Or perhaps more accurately, a round up of polling bits and bobs that I’ve missed over the last week or two!

The BBC

There has been various polling on the BBC and the Jimmy Savile affair, most of it generally damning. Of particular note though is this poll from ComRes, who rather than asking whether the scandal had changed respondents’ opinions managed to dig out some questions from a poll they did for Newsnight back in 2009 to repeat. 62% of people agreed that the BBC was an institution we should be proud of, down from 76% in 2009. 45% of people thought the BBC was trustworthy, down from 62% in 2009. Obviously with a three year space we cannot assume that the drop is linked in anyway to the Savile affair, there could be many causes over the last three years, but either way it is a sharp drop in public regard of the BBC.

Scotland

There have been several polls on Scottish Independence over the last month. I mentioned the Ipsos MORI quarterly Scottish monitor, but there have also been polls by Panelbase (who are a member of the British Polling Council, but seem to be far from pro-active when it comes to publishing tables! Thanks to Roger Mexico for finally wringing some tabs from them) and two from YouGov that had referendum questions, one for the Better Together campaign and one for The Courier.

Ipsos MORI/Times (amongst those certain to vote) – YES 30%, NO 58%, DK 12%
Panelbase/Sunday Times (amongst those likely to vote in Scot Parliament elections) – YES 37%, NO 45%, DK 17%
YouGov/Better Together (all voters) – YES 30%, NO 56%, DK/WNV 14%
YouGov/The Courier (all voters?) – YES 29%, NO 55%, DK 14%

Party leaders

As well as voting intention this month’s Ipsos MORI poll included their tracker on whether people like the the main parties, the party leader, both or neither, a question I’ve written about in the past. 41% of people say they like David Cameron, down from 47% when MORI last asked the question in January 2011. In comparison 35% of people like the Conservative party (down marginally from 37%), meaning that David Cameron is still a positive for his party, out performing them by 6 points (down from a 9 point advantage in 2011). In comparison 37% of people like Ed Miliband, hardly changed from the 36% who liked him in 2011. 51% of people like the Labour party, up more substantially from 45% in 2011. This means Miliband trails behind the Labour party by 14 points (up from an 11 point gap in 2011).

Police Commissioner elections

Also from Ipsos MORI was this curious poll of voting intentions in the Police Commissioner elections. The quoted headline figures were Lab 16%, Con 8%, LD 4%, Others 3%, Independent candidates 30%, Wouldn’t vote 27%, Don’t know 11%. MORI normally take the approach of only including respondents who say they are 10/10 certain to vote, but in this case only 15% of people said they were certain to vote, and a sample size of about 150 people would be of no use to man nor beast.

I am dubious about the results anyway – polling contests where there are lots of independent candidates who may, or may not, have a chance of doing well is a difficult task. People invariably tell pollsters that they would like to vote for Independent candidates, and invariably fail to do so when actually given the chance – if you just put on a generic “A candidate that is not representing a political party” people tend to imagine some idealised Independent candidate who agrees with them, rather than the somewhat idiosyncratic sorts who actually stand as independents. Time will tell, but I sincerely doubt that independent candidates will get 50% of the poll in the police elections. Given the limited number of constituencies and the uneven pattern of parties contesting them, I think this may be a contest that would be best polled by asking people which county they live in and giving them a list of the actual local candidates to choose from. The expected low turnout however still makes it a tricky challenge to poll.


262 Responses to “Things you may have missed”

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  1. BBC Business Page website reports new fall in output from the manufacturing sector, which adds to doubts about the recovery.

  2. @MitM
    No, he’s just not concerned about the bottom half of the population who are in the most need of government. Fortunately I’m even less sympathetic to his predicament than he is theirs.

    @Howard
    Won’t be voting. Against the positions, the politicisation of police, the very idea that these will be accountable, and finally the disgusting wage they’ll be given.

  3. Danivon
    An inspired deduction by you. Yes Warwickshire.

    MIM
    “I don’t want him to win but give the guy a break. I don’t think he’s the evil personified that some people make out.”

    The opposition guy never actually is. In a US/European democracy, the evil ones never get that far. That doesn’t stop opponents depicting them as such. Remember the ‘evil eyes’ Blair poster?

    To those who shun local democracy, explain it to Aung San Suu Kyi & Nelson Mandela.

  4. @MIM @Robert Newark

    Normally I agree, I tend to take the view that there is a difference between someone’s political opinions and their character, and that most people go into politics because they want to make things better.

