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”

1 7 8 9 10 11
  1. @Catmanjeff
    ‘Perhaps the focus on Brexit effect might fade and lose it’s importance to the average voter.’

    I believe that has already happened – it’s just that political anoraks find difficulty in relating to people far less obsessed than themselves!

  2. @Colin

    “Hmmm…..they should be pretty happy then.”

    ———-

    Lol, I’d imagine ‘happy’ would be stretching it, but more like the difference between losing one leg or two, minds thing. From their perspective of course.

    From a Tory perspective, especially if more to the right, it might be better to win over Blair than over Corbyn, because the latter might require a greater move leftwards.

    Think about how even though Tories won frequently in the fifties, they actually outbid Labour on housebuilding etc….

    Even Thatch up against Labour on the floor with their vote split, didn’t dare do some things that Blair did. If he had been her opponent though…

  3. @SYZYGY

    “You brighten my day :)”

    ————-

    I hope so cos been trying to get my head around it myself for a while. Ever since I got surrounded at the bar one day by some young peeps excitedly talking about Corbyn and I could see there was obviously summat going on that needed explaining.

    Once I saw the Liberal thing though, a lot became clearer. I’ve been doing an abridged version though. The fuller version goes a bit more like this…

    – there are SOME things that Nulab did that even Tories might have blanched at. ATOS, some privatisations etc… and once done, this opens the door to more of the same once Tories get in

    – (this is very dangerous stuff for a party… A Labour leader has more power to get some of this stuff through whereas unions might oppose it if Tories tried it initially. If a leader and his acolytes is found to abuse this trust, will prolly result in a battle. It’s possible some Tories felt the same way over the EU in the past, trusted the leadership but then… Oh, it’s not what they thought…)

    – a fair chunk did not out-Tory the Tories, but went along with it. Eg the neolib thing. But in this instance, there’s no point backing Nulab if they’re gonna be much the same.

    – ok, with some things, maybe it’s not just the same, maybe it’s a bit less intense. But if you think things are travelling in the wrong direction, you are just watching them slowing the rot a bit, not stopping it or, better still, reversing it.

    (It’s like… if they slowed immigration a little, prolly won’t happinate a Brexitter…)

    – then there’s the stuff that Corbyn’s detractors really struggle with. Eg, Nulab spent quite a bit more on public services. This is surely better than Tories from a left perspective… Why sacrifice that????

    Well, because if you subscribe to the neoliberal alongside, it’s not enough. The neolib economics undermines it. And upping funding for public services somewhat didn’t provide the lifelong boost that boomers had postwar, where it wasn’t just schools and hospitals but it was also affordable housing, full employment, affordable utilities etc. etc.

    It also makes it too easy to reverse. It becomes a temporary band aid before the storm, to mix metaphors. Preferable to campaign for more than just a brief respite…

    And to aim to put in a LOT more left wing stuff so it takes longer to unpick and more is left when you get back in.

    – furthermore… Some of what the liberals “think” is left wing, might not be. Crucially, they confuse anti-discrimination with anti-immigration.

    Sure, anti-discrimination legislation etc., lots of left peeps will go for that. But free movement, now that can cause problems for natives and immigrants alike, just like unrestricted free movement of capital can. Free everything is a liberal policy, esp. because it isn’t necessarily that free, not everyone will have equal access in practice.

  4. @Graham

    I do sense that the NHS crisis currently unfolding offers a great opportunity for an opposition to exploit. There is a huge target there.

    I see a clear space for a different paradigm for public services – neither centrally run by government in Whitehall, nor fragmentation and privatisation.

    Scope is an issue too. It’s obvious that what people expect vs what they are prepared to pay,by taxation or otherwise for, is an issue. These two things do not match up currently in my view.

    We seem to spend a lot of effort in process improvement, that is trying to make the current service delivery structures bend and change to make things better.

