ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 45%(+1), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 10%(-1), GRN 4%(-1). Another post-budget poll showing the Conservative poll lead holding strong – despite all the fuss and the government U-turn, it does not appear to have had any negative impact on voting intention. ICM still have UKIP holding onto third place, but only by the skin of their teeth.

The poll aslso asked about the best team on the economy, with May & Hammond recording a 33 point lead over Corbyn & McDonnell (44% to 11%) and whether each party was honest or dishonest. Every party was seen as more dishonest than honest, but the Conservatives were the least bad: 19% thought the Tories were honest, 26% dishonest (a net score of minus 7), 13% thought Labour were honest, 24% dishonest (net score of minus 11), 11% thought the Lib Dems honest, 25% dishonest (net minus 14), 8% thought UKIP honest, 38% dishonest (minus 30).


653 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 45, LAB 26, LDEM 9, UKIP 10”

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  1. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/26/labour-keir-starmer-brexit-exact-same-benefits

    Is this the Labour Party’s impromptu rendition of the idiom, “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted”?

    The only way to get exactly the same benefits post-Brexit as before is to Remain. Keir’s speech is fatuous and devoid of the reality on the ground.

    Nice to see Barroso state the obvious, “Of course, Britain not keeping the responsibility of membership cannot expect the privileges of membership, that’s quite clear. Having said that, I think it is possible to come to a constructive agreement that minimises the negative points and offers some way forward. But that requires on both sides strategic thinking and leadership.”

  2. @Tacreed,

    There is something very amusing how those who have hammered UKIP for years like yourself, are finally seeing them dissolve now the EU argument has been won. The irony of course is that all the votes are going back to the Consevatives and bolstering their already cast iron position. I love politics sometimes. Be careful what you wish for.

  3. There is nothing new under the sun.
    Oddly enough I’ve just finished a study looking at renovating an old Victorian reservoir that used to gather water to drop down a mine shaft 50m to run a couple of waterwheels that ran and air extraction scheme for an old lead mine.

    The proposal was technically pretty straightforward but fell down on safety issues, as we can’t be certain that the 200 year old original mineworkings remain safe to enter without shed loads of remedial work.

    Personally, I suspect they are going to struggle with the coal mine idea, due to potential pollution issues. In general, the approach to old mine workings is to seek to reduce the amount of flow through the workings to prevent heavy metals and other nasties leaching out. If you are actively pumping water in, this would lead to potntially vast pollution issues, depending on the geology.

    You would either have to do some like seal the workings in concrete, which will cost a lot, or isolate the water completely, so the same water keeps going in and out, in which case you end up with a highly toxic waste product.

    It will be interesting to see whet they are proposing though.

  4. @Sea Change – yes, I rather thought Labour’s attempt to role up their sleeves and start opposing Brexit was somewhat ‘pathetic’, as Nocola Sturgeon tweeted after a particulalry useless statement from Corbyn the day after he three line whipped his MPs to support the government.

    Right from the outset Labour could have been non commital on whether to back triggering A50, instead demanding that all the promises made by the leave campaign in terms of trade, market access and financial benefit should be demonstrably met before we left, and if they couldn’t bem then Labour would oppose something that would be worse that we currently have.

    That would have been a clearly logical and easy to understand theme – Labour will not support a worsening of conditions for UK workers and the leave campaign have failed to deliver their promises – and would have enabled them to argue that the June 23rd result was void becasue the the promises were broken.

    Whether you accept that explanation on a personal level is a matter of political choioce, but at least it represents a coherent position and would enable Labour to critique the government without appearing to critique the 52% who voted leave.

    Corbyn has been about as duff as the duffest duffer in Duffland on this, but somehow other Labour members seem to think he’s been OK. That puzzles me.

  5. @Alec “Corbyn has been about as duff as the duffest duffer in Duffland on this, but somehow other Labour members seem to think he’s been OK. That puzzles me.”

    Corbyn’s popularity has clearly taken a hit amongst some of his backers since the 3 line whip incident. Probably not enough for a challenger to beat him in yet another leadership election.

    The polls in a week’s time will be interesting.

