Ipsos MORI have released their monthly political monitor. It’s their first poll since Theresa May became Prime Minister, so the changes since last month show the same honeymoon boost we’ve seen in other companies’ figures. Topline figures are CON 45%(+9), LAB 34%(-1), LDEM 7%(-4), UKIP 6%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). The Conservative figure of 45% is the highest MORI have shown since back in 2009 (and note how low UKIP is – MORI tend to show some of the lower figures for UKIP and other recent polls haven’t shown them nearly as low, but it’s hardly positive). Full tabs are here.

Yesterday ICM also put out their latest voting intention polling. Topline figures were CON 40%(-3), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). Still a very robust twelve point Conservative lead, but down from the sixteen point peak in ICM’s last poll. Tabs are here.


348 Responses to “Latest MORI and ICM polling”

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  1. CR

    I’d be concerned about the FBI’s plans for the future health of staff in the NYC Parks Department, if Trump gets in!

    “NYC parks department on naked Trump statue: “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.””

    http://www.papermag.com/nyc-parks-department-donald-trump-1978118717.html

  2. Oldnat

    I have a dirty mind and read that wrong!

  3. Possible MI5 Polling

    On current and historical polling evidence and the fact the SNP holds Scotland and the predilection of large swaths of Middle England towards being violently allergic to Bennite manifestos, I suspect MI5 consider the likelihood of a Corbyn Premiership on a par with a successful military invasion of the UK by Western Samoa.

  4. Rod liddle says on Newsnight that for the last 10 years poll after poll has shown that 70 to 80 % of the British public are against immigration. Does he have any evidence for that?

  5. I remember seeing lots of polls over the last 5 years in the mid 70s saying the public wanted controls on immigration. They were not against immigration per se.

    Considering every country in the world bar the collective countries within the Single Market have immigration control policies between states, this is hardly news. Note the EU has immigration control policies outside of the single market.

  6. “”Yes, we do have to win over some people that have been tempted to vote Tory.

    “We win them over on the basis that we can create a society where we do provide decent housing for all, where we do provide real security for all in work.

    “We also say to those people who are relatively well off, ‘are you happy walking past the homeless and the starving on the streets of our country when there is no need for that, when we could do things very differently?’.

    Jeremy Corbyn.

    Reality begins to bite.

    Sales pitch needs a little work though.

  7. …………….but dreams of the Sleeping Bennite Army do not die so easily :-

    “”But we also, I think, win an election by inspiring our own supporters, inspiring those that have supported other parties, but above all reach out to young people in our society, only 47% of whom voted in the last election to come on board with us and try and create that decent society.”

    Jeremy Corbyn

    I wonder if the ” I think” is helpful.

    Need to hear the speech really. If the emphasis was on “I”………well OK.

    But if ” I think” was a sotto voce qualification ………………… :-)

  8. Reading that again, the language used is hilarious really.

    “some people that have been tempted to vote Tory.”

    This small group of moral weaklings who have succumbed to an evil & disgusting habit.

    Forgive me Jeremy that I have sinned.

    On that grey Socialist Dawn , I will hang my head and bear the placard ” Tempted by the Tories” around my craven neck as I shuffle to my job at State Factory Number 328 ; past the line of school children being marched by their Local Child Protection Officers to District 9 State Comprehensive .

  9. “Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to take part in Labour leadership hustings organised by the New Statesman, The Guardian, the Mirror or Channel Four on account of them having previously shown bias against him.

    Jon Lansman, the director of Momentum, the group running Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign, wrote in an email that all four had “taken partisan positions against Jeremy’s leadership or campaign… therefore can’t be regarded as impartial hosts or moderators.”

    INDY

    Look forward to the Nationalisation of The Press Bill.

    Samizdat here we come.

  10. “Sales pitch needs a little work though.”

    ————

    Well clearly. Because ol’ Corbie doesn’t seem to be offering so much to the voters who ARE “happy walking past the homeless and the starving on the streets of our country when there is no need for that…”

  11. ALEC

    I agree with your 7.50 post including your last paragraph. All very much early days and Brexit not initiated yet, but mildly encouraging.

