This week’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times are now up here.

The topline voting intention figures are CON 35%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 7%. The six point Labour lead is unusual, typically YouGov have been showing Labour leads of around 9-10 points for the last few months. In the absence of any big announcements or developments that could explain a big drop, I would urge caution… sure, it could be the sign of some Conservative recovery, but just as likely it is random sample error. The rest of the survey concentrates on the economy, wealth taxes, Nick Clegg, Heathrow and honours.

28% of people think the government’s economic policy is basically right (including almost three-quarters of Tory supporters), 56% think it is basically wrong. People unhappy with the current strategy though are divided over what changes they would make – 24% of them would like bigger spending cuts to fund tax cuts, 21% would like the opposite – tax increases to reduce spending cuts. 17% would like more short-term borrowing to reduce spending cuts, 4% would like more short-term borrowing to fund tax cuts. 35% say they would like something else or that they don’t know.

Turning to the question of a wealth tax, 57% of people support the principle of such a tax, with 29% opposed. The most popular cut off point for a wealth tax is £1 million (supported by 34%). 19% would support a lower threshold than this, 35% a higher one. There is a noticable regional pattern here, with people in London much more likely to oppose a wealth tax and supporting higher thresholds if there is one.

Arguments about taxes on the rich damaging the country do not have much cut through. While 66% people think that there is some risk that high taxes on the wealthy will drive them abroad, two-thirds of them still think it is the right thing to do under the present circumstances. 48% of people think that higher taxes on the rich will raise more money even taking into account this risk (31% disagree). Overall 39% of people think higher taxes on the wealthy would help an economic recovery compared to 18% who think it would damage the chances of an economic recovery (31% think it will make no real difference).

Moving onto questions about Nick Clegg, 17% of people see him as an asset to the government compared to 58% who think he is a liability. These figures are almost identical to George Osborne (16% asset, 58% liability) putting the two of them as the lowest rated of the politicians YouGov asked about. The most positively rated by some distance was William Hague – 43% of people think he is an asset, compared to 29% who think he is a liability.

30% of people say that Clegg should remain as leader, compared to 40% who think he should be replaced. However, asked whether they think the Liberal Democrats would do better at the next election if they keep Clegg or replace him only 18% think they’d do better with Clegg, compared to 53% who think they would do better if they changed. Amongst the Liberal Democrat party’s own supporters 60% think that the party should keep Nick Clegg… but only 31% think that the party would do better with Clegg at the next election. 47% of Lib Dem supporters think they would do better with someone else.

Amongst those who think the Lib Dems would do better if they changed 28% think they would do best under Vince Cable, far above all the other Lib Dem politicians in the question but less than those who said None or Don’t know (43%). A significant part of questions like this are simple name recognition – Vince is a very well known politician, while other serious contenders like Tim Farron are very little known outside the circles of we political anoraks!

Turning to the subject of Heathrow, 35% of people support Heathrow expansion, 32% oppose it and 33% don’t know. However, when asked specifically about whether David Cameron should keep his manifesto pledge on Heathrow only 19% of people think he should break it and go ahead with Heathrow expansion. 35% think he should rule it out and 32% think he should reconsider the issue at the next election.

Finally on the honours systems, people think too many awards go to figures from entertainment (69% too many), senior civil servants (61% too many), national politicians (67% too many), local politicians (48% too many), sportsmen and women (39% too many) and business leaders (37% too many). They would like to see more awards go to people from charities (71% not enough), scientists and academics (64% not enough) and people working in the public services (66% not enough).


187 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 35, LAB 41, LD 9, UKIP 7”

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  1. LEFTYLAMPTON

    “Celtic”??? Please!

    I’m from Aberdeen (and will be quite pleased if they sometime get round to scoring a goal this season).

  2. leftyhampton

    1) “It’s indicative of the rightward shift under Thatcher and Blair that he is now seen as out on the left-ward fringes of the economic debate”

    Predominantly in the states- that’s was what the blog entry was saying it was effectively not discussing how Keynes or Hayek are perceived in the UK or Europe (or anywhere else other than the USA). It refers to anti-speculator sentiment “especially in Britain” once.

    You are conflating the blogs notion of these totemic writers *in the states* with a wider notion of what is perceived as economically left wing and what is perceived economically as right wing. I am not I was sticking to commenting on what the blog actually discussed.

    All you have to do is look at the ‘heterodox economics’ literature (so beloved of leftist parties- and some of it very good BTW)/ or the ‘mainstream’ neoclassical economists to know well that *most* economists and philosophers do not regard Keynes as on the left. And they are right, er, correct of course!

