Nadine Dorries is out of “I’m a Celebrity…” and to celebrate Lord Ashcroft has released a poll of her Mid-Bedfordshire constituency. Topline voting intentions in the constituency are CON 51%(-2), LAB 22%(+7), LDEM 14%(-11), UKIP 8%(+3), GRN 4%(+1) – changes are from the general result in 2010.

Opinions of Dorries in her own constituency are not particularly flattering. Asked to rate whether they have a positive or negative view of various politicians on a scale of 0-10, she averages at 2.8, well below Boris Johnson (6.1), David Cameron (5.4), Nick Clegg (4.0), Ed Miliband (4.0) and Nigel Farage (3.5). Only 8% of people in Mid-Bedfordshire rated her above 8/10 on a positively scale.

58% of people disapproved of her decision to go on “I’m a Celebrity…” compared to only 16% who approved. 57% disagreed that she’d be able to get more publicity for the issues she cared about on the show rather than at Westminster, 54% disagreed that donating her MPs salary to charity made up for her absence. On whether or not she was a good MP people were evenly split 35% thought she was, 35% thought she wasn’t. Finally, 58% of people thought the Conservative party were right to suspend her, compared to 26% who thought it was wrong (17% said it should have been left to the local party to decide). Conservative voters were even more hostile – 64% thought it was right to suspend her.

44% of people said they were less likely to vote for her because of her appearance on “I’m a Celebrity…”, only 8% were more likely. Readers will know my reservations over questions like this – lots of the people saying less likely are Labour and Lib Dem voters anyway, so they are hardly lost votes. I’d even take the 44% of Tory voters who said less likely with quite a big pinch of salt, as in the event that Nadine Dorries somehow ends up standing as a Conservative candidate again lots will end up voting on national issues. Those concerns aside, it does suggest that the MP’s decision has gone down very badly in her constituency.

In other news, today’s YouGov daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 10%. That 10% for UKIP is right at the top end of the level of support YouGov have been showing them at and is worth keeping an eye on. At the tail end of last year we also saw an increase in UKIP support when the European summit rose up the media agenda.

481 Responses to “Nadine out of the jungle”

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  1. Good Morning.


    It is worth looking at what Joe Chamberlain said about socialism, and also what Sidney Webb said about socialism; in the moderate sense of the word it means the range of public services.
    In World War One and World War Two, the Coalition Governments, with a Conservative Party majority introduced ‘War Socialism’.

    Harcourt declared, circa 1890: ‘We are all socialists now’ after taxes were raised to pay for state education.

    I think that until the 1960’s a great deal of Scottish Voting was greatly influenced by religious affiliation, wth most protestants voting Unionist, and most catholics voting Labour. The roots of that division are in the Home Rule crises of 1886, 1893 and 1912.

  2. To develop the point about how people may be brought up to vote in a particular way, Labour sympathisers may well influence their children about how the tories treated world war one veterans who were unemployed in The Slump, or what was said about Bevan and Shinwell, or what was said in Smethwick or done to the miners. Not totally rational, but powerful.

    Tories may well influence their children about the 1978 crisis or about ‘welfare’.

    In 1885 Robert Cecil opened the door and said to Gladstone: I hate you. Gladstone told the ten year old boy that he would tell his father. The boy replied: He hates you as well.

  3. @ChrisLane1945
    I remember what was said in Smethwick but it is best not repeated. As for what was done to the miners, I lived for 15 years in a small mining town. I still have many friends there. The local economy has never recovered since the pits were closed. Lots of vacant shops. Many pubs and clubs closed. Then the steel pipeworks was bought out by a French company. They promptly closed it and the order book went abroad.

    A couple of years ago a substantial wodge of money was invested in a ‘regeneration project’. This included a new hypermarket – which promptly drained trade from nearby shops, some of which soon closed, as did the independent petrol station. :-(

    The ‘free market’ has done nothing but damage to the area. I feel sorry for the youngsters who are growing up in a town which has had the soul (and jobs) stripped out of it.

