YouGov’s regular voting intention poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 43%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%. The Conservative lead remains strong and third place continues to bounce back and forth between the Lib Dems and UKIP (I expect they are actually about even and we’re just seeing normal random sample variation).

On best Prime Minister May leads Jeremy Corbyn by 53% to 13%. This is May’s highest figure since her honeymoon, Jeremy Corbyn’s lowest ever and the 38 point gap is the biggest we’ve recorded so far. This is the first poll since the attack on Parliament and Prime Ministers sometimes do see a boost to their reputation if they are seen to have handled an emergency with confidence so it could be connected, or the timing could be pure co-incidence.

The reason for the huge gap is Corbyn’s low support among Labour voters. Typically people answer these questions along partisan lines – Tory voters pick the Tory leader, Labour voters pick the Labour leader, the best PM lead ends up being similar to the voting intention lead. At the moment 94% of current Tory voters think that May would make the better Prime Minister, but only 46% of current Labour voters say Corbyn would (15% say May, 39% say “Not sure”). Among people who voted Labour at the last election Corbyn’s position is even worse, only 27% say he would make the better Prime Minister, 29% say Theresa May. Full tabs are here.

Given today is Article 50 day, I’ve also written a much longer piece over on the YouGov website bringing together lots of the recent YouGov research on Brexit – you can find that here.


743 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 43, LAB 25, LD 11, UKIP 10”

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  1. Chris Riley 2.55

    Amen, amen!

  2. TOH 4.10

    I started at 3.56 to comment on posts which had been made since I had logged off around lunch time, so I had not read your later posts when I posted mine. Perhaps I need to change my method of working.

    That said, Gibraltar is not part of the UK. It does not send an MP to Parliament. It’s status is, presumably, comparable to the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, though they do not seem to have been given a vote on EU membership.

    My point is that for those who voted to take Gibraltar out of the EU against its will now to complain at the effects of their own actions is utterly farcical!

  3. Chris Riley

    If someone tries to impoverish me why should i pay to defend him..?perfectly legitimate thing to point out.

  4. @Chris Riley

    Spain is a Nato member and an EU member. If the EU was to take a policy position of attacking British Territorial integrity why would the British continue to protect EU borders?

    The idea that the EU is going to attack Britain in this way is frankly ridiculous anyway, but if it keeps Europhiles hopes up that somehow such a move would make the British Government and People turn round and plead to rejoin (as if!) then feel free to cling onto such dreams.

  5. Another good day for the £.

    Since Art 50 was triggered the £ has risen from 1.1561 to 1.1713 against the Euro and from 1.2452 to1.2526 against the dollar.

    All rather amusing.

  6. Candy 4.13

    You are quite right to quote Gibraltar’s constitution. But the E.U’.s position on Gibraltar as expressed by the Draft Proposals is no different in kind from that expressed regarding the Northern Ireland border, something which I believe to be much more important.

    Now why don’t I see lots of people complaining about the references to Northern Ireland? Is it because most people in England care much more about Gibraltar than they do about Northern Ireland? I just don’t see what all the fuss is about…… unless, of course, it’s the Little Englanders trying to hold on to remnants of Empire… But tush tush, that’s hardly a noble sentiment on my part…..

  7. @John B

    “Might I suggest that for a week you listen to what is said and read what is written in the media as though you were not in England and ask yourself ‘What are the assumptions here?’”

    ———–

    You’re switching it. Peeps like Coups and Oldnat have been at pains to make abundantly clear that there might be media bias in various quarters. But you will find bias all over the place, for various reasons, it’s not confined to Scotland. Obviously it is not a good thing and you can point it out like others do, however…

    …This is distinct from the matter at hand, which is the idea that it is somehow offensive and even anti-Scots to not know as much about Scots as Scottish people.

    Or indeed that if one points out an error concerning oil prices and how it was sold as scaremongering, or generally finds some potential flaw in your reasoning, that one must therefore be being offensive or even anti-Scots!! It isn’t, it’s just being anti-error.

