The last monthly poll of the year that was still outstanding, ICM for the Guardian, turned up on Christmas Day of all times. Topline figures were CON 32%(nc), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 13%(nc) – the figures are all typical of ICM’s polling of late (the comparatively high Liberal Democrat level of support is methodological, and normally due to the reallocation of a proportion of don’t knows to the party they voted for last time, which usually produces a higher Lib Dem score and a lower Labour lead).

Depending on what TNS BMRB and Opinium are doing with their regular polls over the Christmas break, this may well be our last poll of the year.

324 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%”

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  1. @ Billy Bob

    You have got to see this.

    Look at who the top spenders per vote were. :)

    Half the people on this list though lost (and some others came pretty close). I guess it just proves the old Beatles adage that money can’t buy you love.

  2. @ Ambivalent

    It’s made worse by the fact that I find it difficult to pick up on social cues and stuff anyway because I am dyspraxic and have Asperger’s Syndrome.
    I now understand why you’d have a particular dislike of social snobbery then, given that picking up on cues & acting accordingly is a big part of the snobbery ‘game’.

    Snobbery doesn’t bother me much because I see it as being a cultural thing i.e. similar to tribal or national customs. So, it seems fairly harmless to me; but then I miss social cues because I’m gauche* not because I have a syndrome.

    * I like the word gauche, it lets me be a leftie, awkward & lacking in social graces all in one convenient package!

  3. @ Ambivalent Supporter

    “And, yes, snobbery is worthy of hatred. I come from the East End of London and am currently unemployed and have been for some time so I should know!”

    I feel your pain. I’m sorry you deal with this. Unemployment is a terrible and painful thing. Especially long term unemployment or underemployment. I liked what Joe Biden said about it. Employment is not just about a paycheck, it’s about the dignity of work. He’s right.

    I don’t neccessarily hate snobbery perhaps because I’m numb to it (I’ve seen it and been around it all my life) but I definitely am with you in that I don’t like it.

    “It’s made worse by the fact that I find it difficult to pick up on social cues and stuff anyway because I am dyspraxic and have Asperger’s Syndrome.”

    :( Have you ever had a phone interview for a job? I’ve had my own difficulties in reading social cues. It’s an ADHD thing too I think.

  4. @SoCaLliberal

    Thanks for that link. The incomparable Allen West spent 18 million dollars on his unsuccessful campaign (he raised $19.5m, so still has a little left in the kitty). West and Bachmann also came in the WP top two for nastiest campaigns.

    That compares to an £18.6 million limit for political parties in GB at a general election (roughly £30,000 per constituency):


    Con spent £16.7m in 2010 while Lab spent £8m (both spent about £17.9m in 2005):


  5. Interesting lessons from history with the release of the Falkland’s files under the 30 year rule today. Those who proclaim the ‘Special Relatiionship’ across the Atlantic should really sit up and take note.

    We always knew the USA was decidedly ambivalent about supporting it’s UK ally, but it’s quite astonishing to consider the lengths they considered going to to in assisting the Argentinians. At one point they developed a plan to inform Buenos Aires about the military plan to retake South Georgia, as a way to demonstrate their neutrality. The only thing that stopped them doing this was a furious row with the British who effectively old them that if they did this, we would be forced to slaughter Argentinians en mass via submarine and air strikes, rather than land invasion.

    The staggering thing about this is that at that time, Reagan and Thatcher were apparently so close, emotionally and politically. It’s a salutary lesson that trusting the Americans to assist us when we really need it is not something that any UK government should do. There is a historical track record here, and clearly the US does what is in the interests f the US, quite naturally and correctly.

    This is why I have long held that the myth of the special relationship is dangerous for UK policy makers.

  6. Ambi:

    “the trouble with the internet is its easy to misinterpret someone’s posts……. I find it difficut to pick up on social clues anyway because I am dyspraxic and have Asperger’s Syndrome”

    I imagine the first bit was intended to just refer to your own posting but it does seem ironicthough that you are so happy to rush to judgement on my own posts. Try reading them in a different tone of voice sometime.

  7. @Amber

    “* I like the word gauche, it lets me be a leftie, awkward & lacking in social graces all in one convenient package!”

    Us lefties should also remember that the word “sinister”, meaning the suggestion of something evil or threatening, comes from the Latin word for left! They associated left-handedness with being odd, hence the word becoming used to describe something that was ominous, strange and unusual.