    UKIP’s civil war, Labour’s continuing internal strife and the Government triggering A50 is likely to see further firming of Tory VI.

  6. @Alec

    The reason Corbyn didn’t do that, I think it is reasonably clear, is because he is in favour of Brexit. The EU is as much a restraint on the hard left as it is on the extreme right, and prevents the statist policies that are informed by Corbyn’s 1980s mindset.

    He and his ilk hope for a future nirvana of state-run economic bliss, which will be heralded by a resurgent left-wing “movement” rising from the ashes of the Labour Party, but which cannot exist within the confines of the EU. And for at least some, the removal of EU constraints on the right wing is part of the process – the worst excesses of the right wing are a necessary prerequisite, the mechanism by which to raise the consciousness of the modern day equivalent of the proletariate.

  7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/26/three-million-eu-migrants-uk-should-keep-child-benefits-brexit/

    “Millions of European Union migrants who are in Britain when Theresa May triggers Brexit on Wednesday will be allowed to continue to receive child benefits to send to families back home.

    “A document circulated among ministers by the Department for Exiting the European Union, has recommended that around three million EU migrants in the UK when the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 keep their welfare rights.”

    Hehe, popcorn time!

  8. @OldNat

    “Apparently the Sunday Politics is, yet again, giving a spot to a party with zero MPs.
    Should Andrew Neil be investigated for necrophilia?”

    Come now, that is a little disingenuous.

    Assuming you are referring to UKIP, they might be a party with zero MPs, but it is also true to say that they are the party with the third largest popular mandate at the last election (over 50% ahead of their nearest rivals, and garnering the votes of just over 1 in 8 of the populace). There has been a great deal more UK-wide coverage over recent weeks of the party politicking (at a devolved, rather than UK-wide, level no less) of a party with just over a third of the popular support of UKIP.

    Given that there is no hard-and-fast metric for assigning party airtime, you could be a little more generous and a little less obviously partisan.

  9. As I’m in a mood to post, I think now is a apposite time to repeat this post from the day after the vote. This, for me, says clearly why people voted for Brexit. Nothing to do with ‘take back control’ or border nonsense.

    Why we had a referendum
    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/9727/comment-page-4#comments

    “I’m surprised there isn’t more discussion here about the huge disparity in voting between London and the rest of England. For us “knuckle-draggers” (@DSL) outside the capital, we have thought for years that the economy and dispersion of resources is designed to benefit London and nowhere else.

    “Threats about damage to the economy cut no ice with us because our economy has been struggling for years and is getting steadily worse. When you say damage to the economy, you mean damage to the financial services economy in London. So what? London has been doing well out of the EU and we see no benefits from that, only continuous downward pressure on wages. If we had voted to remain, would the metropolitan elite suddenly have woken up and started creating wealth elsewhere?
    There was no indication that would happen.

    “In London, they now worry about the future, well, join the club. We’ve been worrying for years. Voting Leave may or may not help us, but voting Remain would definitely not have done. If the world of the elite is now falling apart, they only have themselves to blame. They should have taken more notice of us knuckle-draggers before.

    “You reap what you sow.”
    @ludlownewboy June 24th, 2016 at 4:26 pm

  10. While Corbyn is probably a Brexiter, from today’s apparent change of track it seems that Labour planned thiw. Whether it is Baldrick’s master plan or not, it ismdifficult to see right now.

    ———-

    As the Hungarian government keeps on losing at the ECHR, they are looking for ways of leaving it. Perhaps there is not enough money left in the EU subsidies to be privatised by government friends and relatives. So, for a completely different reason than her own, May may have an ally.

  11. One of the points in the Brexit campaign seems to come to an end. Erdogan is planning a referendum whether Turkey should stop the negotiations on joining the EU. He is for. So, the Turkish people could have two referenda this year.

  12. Lazlo,

    Governments aren’t people’s even ones lead by populists.

    Neither the current Hungarian or Turkish leaders have the backing of their people on turning away from the EU. If they push for it they will no doubt wrap themselves in the flag with rhetoric of Destiny, Parioism and Soverignty but it is as likely to be their downfall as lead to backing away from the EU.

    Peter.

  13. Al Urqa:

    Interesting and useful to dig out that immediate post-referendum post. Thanks.

