There are new YouGov voting intention figures for the Times this morning, with topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3%. The Conservatives continue to have a solid lead and there is no sign of any benefit to Labour from their party conference (fieldwork was on Wednesday and Thursday, so directly after Jeremy Corbyn’s speech).

Theresa May has been Prime Minister for two and a half months now, so we’re still in the sort of honeymoon period. Most of her premiership so far has consisted of the summer holidays when not much political news happens and she’s had the additional benefit of her opposition being busy with their own leadership contest. Now that is over and we approach May’s own party conference and the resumption of normal politics.

Theresa May’s own ratings remain strong. 46% of people think she is doing well, 22% badly. Asking more specific questions about her suitability for the role most people (by 52% to 19%) think she is up to the job of PM, she is seen as having what it takes to get things done (by 53% to 19%), and having good ideas to improve the country (by 35% to 27%). People don’t see her as in touch with ordinary people (29% do, 40% do not) but that is probably because she is still a Conservative; David Cameron’s ratings on being in touch were poor throughout his premiership. The most worrying figure in there for May should probably be that people don’t warm to her – 32% think she has a likeable personality, 35% do not. One might well say this shouldn’t matter, but the truth is it probably does. People are willing to give a lot more leeway to politicians they like. In many way Theresa May’s ratings – strong, competent, but not particularly personally likeable – have an echo of how Gordon Brown was seen by the public when he took over as Prime Minister. That didn’t end well (though in fairness, I suppose Mrs Thatcher was seen in a similar way).

The biggest political obstacle looming ahead of Theresa May is, obviously, Brexit. So far people do not think the government are doing a good job of it. 16% think they are handling Brexit negotiations well, 50% badly. Both sides of the debate are dissatisfied – Remain voters think they are doing badly by 60% to 10%, Leave voters think they are doing badly by 45% to 24%. Obviously the government haven’t really started the process of negotiating exit and haven’t said much beyond “Brexit means Brexit”, but these figures don’t suggest they are beginning with much public goodwill behind them.

Finally, among the commentariat the question of an early election has not gone away (and will probably keep on being asked for as long as the Conservatives have a small majority but large poll lead). 36% of people currently want an early election, 46% of people do not. The usual patterns with questions like this is that supporters of the governing party do not normally want an election (they are happy with the status quo), supporters of the main opposition party normally do want an election (as they hope the government would be kicked out). Interestingly this still holds true despite the perception that an early election would help the Conservatives: a solid majority of Labour supporters would like an early election, most Conservative supporters are opposed.

Full tabs are here


1,094 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3%”

1 2 3 4 5 22
  1. @Colin;

    I feel like you’re still missing my point. Even if 90% of other adults consume their news from sources that aren’t the newspapers, if the newspapers influence other sources of news (which they do), then those 90% of adults are being influenced by the newspapers. You continuing to quote readership figures at me doesn’t address this at all, and didn’t in the last post you did, either.

    And re: the BBC, I’m simply citing it as an example of how the BBC is influenced by newspapers. I’m not even saying whom this favours politically, I’m just providing it as an example of how newspapers influence other news sources. The point is not the BBC itself; it’s that newspapers still exert enormous influence over other forms of media.

  2. Colin: “Social Media & Independent On-line News sites/Blogs are definitely not following someone else’s agenda.”

    Top Hat has made the point well that newspaper websites dominate online news. You only have to look at btl comments on, say, the Guardian site to see often comments in the thousands, from all shades of opinion, not just the print paper readership profile.

    While sites like Conservative Home may occasionally start a hare running, I imagine their traffic is very low in comparison with any newspaper site. You have only to look at news stories referenced here by posters to see that most of them come from newspaper websites or the BBC.

    Re your question: “So-do I understand you correctly-you object to the outcome of UK elections A) being a reflection of the opinions of Older People who read Tory Newspapers, and who tend to vote ; and B) not being a reflection of the opinions of younger people who read every Left Wing opinion possible on the Internet, but don’t bother to vote ???”

    No, I just try to understand the factors affecting electoral behaviour.