    Some processes will be beyond improvement as they are so poor, so we should spend more time in process redesign, working out what people need now and in the future. Working backwards from these needs, a process of can be developed. some parts may be fine, some will need tweaking, and some will need completely taking apart.

    It’s a huge job, but long term it’s the sort thinking we need.

    This is hard to do while being short-term politically, but it does appear that Mr Corbyn seems to see not being popular in the short as a bad thing.

  5. @ CATMANJEFF

    Unless you can make an increasingly geriatric population suddenly young, I fail to see how any NHS crisis can be averted…..

    Particularly when the younger generation are working every available hour to pay the mortgage….

  6. @JonesinBangor

    I agree.

    Sadly we normally need to crash into the brick wall before we realise we are heading in the wrong direction.

  7. @ Carfew

    I couldn’t put it better myself .. except to add in the necessary condition that Nu-lab needed to make sure that the PLP would back them (hence parachuting in and excluding any leftwing Parliamentary candidates) and to remove any power from the membership (which was reversed to their horror by their own goal of OMOV).

    The pivotal moment was the PLP coup when the rebel MPs revealed their true colours, either politically or indeed their moral cowardice. It was much more important for the prime movers to remove the leftwing leadership than to hold Cameron and Osborne to account for their gross irresponsibility and hubris. It said it all.

    At that point, many in the LP realised that:

    ‘ if you subscribe to the neoliberal alongside, it’s not enough. The neolib economics undermines it. And upping funding for public services somewhat didn’t provide the lifelong boost that boomers had postwar, where it wasn’t just schools and hospitals but it was also affordable housing, full employment, affordable utilities etc. etc.’

    As you say, Blair, Mandelson, Milburn, Byers et al were able to do things that the Tories would not have been able to do because there seemed to be crumbs worth having but in reality they were not enough… and the door was left wide open for the Tories to walk through in 2010.

    You brightened my day by understanding that if the Corbyn-sceptic MPs really only wanted a more ‘electable’ leader, they would be removing the obstacles to nominating another left wing candidate. But they have no intention of doing that. I can only conclude that many in the PLP would, like Blair, rather see the LP die than be a moderately socialist party.

    IIRC Tony Benn said that the LP was not a socialist party but there were many socialists in the LP. For the Corbyn supporters, the coup was the crunch in deciding that there is little point in a LP if it is only a few shades left of the Conservatives.

  8. If Corbyn resigns, as he may well do after the forthcoming by-elections, there will be no left wing candidates endorsed by the PLP.

  9. ALEC
    ” I appreciate what you are saying, and do agree with much of it,”
    That is generous. Of course, yes, we are concerned with impact on VI of the popular perception, and political effectiveness needs to be addressed to that.
    I suggest the radical problem is not with the Labour policy (leaving personalities aside), since it appears to be based on marrying the facts of migration and those of industrial and economic viability, but with a now long-term failure to address the social dimensions of economic development, including their financing through equitable taxation and earnings, and to meet the need for investment in health and social care, and in housing and education and training.
    SyZYGY
    Well, thank God for at least one of you, or possibly two, counting CARFREW.but I am not sure he actually reads anything not touching on thorium or storage.

    What will appear odd in the historical record is the vilification of Jean-Claude Juncker’s recognition of the need for accepting migration as the basis of making needed investments in the care of ageing EU populations and in their active labour forces, and the failure of connection of the subsequent policy work on the EU Agenda programme to achieve this outcome with UK as against German migration and labour market policy.

  10. Jonesinbangor

    Mr Corbyn wil never, ever, resign. His type of livelong protestor never do. Nor do we want him to. Who on earth could the party find to replace him? Ms Abbott…good grief!

  11. @ ARTAIR

    Maybe not.

    But cushy pseudo-private sector jobs are very attractive to disillusioned MPs.

    You and I see what is going on. Add Press spin and who knows where it ends….

