I’m just catching up on the YouGov London poll earlier in the week for LBC – full tabs are here. Last May Labour enjoyed a solid swing in their favour in London and ended up nine points ahead of the Tories, they’ve largely maintained that support – YouGov’s London voting intention figures with changes from the general election are CON 37%(+2), LAB 44%(nc), LDEM 4%(-4), UKIP 11%(+3), GRN 2%(-3).

London mayoral voting intentions are KHAN 45%, GOLDSMITH 35%, WHITTLE 6%, BERRY 5%, PIDGEON 4%, GALLOWAY 2%. Sadiq Khan’s lead over Zac Goldsmith is slightly larger than the Labour lead, but not by very much. There are very few Tories saying they’d vote Khan or Labour voters saying they’d vote Goldsmith – essentially it looks like an electorate splitting along their normal partisan loyalties and in a city that tends to vote Labour that’s a good sign for Sadiq Khan.

In the last two mayoral elections Boris Johnson managed to reach out beyond the usual Conservative vote, but he is a rather unique politician and it remains to be seen if Zac Goldsmith can do the same. It may be that current polls are just picking up people’s default partisan loyalties, and that as we get closer to the election people people’s votes will become more influenced by their attitudes towards Goldsmith and Khan. If they don’t, Khan will have an obvious advantage in a city where Labour romped home in 2015 and where the direction of political movement is towards Labour.


158 Responses to “YouGov London poll shows Khan ahead”

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  1. ‘I have the feeling that stuff like the permanent seat in the council is just dismissed out of hand, instead of properly considering the potential value.’

    The fact that any country has a permanent seat on the Security Council effectively corrupts the UN and undermines its moral authority.

  2. I don’t think London polling is really the place to look for evidence about the overall effect of Corbyn’s leadership on Labour’s election chances.

    If you’re looking for “ordinary Londoners” you have to poll in Essex and Kent these days. London itself is a pretty exceptionalist place, occupied by people whose origins are usually elsewhere (in the UK if not in the world) and who, though generally wealthier than the rest of the country, feel poorer due to costs and overcrowding.

    A whole range of opinions, from sympathy with Irish Republicanism to iconoclastic views on the Middle East, to hostility to the criminal justice system, will find a readier market in London than elsewhere.

  3. As to the UN permanent members.

    It is, of course, a hangover from WW2 (the victors, plus the present to the French and the Chines – which caused problems later on). Of the 5 members only the US had nukes until the Soviet Union managed to have some, the U.K. Got it as a present from the US, and De Gaulle thought to have one.

    Although the Cold War has gone, its frosty breathe is still here (as a student I was there when Gromiko said: “if there is a conflict between a small country and a major power, the small country will go with UN help. If there is a conflict between two major powers, the UN will go (not quite true, as the 1956 Egypt aggression by France, the U.K. and Izrael was stopped by the Soviet Union and the US)), but indeed, apart from the US, China and Russia, the permanent membership is quite outdated (and the Chinese foreign policy is still 25 years behind its economic status).

  4. I think a purge by Corbyn would have worked out better than the self-purge by the party opposition, which amplifies the importance of this minority faction.

  5. “The fact that any country has a permanent seat on the Security Council effectively corrupts the UN and undermines its moral authority.”

    ————–

    It also gives us a veto against carp decisions and an advantage in a competitive world where others may have advantages we don’t have.

  6. Pluswhich, if we gave up our permanent seat, others would still have theirs. Vetos would remain, but we would be out of the loop. And then we give up the weapons as well? Surely it would make more sense to give up the seat once everyone did.

    Alternatively you can see it as a perk for having to put up with weapons others don’t hav to bother with.

  7. “Same pigs, still flying.”

    —————

    They do get about these flying pigs. Dunno if there’s any polling on them tho’…

  8. That “Purge” is so redolent of Stalin & Mao seems appropriate.

  9. Corbyn clearly isn’t going about things in the right way. If he’d brought in his school and university chums then peeps wouldn’t call that a purge…

  10. @ Colin

    In a way, it is correct, although the two did the purges rather differently, so the & is not really right (and as I said, it seems that the non-left Labour MPs are purging themselves – at the moment from the front benches, which could then perhaps lead to a proper chistka.

