Petitions are a rubbish way of measuring public opinion. In fairness, that isn’t actually their purpose – a petition is a way for individuals to record and express their opinion, a way of highlighting an issue and exerting pressure. They can indeed be very good at that job. Some people however assume that because a vast number of people sign a petition it must, therefore, reflect wider public opinion. That is not the case – if a million people sign a petition hey are not necessarily representative of anyone but themselves. It shows only what those themselves think, the rest of the population may think the opposite, but not be bothered to sign petitions about it (and some demographic or attitudinal groups may just be more inclined to express their opinions through petitions).

So it appears to be with the petition on the Trump visit. Well over a million and a half people have signed a petition against the visit, but a YouGov poll in the Times this morning shows 49% of people think the visit should go ahead, only 36% think it should cancelled (Though it’s important to note the poll question does not relate to the petition specifically. The poll asked if the visit should go ahead at all, the petition is about the more technical issue of whether it should be downgraded from a full State Visit).

This does not mean there’s a silent majority of the British public who like Donald Trump – quite the opposite, British public opinion is very hostile about him and getting worse. 62% now think he will be a poor or terrible president (up from 54% just after the presidential election) and people here are overwhelming negative about his policies. The ban on refugees and visitors from seven Muslim countries gets the thumbs down from 50% of British respondents and the support of only 29%. Other policies are even less popular (67% think his wall is a a bad idea, similar figures disapprove of his environmental policies)

One can only assume that the public think the invite to Trump should stand despite their dislike of the man and his policies because, like it or not, he is the leader of a country we need to work with. Asked what the attitude of the British government should be towards trump 51% say we should try to work with him, rather than distance ourselves from him (32%). Opinion there is moving swiftly though – there has been a large drop since November when 66% thought the government should work with him.

I do ponder what sort of reception Donald Trump will get of the visit goes ahead. The British public really don’t like him, and if that petition doesn’t measure the balance of opinion, it probably does give us a good idea of the pool of people available to turn up to any visit to protest. That said, there have been plenty of State Visits by unpopular world leaders in the past that have been managed without incident. I just wouldn’t count on too many large public events…


786 Responses to “YouGov finds 49% think the Trump visit should go ahead”

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  1. CATMANJEFF

    Your 6.42 post, IMO the most sensible comments about Trump and the reaction too him that i have read to date.

  2. The BBC has done a big data collection and analysis exercise down to local level on referendum voting:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38762034

    It confirms what polling had already indicated: the strong correlation between age and educational attainment and leave/remain voting. A number of examples are cited of starkly contrasting vote patterns in nearby areas with different social characteristics.

    I guess you can characterise this as the revolt of the disposed and hard done by over the smug beneficiaries of Thatcherism, or as the victory of disillusioned old low achievers over the young, bright and hopeful. According to taste!

  3. Colin: “The EU mandarins must be praying that Macron doesn’t implode like Fillon did.”

    Alternatively “The UK Brexit establishment must be praying that Macron implodes, leaving the field clear for Le Pen.”

    Is either of these statements insightful, non-partisan or in the spirit of UKPR? I don’t think so.

  4. @MrJones
    The trouble with your thesis is that it’s testable (actually, that’s unfair – it’s a good point of your thesis).

    recessions strip out low skilled work and the most recent one very definitely did that.

    If you use Annual Population Survey data you can see that as a consequence of the recession, we only have net 20,000 more jobs across the whole of the UK in the three lowest skilled occupational groups than we did *a decade ago*, and it’s only positive because of mass unskilled job creation in London (which has the highest productivity).

    This is one of the prime causes of Brexit. The jobs for people without good qualifications have not merely been replaced by immigrants. There has been job contraction for a decade outside London. For your thesis to be correct we’d need to have seen an expansion of low paid work, not a contraction of it.

    (There is a more complex possibility involving care work, though).

    It is much more likely that the weaknesses stem from management level because that’s the way you get an issue that covers the whole economy. Of course, it’s likely to be a combination of factors covering how bad our companies are at investment and a market-driven short-termist outlook that discourages investment in training and workforce – and then we get to one manifestation being companies more interested in cheap disposable immigrant labour than more costly permanent local labour.

    But the answer here is not ‘immigrants!’.

  5. In this age of the public not liking Politicians and voting against the status quo, how does this affect polling ? Will there be a greater churn of people moving support to different parties, in a state of confusion, deciding on the different divisive issues of the day ?

    If you are a pro EU and pro Labour Corbyn supporter, i should imagine that the current situation is confusing. How many of the Labour membership, many of whom have joined to support Corbyn, now find it difficult to support the current line on Brexit ?