  12. CMJ (re Brexit): “I’m a political geek,well informed I think,and the issue is mind numbingly boring to me.”

    Interesting. I feel the same about interminable poring over Labour entrails.

  13. @ JOHN PILGRIM

    It was a great relief to me that you had understood what I believed Corbyn’s position to be. As I said before, it is very wearing to constantly read what Corbyn is supposed to have said or done when words and events did not appear so to me.

    I have personal experience of Juncker’s concern about care of the ageing populations. Through the experience of my mother’s care home, I have good reason to know, like and be grateful for the young people from Rumania, Lithuania, Latvia etc who have come to work here. I just want them to be paid more!

  14. @Somerjohn

    I think the voters at large are fed up with all the anti-Corbyn stuff, and endless legal wrangling over Brexit.

    I suspect they want a government who competently gets on with running the country, providing the services they rely on, and a competent opposition who hold the Government to account.

    I don’t think we have either.

  15. @Syzygy

    Yes, the impact of parachuting remains… the Tories seem to have suffered less from the parachuting, or resisted it more. Recall also how when Cameron tried to neuter the 1922 committee they seemed to rather tell him to eff off.

    It’s possible that seeing Corbyn’s struggles influenced May at al to move so quickly and thoroughly, but I also think it might have been influenced by summat Colin noted, after IDS resigned. Colin suggested that after being done over yet again, IDS decided to start firing back, and this may be why he and his allies fought so uncompromisingly over Brexit and after. They knew it was hopeless to try accommodation.

    Same with trying to accommodate Nulab. Mandelson did the decent thing and acknowledged Blairite failings, but some others not so much and seem to be acting more in accordance with Roger Mexico’s contention that they might not be keen to see a more left wing policy in case it shows there really was an alternative after all.

    (Cameron et al haven’t been given the chance to do the same of course…)

  16. @carfrew

    It’s like… if they slowed immigration a little, prolly won’t happinate a Brexitter

    Spot on – just a small change in the past like not shouting down anyone who raised concerns over immigration numbers would probably have been enough to prevent Brexit. Anyone but Jezza leading Labour would also probably have been enough… on small things do big changes depend

  17. @sorrel

    I wonder, therefore, whether Remain might be a viable electoral strategy. I think from the polling that around 31% of people are strong remainers – and there is a reasonable chance that the Lib Dems could persuade these people to vote for them. For the Liberals this could be the path to a lot more seats.

    Wonder ye not. This is exactly the strategy Tim Farron is following.He was on LBC the other day and someone called in to congratulate him for not being just another politician opportunist but that’s exactly what he is doing. He must think it’s Christmas all year when he is the only credible opposition party to quite clearly fix his colours to remain. The democrat bit in Lib Dem is a bit iffy though…

  18. @Somerjohn

    “Interesting. I feel the same about interminable poring over Labour entrails.”

    ————

    That’s why I decided to move things on a bit!! It gets in the way of lagoons and stuff. If you can do the same for Brexit that’d be great!!…

  19. “Spot on – just a small change in the past like not shouting down anyone who raised concerns over immigration numbers would probably have been enough to prevent Brexit.”

    ————

    Well, the result was quite close, so yes, that and a number of things might have changed the outcome. I’d suggest polling to find out but Anthony off reminds us of the dangers of polling people on what they think…

  20. What we should do is make them actually vote weekly, on all manner of things, then we’d have a better indication…

  21. The most insane idea I’ve heard recently is this barrage in Swansea Bay.
    The idea that any structure built today will last 120 years is about as plausible as a Jeremy Corbyn speech.

  22. As a non Blairite, I do believe there is a certain revisionism going on about ‘Nulab’. UKPR is not immune from this.

    The purges of left wing candidates was so successful, Jeremy Corbyn remained as an MP throughout the New Labour years.

