Following on from the ORB and ICM polls at the start of the week, there are two more EU polls today that both have small movements towards Leave. YouGov in the Times have topline figures of REMAIN 41%(+1), LEAVE 42%(+3), DK/WNV 17%(-4), while Survation for IG have topline figures of REMAIN 45%(-1), LEAVE 38%(+3), DK 17%(-2). I’m dubious about whether this is an Obama effect, but it does put to bed the idea that the series of polls last week showing a movement towards Remain was the start of some sort of breakthrough.

An interesting thing about the YouGov poll – while their headline EU voting intention figures have changed very little over the last few months, there has been movement in Remain’s favour on the economic argument. Back in February people thought Britain would be worse off outside the EU by only a two point margin, it’s now thirteen points (35% worse off, 22% better off). YouGov’s regular EU questions have also shown increasing belief that leaving the EU would be bad for jobs, and bad for people’s personal finances. Yet this hasn’t translated into any movement in the headline figures.

This may be because it’s being balanced out by factors favouring Leave, like immigration or the NHS, or it may be that the economic argument hasn’t started to bite yet. I’m reminded of the experience of Scotland, where people swung towards YES during the campaign despite telling pollsters they thought that an independent Scotland would be worse off economically… but ended up swinging in favour of risk aversion and what they thought was their best economic interest in the final fortnight. Anyway, time will tell.

Finally YouGov have voting intention figures of CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 20%. That twenty percent for UKIP is a record high from YouGov, though I am a little dubious about it. While it seems perfectly feasible that during a referendum campaign the only significant political party backing one side of the argument may get a boost in support, we haven’t seen such a big boost in support echoed in any other polling. Wait to see if that’s reflected in any other polling before getting too excited.


361 Responses to “YouGov/Times – Remain 41%, Leave 42%”

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  1. COUPER2802
    “I think that the treatment of Palestine by Israel is a disgrace and if it was any other country then there would be outrage but Israel gets away literally with murder because of US and Western support”
    ______

    It is tragic.
    ………..
    HAWTHORN
    My prediction for the local elections.
    Both Labour and the Conservatives will do badly
    ____

    UKIP will be the main beneficiaries if you’re correct and I think a bad result for Labour will be far worse for Labour than a bad result is for for the Tories because opposition parties normally do well in local elections and it will be the first major test of Corby’s Labour leadership where as the Tories are probably expecting a bloody nose over the EU and disgruntled Brexiters swimming over to the Kippers.

  2. BERT

    I have to admit when I first read your post I just skimmed through it and couldn’t see the relevance with “Good old Mr Corbyn” at the foot of your comment so I’ve gone back and read it again but this time taken more time to read it….

    Bit of a cheap shot is it not?

    Anyway on that note I hope you all have a great weekend and if you’re lucky enough like me to have the bank holiday off then enjoy that too.

  3. AC
    It will be interesting to see whether UKIP attract many votes from ex-Labour voters. I suspect they will, but the proof will be in the pudding.

  4. @Couper,

    A) Do you really think there are no other regimes in the world that deal harshly with a politically restive minority and employ repressive policing methods without “outrage”?

    B) I would hope you’re neither anti-semi7ic or anti-Zionist, but rather anti-violence, anti-repression and anti-discrimination.

    C) I would hope that any criticism you level at Israel for their violence, repression and discrimination is levelled equally at other regimes in the region that are as bad or worse.

  5. @H

    Not the first time the four Yorkshireman sketch has been dredged up and prolly won’t be the last. Becomes more likely if someone drags things out, e.g. by suggesting that what would help the partially-sighted is not only the imposition of a form, but that they should surf around online to find this form…

  6. @Bert,

    I don’t know anything about the relationship, if any, between Mr Corbyn and Mr Fagan-Gayle. It’s worth pointing out though that writing in support of someone’s bail application doesn’t mean you’re saying they’re innocent, merely that you believe they will surrender themself to the court voluntarily.