    The Lib Dems offering a pro EU position may well take votes from the Tories in different parts of the country. But the Tories might well take votes back from UKIP, making some constituencies difficult to predict.

    If there were a general election tomorrow, how many voters would base their party choice mostly on Brexit ?

  6. SOMERJOHN

    Well I can’t speak for yours.

    So far as mine is concerned , I struggle to see how it could be described as “partisan”. I have no vote in the French Presidential Election. But I am certainly interested in it-and the Opinion Polling on it.

    To say that it might have a huge impact on the European Union, and indeed on Brexit negotiations, and to put it in the context of widespread political disenchantment , is entirely uncontroversial & manifestly obvious.

  7. @Colin
    But I think that is the point GuyMonde is making too…

    People in Middlesbrough, with (per the BBC) the highest Leave vote wards have very low levels of immigrant population locally and are not in any meaningful sense impacted by the ills of immigration, whether they are real or not.

    You’re spot on that their vote is going the way that it is because they have been passed over ever since the Tories’ policies inadvertently or deliberately trashed our manufacturing industries in the early eighties. All sorts of policies started then that were aimed at shrinking the working class core of the Labour Party – right to buy, artificially high interest and FX rates through monetary policy, removal of industrial subsidies, changes to local authority funding – have spent thirty years squeezing the living standards of the C2/D demographics, and they are understandably mightily pissed off about it.

    The problem is that the solutions being presented to that disadvantaged group are not – IMHO – going to make their lot better, firstly because they do not address the core of the problem and secondly because the people pushing the solutions are actually in violent disagreement about the actual policies to be pursued.

    For instance:
    – how do those negatively impacted by globalisation have a better outcome if we leave the world’s largest and most effective protectionist block and become a European Singapore – all high tech jobs, low taxes and minimal welfare/state support?
    – are we actually reducing immigration, or just switching it to focus on high tech roles to support key businesses?
    – how is leaving the EU going to make any difference to the acute shortage of social housing that stops C2/Ds getting anywhere affordable to live?
    – are we protecting our indigenous industries and their staff from globalisation, or are we becoming the ‘free market capital of the world’?
    – how is the sudden availability of large numbers of ultra-low wage agricultural jobs in Lincolnshire going to help the redundant chemical workers in Middlesbrough?
    – are we ‘returning power to the people’, or are we simply strengthening the role of the Westminster executive, aka the ruling elite, at everyone else’s (EU, devolved governments, local authorities) expense?
    – how is the loss of tax revenue from the City and immigrant workers going to support the increased infrastructure and support service spend needed in the North and Midlands?

    I’m not in denial about how people feel, or even why they voted the way that they did. I’m really frightened about how those frustrated, neglected people react when the supposed solutions don’t work, as they inevitably won’t….

  8. How much of the vote for Brexit and Trump is anti Politician ?

    If there was a referendum to reduce the number of MP’s to say 200, i suspect that the public might well vote in favour.

    There is a current mood against Politicians, that they don’t have any solutions to the issues people face. That they are out of touch with the lifes of ordinary people and most of the legislation passed is to make life more difficult for people.

    Is the media to blame for politics becoming so toxic or is it Politicians acting in a way that puts people off from seeing any benefits in politics ?

    It seems to me that media and Political parties have created a very divisive outlook on most issues. It always seems to be them against us, wrong or right. There is no room for any real discussion, where issues are examined in great detail and different opinions are brought together to reach a position that is thought the most ideal. Decisions seem to be made mostly on what benefits one Political party or interest group, against the interests of others.

    One of the problems with Brexit going forward is that the divisive way of current politics is unlikely to serve UK interests very well. Government/leave supporters appear to have the opinion that they are the winners and therefore whatever Government decides is going to be implemented. Anyone who says they want a detailed discussion to reach a consensus is labelled a re moaner who wants to frustrate Brexit.

    At some point MP’s and Lords across the different parties will decide that they are not content with divisive politics and debate limited to suit the current Government. When this happens and it might happen on Brexit, you will see both Tory and Labour frontbenches lose control over their backbenchers, with votes going against official frontbench positions. The outcome might well be that both May and Corbyn have to allow more debate and free votes, so that Parliament decides on Brexit, not the Government.

  9. BFR

    @” I’m really frightened about how those frustrated, neglected people react when the supposed solutions don’t work, as they inevitably won’t….”

    I think you are right to be frightened.

    These are hugely difficult problems.

  10. Ipsos Mori find that a majority of “Captains of Industry” are already finding an adverse impact on their businesses from Brexit – and even more are expecting a negative impact to come.

