The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll is up here – topline figures are CON 32%, LAB 41%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 9%. This week’s poll is very a grab bag of questions on various issues – the most interesting ones (energy & long term care show the usual sort of results) were on smacking and roads.

Over two thirds of parents say they smacked their own children, though there is a clear generational pattern. 78% of those parents who are now over 60 say they smacked their children, more recent parents are less likely to have done so – only 41% of parents under 40 say they have smacked their children. Only 16% parents who smacked their children say it is something they regret having done. Turning to the legal angle, only 17% of people would support making it illegal to smack children, compared to 72% of people who are opposed. There is far less support for corporal punishment in schools – only 40% of people think it should be legalised, 54% think it should be illegal.

Turning to roads, 66% of people say that the government does not spend enough on roads. However, there is relatively little support for actually *raising* more money to spend on roads. Only 18% would support higher taxes to fund road improvements, only 16% would support an annual fee for using motorways to fund road improvements. The highest support was for motorways tolls, which were supported by 35%, but opposed by 53%. Essentially people support the idea of spending more on roads, but aren’t willing to actually pay for it. Asked about the planning system, 45% thought it was important that local councils and residents should be able to block roads that damaged their local area, 30% thought that self-interested councils and residents shouldn’t be able to block road developments that are important for the economy.

Meanwhile, full tables for the Survation poll of Eastleigh are now online here


112 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 41, LD 11, UKIP 9”

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  1. An internet poll of MSN readers?

    I think thats what AW calls a “voodoo poll”…..

  2. @Crosbatt11

    Congratulations on your result today. Although I was pleased we managed the 3 points against you, I would like to see Villa staying in the Premiership. With our new French connection I now feel fairly confident we will be there with you, especially as the news is that Gouffran has not suffered a break.

  3. British roads are pretty good. Even the minor roads aren’t normally a game of dodge the potholes with weeds growing in the middle. 66% of people should try Irish roads then count their blessings.

  4. Green Christian

    As far as I’m aware churches charge for their ceremonies, so should be under the same rules as any other business, and not allowed to discriminate against people because of their sexuality in the provision of services.

    Also they need to lose their tax exempt status as well.

  5. CB11

    Thunk about you when I saw the score – very complex for relegation with a lot still potentially involved.

    You may have missed the news about my new slippers: I may post some photos on Facebook.

    Re Eastleigh I don’t think the Cons will win so I expect it to be LD.

  6. @Man in the Middle
    “As far as I’m aware churches charge for their ceremonies, so should be under the same rules as any other business, and not allowed to discriminate against people because of their sexuality in the provision of services.”

    So you’d offer churches the choice between:
    Changing religious doctrine
    Providing buildings, people, heating, lighting etc. for free
    Not marrying people
    Marrying only church members (who presumably sign up to their doctrine)

    “Also they need to lose their tax exempt status as well.”

    Even though churches are one of the biggest providers of charitable services in the country, even if you don’t consider religious activity to be a charitable end in and of itself?

    The fact is that Austerity and the Big Society have placed far more burdens on the charitable sector at the same time as cutting the money available to charities. Religious groups are the part of the charitable sector that is least dependant on government grants, and most able to pick up the slack in the system. Slashing their income can only hurt the most vulnerable in our society. If you must insist on it, at least delay demanding it until the economy and government budgets are considered in a position to compensate.

  7. Survation’s sample is rather small but I suppose it’s difficult if all the pollsters do a large one as the Eastleigh voters will be driven potty by election day.

    However, it does nit seem to deliver any surprises except the somewhat comparatively high UKIP vote. The key was the reaction to the idea of voting Lab instead of Lib Dem. It would appear that whoever shades it, there would not be expected to be a large impact resulting from the outcome.

  8. Not not nit (English Spy)

  9. @Robin

    Is there any evidence that hitting the child makes it less likely they’ll repeat any risk taking behaviour, as opposed to venting the parental emotion? If the child isn’t old enough to understand reason and can’t be relied upon not to run into the road, then maybe they need to be kept under tighter control in public.

    Wrt circumcision. This was reported recently:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2276006/Nurse-Grace-Adeleye-caused-baby-boy-bleed-death-botched-home-circumcision-walks-free-court.html

    Now I can see some benefit in allowing some religious communities to access the procedure in sanitary conditions with pain relief, and appropriate medical care, but I can’t see how this wasn’t regarded as a criminal assault (that ultimately resulted in death). She was only prosecuted for negligence and got a suspended sentence.