    Unless Fagan-Gayle missed a court appearance, or otherwise breached his bail conditions, prior to the case coming to sentencing, then it would seem Corbyn’s opinion of him was actually correct.

  7. In locals UKIP are a conundrum.

    I have been involved organising the Green Party in my neck of the woods. That consists of ten wards.

    Despite no doubt polling much than us on Thursday, locally UKIP party organisation is a shambles. They only found candidates for seven of the wards, which seems poor, given our small, embryonic local Green Party filled ten with ease.

    They have only managed to put up some boards that are being challenged at the Electoral Office, due to a failure to understand the basic requirements of an acceptable imprint on them. A school boy error in electoral terms.

    If they could really get there act together, get a campaign run by someone who knows what they are doing and push hard at an electorate just waiting to give the established parties a bloody nose, they would do really well.

    I expect them in reality to take votes from most parties, but not enough to win a ward or change a result. They get a few second places perhaps, but mainly third places,

  8. @Allan Christie

    Bit of a cheap shot? Not really. There’s a whole lot more than that!

    Corbyn’s rap sheet (not exhaustive by any means) –

    • Donated to the organization of Paul Eisen, a Holocaust denier, and appeared at his events. He later claimed he was unaware of Eisen’s unsavory views, despite 15 years of association.

    • Defended vicar Stephen Sizer, who disseminated materials arguing that Mossad did 9/11, after he was banned from social media by the Church of England for posting anti-Semitic material.

    • Praised preacher Raed Salah and invited him to parliament. Salah claims that Jews make their Passover matzoh with gentile blood, that Jews had foreknowledge of 9/11, and that homosexuality is “a great crime.” He has been banned from the U.K. for anti-Semitic incitement.

    • Invited activist Dyab Abou Jahjah to parliament and spoke alongside him. Abou Jahjah had called the 9/11 attacks “sweet revenge,” said Europe made “the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion,” and called gays “Aids-spreading faggots.” He is now banned in the U.K.

    • Described himself as a “very good friend” of Ibrahim Hewitt, a preacher who likened homosexuality to pedophilia and incest, and labeled it an “abominable practice.”

    • Campaigned for the release of Jawad Botmeh and Samar Alami, who were convicted in Britain in 1996 for bombing the Israeli Embassy in London and one of the country’s largest Jewish charities.

    I’m sorry this is hard reading for Corbyn apologists, but he is what he is, he said what he said, and he associated with who he associated with. I’ve seen or heard no evidence whatsoever to suggest he still does not hold the same views, or he still does not sympathise with the same causes. Still, if this is the man Labour supporters deem fit to lead their party, I cannot even attempt to rationalise their thinking.

  9. @Bert

    With all due respect, I would remind you that a fundamental error in understanding politics is forgetting that not everyone thinks like yourself.

    Most views and opinions are subjective, with people cherry picking the evidence that best supports their own views.

  10. @Bert
    While I have a lot of sympathy with your views on Corbyn, it might be advisable to try to work something in about the effect on polls, which is what this site is supposed to be about, though you wouldn’t think so sometimes.

  11. I do think Corbyn suffers from a bit of a “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” issue.

    When you are strongly against something/someone, that doesn’t mean you should associate with anyone and everyone who feels the same way.

  12. ‘With all due respect, I would remind you that a fundamental error in understanding politics is forgetting that not everyone thinks like yourself.

    Most views and opinions are subjective, with people cherry picking the evidence that best supports their own views.’

    I understand that, and nobody is immune from cherry picking, whatever the subject, however, these are not my opinions, they are facts. Jeremy Corbyn has spent all of his adult life associating with unsavoury characters, and he has spent all of his adult life fostering an anti-Western sentiment. It’s a major reason why he was elected on such a radical ticket. Of course, that may well be something you agree with.

    All I am attempting to do is high light what his politics and personal beliefs are, and why I believe, underneath the cuddly exterior, he is a terrorist sympathiser and an anti-Semite. If you have a theory, or proof to offer the opposite, then I look forward to seeing the evidence.