    “58% of Captains felt that since the referendum the decision to leave the EU has had a negative impact on their business. A third of Captains (31%) didn’t feel that Brexit had made any difference to the business situation for their company and just 11% feel it has made a positive impact.

    Business leaders of the FTSE 500 anticipate a more negative business situation in the next 12 months. Two thirds (66%) feel the business situation of their company will be more negative post Brexit, with only 13% suggesting it will have a positive impact.”

    ity-press.news24.com

  11. BFR

    Thought I would have a go at your questions:-

    @”– how do those negatively impacted by globalisation have a better outcome if we leave the world’s largest and most effective protectionist block and become a European Singapore – all high tech jobs, low taxes and minimal welfare/state support?”

    Good to see you acknowledging the Single Market as a “protectionist block”. I’m not an economist & can’t really comment on the cost/benefit of moving from protectionism to Free Trade. So far as the “Singapore” meme is concerned, this is not the policy of the Government. It derives from TM’s speech in which a UK response to “no deal” was suggested.

    @”– are we actually reducing immigration, or just switching it to focus on high tech roles to support key businesses?

    I think thge plan is to achieve Control of immigration-leaving future Governments to decide its scale & content , with the mandate of their voters.

    @”– how is leaving the EU going to make any difference to the acute shortage of social housing that stops C2/Ds getting anywhere affordable to live?”
    I haven’t seen that suggested-who said that?. Indeed-this is domestic UK housing policy.

    @”– are we protecting our indigenous industries and their staff from globalisation, or are we becoming the ‘free market capital of the world’?”

    I imagine that this government will be wary of “picking winners”. Though TM has named five sectors that could receive special government support: life sciences, low-carbon-emission vehicles, industrial digitalisation, the creative sector and nuclear industry.

    @”– how is the sudden availability of large numbers of ultra-low wage agricultural jobs in Lincolnshire going to help the redundant chemical workers in Middlesbrough?”

    Erm-don’t know. Who said this?-why would policy exclude Middlesborough ?

    @”– are we ‘returning power to the people’, or are we simply strengthening the role of the Westminster executive, aka the ruling elite, at everyone else’s (EU, devolved governments, local authorities) expense?”

    Interesting question. As I watch Trump’s period of Executive Presidential Action, I wonder when US Lawmakers will be mentioned.

    @”– how is the loss of tax revenue from the City and immigrant workers going to support the increased infrastructure and support service spend needed in the North and Midlands?”

    One for the Chancellor-ensuring an economy which produces enough taxes to fund his electoral promises. It was ever thus.

  12. BFR

    Great post.

  13. Colin.”The EU mandarins must be praying that Macron doesn’t implode like Fillon did.”

    That was your remark, of which you say: “I struggle to see how it could be described as “partisan”.”

    Well, there was an illuminating discussion on partisanship here the other day, and as I recall, the prevalent view was that partisanship was not just a matter of slavishly supporting one party, but could be applied to wider views and allegiances, where a poster’s strong views led to cherry-picking of data and other material in the interests of promoting that view.

    Now, if we look at your statement, we can ask: what was the point of this statement? Was it trying to make a political point? Was it fair, balanced and objective?

    I think most people would understand the subtext of your post, and its implication, to be something like:

    “The EU mandarins don’t want to see Le Pen elected, which could happen if all the other candidates continue to disintegrate, because she would represent a real threat to the future of the EU.”

    Why single out EU mandarins? Are you implying that other people would be glad to see Le Pen elected? It sounds like it, and that you would be one of them.

    Why could it be that a British person would want to see a far-right nationalist leader in France? It could be that that is where your natural sympathies lie, and that you are by inclination a BNP/blackshirt type person. But I hope and expect that that isn’t the case: I’m certainly not suggesting it.

    So could it be that you hope for the disintegration of the EU, and see the election of far-right nationalists as helpful to that end? That would explain your post. If it walks like a duck, etc. And I think it would reflect a certain partisanship.

    But perhaps you have an alternative explanation of what made you choose to post that view.

  14. detailed referendum ward voting info now available from BBC online.enjoy.

  15. somerjojn

    partisan.

    By definition anybody who posts on here is partisan.If one is not then one would not bother posting at all.It is like declining a verb. I am balanced ,you are partisan.If you asked me what the views of almost al the regular posters are i think i could tell you. They would then disagree with me. (i exclude assiduosity from this as i never got to the end of one of his posts)

  16. I think we are beginning to see the start of the more realistic Brexit impacts now. The false sense of security that stemmed directly from the nonsense of the ‘immediate apocalypse’ of the remain campaign and the swift action by the BoE led many Brexiteers to see the coming months and years as an exciting period of change, free from the worst of the predictions of doom.