    I think it’s fairy uncontroversial to say that the quality of democratic decision making depends in large part on having a well informed, well educated electorate. If people have access to the facts and a wide range of opinions, and have the ability to form their own judgements on a reasonably rational basis, then a healthy democracy should be possible. In the absence of those factors, there is an increased danger of manipulation of the democratic process by powerful interest groups. A small-scale example of that would be the manipulation by union extremists of workforces voting for strikes.

  3. TPO HAT

    @”There’s just more boomers than there are millennials, so turnout becomes a moot point.”

    I don’t think that’s true either. In a typical YouGov VI Poll-lets take the last one published-for THe Times 28/29 Sept.

    The Weighted Age Demographic breakdown of 1658 people Polled is as follows :-

    18-24. 192
    25-49 708
    50-64 410
    65+ 348

    The two youngest cohorts -900 people showed a net VI for Labour . The two older cohorts-758 people showed a net VI for Cons

    WNV + DK for the former ( Net Lab majority) group was 339 people-or 37.7% of the group.

    WNV + DK for the latter ( Net Con Majority) group was 164 people-or 21.6% of the group.

  4. TOP HAT

    You would need to convince me -with evidence -that consumers of Internet News Sources across the broad spectrum of opinion in that resource , are being supplied with opinion which is biased to the Political Right by ” Newspaper Influence”

  5. SOMERJOHN

    @”Top Hat has made the point well that newspaper websites dominate online news. ”

    His point-as I understand it-is that the political biase to the Right which he perceives in the Printed Press is present also in the OnLine sources of News-because of the “influence” of the Printed Press there.

    I doubt it can be shown with any degree of certainty.

    I just cannot accept that a truly politically unbiased adult ** in search of News sources OnLine cannot find analysis which reflects both Left & Right wing opinion.

    **-if such a person exists. .

  6. SOMERJOHN

    @”You have only to look at news stories referenced here by posters to see that most of them come from newspaper websites or the BBC.”

    But the BBC is a huge provider of News. That is undisputable.

    I don’t understand why that is undesirable ?

  7. @Colin;

    If we’re using 1984-2002 as the limits for millennials and 1946-1964 as the limits for boomers (I’m using these as rough outlines because these are not precisely defined terms), then boomers are ~29% of the population and millennials who are also eligible to vote are ~19% of the population. Boomers would have to have ~50% turnout rates before even 100% millennial turnout would outvote them.

    This is obviously a simplification because our voting patterns are more than just a function of our generational cohort, but broadly speaking, it remains the case that if a political party has a choice between a policy that benefits boomers and harms millennials, and a policy that benefit millennials and harms boomers, they have the electoral incentive to choose the former.

    And that creates an apathy problem. Millennials look at parties and think: why would I vote for any of them? None of them are campaigning for me. Now, personally, I think you should vote regardless, even if it is on a lesser-of-two-bad-choices basis. I’ve never missed a vote, even for local elections (although I have spoiled ballots on occasion). But it’s unsurprising turnout rates are so different when one part of the electorate is given better-of-two-good and the other lesser-of-two-worse.

  8. Colin

    I’m not making value judgements about any source of news. Of course the BBC is a huge provider, and something for Brits to be immensely thankful for.

    I was just saying that the printed press still in large part sets the agenda, with even the BBC often reflecting that.

    As to the influence of the press and TV, just imagine if Russia Today was the main source of news in this country. Would the electorate’s decisions still be equally valid?

  9. @Colin;

    Nobody is saying you can’t find this analysis if you go out and look for it. But very few people do go out and look for analysis. For example, when was the last time you sat in front of your computer, thought “Momentum has been in the news a lot lately”, Googled “Momentum blogs” (or something along those lines), and stumbled upon a piece of analysis which discussed the structure of Momentum nationally and talked through why the current national committee is effectively just a rubber stamp for the steering committee; and did all this without once referencing the frame that the national newspapers set for this discussion?

    We tend to be passive and not active consumers of news: we read the news put in front of us and not the news we go looking for. That means online opinion tends to have be reactive and responsive to newspapers in order to draw attention, or it doesn’t get read. Now, this is becoming less true, but it still is true.

