Earlier on today ICM put out their first poll of the year, conducted for the Guardian. Topline figures with changes from before Christmas are CON 42%(+1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 12%(-2), GRN 4%(+1). No significant change there, just the sort of double digit Tory lead that appears to have become the norm. I’ll put up a link to the tables when they appear tomorrow.

Also out today is the January YouGov Welsh poll for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. Topline figures there are:

Westminster: CON 28%(-1), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 9%(+2), UKIP 13%(-1), Plaid 13%(nc)
Assembly Const: CON 25%(+1), LAB 31%(-3), LDEM 8%(+2), UKIP 12%(-1), Plaid 21%(+1)
Assembly List: CON 22%(nc), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 14%(+1), Plaid 20%(-1)

There is a more detailed write up, with what these figures would mean if they actually happened at a general election or Welsh Assembly election, over on Roger Scully’s blog.

509 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 42, LAB 28, LDEM 9, UKIP 12, GRN 4”

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  1. @sea change

    clearly you are right about there being different views and interests in the EU. Someone else, sadly I forget who, did what seemed to me an excellent analysis of differences between the commission, the parliament, the heads of state, and the foreign ministers (roughly in his view going from the most hostile to the least hostile). And this doesn’t touch on the difference between the various states and groupings of states.

    Clearly you are also right about this not being the time for nuclear options. The difficult thing is that in a sense ‘article 50’ is a nuclear option, trigger it, the clock starts ticking, there is no chance of getting a full agreement in two years – and if there was one someone would veto it – and so in two years we are out, WTO rules presumably obtain and everyone is in the proverbial.

    So my question is whether we shouldn’t stop defining it as a zero sum poker game. Rather we should make very positive noises about being good Europeans, not wanting a race to the bottom, valuing the contribution EU workers make to our health service, financial sector etc and say that we wish to negotiate the minimal possible change compatible with Brexit. Other adjustments can follow by agreement later and take their time.

    The polling evidence is that people wanted ‘sovereignty’ which I would gloss as the supremacy of our supreme court and control of our borders which I would gloss as ‘EU nationals do not have a prima facie right to be here’. That said we shouls accept that it is in everybody’s interests that people who are recruited to work here should be accepted and that the movement of people in an out of jobs, movement of students etc is in everybody’s interest.

    In practical terms the things we would have to make a fuss about would be EU people claiming benefits here, EU health tourists, and EU criminals. I suspect that all these are minimal problems but they have been trumpeted out of proportion by the press. So we need to look tough about them.

    We would also need Corbyn like policies for areas where schools etc are under pressure and a strong minimum wage policy.

    That said, I think that the EU might be reluctant to fight about issues of sovereignty (because of Germany). They want the reality of movement of labour (as we should) and they might quite like the right to appear tough on foreign criminals, heatth tourists etc themselves. So if we could get away from the posturing we might all win,

  2. Saffer,
    “MPs whisper in Westminster that they are polishing their CVs”

    Would this be evidence that Corbyn is correct? That they are only interested in being MPs so as to have the fun of running the country? Nothing to do with having political convictions?

    “I suspect this one was screwed for Lab by Jacqui Gallagher and won for LD by O’Brien”

    Though the national moood music must be in the back of voters minds. LD did place themselves beyond the pale with the coalition, but have now managed an image change to be opposed to the conservatives. Even if you dont agree about Brexit, they have made themselves anti tory again.

    “The reason is that polls can only forecast who people say they’ll vote for today. They can’t directly forecast who they will actually vote for.”

    I am inclined to agree. However, it isnt entirely clear that the libs must inevitably be the beneficiaries of this. The electoral system has a huge inertia favouring the current winners. On the other hand, labour is in a process of long term decline, which we see today where Corbyn not only won to become leader, but plainly has a plan to wholly remodel the party.

    Labour losing Scotland was not an accident, but inevitable given the split between the Scottish interest and the labour view. The north of England seems to be going the same way. Corbyn is seen as divisive, but he might in fact be recognising a political reality that the labour model for its support was terminally broken, and he is fighting to take what he can from the wreck. I dont know if Nigel Farage will bring down the EU, but he might yet bring down the then existing Westminster model.

  3. @Carfrew – Tiresome, to be honest.

