There are two new polls out tonight. The daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%, so after an eleven point lead yesterday we are back into the middle of the normal nine to ten point lead that YouGov have averaged around for the last month or so.

Secondly there is a new poll from TNS BMRB, conducted over the last three days, which has topline figures of CON 30%(-2), LAB 42%(+2), LDEM 11%(+1), Others 17%(-1). Changes are from their last poll in June.


319 Responses to “New YouGov and TNS BMRB polls”

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  1. @ American Bystander

    “I wonder if the American Tape Delay Broadcast will cut the NHS tribute…”

    They better not. Lost in the gun debate post Aurora (and if you’ve noticed, every tragedy like it) is that there’s never a focus on mental health and treatment of mental illness. Instead you hear about how we have to take away everyone’s guns to stop tragedies like this (because that’ll certainly prevent gun violence, after all the war on drugs has completely stopped people from using and obtaining drugs). And then we hear about how if only some of the victims had been armed, everyone would have been saved (because obviously, in a darkened theater with hundreds of confused people, having multiple gunmen will of course save lives).

    But no one ever questions the wisdom of having large swaths of people (if you’re poor, unemployed, or already sick) without healtcare and access to regular health services and prescription meds. And how perhaps if people with mental illness had access to healthcare and could treat them, perhaps their situations wouldn’t get to the point of wanting to kill others. You know, because that’s not anything that’s a problem or anything that needs to be addressed.

    @ Old Nat

    “Let us know if it does! Now that you have brought it back to politics …..

    I thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle (like Paul Bristol, I was prepared to approach it cynically) – even to the extent that I was prepared to overlook minor errors like saying “UK NHS””

    Yes, you Scots are really the first to have it since you had a form of national healthcare prior to the enactment of NHS.

    This is horrible thing to say but I’m not a regular Olympics watcher and generally don’t follow so I won’t be able to tell you whether the NHS tribute is left uncovered (I don’t see why it would be). I might watch some of the basketball games and some of the waterpolo games. I know, I’m defying the spirit but I might as well be honest.

  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jul/27/london-2012-team-gb-craig-bellamy

    As opposed to this – which is just good. He underplays his skill though – he’s been a great player.

  3. @socalliberal

    I would agree, mental healthcare is perhaps the most pressing issue we need to solve in order to reduce spree killings in this country, IMO. One can take away guns, but we’ll still have ill people walking around without help, still a public safety crisis. I’d go as far as to suggest that gun control should be secondary if not unnecessary. I doubt that we’ll see much of that, though, because gun control doesn’t require as much of a tax hike. Even many on the left in this country seem less inclined to think about the people who are hurting, it’s much easier to just paint them as evil and not have to put any blame on ourselves.

  4. Did anyone here see Jeremy Hunt’s hilarious news moment where he was ringing his Olympic bell? I saw this clip tonight on the Chris Matthews show. Hunt tells a reporter that all sorts of mishaps can happen in the Olympics no matter how much planning and preparation occurs but hopefully they won’t. Then he proceeds to ring his bell, which then breaks with the bell flying into a crowd of people, forcing him to sheepishly apologize and find his now lost bell.

    Now he’s already attractive (as I’ve said before, his entire purpose in the Cabinet seems to be that of eye candy) but that moment was just totally adorable and endearing.

  5. PAULCROFT

    You seem to be confused as to accent, spelling, and a number of other linguistic aspects.

    That you are unembarrassed by your confusion may explain much about your posts.

  6. Confused? How so?

    If you’re not embarrassed at always being grumpy I see no reason why I should be at occasionally being jocular – life’s too serious to take seriously.

    As to my spelling, which you rather sadly keep bringing up, its actually very good but, like most people typing quickly on a forum, suffers from occasional lack of concentration on the finished product.

    Your obsession with it as an issue says a lot more about you as a person than it does about me.

  7. @ SoCaL

    Did anyone here see Jeremy Hunt’s hilarious news moment where he was ringing his Olympic bell?
    ——————–
    Yes, we all laughed about it for at least 5 minutes. It was at least as amusing as Mitt looking out of No 10’s backside. :-)

  8. @ Paul Croft

    “Good grief.”

