A new centrist party?

With little political news over the Summer the media have entertained themselves with talk of new political parties. I have awaited the first poll to ask how people would vote if there was such a party with some trepidation. thus far it hasn’t turned up. Depending on how it is worded a poll question could either suggest triumph or disaster for such a venture. Either case should be ignored – polls asking about how people would vote in hypothetical situations aren’t particularly useful.

Back before the election YouGov asked a couple of questions asking how people would vote if the Labour party split into a centrist party and a Corbynite Labour party. That found Labour voters splitting fairly evenly between the two parties, with little impact elsewhere (a result that under FPTP would likely have delivered a Tory landslide). Of course that was a new party explicitly framed as a split within Labour. It it had been presented as a split from the Tory party, I expect it would have taken most support from them. A new party might actually seek to present itself as being made up of the centrists within both Labour and the Conservatives (though more important is how it would be seen by the public – how a party describes itself is not necessarily the same as how the public sees it), in which case it would have ambitions to take support from a wider pool.

As an explicit anti-Brexit party the first place to look for what support an anti-Brexit might receive is the EU referendum vote. 48% of people who voted in 2016 wanted to Remain. In more recent polls that group splits pretty evenly between Remainers who still think Brexit is a bad idea but that it should go ahead now the people have spoken, and Remainers who think that Brexit should be resisted and overturned. Some have suggested that this means the pool an anti-Brexit party is fishing in is only about 25%. I’d be less sure – at the moment we’re in a political situation where the political class has largely accepted the principle of Brexit and is arguing about the form it will take. Were that to be shaken up, were there a significant political force arguing for changing our minds, perhaps more of those who voted Remain would see it as something to be fought rather than accepted. Who knows?

A more negative consideration is what one thinks a new anti-Brexit party could offer that the Liberal Democrats aren’t already offering. Normally when there is speculation about new political parties it’s because there is a chunk of the electorate who support a political viewpoint that no party is representing – UKIP wanted to leave the EU when no other party did, the Greens offered an emphasis on the environment and anti-austerity that the other parties weren’t. We don’t have to ask hypothetical polling questions about how people would vote if there was a centrist, liberal, pro-European party standing…we already have a perfectly serviceable party of that description and they got 8% of the vote at the general election.

Ah, you might say, but this new party wouldn’t have the baggage of coalition that the Lib Dems have. Or it would have a better known and more substantial leader than Tim Farron. That may or may not be true, depending on who ended up being involved -serious political figures like Tony Blair or George Osborne would bring their own baggage. On the other hand, a new party wouldn’t have the local government or organisational base that the Liberal Democrats do.

The real difference between a new anti-Brexit party and the Liberal Democrats would be the political context and narrative. It is this that makes it impossible to predict from polling how any such party would do. If a party was set up by a couple of whohe’s it would likely sink without trace – if one looks through the register of political parties at the Electoral Commission you’ll find several new parties set up as pro-EU vehicles, and that none have had any impact. In contrast were twenty Conservative MPs and twenty Labour MPs to defect and form a new party, it would create a huge media buzz, there would be a lot of fuss and attention (needless to say, it would also deprive the government of a majority) and that would give it the potential to get a fair amount of support.

In judging these sort of hypothetical questions, I always look back to the polls we used to see in the final months of the Blair government, asking people how they would vote if Gordon Brown was leader. They would invariably show that Labour would perform less well under Gordon Brown. In the fullness of time Brown did take over, and Labour shot into a double digit lead as all the newspapers treated Brown like the second coming. The problem with those pre-Brown polls was that people couldn’t predict that wave of excitement and positive media coverage, couldn’t predict how they would react to it. Given the right people and media coverage, a new party could succeed to some degree (certainly the currently arithmetic in the Commons would make it comparatively easy for a party with Conservative defectors within it to make an impact). Whether it could be successful enough to actually retain or win seats and have a long term future is an entirely different matter – FPTP does not forgive smaller parties without concentrated support, the anti-Conservative vote is already split and the most pro-remain areas tend to be held by Labour.

In short, it could work in terms of upsetting the current narrative if not necessarily in electoral terms… or it could fall flat, but treat any polling questions asking how you would vote if X party existed with a huge pinch of salt. Without the context of the people involved and the political narrative around it, they simply aren’t good predictors.


699 Responses to “A new centrist party?”

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  1. PeterW:
    You make the same mistake as Oldnat of assuming ignorance of the difference between GB and the UK. It was the condescending rant that provoked my yawn. I’m well aware of the differences and neither of you will win people over to your cause by patronising and telling off when instead a simple ‘you all know better than to mistake these so I’d really appreciate the effort’.