    BARBAZENZERO

    I am not surprised at the rise in “hate crime”. In my view it was likely to happen with or without a referendum due to the continuing high levels of immigration. To be deplored of course, but very predictable.

  12. CARFREW

    He is appealing to their better natures Carfrew.

    He asks ‘are you happy walking past the homeless and the starving on the streets of our country ”

    Its a rhetorical question you see-he knows that we know that we are “happy” . We do it every day in the towns & cities across our land-stepping over these people-or even on them.

    And then he gently explains :-“there is no need for that, “when we could do things very differently”

    He doesn’t need to spell it out further because he has twigged who we are -he told us “who are relatively well off,”

    So we know what he means by “do things differently”.

  13. @Candy – “It was co-ordinated.”

    The idea that Corbyn coordinated a monumental defence policy statement with May is laughable. He can’t even coordinate with his own front bench, so lets just not go down this route.

    @Laszlo – “Alec suggesting that Russia is about to launch a nuclear strike on the Weatern world…..”

    If you could point to where I said this, please do so. If you can’t, please consider whether you should apologise.

    I actually talked of Russia agitating in the Baltic states (NATO members) expressly avoiding nonsense talk of a nuclear strike.

    By announcing an unwillingness to fulfill out treaty obligations, a future UK government would make this scenario far more likely, in my view. Corbyn has opened an extremely dangerous defence policy front now, which will be noted in Moscow.

    Labour will, I repeat, pay an extremely heavy price if this is their policy at the next GE.

  14. @Oldnat (12.18am).

    It’s pretty clear that central to Russian defence and foreign policy is to prevent NATO expansion eastwards and to attempt to split and weaken NATO. This isn’t about the UK, but about NATO, and is an extremely serious issue for Moscow.

    If you and Laszlo aren’t aware of that then commenting further on foreign affairs probably isn’t for you.

  15. Good morning all from my bed. Another long weekend….of course!!

    CARFREW ALAN & CANDY.

    I know the debate has moved on so I wont go into too much detail but regarding your comments yesterday over sports funding, Olympics etc
    Lots of points I agree with and some not so sure but I accept a lot of funding does come from lotto money which I did honestly overlooked.

    Ok what’s the debate moved onto now….ol Corby? ;-)

  16. On the Olympics, one other undiscussed factor behind the rising tide of Team GB’s success; drugs (or lack of them).

    China had an official doping policy throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, with strong suspicions that some athletes are continuing to do so and the state anti doping regime is weak and/or compliant.

    Russia we know all about, with a massive, state coordinated effort to evade testing.

    It is getting harder to do this, and the rise of nations without coordinated doping programs in medals tables reflects the shifting balance between clean and dirty Olympians.

    This isn’t over yet. UK swimming has indicated that they believe 4 additional bronze medals would have been won by GB if athletes guilty of doping had been given life bans, and I’m sure there will be other cases too.

  17. ALEC

    @”Labour will, I repeat, pay an extremely heavy price if this is their policy at the next GE.”

    If Corbyn is still running the show & Labour’s Foreign Policy stance is based on Corbyn’s beliefs , then you can absolutely guarantee that Labour will lose the next GE because of it- all other policy areas aside.

  18. ALEC

    The more NATO expands then the more likely we will end up in some sort of confrontation with Russia. NATO and the EU are split over how to deal with Russia but NATO expansionism and EU sanctions will only make matters worse.

    Threatening military posturing and sanctions work against small poor countries who already have a lot of internal fighting against their governments from the masses but trying to bully, sanction and threaten Russia is far beyond the capabilities of the USA, EU and NATO. Putin is demonstrating that Russia will peruse her own independent foreign policy and will counterbalance NATO posturing which makes Europe and the World a far less safe place.

    And as for going to war over the Baltic’s if the mythical invasion from Russia ever happened… well I’m not so sure NATO members would risk an all out Nuke exchange with Russia over 3 counties most people couldn’t even find on a map. Russia has said that they would use Nukes in the event of any precision weapons used against them.