    The brexit narrative has moved on a bit since then in the light of changing circumstances. We don’t, for instance, hear much these days about Turkey’s imminent entry to the EU and swamping of our culture, economy, etc etc – thanks, Laszlo, for pointing out the probable abandonment of that country’s membership application – or the £350bn per week, and what it’s going to be spent on. Far better to forget those effective but flaky threats/promises and concentrate on the less debunkable call to patriotism.

    Actually, Ludlownewboy’s cri de coeur, celebrating a kick in the goolies for London and its wealth, selfishness, pre-eminence and indifference, reminds me of something else. The frequency with which anti-EU posters now highlight what they see as a fatal flaw of the EU: the failure of northern European EU states in general – and Germany in particular – to spread enough of their wealth to hard-up southern members. Germany and Greece; London and Middlesborough. Same old story, innit?

  14. @OLDNAT “Apparently the Sunday Politics is, yet again, giving a spot to a party with zero MPs.”
    I assume that as a good Scot you wish to remain in the EU?
    If so you seem to have forgotten that the UK party with most MEPs is UKIP.
    Or perhaps you believe that the European Parliament is without power?

  15. Old Nat

    90% of the population of Canada live within `100 miles of the US border and practically no one but First Nation people live in the north and they are mostly subsidised by the Canadian Government ( Taxpayers)
    When I was at school in 1959 the majority only came south for Education and medical treatment and then returned to their reservations.

  16. “Ludlownewboy’s cri de coeur, celebrating a kick in the goolies for London and its wealth, selfishness, pre-eminence and indifference, reminds me of something else.”
    @somerjohn March 26th, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    This reminds me, and chimes with the quote I posted, of a comment Derek Hatton made, I think on This Week. The day after the vote he said someone whom he knew came up to him and said ‘Well we showed them, eh Derek?’ or something similar. Which illustrates the view of some, that they are so disenfranchised they didn’t care. They didn’t see it as Tory on Tory, but on how it had been sold to them — a kick against the Establishment. I think Derek Hatton was a remainer.

    Even if Brexit turns sour they will enjoy the Schadenfreude of ‘the haves’ suffering.

  17. Al Urqa: “Even if Brexit turns sour they will enjoy the Schadenfreude of ‘the haves’ suffering.”

    Well, maybe. But if the haves suffer, the have nots will really be under the cosh. Which is when all we high-achieving, over-educated remainers will have to resist the temptation of schadenfreude.

    Apologies to anyone on Teesside for mis-spelling Middlesbrough; and thanks to anyone else for not pointing out that even Leave didn’t claim there would be £350 billion a week to spend on the NHS; ‘only’ £350 million.

  18. If the “haves” were to suffer disproportionately, would it merely be Schadenfreude that the “have nots” felt or would self-preservation also come into it?

    Does it not depend whether the nature of inequality is that it results in positive feedback (i.e. the more inequal the wealth, the more the welathy leverage that wealth to open the inequality gap yet further) or negative feedback (the famed “trickle down” theory, where the presence of the super-rich results in the poor becoming much better off, thus closing the inequality gap)?

    When the recent report was published that rents had fallen by a couple of percent for the first time in decades, to a national average of £950-odd a month (Gosh, how cheap! Lucky us!), morbid curiosity lead to me to compare houses and people. It turns out that the average house earns almost exactly half the average take-home pay of the median full-time employee. That’s full-time workers mind you. If you figure that there are about 23m full-time workers and 9m part-time workers out of 65m, then if you average over some kind of representative lifetime, the average house is ever so slightly more productive than the average living soul. Except that the person is hopefully adding some kind of value to UK plc in their own little way, whereas the house is almost entirely a rent-seeking transaction.

    If the “have nots” work on the assumption that the more the “haves” have, the more they will rent-seek off their (the “have nots”) backs, it is surely not *simply* spite, but also in their own best interests if the “haves” take a hit (or even a relative hit compared to the “have nots”)?

  19. Popeye

    Well, I can see that if a load of buy-to-rent landlords who’ve made a killing have to unload some or all of their properties at knock-down prices, then the have nots might have a chance to become haves, at least to the extent of buying a home. So in that case their welcoming of the landlords’ plights would be more than just schadenfreude.

