pointing fingers at Labour-I doubt anyone cares-the public must be punch drunk with this stuff & want most of all some Action against these companies.-so that is where Government should concentrate their efforts.

    ……but I would want them to respond firmly as indicated above to any bleating from Balls & Miliband.

  16. @Peter Cairns – apologies – I hadn’t picked up your 1.34pm post.
    @Amberstar said none of the following would happen;

    1) Keeping the £ & have a separate fiscal policy.
    2) Keep the £ & have a representative on BoE policy committee.
    3)Keeping the £ & have a lender of last resort agreement with the BoE/ treasury.
    4)Keeping the £ & have separate regulation for Scotland/ Scottish banks.

    You said – “They are all workable and represent a fiscal agreement that would be in both Countries interests in the event of Independence.”

    With greatest respect, I believe you are completely and totally wrong, and that there remains a fundamental and central flaw in the various positions the SNP appear to have taken with regard to a Scottish currency post independence.

    On the points themselves, I believe your arguments that these discussions are pre vote posturing are delusional. The SNP needs to snap out of this if it is to have any hope of persuading voters.

    Point 1 is the killer. You will not, ever, be permitted to have a separate fiscal policy within a united sterling zone. No English politician is stupid enough to repeat the mistakes made with the Euro. We are not Germans. You cannot have a sustainable single currency operating in different fiscal jurisdictions – this is the lesson of the EZ crisis. If ever this was a possibility, the financial crisis has ended any chance of this, with even the EX now hurtling towards central control of budgets.

    Point 2, I would concede is perfectly possible, by why would rUK politicians permit it? If Scotland retained the £ your spending would be dictated by Westminster anyway, so you would operate under the same central bank system as now, with no need for geographical representation.

    Point 3) – again, this is technically possible, but if you didn’t agree to full fiscal union, this would not be permitted. English voters, like German voters today, would not accept responsibility for Scottish financial matters without full fiscal union.

    Point 4) is probably the one where there could be some scope for negotiation, but again, you need to think why would rUK want to negotiate. If you retain the £, you will be in a fiscal union anyway, and it’s very hard to understand what benefit there would be to anyone having differential bank regulation. If you’re not in a fiscal union, it’s entirely your shout, but under your own central bank and currency.

    No currency union has survived without full fiscal and political union, and the SNP needs to get real about this. You will not achieve full independence and keep the £. There are plenty of other options available that would mean you could retain sterling, but the question then remains what would the difference be between these and devo max.


    The SNP are offering you nothing. Scotland could run these things perfectly well itself.

    However, the UK (you are a self-centred wee soul, aren’t you?) already provides those services for other parts of the British Isles. Are you suggesting a different scale of charges?

    Prior to jibing, please engage brain!

  18. @Alec is right. I cannot understand why those on the “Independence: Yes” side insist on keeping GBP, especially when you consider that a Scottish pound (SCP?) would be perfectly viable.

    Regards, Martyn

  19. @OLDNAT

    h ttp://

    22m:00s to 23m:15s


  20. Do contributors have a view on what would be the outcome of a poll question ‘would a German finance minister make a better job of it than … (fill in Ed Balls or George Osborne).’

    I think I know but I would love to find out.

  21. Actually, I’ll expand on this. The entire point of independence is to get your own currency, legislature, government, courts, judges, armed forces, central bank, police and so on, even if it’s only a dinghy with a popgun and a bloke with a red armband. The Irish managed to pull this off after a war of secession, in the middle of a civil war, with an economy consisting of importing rain and exporting people. The Scots have a fully functioning civil infrastructure, some of the best universities in Europe, and oil, wind power, and nuclear power plants. If they can’t get their heads round what is necessary to create a state with all that, well, something has gone very wrong somewhere. What is it with all this “well we’ll be independent but keep GBP” stuff? What kind of independence is that?

    Regards, Martyn

  22. @COLIN
    `For once I agree with VC-we just need to get on with regulating & , where possible prosecuting`

    I am not sure the answer is to regulate without actually making the diagnosis of the problems..I can understand that economic crisis is not the time for creating uncertainty (which could be why Brown and Darling didn`t want major change in 2009) but drawing up a giant carpet over whet went on will not do much to instill confidence for the domestic audience as well as international businesses.

    If not a public enquiry,atleast an investigation into practices could help creating effective regulation in the future…Delaying the investigation in the middle of a double-dip recession is also understandable.


    Everyone knows how to regulate banking .

    Everyone knows why it failed in the past-both here & USA.

    Everyone knows that Investment Bankers cannot be trusted to behave with propriety, and can, no longer be allowed to generate risk inside a corporate entity which includes deposit takers who might have to be underwritten by taxpayers.

    All we need in effective regulation, appropriate financial & legal sanctions for breach thereof, and hardnosed use of both.