  8. The text of the EU draft guidelines with regard to the three areas where UK territory or possessions are contiguous to the EU –

    11.The Union has consistently supported the goal of peace and reconciliation enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement, and continuing to support and protect the achievements, benefits and commitments of the Peace Process will remain of paramount importance. In view of the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland, flexible and imaginative solutions will be required, including with the aim of avoiding a hard border, while respecting the integrity of the Union legal order. In this context, the Union should also recognise existing bilateral agreements and arrangements between the United Kingdom and Ireland which are compatible with EU law.

    12.The Union should agree with the United Kingdom on arrangements as regards the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom in Cyprus and recognise in that respect bilateral agreements and arrangements between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom which are compatible with EU law, in particular as regards the situation of those EU citizens resident or working in the Sovereign Base Areas.

    22. After the United Kingdom leaves the Union, no agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without the agreement between the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom.

    Cyprus isn’t seen as a problem, given that there is no reason for dispute over confirming the present arrangements – other than to check that no aspect of EU law is breached in them.

    Ireland has the wholesale backing of the other 26 in securing “flexible and imaginative solutions” for the border on the island. Many of these have been considered in the media (both social and anti-social) in the past, but now a solution will have to be found.

    The rest of the EU doesn’t have any particular strategic or economic interests in the Rock (or even the disputed territory) so is happy to go along with the response of the member state which does see it as a vital national interest.

    Perhaps of more importance is that it removes any necessity for Spain to veto the whole agreement between the EU and the UK, because they don’t like any aspect of the Gibraltar settlement.

    Since that was a significant part of the Spanish posturing earlier, that seems a wise decision by the EU. A potential veto to an otherwise acceptable deal is removed from play, while the Spanish can still satisfy domestic expectations.

  9. John b: “My point is that for those who voted to take Gibraltar out of the EU against its will now to complain at the effects of their own actions is utterly farcical!”

    It’s happening a lot, though, isn’t it?

    Those who proclaimed that Brexit means Brexit presumably meant Brexit warts and all. But now that some of those warts are becoming apparent, many of those same people are affecting outrage. Nobody told us! will be the cry (as it is indeed from TOH regarding the 1975 referendum).

  10. John B

    “My point is that for those who voted to take Gibraltar out of the EU against its will now to complain at the effects of their own actions is utterly farcical!”

    I’m not complaining about the Spanish attitude, I understand they care about Gibraltar but that does not give them the right to override the desire of the Gibraltarians to stay in the UK, even though we are leaving the EU, and they didn’t want to leave the EU. As I say judging by the interview I saw recently the Gibraltarians have accepted that they are leaving the EU.

    The EU certainly has no right to interfere with GIbraltar and if the Spanish tried I would certainly support the use of British troops to defend Gibraltar as i did when Argentina sent troops into the Falklands.

    Of course it won’t come to that it’s all hot air, and we have had a lot from the EU recently.

  11. @John B

    With NI, the GFA gives the Irish Republic a role – and they only got that role after the people of NI gave consent via a referendum.

    But with Gib, Spain doesn’t have a role at all, and the Gibraltans are refusing to give them any.

    The EU would be straying into Fourth Reich territory if they demanded that it be handed to Spain against the consent of the Gibraltans.

  12. Interesting observation re-London poll is that Labour’s 3% lead remains higher there than in 2010 – when it was 2%.!

  13. Can we steer clear of “the other side are idiots” memes, please?

  14. @Graham

    Yes – and given Lab’s strength in London, it must mean that the Conservatives are even further ahead in the rest of England for them to be scoring around 41% to 44% in the GB polls.