    I also seem to remember research showing that people at the bottom of the pile in poor but reasonably equal societies are happier than those who are, in absolute terms, much better off but sit at the bottom of a more unequal society. So if the rich take a big hit, that might indeed make the poor feel relatively better off, even if they’re in absolute terms poorer. Which is probably what you were saying all along.

  20. Peter Cairns

    Yes, I agree (on the potential downfall of the government if abandoning the EU).

    However, both in Turkey and in Hungary by all evidence (elections and polls) there is a clear support for the government.

    In Hungary the question is not if the government is going to win in 2018, but if the opposition could obstruct it from getting two thirds majority (the electoral regime is essentially FPTP combined with some leftover votes distributed on a PR basis in a heavily gerrymandered constituency structure). Considering that 44% of the population lives under the poverty line or threatened by going under, it is quite something. They are essentially fed on unrestrained 1930s nationalist fodder. Returning Hungarians are called migrants by the equivalent of the Job Centres, and they are refused to get health service cards (hence have to use private health care – well, at least they get treated. In a hospital they found a decomposed dead body in a toilet that is supposed to be cleaned twice a day. There is no money.). Civil servants are regularly disciplined if they correct false announcements of the government for not keeping to the rules of communication. Judges are appointed by the government for particular cases.

    In the meantime, Hungary has the fastest enriching individual in the world – he happens to be from the same village as the PM. There are various estimates how much ofmthe EU money was simply stolen. Yesterday, the head of the government faction said that there is corruption only because there are still too many communists …

    Hungry-going people embraced, caressed the PM. It is really beyond belief. But it is all the responsibility of the opposition, in my view.

    The only encouraging sign is the emergence of a Hungarian equivalent of Schultz (although the Saar exit polls don’t look great for the SDP).

  21. Peter Cairns

    I wrote a longish reply, but it went to moderation. There are some words there that could have triggered it.

    If it is released, you might be interested.

  22. @Somerjohn

    I guess under the terminology owning one’s own home would be described as “have neutral” or something!

    “Have” would be owning someone else’s access to housing (seeking rent from them), “have not” would be someone else owning your home (someone else seeking rent from you).

    And yes there’s the relative wealth thing, but isn’t that kind of what Schadenfreude covers? I was just pondering whether there could be an absolute benefit in addition to a relative one (whether such a benefit would be logically deduced by the “have nots”, merely “felt” by them or indeed not noted at all!).

  23. CATMANJEFF
    I completely agree.

  24. @ Al Urqa, Popeye, Somerjohn

    this London vs rest of country thing is far too simplistic. It was every major city more of less (with the close exception of Birmingham) that voted remain. I’m not even sure how much economics played a role in the vote as if it had not been for asset rich older southerners Leave would not have won. Their reasons for voting leave I can only assume were nostalgia, anti immigrant sentiment or if I’m being very generous a genuine belief in the total sovereignty of parliament.

    It seems to me that rather than ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ this is a gaping cultural divide between the culturally open and curious and those who find it difficult to relate to those different from them though of course for various reasons those two demographics will overlap somewhat.

  25. Good evening all from a very fine evening here in rural Hampshire

    If you’re of a Labour persuasion then you might want to look away now……

    The wee guy with the specs, Mike Smithson is tweeting….

    Mike Smithson? @MSmithsonPB 9m9 minutes ago
    More
    This from @JenWilliamsMEN of Manchester Evening News doesn’t sound good for LAB in Gorton by-election

    https://twitter.com/MSmithsonPB/status/846091315083460612

    Apparently, there are a lot of undecideds and Labour is nervous.
    I said on UKPR a few weeks ago that the Lib/Dems will challenge Labour in this seat and some of you huffed and puffed and scoffed at my comment.. …Och aye the noo see you Jimmy, It’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht the nicht.

    It’s going to be quite an intriguing by-election.

