YouGov’s latest voting intention figures are CON 42%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%. It was conducted over last weekend, so shortly after the Liberal Democrats’ success in Richmond Park. The 11% for the Lib Dems equals their highest from YouGov since the election, but it’s not a huge bounce and not a record breaker. More notable is the Labour score – 25% is the lowest that Labour have recorded since back in 2009 (as others have commented, it appears to be the lowest they have had in opposition since all the way back in 1983, though that should be seen in the context that there were fewer small parties in the 1980s and the big parties normally had higher scores than are typical these days)

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378 Responses to “YouGov – CON 42, LAB 25, LDEM 11, UKIP 12”

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  1. I have been pretty convinced that Corbyn has little intention of fighting a 2020 election. He will be nearly 71 at that time.

  2. Another bad poll for Labour and Diane Abbot seems to articulate the Miwcaberesque mindset in the leadership team.

    She is maintaining that internal splits have been the root cause of their polling ills, despite the rebels being remarkably quiet of late, and she repeats the mantra about a healthy membership roll. Her main rallying cry, however, seems to be ‘something will turn up’.

    There does not appear to be any proactive plan, and no sense of where Labour is going.

    I think we are seeing the true qualities of Labour’s leader at what really is a dark time for his party. He simply lacks the strategic mind to articulate a vision, and has no leadership qualities to demonstrate to his party. Twelve months drift at this time in the national political life is unacceptable, not just from a Labour Party viewpoint, but from a national stance. We all deserve a better opposition, but the polls tell the story.

  3. @ Thoughtful

    I am not only old enough to remember the era you refer to, I was intimately involved and an active member of the Labour Party (I am no longer allowed to belong to a political party because of my profession).
    I am always amused by the simple the party moved left and failed till it moved right analysis. It is typical of the reductionist approach to complex situations as favoured by the media generally. Life (and politics) is far more complex. The following is true:
    Until the commencement of the Falklands War Mrs Thatcher was the most unpopular a prime-minister had ever been according to the polls. The Conservatives had been far behind the Labour party in the polls and indeed when Michael Foot was elected leader in 1981 the Labour Party moved from a poll rating of 46% to one of 52%. The demise of Labour with Foot was twofold that was first the impact of the Lime-house declaration and the increase of support for the SDP in 1981 through to 1982. Throughout that period the conservative polls were dropping and at 26% at the start of 1982. The second impact was the Falklands war which saw the conservatives improve throughout the run up to war, the war itself and its aftermath.
    The Kinnock years were marked by trying to control Militant, its strength had increased because of the loss of many SDP supporting members. It was well organised and I think it is forgotten how left wing its policies were (e.g. nationalisation of all banks and the top 100 companies were amongst its less controversial positions).
    The Labour Party’s commitment to nuclear disarmament was not high on voters concerns until the Falklands war when, perhaps for obvious reasons its significance increased.
    Apart from Nuclear disarmament Kinnock did not move the Party significantly to the right, nor did John Smith; that change came with Tony Blair.
    Whether you are right that being to the left prevents election will have to be seen but oversimplification does a disservice to everyone, history is not an event its a story.

  4. WB

    Obviously you have a greater insight than most having been there at the time!

    You have missed out the “Longest suicide note in history” manifesto, although you did touch on some of the policies.

    Also history is not a exact science either as it is open to interpretation and colouration.

    Ironic that my post is criticised for being over simplistic when I was complaining of just that in others.

    I think the greatest over simplification is that just changing the leader will restore Labours electoral fortunes. It will take a leader with a strategic vision and a strong like minded team on side to push through changes against a sometimes hostile membership.

    Do you see no parallels between Militant and Momentum at all?

    BTW is any one else having trouble with the site lagging and then not responding to type ?

  5. Regarding Labour’s tragic poll ratings…..The party looks more like a pressure group movement than a party of opposition.