    I think JC won’t have as much time to deal with the problem as Stalin. Bukharin got two chances (between 1929-1933) before he was completely purged (1937). So probably this is the origin of the three strikes and out.

    Anyway, interesting itimes for LP members.

  11. It’s a bit of a toss-up between Corbyn purging or the self-purging. By removing themselves, the anti-Corbyn MPs and the MSM cannot gripe about being excluded from the Shadow Cabinet but the drip drip effect is having a negative impact on the Corbyn-supporting membership.

    I just wonder who has been lined up for the next ‘surprise’ resignation.

  12. The advantage of not having people who disagree with you in your party, is that it sends a message to the public that you don’t really want people who disagree with you voting for your party either.

    Being all things to all people is cynical politics. But it’s usually good politics. Clarity, vision and unspun honesty are great qualities, but they can only get you so far. They require you to win people over to your side, rather than just forming an alliance with you (with all the compromise and fudge that generally involves).

  13. @ Colin

    I mentioned earlier that the self-selecting lot, who call themselves “The Voters Faction” have caused problems to the demographically perfected sampling in polling, so it is the right thing to do for the LP: banning factions.

    But, I am far from convinced that JC doesn’t have any chance. He is surprisingly moderate – but thanks to the self serving LP MPs (tautology?) and the incompetence of some his people he can’t put out his narrative.

  14. Colin

    Loved that piece.
    :-)

  15. LASZLO

    Your first para too oblique for me.

    Yes–he must be frustrated at not being able to put out his” narrative.” But he did admit that his greatest failing in life was listening to people for as long as they want to talk. He really needs to do some talking himself-get on the Telly-tell us what these “moderate ” policies are.

    Assuming he is interested in persuading voters that is ?

  16. CARFREW

    “The fact that any country has a permanent seat on the Security Council effectively corrupts the UN and undermines its moral authority.”
    ————–
    It also gives us a veto against carp decisions and an advantage in a competitive world where others may have advantages we don’t have.

    The UK has only ever used its veto unsupported by the US on a very small number of occasions. A list of all vetoes ever issued is here:

    http://research.un.org/en/docs/sc/quick

    As far as I can tell the only instances were five times by Conservative governments in 1970s and 1963 ‘concerning Southern Rhodesia’ and twice (supported by France) in 1956, which was presumably Suez-related. Neither of which in retrospect were Britain’s finest hour. Whether it justifies spending so many billions of pounds is another matter, even if you accept that the veto is because of weapons rather than inertia.

  17. @Colin
    Corbyn: “My whole election programme was based on the need for ordinary people to be able to participate much more in politics so that leaders don’t go away and write policy, that executive groups don’t go off and decide what the policy is, that ordinary people do.”
    That means that policy is decided by people of average intelligence who generally have little experience and detailed knowledge of complex issues, nor access to informed advisers. I’m not convinced that is a good idea, though it might appeal to someone with two E’s at A level.
    Ordinary people have the opportunity of rejecting experts’ policies at election time.
    Rejection of a policy is far easier than devising a viable alternative.

  18. DAVE
    Corbyn has lazily conflated ‘Ordinary people’ with Labour Party members, or is he planning to ask Yougov to find out what his policies should be?

  19. DAVE

    Couldn’t agree more.

    But David Colby spots what he really means by “ordinary people” . -except that I don’t think he is being lazy at all-he is in deadly earnest.

    If he can wangle it Labour Party Members will make policy, and they will be presented as a bizarre trope for the UK electorate.aka “Ordinary People”.

    We will just have to wait & see what the real “ordinary People ” think about his self-selecting crowd sourced policies , when they are invited to speak-at the Ballot Box.

  20. @ROGER

    Jolly good. Half the point of having a veto is peeps don’t bother proposing stuff they know you’ll veto.