    This suspicious attitude to left-handedness continued until fairly recently, certainly into my father’s generation. He’s very left handed in nearly everything he does but as a child was forced to write right handed. He went to a school in the 1920s that tied his left hand behind his back until he became able to write with his right hand. Extraordinary, isn’t it?

    Of course, this explains his terrible hand-writing and I haven’t had the heart to tell him over the years that I’ve never been able to read the many letters he has written to me. Probably a good job considering some of the scrapes I got into as a wayward youth!

  8. Ambi:

    PS, and as one small example: me comparing Anthony’s moderate moderation policy to Genghis Khan woud be viewed by most people as at least intended to be humorous, rather than factualy accurate. It therefore required no admonition from you in that regard, ta very much anyway.


    Anyway I think of him more like ole Vlad the Impaler.

  9. CROSSBAT11.

    The term ‘Left Footer’ also denotes odd, sinister, weird people too.

  10. Ambi:

    Just one last thing on the subject of “hating” a large mass of fellow human beings. Bizarrely it would make more sense to say “I hate all Americans equally” than “I hate snobs/inverted snobs equally” as, athough there are 300 million of the rascals, at least we can identify them, objectively, as American.

    As Amber pointed out “snobbishness” is just one element of a person’s character and, equally importantly, it is extremely subjective.

    You may find some of my posts awkward to read, or understand as I intend them, but I would never say I “hate” people, and I find it somewhat offensive when someone else does so.


  11. @pilgrim

    Did Aeneas have any Greek Aunties? Or is that the joke?

  12. hey guys hope everyone had a fantastic xmas.

    Been catching up on the news I missed and was stunned to read this

    Is it true that “Mr Cameron will in January give a long-awaited speech in which he will promise a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.”

    Is that confirmed that he will do it? I think I will be voting to stay in if that’s the case. Xmas has relighted my European flame, Belgian Chocolates, Italian Calzones, Spanish Chorizo German markets, and of course the big man himself, Santa from Finland.

    Although an excellent Xmas Turkey, cooked by yours truly, hasn’t done anything to endear me to Turkey joining the EU

  13. Colin, Crossbatt11, Amber, I am feel rather proud to have been moderated as part of a conversation among the three of you that was apparently getting too partisan or scabrous. I am, however, a bit puzzled over how to raise the issue that troubles me and should, it seems to me, be up for discussion on this site.

    My issue concerns the way in which some politicians hold up those who are unemployed as ‘scroungers’. It seems to me that this is grossly unfair to the unemployed people whom I know, all of whom are desperate to get a job. It is also, perhaps, an important stereotype in driving attitudes and thus potentially polls. In this way, it must be capable of dispassionate analysis. After all all sides use these stereotypes and do so unfairly. Pickles, for example, does not fit the stereotype of a party that is made of Old Etonians who do not know the price of milk. .

    The problem with the stereotype of the scrounging benefit recipient is that there may be a grain of truth in it. Certainly it is widely believed. So I know people on social security who allege it of others in a similar position and hard-working people who are furious with members of their own family who are seen as unwilling rather than unable to get a job. And there is surely some truth in the idea that over time the consequences of actions (or the lack of consequences) have an effect on attitudes (witness, perhaps, the changing attitudes to sex before marriage and then to marriage itself).

    So I suspect this issue is one that should trouble the left as well as the right. As I see it, the problem is first how to craft a policy that acknowledges that people are often not in control of their own destinies, works towards enabling them to do so, does so without penalising their children or trying to starve the adults into work, but also expects them to collaborate in this endeavour. I suspect that such a policy is not easy to form, and particularly so in hard economic times, and that it is made even less easy to do so because of the stereotypes there are about and the way the press misuse them. So I would like to benefit from the wisdom of others on this site as to how this might be done.

    But first, I obviousy have to learn how to express myself in a non-partisan way. It will be interesting to see how this gets on!

  14. Charles:

    “Non-partisan” is a problem as what interests me most – in many things, including music especially – is finding the middle ground between OBjective and SUBjective. So when I am accused of being “partisan” I feel that all I am doing is offering my own perspective on the facts as I see them.

    So I am really not clear myself how one can do that without doing it – if you see what I mean – and sympathise with your dilemma.

    Re so called scroungers, my own opinion is that this has been going badly wrong for about thirty years, during which time it has become quite normal for young people to be unable to find employment after school, at a time when the ease of internet social interaction and entertainment has taken away the social need element that used to be part of our work culture.