    I agree the sloppiness is a problem. But of course, it’s something the whole language suffers from – for example in its use of British as a nationality rather than, what, UKish?

  2. @S thomas

    Much as I enjoy your posts I would have more sympathy of your approach that….

    ‘it is the duty of both Tory and Labour achieve the best possible result from Brexit’

    if following the financial crash the Tories had said

    ‘Actually we recognise that the crash wasn’t all Labour’s fault, so we will work with them to sort things out’

    It just doesn’t work like that in politics.

  3. Pete B:
    Obviously any issue amongst the Muslim community pales into total insignificance against the level of child rape by Christians and especially Catholics. But then, of course, we all openly talk about the Christian paedophile problem, and none of the parents among us would presumably be stupid enough to leave our children alone with Christians?

  4. smileyben

    “UKish”

    I made the same point about the same, repeated criticisms using UKexit instead of BRexit.

    One could say “cool” in it’s current usage is “sloppy” but, if we understand the meaning, within the context, then who gives a toss?

    “Britain” is a common, understandable sort of slang and we all know what is meant when we say it, read it, write it or hear it. It’s use is – as yet – not a criminal offence.

  5. Paul Croft:
    I have to agree with the Oldnat’s campaign to the extent that language does matter and, as much as we understand, it may have a gradual effect making people forget about the non-British concerns. I just think being condescending and acting like people are unaware of these differences is hardly going to persuade people to your cause.

  6. Smileyben: ” To think we’ve just lain down and let the other 27 walk all over us is to believe that the UK is utterly pathetic.’

    Somerjohn
    Quite. I can’t believe TOH holds his country in such low esteem. This continual negativity is so boring. I’m off to tend my wood.

    The pathetic thing here is that neither of you can see what has happened in Europe over the last 40 years.

    I have great faith in the UK which is why I think we will prosper outside the EU. You on the other hand seem to think we need to be inside a German dominated organisation to survive. How pathetic is that?

    As to negativity it all comes from Remainers. I am very positive about our future outside the EU.

  7. CARFREW

    If you still out there (I haven’t seen much from you recently), I hoped you enjoyed the English batting yesterday. The Windies bowled poorly and we took full advantage. Hopefully we will bat long and win by an innings.

  8. TOH:
    Maybe try reading back your own post. Out loud might help. The negativity is entirely yours.

    Neither Somerjohn nor I have said we need to be inside a German-dominated organisation to succeed. Of course the UK will do fine if we leave the EU. It’s just that we’ve been doing very well inside an organisation where we have influence and respect.

    You, on the other hand, are committed to the notion that we can’t hold our own amongst a group of 28 nations.

  9. SMILEYBEN

    As I say, you clearly do not understand what has happened in Europe over the last 40 years and what is likely to happen in the future. If you cannot see that the EU is dominated by Germany then we live on different planets. As to negativity just read the pages and pages of totally negative stuff about Britains future from Remainers since we voted to leave the EU.

    However I am glad to see that you agree with my own views when you say:-

    “Of course the UK will do fine if we leave the EU.”

    Well we are leaving the EU and we will do fine. Somerjohn thinks it will be a disaster for the UK if we leave the EU so you are wrong about his views.

    As I say I am very positive about our future, so calling me negative is just rather daft.

  10. “SMILEYBEN
    Paul Croft:
    I have to agree with the Oldnat’s campaign to the extent that language does matter and, as much as we understand, it may have a gradual effect making people forget about the non-British concerns. I just think being condescending and acting like people are unaware of these differences is hardly going to persuade people to your cause.”

    Agreed. I am actually passionate about language and it saddens me that [at a guess] we seem to be reducing the variety and richness of the English language right now.

    But some words are easy to use codes for what we mean and, in typical usage, pretty much everybody else understands – even though they are not what we might use at a conference on the development of the United Kingdom.

  11. TOH

    “As I say, you clearly do not understand what has happened in Europe over the last 40 years and what is likely to happen in the future. If you cannot see that the EU is dominated by Germany then we live on different planets”

    It seems very strange to me that this great country of ours that is going to dominate the world once we leave the EU can’t even dominate the EU and have let Germany dominate it instead. Have you stopped to wonder why that might be?

  12. TOH

    My own guess is that – as in the way Germany developed with amazing speed after the second world war – they will still be the dominant country in Europe after we leave the EU.

    And I include the UK within that comparison. Germany, to put it very simply, just seem better at this stuff and, just as being “in” didn’t contribute to the differences between our two countries, being “out” won’t change it either.