  13. @Bert
    ‘While I have a lot of sympathy with your views on Corbyn, it might be advisable to try to work something in about the effect on polls, which is what this site is supposed to be about, though you wouldn’t think so sometimes.’

    Yep, sorry, I’ve said my piece, it’s no secret what I think of him and his allies. Regarding next week’s elections, it’s hard to call. I still think Khan will romp home in London, the Scottish elections have already been priced in for a Labour wipe out, and Labour were already expected to do badly in Wales and England.

    The current row would have a far larger impact during a general election campaign, I’m sure. Local elections? Not so sure either way.

  14. @Bert

    Of course, that may well be something you agree with.

    Or may not.

    That’s my business thank you ;-)

  15. Carfrew

    I recall from a previous thread on a discussion about the 1970’s you said that you lived through that decade. Now if you did and you remembered it, then you must have been born in 1960 at the latest and that makes you one of these dreadful boomers that you keep banging on about.

    I started work in 1968 for a high street bank on a salary of £515 pa which is the equivalent today, of about £7k in RPI terms, a figure no 18 year old would get out of bed for nowadays and way below the current level of the minimum wage. It is of course quite right that we now enjoy much higher incomes nowadays as we all share in the growth of the last 50 years. That is not my point.

    Yes, buying your first home is more difficult nowadays but not as difficult as you make out (with a few geographic exceptions). The main key factor why youngsters don’t buy a house nowadays, is that they have other priorities. They travel the world, buy a new car, have 3 holidays plus umpteen mini breaks a year. At age 18 my priority was to buy a house, marry my girlfriend, and have a family. I achieved this at age 22. We then waited 10 years to have children until my career advanced and we could afford them. (A novel idea nowadays).

    Of our 4 children, one married a farmer and lives with him and their four children on his family farm, one is buying a house with her partner through a government scheme, one is saving like mad through the govt 25% bonus scheme and our son has bought his own house and also has a buy to let flat. They are all in their twenties/ early 30’s.

    None of them went to university, (they all could have done but as none of them wanted to be doctors or scientists I saw no point in them racking up some huge debt for a second rate degree from a polytechnic that happens to be called a university now) My wife and I have not assisted them in any way to make their purchases they have achieved it all themselves.

    So please can you stop your bleating about how hard done by, kids of today have it and how boomers stole their inheritance. You get out what you put in.

    Incidentally, the partially sighted can get assistance through their local optician. They sell a little glass gizmo that balances on your nose and attaches to your ears. I forget what they are called but it magnifies stuff.

  16. @Robert Newark

    Your replies contain so many flaws, one ends up having to correct all the flaws…

    ————-

    1) Some definitions of boomerdom include people born up to 1964

    2) Depending on how much parental backing, and how much they earn, and where they are buying, some can still just about make it onto the ladder.

    But it needs various ducks to be lined up. In the capital, paramedics are struggling just to pay rent, never mind buy a home.

    Even if they manage to buy, then with wages depreciated and high bills etc., not much left for other important things

    (In parts of the North, people are increasingly being trapped in negative equity.)

    3) Glasses cannot fix everything including the inability to focus properly due to a lazy eye etc.

  17. @Robert Newark

    4) part of being able to buy a house depends on not just if you’re earning OK now but job security in the future. Which was greater at times in the past.

    Also people could afford to buy houses on one wage. And in the eighties boomers benefitted from not one but two housing acts containing various housing subsidies, including mortgage interest tax relief (but that ladder was pulled up a while ago).

  18. Boom Boom !

  19. CMJ

    I did ask GCHQ about you. My pals there said you were one of the less dangerous ones. :-)

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/28/police-anti-extremism-unit-monitoring-green-party-caroline-lucas-sian-berry

  20. @Oldnat

    Harmless or mostly harmless?

    :-)

  21. Occasionally legless?

    ;)

  22. @Neil A

    Not frequent enough these days.