    Yes of course – we can all agree that while brilliantly successful in electoral terms, and while presiding over the greatest ever transfer of wealth from rich to poor, the biggest ever schools building programme, a massive improvement in the performance of the NHS (which is now unsurprisingly being undone), devolution, peace in Northern Ireland, and of course, the right to roam and banning fox hunting, New Labour were, in fact, miles worse than Thatcher and were, as it happens, the most aggressively fascist and generally evil bunch of right wing nutters since – well, Harold Wilson, I suppose.

    More seriously, while completely accepting the fact that New Labour failed to enact sufficient structural changes and did succumb to far too much of the prevailing orthodoxy, the insinuation that they are no better (or perhaps are even worse) than Tories is insidious and a betrayal of Labour’s record.

    It is a mindset that is infecting Labour thinking and prevents a genuine reflection of what Labour needs now, and is distorting judgements not only of the past, but also of the future.

    A more balanced appreciation of recent political history wouldn’t go amiss, but oddly enough, it seems that it’s the Blairites who are showing more recognition of their own failures, while the leftists have an apparent refusal to accept their successes.

  23. @ Carfew

    Mandelson only acknowledged Blairite failings from the inner sanctum of the Singapore Business School :)

    Laszlo has railed against Corbyn’s self-destructive lack of ruthlessness and IMO it has been a great mistake not to ensure that at least the LP staffers were supportive of Corbyn. However, there was a lot of paranoia in the ‘Blair project’ and many structures are deliberately designed to prevent action similar to Mrs May’s. Eg. deselecting sitting MPs is almost impossible.

    However, the PLP coup was extremely effective in changing the composition of the shadow cabinet .. so much so that one might easily have thought that it was designed to be. .. Certainly prior to the coup, ‘accommodation’ was every bit as impossible as IDS experienced.

  24. @Wolf – “The most insane idea I’ve heard recently is this barrage in Swansea Bay.
    The idea that any structure built today will last 120 years is about as plausible as a Jeremy Corbyn speech.”

    Have you ever been to Lyme Regis? The Cobb as stands today was built in 1824, so nearing it’s bicentennial. OK – I don’t expect turbines to still be working in 120 years time, but they can be lifted out and replaced. Oddly enough, for many big hydro installations built in the 1950’s, replacing the aging turbines has led to a marked increase in output, as new versions have been more efficient. The civil engineering remains as was.

    So long as they get the siltation calcs right, I see no real real reason why this structure shouldn’t still be functioning in 120 years.

  25. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/13/eu-negotiator-wants-special-deal-over-access-to-city-post-brexit

    Quite a positive story (for the UK) on Brexit. There is a negotiation to be had, but it is unfortunate that the one economic sector that we could do with downsizing is the one where UK has the upper hand in the negotiations.

  26. Before I head off for the night, I must doff my cap to Jeremy Corbyn (again).

    BBC news tonight featured the Deputy PM of the Netherlands, along with a Dutch union leader, complaining about the EU free movement regulations undercutting national employment standards.

    While they didn’t specify this, I think they were talking about the Posted Workers Directive, which enables companies to hire staff from other EU countries, through overseas agencies, on employment terms in the hiring country, rather than in the country where the work is actually done.

    This is a gross abuse of national living standards, and is unchallengeable under EU law. The UK building industry is rife with eastern European agency workers employed at less than minimum wages, and it’s completely legal.

    Corbyn specifically flagged this up during the referendum campaign, and I indicated my support at the time. Im glad the issue is now getting more air time.

  27. @ Alec

    ‘The purges of left wing candidates was so successful, Jeremy Corbyn remained as an MP throughout the New Labour years.’
    ————————————————————————–

    I wonder if you have come across Professor Lewis Minkin’s book ‘The Blair Supremacy: A Study in the Politics of Labour’s Party Management’? Former MP Alan Simpson wrote a review of it:

    http://www.redpepper.org.uk/inside-new-labours-rolling-coup-the-blair-supremacy/

    As one of the Socialist Campaign group MPs, Alan Simpson suggests that many of the Labour rebels, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, were saved by ‘divisions between the Blair and Brown camps, in what was to become the running distraction throughout the Labour years in government.’