    Yeah, I read the article and it’s not in good form. I like Alex Salmond but he’s injecting politics unneccessarily into something where it’s unneeded. It’s just going to alienate people and not gain him any votes.

    And just for the sake of consistency, I will support and root for Mitt Romney’s horse at the Olympics. I mean I don’t really care for dressage…..really I don’t know what it even is or even that it was an Olympic sport. But I hope it takes home the gold.

  9. @ American Bystander

    “I would agree, mental healthcare is perhaps the most pressing issue we need to solve in order to reduce spree killings in this country, IMO. One can take away guns, but we’ll still have ill people walking around without help, still a public safety crisis. I’d go as far as to suggest that gun control should be secondary if not unnecessary. I doubt that we’ll see much of that, though, because gun control doesn’t require as much of a tax hike. Even many on the left in this country seem less inclined to think about the people who are hurting, it’s much easier to just paint them as evil and not have to put any blame on ourselves.”

    Well easy answers that allow people to ignore the more difficult issues are always ones that people seek out. Well elected officials and talking heads who bloviate on major news networks anyway. You don’t remember Columbine do you or (more importantly) the response to it?

    Let me ask you something since you’re 18 (or about to be 18) and are closer to this now than I am. When you would go to R rated movies as a kid, did the theaters require you to have an adult purchase the tickets for you and attend the movie with you? Would you be prevented from doing so or did they eventually stop that?

  10. SOCALLIBERAL

    Another version of the Scottish Government’s support for Scottish athletes at the Olympics

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/salmond-sends-london-2012-good-luck-message-to-scotlands-scolympians.1343319697

    Presumably you want to condemn Michelle Obama for urging the athletes from her country to succeed?

    If you are consistent, then you believe that she will “alienate people and not gain [her husband] any votes.”

  11. @ Old Nat

    The sentiments & encouragement are fine but “Scolympians”; that’s just horrible. :evil:

  12. @ Amber Star

    “Yes, we all laughed about it for at least 5 minutes. It was at least as amusing as Mitt looking out of No 10?s backside. :)”

    Chris Matthews compared it to something out of Fawlty Towers and it does remind me of something that might happen to Manuel.

    Okay, if that had been all Romney had done or said, it would have been fine. Everyone has moments like that where they get a term wrong or say something that has another meaning. It’s funny, lightly embarassing, but not a serious gaffe. It’s very different when you offend key allies through gratuitous insults.

    Although here’s what’s weird about that. No one here talks like that. People say “rear” or “back” and they don’t describe pleasant views that way.

  13. PAULCROFT

    “occasionally being jocular”

    Oddly, Welsh, Scots, Brummies, Irish, Asians, Blacks, Jews etc etc are happy to use self-deprecatory humour. (there is an interesting US psychological study of why this is the case.)

    The self-deprecatory aspect of the UK contained in the opening ceremony was great, and probably reflective of Danny Boyle’s northern English background. It certainly wasn’t representative of what one would expect a metropolitan organisation to have commissioned.

    Credit to SebCoe and his organising group for having selected this.

    Then we can compare that with your use of “look you boyo” because of Huw Edwards being Welsh. Would anyone (outside your narrow group of associates) find that “jocular”?

    SebCoe created an inclusive organisation. You couldn’t even imagine how to do that.

  14. Amber

    I agree. “Scolympians” is a term an advisor probably came up with – and Salmond should have ditched.

  15. @ SoCaL & American ByStander

    They’re not mutually exclusive – you could have better mental health provision & gun control.

    That’s what we try to have here – obviously without as much success as we’d like (100%!!!) – but at least we try.
    8-)

  16. @ Old Nat

    :-)

  17. @ SoCal & American ByStander

    That wasn’t meant to be as self-congratulatory as it came across, sorry.

    They are both huge issues. I think politicians look for low hanging fruit now; they won’t tackle big problems because they have lost faith in voters to re-elect them unless a quick fix can be found for huge problems.