    Labour are in a right mess….The party has a semi euro-skeptic leader but the vast majority of his MP’s are pro Europe yet the people they represent are largely anti EU.

    The leader is out of sorts with his MP’s and his MP’s are out of sorts with their constituents!!

  6. THOUGHTFUL

    Yep-me too.

  7. @WB

    I recall that period well myself and agree with most of your comments. However, I do not accept that the 1992 Labour manifesto was anything like as left wing as the 1983 manifesto. Moreover, I would suggest that the public mood had shifted by 1997 , and that Labour would have been comfortably elected on the basis of the 1992 manifesto – albeit well short of Blair’s landslide.There was ,therefore, no need for the big shift further rightwards that occurred under Blair.

  8. @carfrew,
    ok you make a fair point, it works both ways, but I am convinced this is distorting polls a lot. I know it’s anecdotal, but my friends on Facebook who are fairly left are noisy on social media, shall we say. The ones I know vote conservative don’t post anything political and generally keep their views to themselves.

  9. A bit unusual for YouGov to be showing a bigger Tory lead than ICM – though the fieldwork for the latter is a week later.The ICM figures imply a Tory majority of 74 with Labour just managing to stay above 200 seats.

  10. John Healey is a name some will recognise, but many might not. He is Labours Shadow minister for housing and he wrote a piece in Labour List that many might take time to read & find worth while in understanding some of the frustrations within the party.

    http://labourlist.org/2016/11/john-healey-paul-nuttalls-ukip-cant-stick-up-for-blue-collar-britain-but-labour-must-now-prove-that-we-can/

    “The challenge for Labour on UKIP isn’t fundamentally about organisation or about individual policies. It’s a sense that in too many areas we no longer have good answers or even understand the issues that matter most to many people – on stable communities, secure jobs or pride in our country and shared national way of life. This challenge can be met – but it requires work.”

    I think that is difficult to disagree with, however I would go to suggest that it first requires wide recognition within the party; the will to do something about it & change policy if necessary; before the work can even begin.

  11. Thoughtful, I lived through the militant years as a member of labour and you really can’t compare militant to momentum.

    However in the sphere of the media it doesn’t appear that way. In my view a link has been forged in peoples minds that it is the case.

    It also didn’t help that some within labour acted to reinforce those claims in pursuit of deligitimising JC.

    As for the polls, labour are in a cold war, frozen in à place where they can’t stay but are unable to move perhaps due to continuing tensions and conflict.

    I don’t believe all is well with the labour machine so short a time after so much destruction. It doesn’t look like they are all pulling together and some may still be actively pushing another way.

    Voters hate disunited parties. A supporter would hope they can heal rifts perhaps catalysed by a rifting right of the Tory party as brexit bites.

  12. GRAHAM
    “A bit unusual for YouGov to be showing a bigger Tory lead than ICM – though the fieldwork for the latter is a week later.The ICM figures imply a Tory majority of 74 with Labour just managing to stay above 200 seats”
    __________

    I think you’re being far too generous with the amount of Labour seats. Brexit looks like being derailed at every turn and I don’t think all them Labour voters in the north will take too kindly to this.

    UKIP are almost certain to snatch disgruntled Labour supporters who are fed up with mass immigration. Brexit Tory voters will probably forgive their party because they don’t see immigration as the only reason to have voted for Brexit.

  13. AC

    Contrary to what political anoraks believe, I do not expect that Brexit will be a salient issue when it come to party alleigance at the next election. Frankly people are already sick to death of it and want to move on now – never mind 2020. I voted Brexit myself myself – but there is not a cat in hell’s chance of my voting UKIP or Tory. The EU has never been an issue ranking particularly high with the electorate at large.When we get to an election campaign the key issues will be the Economy – NHS – Education – Taxation etc – though Brexit will have an indirect issue on all these issues. By 2020 though, Brexit will be seen as ‘water under the bridge’ , and the idea that millions of people are going to switch their support on the basis of how they voted in a Referendum four years earlier is ‘for the birds’.