  10. @ Neil A

    “If we are going to outlaw culturally accepted assaults on children, I’d rather start with male circumcision than with smacking.”

    Please tell me this is you using your classic sense of English wit and irony?

    @ Green Christian

    “Why should a church be forced to marry a couple whose marriage is not in accordance with their beliefs about marriage, when the couple could get married in a civil ceremony? And why would any couple want to get married by an organisation that does not consider their marriage to be valid?”

    You may find this surprising but I actually agree with you.

    “Freedom of religion is a very important right that has been hard fought for over centuries. Lets not attempt to throw it out just because religions don’t agree with certain aspects of 21st century small-l social liberalism.”

    I agree with you halfway here. Freedom of religion is a very important right. It must be defended and protected. However, I should note the following. Many religions believe in and promote the values of 21st centruy small-l-social liberalism. Also, I think most social liberals care about and defend the freedom of religion.

    I acknowledge it’s different in my case as so much of it stems from constitutional rights. As I see it, the same document that protects the freedom to marry and require equal treatment by the government also protects the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. In my mind, there isn’t a conflict. Not a real one anyway. I know I’m not alone in this view either and I think most social liberals I know are of the same mindset.

  11. @SoCal,

    I’m afraid not. One part of the Old Testament tells us to use rods on our children. Another part of the Old Testament tells us to lop the ends of their willies off.

    They are both assaults. Which is more serious? If we don’t ban circumcision for fear of insulting Jews (and Muslims), how can we then ban beating of children which is also a teaching of their faiths?

    We don’t allow people to circumcise their daughters, or to ritually scar their children. Circumcision seems to me to have slipped through the net.

  12. @ Green Christian

    “So you’d offer churches the choice between:
    Changing religious doctrine
    Providing buildings, people, heating, lighting etc. for free
    Not marrying people
    Marrying only church members (who presumably sign up to their doctrine)”

    I don’t know what each individual church charges or doesn’t charge. I think that part is irrelevant. A religious institution is a religious institution.

    However, I would point out that should a religious institution choose to act in the public sphere, they are subject to the rules of the public sphere. Just because a church owns a marriage hall or other space that is popular for weddings doesn’t mean that they can enforce their religious doctrine over the wishes of the law.

    I find this Church of England opposition to marriage equality somewhat ironic from a historical perspective. The Episcopalean Church Bishops of California came out in 2008 and opposed Proposition 8 unanimously. After it passed and the court battles against it commenced, I believe the Episcopalean bishops came out and endorsed marriage equality outright. Episcopalean Bishops routinely march and ride floats in Pride Parades. And one of the prominent Episcopalean Church archbishops in New Hampshire (and who’s been featured in Presidential Inauguration events), Gene Robinson, is openly gay and a crusader for civil rights.

    The Episcopalean Church is the descendant of the Church of England. They were a subdivision of the Church of England for the 13 colonies until 1776 when they were forced to split off from the Church and change a few lines (like their loyalty and devotion to the King) in order to not be guilty of treason. That’s why though their church flag looks like a great deal like the flag of England (except for a small upper righthand corner that is blue and has some white stars in it).

    I wonder if the Church of England views them as some sort of wayward, lost, rebellious child.

  13. @ Neil A

    “I’m afraid not. One part of the Old Testament tells us to use rods on our children. Another part of the Old Testament tells us to lop the ends of their willies off.

    They are both assaults. Which is more serious? If we don’t ban circumcision for fear of insulting Jews (and Muslims), how can we then ban beating of children which is also a teaching of their faiths?

    We don’t allow people to circumcise their daughters, or to ritually scar their children. Circumcision seems to me to have slipped through the net.”

    Female circumcision and male circumcision are not the same thing. Female circumcision is a sexist, humiliating, degrading, and oftentimes torturous act against women. It’s often done to teenage women in a sexually abusive manner.

    Male circumcision is a health choice made by parents that is relatively painless for the infant child. It does not scar the child, it does not humiliate the child, and it does reduce the pleasurability of sex. It just happens to be in the bible and some people make the decision to hold ceremonies to celebrate it. More power to them. I think the humane way to have a male circumcision is to have it done by a doctor in a hospital. But I don’t believe in opposing a briss.

    Now spanking a child…..I’ve got more mixed views on that. I generally don’t think it should be done. I’m not sure I’m ready to outlaw it either. I’m not sure it’s a constitutionally protected parental right either.