    If the UK didn’t already have the NHS, we’d never get today’s politicians to legislate for it now. So many kudos to President Obama for trying to do something! I wonder if a 2nd term will give him the courage or the political will/ clout to excise some of the worst compromises from his health bill?

    Guns & weapons need to be brought under control. The use of drones is particularly concerning. How long will it be before these are used inside the US, if they haven’t been already? Americans are in an arms race with themselves. Nobody seems to know how to stop it escalating.
    8-)

  18. Wow, saw some of the coverage and your opening ceremony looks amazing.

    @ Old Nat

    “Another version of the Scottish Government’s support for Scottish athletes at the Olympics

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/salmond-sends-london-2012-good-luck-message-to-scotlands-scolympians.1343319697

    Presumably you want to condemn Michelle Obama for urging the athletes from her country to succeed?

    If you are consistent, then you believe that she will “alienate people and not gain [her husband] any votes.””

    Michelle Obama didn’t express her goodluck wishes to only those Olympian athletes from Illinois. At least I didn’t hear her do that.

  19. I imagine its too subtle for you to understand ON but I find it mildly funny because the only people I’ve heard use the expression – incorrectly to try to be “Welsh” – are English. . Having been to Wales many times I’ve never heard it said with a Welsh accent by a Welsh person once – to my great disappointment.

    So its sort of Engish self deprecation – perhaps its that that you don’t get.

    How you have the gall to comment on my inter-personal capabilities from a few throwaway comments is beyond me, though the arrogance you show in doing so does fit in with the view I’ve formed of you over a somewhat longer period.

    I previously praised Lord Coe’s speech by the way and I note that you have not once addressed my central issue with the BBC: the commentaries were intrusive and the mechanism to get rid of them not made clear.

    I’ll leave you to have your traditional last word though – do get stuck in.

  20. Amber

    The UK doesn’t have “the NHS” – it never has.

    The original three component parts (now four) shared common aims while the GB systems were politically determined at UK Cabinet level – even though the mechanisms were devolved.

    Since political devolution, it has become increasingly meaningless for anyone to talk in terms of “the” NHS – yet you and others continue do so. I am puzzled as to why you do this.

  21. Apologies to AW** and everyone else.

    Paul.

    *** snip away!

  22. Paul Croft

    We have to agree to disagree.

    You consider that an English person making a comment about a Welshman which uses a phrase that the English person considers is an archetypal Welsh one is somehow English self-deprecation.

    A wiser choice for you would have been to avoid using the “boyo” phrase at all.

    It was unnecessary
    It was (at least potentially) offensive.
    It wasn’t “jocular”.

    I wouldn’t, for a moment, suggest that you found Alf Garnett’s character amusing. Nor would I dream of suggesting that your associates find your inter-personal skills to be deficient. Probably they are in total agreement with you.

    As to your “central issue”, I often find myself in agreement with your stance of declaring the obvious to be annoying. However, I am also aware that many people don’t have the benefit of the education that you and I have both enjoyed, and may be unaware of the issues that we may consider obvious.

    Additionally, the spectacular was designed for an international audience. is it your opinion that they should all have had an education based on British history?

  23. I suspect that Nick Robinson may have gone even further beyond reality than Paul Croft with this tweet

    “pride in British history for the right, the NHS as national religion for the left but, above all, was this the most pro Union show ever?”

  24. I’m a reluctant convert to Twitter. but ones like this are stimulating.

    Squid In A Box [email protected]
    How about we just institute a tradition of every 4 years Danny Boyle gets to spend £20million telling the current government to get stuffed?

  25. @socal

    I’m 19 and I remember my parents talking quite openly to us about kids shooting up a school, we lived in a rather open household. I also remember reading a lot about metal detectors in schools and stuff like that, I went to Public School in a district which didn’t have such things. I was amused by the prospect of school being like an airport, but I can’t imagine it solved many problems, it probably mostly harassed the students.

    As for R rated movies, there were two theaters, one was a Quality 16 theater where kids could sneak in all the time, the other was a Showcase Cinemas which was more uptight regarding such activities. (which may explain why they went under :) )

    I never went to the movies much though, we tended to rent. The popcorn fumes made me woozy. My parents were fine with R rated movies too, which sort of took the fun out of sneaking in.

