The Times this morning has the latest YouGov voting intention figures – CON 42%(+3), LAB 28%(-2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 11%(-2). While the size of the lead isn’t quite as large as the seventeen points ICM showed earlier in the week, it’s a another very solid lead for the Conservatives following their party conference, matching the lead May had at the height of her honeymoon. Full tabs are here.

While I’m here I’ll add a quick update on two other recent YouGov polls. First some new London polling, which shows extremely positive ratings for Sadiq Khan. 58% of people think he is doing well as London mayor, only 14% think he is doing badly. Mayors of London seem to get pretty good approval ratings most of the time (both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson normally enjoyed positive ratings), I don’t know if that’s down to the skills of the individual politicians who have held the job so far or whether the public judge them by different standards to Westminster politicians. Never the less, it’s a very positive start for Khan, with net positive approval ratings among supporters of all parties except UKIP. Full tabs are here.

Finally, since the subject keeps popping up, some polling on the Royal Yacht. The public oppose replacing the Royal Yacht with a newly commissioned vessel by 51% to 25%. They would also oppose recommissioning the old Royal Yacht Brittania, but by a smaller margin (42% opposed, 31% support). The argument that the cost of the Yacht would be justified by the its role in promoting British trade and interests oversees does not find favour with the general public – 26% think the cost can be justified, 57% think it cannot. Full results are here.


607 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42, LAB 28, LDEM 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. @Carfrew

    Just to note, the same point was expressed in my initial post. You misinterpreted that, and I have tried to help clarify. I wouldn’t call that quicksilver.

    You are right that the more important something is, the more sure we might want to be. But the example of the criminal is a slightly different one to the referendum question. We don’t find people innocent in court, we specifically test the truth of the single proposition that they are guilty. You can be guilty or not guilty, and we set a high bar for proof. We don’t choose between competing options of guilty and innocent. Under civil law, where we are looking at competing claims with two parties (and not the state versus the defendant as in criminal cases), we use the balance of probabilities, the 50% + 1 equivalent.

    If the question asked in the recent referendum had been “Do you reckon we ought to leave the EU?”, then there is no philosophical bar on setting the mandate at whatever level of difficulty you would have wished. Such a question would have had an inherent bias to the status quo though. Actually, we were asked to pick between two mutually exclusive options: the balance of the voters seems the logical way forward in that case.

  2. Pete B

    “I’d just point out that no individual party has won more than 50% of the vote in a GE since 1931. Does that mean that all governments (except coalitions) since then are somehow illegitimate?”

    YES

  3. CR
    So that would include the post-war Labour government that introduced the NHS? We must disband it at once!

    Really g’night this time.

  4. ANDREW111

    What an odd comment, I was just showing that the vote to leave the EU was very widespread not like the vote to remain which was concentrated in relatively small areas, populous London, some of the Home Counties Scotland and parts of N Ireland.

    I do admit to liking biscuits though so if you offering……….. :-)

  5. Tancred

    “Unfortunately the penny hasn’t dropped with many Brexiteers.”

    LOL That really is funny coming from you who are still in denial that we are leaving the EU.

  6. AL URQA

    “Brexiters seem not to understand that the EU is political.”

    But we do and don’t want to be part of an undemocratic corrupt organisation any longer.

  7. While accepting that the reduced value of the £ will cause many rice increases including some foodstuff the following show that the movement is not all one way:-

    “A new paper published by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) says that the UK would have been hit with additional compliance costs worth up to £7.5 billion a year if the country were to stay part of the EU.

    Compliance with existing agricultural regulations – such as the Common Agricultural Policy which provides subsidies to EU farmers – are already costing England at least £600 million a year, the think tank said.

    If a review of existing legislation led to an EU-wide ban on pesticides, the UK food chain could see lower yields, higher prices and be hit with additional raw material costs of about £7.5 billion a year that could be passed on to shoppers, the paper explained.
    Mark Littlewood, the director general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “EU member states face staggering food price rises unless the march of increased regulation is halted. The UK is fortunate that it now has the opportunity to repatriate control of its farming regulations.”