    It’s like modding, only less arbitrary…

  21. Aren’t there other parties that allow their members to shape policy? How come they don’t get flak for it?

  22. COLIN
    I stand corrected: ‘slyly conflated’ ?

  23. @Carfrew

    The Green’s have a very significant influence on policy by members.

    Discuss for 50 marks the merits or otherwise of this approach for policy making.

  24. DAVID COLBY

    :-)

    They are his passport to power in the Party. They are his Mandate.

    Quite how “Ordinary” these people are is quite beside the point.

  25. @ Dave

    To be honest, most of the experts, both on the left and right (not to mention the centre) are a disappointing lot devising policies. And for the worse, unlike the ones who fail their A level exams, don’t have to carry the burden of their failure (do I correctly recall that Michael Porter was once Blair’s advisor – mind, Friedman was fired by two different American presidents).

    Once graduates had an extra vote – it didn’t help much.

    On the way to Crewe on the train this morning I listened to two women about public finance. I’m sure they didn’t have an economics degree, yet they knew more about the workings of the economy than most uni lecturers I know.

    A carefully designed balance between pro and anti expert narrative could bring many thousand votes to JC (maybe at the wrong places, but who knows).

  26. Oh, just to make it even clearer (so it is not only about the miserable state of economics departments of UK universities (except for the exceptions): those two women knew more about economics than most business people I have met (from FTSE 100 to start ups).

  27. Laszlo – “But, I am far from convinced that JC doesn’t have any chance.”

    Corbyn’s chances died as soon as he said on national TV that if a gunman was on rampage in the UK, he wouldn’t do a thing about it. Just like the LibDems’ chances died as soon as they broke their tuition fees pledge (not because people care about students more than other groups but because voters don’t like to be mislead in a major way about direction of policy because it turns elections into lotteries).

    I’m struck by how the Lab people are following the same trajectory as the LibDem lot (denial, plus constantly repeating “we’ve got five years to turn this around”).

    Voters don’t care about the trivial stuff (did he bow his head correctly at the memorial, did he have an escapade with a pigs head, has he got support from his shadow cabinet/real cabinet). It’s the big stuff that exercises them. If you fail on the big stuff at the start, you’re doomed. Might as well acknowledge it and start afresh with a new person.

  28. @Catman

    Yes, I noticed when looking into Green policy on nuclear, that some members had proposed an amendment to be pro-nuclear.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/2fxl9p/green_party_a_nuclear_debate/

    The members thing is a bit confusing, because peeps complain that parties don’t listen to their members, e.g. over SSM, now they complain when they do listen.

    I don’t suppose any greenies have proposed summat useful on storage? None of the parties seem up to speed on the most pressing issues of the day…

  29. What is needed is policy making process that is led by members and matches the wishes the public, while showing real technical expertise and strategic direction.

  30. @Mark W

    Ah yes, the z pinch reactor. For those who’ve been hovering over their screens, awaiting an explanation, the z pinch was one of the earliest approaches, back in the fifties, in the heady days of the atomic age, when we were racing the Americans over fusion.

    Heat a gas hot enough, and the electrons surrounding the atoms get stripped away. Normally electrons, being negatively charged, balance the positive charge in the nucleus, leaving atoms with no charge overall. With the surrounding electrons stripped away, you get a gas with just the positively charged nuclei whizzing about, called a plasma, and because charged it can carry an electric current and be affected by magnetic fields.

    With the Z pinch, you use magnets to get an electric current flowing in the plasma. Strictly speaking, you get the particles in the plasma carrying lots of electric currents which attract each other and the plasma contracts, causing fusion.

    Problem is, our old friend: instabilities in the plasma. So… They added a second set of magnets to try and contain the instabilities. But then the Ruskies discovered that an arrangement called the Tokamak helped control the instabilities better so the Z pinch was largely abandoned…

    …However, less than a decade ago, a Z pinch reactor in the States broke the record for the highest temperatures achieved in a reactor: 3.6 BILLION degrees!! Over a hundred times hotter than the sun.