    WE are at last on the road to getting those things here-lets just get on with it pronto.

  24. MARTYN

    You fall into the common trap of trying to define for other people, what particular words mean, and the constitutional position that they should adopt – according to you.

    You choose to define all the countries in the Eurozone as not being independent (and a number of others with seats in the UN). I would never try to limit what you think of these countries but, frankly, your thoughts on their status are of limited interest in this context.

  25. @Smukesh

    “I am not sure the answer is to regulate without actually making the diagnosis of the problems”

    Probably true, but when we have a global economic crisis attributable in large part to the fact that we couldn’t let the casino banks go broke because they were also our high street banks, together with interest rate rigging facilitated by the fantasy of ‘chinese walls’, I don’t think it needs much further analysis to conclude that retail and investment banking should be kept as far apart from each other as possible.

    Other things may come out of an enquiry, but we can make a start right there.

  26. @COLIN
    `Everyone knows how to regulate banking`

    You are far more literate in matters economic than me,that`s true..
    I assume you also knew that a Libors scandal was about to break.

    The banks brought this and several other countries to it`s knees and this doesn`t warrant a thorough investigation?Am surprised.

  27. @Oldnat

    My thoughts on the status of the EZ17 and an independent Scotland are of precisely zero importance. At least until I am elected God (of course it’s only a matter of time…:-) )

    But I wasn’t making a statement, I was asking a question. When you originally envisaged an independant Scotland, didn’t you also envisage things like a Scottish pound? And if you didn’t envisage that…well then, what did you envisage? What is your definition of an independent state?

    Regards, Martyn


    @”ou are far more literate in matters economic than me,that`s true..”

    I doubt that it is true.

    @”I assume you also knew that a Libors scandal was about to break.”

    LIBOR was not regulated. Everyone knew it wasn’t regulated.

    I can only presume that it was thought to be a mere daily gathering of statistics.

    Now we know it was being rigged-probably by more than one bank/ The BBA have asked the Government to regulate it.

    What is there to say?

    We don’t need an investigation to find out why it happened -Traders breached Bank Chinese Walls & got the procedure rigged.

    The only question is how was it allowed to happen-and Tyrrie’s Committee is going to ask Diamond that.

    All law proceeds by accretion of knowledge about criminal activity. Banking regs can be no different-you don’t need a Public Enquiry every time something novel pops up.

    You just need an on the ball regulator who is really alongside the industry he is regulating ; constant updating of regs.; & rigorous enforcement & penalty.

  29. @COLIN
    `All law proceeds by accretion of knowledge about criminal activity. Banking regs can be no different-you don’t need a Public Enquiry every time something novel pops up.`

    No one expected the Libor rate to contain a scandal,yet it did…I wonder how many skeletons are waiting to be discovered.

    When dealing with a corrupt system which delivered a global recession,Justice not only needs to be done,it needs to be seen to be done.I can understand delaying it due to the fragile economy but I am not convinced about not having one at all.

  30. Martyn

    Clearly you simply mistyped when you said “The entire point of independence is …..”.

    Clearly not a question!

    I wouldn’t dream of trying to create some arbitrary definition of “an independent state”. It’s fairly pointless, since circumstances change. No country (even N Korea) is “independent” in the 19th century sense of being able to take all its own decisions without regard to the views of other countries.

    Being a member of the Council of Europe and the EU limits the UK’s “independence” to do what it likes – not to mention the demise of Empire!

    I’m quite happy with the concept of peoples having sovereignty, and if they choose to pool aspects of that sovereignty with other countries for mutual advantage, that’s fine.

    That England/UK is happy with sovereignty lying with the Queen in Parliament seems odd to me – but if that’s what they want, then it’s their choice.

    “What is your definition of sovereignty?” I might ask – but won’t. :-)

  31. The majority of UK businesses don’t want Independence, but if asked which one they would prefer if the Scots vote Yes;

    A new Scottish currency, Scotland in the Eurozone, or Scotland in the Sterling zone, I am pretty sure they would overwhelmingly back the Sterling Zone.

    Which is why I think it will happen, mutual self interest.


  32. @ Old Nat

    “However, the UK (you are a self-centred wee soul, aren’t you?) already provides those services for other parts of the British Isles. Are you suggesting a different scale of charges?”

    Don’t you think it’s a bit different once you’re no longer part of the country? And decisions are made solely with “what are the best interests of England?” in mind rather than ‘what is in the best interest of the United Kingdom?”


    God knows what else.

    Any number of Public Enquiries will not find out.

    Effective regulation & oversight can.

    I am not looking for delay-I want all speed with some action.


    rUK wouldn’t just be England (unless Wales and NI leave too). That was the point.

  35. Colin

    You are probably right that the regulatory system required is probably relatively easily defined. However, an enquiry might still prove useful.

