Ipsos MORI have published their monthly political monitor and it shows another towering lead for the Conservatives. Topline voting intentions are CON 47%(+7), LAB 29%(-5), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 6%(-3). The eighteen point Conservative lead is the highest they’ve managed in any poll since 2009, and the highest lead for a party in government since 2002. Usual caveats apply about any poll showing such a large shift in support over a month, but in terms of direction this does echo the ICM and YouGov polls earlier this month that also showed shifts towards the Conservatives. Full details are here.

A quick word about that UKIP score of just 6%. While it is obviously very bad, it’s not the sudden collapse one might assume. For whatever methodological reason, MORI do tend to show significantly worse scores for UKIP than polls from other companies. It is NOT a case of UKIP support being at 11% with ICM and YouGov last week, their MEPs getting into a fist fight and their support collapsing (however tempting such a narrative is!). MORI has been showing them at significantly lower levels of support for several months anyway – 9% last month, 6% in August, 8% in July. Nevertheless, it does appear as if the Tories are beginning to claw back support they’d previously lost to UKIP.


693 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 47, LAB 29, LD 7, UKIP 6”

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  1. @Colin

    “The only thing these fund transfers seem to a have generated is the number of academic studies into why they haven’t worked”

    ———-

    Marshall Plan did ok…

  2. bigfatron and TOH,
    ” The British performance on the day was poor, due to an emphasis in training on rate of fire over accuracy, and aggression over organisation.”

    The British performance was rather mixed. Admiral Beatty made a pig’s ear of running the battlecruiser fleet, and was later rewarded for this by first being placed in charge of the entire Grand Fleet, and then becoming first Sea Lord. Admiral Jellicoe in command of the Grand Fleet was criticised for using his fleet more cautiously and therefore not suffering such losses. He was booted upstairs and then rapidly retired for getting it right. Beatty was saved from probably losing all his ships by the intervention of Hugh Evan Thomas commanding the 5th battle squadron. While Evan Thomas had command of the most powerful ships present, he more importantly handled them well and managed to hit his targets. He forced the Germans to withdraw from their attack on Beatty. He got formally criticised by Beatty (his nominal commander) for about anything Beatty could think of to shift blame. Beatty was an early proponent of media spin and liked to brief the newspapers before anyone else got there.

    To be fair to Beatty, he made a much better first sea lord than he had a seaborn Admiral. Perhaps because of his mastery of spin. He presided over an era of massive cuts to the royal navy. The row about who had been to blame went on for years and even continues today. I dare say the same will be true of Brexit.

    There was another hero on the day, a gunnery officer called Grant on board Beatty’s ship Lion. He had been horrified on joining the ship not long before the battle about dangrous handling of ammunition, and the reforms he instituted probably saved Beatty and his ship from blowing up. He got absolutley nothing. (though of course, he did also survive)

  3. SOMERJOHN

    Yes I can agree with you for once, it often a pleasure when we all drift off subject and get into something totally different.

  4. Danny
    Thanks for an interesting intervention on Jutland which I cannot fault. Strategically though it was a victory for the reasons I have already given.

  5. S Thomas

    “why would the scots risk neither being in the uk or in EC.”

    Well, we know from the 2014 referendum that 45% of Scots were willing to risk precisely that (for whatever reason). Indeed the Spanish-style arguments and behaviour of the UK at the time, concerning Scotland’s potential membership of the EU, made that potentially much more difficult than it might be now.

    “Who speaks for the 38% of scots who want Brexit?”

    Increasingly, that would be Ruth Davidson and SCon. Quite possibly also Kez Dugdale and SLab.

    “If scotland is offered the proper fishing package independence will be dead”

    As Hireton has pointed out, other than the 12 mile limit of territorial waters, the areas of Exclusive Economic Zones are covered by complex international agreements.

    However, had the 20th century UK offered a package for that allowed Scotland to administer and manage fishing in Scottish waters, as well as many other areas of economic and political activity, it is distinctly possible that such a Federal UK might not have faced this existential threat.

    Incidentally, expanding the size of the pelagic trawler fleet would not be a sensible use of anyone’s cash! These modern boats are so efficient that they caused much of the devastating crash in fish stocks. You may be thinking of towns like Grimbsby, who didn’t fish the small English waters – and still couldn’t.