    And the way we can see this is just by asking people. After all, in this context influence is visibility – the more sources newspapers can influence, the more people consuming those other sources will feel newspaper influence. And when you ask people about newspaper power…

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2012/06/22/newspapers-nationally-influential/

    “44% of respondents thought newspapers had more influence than a decade ago, compared to only 17% who thought it had waned.

    When asked how much power and influence newspapers had over politicians, 85% said they thought newspapers did have power and influence over them, with nearly half saying it was “a lot”.”

    Currently, the main effect of the internet has been to bolster newspapers. If we go back to the ’90s, the pressure on newspapers was from television, and there’s little newspapers can do to stop that. Now, the pressure is from online… but newspapers can set up websites. So of all those people who say the internet is their primary source of news… how much of those do you think mean the Daily Mail’s website (first in the world for news media), or the Guardian’s (the third)?

  10. @Colin

    “My case was that Internet News sources span the whole gamut of opinion from extreme to extreme.-and do not suffer from the alleged narrow ownership/biase of the dead tree Press.
    If you disagree please tell me on what basis”

    —————-

    Have already made your errors very, very clear. You are way too smart to not be getting it.

    Yes, there is a broader range of views available on the net, but if it’s mostly younger peeps reading them, then press will still dominate overall

    I have already made that point, you are ignoring it to the pint of trolling.

  11. TOPHAT

    @”If we’re using 1984-2002 as the limits for millennials and 1946-1964 as the limits for boomers ”

    I wasn’t . I was disagreeing with your assertion that intergeneration ” turnout becomes a moot point.”

    It is critical-as I tried to demonstrate with the first set of numbers on Age Demographic VI I could find-a YouGov Poll.

    As to your implied view that all political Parties favour policies which benefit the old rather than the young-I would need to see proof of that.
    I think it may just be another excuse in the litany of excuses for the young not bothering to vote.

    SOMERJOHN

    I don’t know what you mean by “sets the agenda” . Is this just observing that large news providers identify key news items?-if so-well yes I suppose they do.-or is it asserting that they biase it politically in some way.

    If you are equating RT with the BBC , then I draw the conclusion that you are alleging huge political bias . In that particular example bias dictated by The State.

    In which case we part company !!!

  12. TOP HAT

    @”We tend to be passive and not active consumers of news. we read the news put in front of us and not the news we go looking for. ”

    You seem to have a view of the average adult consumer of News, which I don’t share. -I don’t believe that we are all brainless sheep.

    Anyway-I don’t think we are going to resolve our differences here.

  13. Colin

    “If you are equating RT with the BBC , then I draw the conclusion that you are alleging huge political bias . In that particular example bias dictated by The State.”

    I certainly wouldn’t equate RT and BBC, but when the BBC is given “obligations” by the UK Government as to what it must deliver, then there at least some similarities.

    “One of the BBC’s many responsibilities is to bring people together, Mr Speaker, supporting and encouraging greater cohesion, not least among the nations of the United Kingdom.”

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/draft-bbc-charter-and-draft-framework-agreement-oral-statement

  14. SOMERJOHN

    I was actually talking about how many constituencies voted in favour of Brexit, I think you will find it is well over 400 seats and therefore a massive majority in favour on that basis.

    With regard to my dyslexia I am now finding your remarks really offensive. All the long term posters are aware of my problem and take care not make pointed remarks. I would be grateful if you would do the same.

    As I say your persistence in questioning me about it when I have said I find it irritating says volumes about you as a human being. It certainly will not have any effect on how I post here

  15. Colin

    “I don’t understand why that is undesirable ?”

    Your wasting your time Colin that poster cannot accept anything which he disagrees with.

    As you will have seen I pulled him up because he used the word “tiny”. He was clearly wrong in the context to do so, as I have demonstrated but in order to avoid accepting that he was wrong he made a great song and dance about my dyslexia. He can say what he likes in that regard, but he was wrong.

  16. OLDNAT

    The most important “obligation” she mentions , I feel, is this one :-

    “The Charter explicitly recognises the need for the BBC to be independent – particularly in editorial matters ”

    …… unlike RT one suspects. But then I suppose there is no chance of reading the key features of their Broadcasting “Charter”.

    TOH

    I usually am !!! :-)

  17. OLDNAT

    Your post prompted a bit of Googling.