  8. should have read …………..many price increases …………

  9. OLDNAT

    Your nearly right.

    My position is that the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU, but you are right that England and Wales doing so is the most important to me.

    However at the moment I believe it will be the whole of the UK that will leave as I have not seen any firm evidence to suggest otherwise.

  10. PROFHOWARD

    Re my post.
    “Same old arguments from remainers, what a bore. Good night all.”

    Judging by Tancreds response to that post he thought I was calling you personally a bore. If you also got that impression then I apologise that is not what I meant.

    I was trying to say that the same old argument pro and against Brexit really are boring now.

  11. Interesting story in todays Independant :-

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-senior-conservative-mps-seize-on-a-forgotten-government-pledge-to-let-parliament-decide-the-a7366316.html

    .. Ministers agreed, exactly six years ago, that referendums “cannot be legally binding” – which meant MPs and peers should decide “whether or not to take action” on the verdict given by voters.

    The unequivocal statement flies in the face of Theresa May’s repeated insistence that her Government, not Parliament, will decide how to deliver Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

    The Prime Minister is locked in a court battle for the right to use the ancient royal prerogative – legal authority derived from the Crown – to trigger the Article 50 withdrawal process, ignoring Parliament.

    But, in October 2010, David Cameron’s Government stated exactly the opposite in a little-noticed response to an inquiry by a House of Lords committee.

    That inquiry concluded that “because of the sovereignty of Parliament, referendums cannot be legally binding in the UK, and are therefore advisory”.

    Senior Conservative MPs have seized on a forgotten Government promise to let Parliament decide the response to any referendum result – insisting it must hold true for Brexit.

    Ministers agreed, exactly six years ago, that referendums “cannot be legally binding” – which meant MPs and peers should decide “whether or not to take action” on the verdict given by voters.

    The unequivocal statement flies in the face of Theresa May’s repeated insistence that her Government, not Parliament, will decide how to deliver Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

    The Prime Minister is locked in a court battle for the right to use the ancient royal prerogative – legal authority derived from the Crown – to trigger the Article 50 withdrawal process, ignoring Parliament.

    But, in October 2010, David Cameron’s Government stated exactly the opposite in a little-noticed response to an inquiry by a House of Lords committee.

    That inquiry concluded that “because of the sovereignty of Parliament, referendums cannot be legally binding in the UK, and are therefore advisory”.

    In response, then-constitutional reform minister Mark Harper stated: “The Government agrees with this recommendation.

    “Under the UK’s constitutional arrangements, Parliament must be responsible for deciding whether or not to take action in response to a referendum result.”

  12. Andrew111 & Tancred

    In your reference to TOH

    “I tend to agree with you that a lot of irrelevant stuff is being quoted by both sides on this board, but your oft-repeated argument about the number of constituencies that voted Leave is significant (as if it was a General Election!) really does take the biscuit!”

    So if you don’t agree with TOH breaking this down by constituency, then you must also disagree with our Scottish brethren breaking it down by country.

    In other words it was a poll of the whole United Kingdom and the result is the result and everything else is just noise.

  13. ROBERT NEWARK

    Nicely put Robert.

  14. “But we do and don’t want to be part of an undemocratic corrupt organisation any longer.”
    @The Other Howard October 18th, 2016 at 8:06 am

    On the face of it that’s a fair point. But you always seem to sling mud at the EU, but never at the UK, which in many ways is worse. Corruption? House of Lords. Undemocratic? UK Government. House of Lords.

    FPTP v PR. Much of Europe uses the more democratic PR. We only have it for EU elections. A Tory in a Labour seat has no vote; a Labour supporter in a Tory seat as no vote.

    I’m sorry we voted Brexit. I accept that we have voted to leave the EU. I laugh at the fact that Brexit is meaningless.