    I can say that I am 100% against any kind of corporal punishment in schools. Maybe a parent can give their kid a whoopin’ (maybe, it’s arguable and debatable). But strangers do not have the right to physically harm kids unless it’s in justified self-defense. The idea that teachers or school administrators could use physical punishment against a kid is just wrong. As Maggie Thatcher would say: No, No, No.

  14. To put a different slant on the smacking debate: should there be a law against hugging a child? I have come across families where children who are having a ‘paddy’ are hugged until they calm down. I’m sure the parents in question believe they are loving their child, but to me that seems highly likely to cause long term emotional damage to the child, who will learn to associate hugging with unwelcome constriction of movement and emotional distress.

    The point is that the objective should be to cause minimum harm to a child in a non-ideal situation. Sometimes a smack may be best. Sometimes a quiet explanation. Sometimes forced physical removal. Sometimes the parent will make the wrong judgement.

    I don’t believe that potentially legitimate actions should be outlawed. But it’s certainly right to place limits. The current law that bars physical chastisement that leaves a mark (beyond brief reddening of the skin that quickly dissipates) seems to me to be about right.

  15. @SoCal,

    Circumcision is a religious choice masquerading as a health choice. For the vast majority of boys its not remotely necessary. For those who have health issues they can of course have the operation on medical advice. My brother was circumcised at six years old (ouch) and my friend’s son was recently circumcised at 13 years old (double ouch).

    It is not relatively painless. Even when the operation itself is done under anaesthetic, the recovery period is extremely painful. Babies can’t articulate that pain, but I know of no study anywhere that suggests that their sensation is any less than that of older children.

    As for whether it scars the child, well that’s a matter of interpretation. You could remove a child’s earlobes and with some neat stitching it wouldn’t leave any “scars”. Having a bit of you missing is, I would argue, a “scar” or its equivalent.

    I know that circumcision is carried out very routinely in the States, and so it has perhaps seeped into your national consciousness. To a lesser extent it has done so in the UK too (although most Christian and non-faith families here don’t do it).

    I have no expectation that it will ever be outlawed. But I do find it ironic that it is spared the scrutiny that other faith-based practices come under.

  16. I’ve never understood why cutting off a part of your child’s penis is so popular in the states, even amongst christians, and non religious people.

    In fact how we regard the whole process as strange and abhorrent, I’ve met Americans who find not being circumcised as strange.

  17. i was circumcised when i was 16 on medical grounds and yes their is some pain for about the first week then things begin to settle down somewhat.

    looking at the polling data the conservatives should walk home in the upcoming By-Election.

    my own softwere seams to agree with local polling as local polling is broadly in line with the national picture.

    my predicion at the minute

    CON 34%

    LAB 29%

    LD 22%

    UKIP 14%

    OTH 1%

    so a three way battle in 2015… if results follow present polling figures…

  18. GreenChristian
    “Religious groups are the part of the charitable sector that is least dependant on government grants, and most able to pick up the slack in the system. Slashing their income can only hurt the most vulnerable in our society.”
    So you support tax exempt status for wealthy individuals who support charity?
    If your argument is a pragmatic one about the lesser evil, rather than religion’s special status.

    “Not allowing them to make the decision themselves establishes the principle that government gets to dictate religious doctrine. And if that’s the case, we’ve just said goodbye to both freedom of religion and pretty much any form of secularism.”
    This isn’t an argument for freedom of religion – freedom of religion is one of expression and association, not being above the law.
    That was the fight for freedom of religion – that each person was free to express themselves without government interference, not so that they can do whatever they like in the name of religion.
    So if we have equality laws, no group should be above the law in principle.

    If we’re going to give special protection to religion, to be above the law based upon it’s religious doctrine, then the Heterodox Church of Discordia (Hail Eris!) is going to have some real fun.

    The pragmatic answer is different – I only support the right for churches to deny marriage to same-sex couples because the state provides a market alternative.
    In the same way that I would allow businesses to discriminate based upon gender, race, etc if the government provided a competitive (in terms of quality) market alternative.

    That protects the principle of equality without having to cause too much trouble in getting the law passed and implemented.

    That makes me a pretty bad small-l liberal and small-c conservative – it’s probably a good thing that I don’t identify as either. ;)

  19. From circumcision to footy: this is what people are looking for in a polling forum.

  20. Interesting reactions this morning to the care costs cap announcement. It seems in not so broad terms to be rather negative for the government. This isn’t particularly newsworthy I suppose, but it is a bit disappointing.