  4. “A council came under fire today for breaking up a foster family because the parents were members of the UK Independence Party.

    Three children were removed from the care of a married couple because social workers were concerned about their “cultural and ethnic needs”.
    “The South Yorkshire foster parents claimed they had been told Ukip – which campaigns for British withdrawal from the European Union and tougher controls on immigration – was “racist”.

    The actions of Labour-controlled Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council were met with fury from Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who called for resignations over what he said was an “appalling” decision.”

    The Indy.

    … Labour-or we take your children away.

  5. @Colin
    That is a gross distortion as I am sure you know. It was a daft and deplorable decision by social workers.

    Where is your evidence that children were taken away because the foster parents did not vote Labour ?

  6. NickP,

    I am a good father and I raised my children to spontaneously spit whenever they heard the word ‘Thatcher’.


    As for socialism being dead, we’ve been marginalised inside and outside party politics and are rarely given any sort of access to the media. We are constantly defamed by our ideological enemies, who refuse to engage in serious debate. Nothing new there, nor in the announcement of the death of socialism which is as regular as clockwork.

    Just thirty years or so ago democracy meant including all democratic opinion, now it is about including all opinion if it agrees with modern capitalism and globalisation, even if it is anti-democratic.

    At ground level, however, you will still find just about the same attitudes to our society as we used to have, just less informed by active socialists in the community.

    The point is that occasionally, as the level of working class anger rises and falls over time, interest in theoretical aspects of socialism increases and declines too.Presently we are in the early stages of a relative upturn in interest in socialism and democracy as can be seen by marginal growth in left-wing organisation and activity.

    However, the majority of socialists don’t bother too much about the theory and tend to become union activists (several hundred thousand up and down the country, or join non-party campaigns). Many still join the Labour party and its base is usually much more left-wing than its leadership (which is why they curtailed inner-party democracy). A smaller number join far-left organisations.

    The claim that socialism is dead, well its just dull propaganda. It is confusing the winning of a battle with winning a war.

  7. “Your assumption that these people make their voting decision because it is bred into them rather than through an assessment of the pros and cons of parties’ policies is breathtakingly arrogant and frankly, insulting.”

    …but probably partially true. There is a good correlation between parental voting habits and voting behaviour, there also strong evidence of socialisation effects (if you are living in an area where everyone else votes Tory, you are more likely to). The idea that people vote through an assessment of the pros and cons of parties’ policies is, frankly, naive.

    Most voters are barely aware of party policies and, if they are, perceive them through the prism of existing attitudes towards the parties. Policies have hardly any baring at all on voting behaviour – broad perceptions of party image and values matter, perceptions of competence and party leaders matter, party identification – a mix of socialisation, values, social class, upbringing, culture and so on matters most of all. If your family have “always voted Tory” then that will be a factor in your perceptions and attitudes towards the parties.

    In most areas of life our views and decisions are not rational calculations of relevant factors (though we may fool ourselves into thinking so), but the result of our intrinsic biases and simple heuristics. Politics is no different.

    (Besides, to a large extent isn’t it a statement of the bleeding obvious. If you have grown up from a mining family in a former pit village, then even if your own socio-economic situation today is identical to someone from leafy southern suburbia you are probably more likely to vote Labour than they are)

  8. Fascinating article in THe Times about Sweden.

    I addition to cataloguing the achievements of the wonderful & intriguing Anders Borg in managing their economy ( 1% State budget surplus over the cycle , mandatory ), other aspects of their fiscal , economic & social approach are detailed.

    50% of GDP derives from exports, so competitiveness is King. Borg & his PM both criticised the EU & it’s new budget for failing to spend & legislate to increase competitiveness.:-

    ” We went through this in the early nineties, it’s extremely painful. But if you are out of competitiveness you need to restructure the economy, you can’t escape reality. You can’t compensate for lack of competitiveness with more transfer payments. You can’t ask other countries to compensate for your lack of competitiveness. What is the answer to a debt crisis?. not more debt”

    Anders Borg.