    However, the responsibility for the dismantling of what was reasonable regulation lies with almost all politicians in almost every party in most countries, and the regulators they appointed.

    They swallowed the idea of Non Inflationary Continuous Expansion or Post Neo-Classical Endogenous Growth Theory, or any of the rest of the ideas that governments could gets loads of dosh from letting the financiers do their worst.

  36. @Oldnat – noticably in your exchange with @Martyn, you studiously declined to address the central issue of the discussion, which was which currency would an independent Scotland use.

    @Peter Cairns – “The majority of UK businesses don’t want Independence, but if asked which one they would prefer if the Scots vote Yes;
    A new Scottish currency, Scotland in the Eurozone, or Scotland in the Sterling zone, I am pretty sure they would overwhelmingly back the Sterling Zone.
    Which is why I think it will happen, mutual self interest.”

    The first response to this would have to be ‘evidence, please’. having Peter cairns being ‘pretty sure’ about something wouldn’t be my first choice of an evidence base on which to develop the central economic question of a campaign for independence that I might be involved in.

    My second response would be that rUK businesses would be highly unlikely to back such a proposal if they were told that the Scots could borrow and spend what they liked and they would have to bail them out.

    The third response would be that you have entirely failed to address the issue. This is the question of what being in the Sterling Zone would involve. And you need to accept that it would mean having the Westminster government deciding fiscal spending limits for the entire sterling zone.

    There would be no Scottish involvement in this, as you don’t want to send MPs to Westminster. It’s highly unlikely that there would be a Scottish nomination in the BoE MPC either. This is decided by the Westminster government, which you have walked away from. You might want to try and negotiate on this, but that would be an uphill battle – if Scotland got a rep, why not the North East, or London etc, and again, your negotiating power would be non existent.

    @Oldnat has hared off on some irrelevant discussion of what constitutes sovereignty. That’s fine, but it isn’t the question we were looking at. We were examining various SNP statements that you could run your own fiscal policy yet retain sterling, and that you could be independent but have a say in setting UK wide interest rates.

    As I have said before, in polling terms I think this could end being a killer issue for you. As the campaign gears up, the SNP will increasingly find they cannot tell the electorate fibs about what currency and fiscal arrangements they would have after independence. The entire edifice of independence could crumble if Alex can’t sort out this basic policy area.

  37. ALEC

    Martyn’s question was “When you originally envisaged an independant Scotland, didn’t you also envisage things like a Scottish pound?”

    Back in 1960, the French franc was being revalued to 1 NF = 100 old francs. Things were a wee bit different in those days. For example, Lab/Con were opposed to joining the Common Market, which I was all in favour of Scotland joining.

    Until the recent Eurozone crisis, joining the Euro seemed to be the way forward. They may be sorting that out, and it may be the best choice yet.

    The current arguments from the Unionists and yourself that a currency union would simply be the rUK Treasury imposing a regime on the rest of the sterling zone with no limitations on the freedom of the rUK Government to act irresponsibly in running up huge debts is also deeply unsatisfactory.

    A fiscal union with either rUK or the EU only makes sense if all the member states are bound by the needs of fiscal responsibility.

    Something like this sounds OK “Under these rules, the issuance of government debt beyond the level agreed in common would have to be justified and receive prior approval.
    Subsequently, the [central bank] would be in a position to require changes to budgetary envelopes if they are in violation of fiscal rules, keeping in mind the need to ensure social fairness.”

    If rUK can’t sign up to fiscal responsibility, then pegging a Scottish pound to sterling might be the best interim measure.

    You guys seem to be so hung up on symbols of “independence”. Seems a bit odd – but each to their own

  38. Alec

    Answering Martyn isn’t haring “off on some irrelevant discussion” just because it wasn’t addressing the point you were interested in.

    You are being a tad arrogant in that.

  39. @Oldnat – @martyn’s original entry into this particular discussion was – “@Alec is right. I cannot understand why those on the “Independence: Yes” side insist on keeping GBP, especially when you consider that a Scottish pound (SCP?) would be perfectly viable.” This is the bit you ignored.

    “You guys seem to be so hung up on symbols of “independence”. Seems a bit odd – but each to their own.”

    I generally like your posts, but this is just patronising guff. WE are not hung up on what currency an independent Scotland might or might not use in the slightest. I sense that we care not a jot.

    I’m afraid it’s the Nats, led by Alex S, who are the ones going around saying what is going to happen. We are merely pointing out that you are talking nonsense.

  40. I’m off out in a minute, but to bring this back to polling and keep @AW happy, where I came into this was with the observation that the currency issue is, in my opinion, a real problem for the SNP.

    @What currency will we [email protected] is, as @Martyn says, a very central question in voters minds – the kind of issue that they will readily relate to.

    Any hint of uncertainty or obfuscation on this will be potentially highly damaging, with the unionist side having absolutely nothing to lose from this debate – the SNP want the change, so need to have a cast iron case.