    Inshore fishing on the West Coast and salmon farming are more important to the Scottish economy than pelagic fish, and are conducted in our territorial waters. Leaving the EU will significantly damage the added value from processing salmon, and leave us in the same position as Norway.

    There are all kinds of reasons why people might choose to vote for or against indy – but your arguments fall at the first hurdle.

    Lets wait and see how people here respond to the political developments as they unfold, before making any bold (and unsubstantiated) claims as to what that response will be.

  6. @ToH

    “Thanks for an interesting intervention on Jutland which I cannot fault. Strategically though it was a victory for the reasons I have already given.”

    ———–

    BBZ wasn’t contesting that strategically it was a victory.

    He was challenging the efficacy of being bold, and it being a strategic victory doesn’t undermine his argument.

    As it happens, it’s questionable whether it was a victory. The battle itself was pretty much a draw, it’s just that we were already in the ascendant, and the Germans failed to change that..

    Our navy was so far ahead of theirs they needed to punch well above their weight and deliver a knock out blow by sucking them into a trap, which on,y partly worked. In part because we had snaffled their codebook so had an inkling…

    They were trying to suck some of our ships into he path of a bigger fleet, and we did similar. BBZ’s point is that our being bold compromised our response, but it happened not to matter.

    We had such superiority that even bad strategy could prevail. If it had been more even a match though…

    That said, Nelson’s strategy had summat to commend it under the circs. This is because when facing superior odds it can pay off to shake things up a bit, take the enemy onto unfamiliar terrain, go a bit random to serve as a leveller.

    But it’s potentially a risk, and you do it if no choice. Also Nelson had some clear objectives, like getting behind the enemy to be able to fire from the rear down the length of their ships, causing more damage than side on…

  7. @ToH

    “Thanks for an interesting intervention on Jutland which I cannot fault. Strategically though it was a victory for the reasons I have already given.”

    ———–

    BBZ wasn’t contesting that strategically it was a victory.
    He was challenging the efficacy of being bold, and it being a strategic victory doesn’t undermine his argument.

    As it happens, it’s questionable whether it was a victory. The battle itself was pretty much a draw, it’s just that we were already in the ascendant, and the Germans failed to change that…

    Our navy was so far ahead of theirs they needed to punch well above their weight and deliver a knock out blow by sucking them into a trap, which on,y partly worked. In part because we had snaffled their codebook so had an inkling…

    They were trying to suck some of our ships into he path of a bigger fleet, and we did similar. BBZ’s point is that our being bold compromised our response, but it happened not to matter.

    We had such superiority that even bad strategy could prevail. If it had been more even a match though…

    That said, Nelson’s strategy had summat to commend it under the circs. This is because when facing superior odds it can pay off to shake things up a bit, take the enemy onto unfamil1ar terrain, go a bit random to serve as a leveller.

    But it’s potentially a risk, and you do it if no choice. Also Nelson had some clear objectives, like getting behind the enemy to be able to fire from the rear down the length of their ships, causing more damage than side on…

  8. The other howard,
    ” Strategically though it was a victory for the reasons I have already given.”
    you tempt me to continue, which really I should not.

    if there is really a lesson from Jutland, it is that good intentions are not enough, and self interest always skews the outcome. Beatty was not the worst commander on the day, perhaps that goes to Arbuthnot who managed to position his relatively weak cruisers slap between the engaging german and british ships, with predictable consequences. He also was too gung-ho.

    The British victory at Jutland and other engagements during the war was really due to British codebreaking, so the Germans never had the advantage of surprise which they might otherwise have expected. Our ships left port to intercept before they started out! Just as with the referendum campaign, if you want to win do not play by the book.

    The real reasons for losses on the day were thoroughly whitewashed, but I suspect they were acted upon. It is probable therefore that had there been a further engagment we would have done better. Beatty having been promoted became remarkably more cautious in his ship handling. However, he deliberately humiliated Evan Thomas by intervening in his investiture with a knighthood, insisting the king use Beatty’s own sword for the ceremony. Thus, I think, implying it was through his agency that Evan Thomas might prosper or not in the future.

  9. CARFREW
    BBZ wasn’t contesting that strategically it was a victory…….

    Not sure who you were writing about re Waterloo &c but it wasn’t me!

    I was tempted to put in my penn’orth but sagely did not.