    I must say I have seen this coming for a long time and so far politicians have done little about it – nearer to nothing actually


    @”But first, I obviousy have to learn how to express myself in a non-partisan way. It will be interesting to see how this gets on”

    This is easy on UKPR.

    If your post can be read by others it is not partisan.

    If it cannot be read by others it is partisan.

    You just have to compare one with the other.

    But always remember, the differences may not be consistent-or indeed logical.

    And that is because UKPR is not a court of law, or a representative democracy. It is a Dictatorship……..a benign & wise dictatorship most of the time, but a dictatorship nevertheless.

    As for all citizens of Dictatorships-you just have to learn His ways as best you can-and never-ever-complain at being moderated.


    As for your other question about the recipients of welfare benefits-I think a starting point might be to avoid sweeping generalisations about people-and that , of course , means avoiding attribution of sweeping generalisations to people who haven’t actually made them.

    Other than that, I feel that welfare reform should be conducted in a way which avoids emotive symbols of any kind, and concentrates on the core purpose-to provide state support to those who really need it at a cost which the state can sustain over time.

  17. .Colin,

    Thank you for this sage counsel, I am not complaining and will go compare.

  18. Colin,

    I agree that we should avoid generalization and that social security has to be affordable over the long=term . (But presumably one has to be pragmatic about this – in the short-term it may benefit the economy to run a bill that in the long-term cannot be afforded – hence the talk about automatic stabilisers)

    I agree in part about need. For example, I don’t need my winter fuel allowance or my TV licence (which will be free to me as of next year) or my bus pass. So I think that these should at the least be taxed and personally I would roll them up into the basic pension. I suspect that politicians don’t do this, because it would be politically damaging rather than for any other reason.

    I also agree that the criterion should be need rather than ‘desert’. For example, I think that the alcoholic, the drug addict and the shiftless should all have enough to eat and that their needs in this respect are no less than those of the firefighter disabled rescuing a member of the public. I think, however, that if one is going to get money from the state, the state is entitled to demand its side of an implicit bargain. The problem is the pointlessness of much that it demands (e.g. signing on or sending off so many emails for the sake of the thing) rather than the principle of demanding anything per se.

    However I am not sure that ‘meeting need’ (in the sense of providing the minimum essential for life) is the only criterion for a decent safety net This is partly because I think that we need some flexibility in the way people are employed. If we are to get out of old industries and into new ones we need to be fair to the people who pay the penalty for this restructuring – and at the minimum we need to avoid social unrest. Social security helps in these respects and also facilitates the smaller adjustments required by a ‘flexible labour market’.

    Ideally we combine this restructuring with retraining, incentives for new industries to move in and so on. All this is actually of benefit to everyone and so everyone should be prepared to pay (and hence there is an issue about what is ‘affordable’ – a concept that tends to imply that an expense is more a luxury than an investment).

    Thanks for the query: my post was inspired by the standard six glasses of wine, two digestivos and a train of thought stemming from Ambivalent Supporter’s “I hate snobs” -” I fear the Greeks especially when they bear gifts” came, for whatever reason, instantly to mind. I hate snobs, especially when they are in Government and hand out benefits with conditions about having to apply for jobs fitted to my station…. something like that.
    The decipherment of Linear B by Michael Ventris showed that the Trojans spoke and wrote Greek, so Aeneas, even if he did not know it already from the fact that the founder of his line was Zeus, and his Mum was Aphrodite , should have known that the Greeks were his cousins.
    Snobbish really, but, Ambi, if you’re reading this – having left school at 15 and unemployed by my 16th birthday – ‘ll be voting for a living wage as a right and for the accompanying training and skills upgrading program that I think Charles knows is only like to come from a gauchiste result at the 2015 GE.

  20. I must be doing something right because my long suffering wife and two rebellious sons clubbed together this Christmas to buy me a couple of tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in Coventry next June. They know, from plenty of aural exposure over the years, that I’ve long been a fan who has tried and failed on many occasions to catch the great man live. The nearest I got was missing him by a day in New Jersey in 2006. Imagine that; the Boss playing in his home town across the Hudson River as I was flying out of New York!