    The real economy though is beginning to tell a strikingly different story. Manufacturing input prices are rising at a staggering 30%, the fastest for at least 25 years according to the PMI data, and nigh on 70% of UK bosses are preparing for price rises in 2017. Even exporters are being hit, largely negating the benefits of the low pound.

    Investment is also down, which bodes ill for the future, and UK employers are already worrying about labour shortages, as the low value of sterling and general Brexit worries have led to a shortage of migrant labour. On top of this, we have seen a marked slow down in total employment and a swift reduction in vacancies.

    Personally, I feel the current set of growth forecasts are too optimistic, and with public debt very large and rising, and this all with 400 year record low interest rates never before seen in this country, I think we can take it that the economic backdrop to Brexit overall is extremely weak, and the current conditions are now declining.

    I’m with Ken Clarke on this. There was a point when a different kind of Brexit was possible that may have helped improve the long term prospects of the UK, but the priorities this government are placing front and centre are leading us to a delusional land, where a pretty dark future beckons. At best, in a decade or two we might not notice that much difference in the prevailing circumstances, but at the cost of a great deal of short and medium term diruption and additional long term debt.

    At worst – I shudder to think. And whatever happens, Brexit will have done nothing to solve the fundamental issues of the NHS, social care, housing productivity, investment, economic rebalancing, economic exclusion etc etc. An enormous, diversionary waste of effort, when we should have been dealing with the real issues.

  17. S Thomas: “By definition anybody who posts on here is partisan.”

    A rare occasion when we can agree! (Actually, I think I’d say ‘almost anybody’. There are a few noble, pure-as-the-driven-snow posters who confine themselves strictly to disinterested commentary on polling matters).

  18. @Colin
    Thanks for your replies – I think some of them rather beg the question though…. to pick just a few:

    BFR ”– are we actually reducing immigration, or just switching it to focus on high tech roles to support key businesses?”

    C: I think the plan is to achieve Control of immigration-leaving future Governments to decide its scale & content , with the mandate of their voters.

    But the disadvantaged voters have shown through poll after poll that they expect and believe immigration will be reduced and various perceived ills of immigration will be mitigated – having control but choosing to keep immigration at current levels is surely simply not an option that meets the commitment that they believe they have been given?

    BFR : – how is leaving the EU going to make any difference to the acute shortage of social housing that stops C2/Ds getting anywhere affordable to live?”
    C: I haven’t seen that suggested-who said that?. Indeed-this is domestic UK housing policy.

    Lack of access to housing and the idea that social housing was provided to immigrants on a preferential basis was a feature of some Brexit campaigning, even where I live in leafy Surrey. Again, an expectation has been created things will get better post-Brexit in a way that I can’t foresee happening.

    BFR:– are we protecting our indigenous industries and their staff from globalisation, or are we becoming the ‘free market capital of the world’?”

    C: I imagine that this government will be wary of “picking winners”. Though TM has named five sectors that could receive special government support: life sciences, low-carbon-emission vehicles, industrial digitalisation, the creative sector and nuclear industry.

    Agreed, and it looks like a sensible approach; however, there may be some C2/D jobs arising from a few of those – low-carbon vehicles and nuclear – but the emphasis is on high tech sectors that will NOT help the C2/D ‘neglected’ workers that are at the core of the Brexit revolution. Again, it fails to meet the aspirations of the group you highlighted.

    BFR:– how is the sudden availability of large numbers of ultra-low wage agricultural jobs in Lincolnshire going to help the redundant chemical workers in Middlesbrough?”

    C: Erm-don’t know. Who said this?-why would policy exclude Middlesborough ?

    It wouldn’t. I’m simply illustrating the mis-match between the jobs being freed up by reducing EU immigration and the skills/aspirations of the workers that are supposed to benefit…

    BFR:– how is the loss of tax revenue from the City and immigrant workers going to support the increased infrastructure and support service spend needed in the North and Midlands?”

    C: One for the Chancellor-ensuring an economy which produces enough taxes to fund his electoral promises. It was ever thus.

    Agreed, but unless something changes dramatically this is going to get harder, not easier; we are exiting a demographic that studies suggest are net contributors to the UK exchequer at the same time as proposing to cut Corporation Tax to attract international businesses, and potentially offering various forms of government protection to impacted industries. Expenditure up and income down at a time of budget shortfall must surely make harder to achieve?