    I’ve long been known to favour inheritance tax (applied properly) as a valid way to tackle the deficit, but Cameron’s use of increasing IT to pay for a limited cap on care costs is not playing at all well with core Tory voters it seems. The care cap itself, while I think a valiant attempt at meeting one of the key social issues we currently face, appears limited and confusing, meaning that the good news part of the announcement isn’t getting too much traction this morning.

    I think the government deserve some credit for trying to sort out this issue, but they have rather tied themselves up in knots by arguing so forcibly against Labour’s rather simple and easily understood plan for free care paid for by a £20K levy on all estates after death.

    While there is some merit in the government approach of setting a limit and allowing people to insure against this limit, it blurs the overall message on care costs, treats the elderly differently, assumes people can afford insurance, gets you into the business of setting that limit anyway, and then needing to find the finance to pay for it, with the IT proposal breaking another pledge made by Cameron.

    For what it’s worth, I suspect the tinkering with IT thresholds will upset a lot of people, largely as it still fails to address the central failing of that tax, which is that people like Osborne and Cameron won’t have to pay it. I still fail to understand why trust funds established to benefit named individuals are treated differently to any other assets for IT purposes, and it would be very easy to stop this immediately, enabling IT to once again become a tax on the very wealthy only. But that’s by the by.

    This is a very difficult policy area, where long term policy planning is vital, and where the party political system is not a very good decision making process. It looks like this announcement will not help the government, and with the reaction to the IT threshold announcement getting major coverage, I’m thinking that this might disproportionately harm Tories rather than Lib Dems, and I’m left wondering how many elderly people there are in Eastleigh and what UKIP’s policy is on this.

  21. What do you guys think of this elected official/political candidate?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xVCKm9zUhmY

    I’d be curious to get the opinions of progressives here of this progressive being interviewed. Or what I and most others here consider to be progressive.

  22. @Alec

    £70 000 is a lot of money. The Labour proposal is cheaper. It may be the equivalent of horse burger , but it’s cheaper, and that’s what counts in caring for the elderly.

  23. @Alec, Wolf
    remember those Tory posters at the last election talking about “Labour’s Death Tax”…..

  24. I loathe inheritance tax and see it as unjustified. I’d much rather pay more direct tax during my working life. The ‘double taxing’ is wrong. If I’ve worked for it, and paid tax for it I should be able to keep it, not be taxed again on my death.

    The main use of ‘inheritance tax’ is to keep lawyers and accountants in clover planning ways to get around it.

    We need to have more money? Let’s spend less on wars on nuclear arms or (fill in your own choice)…. (Governments don’t like the argument which says we have enough money, just re-prioritise how it is spent…)

  25. Elderly Care:

    The government proposals as being funded via the backdoor which is not a world away from G Brown’s idea of £20,000 being taken from your estate after you die. But is it not the very dishonesty of the stealth taxes so virulently denounced & condemned by PM and chancellor over their 5 years in opposition.

    And if the care provision doesn’t take into account the so called ‘hotel’ costs it seems to be to fail to deal equably with the problem.

    Personally i think this is an opportunity for any party which is willing to deal comprehensively with the problem of a National Care Service funded from taxation of some sort in a comprehensible and comprehensive fashion. But like John the Baptist I’m a lone voice crying in the wilderness….

  26. Last week I was surprised that Nigel Farage decided not to stand in Eastleigh; he stood (although relatively unknown) in 1994 and I believe would have done very well making this a 3 way fight instead of the 2 way fight it obviously is now.
    On the other hand had he stood and won, he would presumably have resigned as an MEP (giving seat to next candidate on the list) and as Euro Election is before General Election, would not have stood in the former in June 2014.

  27. The legal opinion being released this morning by Michael Moore looks pretty comprehensive .

    It will be interesting to hear Salmond’s response.

  28. Off topic but BBC says the Pope announced he will resign at the end of this month. (Too late for him to stand at Eastleigh so that can’t be the reason )

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21411304

  29. MANINTHEMIDDLE

    “I’ve never understood why cutting off a part of your child’s penis is so popular in the states..”

    There is a fee. The service is offered bu a doctor whom you are relying on to do the baet for your child.