  14. GRAHAM

    “The EU has never been an issue ranking particularly high with the electorate at large”
    _________

    That maybe true back yesterday but the EU and Brexit is top dollar stuff now. Independence was never top of the Scottish electorate’s agenda but look what happened post the referendum fallout. One party (Labour) got hammered because many of their voters felt abandoned.

    You seem to get bogged down on what the polls are showing now and somehow translating that into what will happen in 2020. I’m basing my hypothesis on real time events.

  15. GRAHAM

    I believe that you are looking at this through your own prism. The concerns you outline are the same as the polling rate as important for Labour voters, they are not however the same for Tory voters who have consistently put immigration at the top.

    Never mind what the ‘political anoraks’ think here’s the skinny from Ipsos Mori and the EU / Brexit IS the most important issue in voters minds.

    https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive.aspx?contenttype=Issues+Facing+Britain+(Issues+Index)

  16. I do not believe Brexit will shift many votes.People will mention it in response to pollsters’ questions because they feel deluged with media coverage, but that is a different matter to it being an issue that goes to the core of what they believe in. Those who felt so strongly on the issue are disproportionately likely to have been UKIP supporters already – or Tory eurosceptics. The abysmal turnout at elections for the European Parliament gives us a a key indicator of underlying interest .- or lack of it.

  17. Ten members of the Electoral College, which meets Dec 19th, have published an open letter asking for an intelligence briefing on the Russia business:

    https://medium.com/@electoralcollege16/bipartisan-electors-ask-james-clapper-release-facts-on-outside-interference-in-u-s-election-c1a3d11d5b7b#.ocn56fp1u

    They are mainly Electors from New Hampshire, but there is a Texan amongst them, and someone from Colorado.

  18. P.S. They make an interesting reference to Alexander Hamilton:

    quote

    We further emphasize Alexander Hamilton’s assertion in Federalist Paper #68 that a core purpose of the Electoral College was to prevent a “desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

    unquote

  19. @Graham

    I partly agree with you. I think Brexit will move some votes on the edges of the LD party, both from people who sometimes vote Tory and people who sometimes vote Labour. I think there will also be a problem for Labour with their working class vote, although I don’t think this will be entirely about Brexit – more an overall impression of which Brexit is a symptom.

    But ultimately elections are won on the economy, and on economic competence. The Tories may well have an uphill climb to get their economic story to add up by 2020, but then the current Labour leadership face a massive credibility gulf on the economy at the moment that seems hard to imagine being rectified.

    I think a lot will turn on how May and Hammond approach spending, and whether they can turn on the tap enough to avoid the “Bleeding stumps” being displayed in the health and social care sectors. That seems to me their greatest weakness, not public views over Brexit.

  20. @ Neil A

    I don’t disagree really.But I think much will change if Corbyn is no longer leader by 2020.

  21. @ Neil A

    I would add that I strongly suspect that Labour’s problems with the working class vote are likely to have already been in the figures as reflected in both current polls and the May 2015 election result. Labour clearly did lose votes in the last Parliament to UKIP , but I am far from persuaded that that leakage of support will grow further . Labour will need to focus on bringing about some reversal of that negative flow.

  22. Is there any realistic possibility of David’s Miliband returning before 2020?

  23. I think Ed Balls is 100 times more likely.

  24. I think that ukip’s threat to labour is overstated and to the conservatives understated.

    I accept the labour vote contains brexit orientated nationalists who will likely go to ukip but amongst the conservatives I would expect far more waverers and swappers. That larger group in the conservatives has the potential to swell as brexit becomes more controversial for the blues.

  25. @Mark W

    Maybe. I suspect the government / Tories will try to keep banging the eurosceptic drum through the Brexit process to extract maximum benefit.

    It’ll only be if they cave in to unmodified EEA membership that I think they’ll feel much heat.

    Every time say they say the magic words “control of immigration” it keeps most of the Kippers content.

