The full tables for the weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll are now online here, this week concentrating on George Osborne and the Olympics. Topline figures are, as mentioned in yesterday’s update, CON 34%, LAB 43%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 7%. On the regular leader trackers Cameron is at minus 23 (from minus 25 last week), Miliband at minus 20 (from minus 21 last week), Clegg at minus 53 (from minus 59) – slight recovery from Clegg from his worst ever figures last week, but otherwise steady.

George Osborne’s ratings remain very low – only 15% of people say he is doing a good job compared to 55% a bad job. Asked if he should stay in his role 20% of people think he should stay Chancellor, 48% think he should be replaced – very similar figures to those in the ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday. Naturally a large chunk of this is Labour supporters, but even amongst Conservative voters only 48% think he should stay with 26% wanting him replaced. Asked who should replace him 47% of people say don’t know, indicating the relative lack of public awareness of most of the candidates. Vince Cable comes top with 22% (and is the most popular choice amongst Labour and Lib Dem voters), followed by William Hague on 16% (the most popular choice amongst Tories).

Confidence in the government on the economy has dropped since January – back then 38% said they had confidence in Cameron & the government to steer the country out of the economic crisis, that has now dropped to 33%. Over the same time period there has also been a turnaround in opinion on the deficit: back in March 38% thought the deficit should remain the priority with 34% saying the government should switch to a growth strategy. That has since gradually turned around with today’s figures showing 31% thinking the deficit should remain the priority, 43% supporting a switch to a growth strategy.

Turning to the Olympic questions, 44% of people say they are interested in the Olympics and 37% the Paralympics. 15% of people say they will be watching as much as possible of the Games, 29% that they will be watching the sports they are interested in. 20% of people say they will be doing their best to avoid watching the Games at all. 53% think they will be a success, 26% think they will not (a very slight fall since we last asked in May – back then 55% thought they would be a success, 22% did not). Asked whether, with hindsight, we were right to bid for the Games people are now evenly split – 44% say we were, 44% say we were not.

There are are also split opinions on how well the Games have been prepared for – 45% think they have been handled well, 47% badly. There is a lack of confidence that the transport system will be able to cope (only 25% have a lot/fair amount of confidence), and people are divided over whether they have confidence in the security provision – 45% say they do, 48% do not. On the specific issue of the lack of security guards, a majority (61%) of people think this is mostly the fault of G4S.


99 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 34, LAB 43, LD 11, UKIP 7”

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  1. Strong numbers for Labour and voting intention for LAB is strong in all demographics; I can’t see a recovery for CON or Lib Dem if the economy stays as weak as it currently is.

  2. …concentrating on George Osborne and the Olympics

    The high jump? (sorry couldn’t resist it).

    Actually, as other have noted, he’s probably safe because he is so closely linked to Cameron.

  3. Tony Blair looked very well on Rupert Murdoch TV today. He’s a player.

  4. The jump in the number of people saying The government should change its strategy to concentrate on growth, even if this means the deficit stays longer or gets worse up to 43% is a new high. As with many things the Budget saw this overtake the pro-government alternative The government should stick to its current strategy of reducing the deficit, even if this means growth remains slow which is currently at 31%. However this is a further rise – mainly from DKs – and might indicate a firming up of support for Labour’s policy.

    Most people may think the Olympic will be a success and the proportion interested hasn’t changed[1], but increasingly they don’t think it’s worth it. In April the split was 49%-40% for bidding. It is to be hoped that YouGov continue with this question. And at the moment even Conservatives are evenly split on whether the Games represent good or bad value – overall ‘bad’ wins 50% to 32%.

    Despite the attempt to pin the G4S chaos on the government, not only the company but also LOCOG get given more of the blame than them (and most of theirs seems to be from Labour partisanship than any thing else). Incidently why did May get all the brickbats rather than the Olympics SoS Hunt? Apart from her being a bit further outside the PPE boys club than him?

    Finally as the ultimate blow to the Olympics 43% agree If Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France it will be more impressive than any likely British Olympic victories (only 20% think the opposite). Actually the real victory here for the cyclists (especially Wiggins and Cavendish) is getting the British public to have heard about the Tour in the first place.

    [1] Against sterotypes about who is interested in sport, today’s figures show that women are just as (un)interested as men – 44% are, 55% not. Also the middle classes (ABC1) (47%-51%) are more interested that the C2DEs (40%-58%)

  5. @Nickp – you asked in the last thread about plans for geothermal energy. I don’t know which plans you are referring to in particular, but in the right location is can be viable.