  26. OLDENGLISH
    Old Nat

    “90% of the population of Canada live within `100 miles of the US border and practically no one but First Nation people live in the north and they are mostly subsidised by the Canadian Government ( Taxpayers)
    When I was at school in 1959 the majority only came south for Education and medical treatment and then returned to their reservations”
    _____________

    96% of the Canadian population also live on land formerly inhabited and presumably owned by First Nations people. Sort of puts the subsidised stuff into perspective.

    First Nations or Native North Americans were doing fine before we went over and trampled all over their territory.

    Who’s subsidising who?

  27. Interestingly the government is now calling for the removal of encyption from phone apps, on the strength of this recent incident ouside parliament. An event where the information seems to be that a lone madman decided to attack some people, and as a result was shot dead within 82 seconds of beginning, is being used to argue we need to have free access to everyone’s communications.

    Re the earlier discussion, the matter seems to be being spun to push the aims of the surveillance state.

  28. Well we can make sure there is no Schadenfreude.

    Ignore the EU. The government could use the same magic money tree mechanism to create money to give to local authorities for them to build council houses that they use to fund education and student loans. There could be a commitment not to sell these off, and make sure there are both a large number and they have low rents. That, at a stroke, would transform a lot of the country. Many low paid would be much better off — surely a good thing. Downward pressure on rents. More houses then go onto the housing market. House prices will fall, perhaps significantly.

    And the new council tenants would then have some disposable income that would help the economy. Poor people tend to spend rather than save.

    If they had done this a few years ago the anger that has triggered Brexit would have been avoided.

    What’s that? It’s a silly idea? Why? Surely the Tories always do the right thing.

  29. DANNY

    “Re the earlier discussion, the matter seems to be being spun to push the aims of the surveillance state”
    _________

    It’s quite ironic.. We’re being asked to give up some of our freedoms in order to protect our freedoms.

  30. @Danny

    That’s precisely the creep I expected to occur, or at least be attempted.

    If the issue is following such an incident, the police with the permission of a judge requests such communications from a company, it’s reasonable to provide the data in my view.

    However, if no crime has been committed, I think such permissions should be denied on principle.

    Government agencies should not be given the keys to decrypt private data for the purpose of monitoring.

    The truth is private communications can encrypted very easy by using overseas services (based in Iceland for example), where UK laws has no jurisdiction.

    The truth is, for better or worse, national bodies cannot patrol, block and censor the world wide internet.

  31. Does anyone know the German for schadenfreude?

  32. I used Google translate. It said the German meaning of the word Schadenfreude was Schadenfreude.

    Hope that helps.

  33. Allan Christie,
    “It’s quite ironic.. We’re being asked to give up some of our freedoms in order to protect our freedoms.”

    Well it would be, but in this case we seem to be being asked to give up our freedoms without adding to our protection. A more frequent scenario.

  34. Personally, I’m reasonably sanguine about state eavesdropping on personal communications, so long as we maintain effective democracy.

    I’m always rather tickled that anyone who uses a credit card or a supermarket club card is willing to hand over vast reams of information about everything they do. They give commercial giants pretty much everything needed to summarise their entire lives, which is then used to get even more money out of them.

    Yet when their government seeks to protect them by big data gathering they get all squiffy.

    I’m not saying we should trust governments always, but if you’ve ever used google, a credit or store card, have an iphone or a mobile phone contract, or watched TV via the internet, you’ve already given away more information to people with far less morals than our government – and you’ve paid them for the privilege.

  35. as we are about the language of Germany

    CDU significantly improved its vote in Saarland. SPD slighly dropped back, Linke lost quite a bit, and the neonazis got it with 6.5%.

    To be honest, I don’t know how representative the staten is, apart from producing excellent wine (which is both representative and unrepresentative), and having the CDU as the leading party in this century.

  36. @Catmanjeff

    You said, “If the issue is following such an incident, the police with the permission of a judge requests such communications from a company, it’s reasonable to provide the data in my view.”

    That’s sort of the point. As the law and practice stands this data is beyond the reach of law enforcement, court order or not.

    But it also rather depends what you mean by “such an incident”. Would intelligence from an intercepted phone call that a group had planted a bomb at a police officer’s house, and that the address of the house had been sent via a Whatsapp message, count as “an incident”? Or would you have to wait until the bomb had gone off, the policeman and his family were chopped liver, for it to be “an incident”?