  15. Carfrew 4.58

    ‘You’re switching it. Peeps like Coups and Oldnat have been at pains to make abundantly clear that there might be media bias in various quarters. But you will find bias all over the place, for various reasons, it’s not confined to Scotland. Obviously it is not a good thing and you can point it out like others do, however…
    …This is distinct from the matter at hand, which is the idea that it is somehow offensive and even anti-Scots to not know as much about Scots as Scottish people.
    Or indeed that if one points out an error concerning oil prices and how it was sold as scaremongering, or generally finds some potential flaw in your reasoning, that one must therefore be being offensive or even anti-Scots!! It isn’t, it’s just being anti-error.’

    But I never made any claims about oil prices, though others may have done so. I do not claim that it is ‘anti-Scottish’ to be ignorant, provided that the ignorance is not deliberate. What I am trying to suggest is that when Scots, or others, point out that England and the UK are not one and the same thing, and that when Britain was formed from the union of England and Scotland this union was, in legal terms (though of course not in economic or geographical or population terms) a union of equals – like a marriage – then perhaps it would be a good thing to listen to the view of the other partner, as an equal, and try to give the impression (at least!) that this is what is being attempted.

    As for flaws in my reasoning, I take that as an obvious risk which I am happy to acknowledge when such flaws are pointed out to me. But writing about how things seem from my perspective is not a flaw. It may be annoying to many, but I am where I am geographically and culturally.

  16. @ John B

    There’s an argument that the EU should keep their noses out of sovereign issues especially after they were heavily criticised for the way they handled the Ukraine situation.

  17. @John B

    “I am not inventing reasons. I am speaking the truth as I find it to be. That you do not see that same truth, or interpret the facts differently, is not ‘inventing’. It is putting forward a genuinely held opinion.”

    ———-

    It’s not a matter of taste, John, like we might differ over Shostakovich’s Fifth or summat (personally, I’m a fan of old Shosta!!). It is genuinely unrealistic to expect English peeps not to make errors concerning the Scottish experience, and it is obviously a big stretch – and possibly hugely narcissistic even – to see correcting your personal errors as the same as an assault on all things Scottish.

  18. Candy: “The EU would be straying into Fourth Reich territory if they demanded that it be handed to Spain against the consent of the Gibraltans.”

    You’re tilting at windmills. Have you read what the draft negotiating strategy says?

    “After the UK leaves the union, no agreement between the EU and the UK may apply to the territory of Gibraltar without agreement between Spain and the UK.”

    How do you get from that to “if [the EU] demanded that it be handed to Spain against the consent of the Gibraltans.”

    What the EU document says is that it accepts it can’t include Gibraltar in a deal with the UK over the heads of Spain. It won’t play the superstate, but will respect that this is a national matter going back 300 years, to be handled as a bilateral matter between the UK and Spain.

    The eagerness of some posters to descend into hostility and fourth-reichery is extraordinary and actually quite revealing.

  19. Candy 5.04

    ‘But with Gib, Spain doesn’t have a role at all, and the Gibraltans are refusing to give them any.
    The EU would be straying into Fourth Reich territory if they demanded that it be handed to Spain against the consent of the Gibraltans.’

    My view is that the EU document gives exactly the right balance between what the Spanish would ideally like to happen and what the Gibraltans wish to happen: agreement on how Gibraltar is to be regarded by the EU. As Old Nat pointed out a few minutes ago, ‘it removes any necessity for Spain to veto the whole agreement between the EU and the UK, because they don’t like any aspect of the Gibraltar settlement.’

    It is a good deal for Gibraltar.

  20. @Somerjohn

    The Spanish definitely mean to follow in Franco’s path and try to take Gib regardless of what the people of Gibraltar want.

    They have already done Stage 1, which is complaining to the UN (as Franco did back in the 1960s).

    Here is the King of Spain in his speech to the UN:

    https://www.thelocal.es/20160922/king-felipe-urges-uk-to-end-colonial-anachronism-of-gibraltar

    quote

    Speaking on Tuesday the Spanish head of state said: “I invite the UK, on this first occasion at the UN after Brexit, to end the colonial anachronism of Gibraltar with an agreed solution between both countries to restore the territorial integrity of Spain and bring benefits to the people of Gibraltar and the Spanish area of Campo de Gibraltar.”