    Overall it is easy to see the ‘neglected’ group of Brexit voters being massively disappointed as the post-Brexit world fails to address their issues; the questions I believe are:
    – can their practical concerns – housing, jobs, living standards – be addressed through government action (whether Brexit related or not) or are they inevitable consequences of societal change?
    – putting easy rhetoric to one side, does the government have any interest in trying to address their concerns amnyway (as it will definitely be expensive to do)?
    – if not, who will these increasingly frustrated people blame for the failure to deliver on promises made: the government? the EU – even though we are out? the liberal elite – even though they are not in charge? the immigrants still here? It’s not a pretty picture IMHO…

  19. “detailed referendum ward voting info now available from BBC online.enjoy.”

    But unfortunately not including Stoke or Copeland, before anyone looks!

    It is interesting that this information is apparently not covered by Freedom of Information so most councils just said no.

    Also interesting that they confirm the strong correlation between level of education and the referendum vote.

    Finally, Brinsworth and Catcliffe (where the Lib Dems got a huge swing to win with 60+ % of the vote in a local by-election last week) was 70% Leave

  20. Interesting posts by @RHuckle @Colin and @Bigfatron.

    I do think there is large anti-politician or anti-establishment mood that has driven Brexit and Trump’s success.

    I also agree that Brexit as looks like happening and Trump won’t have any solutions that really work for the people really wanting change. Therefore, I feel huge disappointment is assured.

    We arrived at Brexit and President Trump through decades of the political class, and other supra-national bodies such as the EU and global business simply becoming more interested in each other and not the people they serve. People finally had enough, and took the opportunity to kick them in the ballot box. For example, disenchantment with the EU has been growing and growing for a long time. Yet nothing was changed to reverse this.

    It could be argued that even if voting Brexit and Trump does not lead to a promised land or sunny upland immediately, it’s blown up the establishment very successfully. If I were responsible for a system that was so failed it was beyond repair, why try to fix it? Knock the whole thing down and then start again with a clean slate. It might get bumpy, but long term it would be for the best.

    In many ways politics is a zero sum game, as we have a finite number of MPs and voters. If we have parties that are going nowhere, and just slowly rotting away, only held up by an antiquated electoral system, the sooner the ‘zombie’ parties are removed, the sooner new parties could emerge to fill the newly vacated space.

    Maybe when Parliament stopped Guy Fawkes, the wrong party won……

    ;-)

  21. SOMERJOHN

    @”But perhaps you have an alternative explanation of what made you choose to post that view.”

    * Because the French Presidential Election is of great interest & significance.
    *Because Polls are involved & this is a Polling site.
    *Because the EU is not , in my view , a stable entity. The future of the EU is rarely touched upon when Brexit is discussed-I like to correct that imbalance.
    * Because the French Presidential Election -given the current position of Marine Le Pen in it could be of seminal importance to the future of UK, and the rest of Europe.

    Because the fallout may produce a given effect, which may , or may not coincide with my political desires is not a reason to describe my posts on this topic as partisan.

    Because those effects might not coincide with your own political desires might suggest that your wish for me to refrain from discussing the matter, is itself partisan-though I would not wish to suggest that.

  22. Good afternoon all from a cold gloomy central London but not half as gloomy as Alec’s post-Brexit cataclysmic outlook for the UK.

    Alec if you were a Christmas cracker when pulled you would be the equivalent of a small Hiroshima going off wiping everything from the dinner table.
    ……………..
    “At worst – I shudder to think. And whatever happens, Brexit will have done nothing to solve the fundamental issues of the NHS, social care, housing productivity, investment, economic rebalancing, economic exclusion etc etc. An enormous, diversionary waste of effort, when we should have been dealing with the real issues”
    _________

    13 years of Labour in harmony with project EU. It ended in boom and gloom for the UK and many of today’s social problems stem from those 13 years under Labour.

    We have a doom and gloom forecast for post-Brexit UK, it won’t fix this, it can’t fix that etc etc etc…so I have to ask the question. If leaving the EU won’t fix any of the problems then why are we having these problems after being part of the EU for over 40 years?

    I’m sorry but I don’t buy this waffle that by remaining part of the EU all our ills will disappear just as much as I don’t buy the idea the UK will be worse off post-Brexit.

  23. BFR

    @”having control but choosing to keep immigration at current levels is surely simply not an option that meets the commitment that they believe they have been given?”

    Yes-if that happened I think there would be great disappointment. But we don’t yet know what post Brexit Government policy will be over time on this matter.

    @” Again, an expectation has been created things will get better post-Brexit in a way that I can’t foresee happening.”

    That may well be so in cewrtain areas-I can see that.

    @”we are exiting a demographic that studies suggest are net contributors to the UK exchequer at the same time as proposing to cut Corporation Tax to attract international businesses, and potentially offering various forms of government protection to impacted industries. ”

    I’m not sure that we are “exiting” all immigration. I doubt that very much. And it may well be that post Brexit immigration is of higher skill/higher income variety.