    Why is this significant? Because those aneutronic reactions I was on about need much higher temps than normal, and before then, z pinch reactors weren’t thought up to it.

    They still need complicated magnet arrangements though and crucially this z pinch reactor was only a one-shot deal, it’s not sustainable, because it uses a wire cage electrode which it burns up.

    So it still has issues compared to the Polywell, but it’s significant to get these temps. Another, related reactor, known as Focus Fusion, also managed some high temps, though not as high, but peeps were sceptical. Since the z pinch also did it, peeps a bit less sceptical.

    Yes, fusion has always been thirty years away, but you never know. Flight was always thirty years away till the Wright Brothers cracked it…

  31. @CATMANJEFF

    “What is needed is policy making process that is led by members and matches the wishes the public, while showing real technical expertise and strategic direction.”

    ——-

    Wait, what they could do, is find out the wishes of the public via polling and focus groups and stuff!!

    (Oh, and elections. And letters to politicians. And musing on here to Salmond et al.)

  32. Tomorrow Mary Wilson – widow of Harold Wilson – will be 100 years old. Happy Birthday!

  33. Carfrew – “Wait, what they could do, is find out the wishes of the public via polling and focus groups and stuff!!”

    LOL.

    We’ve actually got an example of a politician that goes solely on opinion polling – and that’s Angela Merkel.

    She’s your classic reactive politician. She won’t make a move unless she’s seen where popular opinion is. The problem with that is that opinion polling is driven by surges in emotion (though actual elections arn’t mainly because people know they are making a real decision that will affect the next five years).

    Some of the results of her opinion based decision making have been disastrous. Closing down nuclear power stations because of the Japanese disaster – even though Germany has a small coastline with very low chances of tsunamis hitting it. And never mind that Germany’s emissions are bigger than Britain’s and France’s combined – public opinion in Germany was momentarily excited by Fukushima and she made a long term decision off the back of it.

    Then there is her handling of the Greek crisis. If she’d done what the Obama administration was advising in 2010 – to go in with a big deep rescue, writing down debt held by EU states as well as private institutions, the crisis would be over by now, and Greece would be on it’s way to recovery. Instead she provided a mean package, just enough to keep Greece on life support but not enough to help them recover. And all because public opinion in Germany was against helping the “useless Greeks”. As a result the whole thing has cost Germany about five times what a proper rescue in 2010 would have – and it isn’t over yet.

    And then there’s her response to teh migrant crisis. Public opinion was temporarily excited by that child on the beach – and she made another long term decision on the back of it, unilaterally tearing up treaties and welcoming anyone who could endure the obstacle course to get to Germany. And she didn’t care that she was putting massive pressure on the Greeks, Macedonians etc who simply don’t have the resources to process and feed the millions passing through their territory. And now public opinion in Germany has turned in the opposite direction – and she’s not sure what to do.

    By contrast politicians like Cameron who refused to be swayed by emotion and decided to take refugees directly from the camps after they were vetted, look smart. That cautious centrist charmer in Canada, Trudeau, went one further – last year he announced he was taking people directly from the camps, but no single men. He got slammed for “discrimination against men” – but now looks vindicated.

    Hollande too provides an interesting contrast to Merkel. He’s extraordinarily good in crises. Because willing to make decisions based on gut (no time for opinion polling in a crisis).

    Politicians who use their own judgement (Cameron, Trudeau, Hollande) fare better in the long run than those blown about by emotive public opinion. That’s an argument against making decisions based on short-term opinion.

  34. @ Roger Mexico

    Thanks, I was wondering whether the election of Corbyn would impact those who had defected from Labour to Green – but it does not appear to have done so.

    Looks like the Lib Dems could possibly lose all their seats in the Assembly and that the Greens will now fight it out for third place in the mayoralty race with UKIP.

    I know the Green campaign manager as I worked with him on Caroline Lucas’s campaign in Brighton Pavillion.