    In practice it’s a moot point really, as most of these platforms are operated from the United States, aka Cybercrime Central, and there’s virtually no way we are going to get the US government to play ball. So unless we ban the use of non-compliant apps in the UK (and how do we enforce that? The technology theoretically exists to block downloads of the offending software, but the workarounds are legion) then we are really p**sing in the wind. What we need is a cultural change amongst IT companies, and a recognition that there are some things more important than internet privacy. I don’t think that change will come.

    So in practice I think what we’ll be left with is some trial law. Perhaps a law that says that if the prosecution can prove that a defendant used an encrypted communication, that the onus is then on the defendant to prove that this wasn’t a communication implicating him, or else an inference may be drawn by the jury. We already have something a bit like this under S49 RIPA (power to require encryption keys etc) but I suspect it could be strengthened.

  37. @LASZLO

    “CDU significantly improved its vote in Saarland. SPD slighly dropped back, Linke lost quite a bit, and the neonazis got it with 6.5%.”

    You sound as ridiculous as Candy in seeing Nazis under the bed!! The AFD are NOT Nazis! To you any party against immigration is Nazi.
    I suspect that the Saarland is not especially representative of Germany as a whole. The foreign born population is not that great and that explains the very centrist view of the electorate.
    I would expect the AFD to perform much more effectively in larger German states.

  38. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “96% of the Canadian population also live on land formerly inhabited and presumably owned by First Nations people. Sort of puts the subsidised stuff into perspective.”

    I don’t agree. The Indians (no PC terms for me) were not that many in Canada and most of the country remained empty space. The natives co-existed quite peacefully with the European arrivals, much more so than in the USA to the south.

  39. Tancred

    My criterion is not being anti-immigrant for classifying various extreme right parties.

    Polls suggest that they would get around 10% nationally, but a lot can happen until then.

  40. @ALEC

    “Personally, I’m reasonably sanguine about state eavesdropping on personal communications, so long as we maintain effective democracy.”

    I’m not. Why should the government want to find out about my private life? It’s none of their effing business.

    “I’m always rather tickled that anyone who uses a credit card or a supermarket club card is willing to hand over vast reams of information about everything they do. ”

    Information about shopping habits is one thing, but information about your personal life, interests and people you know is another. You are mixing Waitrose apples with Asda oranges!

    “Yet when their government seeks to protect them by big data gathering they get all squiffy.”

    I think that in many ways it’s us who need protecting from the government. You seem to be very trusting of our rulers – I’m not.

    “I’m not saying we should trust governments always, but if you’ve ever used google, a credit or store card, have an iphone or a mobile phone contract, or watched TV via the internet, you’ve already given away more information to people with far less morals than our government – and you’ve paid them for the privilege.”

    How astonishingly naive! To say that the current government has ‘high morals’ is tantamount to comparing Genghis Khan with Saint Francis of Assisi.

  41. In the meantime there were elections in Bulgaria (the third in three years).

    The centre-right won, the social democrats (whatever that means in Bulgaria) came second. Having said that, it is a big improvement for them (it is a pro-Putin party). The anti-immigration (only for Tancred) Patriots’ Party got almost 9%.

  42. @LAZSLO

    “My criterion is not being anti-immigrant for classifying various extreme right parties.”

    AfD are no more extreme than UKIP. In fact, they are often regarded as the German equivalent of UKIP. I think you are getting mixed up with the NPD, which IS a neo-Nazi party of sorts, though very vaguely so. I would class the NPD as basically a ‘third position’, Strasserite party rather than a traditional neo-Nazi party.

  43. @LASZLO

    “One of the points in the Brexit campaign seems to come to an end. Erdogan is planning a referendum whether Turkey should stop the negotiations on joining the EU. He is for. So, the Turkish people could have two referenda this year.”

    If Erdogan pulled Turkey out of steps towards joining the EU he would do Europe a great service. We don’t need or want any more Muslims.

  44. @RICHO

    “@Tancred,
    There is something very amusing how those who have hammered UKIP for years like yourself, are finally seeing them dissolve now the EU argument has been won. The irony of course is that all the votes are going back to the Conservatives and bolstering their already cast iron position. I love politics sometimes. Be careful what you wish for.”