  23. @Colin

    While you’re around and in such high spirits…. On the matter of the Producer interest in the NHS you raised.

    Obviously, there can be such an interest and as you say, some may prioritise their private sector work over their NHS work. But at the other extreme, there are those who would tend to shun the private sector work, and all manner in between.

    If we didn’t allow such moonlighting you wouldn’t be able to complain about it of course.

    However one also needs to ensure the one is balqnced and offsets producer interests versus other interests, and considers whether Hunt’s actions are designed to stop things like that private sector preferment as opposed to helping them along.

  24. I’m very much with Carfrew about the futures for our children. My older son is 17 and,studying for his A levels at the local state school. It’s the Cotswold school. It’s high achieving but the sheer pressure placed on my son and his contemporaries is too much. It is all about results. Nothing else.

    We now live in world with no patience. Everything has to be responded to on the instant. It is the modern way. I don’t envy my children at all.

  25. Robert Newark
    “So please can you stop your bleating about how hard done by, kids of today have it and how boomers stole their inheritance. You get out what you put in.”

    Hear, hear! Sorry you’re bearing the brunt of the insanity today, but I had it yesterday. I’m off to the pub now.

  26. ROBERT

    Another Hear Hear from me.

    Of to watch Master Chef semi-finals.

  27. Pete B

    “You get out what you put in. …..I’m off to the pub now.”

    Doubtless to demonstrate the truth of your assertion?

  28. @Pete B

    Actually it was peeps bleating about young peeps and voting that was the issue, raised by you guys in the first place. Projection abounds…

  29. @AC and a few others have raised the question whether the current furore reveals Britain, the Labour Party or both to be a hotbed of antisemitism and if this type of truly repugnant racial prejudice is more prevalent or deeply seated than others.

    This work by YouGov on British attitudes to British people of the Islamic faith may provide some clues:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/12/23/after-paris-surprising-resilience-british-attitude/

    Though carried out immediately after the Paris attacks it found no substantial change in public attitudes to muslims.

    Yet the findings are stark: 50% felt muslims did not have respect for others, 35% that muslims did not have a lot to contribute to British life and 24% felt Western and Islamic ways of life were incompatible. Meanwhile a hardcore of 15/16% felt it was not important to behave in an un-prejudiced way towards muslims either personally or generally.

    The most striking thing is that unlike the report on anti Jewish prejudice, the no doubt well meaning authors saw these results as something of a triumph for acceptance and integration.

    As ever it is in the interpretation of the results.

    I’m not sure whether it was the same results being analysed by party, but elsewhere YouGov reported that 89% of UKIP voters felt there was a clash between British and muslim culture, 68% among Conservatives, 48% Labour and 38% LibDems.

  30. @Mikey

    Doesn’t seem like Pete or Robert have been troubled by attending such schools or Oxbridge etc. in order to relate to it. It’s still at the level of explaining that they were the ones complaining about young peeps not voting in the first place, and that no, not all issues of the partially sighted can be fixed by glasses. And to think otherwise is “insanity” apparently. Still, glad I got to witness it.

    They polarise it, as if they one is battling over younger vs older but I see it as summat they might be concerned about as it affects them. What you’re talking about is a normal response to the problem of an over-populated elite, which is more advanced in China?: an academic arms race, where pupils have to do better and better, to just secure summat like an unpaid internship.

  31. A few points of information relevant to certain comments above.

    The economic value of a salary of £515 in 1968 is not £7k as I’m sure we all realise that wages do not rise in line with inflation.

    The income value of that salary today would be £17,570.

    The economic value of that salary (taking into account the ability to purchase essentials including housing and heating) would be £20, 550.

    The starting salary for a cashier today is between £11-13k depending on location. The career median around £14-15k.

    An erosion in salary over the intervening period. Even more senior jobs such as personal banker start at around £15k and career progression and job security within the retail banking sector, once such lures have disappeared with branch closures and out-sourced call handling.