    The Gibraltar government issued an immediate response accusing Spain of being stuck in the past.

    “The days when territories could be handed over from one monarch to another regardless of the wishes of the people who live there ended a very long time ago,” a spokesman for No 6 Convent Place told The Gibraltar Chronicle.

    “This is not 1704, when Britain conquered Gibraltar, or 1713 when Spain ceded it by Treaty for ever.”

    “This is 2016 when what matters most is the right of a people, however small, to determine their own future.”

    “It is regrettable that the mentality in official circles in Spain remains stuck in the eighteenth century.”

    end quote

  21. Carfrew

    But I think you are avoiding the point at issue, which is, I believe, that Scots so often find themselves shouted down (even on this site) when they try to point out that there are alternative visions of the way the world is.

    As you listen to Shostakovich – and I would be happy to join you in that – you might like to read Tom Devine’s stuff, which tries to outline how British/UK/Imperial history looks from a Scottish viewpoint. It’s quite interesting to see how the change of starting point brings about a change of perspective on many things. Happy listening!

  22. TOH

    “the desire of the Gibraltarians to stay in the UK, even though we are leaving the EU, and they didn’t want to leave the EU”

    It is more than pedantry to point out that Gibraltar is not part of the UK. It is a “British Overseas Territory” – what in our young day was called a colony.

    If it chose to become an independent state, there would be a fascinating legal case for the UN to sort out as to the relative strengths of self-determination and territorial integrity.

  23. @John B

    I used the oil price example to show how simply correcting an error is turned into summat more, hyped up. In that case it was accusations of fearmongering. I accept you may not have talked oil prices, I was making a more general point about a pattern of behaviour that isn’t always helpful: hyping grievance.

    I agree it’s useful to listen to peeps in a Union, whether in marriage or a political union, but you were complaining about ignorance of allsorts like Scots history being offensive and my point is that its just farming grievance: you are always going to find plenty English peeps behind the curve on that. Especially those who didn’t study History or aren’t effectively retired so have plenty of time to comb through the differences, and aren’t driven to find differences.

    And of course one might put the effort into what we have in common, how we co-operate successfully etc.

    As to your final point, this is another twist. I did nothing to suggest that “writing how things seem from” your perspective is a “flaw”. Even making errors in itself is summat we have to accept, done it myself. To persist in error once errors have been pointed out is summat else however…

  24. Bantams 5.14

    ‘There’s an argument that the EU should keep their noses out of sovereign issues especially after they were heavily criticised for the way they handled the Ukraine situation.’

    I would agree – provided you substituted the word ‘we’ for the word ‘they’. We were and are just as much part of the EU as anyone else – indeed, the second most powerful voice in the EU according to some on this site. So ‘we’ handled Ukraine badly.

  25. Bantams

    “There’s an argument that the EU should keep their noses out of sovereign issues”

    And it is such a good argument, that that is exactly what the EU has done over the Gibraltar issue and its sovereignty.

  26. @John

    “But I think you are avoiding the point at issue, which is, I believe, that Scots so often find themselves shouted down (even on this site) when they try to point out that there are alternative visions of the way the world is.
    As you listen to Shostakovich – and I would be happy to join you in that – you might like to read Tom Devine’s stuff, which tries to outline how British/UK/Imperial history looks from a Scottish viewpoint. It’s quite interesting to see how the change of starting point brings about a change of perspective on many things. Happy listening!”

    ———–

    No, I’m not ignoring the issue, you are just ignoring my replies on the matter, and saying a load of unrelated stuff.

    I am clearly pointing out that quite often, you are in error when it comes to being treated badly. For example, it was not fearmongering to have concerns over oil prices. It is not an insult or ‘sneering’ at Scots to point out some error in your reasoning. It is not anti-Scots insults to not know as much Scots history as Scots peeps, especially retired Scots historians specialising in difference between Scots and English.