    There is a demonstration scheme underway in Newcastle city centre Science Park where a new development will be heated from geothermal, and there has also been test drilling done in a former cement works in the North Pennines where there are plans for an eco business park heated similarly. In this case, the North Pennines sits on a deep granite dome that is thought still to be quite hot, with as I understand it residual energy from when it was molten along with some lower levels of heat being produced by low level radioactive decay.

    In general in the UK you get a thermal gradient of around 2.5°C/100m, but in the North Pennines and Newcastle they found up to 3.9°C/100m. I think in Newcastle they were planning an 1800m borehole, meaning they could tap into temperatures of around 80°C – easily enough to run large scale heating schemes.

    Geothermal will be of less value in other places, and it is a bit expensive to develop (unless you live in Iceland) but it’s a reasonably viable option in the right locations.

    I don’t know if this has any polling value.

    @Henry – http://www.miketodd.net/encyc/dollhist-graph.htm

    This is why I found your assertion that the £ is ‘massively strong’ really quite odd. If you look at the graph, it’s clear that the current £/$ exchange rate puts sterling near the bottom of it’s historical range. We devalued 25% against the dollar in 2008 and haven’t really recovered very much. In historic terms, sterling has only been consistently lower than it’s present level between 2001 – 2003 or so and for a couple of years around 1985.

    There really is no basis whatsoever for claiming sterling is very strong at present in global terms, and indeed, it is a stated policy of the current government to run a weak currency.

  6. @Henry,

    You said “…I do not accept any suggestion that sterling is not very strong; currently the rest of the world is looking to sterling and not the Euro or the Dollar as a haven…

    Er, no. The pound has deteriorated markedly against the western Pacific Rim countries (not Japan) over the past 10 years (it was an unnoticed side effect of a bubble economy). Over the same period it fell a lot against the US dollar in the Crunch, rebounded a bit, and has since stabilized. It also fell against EUR and continued to fall past the Crunch due to Trichet (head of the ECB until last year), but is now rising thanks to Trichet’s replacement.

    In short the pound has fallen a lot over the past 10 years, whether gradually and constantly (Australia) or dramatically in the Crunch (America and Europe).

    GBP is not a world haven currency. Arguably it is a EZ haven currency. But EZ is not the world.

    Regards, Martyn

    * h ttp://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=EUR&view=10Y
    * h ttp://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=USD&view=10Y
    * h ttp://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=AUD&view=10Y

    Against the Euro
    The pound is currently at 1GBP=1.28EUR. This is up from a low of 1.02EUR in 2009 and down from 1.60EUR in 2002. Its current position is about 2008 level. I would describe it as currently rising against the Euro.

    Against the US Dollar
    The pound is currently at 1GBP=1.56USD. This is up from a low of 1.37USD in 2009 and down from 2.09USD in 2007. Its current position is about 2010 level. I would describe it as currently stable against the US Dollar.

    Against the Australian Dollar
    The pound is currently at 1GBP=1.50AUD. This is its lowest in the past 10 years. It is down from 3.00AUD in 2002. Its current position is a low. I would describe it as currently falling against the Australian Dollar.

  7. Interesting interview with Ed M on ….Test Match Special. Carefully, Ed had picked G Boycott as his hero. “Aggers” then dotted the “i”s by saying so “Diffcult start, a few bouncers, bravely weathered then scoring steadily before moving on to a purple patch. Oh and having your partner run-out”
    On the toff issue, yesterday I bought a booklet in a second-hand bookshop which had two bonuses for me. An aeriel photograph of the teeming tenement in which I grew up and a picture of two women on the other side of Aberdeen’s harbour baiting lines for deep-sea fishing in the 1920s. One was Mrs Gove. Certainly related to Michael.

  8. Ed Miliband quite a revelation on Test Match Special…Labour is running away with this match unless the Tories come up with an alternative strategy.

  9. Any polling on dairy farmers? i

  10. Updated graphs for the week:

    http://www.freefilehosting.net/geek20-7-12

  11. @ Wolf

    Good point; there isn’t anything about the Milk blockade or the PCS strike.

    Milk is cheaper than bottled water. I’d be willing to pay a few pennies more for milk – which I think is what the producers are asking for.
    8-)

  12. A. Rawnsley provides a remarkable rant against the Olympics in his Observer column today: more personal anguish than detached journalism. I do recommend it! The public, judging by the current poll, also has large if less vehement & coruscating reservations about the Olympics — not v. surprising given the economic/expenditure climate; but, like Rawnsley, the majority wills the games to be a success, recognising that nohing would be gained from an expensive failure.