    I found this-note the penultimate paragraph !

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/apr/25/rt-faces-ofcom-inquiry-over-turkish-government-genocide-claim

  18. ToH

    “Your wasting your time Colin that poster cannot accept anything which he disagrees with.”

    ———–

    Actually Somerjohn is being massively misrepresented. To his point that the BBC reflects the press, Colin counters:

    “But the BBC is a huge provider of News. That is undisputable.
    I don’t understand why that is undesirable ?”

    Which is a non-sequitur that doesn’t follow from Somerjohn’s point, and ignores his point also.

  19. @Colin

    “As to your implied view that all political Parties favour policies which benefit the old rather than the young-I would need to see proof of that.
    I think it may just be another excuse in the litany of excuses for the young not bothering to vote.”

    ———–

    Well it isn’t necessarily the old per se, but pandering to the largest voting bloc. Thus boomers get full employment, subsidised degrees, housing in the Eighties, good pensions, cheap privatisation shares, windfalls from building society demutualisations etc. etc. and then these things are then denied the younger. Or they are hampered by it, eg when house prices inflated later.

    Oh and pension age extended for younger while older get fuel allowances. etc….

  20. (Housing subsidies in the Eighties)

  21. Carfrew
    “Thus boomers get full employment, subsidised degrees, housing in the Eighties, good pensions, cheap privatisation shares, windfalls from building society demutualisations etc. etc….”

    And, at the risk of being called a Monty Python character, bomb-sites, rationing, polio and other epidemics, hyper-inflation, etc etc. We’ve been over all this before. Every generation has its own opportunities and challenges and just needs to get on with it without whining.

  22. PETE B

    ………..and in the case of pre-boomers you could have added bombs, V1s, and V2s.

    I have some sympathy with the younger generation, especially those in their teens and 20’s but as you say we have been here before, many times.

  23. Must add this to the discussion on News consumption amongst the young.

    The Curse of the Smart Phone-Facebook as a top source of “News” !!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36528256

    Perhaps it just as well they don’t vote. :-)

  24. Years ago I asked a very capable scientist who had stated that no press reports are entirely accurate, and many very inaccurate, for his evidence.
    He said “Ask anyone actually present at any event recorded by the press whether the report was entirely accurate. If you find one, come and tell me.”
    There is actually a good scientific reason for this. All press accounts are forced through the filter of X column inches (and BBC accounts through the often tighter filter of Y broadcast minutes) All such filters distort the signals. Add to that the reporter’s usual vocabulary and choice of words. Deliberate efforts to distort the signal in one direction or another are not necessary. The system has its own historic bias (eg recruitment in the image of the present team) which can only be corrected by deliberate efforts in the opposite direction. Inertia not conspiracy is what slants most items.
    The Daily Telegraph addressed this issue by recruiting columnists of a political persuasion which differs from its historic stance. Some of its previous columnists have left. The result I suggest is overall bias in the opposite direction, rather than balance within each item. Of course that may be deliberate DT policy, but I am not sure you can tell if the aim was change or balance, except perhaps by looking to the owners for motive.

  25. Labour to make a huge assault in Scotland, over the next few weeks, according to my red sources,they believe the Nats are there to be taken.

  26. Colin

    I’m not surprised that RT breaches UK guidelines – nor that the BBC Trust seldom finds the BBC similarly in breach!

    However, my point was not that RT was the same as the BBC, but that the laying of obligation on a broadcaster to programme in a way that suits the government agenda is something that prevents the BBC from being a pure and altogether neutral source.

    I agree that the Charter gives the BBC editorial freedom to decide how to implement its obligations.

    It can choose to have multifarious programmes labelled “The Great British XXXXX” or to fail to broadcast programmes that might (in its judgment) reduce cohesion.

    Were May to eventually decide that Brexiting was a bad idea, that Charter obligation might persuade the great and the good of BBC decision makers that they had an obligation to promote the cohesion of peoples in the EU as a top priority.

    Thinking that a broadcaster (or any media source) as being good – while it slants things in a way you like – and vice versa – is a very human trait.