    I’ve really enjoyed these last few threads. The cleverest thing May has done is to push back A50 as far as possible — from immediately after the vote to ‘the new year,’ which now means end of Q1. That’s nine months for events to take their course. And of course ferrets and sack come to mind.

    Very clever.

  15. Biggest monthly rise in inflation for 2 years, with CPI up 0.4% to 1%, and the RPI up to 2.0%.

  16. More worryingly, foreign investors on the UK bond markets are clearly getting twitch. UK gilts yeilds have risen for 5 consecutive days. Post June 23rd analysts were explaining the simultaneous rise in gilt prices and falls in sterling in terms of the £ as a reserve currency, so when the currency falls, overseas investors automatically buy more sterling gilts to maintain their weightings.

    This has now stopped, and we have both falling at the same time. Nomura bank in Japan has said – “The UK faces a balance of payments crisis,”.

    Not remotely good news, if true, and it’s being blamed four square on hard Brexit.

  17. Anyone remember the days when we had to appease the bond markets at any cost? What ever happened to that line of argument…

  18. @RobertNewark
    Apologies but your comparison makes no sense:
    – constituencies are not legislative units, they are administrative divisions by which representatives are selected; the vote in each of these administrative divisions is interesting but has no democratic significance for the decision-making process around Brexit.
    – the nations of the UK are administrative units with substantial delegated legislative powers; they have implicit (and in the case of NI, explicit) involvement in the decision-making process around Brexit.

  19. @Alec

    The balance of payments crisis existed regardless of Brexit. Remaining would have helped us keep our heads in the sand for longer. It used to be said that the EU would bring financial discipline, but now it is recommended to us as allowing us to live beyond our means. A different message to Greece – the only difference being that we have our own currency that can devalue.

    So, will the EU help solve the current account deficit? Unless the answer is, yes, the crisis will come, Brexit or not. The question is how much debt we load up before the kindness of strangers dries up.

  20. @alurqa

    “FPTP v PR. Much of Europe uses the more democratic PR. We only have it for EU elections. A Tory in a Labour seat has no vote; a Labour supporter in a Tory seat as no vote.”

    True at the UK level but from a Scottish perspective the only election we have which uses FPTP is for the UK Parliament. All other elections in Scotland use some form of PR.

  21. @Bigfatron

    And Scotland has an explicit role as well as the SG is clear that the so called Great Repeal Bill will require legislative consent from Holyrood.

  22. AL URQA

    In answer to your question is :- because IMO the UK is not worse, indeed by no means as bad.

    On your specifics, I agree the House of Lords is undemocratic in it’s present form. I am not sure what I would have in it’s place, indeed I rather think i would plump for just doing away with a second chamber. If we have to have one it should only be able to delay Government legislation, not overturn it and the delay should be no more than 12 months.

    I don’t agree FPTP is in any way more undemocratic than the various forms of PR, indeed it can be argued that as a system it brings stability.

    Alec

    I posted a piece yesterday that inflation is not necessarily all bad. I not that they do not think the reduced value of the £ is reflected in the figures yet so clearly it will go higher once that kicks in.

  23. The other Howard,
    The article you quoted from Albert Edwards argues inflation caused by devaluaton is preferable to deflation. well…maybe. Economists dislike deflation because they argue people put off purchases, knowing they will be cheaper in the future. I distrust this, because I think most purchases in our wealthy socity are not based upon getting the best value, but because we want a new X just for the sake of having a new one. Deflation is a fact of life for many commodities because of modern production methods and industry relies upon improving specifications, or ‘fashion’ to encourage new sales. The question we should be asking is how to learn to live with deflation, which ought to be our normal experience.

  24. @Joseph1832

    The trade balance, current account, and national debt are all different things. They have links, but it doesn’t make much sense to conflate them all together like that.

    The EU allows us to maintain a trade deficit, while maintaining a balanced current account, because of the common market. Because of this, the UK actually made money out of running a trade deficit. Yes this is counter intuitive, welcome to macro-economics. Basically, goods flowing in were worth more than we were paying to import them, so the ‘current account’ benefits.