    2) “That the Occupiers and their fellow travellers see themselves as being of The Left is not grounds for judging the opinions of The Left by a critique of the opinions of the Occupiers.”

    And that (again) is not what I said!

    I criticized the blogs use of the Occupiers as an example of ‘the left’ thinking that Keynes is left (in fact I don’t agree with the premise- I think they’d see him as ‘just another capitalist’ as do quite a few on here). Also that why use them as a Socratic device at all? When they have become (predictably) irrelevant outside of a Fox news hatchet job/ scare reportage (but even they don’t bother with them any more)!

    Despite my full thick head of hair I am not going to tear it our even though you keep misunderstanding me (misrepresenting?) me !

  3. @Rob Sheffield

    Erm, I’ve never once claimed to be a Labour voter? In fact most of my non-polling posts on here are criticising the modern Labour party.

  4. OLD NAT.

    SAF you could have back when he leaves Manchester.

    CORKSCREW. Thanks!

    Have you seen the BBC news page interview with a LD peer, forecasting a LD vote leading to 5 MP’s being elected for them in 2015? Maybe he agrees with my analysis.

    In 1992, I think, many LD’s went to the Cons since they could not take a Labour Government. I think it will happen again.

  5. Interesting debate on left/right positioning.

    FWIW I regard Labour as essentially pragmatic – to the point of being almost lacking in ideology.

    The LD’s are simply lost in a miasma of positioning – suddenly ideologically right on public sector and need to shrink it – reversing earlier platform – ideologically right also on the desire to see the public sector operated through essentially private providers – yet clinging to an ideologically left platform on environmental issues and to some degree on promoting equality – result is a mess. In Scotland the SNP are essentially pragmatic like Labour – but apparently better at it – at least in terms of public perception.

    The only mainstream ideological party are the Tories – and so despite all economic orthodoxy and analysis dictating a need for a pragmatic loosening of purse strings in recession to prevent their belief system that the market will provide overrules the facts on the ground.

    In fact the most effective stimulus to the economy would be reinstating tax credits and giving public sector workers a 2% pay rise. These reversals of deflationary policies, would result in an immediate stimulus and increased economic activity through spending, and a long-term solidifying of the housing market were such a 2% rise to be guaranteed annually for the length of the parliament. This would be sustained by confident public sector workers using their security of employment and income to prevent further weakening of the entire housing sector. ( I could not go so far as to say “boost”)

    It would be a far cheaper and far more effective stimulus than either of the QE strategies or the seeming complex system of backing private investment proposed by GO – paradoxically it would probably provide a greater private sector boost than either of those.

    It is the prevalence of Tory market ideology which has pushed a weak recovery – and no-one is suggesting that any strong recovery could have been sustained in the UK by any government in the last two years – into a significant, and potentially sustained recession.

  6. @Old Nat
    I think the drying up of private sector unionisation is a problem of their own making, retaining Thatcher’s anti-union laws has significantly weakened them, and thus, their appeal.

    I think political funding is easier to defend in a PR system, because there’s more shades to it – and thus a potential for people to identify with at least one. In a two and a half party system like Westminster’s, with the public disillusioned with all three, people will bitterly oppose such a move (and would probably quite like the thought of those parties going under because of lack of financial support).

    @Carfew
    Fair enough, but from what I’ve seen the polling seems to suggest it’s far more popular than it is unpopular, and at worst would strike equal – with the benefit of firming up your support (75% of Labour back the policy), differentiating your party and promoting a commitment to fairness.

  7. @ Craig

    You said

    “Maybe it’s thanks to ‘social democrats’ like yourself who are that afraid of being left-wing and have capitulated nearly everything that’s allowed the right-wing to march ever further to the right where they have the luxury of looking to the idealists, while the Left is left nostalgic at the thought they could still have decent paid jobs and a welfare state?”

    To which I said in response to @Phil (and *note* his use of inverted commas conferring a labour movement/ left ascription and his use of poster not voter) I wrote

    “I suggest that it’s more the case that so many Labour (without inverted commas) posters on here don’t consider New Labour and Social Democracy to be one and the same.”

    And they don’t still (see @Craig ad nauseam at every possible opportunity);

    To which you responded

    “Erm, I’ve never once claimed to be a Labour voter? In fact most of my non-polling posts on here are criticising the modern Labour party.”

    *Quod Erat Demonstrandum*

  8. CHRISLANE1945

    “In 1992, I think, many LD’s went to the Cons since they could not take a Labour Government. I think it will happen again.”