    ( no wonder the Swedes are on the same side as Cameron).

    Sweden’s famous model of industrial co-operation has survived the crisis. Strong social guarantees on redundancy ( 80% of pay for a year after) are matched by a realistic Trade Union stance :-

    “We don’t care about people being let go from innefficient industries, we think that a good thing. New firms start up, old firms die. We want a dynamic economy with highly productive jobs earning a lot of money.
    We negotiate how people are let go, but we don’t defend particular jobs”.

    Ola Pettersson -Swedish Trade Union Confederation.

    With the image of a strong centrally based welfare state, I had not realised that in fact Sweden’s public services are heavily localised.
    75% are provided locally, and 80% of their cost raised by local authorities via local income taxes.
    Only 12% of spending comes from central government.
    Both public & private providers are involved in delivery of services from refuse collection to hospital care & education. 30% of children in the Capital now attend privately run schools-which are allowed to make a profit.
    In this decentralised system local taxes vary-as do service levels-even in health care.
    This is not contested by the central government, who see it in terms of democratic accountability.



    SAid in jest Ozwald-an attempt at parody of the preceding slanging match of voting criteris.

    I forgot the smiley just for you -it would have been a frown actually.

  10. “Heuristic” -a new word for me AW.

    Nice word-useful.

  11. colin

    Swedish model of a mxed economy sounds good to me. No system is perfect, but our system of sideling Trade Unions and creating division seems to me destined to end in tears.

    In the end, workers and management have to do business. If it becomes a battle, both have lost.

  12. @Colin
    OK understood, I think.
    You have raised some interesting points about Sweden. I will did deeper, but first I must look up the meaning of heuristic!

  13. Rotherham council decision to remove those three children on the grounds of UKIP was anti immigration and that anybody who supports them is not a fit person to foster non-white children will have repercussions for the Labour party because it’s all about perception it’s a Labour council affiliated to the Labour party.
    Together with the comment Gordon Brown made about “that bigoted woman after a question regarding immigration feed’s into that feeling right or wrong that Labour regards anybody who want’s a discussion on immigration is a racist..
    Although not being a UKIP supporter the upside for them is it will give them publicity and possibly more support I use to think that this would only effect the Tories but I’m more convinced that Labours vote will begin to suffer, especially when Rumania and Bulgaria are granted full immigration rights and millions of very poor workers look to the west for a new future.

  14. oops – did = dig

  15. Yes, Colin.

    Why oh why, doesn’t the UK follow suit and start exporting Sweden’s timber and ore resources? It’s our damned unions, of course!

  16. NICKP

    Yes I agre it does look good-and the results suggest it works.

    However I don’t agree with your implied criticism of employers-but not unions in UK.

    Of course our unions are now essentially public sector unions, and in general opposed to the use of private sector in publc service provision.

    So to get to first base on the Swedish model would require a significant change in attitude.

  17. TURK

    Yes-it was indeed Rotherham-whose Borough Council said it was “fully committed” to tackling sexual exploitation, of young girls by “Asian men”.(1)


    South Yorkshire-home of PC behaviour , and PC PCs.

  18. I too am surprised by the comment
    “… Labour-or we take your children away.”

    Disgusted to be honest…

    More surprised it’s still there… but no matter

  19. colin

    “However I don’t agree with your implied criticism of employers-but not unions in UK.”

    I’m afraid you inferred it but I didn’t imply it. To extend the war metaphor, both sides need to want peace before common ground can be found. The problem is, in the UK, self interest comes before any sort of national or group interest. Some blame must lie with the unions, but they have effectively been neutered.

  20. “Rotherham Borough Council’s Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Joyce Thacker, tells the BBC:

    “We always try to place children in a sensible cultural placement.