    Without something to replace the EU’s common market, the UK’s trade deficit will switch back to being a burden on the current account, as goods imported become worth less than it costs to import them.

  25. Alec,
    you suggest the UK needs to invest in production to make the most of the devaluation. Unfortunately, cheaper goods does not automatically guarantee sales. There is huge overcapacity in just about everything around the world. We have spend the last 8 years exhorting Uk manufacturers to invest, which they have refused to do. After the 2008 crash they had just as big a devaluation gain, but they knew it would not translate into extra sales. Same is true now. There has to be demand and there is not. Uk goods will still be more expensive than chinese ones, if only because China ensures its own are subsidised. From that perspective, the more we drop our prices the worse matters become, because profit on such goods as we do sell continues to shrink. The EU is a protectionist zone intended to protect its members from undercutting. We cannot survive free trade, but that is what Leave offer.

  26. @Danny

    “People put off purchases” is a micro-economics analogy to describe the macro-economic effect. The “people” here are going to be businesses, lenders, and so on… When deflation occurs, it becomes fundamentally less “risky” to just hold on to your cash, than to allow it to be economically active. Cash in the bank can be worth ‘more’ than cash invested or lent out. So Deflation has a huge drag on the general economy.

  27. @TOH – “I posted a piece yesterday that inflation is not necessarily all bad.”

    Yes – I posted a number of articles on that also. I don’t see a little inflation necessarily as a great evil, but it has to be recognised that it is part of a highly significant adjustment that has to happen after sudden devaluations.

    This means that someone, somewhere, has to get poorer. If the adjustment works properly, it is domestic consumers that take the hit, with resources effectively switched to exporting, which will, in due course, take up the slack and rebalance the economy.

    Pre June 23rd, I posted a couple of times on why I had opted, just, to vote for remain. Central to this is the issue of timing.

    We still have an excessive national debt, a very hefty annual deficit, and a record breakingly massive current account deficit. All of this, while we are still on the life support of record low interest rates, lower than at any time since we invented the national debt. I judged that such a set of imblanaces was not the ideal time to be able to safely absorb what will be a major corrective shock to the system.

    That we have not suffered a major economic slump since June 23rd isn’t simply that things are OK. The Brexiteers in general, tend to forget that we have had immediate emergency action from the BoE in the form of another huge dose of QE (£75b I recall) and a further emergency cut in bank rates. This has masked many of the immediate impacts, but the realisation that many in government want a hard Brexit is concentrating minds and we are now seeing the consequences.

    I think it was back in 2012 or 2013 when I said that I thought bank rates should have been nudged upwwards, to prevent debt increasing yet further (along with far greater efforts to boost investment) and I still feel this was a better path.

    We had to engineer a major correction, but this never happened. Now we have collectively engineered it via Brexit at the point when we have the most limited weaponary to fight it, and I think we will suffer the consequences.

  28. KENTDALIAN

    Many thanks for the Indy link. It’s not clear if you posted the whole story “as was” or just the first, meaty part of it.

    In either case, reading the whole article as it now stands, with the #10 response and comments from Clarke, Morgan & Grieve, is well worthwhile. See UK Government agreed referendum could not be legally binding.

    I’d be surprised if it doesn’t get a mention in today’s High Court challenge, covered again live by the Indy here. BTW, no sign of yesterday afternoon’s transcript yet – presumably it will come out at lunchtime or this evening with the whole of today’s proceedings.

  29. I haven’t posted for a while because I was so distressed at the leave vote and did not trust myself to be dispassionate in my comments. However hat I cannot believe is that the arguments are still rumbling away on this site.
    I think I have faced up to reality: the UK will leave the EU: Scotland may or may not vote for independence but that will not prevent it being taken out of the EU also, and I don’t hold out much hope for a swift re-entry because of the reaction of countries like Spain based on their own internal politics.
    The arguments must now be directed towards what is our future relationship with the EU, other trading blocks and individual nations.
    It appears to me no-one is properly suggesting what it is they want after we are out: simply slogans such as Brexit means Brexit.
    I have heard it said that we would be giving away our negotiating position, that the car salesman would not lower the price because we had already told him we would pay in full. The difference between buying a car and negotiating an exit is obvious the price has already been agreed; Britain is leaving. What the negotiations relate to is the later service costs, in other words if we come to you for the service will it be advantageous compared to going to others.