    But Mr Romney (and to an extent the right of the Republican party) are distorting the truth to an extent that is unacceptable, even in political discourse. Lies on the auto bail out are just the most recent time they’ve been caught. There is a poisonous political culture on the far right of US politics at the moment that is anti-reason, that still denies Obama is American (Trump “I got him to reveal his birth certificate, or whatever it was”), that refuses to accept the concept of fact-checking because facts have liberal bias…

    This is the kind of behaviour that I have never seen in the UK. We may disagree about Mr Miliband’s electability, or if the economy is in recession or not, or if Mr Cameron is weak or strong, but we don’t claim that the coalition is an attempt to undermine society!

    I fully expect to be modded

  5. @CHRISLANE1945

    Good morning. I think there will be a poor turnout. I wonder if there is a threshold below which the votes become invalid.

  6. I think people who are speculating about whether the vote last night will help the Labour party or Milliband directly are misreading the situation, IMHO.

    The real issue here is that some of the people on the right of the tory party have now got a sniff of blood. Once the chase starts, they’re not going to back off. Cameron was weakened in front of his party last night, and it’s that constituency that this situation will write back into.

  7. Robert Newark – so did you know about Ron Ball having been a member of the Conservative party for years and seeking their nomination for PCC candidate?

    A lot of people really are not sure about the PCC elections. Many are saying they won’t vote because they don’t agree with the idea (not just that it has involved political parties, but also the election of people they know little to nothing about). Many think it is a gravy train as well, that it will cost money rather than save it, and most don’t really understand what the Police Authority/PCC does/will do.

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare lack of enthusiasm for this with the Burmese or South African struggles for democracy. Just as democracy is vital, at times you do need to have positions which are not held by whoever garnered popular support. Especially when low turnouts mean ‘popular’ is debateable.

    Basically, I’m not voting to get a Labour man in, so much as to keep tories out, which I know sounds highly cynical but it’s the choice that has been forced upon us. I’d much rather we’d kept the Police Authorities but have direct elections for some members, to have a balance between local representative democracy and expertise. I’d argue the same for local NHS boards as well.

  8. @Robert Newark

    As we all know, Mandela struggled all those years for South Africa’s very own PCC elections. :roll:

  9. My 10 year old son thinks the Police Commisioner Election is Fantastic and would like one every Thursday.

    I have been wondering about claims from the European Commission that national Governments have transferred spending commitments to the EU which if true means a real terms freeze is in effect a cut.

    Does anyone know if this is true and if so to what extent?

  10. Lizh – no there isn’t (well, legally there isn’t – one might very well think that morally there is. After all, a commissioner elected on only 1 vote wouldn’t have much moral authority!)

  11. This police commissioner ballot stuff is very low-key, there’s been no leafleting or active campaigning around here (Thames Valley). All I have is the polling card directing me to the website for a list of candidates, each with a small resume – and it took 4 days for that to appear!

    no wonder the interest level is low.

  12. Keith P –

    There is no free leaflet drop and not only are independents affected the main parties are being very selective and targetting the main areas of their vote.

    Sorry if already said as i have not waded through the thread

  13. JIM JAM

    The Commission have been making quite a few bleating noises recently.

    Looks like they might be a tad nervous about the outcome of the Budget negotiations.

    Bernard Jenkin was asked on DP if he would vote for a real terms freeze if that is what DC comes back with. His answer was interesting:-

    If DC just says this is a great result-vote for it-No.
    If DC says -look this is the best we could get-the EU is changing fast, & if we need a new relationship with it. That’s my next objective -Yes.

    As Gisela Stuart has explained, there are big changes on the way in EU/EZ. UK needs to be thinking about how they might affect us , in our existing relationship with them.

    I see an opportunity here for DC -on a number of fronts :-)

  14. [Snip – AW]

    Seriously though, I don’t think non-tribablists will care about such things. If Cameron wields the veto now, the question is, will he get a boost from it now? Labour is trying to portray a veto as a failure in negotiation as it will not get a cut just a freeze.

    Will that work? Maybe a bit. But it is just political games, I think. Any loss or gain in support either way will be minimal.

    But if Lab can get the wedge into the Euro crack that might lose the Tories support.

  15. I will be voting for the candidate who has the most vigourous stance on prosecuting wildlife crime. Anyone who supports the badger cull is a definate NO.