    Two really wide generalisations in that comment.

    1. The “many LDs” in 1992 were a coherent group, with common political views

    2. “a Labour Government.” means precisely the same at the next election as it did 20 years ago.

    Not to mention that the people who were LD in 1992 may have been a different set of people than those who are supporting LD in 2012.

  9. @Rob Sheffield
    “no longitudinal evidence”
    Perhaps you might elaborate because I’m genuinely confused as to why you consider the polling on wealth taxes to be inconclusive. I can’t form a view unless you provide an example of the form of YouGov’s polling on policy issues that does meet your criteria of “longitudinal evidence”.

    “‘soak-the-rich’ special taxes and surcharges”
    Describe it as you wish, but I’d describe is more as the principle that the very wealthiest should make a modest and for them affordable extra contribution for the benefit of society as a whole.

    “Hence my support for retaining the 50p rate and considering a higher rate than that as a part of the formal tax system.”
    A revelation! In principle, we may not be that far apart after all, since we both seem to be in favour of that affordable extra contribution but differ whether it should be levied on income or wealth. Whilst I’m in favour of some element falling on the latter, the reasoning is down to issues of detail rather than principle so I’m happy to park the argument there.

  10. Chrislane,
    “In 1992, I think, many LD’s went to the Cons since they could not take a Labour Government. I think it will happen again.”

    The point here surely is that the LibDem vote has already collapsed – all that remains is the hard core.

  11. Craig

    re Union funding

    I wouldn’t disagree with your analysis, but PR doesn’t by itself solve the problem.

    In Scotland, we have a PR system, but many union members here have a choice only between funding the Labour Party, or not contributing to the political fund at all. There is no mechanism whereby different political views can fund their own particular beliefs through the union political fund – unless they are Labour supporters.

  12. @Rob Sheffield
    To which I said in response to @Phil (and *note* his use of inverted commas conferring a labour movement/ left ascription and his use of poster not voter)
    I’m sorry, but that’s complete nonsense.

    Inverted commas did not denote Labour movement/left ascription, nor do the fact that he said poster rather than voter invalidate my refusal to being chosen as the Labour example – having never identified myself with that (and again, have had a long record of setting myself against modern Labour).

    In truth, I think you were struggling to nominate an example of such a description (as usual).

  13. @leftylampton

    Rob

    I think you may have overlooked a couple of key issues here.

    1) Keynes was a centrist, centre-left at best, yes. It’s indicative of the rightward shift under Thatcher and Blair that he is now seen as out on the left-ward fringes of the economic debate. As our Celtic friend said earlier, do you see the irony in that?

    _________________________________________________________________

    The reason Keynes is seen as a scurrilous leftie, is because he pointed out the utility of things like paying people to dig holes and fill them up again. This is anathema to many on the right, to them it is wasting their taxes on what they call in their non-jobs. Diversity officers seem to come in for particular opprobrium for some reason. Much in economics is counter-intuitive, and this is an especially notable example, as they cannot see how paying someone to not do very much in their eyes could be anything other than a waste.

    Because they cannot get their heads around the idea that the money circulates around the economy as the person digging holes buys the products and services of others, thus paying their wages, and these others then spend that money paying the wages of others etc.

    They just see it as wasteful lefty redistibution. And give the money instead on tax cuts to business who just sit on the money and then they wonder why the economy gets screwed. Although to be fair, Tories have been creating some jobs that seem useless at best (OBR anyone?) so maybe they’re getting their heads around it. I mean it’s not THAT hard. Even Thatch had the Manpower services thing.

    The Tories of the fifties, mindful of the Great Depression seemed to get this. They were both for private enterprise but also full employment. Though they didn’t see any particular need to have non-jobs anyway, they just had housing programmes and stuff.

  14. Regarding JMK, how’s this for a theory- Keynes did more than anyone to defeat Communism.

    Marxist ideology was based on the idea that capitalism was inherently tyrannical and would inevitably collapse under the weight of its own injustices and contradictions.

    Yet when Keynesian ideas found their way into public policy, it created a form of capitalism that worked in the interests of anyone. It created steadily rising living standards, with wealth and incomes slowly levelling as the working class took a proportionately higher share of the growth than the rich. Hence Marxism was proved wrong and the survival of capitalism was ensured. Indeed it wouldn’t surprise me if Keynes was reviled by many communists for this very reason.