    Casting doubts on the future currency will help raise questions on other areas of SNP policy post independence.

    Putting aside what we might think, I suspect this will be an easy target for the unionists and big problem for the SNP.

  41. OLDNAT

    @”However, an enquiry might still prove useful.”

    Can’t see it-not at this juncture anyway.

    We are awash with moldering tomes from enquiries on the banking crisis -on both sides of the atlantic.

    Lets get on with effective regulation & rigorous enforcement & sanction.

    @”However, the responsibility for the dismantling of what was reasonable regulation lies with almost all politicians in almost every party in most countries, and the regulators they appointed.”

    I’m not at all sure that the sweeping generalisations which trip so lightly off the tongue after yet another sighting of banker venality are anything other than empty righteous indignation.

    I’m not sure about “most countries”-I doubt it-but do not know.

    Certainly politicians in many countries , for a decade & more, have sat and watched state tax revenues escalate whilst real estate values & private debt did the same……and never thought to ask regulators if this economic activity was sustainable.

    Worse-they spent the tax revenues before they realised the answer was No.

    In fact some of them borrowed a bit more on top-thinking it would all go on for ever.

    But we all understand that now, with the wisdom of 20:20 hindsight-and we will never do it again……..will we?

  42. Alec

    Shame that you can’t see that my response to Martyn encompassed both his posts – his second one was an expansion of his first.

    I made no suggestion that your side of the argument was concerned with the currency of an independent Scotland – simply that their is an attempt to define for us what “independence” should mean, and what the symbols (or defining features) of that independence should be.

    I’d be more interested in your response to the idea that a successful sterling zone should entail all its members exercising fiscal responsibility – as the Eurozone is finally beginning to require.

    Common debt issuance agreements seem rather sensible. Do you have objections to that?

  43. I think the danger in commenting on issues is when there was no issue and then suddenly there is, and then equally suddenly everyone is not only an expert but actually knew all along that the failure of policy was in train but could not be bothered to point it out to we of little brain, but now expect us to believe that this was so.

  44. HOWARD

    While that’s true, it’s actually quite reasonable for most people to have gone along with what we were being told by politicians, media etc.

    I don’t suggest that they were all lying – simply that they were as thick as we were! The hope is that we elect politicians who are marginally better than us at taking these big decisions.

    However …..

  45. VC has been talking about Diamond-who hasn’t?

    He made cryptic comment that he needs to be thoughtful about what he says, because he has the power to disqualify directors .

    If Diamond doesn’t convince Andrew Tyrie’s Treasury Select Committee , I wonder if VC will dare ?

    I must say that whilst VC is not my favourite politician-he was absolutely spot on two years ago when he said they shouldn’t appoint an “Investment Banker” ( aka casino operator) to head the whole Bank.

    ….talking of which , someone on 24hr tv news said Casino’s are strictly regulated-they cannot rig the odds against customers…….whereas “Investment Banks” apparently can…..

  46. I have a Q for Socal when she comes online later.

    It seems to me that the way to remove the political nature of the US SC is to have a panel of justices who would be selected at random (literally by lot). The panel would be politically equal (say total 20) and required to declare their political preference and undergo scrutiny on that issue. It would be thus not in the power of any President, or anyone else, to influence its selection in any significant way.

    Any thoughts? (Well, from anyone).

    Why do we not have that problem?

  47. I think it would be interesting to know if the proposed Vickers recommendations would have prevented the Libor rate scandal…Maybe some journalist would work this out.

  48. Howard

    There seems to be a conflict within your proposal.

    Someone (who?) would need to conduct the scrutiny – and what would be the point if the selection of the panel couldn’t be influenced by that scrutiny?

  49. These local election results from Thursday will offer Howard and Henry some joy.

    Chelmsford – Patching Hall
    LD 842 Con 488 Lab 309 UKIP 263 Green 84
    LD hold. 6.5% swing from Con to LD compared to 2011

    Essex – Chelmsford North
    LD 1614 Con 941 Lab 711 UKIP 435 Green 134
    LD hold. Both Con and LD down but Tories are down more compared to 2009. Lab and UKIP 10 points up.

  50. I find myself in an awkward position whereby the Martyn who agrees with @Alec wants to disagree with the Martyn who agrees with @Oldnat. Whilst I go outside and beat myself up, Fight Club-stylee, I’ll content myself by saying that whilst the AV referendum and HoL reform have driven home to me the emotional importance of parties, the Eurozone kerfuffle, the UKIP campaign, and the IndepScots campaign have driven home to me the emotional importance of currencies.

    Naively, I thought that both were just means to an end: parties were just bags of people, and currencies were just counters you use to keep track. It’s now becoming obvious (duh!) that both parties and currencies have totemic importance to people, and shifting them is difficult.

    Regards, Martyn

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