    “These children are not UK children and we were not aware of the foster parents having strong political views. There are some strong views in the UKIP party and we have to think of the future of the children.”

    Quite unbelievable.

  21. @ Colin

    “In a statement, Labour said: “Membership of UKIP should not block parents from adopting children. There needs to be an urgent investigation by Rotherham Borough Council into this decision.””

    Shocking report but in my opinion more to do with social services out of control than any party politics issue. Can’t see how anyone willing to adopt a child of a different race/colour to them could ever be seen to be racist. In all honesty the shortage of foster parents is a serious problem and can’t see how Rotherham can pick and choose. I think round Wigan they’d be happy to have a foster parent who doesn’t do drugs or even just ocassionally!

    Rotherham by-election maybe starting to look a bit dodgy for labour?


    Given the other discussions about traditional voting in families maybe time for Labour to start encouraging members to foster from a young age? :-)

    Re North/South:

    I think there is a good reason for higher Labour support among the higher economic wage band. You are always going to be influenced by the communities you live and work in. Also if you took something like unemployment which is a major concern to the North that affects your thinking if you have kids. In a way the strange thing is that Labour has such support in London which has a totally different set of issues to the North. I guess housing and transport being the obvious ones. Let’s face it you can get a job in London, maybe not enough for a well paid career but still a job whatever your qualifications. A lot of the North is probably less concerned about housing but number one issue for London.

  22. SHEVII

    @”Shocking report but in my opinion more to do with social services out of control than any party politics issue”

    Of course.

    But in Rotherham that has had very serious consequences.

    The core problem still seems to me , to be there.

    THey are having an “investigation”-what is that going to

    It is their policy stance which is the problem.

  23. COLIN.

    I am surprised by your comment about voting Labour and having your children taking away, and I am also surprised that the comment was not moderated on this site.

  24. @ Colin

    Fair comments but you use words like “they” and “their policy stance” without identifying who you mean- council officials or councillors?

    Obviously it is the councilors who ultimately decide policy but I haven’t seen quotes attributed to councillors themselves. It is perfectly sensible to have a policy that tries to get a good match for a foster parent and equally sensible to try and exclude certain elements from fostering (there is a quite generous financial package for foster carers that can potentially fund drug and drink habits rather than just going to the child).

    Once we know who is responsible for interpretation then we will know where the ‘blame’ lies. You can be sure in any event that Labour central command will stick its oar in heavily and this particular issue will be sorted for the best!

  25. That last comment should say interpretation of policy.

  26. Colin et al

    No decision by a local authority that refers to an individual or an household should ever be taken on the basis of their political views.

    Its inexcusable.

  27. Colin

    There was also an tip off from a concerned member of public who did not give their name and the social services have been criticized before by a judge for not giving due regard for ethnic background. Sounds like the social services are between a rock and a hard place, with problems coming their way no matter what they do. This is of course a terrible decision but if they had ignored the tip off and it turned out the foster parents were giving the children negative views of their ethnic background then social services could have risked legal action. I get the feeling that this was an attempt to cover their back which has failed badly.

    Seems to me that every mistake by social services is rooted in an overreaction to a previous mistake. I’m glad that I’m not a social worker the conflicting pressures must be very stressful.

    As a recipient of services from social workers during my childhood, I would say that they do a very good job in very difficult services. Yes they make mistakes and I could point to some they made in my life, but I am aware that often they have no way of knowing which option is best until events provide evidence, its always easy to criticise in hindsight


    Thank you very much for a wonderful and insightful post.

  29. SHEVII

    @”council officials or councillors?”

    A very good question.

    I hope we find out-though I am not confident.

    My first port of call would be Joyce THacker.

    I agree with your last sentence. They were-predictably-the first to react.


    Absolutely agree

  30. How can people be talking about the death of Socialism, or Socialism is shunned by the media, when we have a Socialist party currently leading in the polls and always by law on tv if the Tories are on tv to maintain balance?