    As for wealth taxes, how anyone could describe the polling on it as ‘inconclusive’ is beyond me. I was actually surprised to see such support for a generalised wealth tax, which presumably would include business assets, as it is this part that I believe is very controversial in France. Polling for a more limited form of wealth tax that would apply to the property wealth only tend to poll even higher from what I’ve seen.

    Also, any policy that has strong public support is by definition a centrist policy. Indeed the consensus from today’s poll seems to be for a wealth tax with a threshold set at £1 million. A proper left-wing policy would be to have a wealth tax AND set it at a low threshold. Having a wealth tax but setting the threshold high, or limiting the tax to high end properties only, would actually be a right-of-centre policy.

  15. @Carfew

    Fair enough, but from what I’ve seen the polling seems to suggest it’s far more popular than it is unpopular, and at worst would strike equal – with the benefit of firming up your support (75% of Labour back the policy), differentiating your party and promoting a commitment to fairness.

    ________________________________________________

    Well I’m not saying your necessarily wrong, just pointing out a few caveats. In that even if the polling shows support for the measure, it may not be so attractive in the marginals, and that while a policy may seem attractive when put forward in a fairly neutral polling question, it may seem rather less so after being attacked by Tories and press in an election campaign (thin end of wedge etc.)

    Furthermore, the babyboomers and other wealthier people affected may be rather more likely to vote.

  16. Above post addressed to Craig,

    (and “you’re” instead of “your” in the first line..)

    p.s. yes, Labour voters do largely support it, but significantly more Conservative supporters oppose it than agree with it. And which way would the don’t knows swing? A lot of Lib Dems want it, but there are not many Lib Dems and you may not get their vote anyway since the LDs propose it anyway and they are hard core.

    So you might retain some Labour voters at eh expense of others.

    Can you really say it’s that clear cut?

  17. I can’t see why a popular would be less popular in the marginals than in the country at large. I’d imagine the marginals would be on the whole a decent cross-section of British society, hence why they’re marginal.

    As for the Tory attacks, if Nye Bevan had been paranoid about Tory attacks, we’d have no NHS. Labour can’t be constantly wetting the bed because those awful Tories will say nasty things about us. Even if Tory attacks did make inroads, the policy would be starting from a very strong position and I reckon public opinion would end up at worst evenly split.

    Regarding the well-off baby boomers who may be affected by a wealth tax, most will be voting Tory anyway. Those who vote Labour do so against their class interests and so strike me as being pretty principled social democrats/socialists, who would be unlikely to break away over one policy.

    I appreciate you’re only pointing out caveats, I just don’t think any of them are anything to worry about.

  18. Be interesting if there’s any data on marginals concerning how representative they are.

    Regarding the Nye Bevan thing, there was clearly a groundswell of opinion towards change after the war… Churchill getting booed on the campaign trail etc.

    But in any event, sure, if Labour are looking at a landslide then they can be braver about whether the voters like a particular policy or not. If things are tighter, however…

    I disagree people may not break away over one policy when it is their family home or children’s inheritance at stake.

    I don’t see it’s that strong a position when Tories are opposed. And that’s before the policy is seriously challenged. Labour voters may like it but that’s just preaching to the converted.

  19. CARFREW and DRUNKEN SCOUSER
    Good Morning to you.

    Churchill showed he had ‘lost it’ with his Gestapo speech, and his mind was failing, as shown by the disgraceful Yalta deals over Eastern Europe and the Whie Russians. In 1945 Labour had a very strong and experienced team.

    Keynes argued, I think, that the GDP take by Government should be about 35% at any time, and that we should pay back debt in good times.

    I agree that Labour tends to speak to the converted too much.

    OLD NAT.
    I am not convinced that there are so many ‘core voters’ any more for any party.

  20. @Carfrew
    “The Tories of the fifties, mindful of the Great Depression seemed to get this. They were both for private enterprise but also full employment. Though they didn’t see any particular need to have non-jobs anyway, they just had housing programmes and stuff.”
    ——————————–
    Good points. If the Coalition do embark on a major housebuilding program then it would be a sensible move, but we need more details. There is mention of more social housing via housing associations but no mention of more council houses via local authorities.

    The point here is which borrowing and expenditure counts as ‘public’ and which counts as private?. Private housing investment is always seen as good and public housing investment is seen as bad. Look out for creative accountancy. The last Labour government failed badly on social housing so they are in no position to criticise.

  21. Do you think Ffion Hague is trying to create an interesting media image for herself in preparation for her role as First Lady?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/feedarticle/10420359

  22. LEFTY

    @”Thatcher’s genius was to see the crumbling of the post-War Keynesian consensus,”

    I love this sort of pseudo intellectual nonsense.