  10. TOH,

    I think we can agree that Wellington was a great general.. His skill in the peninsula in using a fare inferior army (numerically) to best effect, the tactics of fighting in line not column, and the strategy of the lines of Torres Vedras.. At Waterloo he had to deal with being caught by surprise (in the campaign), having unreliable Dutch and Belgian allies, and his best troops being in America. Still the battle might well have been lost if Blucher had not arrived. As Wellington himself said it was a “close run thing”.

    What would have happened if Napoleon had won at Waterloo is interesting speculation. With the British beaten and out of continental Europe and the Prussians heavily weakened I suspect he would have dealt with the Austrians as so often before and the Russians were never very effective outside Russia in those times. Napoleon was a master of manoeuvre and strategy and great at isolating his enemies and knocking them out one by one. In actual battle tactics he was much more limited…

    Probably though his arrogance would have got away with him again. Staying in France and making peace would have been the smart plan…

  11. One Legacy of Jutland or more accurately Britain’s Naval superiority in WW1 was a lack of innovation leading up to WW2.

    The US, Japan and Germany changed their designs far more thann the Uk post WW1 with an emphasis of fire control, accuracy and range.

    They also all introduced heavily armoured desks.

    In addition both Japan and America pioneered the modern Aircraft Carrier and the tactics of Naval airpower, while Germany focuses on Submarine development.

    As a result;

    We lost the Royal Oak to a U-boat at Scapa flow, the Hood with it’s wooden decks to the Bismark and the Prince of Wales to Japanese Shore Based Aircraft.

    We felt that as the nation of Drake, Raleigh and Nelson we had nothing to learn….how wrong we were!

    Peter.

  12. Peter

    Wasn’t it the UK Naval Administrators who “introduced heavily armoured desks. “? :-)

  13. Although in fairness, we learned the lesson about decks and fitted our newer ships with metal ones. The Americans in fact retained wooden decks as they had some advantages.

    The lesson we didn’t learn was that battleships themselves were more or less obsolete. But we weren’t the only ones that learned that in WW2.

  14. Ed Balls has sailed through Strictly again, despite almost dropping his partner! He’s being protected from the judges by a devoted public.

    He may very well be the most popular labour politician in the country right now. I wish we had a poll about whether the voters would fancy him as Lab leader.

  15. @BBZ

    My apologies, it was indeed Bigfatron.

    But don’t let that stop you putting your twopenneth in!!…

  16. Candy

    Every year there is a clodhopper and every year the public keep them in far longer than they should. Something to do with supporting the underdog. We Brits are good at it. It’s why I supported York City as a lad and not Leeds United. (Revie era).

  17. oldnat.

    scots tories and Labour do not speak for Brexit a sthey opposed it in case you did not notice.
    Exchanging old trawlers for new in a maritime scrappage programme a waste of cash? as opposed to paying £9 billion p. a net to the EU. Besides if it undermined the nationalist vote it would be money well spent.
    I note that you did not deal with the landing of all fish harvested in uk waters in the uk.i suppose creating new industries would not suit the nationalist agenda.
    Expand the fleet to take up the foreign quotas. Of course you may not be in favour of Scottish jobs for scottish workers but ,no doubt to your chagrin, a lot of workers are. Still they are an uneducated rabble and beneath your consideration no doubt.

  18. Neil A,

    But have we learned that much?

    We haven’t had ship to ship combat for more than fifty years but we are still committing ourselves to like for like replacement of Frigates.

    Even without the US NATO currently has more than 50 Frigates and probably closer to 100, with our only realistic opponent scaresly able to must a dozen.

    We’re going to end up spending over £10bn on Aircraft Carriers and JSF’s and we haven’t needed either in the last two major conflicts and the opponent from the one before that has the same aircraft that survived the Falklands Conflict.

    Over the next twenty years we seem to be planing a defence procurement budget where the Navy will get five times what the Army does when over the last twenty years the Army has done easily five times the fighting!

    It,s all very well for people to talk about us being a Maritime Nation with a Naval Tradition but we are spending the lions share of the procurement budget on the service that we use least!

    Peter.

  19. S Thomas

    What a funny wee soul you are, to be sure!. :-)

    Anger, intemperate language and ignorance so often go together – and you display all three in copious quantities.