  26. I also think that in the past the UKIP threat to the Conservatives was overstated and to Labour understated, which is partly why 2015 was such a surprise.

    All the talk in the 2010-2015 parliament was of the surge in UKIP splitting the right. It slightly missed the real issue.

    I seem to remember speculating about possible Labour -> UKIP -> Conservative drift at some point a few years ago but I can’t be bothered to try and find the comment.

  27. I think UKIP’s threat to Labour and the Conservatives is over-rated.

    Under the current situation, in a very euro-sceptic seat (Sleaford), if UKIP were on any roll, they would have done way better. They only just managed to tread water and no more.

    FPTP is unkind to parties, unless they can poll at least in the mid-twenties percentage wise, or highly focused on a few seats. UKIP are spread thinly and widely, the worst situation for them. I think the positioning of Theresa May’s government is sufficiently euro-sceptic to keep hold of all but the hardest of Brexiteers.

    In Labour seats I can’t see UKIP getting enough switchers to win a seat, but if it is marginal it could allow someone else in. However, the strong Labour heartland areas that UKIP are targeting have the Lib Dems and Tories so far behind, I can only see a much reduced majority for Labour at worst.

  28. Neil A. Yes, I recall now you point that out. Quite a few by elections were disappointments for ukip too.

    Apart from success in the EU parliament they have underwhelmed despite predictions. I feel nutall has the appeal of farage but minus the charisma.

    The media love insurgent parties I guess.

  29. On another note, it looks like the Shadow Chancellor has effectively killed off the Progressive Alliance by rejecting Labour taking part.

    Without the weight of Labour behind it, it is dead in the water.

    I wonder if the Green Party considers the damage it has taken over it has been worth the pain?

  30. @CMJ

    Yup I see UKIP more as a brake on Labour progress than as a threat to their current seats.

    Some of those Tory-Labour battlegrounds are in relatively strong UKIP / Leave territory, which is why I think Labour are treading so carefully. It’s not for fear of losing those safe seats in Liverpool, it’s for fear of not regaining seats like Southampton and Plymouth.

  31. @CatManJeff

    The only reason UKIP is a threat in Labour seats is that the turnout in those seats is so low. So on paper it might look like Lab have the seat sewn up, but if those non-voters decide to vote (and they won’t be Lab people), then those seats flip. And non-voters showed up in strength in those areas for the EU ref – we don’t know if those people now have a taste for voting and will continue to vote.

    In Tory seats it is quite different, because turnout in those seats is always very high. So it is not a question of motivating someone who is disillusioned with mainstream parties to give UKIP a try, they have to actually persuade people to go from Tory to UKIP, and why would they?

  32. @Candy

    I think that should the government get stuck in a Brexit quagmire (likely), and a safe Labour seat like a Sunderland one came up as a by-election on a cold February day, maybe a shock might occur.

    However, under a GE, where you are voting the Government with better turnouts, I would imagine such UKIP gains would reverse back to Labour.

    This of course happened to the earlier incarnations of the Liberal Democrats.

  33. P.S. To illustrate what I mean, here is the Sunderland vote:

    Sunderland EU referendum result 2016:

    Leave 82394 61.34%

    Remain 51,930 38.66%

    Sunderland Central in the 2015 general election:

    Labour 20,959 50.2%

    Tory 9,780 23.4%

    UKIP 7,997 19.1%

    Green 1,706 4.1%

    LibDem 1,105 2.6%

    Washington and Sunderland West

    Labour 20,478 55%

    UKIP 7,321 19.6%

    Tory 7,033 18.9%

    Green 1,091 2.9%

    LibDem 993 2.7%

    Houghton and Sunderland South

    Labour 21,218

    UKIP 8,280 21.5%

    Tory 7,105 18.5%

    Green 1,095 2.8%

    LibDem 791 2.1%

    Turnout for the EU ref in Sunderland was 64.9%. Sunderland Central had a 57% turnout in the 2015 gen election, Washington and Sunderland West had a turnout of only 54.6% and Houghton and Sunderland South had a turnout of 56.3%

    It was the non-voters wot did it. A big chunk of the Lab vote would have voted Remain, but they got overwhelmed.