    Thatcher could hardly fail.

    Heath, then Wilson and his bunch of incompetents had brought the country to it’s knees.

    On every count from Industrial Policy, through Employment, Education , Public Finances-the whole shebang was going down the tubes.

    Journalist Alfred Sherman, asked how much Hayek had inspired her said ” She came from Grantham with her mind made up. She brought Grantham with her. I doubt whether she ever read Hayek”.

    Enoch Powell once remarked ” She did not rise to power. She was opposite the spot on the roulette wheel at the right time, and she didn’t funk it”.

  23. I don’t always agree with Tim Montgomerie, but his piece in today’s Times is spot on in my view.

    Required reading for Cameron-and Romney.

  24. @chrislane1945

    CARFREW and DRUNKEN SCOUSER
    Good Morning to you.

    Churchill showed he had ‘lost it’ with his Gestapo speech, and his mind was failing, as shown by the disgraceful Yalta deals over Eastern Europe and the Whie Russians. In 1945 Labour had a very strong and experienced team.

    Keynes argued, I think, that the GDP take by Government should be about 35% at any time, and that we should pay back debt in good times.

    I agree that Labour tends to speak to the converted too much.

    ________________________________________

    Good morning to you too Chris. I think we could probably bat the Bevan/Churchill thing around for quite a while. Especially since Churchill for all you say that he had lost it by then, did get re-elected the next time around.

    It’s off the point though, since unless Labour are facing a strong showing in the next election regardless, they are going to have to be more careful regarding policy.

    Regarding your reading of Keynes, it’s a red herring often sold to people on the right. Regardless of whether you saved in the good times, or what your GDP take is, it is nonetheless the case that if there is insufficient demand during the bad times then your economy is going to struggle, and if the private sector isn’t stepping up to the plate – which they tend not to do if there are not more immediate gains on the horizon – then the government has to do it or else you’ll at best stay in the doldrums until such time as there is sufficient external stimulus, or worse lose output or worst case scenario, go into a deflationary spiral.

    And I didn’t say anything about how much Labour preach to the converted. I just noted that backing a policy popular with natural Labour voters would in that instance be preaching to the converted, which is of limited utility when it may cost support you need elsewhere.

  25. @Colin – for those of us not behind the pay wall, any chance of a summary?

  26. Some better news from the UK manufacturing sector from the August PMI survey (or to be more technically correct, some less bad news). The headline PMI came in at 49.5, which is a decent increase on the July figure, and while this is good news, it is still in negative territory, denoting stagnation at best.

    Possibly better news was that the new orders element jumps to 49.9 – still ever so slightly negative, but the rise in this component was the biggest single monthly increase recorded. It was mainly based on stronger domestic demand, and if this is the start of a trend, it suggests things could be on the move.

    However, I would urge caution. The same survey downgraded the initial July headline PMI to 45.2, which is a 3 1/2 year low, so with August still failing to show any manufacturing growth this suggests that two thirds of the way through Q3 the manufacturing sector is likely to remain in recession again when the next set of GDP data comes out.

  27. @Colin

    “Journalist Alfred Sherman, asked how much Hayek had inspired her said ” She came from Grantham with her mind made up. She brought Grantham with her. I doubt whether she ever read Hayek”.

    I won’t say you’re being disingenuous here, but I think you may be guilty of naivete. The good lady, although a budding and highly well-read Oxbridge graduate, might not have read Hayek, but her coterie of advisers, including her guru and mentor, Keith Joseph, most certainly had. Hers was a deeply ideological government, hell bent on avoiding what she felt had been the sins of the Heath Tory Government of the early 70s. You don’t believe this myth of Thatcher the homely housewife just applying Grantham-esque common sense, do you???

    As for your comment about Wilson’s bunch of “incompetents”. Castle, Callaghan, Jenkins, Healey, Crosland, Shore, Benn, Varley, Short, Williams, Mason??? Hhhmm, a little partisan, I think.

  28. ALEC

    The title is :-

    “The Left are the good guys?. Give me a break.
    Barack Obama and the Democrats like to claim the moral high ground. Their record tells a different story”

    Much of the article is about the Obama-in hock to the unions for campaign funds =public sector orientated policy & “six trillion dollars of extra borrowing”.
    Plus stuff about education policy -and something called “partial-birth abortion” which horrified me.