    It is fanciful to believe that today’s young people have their young children early. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the ONS says:

    “In 2013 the number of births to mothers aged 25-34 was more than double the number to mothers aged under 25; this trend has been recorded every year since 1993 (Figure 1). In contrast, between 1967 and 1971 births to mothers aged under 25 exceeded births to mothers aged 25-34.”

    This trend has been increasing of late and the average age of mothers of new born children is now 30 years plus, for fathers it is 33 years plus.

    In polling, the reasons most often given for delaying starting a family are education, career development, buying a home and financial stability.

    The number of degree only professions has increased exponentially since the 1960s. Not only would becoming a doctor or scientist be out of the reach of those who had not attended university but so are far more lowly paid occupations such as teaching, nursing and social work.

    The current system – contrary to popular belief – makes little allowance for those on moderate incomes once they have reached a certain threshold, they simply end up paying more in student loan over a longer period than high earners.

    Speaking as someone who benefited from all the fruits of the ‘post war consensus’, from a largely free university education to a pension waiting when I retire, favourable conditions for buying a home to tax incentives for investing I find it incomprehensible that others who have plainly done so well out of the same system can deny the huge pressures that young people without inherited wealth (or inter-generational capital) are under today.

  32. @ Carfrew. Yes an academic arms race is a good way of putting it. I loved my 6th form days. My son doesn’t. He is apparently Oxbridge calibre but is constantly doing exam after exam. His friends are similarly exhausted. There really is more to life….

  33. @Robert Newark

    Just to emphasise the point that it depends what your priorities are, that starting salary which you quoted rightly stated would now be deemed risible in RPI terms at £7,000 would have been a quite nice starting salary of £50,000 if instead you adjusted by HPI. And I bet there are many scummy millenial graduates who would literally rip your arm off for a chance to get out of bed for that.

    Might I suggest that the above comparison perhaps highlights the foolhardiness of assuming (in the absence of evidence as to the direction of any causal link) that younger generations can’t afford houses because they spend their money on other stuff, rather than spending their money on other stuff because they can’t afford houses?

  34. Great post Assiduosity

  35. @Assiduous

    Yes it was a comically careful choice of data by Robert.

    Excellent data of yours… As a quick yardstick, to help make the matter even more plain, when I started lecturing in the eighties the typical starting salary was about £12k, and you could buy a decent terrace for £15k.

    Today, the starting salary has roughly doubled, while the terrace would be more than ten times as costly. Even more in places like London. This is before other inflated costs like energy.

    But it’s insanity if you don’t think all boomers are golden apparently…

  36. @ Carfew

    ‘What that analysis leaves out, is that cuts and the drive for a surplus might be politically of interest to the right for purposes of shrinking the state, or at least shrinking the bits normally useful politically for the left, thus curtailing the left politically.’

    Yes, that’s the ‘Starving the Beast’ shrinking of the state, which follows logically on from the Two Santas.

    However, these strategems are only applicable in a current mainstream economic frame of reference. The problems caused by reducing tax receipts, increasing deficit spending and increasing the national debt do not include the UK government running out of money, so the Left are not curtailed in that sense. The problem that arises is where the state’s assets have been or are being sold off… there may be literally be very little left to govern if every function is in the private sector and protected under the EU, WTO or trade deal rules.

  37. As the Tories have their own civil war over Europe, it’s quite incredible that English Labour want to create their own civil war over Israel/anti-semitism/Zionism (or whatever the hell it’s about) to provide such distraction.

    Why would some MP (Ian Austin) tweet this – other than to demonstrate the incompetence of the party?

    This row about Ken Livingstone & Hitler is so unfair. One was a horrible extremist obsessed with Jews. The other was leader of Nazi Germany

  38. I found an interesting table on the L&Q Housing Association’s website comparing housing costs between 1962 and 2012 which seems to confirm that the share of average income in London taken by housing has increased massively.

    1962 average private rent was 11% of average income.
    2012 average private rent was 49% of average income.