    As for the Councils decision, it seems to be a rogue civil servant rather than the policy of the Labour council itself. To blame Labour is wrong. The civil servant should definitely be made to offer an apology and return the children or face the sack. In a time when we need to be encouraging more and more people to adopt, actions like these only harm, harming the potential parents, by ripping their children away like this and sending a message to other potential parents, and also, it harms the children by ripping them away while they were settling in, and also making it more unlikely for kids to be adopted.

    Leftylampton, I notice you don’t throw the same insults AW’s way, funny that 8D

  31. RiN


    Yes-I read about the “tip off”.

    What I don’t know is what it was about.

    I understand the LA has said -in terms- that there is no criticism of the care provided.

    So I assume the “tip off” related to UKIP membership.

    If that is so, I would like to know the political affiliation & status of the “tipper”.

    If it is so, it beggars belief that a LA would react to such information other than with disdain & disinterest.

    RE “As a recipient of services from social workers during my childhood, I would say that they do a very good job in very difficult services. ”

    I am pleased that that was so for you a what presumably was a difficult period.

    My wife & I also called upon social services when our second child was born with cerebral palsy.

    Our experience does not allow me to mirror your remarks about social services.

    I keep thinking that was a long time ago-then I keep realising that is irrelevant.

  32. SHEVII

    @”council officials or councillors?”

    A very good question.
    I hope we find out-though I am not confident.

    I agree with your last sentence. They were-predictably-the first to react.

    Absolutely agree

  33. Also how can the woman claim to be a multiculturalism champion, and then in the same breath say she only wants to place children with families from a similar ethnic background. Surely segregating kids based on their ethnicity is the opposite to multiculturalism. Surely a family with white parents and kids of different ethnicities is the definition of a multicultural family.

  34. Also if Social culture is a part as Ms Thacker says, does that mean that Working Class kids can’t be adopted by upper class parents and vice versa?

    She must watch the film Annie foaming at the mouth, as Mr Warbucks was clearly not meeting Annie’s societal cultural needs.

  35. MiM

    Not placing children in a cultural setting which differs from their own has been a widespread policy for some time in many LAs.

    It was recently implicated in the number of children still in LA homes-particularly non-white children.

    I seem to remember that new guidelines were issued to LAs by Gove ( who I think is responsible for this area)

    And indeed one must observe that Rotherham happily placed non-white children with these white Foster parents.

    The whole thing is very bizarre.

  36. According to the Grauniad the leader of Rotherham Council seems to be confusing UKIP with BNP. If so then he is not the sharpest tool in the box. Now I wonder whether the social workers have made the same mistake ?

  37. Ozwald it’s not a Labour thing, they are just as appalled at the decision as we all are and Ed has ordered an inquiry.

  38. Maninthemiddle,
    ‘How can people be talking about the death of Socialism, or Socialism is shunned by the media, when we have a Socialist party currently leading in the polls and always by law on tv if the Tories are on tv to maintain balance?’

    Many would take the view – as I do – that the present day Labour party falls well short of being a socialist party.It is better described as vaguely socialdemocratic and can only be viewed as at all leftwing when being compared to the present day Conservative party et al. By any objective standard , Labour under Miliband remains well to the right of where the Tories were until the mid – 1970s under Heath and Macmillan! This is one reason why I beleve that those Tories who criticize the last Labour Govt should be even more damning of every pre- Thatcher Tory Govt of the 20th century.

  39. Hmm accusing a party of being majority racist? Don’t tell me Socaliberal has somehow infiltrated Rotherham council?

  40. Really Graham?

    Is any political party considered left wing anymore? In the past few weeks, the Lib Dems, Barack Obama, the Democrats, Julia Gillard, Austrlalian Labour, Tony Blair, and the British Labour party have all been labelled right wing, or in this case (more right wing than 70’s Tories)

    Does this new political compass have Marx as a centrist or something?