  13. Just 1/3rd of those polled think David Cameron & the Coalition will steer the country out of the economic crisis. It would be helpful to have a comparison question asking how many are confident that any politicians are capable of doing so.
    8-)

  14. On the specific issue of the lack of security guards, a majority (61%) of people think this is mostly the fault of G4S.
    ———————–
    This will affect the government though, even though they’re not being blamed directly because government policy is perceived as being very much in favour of outsourcing & big businesses like G4S.
    8-)

  15. @Amberstar – “Milk is cheaper than bottled water. I’d be willing to pay a few pennies more for milk – which I think is what the producers are asking for.”

    I live in a very deeply rural farming area, albeit not one with a large dairy sector.

    While there are no doubt some factors that UK dairy farmers suffer unfairly from, as I see it, the two main issues are that we over produce milk and dairy products and British farmers have been singularly useless at cooperative working to act as a bulwark against the big retail sectors.

    Pretty much all of British farming is infected with an affliction, such that whenever faced with a difficult situation they demand either more subsidy or that the householder pays more. By some margin, British agriculture is the most subsidy dependent and stagnant sector of the economy, with a dearth of fresh thinking and market responsive innovation.

    As taxpayers and consumers we will no doubt bail out a failing industry yet again, but it will only be until the next ‘crisis’.

  16. This is a major reason for the current world economic problems. Wealth being hidden in tax havens and tax not being paid where these people reside.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18944097

    Not right when you have billionaires living in London and other major cities, who pay a lesser tax rate than the cleaners they employ.

  17. “This is a major reason for the current world economic problems. Wealth being hidden in tax havens and tax not being paid where these people reside.”

    This story is currently headlining ( on a loop ) on Aljaz.

    They say the two biggest private banks involved are UBS and Credit Suisse.

  18. Alec
    For reasons i have never quite understood, farmers are holy, as long as you do not wish to walk across their land on a public footpath that requires a crop to be severed in order to maintain a right of way. Also anyone who would dare to complain about the damage to water courses with sour run off (and other substances) or the plonking of their A barns in conspicuous places and other eyesores gratuitously dumped in the countryside would, for his own safety, have to hide behind a pseudonym as I am now doing. Don’t try and tell them that their schemes for developing those redundant farmyards with housing do not conform to sustainability policies in the Local Plan either.

    The politician who would express such views is probably a retired one.

  19. @Alec

    British agriculture is the most subsidy dependent and stagnant sector of the economy, with a dearth of fresh thinking and market responsive innovation.
    ————————
    Good. Because I want farmers in the UK producing food whether the ‘market’ thinks they should be or not. Civilisation, like an army, marches on its stomach. If we thought we were going to starve, all hell would break loose.

    Back to milk in particular, I don’t care whether it’s a little more in tax or a little more to be paid by the customer or a school free milk program (provided it’s fresh & the children aren’t forced to drink it, if they really don’t want to) which keeps our producers in business.

    I don’t think shops & supermarkets make a high margin on milk so I don’t think squeezing their margins is the answer. Of course there’s bigger questions to be asked around supermarkets, the food supply etc. but today I’m focussing on this.

    I do like Sainsbury’s milk in a bag; I just have to recycle bags now, instead of containers. If they could do it in an even more enviro friendly way than plastic bags, that would be even better.
    8-)

  20. Why Milk? The dairy industry have fed so many lies about its health benefits it is believed by all and sundry. Water or fruit juice would be much more desirable. All milk contains that is good for you is calcium which isnt absorbed. It is not only not good for your bones it is downright bad due to the acidity of animal protein. There is a direct link between increased milk consumption and increased risk of broken bones.

    Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. American Journal of Public Health. 1997).

    It is full of sugar (and many many people are sensitive to lactose myself included) and if not skimmed full of fat. Its very cheap calories.

    It should not be given to our nations children.

  21. Id seriously rather give them diet coke.

  22. it has to be remembered this is a very difficult time for anyone to be a chancellor: if he/she had money to give away in tax cuts or something similar (or could justify doing so by declaring they would likely free up money in future), then any chancellor would likely be more popular. In lieu of that boost, he/she should perhaps rely on picking the right economic course in the prevailing circumstances and sticking to it.

    GO could not realistically do the former and does not seem to have done the latter. What’s left for him seems to be just relying on the opposition’s offering being less popular than him, which is hardly encouraging.