    There is no argument here between us. As I said, New Labour made some big mistakes due to following the established orthodoxy, and many problems have flowed from that.

    They also did many good things, but insufficient structural reforms. No point going on about stuff we agree on.


    @”My biggest criticism is of the economic approach which inevitably dictates all their policies… implicit in their approach is to treat the UK govt as if it is a household, with an aspiration to balance the budget”
    @”Tomorrow, Jeremy Corbyn is speaking at the Fabian conference and is reportedly pledging to take ‘failing’ care homes back into the public sector. Only time will tell if that is ‘winning stuff’ that will cut through.”

    For any politician who believes that State Spending has no fiscal constraints , as you do, pledges like this are easy.

    One of Labour’s traditional weaknesses in polling terms is usually fiscal credibility. So it is certainly a bold policy to announce.

    Whether the public’s concerns about the current state of Care for the Elderly is greater than their concerns about Corbyn’s Free Money is, I think a prime example of the dynamic between the Labour Party & the UK Electorate just now.

    These two by elections could not be better timed for Mr Corbyn, who deserves credit for sticking to his principles with stubborn determination.

  5. @Anthony Wells

    I’d like to propose a word filter on the intellectually lazy and increasingly meaningless word ‘neoliberal’ and its variants ‘neolib’ and ‘neo-lib’.

  6. No sign yet – that I have noticed – that Corbyn/McDonnell are proposing to bring back the National Enterprise Board or its predecessor the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation. I have not seen any reference to Compulsory Planning Agreements either.

  7. Re: discussions about Labour Party Trots and Neoliberals:
    I shall explain my political history in order to contextualise this post. I am a democratic socialist, I believe in socialism and that it can be achieved by Parliamentary means. I joined the labour party at the age of 18 in 1979, I am from a working class background and a family that always voted labour but had no interest in belonging to the party. I was involved in my trade union and became a shop steward by the age of 20. I was always on the left of the Labour party but in the zone that was referred to as soft left, I suppose that in the 1980’s my position would be in line with Michael Meacher. For many years I knocked doors, filled envelopes stood occasionally in unwinnable council seats, attended meetings regularly: standard Labour Party members fare. In 2003 I left the Labour party because of the Iraq war. Because of my job I am not allowed to belong to a political party anymore, but I take an interest still.
    I read on here about the Labour Party being a socialist party and having been taken over by neo-liberals under the leadership of Tony Blair or alternatively that the Labour party has recently been infiltrated by far left Trotskyites; both analyses are erroneous. The Labour Party was always a coalition made up of a small number of revolutionary socialists who saw parliamentary democracy as a stage towards revolution, a group of democratic socialists, who saw parliamentary democracy as the means to achieve socialism and a group of social democrats, who did not seek to achieve socialism but to ameliorate the effects of capitalism. The history of the party in and out of power has been of attempts by each group to control the direction of policy and the compromises of policy which followed. Unfortunately that art of compromise appears to have been lost (curiously in line with the decline of union’s influence within the party, unions always having the experience of negotiated compromises) this began with what used to be referred to as the “control freakery” of the Blair era.
    What is clear to me is that unless there is a return to dialogue and compromise between the factions of the coalition I have described the Labour party is finished; the animated corpse may survive for a few years but it will be spent as a serious political force.Insults are not that persuasive to those who oppose your argument. For all his faults I ask, rhetorically, how do Corbyn supporters expect to convince a sufficient portion of theelectorate that his faction is right if they can’t convince 50% of the PLP.
    The problem is that The left has developed a PR split of the left while the Right has so far avoided that and is still operating FPTP rules.
    The polls clearly show Corbyn as a problem whilst there is sympathy for some of his policies, neither faction in Labour can ignore that dichotomy.

  8. @Alec

    Well I agree we might agree on many things. We might differ on the Trojan Horseness of it all. But anyways, regarding Lagoons, just read an article that while expensive up front, over the long term could be quite economic. You don’t have the decommissioning costs of nuclear etc…

    Things are proceeding apace. Can’t recall if I mentioned the recent development of nanotech that makes super capacitors store rather more energy. Super capacitors as I’m sure you know, are handy for things like fast charging for electric cars and don’t wear out so quick.