  30. Greenchristian

    I’m a supporter of a couple of charity’s close to my heart , and have helped organise events for them, but I have never seen why a organisation calls itself a charity but relies on government money (tax payers) to fund it.
    A charity by definition is a organisation that relies on private donations from people who support that particular cause and wish to either support it by financial gifts and or by giving there time and effort to help .
    Many charity organisations have come to rely on government funding instead of seeking support for their cause from private funding.
    This funding is a form of tax which impacts on the less well off in society, is it fair on them to be asked to support these charities.
    Maybe there is a case for Lottery money to be used exclusively for charity funding to support those charities that run on a mix of private and tax payers money instead of government funding. But no charity should be relying solely on government funding.

  31. jack

    “I loathe inheritance tax and see it as unjustified… The ‘double taxing’ is wrong. If I’ve worked for it, and paid tax for it I should be able to keep it, not be taxed again on my death.”

    I don’t think this is true. If you consider the family home, it is bought and sold free of tax and if often goes up in value a lot. When you get old you can sell it and downsize and you have a lump of (untaxed) capital most of which is earned.

    If you don’t pay tax on this property even when you die, when is this wealth taxed? It isn’t.

    Capital gains is payable when a taxable event occurs. I think it is perfectly reasonable that death is a taxable event. If the spouse is exempt, fine, but I see no reason why children should be.

  32. Well we have now had to sets off polling figures for Eastleigh and I’ll stick my neck out and say it isn’t looking good for the SNP! I am not even hoping for a late surge.

    As for Moores’s comprehensive report, ho hum.

    The average period for dissolution of states is fifteen months and we SCottish Government has outlined a hope to do it in eighteen while accepting that although that will allow the first Scottish elections in May 2016 some issues will still be being discussed.

    The UK governments line will be portrayed as ” you cannay do it, it’s too hard, just don’t try”.

    The “Yes” sides response will be “If you can do it so can we”.
    At a guess I think 90% of those treaties will be just cut and paste and as for the rest I doubt their will be anything major and there might even be some improvements.

    If that sounds optimistic, well it is for two reasons.

    Firstly I am optimistic about Independence in general so the chance to look again at the treaties that bind us is for me more and opportunity than a challenge, though it will be challenging at times.

    As I see it that isn’t something that puts me off but what I am looking forward to.

    As Scotland only only represents only 9% of the UK I would doubt that many of these treaties were specifically drafted with us as the top of the priority list.

    That isn’t blaming “London” it is just a natural consequence of 50% of the population and the economy being within a 100 mile radius it.

    The second reason is that although two thirds of Scotland’s exports go the the UK, before Ireland joined the EU their percentage was three quarters and vica versa.

    They have turn that round to only a quarter, so I suspect a lot of people will be looking to get a slice of what Scotland currently buys from the UK.

    A good example is defence.

    Scotland’s defence procurement will probably only be about £600m a year, a fraction of the UK’s, but the UK gets 90%+ of that now. Every one of BA systems rivals will be eyeing that up from day one.

    Peter.

  33. @jack – as @NickP points out, the difficulty is the differential treatment of a residence and any other form of wealth. It’s perfectly acceptable to tax the gain in value on assets via capital gains tax, but homes are exempt. While you may this a good thing (and there are sound reasons why a house shouldn’t be treated like other assets held by choice) this does have the effect of encouraging wealthy people to invest in huge homes as their ‘residence’, thus shielding a large chunk of their assets from the taxman.

    So inheritance tax aims to plug the gap in capital gains tax, and in this way is reasonably well targeted if managed well.

    The other point is that your ‘double tax’ argument just doesn’t stand up to any reasonable scrutiny. For example, I have to pay VAT when I buy clothes for myself or a washing machine – all absolutely essential, but I’ve already paid income tax and national insurance on the money I’m using to buy these goods. that’s double taxation.

    In effect we tax what we can get away with and what society deems to be fair and just. I can’t really draw any great sense of moral injustice from inheritance tax, any more than I can other forms of tax.

  34. Off topic but BBC says the Pope announced he will resign at the end of this month. (Too late for him to stand at Eastleigh so that can’t be the reason )
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21411304

    -Maybe His replacement will bring the church kicking and screaming into the 19th Century!

  35. @Turk

    The definition of a charity is in its objectives being for public benefit, and around it’s structure. It isn’t about where its income comes from.

    I would agree that there are problems when charities become wholly dependent on government funding – but mainly when government is using charities as a cheep outsourcing method. They do this in a number of ways: by offering less cash than the service would cost (requiring the charity to cross fund), or by refusing to pay reasonable central costs.

  36. “pope resigns”

    Oh dear…. that means we will have three days of endless bbc news 24 camped outside the vatican banging on about who the next pope is when virttually no-one in the UK gives a toss.