    So, considering his European tour next year is still promoting his latest album, Wrecking Ball, I thought I better give it a good listen. As is the modern way, I borrowed a friend’s CD and downloaded it on to my IPod and, whilst I went on a little run around the Worcestershire countryside this morning, I listened to the album in its entirety. It’s an absolute tour de force and the best music I’ve heard from Springsteen since The Rising in 2002. Utterly compelling both lyrically and musically, it’s the Boss back in vintage form, railing against the bankers and financiers who, as he sees it, have wrecked his beloved country. I would imagine that if anyone listened to this album before the November election, and was thinking of taking a punt on Romney, then they might well have thought again. No wonder Obama values his support and his hard-wired credibility with blue collar white America. I should imagine he delivered the Democrats many of these sorts of voters whenever he entered the campaign trail, voters who might have been sceptical about Obama but related to Springsteen’s authenticity. After all, he writes music that touches the souls of such people.

    Stand out songs are the title track, Wrecking Ball, Death to my Hometown, Jack of All Trades and We Take Care of Our Own, but Land of Hope and Dreams got this sentimental old devil welling up as he ran the waterlogged and deserted lanes of Worcestershire this late December morning.

    Grab your ticket and your suitcase
    Thunder’s rolling down the track
    Well you don’t know where
    You’re going now
    But you know you won’t be back
    Well darlin’ if you’re weary
    Lay your head upon my chest
    We’ll take what we can carry
    Yeah and we’ll leave the rest

    I said this train
    Carries broken hearted
    This train….
    Thieves and sweet souls departed
    This train…
    Carries fools and kings
    This train..
    All aboard

    I said now this train..
    Dreams will not be thwarted
    This train…
    Faith will be rewarded
    This train…
    Hear the steel wheels singin’
    This train..
    Bells of freedom ringin’

    As long as you keep driving that train, Boss, I’m on board too.

  21. thanks for that CROSSBAT11..I think I will try his albums out again..Bob Harris is a big fan and he is someone who really knows pop/rock music..

  22. CB11:

    Can’t tempt you with a Des O’Connor concert then?

  23. “Non-partisan” is a problem as what interests me most – in many things, including music especially – is finding the middle ground between OBjective and SUBjective.

    -On an entirely non-partisan and factual basis 2012 has been a great year for Millionaires, slugs and the vomiting bug.

  24. @Paul Croft

    “Can’t tempt you with a Des O’Connor concert then?”

    Lol. I used to like that Eric and Ernie joke about their old mate Des. Eric comes in looking crestfallen. Ernie asks him what’s wrong. Eric replies that he’s just received some very bad news. Ernie then asks what news could possibly be so bad to make him so depressed. Eric replies: “I’ve just heard that Des O’Connor has made an unbreakable record!”

    Of course, the joke harks back to the days when records were made out of brittle vinyl. The CD generation wouldn’t get it!

    By the way, Paul, if Anthony is thinking of doing any end of year UKPR Awards, I think you’d be a leading contender for the “Drollest and Wittiest Poster” Gong! I quite often chuckle out aloud when I read your posts, as I do with OldNat. He might be one of your rivals for that award, by the way!

  25. CB11

    I am very flattered – I had started to think that this was like posting on an american site where everybody has gone privately for extremelly expensive sense-of-humour bypasses, and that I was the only one to find my posts amusant. I’ve found it hard to believe how many people seem to take the most obvious example of irony as serious.

    [Mind you, I can see how people COULD think that old Anthony has at least un petit peu de Vlad the Impaler in his genes.]

    They don’t make ‘um like Des O’Connor anymore though do they? Its amost a shame.

  26. “But fairness is also about being fair to the person who leaves home every morning to go out to work and sees their neighbour still asleep, living a life on benefits.”
    George Osborne – Autumn Statement 2012.

  27. Fairness is about being fair to everybody whatever they see. So GO’s statement is, in a sense, unimpeachable. And it would remain so if one added to the striver’s field of vision the banker contemplating their bonus or the Chief Executive of a major company contemplating their salary rise. But sadly only the likes of Dickens seem able to summon up so wide a scenario. And partial visions can generate all sorts of ills.

  28. @Chrislane 11.32
    ‘Left Footer’ was always used to refer to Catholics down my way.Very un pc .

  29. @ Charles

    I do not subscribe to the view that we must live in country where there is so little opportunity & such poor prospects for people in employment that they envy their unemployed neighbour; that the fairness which they hope for is that their government maintain a ‘phoney’ differential by cutting the value of social security!

    If I am mischaracterizing Osborne’s Autumn Statement, I am sure that somebody will be quick to tell me so.

    The polling jury is still out, it seems. YG shows one thing, Mori another & ComRes has us evenly split on either side of the debate.