    1962 average house price was 3.7 times average income.
    2012 average house price was 9.1 times average income.

    Interestingly, social housing cost hasn’t gone up at all. 13% of average income in 1962 and still 13% of average income now. The proportion of people in social housing has no doubt fallen significantly, though, which makes me wonder if there isn’t something of a two-tier situation with those lucky enough to get social housing riding the gravy train relative to those who aren’t. That’s likely to be another factor in the new “divide” between the living standards of young adults and older people with their feet under the table.

    Obviously London has an especially acute problem with housing that may be insoluble without either a massive cut in immigration, massive relocation to other parts of the UK or a massive loss of green space. But I’d be extremely surprised if any other factors counteracted the shrinking share of the average income that is available for non-housing spending.

    Having said that, it’s certainly true to say that we’re constantly bombarded by messages about how poverty stricken British people were in the 1960s and 1970s. I’m starting to wonder if the punk generation were having us on..

  39. Here is the link if anyone’s interested. Section 5.3 is where you’ll find the table.

    http://www.lqgroup.org.uk/_assets/files/Then-and-Now-report_FINAL-VERSION.pdf

  40. An Enquiry !-that’ll sort it out :-)

  41. @NeilA

    “The proportion of people in social housing has no doubt fallen significantly, though, which makes me wonder if there isn’t something of a two-tier situation with those lucky enough to get social housing riding the gravy train relative to those who aren’t.”

    There are undoubtedly a few very fortunate souls who have social housing tenancies and well paid employment; however, the bulk of these households have exercised their right to buy in the local authority sector and will no doubt do so now in housing association properties as they are being ‘nudged’ into purchasing by a combination of financial inducements if they do and rent penalties if they don’t.

    The most important factor here is in the first part of your sentence: the proportion and social condition of those in social housing has changed out of all recognition from the 1960s, even the 1980s.

    The social housing shortage is presently so acute that even a homeless family with disabled children can expect permanent ‘temporary’ accommodation, a ‘recommended move’ out of London or wait of many years before a suitable home becomes available.

    A single homeless man with a serious mental health problem in his late thirties is probably better off putting his name down for sheltered housing for the over 55s than waiting for a self contained flat.

    Many will say that these people do not deserve ‘handouts’ that is a separate argument. The point I make is simply that the only people with access to social housing in London these days are not on anything approaching average incomes, so the affordability gap is even more acute at all levels than it might first appear.

    By the way, these are the people who make it on to waiting lists, the recent changes mean that most applicants no longer do – just on the basis of the fact they stand no chance of ever getting a property.

  42. @Assiduosity,

    Of course it is largely the working poor who are disadvantaged by private renting. Housing benefit, unless affected by the spare room subsidy or the benefit cap, provides sufficient money to rent a property in most parts of the country, so those in receipt of it at largely insulated against rental costs.

  43. @Mikey

    I went to what for its day might have been considered a pressured school. Fortnightly marks, pupils in league tables for most every subject, very selective and high expectations: a quarter got into Oxford or Cambridge every year.

    But the career opportunities were there at the end of it all. The way things are going, more pupils will work harder, and do better, but get less in return.

    We’re already seeing prospective doctors being saddled with lots of student debt while having their pay and conditions being seriously put in question. More and more career paths which used to provide paid training disappearing being replaced by internships and stuff. More jobs open to global competition of course…

    (At school, by the time of O levels I had bailed on the enforced competition and no longer cared if I came bottom of the class or not. Realised I’d be better off doing things my own way. This did not happinate all of my teachers however…)

  44. @NeilA

    Not to go into get into the details too much, but recent changes in how the housing benefit levels are set mean that the benefit no longer top up the wages of the working poor to ensure that they are ‘largely insulated against rental costs.’. This is an issue in many places nationally, but of course affects the 800,000 households in receipt of the assistance in London most.

    This situation will worsen if the proposed roll out of Universal Credit goes ahead without amendment – the tabled cuts in assistance are more severe than those under last year’s ‘Tax Credit reforms’.