  16. I too will spoiling my ballot; not something I’ve ever done before.

  17. @ANTHONY WELLS
    ” no there isn’t (well, legally there isn’t – one might very well think that morally there is. ”

    Thanks Anthony. That’s a shame – every election should have a threshold but I suppose everyone’s threshold will be different so the only way to get round this is compulsory voting.

  18. I too am thinking of spoiling my ballot.

    I am thinking of writing ‘NO to political policing; NO to private police forces’.

  19. @Pablo 420

    “I too will spoiling my ballot; not something I’ve ever done before.”

    Good man. I shall be doing the same and casting my vote for Robert Peel!

    I must admit, it does amuse me to see people blathering on about their belief in democracy as if every opportunity to cast a vote, no matter how ludicrous, irrelevant and unwanted the position is that is being elected, is a treasured opportunity to strike a blow for the democratic process. Nonsense and when only 15% of the electorate bother voting in these farces it actually does the very opposite; it brings democracy into disrepute. Ditto City Mayoral elections where you have figures like Johnson cavorting around London as if he owns the place, when in fact he received the support of a paltry 18% of registered voters in the first preference ballot.

    We’re creating non roles for political egotists and, in many cases, failed party cronies who couldn’t hack it in mainstream politics.

  20. TheSheep,

    ‘This is the kind of behaviour that I have never seen in the UK’

    I refer you to the above mentioned Mr J Delingpole Esq, for a good example.

  21. @NickP

    danger that they will be seen as opportunist. And another danger that once they’ve shifted from their position of no cuts they’ll have to shift some more.

    Police used to be the public in uniform – it was always foreigners like the French who were thugs and bullies. and of course the Germans who were slavishly obedient to uniforms.

  22. Anthony: Can you explain why my last post – no different on tone or content to many by other posters is, once again, being moderated.

    Although I can’t see why you would take this attitude, if you don’t want me to post it would be simpler if you said so…..

    I really cannot see anything at all to take exception to in what I wrote if you don’t take exception to posts by other contributors in similar vein.

    Paul

    [If you can’t see why calling the comments of supporters of other parties “holier-than-thou histrionics” is not non-partisan and is not conducive to non-partisan discussion then I don’t know what else I can do. Don’t worry about what other people are writing or what has or has not been moderated, just try to write in the spirit of non-partisanship yourself…. and if what you really want to do is debate and argue with people with different views, then get yourself an outlet somewhere else (almost ANY other political site is full to the brim with petty political sniping and point-scoring, the world is your oyster). I know there are some people here who write comments of quite frothing partisan lunacy in other places, but endeavor to write in a non-partisan, detached sensible way here. This is a venue for discussion about politics, not a venue FOR politics. If your comments only seem to exist to knock down, belittle or score points off people whose political views you disagree with then you’re not contributing in the right spirit. If it helps, think of it as taking off your Labour supporting hat (or Conservative supporting hat, or Green party hat, or whatever) before you write a comment here, and slipping it back on as your leave – AW]

  23. @Robert Newark

    Two rather poor selections if you ask me. In both countries democracy = murder. By the way where is the darling of Oxford now that most of western Burma is in flames?

  24. @Martyn

    “Nobody is asking the Scottish people to leave the EU and apply for readmission.”

    Link 1 – Unionist opinions: ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-15652822
    “Mr Moore added that the SNP was being fanciful if it thought it would secure entry without negotiation.”

    Link 2 – Spain might veto the idea – ttp://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/oct/24/scotland-eu-membership-spain
    “Alex Salmond’s chaotic attempts to persuade voters he could take an independent Scotland smoothly into the European Union have suffered another setback, after Spain said Scotland would need to “join the queue” and negotiate as a new member state.”

    Link 3 – The President of the EC – ttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-separate-scotland-would-have-to-apply-to-join-the-eu-8131193.html
    “The President of the European Commission has stepped into the row about an independent Scotland’s place in the European Union by saying all new states will have to apply to join.”

  25. AW: “holier-than-thou histrionics” was aimed at MP’s and outside commentators who were protesting that Labour should not have supported the amendment. It was NOT addressed to anyone on this site, nor was there any such implication. If you genuinely felt that comment to be beyond the pale why not just snip it?

    I have no political hats and have voted for Con/Lab/LD and Green. What I do have, I believe, is a steady moral position and a desire to balance emotion and logic [possibly what makes me a reasonably good musician.]