  34. Candy, yes, but I don’t think it is a given that those nonvoters will break for ukip.

    It is also possible that labour may capture them if you prescribe to view that the ukip threat is longer arriving than expected .

    Events as ever will intrude in all these predictions. Febrile times I have not felt so keenly since the Falklands crisis or miners strike in the eighties.

  35. @MarkW

    Yes, agree, we don’t know who those non-voters will break for,

    But now they’ve had a taste of voting and it’s power they’re going to vote again. Look at the attention focused on those areas since the June 23rd vote – they’ll want to keep that attention on them and milk it for all it is worth – something the marginal seats have been doing for decades.

    I’m pretty sure turnout for the next general election will be up across the board.

  36. WB

    I don’t think there is anything you wrote on the 1980 I would not agree.

    ———-

    One of the things that puzzles me about the LP is that they seem to be very reluctant to spend the money they have from the increased membership and the £25 supporters on actually doing something (engagement, financing propery studies, hiring script writers, etc.)

  37. In 2014, You Gov asked whether the NHS, the energy companies, Royal Mail and the Railways should be nationalised and run in the public sector, or privatised and run by private companies. The results were all in favour of nationalisation and being run in the public sector.

    The actual results were 84%:7% for the NHS; 68%:21% for the energy companies; 67%:22% for Royal Mail and 66%:23% for re-nationalising Rail.

    It just so happens that bringing all four sectors back under democratic control is likely to be the meat of the next Labour election manifesto (according to Corbyn’s 10 pledges, now adopted by the NEC). However, the polls indicate that the LP is unelectable … and doubtless the rebel PLP will continue to say that Corbyn has no policies and etc etc.

  38. Read an interesting article on electoral calculus earlier; I’m sure many who post here will already have read it and forgive me if it’s been discussed earlier.

    It basically suggests that we are now in a world of two dimensional politics; as well as the traditional left right dimension there is also a nationalist internationalist dimension to consider. The article examines current voting intention and demographics, but the way the data was summarised it was difficult to see the relative strength of numbers in each quarter of a simple quadrant.

    What struck me was that perhaps we are in the process of seeing the current political parties trying to find their natural home. The LDs seem to be clear – Left/Internationalist, but the rest appear to be struggling – Labour is Left, but uncertain on its Internationalist dimension, Cons are, as ever, divided on the Internationalist dimension, UKIP are clearly nationalist, but I detect early signs that they may shift to the left to capture the left/nationalist vote.

    Four parties and four quarters to populate. Given that the LDS have grabbed the left/Internationalist agenda, one way that this could play out is that Labour then go for the left/nationalist agenda (either camping their tanks on SNPs lawn or forming some form of strategic alliance); that, in turn would push UKIP back towards the right/nationalist agenda. The remaining space is left to the Tories, who would need to adopt a softer approach to Brexit.

    How four party politics works with FPTP I don’t know, particularly given the demographics of this, but it begs the question whether electoral reform is now necessary and that coalition politics, the shape of the coalition depending on whether left/right or nationalist/Internationalist issues are at the forefront of voters minds at the time of an election, is the best way forward to provide a political system for a country clearly divided in ways that have not been experienced in recent history at least.

    Maybe wishful thinking, but I’d like to see a positive reaction to the way political opinion is changing from our political parties rather than just looking like rabbits in the headlights.

  39. Syzygy

    “The actual results were 84%:7% for the NHS; 68%:21% for the energy companies; 67%:22% for Royal Mail and 66%:23% for re-nationalising Rail.”

    I’m surprised that YG didn’t ask about Water as well, since that seems to be the most extreme of the privatisations visited on the poor souls in E&W. Private monopolies must be the worst version of privatisation.