    Strangely our news in the UK is rather muted over the fact that Russia has now being using a military base in Iran and Turkey is now leaning towards Russia. All we do hear about is how Russia is bombing civilians in Syria, something the UK and the USA have been doing for decades either directly or indirectly like selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

  19. @Alec

    I meant Mrs May and Boris co-ordinated their responses to Putin. Some people in the press had been speculating that Boris was making up foreign policy on the hoof, but if you look at the timing, he wasn’t. The shift came after Mrs May spoke to Putin.

    I agree entirely that Cobyn is incapable of co-ordinating with anyone. :-)

    He is inadvertently useful to the govt though. In normal circumstances, if the EU wanted a certain line against Russia, but Britain was talking about normalisation, they would be tempted to stall negotiations to see if a more hawkish opposition could come to power here. But Corbyn is way less hawkish.

    P.S. We play the play-the-opposition-against-the govt game too. I read one report that said the govt was wondering the impact of the elections in France and Germany on the Brexit negotiations and speculating about who would be better to negotiate with, and hence whether it was worth delaying triggering Article 50 by a few months.

  20. Colin & ALEC

    I remember the Saatchi inspired poster for the Tories deriding Labour’s Defence Policy with a British squaddie in fatigues with his hands up.

    Effective imagery.

    There were other effective posters throughout the 1980s and during the 1992 election on this subject.

    The Tories will again have an open goal to shoot at.

  21. COLIN

    I’m a million miles away from putting a X next to Labour at a GE but if I was to base who I would vote for purely on foreign policy then ol Corby would get my vote as would Trump and Farage. All 3 are not for expansionism and don’t hold imperialistic views.

  22. Allan Christie – “And as for going to war over the Baltic’s if the mythical invasion from Russia ever happened… well I’m not so sure NATO members would risk an all out Nuke exchange with Russia over 3 counties most people couldn’t even find on a map”

    I agree that the public doesn’t want to be drawn into Baltic wars at all.

    We’re turning into a nation of hawkish isolationists.

    We want the biggest baddest nuclear weapon and defence to deter others from interfering with us.

    At which point we pull up the drawbridges and live happily ever after on our lovely island, not interfering with the world unless they interfere with us (which they won’t ’cause of that big bad deterrence).

    Actually going to war on behalf of a bunch of people we don’t have any connection with would horrify the public. They don’t think it is any of our business and not in our interests either. Besides, if the eastern Europeans were really under threat, they’d be ramping up their defence spending. Nobody keeps defence spending at just 1% of GDP when they are under direct threat, which is what they seem to be doing…

  23. SEA CHANGE

    They could save the cost of posters and just run clips of coverage of all things Corbyn on RT.

  24. CANDY

    I’m for the UK having a voice on the World stage but I think our current policy towards Russia is very dangerous. Of course we should stick up for our friends but I’m not so sure sending over a few hundred troops to the Baltic’s right on Russia’s borders is the correct course of action and if Russia was to invade the Baltic’s then what could a few hundred NATO troops really do?

    Poland and the Baltic’s are quite happy to live under the NATO umbrella but are not that happy about committing paying for the membership..freeloaders the Americans call them.

    The situation between Russia, Ukraine and other former parts of the USSR is extremely complex and its a bit like the tide going out and leaving creatures stranded in rock pools and most of the ex Soviet states have large Russian populations stranded in them and Putin has a duty to protect them but the West as usual like in Iraq and other places can’t seem to understand internal matters in other countries.

  25. There is a big problem in the Baltic States and serious potential for conflict with Russia. There are sizeable Russian minorities in all three facing various degrees of discrimination. Putin is under internal pressure to do something for the russian minorities out with Russia. States with Russia minorities often find electoral advantage in stirring up anti Russian feeling. Theres a sort of balance whereby the fear of Russian invasion discourages worse discrimination and the fear of NATO retaliation discourages Russia from military action.