    @”Overall it is easy to see the ‘neglected’ group of Brexit voters being massively disappointed ”

    That is certainly a possibility.

    Your posts suggest a faith in the future of the EU to deliver the desires of UK voters which I do not share.

    That is not to say, however, that I do not share some of your trepidation about Brexit.

  24. @Colin
    I agree with most if not all of your comments above.

    If I gave the impression that I had faith in the EU to deliver the desires of UK voters then I have misled you badly. I don’t think the concerns of the ‘neglected’ would have been addressed through the offices of the EU at all, I just don’t think leaving will do anything much to help them either.

    Nor do I think Trump will do much to help the equivalent group in the US, although he will make an awful lot of noise.

    I fear that more authoritarian and/or opportunistic politicians will simply see this demographic as a group to be mined for votes for as long as possible….

  25. Alec

    I think you ought to post under the name “Eyeore”in future. I know that today is national “sickie” day and you have entered into the spirit of things but a tad pessimistic i would have thought.

  26. The SPD has just taken a 1 point lead over the CDU in German polling. This must be the first SPD lead in a very long time and confirms – for now at least – the Schulz effect.

    By the autumn May could be dealing with Schulz and Macron – two of the strongest adherents to the EU you could imagine.

  27. S THOMAS
    Alec
    “I think you ought to post under the name “Eyeore”in future. I know that today is national “sickie” day and you have entered into the spirit of things but a tad pessimistic i would have thought”
    ____________

    LOL well, that comment has certainly lifted some of the gloom from UKPR today. :-)

  28. Have just being listening to The World At One on Radio 4 where they were discussing the BBC findings in relation to the EU referendum voting patterns.
    Their summary was the more “educated” the voter, the more likely that voter was to vote Remain.
    The sub text of the broadcast was if people had been better “educated”, we wouldn’t be leaving the EU.
    Perhaps a vote should be worth more if it is cast by someone with a university degree, as these people have considered the issues more and come to the “correct” conclusion.

  29. Colin: “your wish for me to refrain from discussing the matter”

    I have no wish that you or anyone else should refrain from discussing French presidential polling, or the future of the EU.

    I note your belief that your contributions in this and other matters are not partisan.

  30. Jasper in accepting the findings that the more educated a person the more likely they voted remain does not necessarily have that sub-text.

    Advanced Economies have always accepted that high educational attainment leads to greater economic reward on average but redistribution and progressive taxation plus collective provision has meant sufficient of the less educated have tolerated and even embraced as the greater the pie to divide the better for all.

    Since 2003/4 the division of the pie has been more unequal with the less educated enjoying little if any rise in real disposables incomes (unless protected pensioners of course!).

    This imbalance has been compounded in the last 6 years by an erosion in collective services, NHS now feeling the effects but council services and parts of education earlier.

    So the lesson is that whatever the merits or otherwise of the EU, it represented a status quo that to many less educated voters had failed to benefit them sufficiently. In a twist of the cliche they have not shared in the benefits of growth.

    Grown up politicians on all sides recognise this but are still formulating a response made more difficult by the understandable priority with the need for short term responses to the Brexit vote.

  31. @Jasper22

    Non white women seem to be vastly over-represented at the BBC. Does the G

  32. JASPER22
    Perhaps a vote should be worth more if it is cast by someone with a university degree, as these people have considered the issues more and come to the “correct” conclusion.

    It was, until the Attlee government abolished the “university” seats.

    Perhaps only those who can pass the British Citizenship Test [by getting 18 of the 24 questions right] should qualify to vote. To my shame, I only got 23 right ….. I didn’t know you can buy state sponsored gambling products at the age of 16.

    See https://lifeintheuktests.co.uk/british-citizenship-test/

  33. @ Jasper22
    ” The sub text of the broadcast was if people had been better “educated”, we wouldn’t be leaving the EU.”
    @ Jim Jam
    “So the lesson is that whatever the merits or otherwise of the EU, it represented a status quo that to many less educated voters had failed to benefit them sufficiently. In a twist of the cliche they have not shared in the benefits of growth.”

    I agree with Jim Jam, whatever BBC “subtext” is or isn’t, the reality, surely, is that those economically disadvantaged tended to vote for Brexit, and those better educated did not vote for remain because of being, necessarily, better informed, but because leaving was to their, presumed, economic disadvantage.