  26. Well, if sniping was an olympic sport ole nat would be a gold medal Scolympian.

    A lengthy diatribe last time – missing the point [yet again] that my issue with the BBC was not just the overload of information [talking over music, talkiing over stadium announcements that were saying the same thing anyway, informing me that the flames were going to meet at the top just ahead of them starting to move etc etc etc etc] but that whilst they kept informing us who the commentary team were they never gave us information on how to shut them up – an option I would like to have availed myself of, whilst still leaving the rest if the world to enjoy the commentary because they – quote –

    “hadn’t enjoyed my education” [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!]

    If you ever get off your high horse do take care of the drop.

  27. @ Old Nat

    Since political devolution, it has become increasingly meaningless for anyone to talk in terms of “the” NHS – yet you and others continue do so. I am puzzled as to why you do this.
    ———————–
    We have a vision of an NHS that is universal. First the UK, then copied throughout the world! That’s why we (being my friends, family & myself) do this. I can’t speak for everybody else. Anecdotes are not data. :-)

  28. NHS –

    very useful shorthand description of………. well, the NHS I suppose.

  29. SocLib,

    – “… he’s injecting politics unneccessarily into something where it’s unneeded”

    That made me laugh.

    The Olympics is all about two things: politics and sport. In that order.

    Accusing the First Minister of “injecting politics unneccessarily into” the Olympics is like accusing the Pope of “injecting religion unneccessarily into” Easter.

  30. I don’t get that analogy Stuart: surely easter is about scoffing chocolate eggs??

  31. @ American Bystander

    “As for R rated movies, there were two theaters, one was a Quality 16 theater where kids could sneak in all the time, the other was a Showcase Cinemas which was more uptight regarding such activities. (which may explain why they went under )

    I never went to the movies much though, we tended to rent. The popcorn fumes made me woozy. My parents were fine with R rated movies too, which sort of took the fun out of sneaking in.”

    There’s a reason I asked about this. You see, there was a time when you, as a minor, could walk into a movie theater, purchase a ticket to an R-rated movie and then go watch it. And we kids did. It was a good time.

    But then one day in spring of 1999, two mentally disturbed high school losers who were outcasts at their subruban Colorado highschools with way too much access to high powered guns decided to go and shoot up their high school. After killing 13 people (and wounding several more), they killed themselves.

    And the response that everyone could agree upon was the most relevant to stopping this kind of violence: restricting speech! Because the blame didn’t lie with serious bullying issues in school, it had nothing to do with poor mental health treatment, it had nothing to do with our educational system. (Also, according to the NRA, it had nothing to do with easy access to guns…oh no, not at all). No, it was none of those things. The blame lay with violence in the media.

    And so, President Clinton (and don’t get me wrong, I love and respect the man but he was wrong to do this) gave in to public pressure signed an executive order prohibiting minors from seeing R-rated movies without a parent or older guardian present. And that is why you couldn’t get into R-rated movies without your parents.

    IMHO, the whole episode was the inspiration for the plot in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut and the hilarious song “Blame Canada” (a song that your former Prime Minister Kim Campbell informs you not to take literally but understand as a political parody).

    Now I tend to be a law and order type of guy who likes to follow the rules…..but not the rules I find wrong and infantilizing. So I got around this by buying tickets to R-rated movies on moviefone and picking them up from the automated machines. And if anyone working at the theater said anything to me (sometimes happened at the Century City AMC 16 but never at the theaters in Westwood Village), I’d just say that one of my parents was coming in after me and that’d be the end of it (it’s not like they bothered to check).

    Oh btw, if I remember correctly, I think that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had written out in their plans that what they wanted to do was hijack a commercial airliner and fly it into the Empire State Building. Maybe, instead of their rush to restrict speech, our elected officials and law enforcement authorities should have spent their time checking out the feasibility of something like that occuring. Maybe that would have been a far better use of their time. Just a thought.