    That balance is easy to lose, if the Baltic States are too confident of NATO support it could lead to them pursuing policies against their Russia minorities that while electorally popular could provoke a Russian response. Conversely if Russia is not convinced of a NATO response it will be tempted to take action against the Baltic States which would be popular with the Russian people

  26. allan christie
    thx for 2 thoughtful non knee jerk posts

  27. Allan Christie

    Forgive me for saying so, but your 11.16 post on Russia is complete twaddle.

    You can be sure that sanctions etc hit Russia where it hurts – they are not the strong country you seem to think, they need to keep the people on board / not starving if Putin and cronies are to keep living the lie; and you can be sure that they would have gone much, much further into Ukraine if the West had stood idly by any longer than they did.

  28. A slightly more nuanced view of “Russians” resident in Baltic States:-

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/opinion/the-new-generation-of-baltic-russian-speakers/

  29. Allan Christie – “I’m for the UK having a voice on the World stage but I think our current policy towards Russia is very dangerous”

    Well I think our policy has changed, given that Boris was talking about “normalising” relations with Russia just a week ago, with Mrs May’s permission.

    I think that’s in tune with the public, they just don’t want us to get involved. And for that same reason, I doubt voters will be fussed about Corbyn’s attitude to NATO either. They get angry about his stance on Trident because Brits really want that big bad deterrent, but they agree with him about not interfering abroad.

    The long and short of it is that voters are sick of the rest of the world and don’t want to deal with them anymore. We’re not even going abroad on holiday, too much terrorism, safer to stay in lovely ole Blighty.

  30. “Lord West told PoliticsHome that he believed Mr Corbyn’s remarks were “absolutely dreadful”.
    He said: “I think it’s quite an extraordinary comment and shows a complete lack of understanding of what Nato is, just as he doesn’t understand the concept of having a nuclear deterrent.
    “We belong to an alliance, but he stood up and told our allies ‘I’m not necessarily sure that we’ll come to help you’. I find it quite extraordinary that he’s saying that.
    “He’s stating platitudes because it gets the unthinking masses to vote for him. He should not lead the nation because it leads to war when you don’t stand up to bullies.
    “I have no difficulty with talking to Russia and have fought very hard to maintain communication with them because it’s important, but you must also have a robust stance.
    “As President Roosevelt said ‘You need to speak softly and carry a big stick’. But clearly what Corbyn said is not standing up for Nato. We have to be clear that we will stand up for our allies.
    “Nato is the most important alliance, along with our alliance with America, for the security of this nation, and I think Mr Corbyn finds both of these things difficult.”

    DT

    Lord West hits the nail on the head in that last para.

    Corbyn’s association with & support for Stop The War Coalition is as well known as the “No to NATO” T Shirts & Badges in their online shop.

  31. precisely because russia is not wealthy is why a lot of its actions are posturing -to keep up appearances
    sanctions do hit them but what info we have suggest huge support for putins actions within russia and sanctions reinforce the us against the west mentality

  32. Some very good points from Allan Christie.

    Yes, there are sizeable Russian minorities in the Baltic states, and there were (are) discriminatory measures against them (especially the language act for public employees) – but less so than in the 1990s. There are also deliberate provocations (statues …) – but it is just for the theatre audiences.

    What would be the purpose of a Russian invasion of the Baltics? The minorities can be a pretext but not a cause (Russia didn’t intervene when Russian was banned on the Ukrainian TV, it intervened when it felt its regional interests were threatened).

    Russian businesses are very much in favour of maintaining the current relationship with Estonia (trading) and Latvia (banking). Lithuania is not important for anyone, not even for Poland. In any case, although Estonia has some oil and gas in the north (these are controlled by Russian (and German) companies), its GDP is about BBC’s annual budget.

    The Polish government uses nationalist slogans for drumming up support, but it is not a strategic interest for Russia (what gain could be made by invading Poland?). Slovakia is still a supplier of components for the Russian industries (including military), and in general soft towards Russia. The current Hungarian government is pro-Russian (nuclear power plant in Paks), and it is dependent on Russia as a distributor of Russian energy. It also has large minorities in the neighbouring countries which are better vote winners than an anti-Russian stance. Romania is generally anti-Russian, however, they are now engaged with Russia for the possibility of sharing (?) Moldova with Russia. Bulgaria is ambivalent, but its historical conflict with Romania and the common border with Turkey keeps it in a neutral position.