    What these questions relate to is what is the British Government trying to achieve as an exit agreement. At present the Government is not stating what it is trying to achieve at all (apart from gnomic comments about having a clear mandate etc.). What is missing from our economic life at present is any form of stability. If the government is seeking a complete exit from the single market and customs union it is better, for planning purposes, that everyone knows about this and indeed it might achieve concessions from those countries with a vested interest in trading with the UK. If the contrary is true and the government is intent on retaining as much involvement in economic union as it can then that too needs to be clear.

    Stating what the final aims are is not setting out the terms that might be required to achieve them. To demonstrate my argument if we examine an area of contention e.g. the free movement pillars of the Union of Labour, Goods and Services, the definition of Labour in such an agreement might be narrowed to only those with a clear offer of employment and deemed not to include their families possibly with a requirement of immediate removal at the end of employment.

    In order to approach economic stability knowledge is strength. If the government are trying to negotiate from a position of secrecy they will continue to undermine the economy: as Kier Starmer said on Marr It’s astonishing that the Prime Minister is not putting the economy first. The economy, jobs and workers’ rights – they have to be the priority. Nobody gave the government a blank cheque here. We must get a vote on the opening terms of the negotiation.”
    Whatever your politics and whatever you voted in June the winds have changed and as a country we have to tack differently to continue our journey.

  30. @Danny – I don’t particularly disagree with your 11.03am post. We didn’t benefit from the 2008 devaluation precisely because of collapsing world demand, as you say, and this is one example of a major devaluation that didn’t carry with it any really significant upside.

    Where I would slightly diverge is where you say “We have spend the last 8 years exhorting Uk manufacturers to invest….”.

    One of the little mentioned elements of Osborne’s 2010 ’emergency’ budget was the cutting on annual investment allowances, which were then reinstated (I think) three years later, once he realised what a total numpty he had been.

    All around us governments were using cheap borrowing to provide greater investment incentives, and we had such an economic extremist in No. 11 who thought it was a good idea to remove existing incentives, along with cut science and research budgets. We then failed to fully make use of the recovery when it came, which was no real surprise.

  31. @WB – welcome back.

    One point to clarify – the freedom of movement applies to citizens, not workers – see – “The Treaty of Maastricht[1] introduced the notion of EU citizenship[2] to be enjoyed automatically by every national of a Member State. It is this EU citizenship that underpins the right of persons to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States. The Lisbon Treaty confirmed this right, which is also included in the general provisions on the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.”

    [Taken from http://www.europarl.europa.eu/atyourservice/en/displayFtu.html?ftuId=FTU_2.1.3.html ]

    In practice, there are still restrictions to the principle, but if it really was just the free movement of ‘workers’, then there could be many ways to make that acceptable to the majority of UK voters.

  32. Rise in bond yields is absolutely good news.

  33. Danny

    I’d like to see someone test any of these hypotheses… It seems that the main “job” of economists is to act as a hypothesis factory churning out narratives that conform to their world view. I don’t trust any of them unless they actually go to the effort of proving their hypothesis. In a world where there is a huge amount of hard data available, it’s surprising so many economists avoid proving their interesting idea. The main problem with economics I think are the economists. If we could get rid of them, the field would probably advance much faster.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of economists prescribing leeches due to an imbalance of the humours in the market.

    I believe for certain products you might be right, if you want a computer, you know you could get a better model in 2 years time for the same price so why buy now? and yet people do.

    Maybe it’s the same with hypotheses? Why go to the effort of proving a hypothesis when a better one will come along in a few years? Is it a fear of devaluation of their work over time that stops them?