  27. Jasper22

    “Labour to make a huge assault in Scotland, over the next few weeks, according to my red sources,they believe the Nats are there to be taken”

    Interesting. The next few weeks? I wonder what that assault would entail at this time of year.

  28. Jasper

    “they believe the Nats are there to be taken”

    I am sure that at some point that will be true. However, poling would suggest it isn’t yet.

    The latest wee YG geographic crossbreak shows much t same pattern as Full Scottish polls do for WM –

    SNP 54% : Con 21% : Lab 14% : LD 6% : UKIP 4% : Grn 1%

    So which party will be poised to get elected when the SNP fall in popularity is something of a moot point.

    If your “Red sources” are in RISE, then we are permitted to give a little giggle – given that they said that before the May elections.

    If they are in Elab, then a quiet guffaw would be more appropriate.

  29. Colin: you responded to my ”You have only to look at news stories referenced here by posters to see that most of them come from newspaper websites or the BBC.”

    with: “But the BBC is a huge provider of News. That is indisputable. I don’t understand why that is undesirable ?”

    Neither do I. I don’t think it’s undesirable and I didn’t suggest it was. I was using the fact that most references by posters on UKPR to news items, reference newspaper or BBC websites, in support of my assertion that newspapers still ‘set the agenda’.

    I see TOH chimed in later with “Your wasting your time Colin that poster cannot accept anything which he disagrees with” which frankly baffles me. Apart from anything else, I accept Brexit while disagreeing with it!

  30. Just reposting this with a couple of changes as it went into moderation earlier. Fingers crossed:

    Just returning for a look after other stuff and I see there’s been a bit of curious comment about my post, to whit:
    “Your wasting your time Colin that poster cannot accept anything which he disagrees with.
    As you will have seen I pulled him up because he used the word “tiny”. He was clearly wrong in the context to do so, as I have demonstrated but in order to avoid accepting that he was wrong he made a great song and dance about my dyslexia. He can say what he likes in that regard, but he was wrong.”
    This really is baffling. First because I don’t think any of us on here should talk of having “pulled him up”, but secondly because it’s bizarre to think that describing the Brexit winning margin as “tiny” can be conclusively proven wrong. It’s a matter of opinion whether the difference between 48.2 and 51.8 is tiny or huge: you can’t “demonstrate he was wrong”
    And then it’s equally weird to imagine that someone would think, “Oh dear, he’s got me there. How can I counter-attack? I know, I’ll ask why he persists in spelling a particular word wrongly when he clearly knows how it should be spelt.”
    I accept that discussing a handicap can be impertinent, but it was in the context of responding to “your [sic] clearly in denial” which was an uncalled-for suggestion of an inability on my part to handle unfavourable facts.
    To be blunt, I’ve never come across a type of dyslexia which is confined to the spelling of a single word. It looks like (epithet deleted). But many posters on here have tried to get TOH to justify his assertions and implications rationally: the response is usually to resort to abuse or cosy cross-chat with perceived ‘allies”.
    Anyway, Colin: to return to the original discussion about papers vs social media as information sources. I don’t believe we’re actually far apart. Yes, younger people have access to a wide range of information sources covering the whole gamut of opinion. Yes, older people are more reliant on newspapers and TV. Whether those younger people actually access that wide range, or, like the rest of us, stick mainly to a few familiar sites, is a different question.
    And the RT point was not about the BBC, but that a population (or age group) reliant on news source(s) promoting a particular world-view will have their voting behaviour influenced by that news slant. So: would you accept the wisdom of voters reliant on RT?

  31. May’s “Great Repeal Bill” (as being reported in the ST) could have interesting constitutional dimensions.

    Withdrawal from the ECJ would change Scots Law as well, and that (unless May also intends to revisit the Scotland Acts) would require the approval of the Scottish Parliament – which seems unlikely.

  32. There’s alternative reports going around that the “Great Repeal Bill” won’t actually repeal anything other than the EU regulation accession. All current EU regulations at the time of Brexit will be converted into secondary legislation.

    This is of course obviously what has to happen. Unless it wants to just get kicked out immediately with nothing, the UK government can’t repeal a single EU regulation until after the Article 50 negotiations have concluded. All May can announce is a bill that would halt EU regulation accession at the end of those negotiations, she can’t touch any EU regulation that refers to current acceded regulations, unless it’s to replace them with ones that implement the same regulation.