    Of course, Ukraine is a different matter. Russia needs supply from them, and they need them as a market (not very big), and transit. However, the key goals (Crimea, and the autonomy of the east) are achieved (if it was really about some imperialist thing, they could have invaded Ukraine with a limited number of divisions and it would have been quick (The army from Moldova would have been one of the spears). There would have been resistance, and Russia wouldn’t have been able to control the conquered territories. So, it cannot be a strategic aim again).

    Greece has been relatively positive towards Russia (previously the SU) since the fall of the junta. Apart from economic links, (and some Russian educated members of the elite) it is because of the fellow NATO member, Turkey.

    So, NATO is not homogeneous on the Russian borders, but also clearly, it is not NATO members as such matter, but the US policy with the necessary compromises with Germany, France and the U.K. It is Russia’s interest to ensure that this situation is maintained, and this is what drives its foreign policy (Ukraine is a bit different). They don’t negotiate with the Baltics – their partners are those four major countries.

    Russia needs technology, food and alike from the west, but it also has some strategic objectives in some regions, in particular in the Middle East, Iran and Central Asia, and there they have some overlapping interests with China.

    The long Iraq, Afgan wars, the competition for regional hegemony among Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the civil wars in the Near East gave them the opportunity to enhance their influence as an ally of various parties (hence the quick resolution of the problem with Turkey – perhaps with some support of intelligence information about the coup) and obstructing any other major powers having hegemony – note that the interest is regional and not country-specific. As a result, they have now military presence (as Allan Christie pointed it out) in a number of countries. Also, in the last half a year or so they also have shared military resources with the US.

    None of these suggest military invasion anywhere where nuclear deterrent would be necessary, because it is all about negotiated influence and limiting the strategic freedom of the other party (this is what happening in Kazakhstan for example). The close flying aircrafts, submarines and alike are more about drawing the line than extending the lines.

  33. O/T Really interesting article breaking down the referendum statistics:

    https://medium.com/@jakeybob/brexit-maps-d70caab7315e

  34. BT says …

    “You can be sure that sanctions etc hit Russia where it hurts”

    Yes, it is true, but since then Belorussia became a major importer of Polish apple and Italian cheeses (indeed, some pizza places suffered in Moscow due shortages of mozzarella in the initial stages of the sanctions). Also, for example in the oil and gas industry a Japanese company through its South Korean subsidiary replaced one of the US companies after the sanctions in Russian oilfields.

    The sanctions increased the transaction costs and at the time of low oil prices caused troubles to Russian public finances.

  35. Candy

    Thanks for the link. Really good.

  36. @AC
    I think you are slightly naïve about Russian intentions and considerations.

    We have to understand Putin’s Russia as a post-Cold War fascist state; Putin’s team have developed complex theories about the most effective way to control and manage a theoretically democratic state that bear distinct resemblances to the approaches used by Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan (the BBC highlighted it only today, but if you do business in Russia you can’t help but be aware of it)

    In that context, and given state control of the media, there is no pressure at all on Putin to support overseas minorities except where he chooses to put that pressure on himself; it is almost identical to the ‘pressure’ Hitler cited as the reason he had to ‘protect’ Sudeten germans.

    The similarities extend further: both Germany and Russia have unstable economies sustained by military spending out of line with economic resources. Foreign adventures, aggressive ‘big lie’ media management, and development of a bunker mentality amongst the populace (‘the world is against us’) are all necessary activities to keep the plates spinning.

    And both countries had/have an intense belief in their national exceptionalism – spend some time in Russia and you will find that many (although not all) Russians genuinely believe that their country is the heir to Rome (‘the third Empire’) – it has been THE central tenet of Russian history and culture since the time of Ivan the Terrible. Putin has spent nearly twenty years actively encouraging these historic beliefs; it’s as if w had a PM since 1998 whose main focus was to tell us at every opportunity and through every form of media that we still had a God-given right to rule a world-wide empire, and at the same time to build a military in order to try to deliver that empire.