    His parallels for UK are really summarised in his concluding para :-

    ” I don’t blame the Left for their attempts to monopolise the moral high ground. I blame the right for allowing it. It’s time for the Centre-Right to attack systematically, the Left’s claims to moral superiority and to sustain that attack for a culture-shaping generation. It’s time fr conservatives to get off their knees and argue that sound finances, strong families, school choice and unshackled job creators provide a much superior approach to social justice than that favoured by big-union, big -government Left.We must start advancing our own vision of a good society or we’ll suffocate in the moral vacuum”

    Interestingly DD is on tv making a speech . I gave up watching after a while because he really doesn’t speak well ( at length anyway) .
    The feel was much along the lines of TM’s piece-time for “conservative” boldness.

    He was speaking at the Centre for Policy Studies-the spiritual home of UK economic liberalism-and Margaret Thatcher’s revolution.

    We will see whether all this stuff is “noises off” or some sort of gear change. All down to Cammo.

    Nadhim Zahawi was just on DP giving a pretty firm indicator the Schroder type “mini-jobs” are about to appear.

    All will be revealed in due course .

    :-)

  29. @Ozwald

    Good points. If the Coalition do embark on a major housebuilding program then it would be a sensible move, but we need more details. There is mention of more social housing via housing associations but no mention of more council houses via local authorities.

    The point here is which borrowing and expenditure counts as ‘public’ and which counts as private?.

    Private housing investment is always seen as good and public housing investment is seen as bad. Look out for creative accountancy. The last Labour government failed badly on social housing so they are in no position to criticise.

    ___________________________________________________

    Thanks Ozwald. True, whether the investment is public or private has an impact in various ways, but from the point of view of the economy at least, whichever way you do it at least you are assisting employment and demand and then growth to eliminate the deficit, alongside making homes more affordable, whether to buy or rent.

    Unfortunately from the point of view of retired baby boomers sitting on a pile and no longer in need of jobs, they may find the policy less palatable, which may go some way toward explaining New Labour’s stance on the matter in the past.

  30. CARFREW.
    Good Afternoon to you.

    The Churchill 1951 GE win was, I think, partly due to Nye Bevan’ LOWER THAN VERMIN speech, Churchill’s own record in war as we went to war again, Attlee being persuaded to call a GE by the King, and the Tory party accepting the Welfare State.
    I agree that Labour needs to appeal to non Labour voters, which Labour did after 1994.
    The 1992 GE showed that a poor economy can be good news for the Tory Party, since it appears ‘safe’. Canvassing in that year really shocked me, since there were many undecided and Ashdown supporters who at the last minute almost came out to vote for Major.
    John Smith’s ‘Budget’ damaged Labour.

    ALEC.
    I am intrigued as to why it is appropriate to mention a man’s religion on UKPR when expressing irrittation or disgreement over a political feeling. I still feel, by the way, that the Lib Dems and also Labour will do much worse than the polls show at this stage.

  31. CB11
    “but I think you may be guilty of naivete”

    I wasn’t making claims about MT for myself , but quoting the views of contemporaries.

    Clearly MT had an agenda-to rid the country of it’s socialist administration.
    Clearly she had a free market agenda in mind as an alternative. As I posted elsewhere, she was not a founding presence at CPS for nothing.

    But I suppose one must at least listen to what she said about herself :-eg

    “I’m a plain straightforward provincial. I’ve got no hang ups about my background, like you intellectual commentators in the south-east.”

    to Anthony Sampson 1977.

    ” I represent an attitude, an approach borne out by the development of my life :going to an ordinary state school , having no privileges at all except perhaps the ones that count most-a good home background, with parents who are very interested in their children and in them getting on”.

    As you say, she had a vision for the country, and was surrounded & supported by academics” & “intellectuals”.
    But I don’t think she was one of their number-indeed her very appeal derived from not being.

    She may have left boring Grantham behind some while ago-but she successfully projected herself as “Housewife of the Year”.

  32. I suspect that this reshuffle is going to work as well as the last budget.

    Start dodgily and then spiral downwards faster and faster until the tailspin is a blur.

  33. @cl1945 – “I am intrigued as to why it is appropriate to mention a man’s religion on UKPR when expressing irrittation or disgreement over a political feeling.”

    On reflection I was a little annoyed at myself for slipping that one in – not really necessary and off the point of the discussion, so I will apologise for it.

    In partial defence I would say that you yourself make comment on your own religious beliefs on occasion, so perhaps it isn’t to surprising if those opposed to your views draw parallels between your political and religious thoughts, but my comment remains a distraction and my post would have been better without it.