  33. Jayblanc
    I can’t remember where I saw this, but I thought the bill was going to stop EU law taking precedence over UK law. So I suppose existing law would stay for the time being, but new stuff, or anything that went to court would be decided here. I could be totally wrong of course. We won’t know for sure until the details are officially announced.

  34. Jayblanc

    While, obviously, we have to wait for more details, Faisal Islam seems fairly clear that this Bill would only come into effect when (if) the UK left the EU.

    If that is correct, then it has only a bit of “If.. then” programming – except that it would still require the approval of the devolved administrations – especially Scotland with its different legal system.

    Interestingly, that could allow a number of knotty constitutional problems to be sorted out before they reach crisis point.

    For example, would the Scottish Parliament agree to the idea, were they to get the untrammelled power to call indyref2?

    Could the Welsh & NI Assemblies be persuaded by other constitutional concessions?

  35. OLDNAT

    You’ve lost me old chap-you clearly have some ill intention in mind on the part of the Government , or the BBC, or both, but I’m not quite sure what it is.

    No matter-conspiracy theories aren’t difficult to come by.

  36. This may be of interest to @Colin and others – https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/01/millennials-facebook-politics-bias-social-media

    It tends to back up his argument that newspapers are less important sources of news, and while @Top hat is suggesting that they still influence the online news sources, the way social media works is substantially different, in that interactions with both people and news stories is filtered to fit your world view. This will make it harder for traditional media sources to set your own news agenda, as your own news agenda is in effect, created by you and your own self selection.

    I personally find this slightly worrying. While baby boomers apparently get much of their news online, like millennials, this suggests that the latter in particular are unaware that they are experiencing a filtered news agenda, and do not realise that they are inside the echo chamber.

    That is disturbing for political discourse, as it is far easier to keep alternative ideas out in the online world, and never being exposed to other perspectives means that you can neither understand other viewpoints, nor have any hope of either convincing others of your view or of reaching an acceptable compromise.

  37. Surely it should be called the Great Non-Repeal Act?

  38. Alec
    “…this suggests that the latter in particular are unaware that they are experiencing a filtered news agenda, and do not realise that they are inside the echo chamber.”

    I see what you’re getting at, but is it any worse than someone who always reads the same newspaper?

    Perhaps the main danger is that Facebook for instance could tweak their algorithm so that stories favouring FB’s political agenda are most prominently featured.

  39. @Pete B – There have already been arguments about FB filtering out right wing stories, so life is ahead of you there. I also think it is different to some reading the same paper, as reading the paper isn’t the same as having friends send links to stories etc.

    I personally feel that there is now growing evidence to suggest that ubiquitous online coverage of everything, far from enabling us to access a wider range of different viewpoints, is paradoxically allowing individuals to retreat back to a narrow range of unchallenged beliefs.

    In the old days, I would rarely meet anyone sharing my viewpoints, having to mix in a world largely negative to my thoughts and ideas. Now I can access thousands of people who think like me with a few keystrokes. However, the numbers of people holding these views hasn’t really changed, but I could potentially wrap myself in them and kid myself that I’m changing the world.

  40. @Hawthorn

    Recently the UK has adopted the US practice of naming a Bill by what you promised to do, regardless of if it actually does.

  41. Alec
    Very good point. It’s one of the reasons I like this site. There is a wide range of attitudes and opinions yet it is generally polite and reasoned. We all slip sometimes, but in general it is an oasis of rationality in the desert of opinionated abuse which seems to dominate much of the internet.

  42. New poll in the Observer:

    Con 38, Lab 31, UKIP 16, LD 5

  43. That looks a shade high for UKIP and low for LibDems. I looked on the Observer site but couldn’t find it, could you post a link?

  44. “Very good point. It’s one of the reasons I like this site. There is a wide range of attitudes and opinions yet it is generally polite and reasoned. We all slip sometimes, but in general it is an oasis of rationality in the desert of opinionated abuse which seems to dominate much of the internet.”

    Indeed. People are very nice round here. It is indeed an oasis of pleasantness in a desert of rudeness.