  30. @ MiM

    Is it true that “Mr Cameron will in January give a long-awaited speech in which he will promise a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.”
    I was surprised to see the BBC analyst forecasting this for 2013 in a way which made it sound like fact.

    I think the promised referendum could be subject to the Lisbon Treaty being renegotiated by the EU countries. Then the EU will rule out renegotiating it & work around it instead so there will not be a referendum.

    That’s my thoughts, FWIW. But we must wait until 15th January, or thereabouts, to find out what the actuality will be – unless David Cameron pre-empts his own EU speech & gives us a ‘heads up’ in his new year message.

  31. STEVE
    ” 2012 has been a great year for Millionaires, slugs and the vomiting bug.”
    But on on foreign policy and far-away places of which we know little, or on the EU of which we know equally little, strictly., of course, in regard to VI? My vision of a post-Masstricht era was of my kids doing there Baccs in France and Germany, and of a distributive systems which would equalise access to wealth through a flexible labour market and universal education and welfare management. And of a world in which globalisation would mean the spread of these goods and access to the means of their production and distribution equally south and north, east and west. The strange thing is, set aside the financial collapse and confrontational politics, how close we are to that as a result, among other factors, of the www, IT,, WTO and the spread of English as a lingua franca; and how close this is to disaster through the forces of religious fundamentalism in politics and of stagnation and rot through the self-interest and grip of bureaucracies.
    Danny Boyle, for me, got it right, in his use of the use of the Olympics to make a statement about service, good government and the space and opportunity to be given to people of genius and gentle humour.

  32. @ Billy Bob

    “Thanks for that link. The incomparable Allen West spent 18 million dollars on his unsuccessful campaign (he raised $19.5m, so still has a little left in the kitty). West and Bachmann also came in the WP top two for nastiest campaigns.

    That compares to an £18.6 million limit for political parties in GB at a general election (roughly £30,000 per constituency)”

    Wait a minute, you’re telling me that Allen West spent more money (even after taking in the conversion rates) in 2012 than the entire Labour Party did for the 2010 election and over 2/3rds of what the Tories spent in the same election? Good god. Can you imagine how the residents of that District felt with that level of constant bombardment? Funny thing too is that he wasn’t a resident of the District either (neither was his opponent). He lives in Plantation, Florida. And no I’m not making that up (that’s a real town and it’s where he actually lives).

    You have to wonder what he does with that 1.5 million dollar surplus. I wonder if he can find a way to use that money for his own personal benefit (and if anyone will care).

    Now speaking of crazy, I heard on the Daily Show that a right wing politician who might be even more crazy than Allen West, Sylvio Berlusconi, may be returning to power in Italy (apparently his party is forcing Monti out and Berlusconi has said he may run again). It might be a better question for Virgilio, but REALLY?

    Now back to that list of massive spending that had the two craziest and most wacko members of the 112th Congress combining to spend more money than both Labour and the Tories in an entire election combined. Did you happen to see who was #3 on that list? Crazy and mind-boggling. Most of it was his own money too. This leaves me rather satisfied in a way, especially considering he lost.

    Here’s what is really creepy about the guy. He founded this political group known as “No Labels” which supposedly pushes for independent party candidates and seeks to move the U.S. past “bipartisan gridlock.” But the people who he founded the group with are all former top political strategists to George W. Bush. It’s a sham. Is it any wonder that they went after the one member of Congress who was willing to criticize Dubya on Iraq and attempt to reign in his excesses? That’s my conspiracy theory anyway. The prevailing wisdom is that this Congressional run was just a big ego trip. The other theory (and a believable one) is that he’s going to run for Governor of California next and take advantage of the lessons learned in this race.

    Also, I still think it’s fascinating, especially with all the money he spent, that he lost Beverly Park Estates. What would it say if there was a precinct that covered just Kensington Palace Gardens and that precinct voted Labour? Actually, I think the other Billionaire’s Row (Bishop’s Avenue) is in Glenda Jackson’s constituency but given her narrow victory last time, I doubt she relied on it as a top Labour ward to put her over the top.

  33. @ Billy Bob

    The limit you guys have is probably a good thing. I understand that individuals want to spend more money on their candidates of choice and feel restricted when they can’t. But it really makes good sense to limit how much one can contribute to a candidate in an election. And it does make sense to limit campaign expenditures. Now I know that we can’t quite do that here. I feel though that Brits probably don’t get overwhelmed with a pile of garbage and when you get garbage from political candidates, you’re able to turn on the news or open up a newspaper and understand it for what it is: garbage. I feel there’s so much here that it crowds out everything and people can’t tell the difference after a while and stop caring.