    At the time, I was thinking of an adherence to faith (any faith, I hasten to add) rather than an open minded review of information. In this regard I suppose politics often can appear similar to religious beliefs, with dogma and pre determined patterns of thinking trumping careful analysis and changes of heart as new evidence presents itself (which is one of the reasons I’ve always rejected faith as a way to analysis the world).

    I guess I felt your belief in the real level of Lib Dem support and your insistence that they are largely Tory leaning voters fell into that category, as there seems precious little real evidence other than faith to back up your assertions. However, as I said, I really should have restricted my point to the politics and polling of it all.

  34. I liked the moment on DP when Nadim Zahawi was asked by Jo Coburn ( to paraphrase) If Peter Kellner of You Govs view that the boundary changes not going through made a conservative OM much less likely.
    It seemed to me that she did not know about his connection with You Gov or perhaps she was being cleverly mischievous and Zahawi an impressive speaker sidestepped the question.

    Also fair play to DP and Fraser Nelson for not trying to correct the comment when they said Labour had a 10% or so lead.
    I had half expected a piece on ‘Labour down to only a 6% lead’ etc but even when doing a quick review of the summer for the 3 main (UK wide ON) parties they never fell in the latest single poll trap.

    Maybe the message is getting through; it could be that as Jo mentioned the Peter Kellner article someone from DP team has been on You Gov sites and maybe here (hi there) and taken on board the bad reporting of polls stuff.

  35. This is a case in point – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9517561/Homeowner-who-shot-suspected-burglars-is-victim-says-minister.html

    Alan Duncan has not seen any evidence of what happened, yet has already made his views clear, based on his political ‘faith’. He may well be proved correct in this case, but who knows? As yet, we don’t know precisely what happened, so I’m really not too sure how we can judge our responses.

  36. Hayek is interesting and a guru for many, Charles Kock, one the wealthiest people in the US is a big follower.

    As I see and unaldulteretd free market is like Commuinism – great in threory.
    Simplistic Communism to work requires the incentive of the greater good to be no less than the incentive to improve ones own (and family’s) share.
    Pure free markets are brilliant, we end up with optimisation of goods and services wanted at prices that work to sustain production.
    Trouble is of course that this is as simplistic as pure comminism in a modern capitalistic society as size and privelidege creates barriers to entry, long term investment is not tolerated by short term thinking by owners (investent funds etc) and managerialism is rife.
    Governments role is to aleviate or mitigate the ineffieciencies in the modern Economy as best they can.

    The whole debate from libertarians through Soc.ial marketers, Social Democrats to socialists is surely about the management of this imperfection.

    Even debates about rights and responsibiltes and entitlements is within this process, Paul Ryan talked about measuring a society by how it takes care of those not able to take care of themselves for example.

    Left and right come from different starting points as the left recognise the need for incentives and therefore income and wealth differentials to drive aggregate wealth whilst the right recognise that untramelled free markets in a modern Economy would lead to too much inequality (although what they tolerate is greater generally) with an ultimate breakdown in society.

    This philosophical starting point difference is perhaps most apparent in the UK between the Social Democratic and Liberal parts of the LDs.

  37. @ Alec.

    New Green leader announced.

    As someone who has voted Green many times and would these days be my first choice were it not for ‘wasted vote’ sydrome I am very surprised how poorly they have done since the election.

    They do not seem to have capitalised in the drop in Lib Dem support which ought to be a target and having an MP in parliament doesn’t seem to have raised their profile much. Maybe I expect too much from what is a small party but a handful of extra councillors in May during a period when the mainstream political parties are at very low levels of respect doesn’t seem a good result to me.

  38. @Shevii – I would tend to agree, although I’m not very surprised. Greens tend to do better at times of plenty, when people feel they can afford the indulgences of environmentalism – at least, that’s my theory. We tend to lose out when the more basic necessities of life (in the view of electors at least) become of most acute importance.

    I’ve often parted company with official Green policy as sometimes it has veered off into middle class ghettoes and not really looked long and hard at issues from a more ‘normal’ perspective – there remains unfortunately an otherworldliness about many greens, and I’ve sat through many meetings with my Robert Burn’s head on, thinking to myself that if you lot could hear yourselves like
    others do you would be really embarrassed.

    Still, you’ve got to start somewhere, and the fact that Cameron wanted to lead the greenest government ever is a sign that we can wield some influence, if not actual power. The day will come when the parties are once again fighting to persuade us they are all greens, which really is what I see as our role in politics.

  39. NICKP

    @”Start dodgily and then spiral downwards faster and faster until the tailspin is a blur.”