  32. What I don’t like about chronic pain is how long it lasts.

  33. Ah, so you remembered I was a dual-citizen, I didn’t know that Kim Campbell appeared in public after the 1993 election. It seemed like something that would shame someone into their basement for the rest of their life.

    But besides that, South Park and Columbine are quite interconnected, considering that Trey and Matt both went to school in Littleton, which leads me to suspect what the series finale will be. :) (I’m personally more of a “Cannibal: The Musical” kind of guy myself but I’ve seen “Bowling for Columbine” like everyone else and am somewhat familiar with the fact that Butters gets treated poorly.)

    But yeah, interesting stuff on the executive order, another thing to put on my “Yeah, Bill Clinton wasn’t that great” list.

    It’s interesting though how people like to be in denial about these things, I was always taught that sometimes it’s honorable to accept your mistakes when they cause problems. (Not on drug policy though, many are really invested in that issue and will give no relief if one uses that 80’s study with the monkeys with the brain damage. They immediately render one’s opinion invalid, I guess.) Sorry to sound like a bit of a moralizer, but it logically makes little sense to me that people are too afraid to say that “You know, the support system is really bad here.”

  34. @ Amber Star

    Jeremy Hunt made Leno tonight. It is pretty funny. It reminds me of Basil Fawlty ordering Manuel “Throw it away!”

    Still say he’s the hottest Tory.

    @ American Bystander

    It’s not all bad news though when it comes to restriction of violent speech. You see California enacted a comprehensive law banning the sale of violent video games to minors and requiring warning labels. This wasn’t done in response to Columbine but in response to increasing gang violence. But that law is gone! Thanks to of all people Nino Scalia because in Brown v. Entertainment Merchant’s Society (2011), IMHO the greatest judicial opinion of his entire career, the law was struck down. :)

    Without going to into excruciating detail, just know that a majority (Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan) held:

    1. Video games are a type of speech under the 1st Amendment.
    2. Violent speech is protected speech under the First Amendment.
    3. Restrictions on violent speech are subject to strict scrutiny.
    4. Minors are entitled to significant 1st Amendment protections.

    My excited response? Suck on it b*tches! :)

    “I’m 19 and I remember my parents talking quite openly to us about kids shooting up a school, we lived in a rather open household. I also remember reading a lot about metal detectors in schools and stuff like that, I went to Public School in a district which didn’t have such things. I was amused by the prospect of school being like an airport, but I can’t imagine it solved many problems, it probably mostly harassed the students.”

    I went to a private school that was largely bully free and violence free but after Columbine there were a bunch of scares resulting in suspensions for kids who brought knifes to school with them. Plus there was this paranoia about all the loner kids turning into killers. Actually, there was a kid in the class of 99′ who got into some hot water for bringing guns to school (he had them in his trunk, I don’t think he was actually going to actually use them….he may have brought them to show off or possibly to sell them…..that was how the knife suspensions happenned, my classmates brought them in to sell them, they wanted the extra money apparently).

    Public Schools that have metal detectors, gates, and police officers tend to be those that are violent due to gang warfare spilling over into the school yard. I’m glad I never had to attend a school like that.

  35. Apart from the rings and Mr.Bean,not spectacular enough for me am afraid!

  36. S&P to keep UK triple A status. More support for Osborne’s Plan A. Very good news for the government.

  37. “I have to say that at the best of times I’m a cynical b****** and was fully prepared to point and laugh at tonight’s opening ceremony with relish.”
    This sums up exactly how I felt during the ceremony.
    I have to say that I was feeling a bit uneasy during the start – it was a little bit comical, but from the steel rings onward, everything [1] was, IMHO, absolutely amazing.
    And then when Sir Tim Berners-Lee appeared, Boris’ promise of welling up came true.
    Incredible.