    Mind you, the questions seem rather binary between extremes – and these aren’t necessarily even accurate..

    For example, in Scotland and NI, there isn’t “privatisation” of the NHS. If “nationalisation” carries its 20th century meaning of ownership by the UK Government, that proposal would get short shrift!

    In NI, Translink both own the (admittedly small) rail network, and run the trains and buses – happily co-operating with their southern equivalents to run cross-border services. I doubt that moving ownership and control to London would be popular.

    If “public ownership” was the issue, then the questions were badly worded – but then, since what happens outwith the largest polity in the UK, seldom seems to impinge on their consciousness, one would expect little else!

    There are other models of public ownership than nationalisation. It might be interesting if these were discussed by political patties, and then polled on.

  40. @MILLIE

    “I have been pretty convinced that Corbyn has little intention of fighting a 2020 election. He will be nearly 71 at that time.”

    These days that is not considered too old. Trump is 70 and Reagan became president at 69.

    However, I do believe he will step down if he doesn’t win the election.

  41. I never cease to be amazed at the pseudo-religious obsession with the NHS in this country. Even hard line Thatcherites are usually opposed to privatisation. This is a dangerous attitude to have. Whilst I object to privatisation of the NHS I do believe that the mantra of ‘free at the point of delivery’ is wrong and outdated. Those who use the NHS most frequently need to pay something towards it, on the basis on affordability. If most people paid 10% of the actual cost of an operation we would not have the financial crisis in the NHS that we have now.

  42. Daibach

    While I’d seen an outline of that analysis before, the article you refer to is much more detailed –

    http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/polmap2d.html

    so thanks a lot for that reference.

    The SMF/Opinium paper (as people might expect me to point out! :-) ) is very anglo-centric in its labelling, and tries to force all 3 polities in GB into a single model.

    If people start with the (highly challengeable) position that there is “a GB polity” on most issues, and model on a false premise, then it is likely to be flawed.

    That the English polity (on which the model is largely based) may have woken up to there being multi-dimensional politics, is good. The rest of us have operated within that reality for years!

    You raise an interesting idea with “Four parties and four quarters to populate.”.

    Unless all the quadrants have equal populations within a polity, then might expect to see the 4 English parties clustering near to the dominant one – while sensibly also trying to be the only one in their chosen sector.

    While the 3 devolved nations all have PR as part(s) of their political systems, and that affects the FPTP Westminster vote too.

    With England being the only part of the UK with a FPTP system (and determined to get rid of the only PR bit by leaving the EU), I would expect the shifts, that seem inevitable, to be more like the San Andreas Fault, rather than where multiple plates in the crust gently slide past, over or under each other.

  43. @DAIBACH

    “What struck me was that perhaps we are in the process of seeing the current political parties trying to find their natural home. The LDs seem to be clear – Left/Internationalist, but the rest appear to be struggling – Labour is Left, but uncertain on its Internationalist dimension, Cons are, as ever, divided on the Internationalist dimension, UKIP are clearly nationalist, but I detect early signs that they may shift to the left to capture the left/nationalist vote.”

    Wrong. The Lib-Dems are not ‘leftist internationalists’, they are a centre party pursuing policies of the middle ground. The may appear lestist now, but that’s simply because the Tories have gone ape-sh*t towards the right. And UKIP shifting to the left? What drugs do you take?

  44. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “UKIP are almost certain to snatch disgruntled Labour supporters who are fed up with mass immigration. Brexit Tory voters will probably forgive their party because they don’t see immigration as the only reason to have voted for Brexit.”

    UKIP are the ‘noisy neighbours’ of politics – they make a lot noise and get a lot of (undeserved) publicity but achieve little. I don’t believe they are a threat to either Labour or the Tories.

  45. Tancred

    Why are you interested in the details of Daibach’s prescription?

    Surely any medical conditions that s/he might have are a confidential matter?