    However,at least you have revealed your prejudices, and confirmed that (unlike more rational supporters of the UK Union) you have little or nothing to offer in the debate.

  20. Peter Cairns
    “It,s all very well for people to talk about us being a Maritime Nation with a Naval Tradition but we are spending the lions share of the procurement budget on the service that we use least!”

    5 times as much on the navy seems a bit much, but we are going to have to increase patrols in the Channel and other coastal areas to keep out Spanish trawlers, illegal immigrants, etc.

  21. @CANDY

    “He may very well be the most popular Labour politician in the country right now. I wish we had a poll about whether the voters would fancy him as Lab leader.”

    Unfortunately he is no longer an MP. If he was, I’m sure he would be the logical candidate for the Labour leadership after Corbyn’s inevitable failure in 2020. I have a feeling Balls will return to politics – he is young enough to make a comeback and maybe he will. I hope so, for the sake of his party.

  22. Balls might be being kept in the dancing programme by Tories enjoying his humiliation.

  23. Pete B

    ” but we are going to have to increase patrols in the Channel and other coastal areas to keep out Spanish trawlers, illegal immigrants, etc.”

    Surely Trident missiles on the (appropriately named) Dreadnought class subs will deter all these undesirable incursions?

  24. PETE B,

    I do hope your being tongue in cheek because buying 8 Frigates at near £1bn each to patrol a stretch of water you can sea across in a clear day is looney tunes.

    I know people in the South have close to paranoia about the immigrants massing outside Calais but I don’t think state of the art Frigates carrying Land Attack Missiles with 500mile range is quite the way to deal with it.

    Nor do I think we need sophisticated sonar to catch them if they are swimming across or an advanced air defence system to deal with microlights!
    Peter.

  25. ON
    But they may be out of commission for a while if you lot split away. It might take the rUK a bit of time to build a new base. Channel Islands would be a good place. Nice and handy to attack France if it kicks off with them again. :-)

  26. Peter C
    I don’t know where they’re intending to spend the money, but a few fast, lightly armed patrol boats might be useful.

  27. Pete B – “Balls might be being kept in the dancing programme by Tories enjoying his humiliation.”

    I don’t think so. I think the Daily Mail readers like him – they think he’s a good sport and blame his problems on his partner devising routines that are too complicated. And of course he is famous for being the man who stopped us joining the euro.

    Lets see how he does. If he gets thrown out next week (the usual week for the novelty acts to get dismissed), then his success is merely about the under-dog effect as Robert Newark says. If he survives, he might be building a genuine following.

  28. It is very expensive to maintain a navy capable of delivering force overseas. I’d guess we have plans that we could still mount a Falklands type invasion from the sea, which implies taking aircraft carriers, defensive frigates (big enough to be fully ocean going) to screen the fleet, and miscellaneous landing and transport ships. The two wars proved submarines are very effective against surface ships, so thats why we have them. We had a massive shortage of frigates then for convoy defence. then there are the nuclear armed subs just in case…. something.

    As you say, if do not have enough soldiers, it is pointless having a fleet able to take them abroad. But I expect we feel we need to be able to park equivalent ships next to the russian ones just off to the gulf so we can be mutually intimidating.

    it seems the government has promised to boost defence spending?

  29. Pete B

    ” Nice and handy to attack France”

    I have long suspected that “Pete B” was just a nom-de-plume for Michael Heseltinr. :-)

  30. I didn’t know Heseltine was anti-France. I was just suggesting it because they’re the people we’ve fought most over the years. (But it is a bit tongue-in-cheek)

  31. old nat

    you cannot debate therefore you insult.poor really.

  32. Pete B

    On a QT programme, Heseltine insisted that Britain (I think he meant England) had to have Trident, as it was too dangerous to have France as the only nuclear power in Europe.

  33. S Thomas

    If I ever bother to insult you, then you will know it. :-)

  34. Candy and tancred

    Is this the same ed balls that managed to lose a relatively safe seat while shadow Chancellor and when labour increased their share of the vote in England? A real success story

  35. Danny,

    We could certainly releave the Falklands with our two Carriers (£3bn each) a couple of Type 45’s (£1bn each) four or so of the new Type 26’s when they are built (£1bn each) screened by a few new Astute SSN’ms (£1.5bn each) watched over by 25 JSF’s (£80m each).