    Tom Devine gets mentioned on here… I read up on him a little a while back owing to peeps citing him. I have to check it out some more, but it’s time of course. I can tell you a fair bit about Scottish renewables though!! Like the new grid connector for tidal and Aberdeen’s experiment with hydrogen!!! And spaceports… One can’t cover it all but one tries to do one’s bit and cover what others haven’t. Otherwise what’s the point…

  27. Carfrew – 5.30

    ‘I agree it’s useful to listen to peeps in a Union, whether in marriage or a political union, but you were complaining about ignorance of all sorts like Scots history being offensive and my point is that its just farming grievance:…’

    But it isn’t ‘farming grievance’. It is a genuine sorrow to me that so often ‘history’ in the UK means ‘English history’. For example, how often does the BBC on UK wide network give us anything about Welsh or Irish or Scottish history? Almost never. But English history? Now that’s a different matter. We are constantly told that English history is the only thing which really counts.

    English history does matter – of course it does! But just as Scots are constantly given their own history on network broadcasting from an English perspective (and I include Neilly Oliver in that when he’s doing network stuff), would it not sometimes be worth a shot showing English history from a Scottish or Irish or Welsh perspective? Or even their own histories from their own perspective?
    And whilst we’re about it, what about looking at English history from the perspective of its northern counties? Perspective, the view from the view point, matters. It helps you see things in different ways.

  28. Day 2

    well here we are on day 2 of post A50 Britain and irreconcilables can already ,as predicted , kiss goodbye to loving return to the EC.With a few more weeks of this there will be a popular demand for the WTO and to end negotiations as a waste of time.

    I know this sounds ridiculous but we should end negotiations now and prepare for WTO. it is the only language they understand.

  29. Candy: “The Spanish definitely mean to follow in Franco’s path and try to take Gib regardless of what the people of Gibraltar want.”

    That may or may not be so. However, I was responding to your apparent imputation of similar motives to the EU.

    You wrote: “The EU would be straying into Fourth Reich territory if they demanded that it be handed to Spain against the consent of the Gibraltans.”

  30. @Somerjohn

    I was responding to those who claimed that the EU could force us to hand over Gib in return for a trade deal. If they did, that would be Fourth Reich territory, as they would be ignoring the wishes of the Gibraltans.

  31. Incidentally, they’re called Gibraltarians, not Gibraltans. Perhaps those who claim to care deeply about the future of these people could do them the courtesy of getting their name right.

  32. Carfrew

    I don’t complain when people don’t know about Scottish history. I complain when, by their attitude, they claim it is unimportant. If the UK is to survive the English will have to try harder to understand the differing view experiences which, together, make up the UK. The rest of us, of course, already have the English view point made very clear to us all the time. It would be good if it were acknowledged that other view points not only exist but are important in the creation and maintenance of the whole. That’s all I’m saying.

  33. Candy: “I was responding to those who claimed that the EU could force us to hand over Gib in return for a trade deal.”

    Actually, you addressed your response specifically to me.

    And who are “those who claimed that the EU could force us to hand over Gib in return for a trade deal.”?

  34. Somerjohn

    “Nobody told us! will be the cry (as it is indeed from TOH regarding the 1975 referendum).”

    I think my memory let me down earlier when posting to you and this led to your own incorrect post above. I assumed that Heath had a referendum when he took us into the EEC in 1973, he didn’t but as I posted, I supported our entry at the time. I thought it was all about free trade and since it was more than that it was my own fault that I supported the heath Government s entry.

    By the time of labours 1975 referendum I had realised my error so in that referendum i voted to leave but that referendum was lost. It was a fair referendum and I have never complained about the result and accepted it. If only some of those who lost in 2017 would do the same.

    I hope that is clear as it explains why your post to John B was incorrect.