  28. I’m betting Labour to hold Stoke Central, and Tories to win Copeland. Anybody offer me odds on the double?

  29. Back to polling.

    Scully is endorsing Number Cruncher’s speculation about the recent Welsh poll, that Llafur’s poll rating relies on those who couldn’t be bothered to vote in the referendum, and has done further work on the September Welsh poll.

    I went back and checked the September Barometer poll, and something of the same pattern appears, although to a less strong extent. Plaid Cymru, we should notice, also do relatively well among those who did not vote in the referendum.”

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2017/01/12/could-things-be-even-worse-for-labour/

    It might be more generally the case that the headline figures in polls are actually misleading us as to how the people who will actually vote, will cast their ballots.

    Since it’s a YG poll, Anthony’s views would be interesting – but since Friday is usually his night off, he probably won’t read this post anyway!

  30. Should have been quotation marks before “I went back”!

    Roger did the checking – not me.

  31. Silly me!

    Doing a quick scan of UKPR tonight, I thought that “Hunt resigning as MP” referred to the Tory Health Secretary for England, not the Tory in the Labour Party who used to be spokesman for Education in England.

    Oops!

  32. Alec
    ‘and while presiding over the greatest ever transfer of wealth from rich to poor’

    I have not seen that suggested before – indeed it has been argued that under New Labour inequality continued to grow albeit more slowly than would have occured had the Tories remained in office post1997. I cannot immediately recall whether that referred to Income – rather than Wealth.

  33. @ Syzygy

    “Laszlo has railed against Corbyn’s self-destructive lack of ruthlessness”

    Yes, and to a degree I still do, but my problem with the agenda is different.

    If there was an agenda, the ruthlessness would make sense. But the agenda is that there is no agenda (on the other hand I have businesses sailing wonderfully with this, so caution about my criticism is necessary).

    I try to keep it short.
    1) without proposing a major reorganisation the NHS is a no goer for the opposition, for a very practical reason (it is a devolved matter, and nobody really fares well), and for a more generic one – I guess anyone would know that the NHS is capable of absorbing any amount of mone, and it would improve, but it would lag behind. Something else is needed – perhaps bringing democracy to the NHS, by allowing the people to make certain decisions (not medical obviously). So, a reorganisation that matches popular demand and (!) responsibilities for the provision while controlling the resources.
    2) job creation is so abstract and cannot be discussed independently of the wage diffferentials, as I pointed out earlier (and fortunately the IFS confirmed it) the issue is the creation of jobs with below mean wages that keeps on increasing the difference between the mean and the median. The trouble is that the real source of reversing it is the young graduate lot, who are not particularly keen on voting. And without getting them decent jobs through a new type of industrialisation, any job created for the classic labour voters is really the welfare state in a different form. But it would be possible to generate jobs for the graduates, which would generate skilled job needs, and then it is really training, which is terribly expensive.
    3) the daily problem jumping on (be it schooling, tax collection, whatever) should be abandoned, as if they are systemic, then a system should be proposed, if they are accidents, noise, then the criticism is just unfair. So, it is about developing systems of provisions that actually address systemic issues.
    4) foreign policy became extremely complex. You can have an ethical foreign policy, but then it has to be applied in all directions. What is the goal really – state it, show that it is a feasible goal, that is the steps towards it are under our will.
    5) Do something about the welfare state. You can’t change perceptions by throwing valid statistics at them. Yes, there are no generations of unemployed, but it is neither here nor there. The easiest would be the declaration that the function of the welfare state is not poverty alleviation, but creating an engaged population.

    And so forth … Replacing these with a combination of 1970s policies dressed with 1980s resentment, expressed in the language of Christian Socialism doesn’t seem to me to be particularly promising, but I could be wrong. It could also be the outcome of the lack of ruthlessness (I.e. a kind of compromise).