    They seem to do this with any news item they consider “major” and nothing else gets reported.

  37. @NickP

    “If you don’t pay tax on this property even when you die, when is this wealth taxed? It isn’t.”

    Stamp Duty for buyers. Council tax throughout.

    Both are such that the more valuable the property, the higher the tax.

    Neither are such that a better service is delivered, the more one pays.

    The former also affects how people attempt to sell their properties, in that the banding can greatly increase the tax for a tiny increase in the price.

  38. char·i·ty
    /?CHarit?/
    Noun

    The voluntary giving of help, typically money, to those in need.
    Help or money given in this way.

  39. statgeek

    Actually there is a cap on council tax so a mansion pays the same as a house. And stamp duty isn’t paid unless a property is bought or sold, so the rise in value is never otherwise taxed.

    Also stamp duty is paid by the buyer not the seller, so the seller never pays tax on the increased value.

  40. Nicola Sturgeon on the UK Governments paper,

    “James Crawford has said the Scottish government’s timescale for independence negotiations is realistic, the treaty accession would not be a problem and that EU membership wouldn’t be difficult.

    “That seems to me to back up the Scottish government’s position.

    “I’m not sure that’s what the UK government intended, but it’s quite helpful.”

    Peter.

  41. NEW POPE ALERT!!!!!!!!!

    Yes I know – I missed it, but as the New Pope Monitor, I really don’t get that much practice.

  42. @Thesheep – “…..but mainly when government is using charities as a cheep [sic] outsourcing method. They do this in a number of ways: by offering less cash than the service would cost (requiring the charity to cross fund), or by refusing to pay reasonable central costs.”

    You’ve actually missed the biggest factor, which is that there are no profits to redistribute, so all income is applied to provide the desired service.

  43. By Election in Vatican Central.

    Will UKIP hold it-or will the Centre Left strike back ?

  44. Looking forward to the principle Papal opinion poll post.

  45. On smacking: it’s interesting that noone is asking why there are differences on virttually a continental level – SE Asia, the bits I know well, never in any form; Africa, mothers using small twigs to chastise children across the back of their legs, strictly as discipline, but never in a temper. The context in SE Asia is that small children are constantly carried and played with by adults, including fathers and always picked up and comforted when distressed. One thing that’s obvious: parents and family have the time and children are top of the pops for fun and attention; but aren’t required to perform or behave. They learn from each other.
    Contrast with us? Not in the children, but in our distracted and stressed behaviour and concern at how others judge us and our children in a competitive society. Of course hitting children should be illegal, but it’s ourselves we need to keep an eye on.

  46. Papal polling should be a lot quicker and cheaper at least – they don’t have to ask the women.

  47. The media have given Gove an easy ride until lately but hostile stories about him in yesterday’s press.

    The Observer reports [again] that his “out-of-control” Spads are bullying civil servants.
    The Independent reports a leaked Depart of Educ briefing that the costs of running academies and free schools will soon exhaust its resources. Their solution: either to make all schools profit-making or group them under NHS-style trusts. In other words, privatise the lot or create new, unelected bureaucracies to replace local government control.

    Labour stymied on this one. Having started academies, their criticisms Coalition policy are half-hearted. As Mullin wrote in is his diaries, Blair’s academy programme would come back to haunt them.
    Indeed, I cannot see that Labour have an education policy: and Twigg is unimpressive?
    The alleged privatisation of the NHS is toxic poll-wise. Curious that similar changes proposed in education generate little interest. Is there much polling evidence? Presumably what people want is a “good school” & they don’t care much how it’s run.

  48. Alec:

    I think your initiative qualifies you as SENIOR Newe-Pope-Monitor. The pay and perks are much better – though not all that regular to be fair, so don’t give up your day job.

  49. Chastising.

    I just picked Daisie up and she bit me on the nose but I did NOT resort to violence.

    I am a great Dad.

  50. @PeterCairns

    Surprising, as I have yet to see that in the very large documents that have been published.

    Indeed, section 3.15 says “Professors Crawford and Boyle make clear in their Opinion, “it is difficult to see how Scotland could evade the accession process for new states in the EU Treaties”. According to Article 49 of the Treaty of the European Union, new states need to apply for membership, obtain unanimous support of the European Council for this request and have membership approved through an accession treaty, ratified by the parliaments of all the Member States.”

    Which clearly says the normal process will take place. Normal, in EU terms, of course being long-winded and complicated.

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