  45. Pete B:

    From the deputy editor of PoliticalBetting, and I’ve never seen them post inaccurate information in the five years I’ve been visiting the site:

    https://twitter.com/TSEofPB/status/782351594046251008?lang=en-gb

  46. @PETE B

    “And, at the risk of being called a Monty Python character, bomb-sites, rationing, polio and other epidemics, hyper-inflation, etc etc. We’ve been over all this before. Every generation has its own opportunities and challenges and just needs to get on with it without whining.”

    For once I agree with you. The modern generation has the advantage of technology that even people like me born in 1967 did not have. I remember spending hours in my local library going through the Britannica to help me write long essays, revise for A levels etc. These days everything can be found easily online – no wonder exam grades are so high.

    The problem is that life expectations are ridiculously high: buy a house in your 20s, retire comfortably at 55 and go on cruises, etc. All utter nonsense. It’s true that many people born in the ’40s and ’50s have been able to do this, but a lot of it was pure luck. The lucky ones got solid, good jobs after leaving school and stuck at them, married young, had kids and lived within their means. In relative terms salaries were generally lower in the 1970s than today for equivalent jobs, and large inheritances and gifts from parents or grandparents were rare unless you were from the landed gentry. The advantage of MIRAS was to a large extent offset by the much higher basic rate of income tax at the time – over 30% from what I can remember.

    Today young people want it all – holidays, technology, cars, the latest gadgets, relationships with no commitments, etc. The key to having a successful life is to build a career early, save enough money to look after yourself in old age and settle down in a stable relationship in your youth so that resources can be pooled. Few young people follow this path nowadays – they want freedom without responsibility – and this is not a path to a good life.

  47. @Alec “In the old days, I would rarely meet anyone sharing my viewpoints, having to mix in a world largely negative to my thoughts and ideas. Now I can access thousands of people who think like me with a few keystrokes. However, the numbers of people holding these views hasn’t really changed, but I could potentially wrap myself in them and kid myself that I’m changing the world.”

    I agree. And it is likely to get worse. Google filters searches based on previous search history.

    I see the Corbyn/Momentum phenomenon as part of this tendency towards inward looking groupthink. Like Michael Foot being incredulous at the magnitude of the loss of the 1983 election despite his meetings and rallies being flooded with supporters.

    @Pete B “Very good point. It’s one of the reasons I like this site. There is a wide range of attitudes and opinions yet it is generally polite and reasoned. We all slip sometimes, but in general it is an oasis of rationality in the desert of opinionated abuse which seems to dominate much of the internet.”

    Agreed again, I would say that their is a preponderance towards “Center Left” thinking here, however in general the debating is inclusive which I think AW has done much to foster with his narrative of objectivity and unattached observations.

  48. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “I was actually talking about how many constituencies voted in favour of Brexit, I think you will find it is well over 400 seats and therefore a massive majority in favour on that basis.”

    Maybe so, but in a referendum the number of seats is not relevant, and there is no indication that in a general election voters will only back candidates who supported their view on Brexit.

  49. @Tancred – “…Few young people follow this path nowadays – they want freedom without responsibility – and this is not a path to a good life.”

    Agreed. There is not nearly enough thought or planning for the future. I listen to Millennials and many of their beliefs about how “their world” should be versus the cold hard realities on the ground smack of irresponsible idealism. They are in for a very rude shock.. Add in the rapidly coming rise of automation across multiple industries and the prospects for those who do not plan forward look bleak.

  50. @SEA CHANGE

    “……Add in the rapidly coming rise of automation across multiple industries and the prospects for those who do not plan forward look bleak.”

    This impact has already happened. In 1988 when I left university I started working in an office with a large typing pool, secretaries galore, noisy dot matrix printers, etc. Fast forward ten years and they all disappeared. Computers have eliminated the need for clerical staff and the only jobs left are ‘thinking jobs’, i.e. professional and managerial. Of course even these jobs are now at risk with offshoring and usage of cheaper intellectual labour in Asia etc. In future the only safe jobs will be senior management ones; the lower and middle ranking staff will become expendable, just tools that can be replaced by cheaper ones.

1 2 3 4 5 22