    Without trawling through pages of stuff I can only repeat – especially if that is the “worst” quote you can find from my post – that a lot that are similar or worse are regularly allowed to stand:

    “frankly stupid” [addressed to you in the 1st post and politely responded to!]

    References to mental health, with some sort of oblique comparison to Ed Miliband.

    and so on.

    Taking my comment that you so strongly condemn: if it was used in parliament would the speaker have insisted it was withdrawn? Personally I doubt it very much: it seems pretty mainstrean to me and perfectly sums up the affected indignation of those MP’s who expressed their anger at Labour for voting with a large number of Tory MP’s.

    Paul Croft

  26. PS: I do wish you’d reinstate that post by the way as I believe I made points that were both pertinent and relevant.

    I have no wish to be involved in YT type offensive discussions but neither do I wish to contribute anodyne posts.

  27. Lizh
    “Thanks Anthony. That’s a shame – every election should have a threshold but I suppose everyone’s threshold will be different so the only way to get round this is compulsory voting.”

    I would certainly agree with either of those options, in all votes, including those of the Trades union movement.
    Whilst it might be possible to get Parliament to agree on a minimum %, for a vote to be valid, I think the enforcement of compulsory voting would be impossible to enforce. Those countries who do have it, have probably had it since their peoples were more compliant & it is now ingrained in them.

    I stand by my comments re: exercising ones vote though. Whether you like it or not, it has been enabled by a democratically elected Parliament. A future Parliament may take a different view.

    Danivon No I didn’t know that about Ron Ball but that actually gives me some comfort. He will likely have values similar to mine but be independent of any party machine. If that proves not to be the case then I wouldn’t vote for him a second time.

  28. Paul I think you are digging a whole for yourself here. I see you repeatedly making disparaging remarks towards posters who don’t share your views. When I disagree with you, you portray me as “man in a muddle” or “man in the centre right” etc Petty name calling is not in the spirit of this site.

    Also, I think a good post is one where you can’t tell the political position of someone who is writing it, yours however portray your true allegiance in almost every comment.

    I think this is an excellent site Anthony runs and he can’t be expected to moderate every single comment, I see plenty of comments by people that I think should be moderated, but I don’t complain about it, I just continue commenting as I normally do.

  29. @AW

    “If you comments only seem to exist to knock down, belittle or score points off people whose political views you disagree with then you’re not contributing in the right spirit.”

    Hear hear.

  30. @MitM

    Actually he was quoting me when he wrote “Man in the centre-right”, that’s what I wrote when you were insisting Blair was on the left.

  31. Well then Craig I suggest you take the same advice.

  32. Yeah, and I suggest you stop lecturing others when plenty of your posts fall foul of the moderation policy.

  33. And yet they never seem to be moderated?

    Can you give me any examples of times when I have actually falling foul of the moderation policy? Because I genuinely try to post within the rules, and so if I have actually gone over the line, I genuinely would like to know. Also it’s a bit hard to make partisan comments when you don’t belong to any party.

  34. ManintheMiddle – your kind words are, well, very kind (and I’m delighted when people take on board what I say about ignoring other partisan comments – it does, after all, take two to have a silly partisan row. One to make the comment that starts it, and one to reply), but please let’s not get into a long discussion over moderation – it’s one of the reasons I don’t like commenting about it, it always gets rather into navel gazing and who was wrong or right and – ultimately – the comment policy isn’t really up for debate.

    The reason for the comments policy and why it is aimed at encouraging a certain sort of conversation are entirely selfish: it’s the sort of political conversation that I personally like. I just find the tired batting back and forth of party lines and trying to score points off people with different views incredibly dull – hence I try to encourage the sort of discourse that I find enjoyable myself. It doesn’t appeal to everyone I know, and there are plenty of people who probably think it is dry and boring and misses out on the politics… but there are lots of other websites that cater for that sort of discussion.

    (One more comment, before I do appeal to people to drop the subject, not being a member or supporter of a political party really doesn’t mean you can’t be partisan. Not least because the worst comments for starting partisan rows are negative ones, and you can be hostile to a (or all) political parties without supporting one. In fact, many of the posters who struggle the most to be non-partisan tend to be people who don’t support a political party)

  35. Anthony
    ” I just find the tired batting back and forth of party lines and trying to score points off people with different views incredibly dull –..”