    Time is becoming short. Policies that could be translated to everyday life and feel feasible to achieve are desperately needed for Labour. This is what the polls suggest to me – an apparently incompetent government beating easily an opposition that wheels out the supposedly winning stuff. So the winning stuff is somewhere else.

  34. @ALEC “Quite a positive story (for the UK) on Brexit. There is a negotiation to be had, but it is unfortunate that the one economic sector that we could do with downsizing is the one where UK has the upper hand in the negotiations.”

    Indeed, I always thought this would be the case once people’s emotions cooled down.

    The idea that the EU would cut itself off (and its private sectors) from its primary capital raising markets in a fit of pique was frankly insane and would likely precipitate a far greater systemic crisis than an orderly and pragmatic Brexit divorce which was in the economic interests of the UK and the EU.

  35. @ALEC

    “The purges of left wing candidates was so successful, Jeremy Corbyn remained as an MP throughout the New Labour years.”

    ————-

    Wow, they kept a couple of token leftish peeps!! So few that they struggle to get nominations. You’re rather proving the point…

  36. @Alec

    “The insinuation that they are no better (or perhaps are even worse) than Tories is insidious and a betrayal of Labour’s record.”

    ————

    I went to the trouble of detailing a much more nuanced account than that, but clearly it was wasted on you. I’ll be more efficient in future…

  37. This seems an odd report in the Telegraph (even ignoring their bizarre labelling of “Britain’s A&E crisis.”).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/13/theresa-may-tell-gp-surgeries-give-patients-appointments-want/

    “With cold weather sweeping across the country, there are fears of a surge in respiratory infections, as well as rising numbers of elderly people suffering falls in treacherous conditions.”

    How the hell are GP surgeries being open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week going to benefit elderly people slipping on ice and breaking a limb?

    Threatening to cut funding for all GP practices who don’t conform to a Whitehall determined pattern also seems a strange way of going about things.

    Doesn’t the de facto government of England bother to look at what happens with similar (but better) schemes elsewhere?

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12604810.One_third_of_GP_practices_shun_extended_opening_hours/

  38. @Miserable Old Git.

    I’m with you on Copeland. Tories all the way.

    Stoke Central, I’m keeping my powder dry until I see the candidates.

    Some things to consider. The Labour Majority has eroded in every election since 1997. The Libs were 2nd place in 2010 and will surely see a bounce back.

    2010

    Lab 12,605 38.8 -13.6
    Lib 7,039 21.7 +3.1
    Con 6,833 21.0 +3.7
    BNP 2,502 7.7 -0.1
    UKIP 1,402 4.3 +1.1

    2015

    Lab 12,220 39.3 +0.5
    UKIP 7,041 22.7 +18.3
    Con 7,008 22.5 +1.5
    Ind 2,120 6.8 +6.8
    Lib 1,296 4.2 -17.5
    Gre 1,123 3.6 +3.6

    The seat is potentially winnable for UKIP if there are enough leave voting Tories to switch in a tactical vote. The other way round is probably more problematic as this is hard core working class territory.

    My gut says this is still Labour’s seat, but lets see the lie of the land in a week or so.

  39. @Alec
    regarding your nulab CV…

    “while presiding over the greatest ever transfer of wealth from rich to poor,”

    Handouts and tax credits?? While real wages stagnated and fell back, and property and bills moved increasingly out of reach?? Not exactly full employment was it?