    No government can afford to fall behind the opposition on perceptions of economic competence. If they do, they have to do something pretty special with something else to compensate.

  23. @Alec

    British agriculture is the most subsidy dependent and stagnant sector of the economy, with a dearth of fresh thinking and market responsive innovation.

    —————————————————————————

    Of course in WW2 we nearly lost the war… not because of the blitz but because the Germans were trying to starve into submission… if there was a similar war today, due to the productivity we now have in our lands… we would be able to feed ourselves no problem… and it’s all down to subsidies

  24. @ Joe

    Its very cheap calories.
    ——————-
    Which is exactly what you need, if there’s a food shortage.

    People also need a reasonable amount of fat in their diet. Drink diet coke & you’ll either not get that fat or you’ll be eating/ drinking something else which will provide it, in addition to drinking diet coke.

    I hope you don’t find being lactose intolerant a huge problem. I’m vegetarian by choice &, in the past, it was bloody difficult to find food which I could eat that didn’t contain something from a dead animal. So you have my sympathy.

    And finally you said:
    “There is a direct link between increased milk consumption and increased risk of broken bones.

    Feskanich D, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA. Milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in women: a 12-year prospective study. American Journal of Public Health. 1997”

    There isn’t actually. There’s a slight but statistically significant link after they’ve adjusted – as best they can – for factors which other studies have led them to believe also affects bone density.

    Some of the things adjusted for have been found to have a huge impact on bone density therefore any judgements or assumptions made when adjusting the figures would be very significant. As would any misinformation provided by the women being studied regarding the amount they smoked, the amount of alcohol they were drinking etc.
    8-)

  25. @ Joe

    There appears to be no mention of adjustment for the height of the women in the study you refer to (although I’m happy to be corrected, if I’m mistaken about this).

    If you’re really interested, more recent studies have shown that the highest correlation of all is between number of fractures & height. The researchers found that for post menopausal women, the old saw is true: the bigger (taller) you are, the harder you fall.

    Whilst drinking more milk after the age of 30 does not seem to reduce the incidence of fractures, not slipping on spilt milk is essential, if taller old women are to avoid breaking wrists, hips & vertebrae.
    8-)

  26. @ Keith HP

    …it has to be remembered this is a very difficult time for anyone to be a chancellor: if he/she had money to give away in tax cuts or something similar (or could justify doing so by declaring they would likely free up money in future), then any chancellor would likely be more popular.
    —————————–
    Really? Because I was under the impression that GO had cut taxes for some people in his last budget. Didn’t the tax threshhold rise? Didn’t the top-rate reduce? Didn’t the corporation tax rate reduce? Were those changes not actually tax cuts?

  27. If anyone hears or reads about milk consumption being down on previous levels, there is a reason for this. Some of the food processing plants that use to be in the UK are now based in mainland Europe. One of my local farms use to supply Cadburys, but they lost out, when Cadburys decided to set up in Poland instead.

    Also I expect that many UK food processors producing all sorts of foods, now import milk from elsewhere. So overall milk consumption may be down, but not directly related to end consumer purchasing.

  28. Some very urbanite views here on agri biz, including WW2 myths..

    One wonders how the majority of the world’s population survives without the pinta.

  29. Amber
    We may not agree about lactose substances but I admire the fact that you probably have a better memory about the budget than most of the voters. I daresay you can remember the U turns as well. I wonder if they still do?

    Come to think of it, do I? Something about charity donation relief was it?

  30. @Amberstar & @Planky – we don’t have food shortages now, but what we do have is a countryside that is ecologically stripped of much of it’ natural value, largely due to subsidy schemes.

    These also damage farmers, by keeping bad farmers in business and inflating input prices. This is why a former chief economist for the NFU states regularly that farmers would be financially better off if all subsidies were withdrawn.

    If you want to see this is action, look at hill farm incomes over the last few years after the switch from headage payments to single farm payments (based on land area, not sheep numbers). After a couple of difficult years, market prices for sheep (and dramatically wool) have gone up markedly. Out here in the deep countryside, we see the results with a healthy crop of new 4×4’s.

    The financial support for agriculture is hurting the sector, not helping it. And it is also hurting the majority of rural businesses who are not involved in agriculture.