    Agree entirely. Any chance of you becoming Speaker? :)

  36. You don’t need to be a member of a political party to be partisan (as many of my posts can attest to), as you yourself say, nonpartisanship is equally about obscuring where you stand on the political spectrum. I think your comments on Hollande, which IIRC began with something like “just as I was warming to the Left” were anything but nonpartisan.

  37. Having just read AW’s post making the same point, I’ll now drop it.

  38. MinM

    Apologies for any upset caused.

    It still doesn’t detract from my recent position on moderating fairly mild and general comments being very frustrating.

    And I dunno what you mean by “digging a hole” etc. I enjoy the site and much appreciate Anthony’s work but my life doesn’t depend on me being allowed to post – I simply requested greater clarity, as I have politely done before, and accept the generalised answer.

    Paul

  39. I agree exactly with what you just said AW, and I think it is part of the beauty of your site and one of the factors of its success. I share the same views as you that we can still discuss politics and what we think certain implications will be without having to declare our allegiance or get caught up in the same tired debates of left vs right, right vs wrong. I wish more political sites out their were like this.

    Long may this site and it’s policies continue.

    @Craig, Personally I do think some of Hollande’s policies will ultimately harm the french economy (but you could be left wing and think that as well as right wing) and could play a part in our elections to the benefit, or detriment of either party. I do believe I said that if he succeeds it would be a big boost for Labour VI in the election if he fails a big boost for the Conservatives in the election. I don’t think a comment such as that would be in breach of the rules as it’s fair and balanced and portrays both sides of the argument. (only Anthony can confirm if that is true or not.)

    If you disagree with either side, say “I don’t think Hollande’s success/failure will have an impact” then equally that comment I believe wouldn’t be in breech of the policy and a discussion can progress from there, as it hopefully wouldn’t be along party lines.

  40. In southern England when someone is ‘accused’ of being ‘political’ that person seems to be accusing the ‘political’ person of being on ‘The Left’

  41. @ChrisLane1945

    I seem to remember a Flanders and Swan comment “I’m not political – I’m a Conservative”… so this is nothing new!

  42. ChrisL:

    Epithets are funny things: “The chattering class” “The suburban elite” etc are meaningless and yet intended to belittle.

    Many phrases are pre-packaged [as “holier-than-thou”] and some can be quite apt.

    Some though are just weird.

  43. @Craig

    “You don’t need to be a member of a political party to be partisan (as many of my posts can attest to), as you yourself say, nonpartisanship is equally about obscuring where you stand on the political spectrum.”

    That seems about right. It’s not easy to be balanced if there’s an issue or a point of view that others make in a non-partisan manner.

    I’ve been on sites where disagreement results in “you must be a [party] supporter or a left/right winger. Some people can’t seem to operate unless they have pigeon holed everyone else.

    Just for fun, I took the political compass test (I know it’s flawed). My results ae fairly consistent over the years:

    ttp://www.politicalcompass.org/printablegraph?ec=-0.62&soc=-0.05

    Does that make me indecisive or a prime candidate for impartiality? :)

  44. SG:

    I dunno? What’s it mean??

    Re party affiliations I was advised to take my party hat off when posting and subsequently that party hats didn’t matter.

    I feel that, in light of my desire for some basic logic to follow, I should point that out………..

  45. Turning back to the topic of Rebel Tories + Labour vs The rest of the coalition.

    As I see it there are only a few possible outcomes

    1) Cameron manages to get an inflation -0.1% increase (or better) agreed.

    Result unlikely but probably a positive one for Cameron/The Tories for getting a result beyond the expectations of everyone.

    2) Cameron comes back with an inflation linked increase agreed.

    Result also unlikely as so many countries are net beneficiaries and they all want to increase it as much as possible.

    a) Labour vote it down in the commons with the support of rebels/other party members

    This could play either way, either it plays as “I went and managed to get a good result and now labour are playing games” or it’ll be seen as Cameron failed to get what he was sent out to get by our parliament.

    Could be a good point for the Tories to unleash a commitment to a referendum as Europe becomes prominent in the news, taking a position closer to public opinion on the matter is likely to be positive.

    b) Labour decide to support the measure, which is unlikely, labour set their stall out and to go back it’d look opportunistic and ridiculous to support the rebels in the first place and then withdraw their support once the real vote comes down.

    If this does happen can see questions over Labours capability to produce policy over hot air which is the main reason I think it unlikely

    c)

    Cameron manages to get enough rebels back onside to pass the budget, despite opposition from some rebels + labour.