    We have our first cabinet with close to gender parity: 16 women to 17 men.

    Turnout went up to 68.5%, but the social democrats lost half their support to the Liberals.

    Andy

  35. @Graham

    “Tomorrow Mary Wilson – widow of Harold Wilson – will be 100 years old. Happy Birthday!”

    On a generally sad day with one of my musical heroes, David Bowie, passing away, this little bit of news has cheered me up a bit. I remember her being lampooned by Private Eye in their spoof “Mrs Wilson’s Diary” which ran for many years while her husband was PM .

    Staunchly loyal, she remained married to Harold for 55 years and, I understand, was a great help and support to him as he descended into the long and debilitating illness that so blighted the last 10 years of his life. She nursed him devotedly in his later years, much of them spent at their beloved holiday cottage on the Scilly Isles.

    She’s a gifted poet too, once even rumoured as a possible candidate for Poet Laureate.

    Happy Birthday indeed, Mary! Four times she waved to the crowds outside Downing Street as she accompanied her victorious husband over the threshold after Labour election wins. 1964, 1966, February 1974 (just!!) and October 1974.

    A reminder of happy days. The Thin White Duke was strutting his stuff too in 1974.

    :-)

  36. I mentioned previously that the ‘end of year’ YouGov showed a bounce in Corbyn’s popularity, though from a very low level. The question has been asked again since[1] resulting in MoE-type nett change of -2 (now Well 26%, Badly 60%). YouGov have now set up a useful tracker for the Party leaders’ approval:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/ep1qbe7593/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Leaders-Approval-160105.pdf

    It emphasises something I have pointed out here before – that what is anomolous about Corbyn’s ratings is not how bad they are, but the speed with which they have reached their destination. His current level of Don’t Knows is currently in the low teens in the last three polls (from late December). In contrast it took Miliband till over a year from his appointment before his DKs dropped to the same level:

    ht tps://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/cj5nc8hgkf/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Leaders-Approval-020515.pdf#page=9

    Now this isn’t surprising. The media attacks on Corbyn were even more virulent and widespread than those on Miliband and started much earlier. As a result their effects happened more quickly, but possibly ending up in the same place. As it is the Well ratings that Corbyn is now getting (in the mid to high 20s) are no worse than Miliband got when his DKs reached the same level in 2011. You could argue they are even slightly better because of re-weighting and changes YouGov have made since May.

    Now it may be that Corbyn’s position could still get worse, though that would have to come from people who currently think he is doing well changing their mind. Miliband’s did actually get worse – with ‘Well’ down to the low 20s in Spring 2012. Interestingly at the same time Labour had 10+ point leads over the Conservatives, so maybe the fortunes of a Party are not so closely linked to the leader’s ratings as some think.

    All of which suggests that, while the polling position of Labour and Corbyn isn’t great, it’s no worse than it might be with a different leader, maybe even a bit better, depending on how you view the increase in membership, ability to change and so on.

    As I keep on pointing out, the interesting thing about polling since the election is how little has changed (as this London poll illustrates). Despite the wailing of Labour’s enemies and many self-designated ‘friends’, Corbyn’s election has done little either way to alter the level of support and there’s no indication that another, more conventional, leader would have done better. The ‘moderates’, whose main idea, in so far as they have one, is to do the same thing again expecting a different result, aren’t anything more than that the very conventional fanatics that that approach implies

    [1] A frequent habit I have noticed with YouGov over the years is a tendency to re-ask a question rather quickly when they get an answer they weren’t expecting (or maybe hoping for). In this case the usual ‘Doing well/badly’ questions for Corbyn and Cameron were done only a day after the belated publication of the ‘end of year’ figures. They are hidden away under the heading on the Archive of “YouGov EU campaign and Cabinet appointments”:

    ht tps://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/eh6evpntgm/YG-Archive-160106-%20Cabinet.pdf

    and so seem even to have escaped the attention of those who update the new tracker.