    That Russian exceptionalism expresses itself, in part, in a belief that Russia has the right and the duty to impose its will on its neighbours; as the country that single-handedly defeated (according to their version of history) the Mongol hordes, the Teutonic Knights, Sweden, Napoleon and Hitler they have EARNED the right to dominate their ‘sphere of influence’.

    A view of Russia which considers them to be influenced in any way by questions of legitimacy, or in fact in anything other than power and self interest ,is fatally flawed IMHO.

  37. @ BFR

    Russian exceptionalism? Talk to Hungarians! :-)

    “There is no life outside Hungary, and if there is, it’s not life.”

    It is actually a genuine quotation.

    In Eastern Europe a huge part of the population believes in their own exceptionalism.

    Yes, the Russian talk about the defeat of the Swedish, Teutonic, Napoleonic, nazi invasion (but it didn’t prevent Stalin to have Alexander Nevsky in 1938, and the non aggression pact in 1939).

    Hungarians believe that they protected Europe for centuries (and hence should be rewarded). The Poles that they are still a major power (as in the times about which Sienkiewic wrote). The Sevians that they couldn’t give up Kosovo as the Field of the Black Bird is there. The Romanian historians still talk about the Daco-Roman continuity.

    These are all just narratives. The elites may use them, or may not

    (Btw, if you describe Putin’s unsavoury regime as Nazi, how would you describe the current Polish, Slovakian and Hungarian governments – all EU and NATO members, and in my view all are fascists, and how would you consider the Romanian government as a legitimate entity, when it is run by the security services acting under the instructions of Western governments?)

  38. Im so lucky to live in a country that doesn’t consider itself to be exceptional

  39. Laszlo

    I understand you wouldn’t agree with the Polish government’s policies and attitudes – I’m not sure if I do, come to that – but you’re losing credibility fast when you say they are fascists.

    It kind of undermines your highly intellectual demeanour a tad when you let your prejudice get in the way of making good posts (which I know you are capable of doing).
    I wouldn’t describe the other two as fascists either, even though the Hungarian PM does seem to have a streak of authoritianism and nationalism in him which makes the claim marginally more credible.

  40. BT SAYS…
    Allan Christie
    Forgive me for saying so, but your 11.16 post on Russia is complete twaddle.
    You can be sure that sanctions etc hit Russia where it hurts – they are not the strong country you seem to think, they need to keep the people on board / not starving if Putin and cronies are to keep living the lie; and you can be sure that they would have gone much, much further into Ukraine if the West had stood idly by any longer than they did
    ________

    Sorry I don’t share your view that my post was twaddle. However you might disagree with it.

    I really don’t agree with anything in your post. Sanctions have at best stagnated the Russian economy, they are forecasting growth next year and what do you mean by Russia going further into Ukraine? Crimea voted to get away from the fascists in Kiev.

    I love it when peeps say stuff like..Do you think the west would just sit by blah blah blah…It’s funny, the ones who make the most noise about war etc tend to be the ones who wouldn’t have to go and fight in the first place.

  41. CANDY

    I hope our policy towards Russia has changed. I’m not suggesting Putin is a saint and we should back off completely if he is interfering in other countries such as the Baltic’s but trying to bully Putin will only make matters worse.

  42. LASZLO

    Your post @1.19

    Excellent read and agree on all points.

    It is interesting that there are clear splits within the EU and NATO over Russia and Turkey (even after shooting down a Russian bomber) is now normalizing relations with Moscow.

    I think some of the hawks in the West have totally underestimate Russia’s resilience and military capabilities and above all underestimated Putin.

  43. @AC
    I’d fully agree that many western leaders have underestimated Putin — however I think they partly underestimate just how much of a hard b*stard he really is. He really doesn’t care if the west is being ‘unfair’ except to the extent he can use the idea internally to shore up support – look at the way the Russian state doping programme being exposed is a ‘conspiracy against Russia’.