    ALSO…
    “the biggest ever schools building programme”

    – currently being handed over cheap under the free schools programne, another door opened by Nulab

    “a massive improvement in the performance of the NHS (which is now unsurprisingly being undone)”

    – yes not surprising it’s being undone when nulab endorsed privatisation and were almost comically unaware of the neolib threat to banking used to justify the cuts…

    You don’t seem to get that there is an issue with doing summat temporarily ok, when within it is sown the seeds of its own destruction down the line. This is incidentally why we are currently engaged in leaving the EU…

    AND…
    “devolution, peace in Northern Ireland, and of course, the right to roam and banning fox hunting”

    well you could prolly suggest some tyrants who also managed to do some good stuff. But with devolution secured, why continue to vote for the neolib stuff? For all those unaffected by devolution, many still have the poor wages, high house prices, crazy bills, tuition fee debt, job insecurity, etc etc., summat that Nulab didn’t exactly fight tooth and nail.

    The point was not to assess Nulab’s record anyway, but to understand why, on balance, people would prefer to risk failing to win the election than continue with more of the same. (And you’ve glossed over the more questionable stuff, like ATOS…)

  40. @Tancred

    Alec was being sarky and trying to escalate. Badly!! You seem to miss peeps being sarky sometimes. No Biggie, just thought I’d save you some grief, and blood vessels!!

  41. @ALEC

    “https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/13/eu-negotiator-wants-special-deal-over-access-to-city-post-brexit
    Quite a positive story (for the UK) on Brexit. There is a negotiation to be had, but it is unfortunate that the one economic sector that we could do with downsizing is the one where UK has the upper hand in the negotiations.”

    Well, there is no doubt that the EU nations will also pay a price if and when the UK leaves the institution, however what is a desirable solution may not necessarily be the feasible one. The objective from the EU side must be to negotiate a position that is only advantageous to Britain if Britain stays in the EU, otherwise it would be seen as an incentive for other member states to do likewise.

  42. @Tancred

    You have completely missed the thrust of Alec’s post. It is quite clear that last part of that paragraph was sarcasm.

  43. @SYZYGY

    “Mandelson only acknowledged Blairite failings from the inner sanctum of the Singapore Business School :)”

    ———

    Ah, I was unaware of that. Thought it might have been on a yacht somewhere…

  44. @TANCRED

    “Utter rubbish. Whilst not being an adoring fan of Tony Blair, he knew how to win elections.”

    ———–

    Well reality stands rather opposed to that Tancred, because Tories were at the time on the floor. So much so that even against Gordon, after the biggest banking crash in living memory, Tories still couldn’t win outright.

  45. @Carfrew

    I tend to agree with you that Blair’s popularity was relative to how derided the Tories were. Major’s administration was a catastrophe for perceptions.

  46. @ in general

    What’s the point of discussing minutiae of the difference between Blairite, Bennite, Corbynite, Trotskyist, Stalininist, Marxist etc etc?

    As far as I’m concerned, some of them want to steal my money with a smile on their faces, and some at the point of a gun. I’m happy to pay what I consider to be reasonable taxes even though I’m a poor old OAP, but all of these people just want to extort even more money to no effect.

    G’night all.

  47. @ Laszlo

    Thank you for your thoughts. As I said in a previous comment, I am myself somewhat critical of the Labour leadership but at least my disagreements are on the same turf which is not true with most of the PLP.

    I understand what you mean about the ‘Christian Socialist’ flavour and it may be that that results from the ongoing desire to accommodate the soft left. However, I think that they would say that they have policies which address a lot of your agenda.

    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… but I think there is a long way to go and as you say, time is becoming short.

    However, events can sometimes change things very quickly into ‘winning stuff’. I would love to discuss your proposals in more detail but I suspect that AW’s patience may already be stretched.

    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.

  48. @ Carfew

    Yachts are for plotting :)

  49. @Charles

    You raise some good points. Much depends on whose views hold sway on the EU side of things. As of now any nuclear option is clearly premature but there are possible situations where that kind of strategy might be considered.

    I rather think there will be brinkmanship on both sides, as in any tough negotiation, however cool heads usually prevail.

  50. SPINNER99
    “I wonder, therefore, whether Remain might be a viable electoral strategy.”

    Yes, I believe so for Labour, especally given the false prospectus on which the Leave campaign was fought.

1 7 8 9 10 11