  37. @Neil A

    “A whole range of opinions, from sympathy with Irish Republicanism to iconoclastic views on the Middle East, to hostility to the criminal justice system, will find a readier market in London than elsewhere.”

    Yes, that’s right, an absolute cesspit of moral turpitude and depravity. No wonder Labour perform better in London than anywhere else. Get out to Essex and Kent, though, and you will find your proper and genuine Londoners. Salt of the earth in all sorts of ways.

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

  38. @Candy

    Don’t tell anyone I told you this but… There’s another drawback with making decisions based on poling. Sometimes, the polling is wrong…

  39. @Crossbat,

    You’re being silly, but I’m not surprised. You generally prefer to sneer than to listen.

  40. @The Other Howard:

    I’ve been away from UKPR for a few days but thought I should respond to your post from Jan 8th 2.30pm on the previous thread as you appear to be have misread my post as a personal attack.

    The statement on the “foolishness” of your views was a quote from a another post, which was why it was in quotation marks.

  41. Apparently a programme about polling on radio 4 on Sunday! I wonder if it will provide any insights?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2016/03/can-we-trust-the-opinion-polls

  42. That was me, just to avoid further confusion.

  43. @Neil A

    “You’re being silly, but I’m not surprised. You generally prefer to sneer than to listen.”

    Not sneering at all, just employing a little sarcasm in response to your post. You quite often use the word “othering” when talking about people being singled out for their different views and opinions, usually by people who could, I suppose, be described as bien pensants. If I’ve understood what you’ve said about this in the past, you feel that people with Conservative views have often been “othered” in this way, presumably by people on the left.

    It was with these sentiments in mind that I responded in the way that I did to your post. I got the distinct impression from what you had to say of some rather distasteful “othering” of quite a large proportion of London’s population. They lived in London but weren’t real Londoners seemed to be the gist of it to me.

    If I’ve misunderstood you in any way, then maybe you can tell me in what way that I have. I’m quite capable of apologising if I’ve been unfair to you!

    :-)

  44. Very interesting apparent change in sentiment in markets in the few days since the New Year. While some are still saying that the fundamentals of the global economy remain positive, UBS have issued warning notes to investors, and this morning RBS released advice suggesting that clients ‘sell everything’, with the exception of top quality treasury bonds.

    Elsewhere, oil prices of $16 are being forecast, and the pessimists are linking this collapse to the hugely leveraged energy sector, suggesting that markets globally are going to be faced with a very tough year.

    UK industrial production and manufacturing figures for November were dreadful, but consumer spending for December is up. In anopther survey, the majority of UK manufacturers are now considering lay offs. There remains no sign whatsoever that the UK is doing anything other than relying on consumers to borrow more to offset a stalling manufacturing sector. Rebalancing it isn’t.

    There really does seem to be a turning of mood out there, and I wonder how long consumer sentiment can hold the economy up.

  45. @Crossbat,

    I was simply hypothesizing that the makeup of Labour support in London is different from that in more settled and established communities. There’s no getting away from the fact that London’s demographics are very different from anywhere else in the UK, even the other big cities. When I refer to ordinary Londoners in Essex and Kent, I am not saying that people in Essex and Kent are better or more sensible than people in London, I am talking literally. If you’d done a survey of 1000 respondents in London 30 years ago and wanted to do a re-contact survey, you’d find a lot of them had left. Whereas in many places (Plymouth is a great example) you’d probably find most of them living in the same house they were in 30 years ago. In the next 20 years it is likely that London will have a majority foreign-born population, but that’s not even the whole story (many of those new residents can’t vote anyway). It’s the mobile population within the UK too. “Londoners” these days tend not to be intrinsically conservative people as they are generally those whose careers and interests have caused them to move from somewhere else, and their daily lives happen in a loud and bustling hurly burly of cultures that would give them a migraine if they weren’t open to it.