  35. @John B

    Sure, it’s a shame we don’t know more history of other nations, not just Scots. Since being in here I follow Scots affairs rather a more than I did, but you are not engaging with my point: there aren’t enough hours in the day. Not when there’s Welsh and Irish history, my parents were from different countries on the continent so there’s all that to follow…

    There’s too much to know. Nationalists tend to prioritise knowledge useful in pursuing that angle, constitutional affairs, but how do you think a chat about Scots science and, say, Maxwell would go in terms of who knows what?

    I agree the media could do better. But this is distinct from saying that someone disagreeing with you is necessarily insulting you or is even anti-Scots.

  36. Candy 5.51

    I missed the contribution which advocated that the EU could/should force the UK to return Gibraltar to the Spanish in return for a trade deal. Could you point it to me, please?

  37. Carfrew

    ” I’m a fan of old Shosta!!).”

    You got me smiling again. I really rate his music especially the symphonies and the piano concerto’s. I was lucky enough t see Previn conduct his 10th Symphony in the 80’s, marvellous performance with 5 curtain calls. Could hardly speak at the end!

  38. OLDNAT

    Yes i know i got it technically wrong but i am sure you got my point.

  39. Carfrew

    Of course time is limited and taking on board information is often a matter of priorities. But if someone who knows about something writes about it and you disagree with the evidence presented or the conclusion reached then either you go away and do some digging around on your own account or you accept that what has been said has to stand. I do not enter into internal debate regarding Wales, for example. But when GB or the UK is being referred to then I believe a Scottish perspective may be vital if the whole is to be understood. Idem for Northern Ireland. How people can claim to speak for the UK when they seem to know nothing about Northern Ireland (see the recent elections there and dismissive comments made about them on this very site!) is astonishing to me.

    And am I supposed to the ‘retired historian’ or is that Tom Devine?

  40. JohnB – “would it not sometimes be worth a shot showing English history from a Scottish or Irish or Welsh perspective?”

    Well English history as taught in school focuses heavily on the Tudor monarchs, and then WW1 and WW2.

    It isn’t that different in Wales.

    Here is my stab at the Tudor monarchs from the Welsh point of view.

    Henry Tudor sailed from Brittany to Wales with his Breton mercenaries (note Breton, not “French”), and on his march through Wales towards England, picked up lots of Welsh volunteers, one of whom stitched a red dragon onto Henry’s green and white banner. This flew over Bosworth field when Richard III was killed (and Richard was killed by one of the Welsh noblemen who had been disenfranchised by the Plantagenets). Thus the flag of Wales was born and the battle of Bosworth field was about a great Welsh dynasty taking control of England.

    Henry Tudor proved a big disappointment, but his son Henry VIII gave the Welsh their rights under Magna Carta by merging the legal system of England and Wales, and also gave Wales their first representation in Parliament.

    Gloss over Edward VI (he insisted everything should be in English), and onto Good Queen Bess.

    She saved the Welsh language by passing a law demanding the Bible and Common Prayer book be translated into Welsh, and that all church services in Wales be held in Welsh (prior to that they’d been in either Latin or English, neither of which the Welsh could understand). As the centuries passed and Welsh came under severe pressure in the workplace and schools, it continued to reign supreme in church, protected by Good Queen Bess’s edict. Welsh speaking only really started to decline in the 1960’s when they stopped going to church.

    And because Elizabeth’s Welsh bible was of such a high elevated quality, she launched an era of Welsh literature. And just as most literary roads in English lead back to her reign, so do Welsh ones.

    How did I do?

  41. ‘supposed to be’ of course.

    TOH
    Lucky you!

    TOH and Carfew
    I am hoping to buy myself a complete CD set of the symphonies. Do you have any advice on the subject?

  42. @JOHN B

    “I don’t complain when people don’t know about Scottish history. I complain when, by their attitude, they claim it is unimportant. If the UK is to survive the English will have to try harder to understand the differing view experiences which, together, make up the UK. The rest of us, of course, already have the English view point made very clear to us all the time. It would be good if it were acknowledged that other view points not only exist but are important in the creation and maintenance of the whole. That’s all I’m saying.”