    SoCal
    I think we’re going to end up going in circles forever.
    But..
    “Well I don’t see them as a myth because I know that laws have been struck down and executive actions permanently blocked because they infringed upon fundamental rights. ”
    Okay – so let’s say that the constitution of the US was amended to say that by divine right, I was declared Second Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. (The first being Norton I).
    The law would treat my divine right as real – it would strike down laws which infringed upon my rulings and thus, according to your criteria, my divine right would *be* real. I.e it’s legal recognition would create it’s existence.
    But no matter how many people or courts believed it, my divine right wouldn’t actually exist – it’d be a myth to justify my power.
    You may say, that’s different, because fundamental rights would exist even if the constitution were amended and the court would recognise those rights – but that would only be true as far as the judges and courts believe in them.
    Equally true, all judges (and a majority of people) could start believing I am Emperor of the US (And Protector of Mexico) and the law would treat it as so without an amendment to the constitution.

    I’ll give a better example – many Islamic nations recognise (and the courts recognise) Islam as the one true faith and I’m pretty sure that the Vatican recognises Catholicism as the one true faith. Both legal systems would recognise that as true but only one of them could be objectively true (or both could be false). They can’t both be objectively true [5].

    So going back to basics, there are four logical categories of things –
    1) Things that have been proven. [2]
    2) Things that have been disproven. [3]
    3) Things that are testable but have yet to be proven or disproven.
    4) Things that are untestable and therefore can never be proven or disproven. These are called ‘spooks’ (or as I referred to them – myths).

    The idea of fundamental rights – rights that exist by some sort of mystical powers (originally justified by divine providence) – fall in to category 4.
    The problem with using category 4 items to justify political or legal systems is that they’re untestable and you could therefore use any untestable idea (myth) to justify things. All you need is for people to believe in them.
    I think it’d be a struggle to even define the criteria (outside of a fuzzy ‘know it when I see it’ sense) for what makes one activity a fundamental right and one not or. [4]

    So I don’t believe in fundamental rights because they’re spooks.
    I do however believe that there should be constitutional rights because I believe there should be limited government [6] (because my neurochemistry – or if you’re feeling like making it a category 4 claim, my very soul – tells me that I’m quite fond of liberty and quite opposed to reductions in liberty). But that’s somewhat different than a fundamental right which cannot by proven or disproven but only believed in.

    So to end this overly long argument – we should not base our legal, political systems or ideologies on category 4 claims because that allows for any category 4 claim to be used as political justification.

    “Your whole argument would be akin to arguing that the solution to the fact that there are too few women on the corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies should be to abolish all Fortune 500 companies.”
    Completely disagree.
    It would be like having a fundamental right to be on a board of directors and that you have to register your directorship with the government.
    Only it’s a case that only two people are allowed to be on the board of directors and you cannot be on the board of multiple companies and it has to only be one man and a one woman (formally the fundamental right segregated companies by race).
    But that the argument is that we should extend that ‘fundamental right’ to include same-sex directorships – that boards of directors should be limited to two adults (and still the adults can only sit on one board).

    My argument is that we could abolish all legal recognition of registration (except when company boards require private contracts between the board and it’s directors) and allow companies to have boards as large, small, diverse or not as they wish.

    Effectively mine is a free market argument – we do not require the government recognition or registration of directorships (outside of private contracts between individuals and the corporate entity).
    Just as we don’t require the government to register marriages (and have a separate limited legal category of contract) for people to engage in marriage ceremonies without government approval.

    So people would still engage in the act of marriage (and call themselves married) but they wouldn’t need the government (in the name of protecting their fundamental right) to register the marriage or define which sort of marriage is okay and which sort of marriage is not.

    Again – I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be allowed to engage in the act of marriage. Quite the opposite – I’m saying that government shouldn’t define marriage (an act between two or more individuals) and require a registration of that marriage for the marriage to be legally recognised (only that the government recognise a private marriage contract between individuals if they so which to create a private contract).
    Phew.

    Apologies to everybody else for the long post!

    [1] Except for Trevor Nelson’s inane banter. I couldn’t believe the number of times I heard him say a variation of “And everybody knows that..”. If everybody knows it, there’s no point in saying it. Argh.
    [2] Which may be one day disproven.
    [3] Which may one day be proven.
    [4] Take the fundamental right to marriage. If it is a fundamental right, then government has no right in making it privileged (i.e limiting it to certain legal classes of people or certain types of marriage) thus attempts at defining marriage as purely monogamous or heterosexual would violate that fundamental right.
    Unless you’re going to argue that marriage *is* defined as between two people, which requires a whole new set of spooks to justify that claim.
    [5] Well, under certain quantum cosmologies, they could both be true – but that’s neither here nor there.
    [6] The belief in what *should* be is also different than the believe in what *is*. To rephrase in E-Prime – “I would prefer legally recognised constitutional rights to the alternative of not”.
    I’m not making a claim of truth here – but only stating a preference.