  31. @ Alec

    If you want to see this is action, look at hill farm incomes over the last few years after the switch from headage payments to single farm payments (based on land area, not sheep numbers). After a couple of difficult years, market prices for sheep (and dramatically wool) have gone up markedly. Out here in the deep countryside, we see the results with a healthy crop of new 4×4?
    ——————–
    That sounds to me like a change in subsidy, not a withdrawal of subsidy. Am I wrong?
    8-)

  32. No you are right Amber, it’s just they don’t actually have to do anything much to pocket the (sorry our) cash.

    I live in the middle of them too. They do what they do because they can’t think of anything else and in fairness, there probably isn’t anything else for them to do.

    Alec’s chap from the NFU nearly got lynched and the other one from the East Anglian barley baron fold for exposing the whole con..

  33. Coal Miners lost their subsidy in the interests of the free market.

  34. My memory of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and 90’s is that the agricultural interest supported the Conservative free market agenda.

  35. @Amberstar – yes, it’s a change of subsidy, but it is also a very good example of how subsidies distort the market and actually make farmers worse off.

    Another key aspect of this particular subsidy is the environmental impacts. When headage payments started in the 1950’s. the numbers of sheep grazing on the uplands increased three or four fold. This resulted in significant over grazing and habitat degradation. Additional grants were paid to help upland farmers ‘improve’ land, including large sums spent on moorland drainage.

    Fifty years later, we (taxpayers) are paying the same landowners to block the drainage grips and deflock the fells, as we’ve discovered that lowland flooding is greatly exacerbated by over grazed, eroded and artificially drained moorlands.

    I have many farming friends (just been for a beer with an ex NFU regional official) but most of them really are living in a parallel universe. Some of them understand that the situation needs changing, but forget your long term unemployed on council estates – if you want to see a section of society brought up to depend on handouts, look for a farmer.

  36. Somebody on an earlier thread, I think it might have been Colin, was bemoaning how all the good things that the Government were doing were being allowed to go unnoticed by the public because of a failure of effective presentation. He went on to say that this was allowing a policy-free, “bandwagon jumping” opposition to make political hay.

    Now, ignoring the fact that, for time immemorial, this has always been the despairing wail of unpopular governments, and their supporters, it was interesting to read an article in today’s Observer written by the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, John Longworth. Amongst many other critical observations, he said this: –

    “As we noted when the aviation policy paper was announced, businesses are tired of indecision and equivocation. They are tired of political short-termism, electoral calculation, and the privileging of presentation over substance. Without sustained, long-term action from government to create a stable business environment here at home, the risk appetite among many businesspeople will remain muted.”

    So, here is a well regarded business leader who thinks that the government is spending too much time on presentation and too little on substance, not the other way round, as Colin suggests.

  37. @Crossbat11 – quite agree. What I find interesting is that in the biggest single area of policy – the economy – the government is very short of substance, as even it’s own supporters such as Boris J and many backbenchers are saying. But on presentation, where Cameron is meant to be strong, they are, if anything, even weaker.

    I think @Colin is feeling the strain, as he used to claim on UKPR that Cameron would be ‘transformational’. I always thought he would make a useless PM. I’m going to refrain from further comment as that could be construed as being partisan.

  38. I have a question – we often hold up the south of England as a bastion of Tory support. Is this only because we count London as another UK region? If we factor London into the ‘south of England’, as geographically it truly is, is the south actually evenly split/actually Labour in the polls currently?

  39. @ Billy Bob (from the previous thread)

    “Yeah… I guess it’s nice to see it in print though. Thanks the info, really appreciate it.

    Great shots of Bunker Hill, and the drive through film archive is a gem. If that was a slum, it gives a hint as to why America was the phenomenon which had the rest of the world goggle-eyed for much of the century. I like the one pedestrian who raises his arm in a lackadaisical wave to the camera, and the $2.50-a-day car rental joint. After a spin round the hill it’s a pity they didn’t head out, keep the engine running and the camera rolling all day long.

    Before we get banned for subverting UKPR, there is a Chandler dedicated site:

    h
    ttp://shamustown.com/

    which has some information about vintage LA maps 1928-46.

    Also returning to politics for a moment,

    h
    ttp://franklinavenue.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/retro-friday-raymond-chandlers-los.html

    has a short documentary which ties detective thrillers in with the
    real-life history of mayor Frank L Shaw’s recall in 1938.”

    Lol, you’re welcome. It is nice to see things in print. I’m more impressed that you know who Frank Shaw was! I think he’s forgotten to even most Angelinos. Frank Shaw teaches an important lesson to corrupt leaders in democratic societies. And that is, if you are going to assasinate your political critics, don’t also have your police forces conduct 24 hour surveillance on the person who you attempt to murder.