    It’s a good job Newton didn’t stop his work on the basis that in a few hundred years his ideas would be proved to be inaccurate in certain settings.

  34. DANNY

    It’s hard for me to comment on that as we are probably not a typical household. Although we are well off we not fit your pattern of wanting a new X and responding to fashion. My car is 13 years old, my wife’s is 15 years old. Our furniture is completely out of date and we last decorated about 20 years ago. We have mobile phones, but simple ones for emergencies only. I do buy things, mostly books and music CD’s, my wife buys paints and frames for her painting and occasionally new clothes.

    You may have a point I really don’t know.

    Alec

    Looking back your right you did post quite a bit along those lines.

    I think as usual the difference between us is that I am being more optimistic as usual. I think it’s fair to say I was generally correct about the economy during the last Parliament.

    You may be right in being as gloomy as you are this time, but since as you say the correction has to come some time, then that in itself would not make me have voted to remain.

  35. WB

    Yes, as Alec posted welcome back

    I can see what your getting at. The problem is that some parliamentarians have not accepted the result of the referendum and therefore it is much more difficult IMO for the Government to do as you say.

    Look for example at Labour’s 171 questions. If the Government answered most of those their whole negotiating strategy would be exposed, which would be madness IMO.

  36. NEIL A
    Surely the only way to prove something is a lie is in court?

    That is true right now, which is why the norm is that only the very rich can afford to take action against the media unless the lie is so blatent and obvious to the public that the action can be crowd-funded.

    A media standards authority with teeth would change the balance. If a media source or individual disagreed with its judgement then obviously it should have the rights to appeal to an ombudsperson and subsequently to the courts, but both would be appealing against the authority’s judgement rather than fighting the individual personally.

    Such an authority would also have the ability to prevent misleading headlines, which are often all that many read, especially on political topics. Virtually every media outlet does this to some extent, including the BBC. I don’t suggest any source should be closed down for this practice, but they should certainly make an equally prominent apology for having done so. Again, the media source should have the right to appeal to an ombudsperson and subsequently the courts if they feel the ruling too harsh.

    A good example of this practice, which is moving down the BBC’s main UK Politics page as I write, but which was near the top yesterday: MPs’ consent ‘not needed for Article 50 to trigger Brexit’. The single quotes before “not” and after “Brexit” are the clue. A fair headline could have said Attorney General claims MPs’ consent not needed for Article 50 to trigger Brexit.

    I suspect that RT would not be closed down, but they would certainly have to be more careful.

  37. Ooops, sorry. forgot to close the bold tag.

  38. @ Alec
    accept your point about citizens absolutely, perhaps a poor example, however the point remains: in a negotiation if you want to achieve outcome A there may be an entire alphabet of means by which that outcome may be achieved. I am railing against the present state of uncertainty, which cannot continue without severe deleterious effects on the UK economy

  39. WB

    “I haven’t posted for a while because I was so distressed at the leave vote and did not trust myself to be dispassionate in my comments”

    Someone actually following the comments policy, well done but I think one more passionate poster wouldn’t have made so much difference

  40. The pound is on a tear up about 1.5 cents. I conclude that Hammond is staying as chancellor

  41. The BBC have an interesting article on NI with:
    Prime Minister responds to Foster and McGuinness Brexit letter [1]

    Sadly, the opening sentence of the article indicates no change of attitude, with:

    The prime minister has written to NI’s first and deputy first ministers in response to their Brexit priorities but has given few firm assurances.

    There is a wish to retain the CTA but re borders just: Mrs May says the future of the border is “an important priority for the UK as a whole.”

    Perhaps just to annoy leavers, all political BBC NI stories now end with:
    While the UK as a whole voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%, 56% of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain.

    [1] PDFs of both the NI executive’s letter and May’s response are linked to.

  42. @jayblanc

    You will have to explain that again.