    And in India they seem to have developed summat for CO2 capture. I’m seeing articles about the rapid fall in costs of solar and wind, it all seems to be reaching a tipping point, if it hasn’t already…

    ” That said we shouls accept that it is in everybody’s interests that people who are recruited to work here should be accepted and that the movement of people in an out of jobs, movement of students etc is in everybody’s interest. In pra ctical terms the things we would have to make a fuss about would be EU people claiming benefits here.”
    Well spoken. There are three elements in this which might hinder or prevent it: On the EU side, the intention to create the legal basis of free movement of labour and labour rights, including those to a social wage; on the side of a UK tory government, unwillingness to accept the level of immigration it might permit – at present 330k net of which 180k net from the EU; in resistance at the ballot box unwillingness to accept local in-flows of migrants regardless of Corby-like (Migrant Fund) investment and related social and integrative measures by a body of opinion which won’t have integration at any cost.

    The picture of spend,, spend, spend as defining Labour economic and fiscal policy is, as you know, Tory spin. Their intention both to increase specific taxes and to increase spending, both to meet the neees of the NHS and social care, and to create an Investment Fund to increase and otherwise back enterprise and industrial development, are will known, and appear increasingly necessary and recognised, both by the public and by economic institutions.

  10. Corbyn at the Fabian society conference

    “I would rather stand on a picket line for a safely staffed railway … than stand with the fat cat rail bosses … charging rail passengers an arm and a leg … the most expensive fares in Europe for a second rate service.”

    Is this the new populism?

  11. WB
    My experience pretty much parallels yours, but suggests that ‘neo-liberalism” under TB was a reality but specifically in respect of the economy and of overseas intervention, and was a reflection of his personal inclination towards a US model. It did not prevent his introducing many aspects of a social democratic agenda which were attractive to most of the party and of the electorate, and which have left their mark, notably in the legislative basis of a minimum wage and in democratisation of the union vote and affiliations.
    Where I might differ from you is in expecting that the Corby revolution will, one way or another, have similar effects, not entirely to the left – for example in recognising that the international free movement of labour is here to stay and that the UK economy is and needs to be part of it, or whither – which will be lasting, but that the party will readjust to its democratic party and parliamentary balance,and is already doing so in a process likely to be completed by 2020.

  12. Or Perhaps?

    “As I highlighted earlier this week … the average pay of a FTSE 100 chief executive has rocketed to £5 million … more than 130 times more than the average UK worker.
    That’s not only grossly unfair … it also underlines a serious economic problem.
    Britain needs the many to have better pay … not least because that means more money to spend with businesses, which grows the economy … Growth means more tax receipts for the exchequer, which means more money for our NHS.
    People know that the wealth isn’t trickling down, it’s flooding up … Curbing excessive pay would be a benefit for everyone.”

    This is Labour fare from the 1930’s, wonder will it resonate with the modern working class, or the broader population?

    VI in a month’s time when it has had time to sink in?

  13. @Funtypippin

    It’s mostly just a convenient shorthand for what happens when you let markets and capital dominate too much, so you don’t have to repeat yourself and explain how things like the concentration of capital and market distortions result in things like the banking crash, hoovering up of wealth, regulatory capture, wages stagnating, bills on essentials going up etc.

  14. @ John Pilgrim:

    I don’t disagree with you that neoliberal economic policies dominated under TB but I argue that there were compromises with the left e.g. on employment law. What I see now is neither faction in the PLP being willing to compromise particularly: there seems at the moment to be a sullen truce. It will be interesting to see the reaction to the Fabian speech, which as I indicate seems pretty much Nye Bevan Circa 1933 socialist red in tooth and claw.

  15. @Syzygy

    “Yachts are for plotting :)”


    Clearly, I need a yacht. I might need several…

  16. Good Late Morning everyone from a Sunny Bournemouth by the Sea.

    I think polling figures for Labour and Lib Dems seem high; a Fabian Pamphlet recently pointed out that for the last forty years polls have exaggerated Labour’s standing.
    GRAHAM ! might correct this statement.

    I wonder whether the Stoke by election may be like the Darlington be election for Foot. If Corbyn’s new populism fails to win Stoke then I think he might be forced out.

    The Copeland Seat is going to be lost, I think.