    My personal view is that Labour’s vulnerability with Corbyn isn’t on “traditional” left-right issues. This country generally dislikes the rich and privileged and likes nationalization etc. Most people are in favour of higher taxes (on anyone richer than them) to pay for services they themselves approve of. There’s a very fertile plain there for a properly-left government agenda. But those same people are turned off by some of the peripheral politics. Start talking about Sinn Fein, the PLO or showing equivocation on military, policing issues and immigration or a “lack of patriotism” and you’ll fall out of favour.

    All I am saying is that I believe that potential Labour voters in London may be less inclined to detach themselves from the project due to peripheral issues, as their background and environment, and the lesser sense of social cohesion means that they are inherently less “conservative”.

    Perhaps we’ll see some comparative polling, but I’d be surprised if Corbyn was as popular with Labour voters in Plymouth, Norwich and Sheffield as he is in London

  46. @CARFREW

    “Incidentally, the fact we may never use the weapons is not an argument against. One might never need one’s insurance, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth having insurance.”

    There’s a fundamental difference between neclear weapons and insurance. The analogy would be you protect your children’s life by having a situation where if somebody kills your children, you kill the children of the person who did it.
    It doesn’t restore your situation back to how it was; your children are still dead. All you’ve done is kill other innocent children.

    You could argue that this sort of child-killing insurance is a deterrent, and you’d be partially right. It would sure put off a whole bunch of potential attackers. But there are some people it won’t put off, including:
    People who think they can do it without their identity being revealed (think about this, if a bomb went off in London without warning, how would you know who did it? Whose children do you kill?)
    People who don’t care if their children are killed (an extremist theological state might be a possible example here).
    People who have no children (which country do you bomb if a non-state actor attacks us?)
    And people who only want to punch your children in the nose (is a bloody nose an excuse for killing someone’s children? Thatcher didn’t annihilate Buenos Aires, meaning the Argentine calculation that attacking the Falklands would not result in a nuclear destruction was correct).

    Insurance pays you back when you’ve lost out. Nuclear weapons are a promise of vengeance. The analogy fails completely.

  47. Insurance is definitely the wrong analogy.

    The point of nuclear weapons is that they are not “not being used”. They are being used constantly, because in every political and diplomatic discourse carried out in countries that oppose you, they will so far as possible avoid the options that lead to conflict with you.

    Russia is a good example. Her population is only slightly more than that of the other former Soviet republics combined, but she has clout far beyond her size by the simple expedient that everyone knows we can’t ever go to war with her.

  48. NEILA

    This chap seems a little less nuanced than you-but on the same page I think ?

    “Jeremy Corbyn’s hard-Left activists should spend less time sitting around “in their £1 million mansions eating their croissants at breakfast”, the former chairman of Labour’s parliamentary party has warned.
    Lord Watts issued the withering verdict of Mr Corbyn’s “disastrous” new brand of politics – but has since become the butt of croissant-related jokes by the Left-wing Twitterati on social media.
    “My advice to my own party leadership is that they should take less notice of the London-centric hard left political class who sit around in their £1 million mansions eating their croissants at breakfast and seeking to lay the foundations for a socialist revolution.”

    Making his maiden speech in the upper house, Lord Watts, the former MP for St Helens North, said: “I would like to say to my own party leadership that last week, I think, was a disastrous week for us. When we should have been concentrating, and holding the Government to account for the floods and for this Bill, we involved ourselves in an unnecessary reshuffle and we lost two of our best communicators, Michael Dugher and Kevan Jones.
    “My advice to my own party leadership is that they should take less notice of the London-centric hard left political class who sit around in their £1 million mansions eating their croissants at breakfast and seeking to lay the foundations for a socialist revolution.”

    DT

  49. @Colin,

    Hmm, not really the same page. “£1m mansions” is always a bit of a duff argument, as in Islington that’s probably a two bed terraced house these days.

    There is perhaps a separate discussion about London-centric politics. All I was saying was that, if it is true that a certain kind of socially conservative, economically left-wing Labour supporter that is in danger of being lost to non-voting, or to UKIP or another party, then I suspect that those Labour supporters are probably a much smaller proportion in London than elsewhere.

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