    Of course an argument can be made that if people cannot afford to live in an area then they shouldn’t stay there. That’s as maybe. However, it rather begs the question who will clean London’s streets, offices, theatres and factories, serve in its shops, restaurants and bars, run its hotels and tourist attractions?

    The increased minimum wage doesn’t even begin to meet this gap, as the Mayor’s own low pay commission points out.

  45. @ Carfrew

    I’m sure you did.

    However, I wonder if you were expected to identify and explain the differences between modal, transitive and intransitive verbs at the age of 10? (Possible, I suppose, if you did German).

    It’s not only the pressure that pupils are being put under today, but that so much of what they are being taught is of questionable value and seems to be included on the curriculum to meet the fetishes of a few.

    Incidentally, I speak as someone who did Anglo Saxon and modal auxiliary verbs as compulsory elements of their university education, and think both proper for study in the right time and place.

    I do wish we could have some polling amongst parents on the current government’s proposed education reforms – perhaps they haven’t really hit home yet, but I suspect they are a slow burn catastrophe waiting to happen.

  46. Rimmer MP trial has been adjourned till July – after the Elections – following 1 day’s evidence about her alleged assault on a Yes agent in September 2014.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-36170040

    Why should holograms get such privileged treatment?

  47. @Neil A

    “Of course it is largely the working poor who are disadvantaged by private renting.”

    Oh, it affects far more than the “working poor”. In London unless you are rich or very well off, you most likely suffer significantly from the costs of private renting.

  48. @ Carfrew

    It’s not my day with moderation today.

    Just to say that whilst I’m sure your school was competitive, I wonder whether it was as fussed on modal, transitive and intransitive verbs for 10 year olds as the current curriculum seems to be.

    It’s not only pressure being put on pupils, but without purpose. The curriculum drawn up on the whim of a few to meet their personal preferences.

    I do wish we could have some polling amongst parents on the current government’s proposed education reforms – perhaps they haven’t really hit home yet, but I suspect they are a slow burn catastrophe waiting to happen, both educationally and politically.

  49. I hesitate to re-enter this debate, as you seem to be completely deluded, but I can’t let this one pass

    “It’s still at the level of explaining that they were the ones complaining about young peeps not voting in the first place, and that no, not all issues of the partially sighted can be fixed by glasses.”

    You were one of the people saying that the system of individual registration unfairly penalised younger people. When it was pointed out that it was possible to register on-line in about 5 minutes you raised various other issues including that poorly-sighted younger people would be unfairly discriminated against. Robert pointed out that there was a version of the form for poorly-sighted people, and also sarcastically that they could always get glasses.
    It has become difficult to reply rationally to the various points about how terrible life is for young people nowadays because to give any examples always seems to bring accusations of replaying the Four Yorkshiremen sketch, so I will just repeat the point that all generations have their problems, and some from each will just get on with it, and some will moan.
    It may be true that we (UK) are past our most prosperous period, so we will just have to adjust, and compete harder.
    What relevance any of this has to polling is moot. My own opinion is that the Libdems are almost irrelevant, Labour are losing their appeal, and that if anyone benefits from the Tory turmoil it is likely to be the Greens and UKIP.

  50. @Syzygy

    Yes, apols, I’d forgotten you had also mentioned the “starve the beast” thing.

    The ability to print money does of course have its limits as we reach full employment, but one cannot help wondering about how leaving a mountain of debt might not also curtail the left’s response to some degree.

    As you note, another method of curtailment is to build it into these trade treaties.

    Obama yesterday said one of his big regrets was being blocked by Congress from investing in infrastructure which would have given more growth. In a globalised world of course the rich can pursue growth opportunities elsewhere while at home focus on making money by stoking asset prices.

    From the persepective of the left, might need to explore investing in ways not so easily sold off. Setting up trusts, perhaps, with independent funding. But the thing is, polling shows support for things like nationalisation. But some think things like Scotland or immigration are more important so the vote gets split…

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