    However this “its the economy stupid” analysis only goes so far. There has also been what might be referred to as alienation (apologies to Marxists for my loose usage) of those who are economically disadvantaged from participation in the system of democracy adopted in this country. Large numbers felt they had no say in the outcome of the end product in Parliament, the referendum offered an opportunity, genuinely, to affect the outcome. Hence, it might be argued the higher levels of participation. The means by which they expressed that involvement was unitary; the vote for leave. However, the reasons underpinning any one economically disadvantaged individual’s leave vote would be particular to that individual. So that some would have been persuaded by the immigration argument and others by the NHS expenditure argument whilst others would be looking backwards to a perceived era of greatness which can be revived.

    Jasper22’s argument has some validity in this sense: those in favour of remain commenting on the leave vote and looking for an explanation for it if relying educational status would be tempted to explain it away on a want of understanding. Jim Jam’s response is enlightening to those so inclined (or should be) because it points out that the absence of education is not the cause of the vote, but that the conditions experienced by those with a lack of education are difficult.

    The one thing that history has shown us is that when economic conditions for the majority are difficult the unscrupulous and the wicked can exploit that by means of scape-goating. BFR and Alec have pointed out their real concerns (and, in Alec’s case, fears) that Brexit will not alleviate those conditions. I, as a remainer, hope with a passion that they are wrong. This is because I fear if they are not wrong and conditions for the economically disadvantaged decrease further, then someone unscrupulous and/or wicked will move the attempt at scapegoating from the EU and its institutions, to blameless individuals that live amongst us but will be labelled as the reason for that disadvantage in some way.

  34. @ Barbazenzero

    Thanks for the link, I got 24, but you gave me the heads up on the lottery question so perhaps I cheated :-)

  35. WB
    This is because I fear if they are not wrong and conditions for the economically disadvantaged decrease further, then someone unscrupulous and/or wicked will move the attempt at scapegoating from the EU and its institutions, to blameless individuals that live amongst us but will be labelled as the reason for that disadvantage in some way.

    A good post, but that last sentence was activated last year when the pro-leave tabloids branded the judiciary as traitors. A pity that the Leveson inquiry wasn’t acted upon.

  36. WB
    This is because I fear if they are not wrong and conditions for the economically disadvantaged decrease further, then someone unscrupulous and/or wicked will move the attempt at scapegoating from the EU and its institutions, to blameless individuals that live amongst us but will be labelled as the reason for that disadvantage in some way.

    A good post, but that last sentence was activated last year when the pro-leave tabloids branded the judiciary as tra!tors. A pity that the Leveson inquiry wasn’t acted upon.

  37. WB: “I fear if they are not wrong and conditions for the economically disadvantaged decrease further, then someone unscrupulous and/or wicked will move the attempt at scapegoating from the EU and its institutions, to blameless individuals that live amongst us”

    It’s an interesting question: if it all goes even more pear- shaped for the disadvantaged after Brexit, what will be the next scapegoat?

    It may, as you imply, be that part of our settled population who are of immigrant descent. It may be possible for some time to continue blaming the EU (‘they gave us a raw deal’). It may be our new global partners who turn out to have screwed us (USA, China, India). It may be the ruling elite, in which case Corbyn’s in with a chance. Fascinating times ahead.

  38. Thanks Johnb160 for highlighting that truly remarkable German Poll, yet another on the list of things I’d have thought more or less impossible 2 years ago.

    Anthony would rightly warn us it’s only a single poll but it’s also a culmination (so far) of a rapidly developing trend since the start of 2017.

    It could still be just a new leader’s honeymoon with support fading gradually well before the election but it’s worthy of close attention both for its possible impact directly (as you imply) and for its implications.

    If a few Labour supporters aren’t looking at it and pondering anew I’d be amazed.

    Looking at where the SDP’s new support might have come from : the Left (predictable),the Greens (predictable) the CDU (the prime target but hardly a given) and the far-right AfD (!) have all lost ground.

    If nothing else this real surprise suggests that the trends worldwide towards Nationalism and Populism some people are taking as inevitable are anything but.

  39. JOHNB160

    @”By the autumn May could be dealing with Schulz and Macron – two of the strongest adherents to the EU you could imagine.”

    It certainly looks that way. Every analysis I have read suggests FN do not have the votes to take the Presidency.

    Macron is interesting-a President with a new Party & no MPS-how will that work?

  40. “Their summary was the more “educated” the voter, the more likely that voter was to vote Remain”
    __________

    Have we not visited this old chestnut before? Younger peeps more likely to have educational qualifications than their older peers who were morel likely to have left the education system early and headed straight into employment back in bygone days and all that?

    As a younger voter myself (25) I would assume someone like my Grandfather who is 78 and worked from the age of 15 right up until 70, spent most of his life working hard to keep old blighty ticking, brought his family up well (2 boys 1 girl) during some very hard economic times would be better qualified to make a decision regarding our countries future than some jumped up Oxford graduate who hasn’t even discovered the meaning of responsibility yet.