  17. WB
    ” pretty much Nye Bevan Circa 1933 socialist red in tooth and claw.”
    Nah. This is Corbyn at his most rational, backing the unon in what is essentially a management issue, and on the economy saying it how it is.

  18. @ Carfew

    Clearly, I need a yacht. I might need several…

    Storage problems again…? I did suggest, a year or two ago, that renting a cargo vessel might work out cheaper.

  19. @ Colin

    ‘For any politician who believes that State Spending has no fiscal constraints , as you do, pledges like this are easy.’

    Very possibility… but, as you should know by now, I do not believe that State Spending has no fiscal constraints.

  20. Another interesting article in today’s Belfast Telegraph with: Arlene Foster’s tarnished image could see DUP battered at the polling booths, including:

    Since the ‘cash for ash’ scandal broke, [Arlene Foster] has come across as all those things we believed she was not – arrogant, out of touch, and contemptuous of public opinion.

    As we look set to go to the polls next month, what must worry the DUP is that this image of Arlene isn’t restricted to nationalists, and that their party could be in line for an electoral battering.

    There are indications that those who stood with the DUP through thick and thin are disgusted by events. The party has just weeks to win them back.

    Mrs Foster, who never fired a shot or planted a bomb, has bizarrely managed to make Martin McGuinness, the man once dubbed the Butcher of the Bogside, seem reasonable and statesmanlike to many outside of Sinn Fein.

    It’s worth reading the whole article, which concludes that there is a chance that SF will overtake the DUP if UUP voters don’t give the DUP their later transfers, in which case the DUP would be unlikely to serve under an SF FM, ending the Stormont Assembly in its current form.

  21. @ Pete B

    ‘even though I’m a poor old OAP, but all of these people just want to extort even more money to no effect.’

    Surprisingly, I might well be wanting to reduce your tax burden… certainly, I’d want to abolish the regressive tax of VAT :)

    @”The picture of spend,, spend, spend as defining Labour economic and fiscal policy is, as you know, Tory spin. etc etc”.

    Actually I was responding to Syzygy’s favoured approach to The State & State Spending. It is the one which , as in her recent post, rejects the notion that a Sovereign State with its own currency is constrained by the “household” rules of balancing budgets. The key to this idea is Monetary Policy & Helicopter money. It was proposed by former “economic adviser” of Mc Donnel’s -one Richard Murphy. Murphy parted company with Labour in rancourous circumstances however. so I’m not too clear on whether Syzygy’s preferred approach to State Spending is still McDonnel Policy.
    If Labour has returned to more a more conventional approach of spending what you can raise in taxes and/or borrow, then there is some basis for fiscal rectitude. As to whether Corbyn’s Labour Party would accept orthodox fiscal constraints, I can only fall back on history & what Corbyn commits himself to.

  23. CL1945

    @” If Corbyn’s new populism fails to win Stoke then I think he might be forced out.”

    How though Chris?

  24. SYZYGY
    ” renting a cargo vessel might work out cheaper.”
    Or even profitable, especially if registered with a flag of convenience in an off-shore tax haven.
    And if equipped with a Super Capacitator, would provide Carfie with a virtually endless source of information and pronouncements on energy saving, storage – both of material goods and energy – transit and fiscal irrectitude.

  25. COLIN
    “If Labour has returned to more a more conventional approach of spending what you can raise in taxes and/or borrow, then there is some basis for fiscal rectitude..”
    I am sure you are aware of the element you are omitting, and which is central to McDonnell’s and Corbyn’s fiscal and economic policies, that of raising and spending funds as investment both to fund private sector production and enterprise and to invest in infrastructure, and so to increase earnings and tax-take, and thus not to increase inflationary pressure or bypass fiscal controls.

  26. Peter Donaldson (A question of Economics) first taught me economics: he told me something that I think has stood me in good stead ever since when thinking about economic policy: Money does not exist, it is an intellectual construct which allows work and goods to have an easily understood method of exchange.
    When considered this way the obvious core of economic thinking comes to the fore “PRODUCTIVITY IS EVERYTHING”

  27. I had to allow myself a wry smile that we have moved from the issue of whether left-wing posters should absent themselves from this site due to unfair criticism of Jeremy Corbyn and his policies, to a torrent of agreement that the Tories are incompetent, venal and destroyed everything good about Britain, with Tony Blair’s New Labour only slightly less bad. Punctuated only by the occasional comment from the likes of Colin.