  38. SoCal,
    And since I missed this part –
    “My response to this is huh? There is no landed aristocracy in the United States and there has never been any kind of support or movement for “land reform.” Also, when it comes to seizing land that’s needed by the government, it’s not impossible to do. It’s called eminent domain.”
    I should have been clearer – I wish to amend the law to abolish land ownership, in the UK, where there is a landed aristocracy (and there is a small movement for land reform).

    But the problem still applies in the US – it’s not about eminent domain but about abolishing a privilege that exists without justification.

    So we can go back to Locke and justify property (and by extension property based on investment) by protecting the fruits of labour.
    Protecting the fruits of labour encourages people to labour, which is arguably a social good, because otherwise people could just wait for someone else to labour and take their fruits (the standard argument against communism).
    Equally we can justify the protection of the use of land, because land is a limited resource and there would be arguments over certain plots – for example if two farmers wanted to work in the same field.
    There are some practical problems with this – if someone who wants to use the land (and has the limited government-granted monopoly over that land), but becomes temporarily ill or is enlisted in to the army, etc then we need to protect their land-use in their absence.
    But the land still isn’t ‘owned’, it’s legal stewardship.

    The problem comes when we extend to land ownership – someone has exclusive right to the land because they own the land. (Infinite regress!)
    They may have purchased the land from someone else or was granted it at some point by the state – but ultimately they have a government-recognised monopoly over the land.
    Which means that the government engages in wealth redistribution upward (although you wouldn’t find many right wingers who categorise it that way, when they rage against wealth redistribution downward) from people who labour and invest to those who monopolise a resource.

    If land is a fundamental right, even with eminent domain (which usually requires the compensation of the owner of the land – even though they were effectively granted the land by the government), you still have active monopolization which hinders market production (labour and investment).

    It’s similar to the legal recognition of copyright – copyright was originally envisioned as a limited monopoly to protect the labour and investment of the producers of the work – but due to perpetual copyright, the proceeds of copyright have now become a rent, rather than just protecting labour and investment.

    So from a geo-libertarian perspective (i.e a capitalist one), land ownership is still a feudal system (hence the term Land-Lord). Especially clear in nations like the UK where the feudal aristocracy controls most of the land.

    So I wish to reform the land to stewardship so that it’s a capitalist system, because I don’t think we can properly reform capitalism until we fully complete the transition from feudalism to capitalism.
    Or to quite Thomas Jefferson –
    “It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common is the property for the moment of him who occupies it; but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.

    The earth is given as a common stock for man to labor and live on. If for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be provided to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labor the earth returns to the unemployed… It is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.

    Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right.”

    Although he does justify his views on landed property rights (i.e it isn’t a fundamental right) on other natural rights (the right to the fruit of labour or investment) – which, of course, I don’t believe in. ;)

    Phew. Apologies for the long post again.

  39. Good morning all.
    Aidan Burley; have people spoken about his ‘tweet’?

    Is that the same man who wore the Nazi clothes?

  40. He really said that… “out the backside of No 10”. Does backside not actually mean arse-end in American English then? The only way the comment makes sense is if Romney mistook the beach volley-ball court in Horse Guards Parade for Stratford Olympic Park.

    This is a grotesquerie of Dubyantine proportions – which is all the more worrying given SoCalLiberal’s comment about the same NeoCon cabal lining up behind him – a fact not picked up on yet by media commentators on this side of the Atlantic.

  41. Chris,
    “Is that the same man who wore the Nazi clothes?”
    Yep – hopefully he doesn’t find many defenders within his party or he could do some damage to the Tory brand (as opposed to just being an individual that put his foot in his mouth).
    I expect Cameron will issue a statement against Burley and make sure it gets prominent enough press to cause any political problems.