    This could go either way, depending on the size of the rebellion if it squeaks through I suspect it’ll bring his ability to control his party into question again, although he can claim credit for getting a better than expected deal.

    c)

    Veto: Unable to get enough agreement from within Europe, Cameron uses his veto.

    Or

    The budget meeting is cancelled because of Cameron’s red line on the increase or the EU budget.

    I think this would result in at least a short term boost for Cameron and the Tories. Labour will try to portray it as his failure, I think the argument that the poorer countries want the increased budget to divert more money to them and are acting as a “bloc” will resonate more and a boost will be seen.

    Again could be a time to bring out the referendum on negotiating our stance with a larger and an increasingly “about diverting money from rich to poor union than about free trade” union.

    d)

    Compromise

    There looks to be a compromise deal on the table capping EU contributions to 1% of EU GDP, compared to the wanted 5% rise which would bring it to 1.1% of EU GDP. (I suspect this “compromise” involves us giving more as a percentage of that 1% and a bloc who already are beneficiaries ending up giving a lot less)

    I think it’s unlikely Cameron will come back with this (unless it results in a less than inflationary increase both this year and across the term of the deal for US) as it’ll be seen as weak, a failure and almost certainly voted down in our parliament, creating even more pain later.

    If this is what Cameron comes back with, I expect a swing from Tory to UKIP and the unruly rebels to become more unruly.

    Overall I suspect either a veto will take place, or the budget meeting never takes place at all because of the predeclared red line that apparently cannot be met. Too many countries (and European parties including the socialists) want a large increase to the EU budget to get more money from the net contributors.

    After then things could go either way, with one side arguing Cameron failed the other claiming that Labour are hopelessly unrealistic with their expectations.

    Am I right when I read that if a veto were to be placed the EU budget would be reduced by 2% annually after allowing for inflation until a solution is agreed upon unanimously?

    I suspect soon after the Tories with come out with a referendum on Europe, which Labour will feel obliged to copy.

    I suspect in that scenario a short term boost for the Tories will take place, and depending how cast in iron the referendum is perhaps a significant longer term boost.

    With so many variables in the air, I could be completely wrong!

  46. Arg, the latter c and d should have been a 3 and 4.

    I seem to be unable to manage a simple ordered list.

    Apologies to any confusion caused to those trying to make head or tail of the different scenarios I can foresee.

  47. In an attempt to end the continuing saga which AW has already requested that it stop, may I state (as I did a day or so ago) that I will definately be spoiling my paper in the PC election. I firmly believe that it is my duty to vote but I am not prepared to vote for somehing with which I fundamentaly disagree.

    I will therefore write something like “no to PCs” or “existing police authority” on the paper and put a cross against that.

  48. Alan, interesting options, I guess we will have to wait and see though.

    Of course he could always call the rebels bluff and turn it into a vote of confidence, could he not? The LD’s I guess would support him as there is no way they want a GE now (unless they are lemmings). Do the rebels really want a GE now, when many could lose their seats? It would catch Labour on the hop as they have precious few policies fleshed out (& little money to fight a GE & few donors apart from the unions) and would be unlikely to want a GE just now, regardless of the polls. And would they really want to take over just at this time anyway? Their strategy so far has been based on a 2015 planned fight with gloves, not a bare-knuckle fight now.

    It may be his best chance of bringing the rebels back into line. Basically, put up, or shut up. At the same time, go for an all out attack on Labour.

    Attack is often the best form of defence.

    Could be a very interesting few weeks.

  49. Thanks for the replies on Police elections from all who took the trouble. (I’ve actually decided, in the end, not to vote, as if I do and they count the spoiled paper as a response, then that will add to the impression that the turnout is higher and I want that even less, given that I don’t care who get’s it -they will not achieve anything I am certain, (thank goodness for that actually)..

    One day, this localism business will throw up a few scandals, but perhaps no more than already happen with having career senior officers.

    On EU, I can’t see how DC is going to get his grandstand moment , if the other leaders who matter, such as Germany’s, want an even lower EU budget than he and NC seem to want.

    I do hope he is being kept properly advised, I would hope so. At the moment, our government’s position seems the moderate one!

    Why do people on here think that the situation is otherwise. when I provided a link which made the situation clear, namely that many other countries want a real cut?

  50. I rather enjoy being moderated, its always a challenge to see how far I can go without being moderated, but the auto mod is very annoying

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