    I appreciate the single market makes for more efficient movement of goods from one country to another. So if as importer you pay sale price plus all overheads, you pay less.

    I cannot see where net gain comes from simply by having imported goods from abroad. Does this mean Germany is losing with its surplus? If we buy more from the EU then we get, where does the money come from? Everyone else says, from borrowing? Milton Friedman says currencies should weaken according to how little the world wants their goods.

    I understand that goods are usually worth more to the buyer than the seller – back to basics, what is sold are unnecessary surpluses to those who don’t have enough. But that is just trade. And surely the Single Market is trade with less sticking to the sides on transport?

  43. @CR
    Given that the pound is roughly flat on the day against the Euro, this is more about the $ deteriorating than the £ strengthening.
    Still, any stability is good news.

  44. Indy now reporting that instead of closing at lunchtime, the session has been extended to run this afternoon for “further arguments” and expected to finish around 15:00 UTC.

    Looks like we’ll have to wait for the transcript until much later.

  45. @Barbazenzero

    I think it’s hard to conceive of a system which could regulate the “truth” of media reporting that wasn’t either very time-consuming and costly, or very stifling of freedom of speech (or indeed both).

    Essentially, almost everything ever broadcast or printed is “untrue”, as the resources and abilities of the journalists, and the constraints of the formats they are presenting information in, mean that their ability to provide a full and balanced account of events is compromised. As someone who has professionally (and sometimes personally) been at the centre of media stories this is very evident.

    There is already a recourse against malicious untruths against an individual or organization, and there is already a complaints system (for better or worse) in relation to media reporting.

    They may not work very well, but I see no reason to believe that any new mechanism would work any better. The problems are largely inherent in the process.

  46. NEIL A
    [T]here is already a complaints system (for better or worse) in relation to media reporting.

    Yes, although the BBC have their own system. In practice, the PCC system seldom results in decisions against the publisher being given equal prominence to the original article complained of and seem not to be punished when they act in this way.

    The BBC complaints system is fairly easy to access but very few complaints are apologised for. Let’s just say that they don’t seem very good at being self critical.

    OfCom also makes it very easy to complain but difficult to access resolved complaints.

    They may not work very well, but I see no reason to believe that any new mechanism would work any better.

    I’m not suggesting it would be easy, but a single combined Media Complaints Commission could hardly do any worse than the three “token” systems we currently have, and in cases deemed serious by its ombudsperson it would at least give the ordinary media consumer some chance of access to the courts.

  47. @Bigfatron
    “– constituencies are not legislative units, they are administrative divisions by which representatives are selected; the vote in each of these administrative divisions is interesting but has no democratic significance for the decision-making process around Brexit.”
    Except that MPs owe their position in parliament to the voters in their constituencies, and are the representatives in parliament of all those voters, not just the supporters of the MP’s party. It thus does have significance that over 400 MPs represent constituencies where there was a majority to Leave, sometimes a large one.
    Are MPs to vote on this issue
    a. according to the party line, whipped or not?
    b. according to their own consciences, ideas or best interests?
    c. according to the expressed wishes of the majority of their constituents?

  48. BIGFATRON

    If you look the £ is currently up 0.84% against the $, 1.08% against the Euro and !.06% against the Yen and yes it is nice to see a bit of stability or even recovery.

  49. Dave

    They are also responsible to the country as a whole.

    This was brought up in debates which referenced MPs who had to make this balanced judgment when voting on abortion laws for example. An MP does represent their constituency, but also their country. It’s up to them personally to make this judgment about how to balance these responsibilities.

  50. @ToH

    “I posted a piece yesterday that inflation is not necessarily all bad.”

    ————

    Wasn’t an ideal piece. For a start, need to differentiate between causes of inflation.

    If inflation is a by-product of growth, that’s one thing. But if, as in the oil crisis of Seventies, inflation is externally imposed, throwing economy into recession, then not so nice.

    Especially as inflation tends to rob governments of various means to help the economy.

    Also, it’s not good for synths…

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