    So that’s with support vessels around £25bn in hardware we’d be sending South.

    I am not sure what the civilian population of the Falklands is, although I seem to recall it’s currently smaller than the resident military garrison, but I suspect it works out at a fair amount of money per head.

    I hate to think what the UK defence budget would be if we spent the same per head for everyone who actually lived in the UK.

    Mind you I know doubt someone at the MOD could use the comparison between the two to prove Trident was a bargin!!!!!!

    Peter.

  36. ON
    That reminds me of a ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ scene where Sir Humphrey says that we need the nuclear deterrent because of France. I looked for it, but couldn’t find a link.

  37. Sorry I should have checked my facts before posting, Ed balls seat wasn’t that safe but he should have held it. The loss of his seat was described as a Portillo moment by media commentators

  38. @CR

    All politicians lose their seats from time to time, there is no shame in it. What matters is that they learn something from the experience.

    I looked it up – Morley and Outwood was a marginal. He won in 2010 with just 1,101 votes, and lost in 2015 by just 422 votes. I understand he was a victim of Miliband’s decision to divert resources to decapitating Clegg rather than defending tight seats.

  39. Candy,

    “I understand he was a victim of Miliband’s decision to divert resources to decapitating Clegg rather than defending tight seats.”

    Oh my understanding was he was a victim of the public didn’t rate him!

    Peter.

  40. This thread is supposed to be about the poll.

    I think everyone has given up on that, because there isnt much to say. Its a poll, they go up and down and are a snapshot. In this case there are some very major things happening simultaneously, which make it even harder to interpret.

    For what its worth, I think a drop in UKIP support is real. There are three obvious reasons why this might be, 1) they achieved their aim, 2) the conservatives have adopted their cause, 3) the party hierachy is in disarray. There is a fourth potential and more interesting reason, that the nation may have changed its mind about supporting them. It is pretty clear to me that all political parties are on tiptoes in case this happens.

    Voting in the referendum was massively correlated with perception of the best economic outcome. The result was almost certainly not a principled one on sovereignty or immigration, but an economic one. The economy seems to be going south. This survey reports 2:1 believe the economic result of Brexit will be negative. Overall all demographic groups believe it will be negative, except for ‘ukip voters’, who are shrinking.

    I am not clear if this economic outlook represents a shift from the time of the referendum, or not.

    The party support looks completely different to the Witney result. Well no surprise, its a by-election. Except that in this case the vote is perhaps not the normal no confidence in a government producing a swing against, but of no confidence in the official opposition producing a swing against. There might be grounds to argue that the opposition would get a swing back come a real election. It is not clear to me that Corbyn’s policy has been a negative influence in any results while he has been leader, but I am sure party disunity has.

    The big winners were the lib dems, with massively more than their poll share. Maybe that too is typical by election protest, but it suggests the libs have been rehabilitated by clear blue european water to at least a party receiving protest votes. They are presently the most brexit sceptic of parties, and their natural voters are so also.

    Although people are asked how they would vote in a general election if it was held now, does the lack of any coherent brexit policy from anyone somewhat confound how well people could assess this? Every party seems on message that Brexit means Brexit, which means different versions of nothing.

    More people voted for or against Brexit than for either main party. Potentially that would be a huge voting block if it could be mobilised. Obviously the conservatives wish to have Brexit finished before the next election, but events may not allow this to happen. I think this poll result is not to be trusted if there really was an election today, but I also still think conservatives might not wish to improve their majority at this point in time given the problems generated by the referendum producing an unclear result. A narrow result was the worst outcome, either way.

  41. @Peter Cairns

    According to wiki, he increased his % vote, it’s just that his opponent increased hers more thanks to the LibDem collapse.

    Anyway, judging from the hostility towards him on here I’m guessing none of you are watching strictly. I recommend viewing his routines – you’ll see what the public is seeing.. Try this one:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqPaaf1dB4U

    It’s very hard to watch without smiling. Whatever people have thought of him before they’re going to struggle to hate him going forward. And that is always a plus for any politician.

  42. Danny
    Thanks for bringing us back on track, There’s only so much that can be said about an individual poll, so we always wander off the point after a while (usually after a couple of pages at most). This one has been particularly wandery though! We’ve done Waterloo, Jutland, Strictly, Scots independence (again!), Brexit (again!) etc.