    Apparently without any inkling of the irony…

  28. @ Neil

    I am well aware of the irony (wry smile) …

    @ Colin

    I’m afraid that you are mistook. My criticism is (similar to Richard Murphy’s) that Corbyn’s Labour Party IS accepting orthodox fiscal constraints :)

  29. @ John Pilgrim

    ” renting a cargo vessel might work out cheaper.”
    Or even profitable, especially if registered with a flag of convenience in an off-shore tax haven.
    And if equipped with a Super Capacitator, would provide Carfie with a virtually endless source of information and pronouncements on energy saving, storage – both of material goods and energy – transit and fiscal irrectitude.’

    I see that we are of like mind :)

  30. Interestingly the phrase “Structural Reforms” keeps popping up but no one seems to get around to saying exactly which ones we failed to implement.

    From Thatcher through Blair right up to know, we have had major reforms!

    Waves of privatisation including PFI, restructured the NHS repeatedly, made major changes to Labour Laws; both workers rights and Trade Union legislation Education Reform; both mainstream and university fees, major changes to Pension rules and entitlements, Changes to stamp duty, Local taxation and the minimum wage.

    So is the talk of structural Reform just short hand for “If we had done other things we wouldn’t be in this mess!” so we can distance ourselves from responsibility for this mess and if not exactly what did we not do that we should have.

    Two things spring to mind. arguably the biggest reform in terms of the economy was the Banking Big bang including demutualising the Building societies which also lead ultimately to the Banking crash.

    People who talk now about us not going far enough on reform tend to be people who at the time were all for the City being freed.

    Equally the Reform debate tends to at times focus on our open Labour markets and almost a US view of regulation and business.

    However as I’ve pointed out before, within the EU, Germany which trades under the same terms and seems to have more restrictive Labour Rules than us id the worlds second largest exporter.

    Equally whether it be Trump or Brexit working people seem to have vented their anger at stagnation wages in the two Countries that have most embraced Structural Reform in the form of less regulation and a smaller state.



  31. @Syzygy – “Tomorrow, Jeremy Corbyn is speaking at the Fabian conference and is reportedly pledging to take ‘failing’ care homes back into the public sector. Only time will tell if that is ‘winning stuff’ that will cut through.”

    Not caught up with what he has actually said, but this is quite interesting. I note also @Colin’s response, which in part encapsulates Corbyn’s problem. It isn’t so much that he doesn’t identify issues that concern voters, but more that they wonder how he will finance his stated aims and whether the fiscal package is credible and popular.

    On the specific issue of social care, the way he seems to be framing this throws @Colin’s point into stark relief. Private care homes are going bust because local authorities are cutting their care budgets, with the problem being (in part at least) state care spending, rather than the nature of the service provision.

    However, it seems that Corbyn’s knee jerk reaction, as with the railways, is a simple return to nationalised state provision, without any clear rationale as to why this would alleviate the problems. A more imaginative approach could be to go down the Andy Burnham route, which was backed by the Lib Dems (and at one point the Tories) to create a national care service, offering free social care to all at the point of provision, paid for by a levy on estates after death.

    There were significant objections to this from the right wing press at the time, but the passage of seven years of Conservative rule during which time the crisis has gone from bad to worse, may have changed a few minds.

    Now I must hedge my comments on this, as I haven’t heard what Corbyn is proposing, so it’s possible he may be saying something just like that. Or he may be just saying nationalise whatever bit of the system fails.

    If this latter approach is all this is, then frankly it isn’t up to much and probably won’t help Labour’s polling. However, it should be seen as a big positive that he is trying to say something about this issue.

  32. @ Alec

    He doesn’t talk about re-nationalising but public ownership. A lot of his focus was on devolving and increasing funding to local authorities so that they can ‘innovate’ their own solutions.

    I agree that a national care system would be a much better and bolder initiative but nothing JC said would ultimately contradict such a plan. He may also have been trying to woo the Fabians (largely hostile to Corbyn) who are very keen on localism.