  46. @NEIL A

    “As for admiration, there are plenty of professions I admire more than the police. It’s a pretty shoddy affair a lot of the time, and many of those who work in it are lazy, incompetent and disrespectful. However, I suspect that is true more or less everywhere. I certainly know that the year I spent working in a hospital before I joined taught me that the godlike reverence enjoyed by doctors is frequently misplaced.”

    Bad apples are found in every occupation. The problem with the Police is the locker room culture that has encouraged the service to be a refuge for those who don’t really know what they want to do in life other than have a decently paid job with a pension. But compared to the 1970s there is much more accountability and professionalism than ever before. The other issue is the ingrained anti-intellectualism and mistrust of graduates and academics. Tom Winsor once mooted an idea to have direct entry superintendents joining in from management careers in industry but that idea was shot in flames.

  47. Direct entry at superintendent has been brought in.

    I don’t really think it’s the solution, or at least it’s been wrongly organised.

    What they should have done is direct recruit the group of people above superintendent. Superintendent is the highest rank that has any real operational policing purpose. Everything above that is really organisational management (civil servants should do that) or politics (politicians should do that).

    Bringing someone in at the rank of superintendent where they may have to make actual life or death decisions without the foggiest idea what they’re talking about is madness.

    I am not sure the police is anti-intellectual any more, if it ever was. I certainly do OK with my mad professor routine. The problem is one of trying to manage resources in a way that isn’t intellectually honest. The way I describe it is “If we haven’t got a hammer, it can’t be a nail”. Rather than accurately describing a problem, and then admitting we can’t solve it, the police are b**gers for either ignoring it, minimising it, or pretending it’s a different problem that better fits the available toolkit and budget. Everyone wants to be the “little engine that could” and noone wants to be seen as the “the little engine that couldn’t”. Partly that’s about promotion, and the sheer number of rungs on the career ladder. If you’re only in post for 18 months whilst you’re trying to get the next rank, you have no interest in tackling long term issues, you just want to change something, write about it like it did some good, and move on.

  48. Tancred – “I never cease to be amazed at the pseudo-religious obsession with the NHS in this country. Even hard line Thatcherites are usually opposed to privatisation. ”

    It’s because the left values the NHS as a safety net., and the right values the NHS as bloody good value for money (cheaper than all the alternatives).

    As long as the Tory Shires value the NHS it is here to stay. And they DO value it, especially since stories of massive hikes in premiums for Obamacare have wafted across the Atlantic.

    There is no cost efficient way for providing healthcare apart from the NHS.

    The market doesn’t work because sick/dying people are not rational and will pay anything at any price to any charlatan if they promise the chance of life. You need a cool objective govt to say, “that treatment isn’t worth the cost”. You only have to look at the shambles of Alternative Mediine to see how desperate people are being fleeced for thousands of pounds by improbable promises involving care that doesn’t work (compared to Alternative Medicine practitioners, Harley Street is a pillar of the community).

  49. @NEIL A

    “Direct entry at superintendent has been brought in.”

    Has it? I must have missed the job ads.

    “What they should have done is direct recruit the group of people above superintendent. Superintendent is the highest rank that has any real operational policing purpose. Everything above that is really organisational management (civil servants should do that) or politics (politicians should do that).”

    True, but that would cut off career options for many police officers. But I’m not sure civil servants have the foggiest idea of how to manage the police service – look at the NPIA fiasco. What did it improve? Just put in some IT systems that were sourced from outside contractors anyway. Then the government pulled the plug on them and cut their funding.

    “Bringing someone in at the rank of superintendent where they may have to make actual life or death decisions without the foggiest idea what they’re talking about is madness.”

    I assume they go through rigorous training, don’t they? I certainly hope so.

  50. P.S. Corbyn is an advocate for Alternative Medicine and Homeopathy in particular, and that is one reason he won’t ever be Prime Minister. No decent person would support the fleecing of ill, vulnerable people by the homeopathy brigade.

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