    Do you know how rotten this guy was? He once promised candy to teenage boys if they’d go out and canvass for him. Being the Great Depression, these teenage boys (regardless of their political beliefs) went ahead and eagerly assisted his campaign. Then, after they finished, he refused to give them their candy.

    And btw, LA mayoral politics is not local politics that is irrelevant to larger national politics. It’s very important. If there had never been a Tom Bradley, there would have been no Barack Obama. And if there was no Barack Obama, no one would talk about Chukka Ummuna as being a potential replacement for Ed Milliband. (Bringing it back to the subject of this site).

    “Some detailed commentary on the drive through:

    h
    ttp://onbunkerhill.org/adrivethroughbunkerhill#comment-356

    A detailed map must exist because a part of it is reproduced here:

    h
    ttp://silentlocations.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/stan-ollie-and-harold-a-drive-through-bunker-hill/

    A real treasure trove.”

    It’s funny, I actually know Harold Lloyd’s granddaughter (who he raised as a daughter from the age of 6). It’s fitting that he’d be the one who had created this footage.

    Here’s the thing about the map. There are a bunch of streets that once were there that are no longer. Cinnabar Street, Flower Court, Court Street, Clay Street, Bunker Hill Avenue, Fremont Avenue, Olive Court, and Sack Alley were once all streets according to this map.

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2721/4090981031_f88e3fabbc_o.jpg

    BUT (and you can’t see it from this map), there are two other streets on old maps of Bunker Hill: Beaudry Avenue (named after the guy who built the subdivision in the first place) and Boylston Street. Those two streets are west of the Harbor Freeway and were not included in the Bunker Hill redevelopment. Now along those streets there are some old apartments from the early 20th century. Now today, that part of downtown would be considered City Center West and not Bunker Hill. However, if that was once part of the old Bunker Hill, I think the old buildings would be considered the leftovers of Bunker Hill.

  40. Amber Star and Alec
    Am I allowed to spell out the elements of a link in this blog between the growth re cuts debate, farm subsidies and VI, from two experiences: campaigning in Somerset and N.Devon for the 19092 GE and 1994 Euro Election; and a mission for the FCO in 1989/90 to identify UK trade and aid with Gorbachev’s Soviet Union under Perestroika; more similar than you’ld think, and both illustrating how farm subsidies are basic to agriculture and food supply: Milk in Lithuania in 1989 was being produced at 2.5 roubles per litre, and sold in the shops in Vilnius at 1.8 r.p.l. – for two reasons: first, that was the way GOSPLAN required the subsidisation of Baltic dairy farming to feed the Union and thus centrlly regulated payments to collectives and state farms by the Agricultural Bank; second that was how housing, full employment, polyclinics, urban transport , farmer physio-therapy at Baltic Sea resorts, and old age pensions were being financed.
    The economy collapsed in the wake of Gorbachev’s departure and the rejection of his programme of resurrecting a small farm, cooperative farming and diversified market structure. (See his speech to the Plenum of the S.S.C.P. 1989) appointing Nikonov to revive the research-based agricultural policy for which Chayanov, Head of the All Union Lenin Institute of Agricultural Science, had been destroyed by Stalin and replaced by Lysenko in 1930 (read Theo Shanin, now in back in Moscow reviving thjs fundamental policy debate on the management of agriculture in the economy – not just in the former S.U.)
    U.K. dairy farmers aren’t mainly don’t have a cooperative structure, but depend on the NFU for a representative policy debate on milk marketing. In 1989 and now this has been mainly a stand-off with Government and the supermarkets. Much of this has to do with a price for milk which will supply consujmers, keep the nation’s children healthy, and allow the farmers and their wives to get up at 4.00 a.m. every day so some purpose, send their kids to agricultural college and read the now, since Thatcher, reports of our decimated research institutions on high yielding breeds, and pasture management. Mostly they have sadly given up on resisting the poorly-informed hostility of the chattering and dog-walking classes.
    Growth, public sector investment and firm regulation of the banks as against cuts? The voting public may well see a connection between a government which will support protection of the rural environment as a function of farming, and the preservation of small farms, local slaughterhouses as a factor in animal welfare. Subsidisation of farming should, they may recognise, not be and should never have been under EU directives – shame on the NFU for not standing out against measures, including the CAP, which have been based around the wildly uneconomic,. diverse and antiquated continental farm economies.
    One of the hopes of a thought-out Labour economic policy, which one might expect from EM, (pour revenir a nos moutons) is a system of farm subsidies which is investment oriented and recognises the historic economic rationality, sustainability and scientific basis of a UK agriculture and its environmental and social function, including the TGU’s long fight for fair wages and security for farm workers.