  33. ALEC
    “Corbyn’s [is a] knee jerk reaction.” (though I haven’t acually read it.
    Yours is an unthinking retention of the status quo.
    Mine is a sagely considered view of all the options and measured advice which any sane government would follow.

  34. Between 2010 and 2015 we had 5 years of posting on here saying the Tories could not possibly win a majority? Remind me, how did that go? And here we are doing the same thing again. Whoopee!

  35. @Syzygy – thanks. It sounds like a ‘worthy but dull’ type of thing. I had originally really hoped Corbyn would be much, much bolder, but as I said previously, I don’t feel he has the intellectual firepower to open up new ways of thinking.

    On other matters: An interesting tale – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/14/netherlands-will-block-eu-deal-with-uk-without-tax-avoidance-measures

    This highlights the problems that UK will face, and suggests that a post Brexit model favoured by many Conservatives will face complications. Indeed, it also emphasises the fact that to gain a satisfactory trade deal – not even staying in the single market – means that the UK is likely to effectively cede an element of fiscal sovereignty to Brussels that currently resides at Westminster. Joy!

    It’s clear that Asscher has corporation tax in his sights, at the very least, and this raises the fascinating possibility that in order to secure a post Brexit trade deal, UK will be legally bound to a minimum CT rate. Meanwhile, next door Ireland, still in the EU, will not be, as to impose an EU wide CT rate requires a new treaty and unanimity.

    If we want a trade deal, it seems therefore rather likely that we will have less protection, in the form of a veto, than we currently have over a number of key measures. The alternative would be tariffs and customs posts, which would have a significant dampening effect on economic activity.


    @”I am sure you are aware of the element you are omitting,…….. ”


    I replied on the interesting subject of State “Investment” expenditure-but for some unnaccountable reason it has been zapped.

  37. SYZYGY

    @” My criticism is (similar to Richard Murphy’s) that Corbyn’s Labour Party IS accepting orthodox fiscal constraints :)”

    Yes- I rather assumed that Sue. It was a very brief flirtation with your favourite Fiscal Policy :-)

  38. Leaving aside other factors, I wonder whether age will discourage Corbyn from standing in 2020. He would then be very nearly 71, and presumably standing for a five year term, taking him up to approaching 76. Since Gladstone, only Churchill has served at this age.

    Has there been any polling on the ideal age for a Prime Minister?

  39. @John Pilgrim – apologies, but I don’t quite follow your last post.

    Are you saying that the idea of a radical shift of taxation, from income and sales taxes to asset taxes, in order to fund a national care service, is “..an unthinking retention of the status quo.”?

    You also missed out the bit where I said ‘seems to be a knee jerk…..’, precisely because I didn’t know exactly what he was proposing.

  40. Millie.
    That is rather cheap shot.

  41. I think JC may be a tad more healthy than Winston was at the same age.
    Maybe its cos i am no longer young that i find the implication that seventy is too old for anything rather ridiculous.

  42. Message from another country (London)

    I have tried to absent myself from the sheer tedium and malice of the Labour internal debate (not least on this polling site :-) ).

    In general, where I am, Corbyn supporters are getting on in a perfectly comradely manner with the rest of the active members (who outnumber them) and we’re all working nicely together doing a little bit of campaigning (though we don’t have much policy or national initiatives to play with) and a lot of Lib Dem-like talking to the public.

    We have plenty of Momentum members but they only turn up when there’s a vote for party office and hitherto they haven’t got very far, as even the rest of the Corbynistas hold them in low esteem.

    I have said before that I’m not a Corbyn supporter myself: no
    real issue with his policies, just with his leadership style, but he’s the party leader and I wish him well and am desperate for him to up his game. From what I’ve seen of ‘New Jeremy’ he was pretty hopeless about immigration – as a very active Labour member I have no idea what his opinion is on either immigration or Brexit. Nor do I even know what he wants us to believe his opinion is. By contrast, I thought he was excellent at this week’s weekly bunfight.