  41. While not wishing to simply re-rehearse the referendum issues and campaign failings of the Remain side, I think it is important to point out that “globalisation” is not a single concept.

    In fact, “globalisation” as manifest by the development of the EU can be viewed as a response to and *defence* against “globalisation” as manifest by multinational companies. It is precisely to combat the power of large corporations that trans-national action and coordination is required. For instance in EU anti-trust action against Microsoft. The minimum standards set by the EU (i.e. by all individual nations in agreement) prevent corporations from driving down workers’ rights, environmental protection etc. We will soon be on our own and much more vulnerable to corporate pressure.

    The Remain campaign failed to adequately make the argument that Polish plasterers and Rumanian fruit pickers are not the “enemy”, in economic terms. For the typical Brexit voter (whatever one of those is) the “enemy” is job competition from Indian call centres and Chinese manufacturing. The EU helped to mitigate this. Brexit will mean that we are left to compete directly with low labour costs throughout the world, without the buffer of EU protection.

    In both areas, it is the low-skilled low-wage part of the UK population that will take the biggest hit.

    One significant aspect of the coming votes in parliament is that these issues will take time to filter through into voter understanding/perceptions. If the government is able to do everything in secret and pull a proposed agreement out of the hat at the last minute, it will give much less voter engagement in the issues. If regular reports back were required, there would be much more chance of Joe Public starting to think “hang on, this isn’t what I voted for” and public opinion shaping the final take-it-or-leave-it deal.

  42. Allan C
    “Younger peeps more likely to have educational qualifications than their older peers…”

    I was just about to say pretty much the same thing. I hadn’t realised you were so young. Most of your posts are so sensible that I assumed you were older! (I hope you take that the right way) :-)

  43. @S Thomas – “…and you have entered into the spirit of things but a tad pessimistic i would have thought.”

    No – don’t think so at all. These things are happening right now. Feel free to deny them, but that’s a bit pointless.

    Sure – things can either go up, down or sideways from here, but I don’t think it’s being overly pessimistic to predict significant short term disruption and not much chance of long term gain.

  44. One man’s Eeyore is another’s Cassandra.

  45. wasnt she Rodney’s wife in only fools and horses?

  46. @S Thomas.
    When I read your posts, and especially your views on the BBC and the nature of partisanship, I struck by how exceedingly Thoughtful they are.

  47. Interesting to see the online reaction to Trump’s election.
    It’s a war zone.

    So far, it’s being reported that 818 companies have announced they will no longer advertise on Briebart, while a counter boycott from Trump supporters has been launched against Budweiser after an advert last night during the Superbowl which promoted the fact the Budweiser was created by two immigrants which was deemed a slight against Trump.

    It’s also no longer so clear cut as to where the fake news is coming from. Recent reports claim police burned the tipis of indigenous activists protesting against the Dakota Access pipeline. There was a confrontation, but no tipi burning, although there are now images out there, taken from films.

    Politics is getting less and less controllable, and more an more risky as a result.

  48. @S Thomas

    “By definition anybody who posts on here is partisan.If one is not then one would not bother posting at all.It is like declining a verb. I am balanced ,you are partisan.If you asked me what the views of almost al the regular posters are i think i could tell you.”

    ———

    It isn’t partisan just to hold a view. If you believe two plus two equals four, that doesn’t make you partisan, it just makes you correct. Until such time as someone successfully proves otherwise. If you then still stick to your view impervious to evidence, not listening, that would then fit the definition of partisan, I.e. prejudiced.**

    Also, it is not automatically partisan to post your views. You might project onto others that they only do it to promote their views but not everyone does that. Some do it to TEST their views and modify them in the light of new evidence from others should it be offered.

    People’s views on here quite often develop, if you keep an eye out for it…

    ** There is a caveat to this, however. For eggers, someone might advance the view of being against further immigration on account of environmental impact. If then they appear not to be concerned about environmental impacts of anything else, one might question whether there isn’t a bit of the partisan creeping in there…

  49. Does this Poll of Stoke have any validity?

    http://leave.eu/leave-eu-reveals-stoke-election-polling/

  50. Alec

    “Sure – things can either go up, down or sideways from here, but I don’t think it’s being overly pessimistic to predict significant short term disruption and not much chance of long term gain.”

    Except you yet again forgat to say it’s just your opinion. There are lots of equally intelligent people who don’t agree with you. Yes short term disruption is probable but long term many think we will be much better off. I accept you have finally come down to become a remainer and feel strongly about it but it is just your opinion.

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