  41. @ Billy Bob

    These two videos should explain why Bradley is so instrumental to today’s national politics.

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnDjQ1QbWho

    The first video is rather sad, especially when you consider what happenned in the end. But the second video is far happier. Especially the ending (it’s

    h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Val48Xn8UrY&feature=relmfu

    What Barack Obama has done is take the improbable coalition that Bradley put together and put it together nationally (though even in 2008, the Bradley Coalition would still not be a majority nationwide). It’s how he won states like North Carolina and Virginia and why he continues to do so well in them (polling at where he was at in 2008 or higher today).

  42. Anthony, there was a YouGov poll published in the Scotland on Sunday yesterday:

    “A YouGov survey of 1,008 Scottish adults showed that 75% of them believe an independent Scotland should remain in Nato.

    Eleven per cent of those surveyed thought the country should leave the alliance if there is a “Yes” vote for independence in the anticipated 2014 referendum, according to the poll published in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper.

    The poll was carried out as part of SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson’s defence review, the newspaper said.

    The figures in detail reveal that 70% of SNP voters think an independent Scotland should be part of the alliance.

    The number increased among voters for the pro-Union parties. Eighty-nine per cent of Conservative voters back staying in Nato, as do 82% of Lib Dems and 78% of Labour supporters.

    On a separate but related issue, the study found that 62% of those quizzed think that the Scottish Government should have the final say over whether nuclear weapons should be based in Scotland.

    Thirty-one per cent said the UK Government should have the last word.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hNuwxcbBIkJ2QXODusp5AR9C5w0A?docId=N0343351342967703530A

  43. @ Amber Star

    “People also need a reasonable amount of fat in their diet. Drink diet coke & you’ll either not get that fat or you’ll be eating/ drinking something else which will provide it, in addition to drinking diet coke.”

    I have lots of fat in my strict diet. It works very well. It’s almost Keynsian in way, like the Keynsian way of dieting.

    And I never drink diet cokes.

    Basically, I am the most boring drinker on the planet. All I drink is milk (preference is for organic, grass fed, 2%, cow’s milk), iced tea (the real thing…not out of the bottle…and completely unsweetened), and water (mainly flat but occassionally sparkling for some variation). That’s pretty much it. Now, lately I’ve been having some more coffee in my diet (Cafe Lattes mostly) but I really don’t like coffee and only have it for the occassional needed caffeine but I really don’t like them and am trying to avoid them. Oh and I suppose I drink heavy cream too but that’s not really liquid and I never have that much of it.

    (Now I will sometimes make an exception for some Gatorade when I am violently ill with a flu but even then I don’t like to do it).

    @ Joe

    “Why Milk? The dairy industry have fed so many lies about its health benefits it is believed by all and sundry. Water or fruit juice would be much more desirable. All milk contains that is good for you is calcium which isnt absorbed. It is not only not good for your bones it is downright bad due to the acidity of animal protein. There is a direct link between increased milk consumption and increased risk of broken bones.”

    My nutritionist would disagree with you (well not on the water part obviously).

    Most juice drinks are terrible for you. Not freshly squeezed orange juice mind you or things like that but pretty much anything you can buy off a supermarket shelf ranges from not very good for you at all to absolutely terrible for you.

  44. @ Old Nat

    I watched the season finale of Food Network Star tonight where the winner was announced. Some surprises, the 27 year old oddball kid won (I felt in an upset, others disagreed). I did cast some of my votes for him so I do get to say I voted for a winner. I think he’s the most Lib Dem of all the candidates…..a total non-comformist (which is why I liked him).

    How much of a political junkie am I btw that I wish that Food Network would release actual vote totals and show a breakdown of the vote by state (if not counties as well)? Like, I just want to see where each of these candidates drew the most support and where they find their fans. The winner (Justin) was the guy who I thought was a total longshot because he didn’t have a natural constituency. Michele had New Englanders (and body peircing enthusiasts). Martie had southerners and middle aged women. Ivan had Latinos and New Yorkers. But one friend of mine pointed out that Justin had an important demographic, tech savvy Millenials (i.e. they might not have been the biggest Food Network watching constituency but they were the ones who probably knew how to cast all the votes they had……unlike others who wouldn’t).

    Here’s something wild. My absolute favorite on that entire network is Ina Garten who’s show is entitled Barefoot Contessa. Now get this, she used to run nuclear energy policy for the United States during the Ford Administration.