    I’m encouraged by that forecast-because it comes from you. :-)

  40. “Davis called on the coalition to follow the example of the centre-left SPD government of Gerhard Schröder in Germany a decade ago that cut income tax, reduced state regulation and changed employment laws for small companies. “Today, of course, they are now the masters of the universe in Europe,” Davis said of Germany, which had a higher deficit and unemployment than Britain a decade ago. “They are the dominant economy. It all started then.”

    Guardian reporting on DD at CPS today.

    He is referring to Agenda 2010, , a programme of social system & labour market reforms, implemented by an SPD/Green coalition in 2003.

    The name Agenda 2010 derived from the deadline for the EU’s Lisbon Strategy. This latter was set out by the European Council in Lisbon in March 2000. Its aim was to make the EU “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”, by 2010.

    Most of its goals were not achieved-except in Germany.

    Greece, Italy & Spain are, in effect , currently trying to implement those sort of supply side reforms & liberalisations.

    Pity they were so late in coming.

  41. Oh, I just don’t knwow whether to post here today or not…I’m in a bit of a dither, you know.

    I’m sure DC is in no such mood and will be sure to make the right decision and get rid of another ditherer: GO.

  42. Clegg has just announced the death of the boundary reforms, the survival of a non-trivial LibDem rump after the next election, and the election of a Labour government in 2015.

    And that we won’t be seeing the ennobling of Lord Clegg.

    Happy Days.

  43. Loving Montgomerie’s complaining that Labour had branded the Tories negatively and suggestion that they respond by… branding Labour negatively. Davis too is priceless… with the Shock Therapy thing. One cannot evade the fact that no matter how bad things get, there is a good chance they’ll complain that things are not nearly bad enough and we should proceed apace to worsen things still further…

    What is it with the whole S&M thing anyway? “If it’s not hurting, it isn’t working!!… OMG!! Cut harder and Deeper!! Shock and Awe!!!”

    Still, maybe with another round of shock and awe we could have a Labour market as liberalised as Germany. Oh wait…

  44. A bit confused. Apparently Grant Shapps the housing minister is also known under the name Michael Green. Would he have to list both names on the ballot papers ?

  45. @Colin

    Clearly MT had an agenda-to rid the country of it’s socialist administration.

    ______________________________________

    That’s quite an achievement given we never had a socialist administration…

    Meanwhile, as for this:
    “Thatcher could hardly fail”

    This is actually true, given the North Sea, the SDP, and in the mid-eighties a collapse in the price of oil that ushered in a world-wide boom, which was handy.

    Some more stuff they may not mention behind the pay wall is that we still wound up behind our peers though, and with a nice slice of structural unemployment. Another Thatcher wheeze was the service economy thing… which sounds great until you realise that we happen to have a rather popular language so it’s dead easy to offshore our call centres and services and stuff.

    Oh well…

  46. Can’t help thinking that constituency boundaries need to be sorted out by some impartial body.

  47. Crossbat to Colin
    “As for your comment about Wilson’s bunch of “incompetents”. Castle, Callaghan, Jenkins, Healey, Crosland, Shore, Benn, Varley, Short, Williams, Mason??? Hhhmm, a little partisan, I think.”

    I think that Anthony gives Colin space because he is greatly outnumbered here, as I suppose I am and perhaps I am similarly indulged.

    I hope Ken is well, he is, if nothing else, amusing. I wish to be amused here, as well as informed, but not on football, about which I know everything.

  48. I meant to thank Rob S for the link to Planning Mag. I actually am signed in to that site but had not seen that article. The anecdote about the use (misuse?) of the Localism Act was priceless. One wonders why the majority of that local village did not realise that the Act gives them the opportunity to resist development. In other words, instead of resisting the formation of the Neighbourhood Forum and the subsequent Plan, they could have embraced it and then voted to have no development. There is nothing in the Act That prevents this. If ever this Act was an example of democracy being dictatorship of the (local) majority, this is it.

    I gather in this case that the District Councillors were behind them, but it could have been an opportunity to not have to gamble that this would remain so.

    This nonsense will be woken up to in a few years, mark my words.

  49. @ Alec

    The sad thing is I think that the Green ideals, as I see them, could actually be a vote winner with the right policies- even in a recession. Taking a few examples public transport v car- making a policy that saves the need for a car (and the expense of a car) which could already be argued exists in London. Green energy creating UK jobs and making the country more self sufficient. An anti EU line (which they used to have because big is bad type thing) and an anti globilisation which many would support.

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