    I don’t know if you read this-from DT

    “However, just under eight weeks into the placement, they received a visit out of the blue from the children’s social worker at the Labour-run council and an official from their fostering agency.
    They were told that the local safeguarding children team had received an anonymous tip-off that they were members of UKIP.
    The wife recalled: “I was dumbfounded. Then my question to both of them was, ‘What has Ukip got to do with having the children removed?’
    “Then one of them said, ‘Well, Ukip have got racist policies’. The implication was that we were racist. [The social worker] said Ukip does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries.
    “I’m sat there and I’m thinking, ‘What the hell is going off here?’ because I wouldn’t have joined Ukip if they thought that “

  42. “kip does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries.”

    Seems the council made the same naive malicious mistake that Socaliberal made.

    I’m sure this lady
    Isn’t calling for all Europeans to be returned to their own countries. Or is this what Romney meant by favouring “self deportation”???

    `No decision by a local authority that refers to an individual or an household should ever be taken on the basis of their political views.
    Its inexcusable.`

    Just one question to you regarding your comment.


    Don`t wanna dwell on this as have posted extensively on another site,but something to ponder on.

  44. Graham

    ” Labour under Miliband remains well to the right of where the Tories were until the mid – 1970s under Heath and Macmillan! This is one reason why I beleve that those Tories who criticize the last Labour Govt should be even more damning of every pre- Thatcher Tory Govt of the 20th century.”

    You obviously haven’t been reading con home, if you think they hate lefties, they absolutely loathe heath. But your point is a good one, the post war Tories fought on the centre ground and that centre ground was defined by the attlee govt and the post war settlement, its debatable how much the Tory rank and file agreed with this. In the same way the modern labour party fights on the centre ground defined by the thatcher settlement and again its more than debatable how much the labour rank and file agree with this. However we are coming to a time when there will have to be a new settlement. 2020 will likely be an important date in that context

  45. MIM’

    At the end of the day ‘left’ and ‘right’ are relative terms.The centre has moved so far to the right in the last thirty years or so that simply being ‘left of centre ‘ is a long way from being even remotely ‘Socialist’.

  46. Smukesh

    We all know the BNP leadership is racist, but they try to portray themselves as non racist, if you fall for that and join thinking they aren’t racist, should you not have the right to foster. If you are willing to adopt black children, or Asian children it probably means you aren’t a racist. I don’t think people would go through the long lengthy process of adoption just to be cruel to those children.

    I remember in the mayoral election, the BNP had an Sikh man in their advert, are we suggesting that he should not be allowed to adopt members of the same ethnicity and faith as him on the chance that he might be a racist towards his own ethnicity and faith? The man in question, was probably a bit naive to believe the BNP aren’t racist yes, but is he himself racist, probably not.

  47. Richard,
    I actually believe we can go back much further than World War2. Tories such as Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain, Austen Chamberlain – even Arthur Balfour – were far more progressive and interventionist than the Blair/Brown governments.
    The sheer scale of the Labour victory in 97 showed that there was no real need to accept the Thatcher settlement – they were clearly destined to win anyway! A more traditional Labour programme might only have enjoyed a majority of 79 – rather than 179 – but also is likely to have generated less disillusionment later on as reflected in the collapse in turnout in 2001.

  48. @GRAHAM

    Fascinating, I agree with your comment in some ways but I think that the centre has been moving to the left ever since 1945 with the exception of the early Thatcher years. I consider the current Government as center-left. I see the Labour Party as just slightly more to the left. My personal preference would be for center-right Government.

  49. @ Colin

    … Labour-or we take your children away.
    Foster carers are self-employed, paid professionals. The children aren’t their children.

  50. @MIM

    It is a reasonable assumption to make that BNP members have racist views or atleast strong views on immigration .So why gamble a immigrant child`s life hoping that the concerned BNP member would turn out not be racist or perhaps joined the BNP for other reasons.Why not take the decision to place the child with another parent while the placement is still new and the child has the option to form good attachments with them.


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