  45. @ R Huckle

    “If anyone hears or reads about milk consumption being down on previous levels, there is a reason for this. Some of the food processing plants that use to be in the UK are now based in mainland Europe. One of my local farms use to supply Cadburys, but they lost out, when Cadburys decided to set up in Poland instead.

    Also I expect that many UK food processors producing all sorts of foods, now import milk from elsewhere. So overall milk consumption may be down, but not directly related to end consumer purchasing.”

    Thank you for that insight. I’m sorry that Cadburys moved to Poland. I hope the move didn’t leave too much economic devastation in your area.

    @ Amber Star

    “I do like Sainsbury’s milk in a bag; I just have to recycle bags now, instead of containers. If they could do it in an even more enviro friendly way than plastic bags, that would be even better.”

    I have to recycle my milk bottles now, at least the glass bottled ones. My supermarket charges me a $2 deposit on each one and I only get back the $2 once I have rinsed the bottles and return them to the store.

  46. @ R Huckle

    “This is a major reason for the current world economic problems. Wealth being hidden in tax havens and tax not being paid where these people reside.

    Not right when you have billionaires living in London and other major cities, who pay a lesser tax rate than the cleaners they employ.”

    Yeah, I hear ya. I’m all for a capital gains tax (do you have them in the UK?) but I don’t think every capital gain should be taxed under that similar structure and should instead be treated as income for taxation purposes when it’s no longer made through an act of investing. Also, when people (traders, investment bankers, and those loveable people known as venture capitalists) make massive amounts of money by causing massive economic harm to others, perhaps there needs to be some sort of surtax on that to offset the nasty side effects to everyone else. So if the CEO of Cadbury’s closes down the manufacturing plant in your town, moves it to Poland, lays off all the workers, and uses the mass savings to buy himself another yacht or a private jet, perhaps there should be a tax on that.

    Because when all those workers get laid off, it’s not just them. They suffer. But others do too. They’re no longer able to spend like they once were so businesses in the area that relied on them as customers (say the local restaurant) suffer economically. The government will have to pay the unemployment insurance and welfare benefits to laid off workers. Because they’re no longer making money, those workers are no longer going to be able to pay taxes. So the government loses out. Local government is no longer going to take in as much revenue so they’re going to be forced to cut services, which ultimately results in more job losses (this time from public sector workers) and also will hurt business in the town too (when you cut off services, fewer businesses want to move in or stick around).

    Anyway, the wealthiest in society are only able to make their money, to have that opportunity for success because of the government. I feel like this must be universally true (it’s true where I live). Therefore it’s only fair that those people who are most successful because of the system pay the most in taxes in order to maintain that system.

  47. ALEC

    As one of the comments to the John Longworth article quoted by Crossbat suggests-it might be read as a direct criticism of Cable.

    Crossbat suggests that this article contradicts my suggestion that the government has failed to publicise policy success & necessity.

    The article is specifically addressed to business policy.

    There are other areas of policy equally as important. The two I mentioned might, indeed be considered pre-requisites for a viable business environment in UK.

    They both involve terrible legacies of debilitating failure & huge structural reform which will take courage & time to implement & have effect.

    Inability to decide which community must bear the adverse environmental & health effects of expanding our airport capacity, does not preclude informing the public about policy which has been decided & is in course of implementation.

  48. According to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) the sluggish recovery from recession will see the UK’s long-term GDP growth rate drop to just 1.7% by 2015 – its lowest level since the second world war and the equivalent of £165bn in lost output over 15 years.

    The IPPR’s chief economist said: “The government should implement temporary tax cuts and a boost to infrastructure spending not offset by cuts elsewhere. This would mean borrowing more in the short term. ”

    So, Plan B.

    Economically and politically it makes sense. So, it won’t happen…

  49. I think any poll regarding the Olmypics should be taken with a large pinch of salt. Why because you can’t factor in the British ability honed over many years to moan or have a doom laden opinion about almost anything we undertake, aided and abetted by the media and press. The one thing you can be sure of is most of those who thought it was a waste of money will still watch it, if only so they can have a moan about the poor state of British athletics or they didn’t like the opening ceremony and the press and media will try and breach security the uaual rubbish from them.
    The rest of us will watch and enjoy the games bearing in mind to leave a space to moan about the weather to hot/cold/wet after all we are British.

  50. alec

    Thanks for thoughts re geothermals.

    As for Hunt threatening to sack striking workers…we’ll see.

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