    —————-

    Saying the English should try harder is to ignore my point about how difficult that is in practice, and you will always be able to nitpick over Tudor history or summat. It’s not just Scots affairs they have to keep on top of, these days they’re working all hours to survive with both partners working, if they have a partner because many marriages end.

    Personally when it comes to info. about Scots I like to prioritise what limited time I have for useful, positive stuff like energy. Not stuff seeking to stress and hype differences.

    And you’ve got devolution to help deal with the lack of awareness of Scots affairs, it’s an acknowledgement of that. But to reiterate, one might wish more to look into Scots affairs, but not knowing as much as Scots about Scots is not automatically an insult or anti-Svots.

  43. Somerjohn

    No actually they are called British!

    Classic misreading of the british by the EU.They think we cave in to pressure and threat, they think they can intimidate us back into their loving embrace, they think that we will grovel and scrape to them and pay them to build roads and hospitals for themselves while ours decay. The EU despises us and laughs at us in equal measure. Perhaps Soubry and Clegg will tell us what part of the EU negotiating document they love apart from ceding Gibraltar to Spain in Cleggs case obviously.

  44. @John B

    “And am I supposed to the ‘retired historian’ or is that Tom Devine?”

    ————–

    Lol, that isn’t exactly a denial now is it, John!! But I was referring to others in truth…

  45. Candy

    I am impressed. But could you repeat the experiment, this time looking at how Wales fared under the previous dynasty? And did Mary Tudor do anything noteworthy in Wales?

    Off to the station now to collect the wife.

  46. John B

    is that the playstation:-)

  47. S Thomas

    People who live in Gibraltar are Gibraltarians. People who live in Manchester are Mancunians. Both may have the right to hold UK passports, but there is little by way of dispute about which country Manchester is in, or belongs to. Spain signed away Gibraltar in 1813; but then if a country has been invaded, as Spain was, and has been a battle field, in Spain’s case between the French and the Brits, for several years, it can hardly be said to have had any choice in the signing, can it?
    Of course, as long as the Gibraltarians wish to remain under the control/protection of the UK, that’s fine by me, but let’s not be naive about how the UK got hold of Gibraltar in the first place.

  48. @ Somerjohn

    Didn’t the Gibraltans live in the Delta Quadrant? As I remember the Borg was trying to assimilate everyone living there, it all sounds a bit familiar.

  49. @ToH

    “You got me smiling again. I really rate his music especially the symphonies and the piano concerto’s. I was lucky enough t see Previn conduct his 10th Symphony in the 80’s, marvellous performance with 5 curtain calls. Could hardly speak at the end!”

    ————

    I wondered if that might strike a chord, so to speak!! I discovered him in the late eighties, and listened to a fair bit at the time, though never saw any live. It was a busy time!! Around the same time I discovered khachaturian when I overheard one of the music students playing some. But then I got more into jazz and didn’t pursue that kind of enquiry sufficiently. I plan to reopen the case in the near future as it were.

    I do feel I should have been to many more concerts. I was lucky at school, we had a concert hall and you could see allsorts for free. My first, on a whim after someone suggested we go, was Verdi’s Requiem, which just blew me away, sitting just two rows back. Haydn, though, the choir, that was the biggest impact: I sang in it as a thirteen year old not having a clue what I was doing but to just be in the throng, belting out: “Despairing, CURSING rage!!”

    Fabulous.

    And regarding Rugby, yes I did play, was rather keen on it at school…

  50. @John B

    “I’m hoping to buy myself a complete CD set of the symphonies. Do you have any advice on the subject?”

    ———-

    Howard is liable to know rather more than me John, but I will say it’s useful knowing the history. He wrote some stuff while under seige in Leningrad and the music depicts the German advance, but also Shosta was writing during the era of Stalin and was trying to get messages through in the music under the radar, messages Stalin wouldn’t necessarily enjoy…

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