  42. “to NOT cause any political problems.”
    So the sentence actually makes sense – Cameron will defend the ceremony and the Tories won’t be harmed. Just to be clearer.

  43. “”In our opinion, the U.K. government remains committed to implementing its fiscal program, and we believe it can respond rapidly to economic challenges.”

    Standard & Poors

    :-)

    ……………now for some sport, thank god!

  44. TINGED FRINGE

    @”Although he does justify his views on landed property rights ”

    He does indeed :-

    “The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.” –Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816. ME 15:36″

    But this is not surprising from the owner of Monticello’s 5000 acres of plantation…….and slaves.

  45. SoCal (and apologies everyone else)
    “Although he does justify his views on landed property rights (i.e it isn’t a fundamental right) on other natural rights (the right to the fruit of labour or investment) – which, of course, I don’t believe in. ”
    And just to make this clearer – I do believe that the law should recognise the right to the fruits of labour and investment, but I don’t believe it is a ‘natural right’ only that it serves a practical good and gels with my moral instincts.

    (As opposed to a reading where I’m against the right to the fruit of labour and investment – that’s not my intention).

  46. @Colin

    “”In our opinion, the U.K. government remains committed to implementing its fiscal program, and we believe it can respond rapidly to economic challenges.”

    A testimonial from a credit agency. That’s a bit like getting a clean bill of health from an undertaker isn’t it? lol

    I haven’t read much of the thread, I have to say, and therefore haven’t absorbed the gist of the debate on here about the Olymics opening ceremony last night. Accordingly, I apologise in advance if my little contribution here has been said by others already. Suffice to say, I thought Boyle got it absolutely spot on. Unlike the Jubilee nonsense, I watched all of the opening ceremony on TV last night and enjoyed just about every little bit of it, from Rowan Atkinson to dear old Macca, and all points in between.

    I was moved by my childhood hero, Muhammed Ali’s appearance, and the enormous swelling roar of the crowd that greeted the announcement of his name; a cheer almost as loud as the one that rolled around the stadium when the NHS was celebrated and the Great Ormond Street Hospital staff appeared.

    Britain at its best last night with, thank goodness, a minimum of crowd pleasing intrusions from politicians and royalty.

    I think I love this country sometimes, and last night switched those little triggers inside me that occasionally remind me why I do.

    Great stuff and, as Colin says, let the sport now begin.

    P.S. One gripe from me. What the devil was Shami Chakrabarti doing as one of the bearers of the Olympic flag? I had no problems with any of the others carrying it, but was somebody having a laugh here? Maybe the irony and surrealism was lost on me.

  47. Colin,
    Unfortunately Jefferson didn’t take the logical leap that ‘All Men Are Born Free’ does then imply that it applies to all men.
    But just because he was ‘wrong’ about one thing, doesn’t mean he was ‘right’ about others.

    I was just using the quote to illustrate my point more clearly, since he was a much better writer than me, not to say that everything Jefferson said was to be taken as absolute.

    “Tu quoque” – “And you also..”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

    I would quote Gandhi where he was right, despite his admiration for Hitler’s bloodless invasions.
    Or Churchill’s defence of the creation of legally recognised human rights or a unified Europe, despite his admiration for Mussolini’s fascism.

  48. “.. he was ‘right’ about others.”
    ..wasn’t right about others.

    Double negatives and a lack of edit equal fail.

  49. Alec: “I think I love this country sometimes.”

    Moi aussi. Exactly how I feel. Sometimes you feel tears welling up and think “This is England and I’m glad”.

    We’re a funny nationality who just love to mean about our own country, build people up in order to watch newpapers bring them down and so on. And, yet, at the root of it all we actually are ok – and that’s nice to recognise occasionally.

    I do mean Great Britain of course but I feel “English” mostly and British a very close second – though both only occasionally and not obsessively.

  50. mean = moan.

    bleary eyed from pain and lack of sleep but, as we say unconvincingly, having just done so, “can’t complain.”

    Anyway, didn’t want to fall foul of the spelling monitor.

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