    @Laszlo – I’m no expert on those countries, but they appear to me to be more akin to a hard UKIP / or Front National than outright fascist – I don’t think (but may be wrong) that there is overt control of the main media outlets in these countries, or outright rigging of elections for that matter. Nor have they invaded any neighbours using ‘false flag’ soldiers. They are far more authoritarian than I would like, at the edge of what is acceptable for membership of the EU, but not anywhere as far along the spectrum as Russia.

  44. BigFatRon’s comment triggered this comment.

    It is very difficult to explain to British people the way of thinking of people East of the River Oder. How thinking is shaped very early on, especially in the school. You know the general attitude to reading, literature in schools in most parts of the UK

    The following are the compulsory readings of a 12-year Hungarian (Reformatic Church) school (the teacher can add one or two more books from a list every year). (It doesn’t include poetry that have to be memorised, yes, it is tested too).

    Year 5 (10 years old)
    Ferenc Molnar: Boys of Paul Street (a boys own book really, the Americans made a decent film of it)

    Year 6 (11 years old)
    Géza Gardonyi: Egri csillagok (Eclipse of the crescent moon in English) – novel that falls to short stories, about the 1530-1550 Hungary
    Mihaly Fazekas: Lúdas Matyi (an anti-feudal poetic drama of a boy whose geese are confiscated by the landlord, he is beaten, and he returns it three times)

    Year 7 (12 years old)
    Mor Jokai: The man with a Midas touch (about the positive side of the rise of entrepreneurship in Hungary in the 19th century).
    Kálmán Mikszath: St Peter’s umbrella – a kind of fantasy (again 19th century) of miracles that can benefit poor people.

    Year 8 (13 years old)
    Zsigmond Móricz: Be faithful to thyself. (a novel about a boarding school boy who recognises that keeping to his morals is better than anything else)
    Aron Tamasi: Abel in the forest (after Transylvania becomes part of Romania – the impression of monks on a boy)

    Year 9 (14 years old)
    William Golding: The Lord of Flies
    Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac

    Year 10 (15 years old)
    Homer: Odyssey
    Sophocles: Antigone
    Dante: Devine comedy (Hell)
    Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliette
    Miklós Zrinyi: the siege of Sziget (poetic work on the siege of Szigetvar where Suleiman the magnificent died)
    Moliére: Tartuffe

    Year 11 (16 years old)
    Pushkin: Onegin
    Balzac: Father Goriot
    Jozsef Katona: Bank, the landlord (written in the 19th century – struggle against the Germans in the 13th century, plus some anti-feudal bits)
    Mihaly Vorosmarty: Csongor és Tünde (a version of the Midsummernight really)

    Year 12 (17 years old)
    Gogol: The overcoat
    Chekhov: The death of a civil servant
    Tolstoy: the death of Ivan Ilyich
    Mad ach: Tragedy of Man (a Hegelian reinterpretation of the Paradise lost)
    Three short stories of Mikszath
    Móricz: The relatives (a rotten borough story from the 1930s)
    Two short stories from Móricz, one from Krúdy
    Karinthy: Mr Teacher (schoolboy stories from the beginning of the 20th century)

    Year 13 (18 years old)
    Kafka: Metamorhosis
    Camus: the stranger
    Brecht: Mother Courage
    Maria: Confessions of a bourgeois (middle class in Th raids of fascism)
    Németh: Horror (Hungary in the 1920s)
    Illyes: The people of the plains (peasantry in the 1920-30s Hungary)
    Orkeny: the major (WW2 play)
    Kertesz: Faithless (Nobel prize winning on about the concentration camps)
    Dery: Love (a book on the 1950s)

  45. BIGFATRON

    I think you have been watching too much BBC rhetoric on Russia. I learned to keep an opened mind on anything Russian from the BBC, CNN and other news networks.
    ….
    “The similarities extend further: both Germany and Russia have unstable economies sustained by military spending out of line with economic resources. Foreign adventures, aggressive ‘big lie’ media management, and development of a bunker mentality amongst the populace (‘the world is against us’) are all necessary activities to keep the plates spinning”
    _________

    Although higher as a percentage of GDP than any NATO member Russia’s military spending is about 5.4% of GDP and I would hardly constitute having an airbase in Syria free of charge as some big Foreign adventure.