  34. CB11:

    After discussions with family and friend I have decided to forgo my UKPR award you kindly put me forward for and suggest The Other Howard instead; we find him even droller and wittier than either me or Ole Nat [well, definitely Ole Nat anyway.]

  35. Amber:

    Euro sceptics wil find out just how strong the desire is for us to remain in the EU if they do get their referendum.

    I’m sure they think referendum = exit: I think it wil equal backlash. The stuff in the Sun and Mail can only takes them so far. Generally people don’t like the unknown and if we left that’s what we would be heading for.

    Its all hot air.

  36. @ Paul C

    If The Other Howard is ‘knighted’ by Anthony will we have address him as TOHsir?

  37. @ Paul C

    So you think that we, as a nation, will bottle Brexit (sounds like a cereal bar) & vote to stay in?

  38. A referendum would put great pressure on all parties to say what reforms they would introduce in the EU, and heighten the importance of policies on the EU in VI for the GE.

  39. Does the honour system ever recognise anybody that is not either a politician,civil servant,actor,musician or a sports person with anything other than a OBE or MBE. If we must have a honour system then surely those people who make a real difference to people’s lives should be rewarded like those people who spend there time actually helping people mostly on a voluntary basis or for low wages in there own community sometimes working with very difficult people, as opposed to people who are already hugely rewarded in the music and sports industry.
    Maybe it’s a fact of life we want to reward people who make us feel good rather than people who do good.

  40. @Amber @Paul

    Thanks for your kind words, but I do not use my titles. I’m just happy to bask in the love and esteem of my family and friends.

  41. Socali, Silvio’s (no Y) return has been known since November I think, they’ve already started opinion polling, last time I checked his coalition was about 8% behind. Could be more could be less by now.

    The big news in Italy is that Mario Monti the technocrat currently in place is going to try and leader a centrist coalition to keep his job and maybe beat both the Conservative and the Socialist.

    We do need eccentric politicians, they make politics much more colourful. Was reading a few articles on the BBC about Jacob Zuma the South African PM and he seems quite eccentric, 4 wives, his views are that black people shouldn’t own pets because its apparently part of white culture, they shouldnt straighten their hair or wear make up because its part of white culture, his plan is to “decolonise” the African mind, and he sometimes wears a suit, othertimes wears traditional tribal dress.

    The man himself

  42. Also no stranger to a bit of controversy.

  43. TOH:

    Your modesty impresses: happy new year.


    Didn’t get the joke – maybe a couple of smiies would have helped the process.

    Re Europe, yes, if it came to it we would vote to stay in – as I expect Scotland to do re the UK.

    As far as the EU is concerned I think it will prove easier to snipe from the sidelines than win against big business, finance, most leading poiticians – and what I ike to call “sensible” people.

    Lord Croft of Barney and its Dominions.

    {decided to accept my award as TOH has declined and ole nat’s jokes are rubbish]

  44. The EU is like one of these wives from some 50’s show, seen as a nag, seen as annoying, there’s talk of her leaving, the husband runs her down, but in the end, they will stay together as they know they are better off together and do actually love eachother deep down.

    Ok the love deep down bit of a stretch but the rest of the analogy stands.

    As for Scotland, I’m in favour of independence for them as I believe in the right to self determination, but again I think they will choose to stay.

    One of the arguments against independence is that it’s Balkanization, now obviously the wars in the balkans are regrettable but no one’s suggesting Scotland will have to fight for it’s independence, or that England would ethnically cleanse the highlands.

    Other than that Balkanization has worked quite well, instead of one turbulent country we now have 6 stable and peaceful countries (except Bosnia) and it really helps in Eurovision :P

  45. @ Paul Croft

    Happy New Year to you and to all who contribute, and of course to AW who hosts the site and generally puts up with our foibles.

  46. I wonder what effect – if any – this will have on the Polls!

  47. TOH:

    Ta. I have no foibles though – had to sell them to survive.

  48. @ Paul C

    LOL – nothing else, just LOL!

  49. Lots of Love to you too Amber.


  50. Mim
    “…but no one’s suggesting Scotland will have to fight for it’s independence, or that England would ethnically cleanse the highlands.”

    Shame! it was so much fun last time. :-)

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