    I agree that a lot depends on what happens to the UKIP vote. 10 or 12 percent could make a big difference to the other parties. Even if it split 50-50 Lab and Tory, it would put Tories over 50% in this poll at least. For what it’s worth, I think that provided they get a leader that can unite the warring factions, the UKIP VI will stay at around 10% at least until we’re finally out of the EU. If that takes the form of EEA membership, UKIP will be around for a while. If in the (slightly unlikely) event that they can put together coherent policies which are distinctive, there is a chance that they could become a significant player in future GEs at least in the Midlands and North of England, and Wales.

  43. Pete B

    “I agree that a lot depends on what happens to the UKIP vote.”

    Also agreed for E&W. While party members are not wholly (or sometimes not at all! :-) )representative of those who vote for that party, the YG poll of UKIP members is interesting.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/10/22/introduction-ukip-party-membership/

    I expected it to get more comments on these pages, but seems to have been overlooked.

    Danny

    “Voting in the referendum was massively correlated with perception of the best economic outcome.”

    I’ve referred to the LSE study that suggested that peoples’ value systems were more important in determining their referendum vote than estimates of economic consequences, a couple of times, abd that the best correlation with a Leave vote was the wish to reintroduce the death penalty.

    The poll of UKIP members gives weight to that idea.

    “Would you support or oppose the reintroduction of the death penalty for murder? ”

    English adults – Support 45% : Oppose 39%
    UKIP members – Support 73% : Oppose 15%

  44. Candy

    Are you seriously advocating a campaign slogan of “vote for me, i was on strictly! ” he would be torn to shreds

  45. “Vote for me, I was on Have I Got News For You” worked pretty well for Boris..

  46. Speaking of which… Classic Boris, and the Elephant Trap, on HIGNFY

    http://youtu.be/CcgrZs4GXv4

  47. Sound drops out briefly for a few secs but no biggie…

  48. Balls on that ridiculous tv show is a swansong not a comeback.

  49. PETE B @ ON
    That reminds me of a ‘Yes, Prime Minister’ scene where Sir Humphrey says that we need the nuclear deterrent because of France. I looked for it, but couldn’t find a link.

    Your recollection is correct. It comes from Yes, Minister Series 3 Episode 2: The Challenge….

    Sir Humphrey: [talking about nuclear fallout shelters] Well, you have the weapons; you must have the shelters.
    Hacker: I sometimes wonder why we need the weapons.
    Sir Humphrey: Minister! You’re not a unilateralist?
    Hacker: I sometimes wonder, you know.
    Sir Humphrey: Well, then, you must resign from the government!
    Hacker: Ah, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I’m not that unilateralist! Anyway, the Americans will always protect us from the Russians, won’t they?
    Sir Humphrey: Russians? Who’s talking about the Russians?
    Hacker: Well, the independent deterrent.
    Sir Humphrey: It’s to protect us against the French!
    Hacker: The French?! But that’s astounding!
    Sir Humphrey: Why?
    Hacker: Well they’re our allies, our partners.
    Sir Humphrey: Well, they are now, but they’ve been our enemies for the most of the past 900 years. If they’ve got the bomb, we must have the bomb!
    Hacker: If it’s for the French, of course, that’s different. Makes a lot of sense.
    Sir Humphrey: Yes. Can’t trust the Frogs.
    Hacker: You can say that again!

    A particularly apposite Brexit quote comes from Series 1 Episode 5: The Writing on the Wall

    Sir Humphrey: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it’s worked so well?
    Hacker: That’s all ancient history, surely?
    Sir Humphrey: Yes, and current policy. We ‘had’ to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn’t work. Now that we’re inside we can make a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch… The Foreign Office is terribly pleased; it’s just like old times.
    Hacker: But surely we’re all committed to the European ideal?
    Sir Humphrey: [chuckles] Really, Minister.
    Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?
    Sir Humphrey: Well, for the same reason. It’s just like the United Nations, in fact; the more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up, the more futile and impotent it becomes.
    Hacker: What appalling cynicism.
    Sir Humphrey: Yes… We call it diplomacy, Minister.

    Remarkably similar to BoJo’s attitude, it would seem.

    For both YM & YPM quotes, a good place to start is https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Yes,_Minister

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