    On the doorstep he does not in fact come up much, though an animal rights activist I saw last night said she thought Jeremy might be more interested in animal rights but she’d stay a Green until he was clearer (but anyway usually votes Lab tactically). In my experience, most people round here are tribal (we always vote Labour/Tory/don’t vote because they are all the same (except our Mp and councillors, who are saintly, but I still can’t be arsed to vote)

    I think people vote according to impressions, and their impression ATM is that no party is saying anything which convinces them,

    Oh, and the care home remarks seemed pretty crass to me, so I suppose that makes me Red Tory Blairite scum

    Please don’t beat yourself up Guy, you are what you are. Imagine my predicament, Rural Tory, racist, sexist, xenophobic, devoutly middle class, ex-military and I like girls. It just hopeless.

  44. @WB
    “Money does not exist, it is an intellectual construct which allows work and goods to have an easily understood method of exchange.”
    That reminds me of a puzzle I saw years ago – a question for an economics exam.

    A modestly rich Englishman holidayed on an isolated Mediterranean Island (it was all a long time ago) and paid for his 6 month stay with a largish cheque.
    Several years later he returned to the island to find that his hotel owner had built an extension, paying a local building firm by giving them the cheque, and was gaining regular income from his extra guests, spending it with local traders. The builder had bought lots of food from a local farmer with that same cheque, and paid his workers in kind. The farmer had bought more stock from a local dealer on a long term credit arrangement, backed by the cheque. The dealer had a % of the profits arrangement with the farmer, which allowed him to reward his staff in kind.
    The holidaymaker contacted his bank. The original cheque had never been cashed.
    Who paid for it all?

  45. COLIN
    My post did not include “etc etc” so I suggest, should not be put in quotes in your 12.06 reply.

    “as a very active Labour member I have no idea what his opinion is on either immigration or Brexit..”

    Come on, you, surprisingly, and others here less so really must keep up. Others on QT etc engage in a less surprising game of pretend.
    Let me quote or paraphrase:
    A Labour gpvernment will support a continued open immigration policy in the best interests of the UK economy, including continued membership of the Single Market.
    Labour will both legislate and provide funding measures to prevent payment of lower wages or lower working rights and conditions of immigrant workers, with the measured intention of not permitting a lowering effect on wages througout the economy.
    Among the funding measures will be investment funding and public service development in areas of high immigration, framed as a Migrant Fund, to overcome stress on access to health services and schooling and to create jobs,
    The Migrant Fund will be used flexibly for both these purposes, and will be part of a public investment and fiscal policy which allows for the creation of a national Investment Fund, and of more general measures to counter the imbalance of income between managerial and working populations…….As Colin would say, etc etc.
    The point about Corbyn’s style is that he tends to list out the whole spectrum of sector development which he and the Labour leadership intend to introduce to provide a coherent economic and public sector policy,. As a major plank in this strategy they would make optimum use of a high skilled labour force generated by immigration and a skills oriented educational and training programme to fuel and implement it. Not only not being good at rounded rhetoric, but actively disliking it, as engendered by an elitist schooling and political system and as an instrument of misinformation for purposes of manipulation, he talks his way through what strikes him as right, and leaves it to others to piece the parts together.
    On immigration, I think he is doing it rather well. To go back to the beginning of this attempt to interpret him, anyone who thinks continued unfettered labour movement to meet the needs of industry, and continued membership of the Single Market, plus investment in areas and sectors experiencing stress throught high immigration, is not a coherent policy needs to question their assumptions about what should be the connection between immigration and overall economic and social policy.
    They should also ask what is the May alternative in the as yet unresolved issue of the consequences not remaining in the Single Market. Unanswered elements in the latter will be the need to define policy in relation to an alternative to free labour migration from the EU, including that of managing immigration from areas of massive pressure of migration from India,, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, among the many questions which will be posed by Brexit

  47. @MarkW

    Sorry – didn’t mean to be ageist.

    I note that Trump will be the oldest President to take office. But will be younger than JC in 2020.

    I appreciate that people are getting older, but it is quite striking if you look at past PMs and Presidents that they are very concentrated around the ages of 50-55. A bit younger than I expected.

    I don’t think the age of a candidate is irrelevant, is it?

  48. @Roland Haines

    Really Roland? I never knew you were middle class.


    @”On immigration, I think he is doing it rather well.”

    So do you forecast Labour holds in Copeland & Stoke-perhaps even increased majorities with such an attractive policy platform?

  50. New Opinium poll in tomorrow’s Observer_
    Con 38 no change
    Lab 30 -1
    Ukip 14 +1
    LD 7 +1

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