    I don’t accept you can compare Putin with Hitler however Putin I accept Putin is more authoritarian than any Western leader with the exception of Turkey.

    The thing is…Russia is surrounded by adversaries and if the country had a weak leader then the state would simply implode. Putin hasn’t invaded any country, Crimea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Transnistria are all extremely complex arenas where Russia has special interests.

    Imagine if the UK broke up and England being the successor state to the UN in place of the UK and we had a conflict in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants, Unionists and Republicans, England would have a duty to keep the peace and protect the Unionist’s. To a large extent Russia has been left to deal with small festering conflicts left in limbo since the collapse of the USSR.

    I think if the West tried to understand the Russian’s better rather than just trying to weaken and isolate them then we would all be in a much safer World. The problem NATO has is that it hasn’t really had a purpose to exist since the break up of the USSR and is now using Russia as a bogeyman as an excuse to keep the vanity and expansionism project alive.

  46. BFR

    The Fidesz government completely rewrote the election law once it got to power. There is no independent printed media in Hungary.

    Regulatory bodies over media are appointed by the government.

    The basic law (yes they abolished the word constitution) enables the government to do whatever they want (actually half of Hungary is under the law of state of emergency for half a year now).

    State properties are distributed by the government to friends and relatives. Since the state prosecutor is appointed the government, it constantly declines investigation.

    The government sent out skinheads to obstruct a petition submitted for a referendum on Sunday opening.

    Etc, etc – similar things would be true for Poland or Slovakia. This is why I thought that the UK shouldn’t be in such a club and preferred Brexit. Only when the hatred rose in the campaign I changed my mind.

  47. @AC – “I hope our policy towards Russia has changed. I’m not suggesting Putin is a saint and we should back off completely if he is interfering in other countries such as the Baltic’s but trying to bully Putin will only make matters worse.”

    I would agree with that entirely. Which is why what Corbyn said is potentially disastrous.

    It is really, really dangerous to suggest that the UK will not commit to NATO’s combined response strategy, as this could potentially encourage aggressors to pick off weaker states.

    Equally, I am queasy about extending NATO all the way to Russia’s borders without some recognition of Russian sensibiltilies.

    However, more importantly, this isn’t a discussion about foreign policy – it’s a discussion about UK polling. I will be interested to see any forthcoming polls on this view of the NATO treaty obligations, but my guess is that this will leave Labour open to a massive and unanswerable attack [a ‘first strike’, if you will] from the Tories, come the next election.

  48. LASZLO

    Fascinating book list, many thanks. I think your right, it does give us insight into the thinking of Europeans east of the Oder.

    On Brexit I think for first instincts were correct.

  49. ALEC

    “t is really, really dangerous to suggest that the UK will not commit to NATO’s combined response strategy, as this could potentially encourage aggressors to pick off weaker states”
    _____

    That’s true but I just don’t fancy losing most of the UK over a spat with Russia because of the Baltic’s and in the unlikely event Putin went into the Baltic’s I doubt NATO would have the balls to actually attack Russia proper in any case.
    ………….
    “. I will be interested to see any forthcoming polls on this view of the NATO treaty obligations, but my guess is that this will leave Labour open to a massive and unanswerable attack [a ‘first strike’, if you will] from the Tories, come the next election”
    _________

    Is that a conventional or nuclear first strike? ;-)

  50. Allan

    It’s very nice of you to see poor old Russia and Putin through such rose-tinted spectacles, hassled so unfairly by the belligerent West.

    Or could it be just wishful thinking / too much anti-America bias engrained in a lot of our media / amongst the young in particular (Iraq / Bush phobia? length of time now since the World wars?), that leads to this alternative world view, and fails to recognise that Putin is just as expansionist as Hitler, just as cruel, and twice as clever. Putin will go as far as he’s allowed to by the West, but he won’t involve himself in a war with the West that he’s not going to win. Stealthy moves suit him ok for now but won’t satisfy him.

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