    I’m always careful what I wish for, but I don’t agree that UKIP’s demise will result in an unassailable Tory dominance. People tend to switch allegiance when things go badly, and if Labour managed to get a sensible centrist leader after Corbyn everything could change. Much also depends on how Brexit works out.

  45. @Tancred,

    You do know that if I want to, and have reasonable grounds to do so, I can install a video camera in your bedroom, watch and listen as you go about your private, intimate life, right? Completely lawfully, under legislation already in force.

    Of course, I wouldn’t, because there wouldn’t be reasonable grounds to do so and because the powers that would allow me to involve tests under the Human Rights Act that I would be extremely unlikely to pass.

    But in theory there are circumstances where the intelligence picture would allow me to get the relevant authorities from the Home Secretary to do exactly that.

    Our protections are not upheld by denying the ability to carry out a particular tactic, but by limiting the use of that tactic to circumstances where it would be justified.

    There is even an argument for allowing greater electronic surveillance to obviate the need for some of the, more intrusive, traditional surveillance tactics.

  46. Re. Amerindian displacement: the idea that the European settlement process was uniquely transgressive has always struck me as a bit problematic. Different peoples had been displacing each other all over the place for centuries (as indeed they always have all over the planet and probably always will do).

    To suggest that the wave from Europe was different in some moral or ideological sense seems to me to infer a bit of a colonial mindset. Either that all national boundaries should be preserved in aspic, which requires the idea that history “started” with European arrival, so the state at that point in time was some archaic golden age, an American state of Eden, and it is at that point that things ought to have been frozen. Or else it requires the acknowledgement that Europeans were just doing the same as everyone had ever done, but the Europeans were more culpable for their actions somehow, invoking the ugly trope of the “civilised European” (who ought to have known better) versus the “savage native” (who didn’t).

  47. “In the meantime there were elections in Bulgaria (the third in three years).

    The centre-right won, the social democrats (whatever that means in Bulgaria) came second. Having said that, it is a big improvement for them (it is a pro-Putin party). The anti-immigration (only for Tancred) Patriots’ Party got almost 9%.”
    @Laszlo March 26th, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    Not sure if you saw this but there is some background here:

    http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21719578-new-anti-graft-party-generates-excitement-it-may-struggle-win-seats-bulgarias-election

    “The polls are showing a tight race, with GERB and the Socialists each getting about 30% support. “None of the big parties has a clear lead,” says Daniel Smilov of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, a think-tank. Meanwhile, a new anti-corruption party, Yes Bulgaria, hopes to capitalise on anger against self-dealing elites. The party models itself on the Save Romania Union, which won 9% of the vote in Romania’s elections in December. But Yes Bulgaria’s chances of making it into parliament are uncertain, and the election is likely to be decided on economic issues, rather than the deeper question of corruption.”

  48. Alec
    Sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been ata chess tournament all day, and just recovered.

    “…with regard to publishing hindcasting, I just think you’ve missed the bus. With climate change there has been lots of it, and it has been getting increasingly accurate.”

    As I said:

    “If someone can point me to some such publication I’ll happily reconsider. Until then I’m sceptical.”

    Could you provide a link?

  49. @ AL URQA

    ‘The government could use the same magic money tree mechanism to create money to give to local authorities for them to build council houses that they use to fund education and student loans.’

    Funnily enough that is exactly what Michael Portillo said in response to Andrew Neil and Liam Halligan’s worries about the construction industry being an oligopoly. Liz Kendal began to reply but stopped before she started, as she realised that she had the choice to be by far the most rightwing person on This week or whether to back Jeremy Corbyn’s (and Portillo’s) policy to build council houses. Her palpable confusion was very amusing.

    It’s true that the magic money tree would be desirable to get the councils building but at some point, the programme would become self-funding. Does anyone know if Margaret Thatcher’s legislation inhibiting councils from building houses for rent has been withdrawn?

  50. @Pete B – have a look at the IPCC website – http://www.ipcc.ch/

    They have stacks of reference material which includes a lot of hindcasting. The findings I quoted from came from their third assessment report.

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