    Similarly, were Germany to leave the EU, they would still be just as “dominant” – which probably means the EU are actually very fortunate to have them as a member.

  13. EU “is” I should have rit.

  14. TOH:
    Believe it or not, somewhere along the line I gathered that you think we’ll do well outside the EU. I’m observant like that. My point is that you think up to now we’ve been walked all over, and I really don’t see you disputing that.

    The entire Leave campaign, it now strikes me, was based in talking down the UK. We’ve had human rights forced on us (though we actually authored the act); we pay £350m a week to the EU (forgetting your beloved Maggie wasn’t a doormat and negotiated a whopping great rebate); etc. etc.

    It’s not daft to point out that you have this narrative in your head that a couple of decades after we beat the Nazis, successive governments bent over and allowed Germany to pummel us into submission. Not much bulldog spirit coming from you, poodle. ;-)

  15. PETERW

    I didn’t say “most”.

    “Most” crimes of paedoplilia involve thousands of solitary people viewing material online via international cyber networks ..

    I was referring to the list of convicted rapists of young white girls in these 9 British towns/cities:-

    Newcastle
    Keighley
    Rotherham
    Rochdale
    Peterborough
    Aylesbury
    Oxford
    Bristol.

    There are common features-organised groups of men grooming young white girls on the streets of those places with drugs & alcohol , preparatory to systematic, repeated sexual abuse of their victims.

    You will find the long list of the convicted online in local newspaper reports. And then you will see that most of them are from Pakistan, along with others from Asian & North African countries.

    I see that Mr Corbyn has , predictably , elided this phenomenon in UK with all crime in order not to address the real issue in those cases.

    Trump like construction of evasive equivalence & whataboutery doesn’t help the victims-either those we know about , or those as yet unknown.

  16. SMILEYBEN

    @” But then, of course, we all openly talk about the Christian paedophile problem, ”

    Precisely -and more importantly , the organisation involved is tearing itself apart publicly, trying to root out this culture among some of its priests.

    And what is so interesting to observe is that the key impediment to doing so & securing prison sentences for the perpetrators , is shared by the Catholic Church , and the Public Authorities in our 9 cities.

    And that is a first instinct to protect the “Authority” from criticism by silence or cover up. This takes priority over victim protection.

    And so brave individuals , in both instances , have to face resistance & vilification in order to get something done for the victims.

  17. TOH: “As to negativity it all comes from Remainers. I am very positive about our future outside the EU.”

    You really don’t do logic, do you TOH?

    You – and many pro-brexit posters here – are negative about the prospects for the UK if we remain in the EU

    I – and many anti-brexit posters here – am negative about the prospects for the UK if we leave the EU.

    Ergo, there is negativity on both sides. Just about different visions of the future.

    So, your statement that “As to negativity it all comes from Remainers” is demonstrably false.

    The problem lies in your definition of negativity. You see it not as a neutral concept, applicable to any belief that something will not succeed. Instead, you appear to see it as applying only to disagreement with your rosy vision of a post-brexit future.

    You don’t appear to see your profoundly pessimistic assessment of the UK’s ability to hold its own and prosper in the EU as negative. Whereas to me – and others – it represents a clear lack of faith in your country’s qualities.

    And we come back to my original question: if you don’t believe we can stand up for ourselves in Europe, how are we going to cope with the real tigers out there – China and the USA?

  18. Somerjohn:
    Agreed about asymmetry of TOH’s view.

    A difference I would like to point out, though, is that while you (and if I’m honest I) think leaving the EU is likely to be detrimental, we’re, I’m assuming, both willing to be very pleasantly surprised if it turns out to be a great success.

    But TOH’s negativity isn’t about the somewhat unpredictable future: he’s clear that we’ve ALREADY been a totally useless failure over the last forty years.

    “I’m going to win the lottery next week” versus “I’ve not yet paid off my million pound mortgage because – poor me – I’ve never got a promotion”

  19. SMILEYBEN

    Well, well, so your another of these people who has to add silly comments to try and make a point. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are very young and will grow out of it eventually.

    You say ” that you think up to now we’ve been walked all over, and I really don’t see you disputing that.”

    Nowhere have I said thatand I do dispute it. What I did say is that the EU is German dominated and increasingly so. If you cannot see that then as I posted we live on different planets. I agree we have held our own reasonably well in the EU and Maggie did well getting a rebate but I don’t want to be in the EU, I want the UK to become a truly sovereign state again, which I would suggest, to use your own words very “bulldog spirited” of me. I have waited 43 years to leave and am very happy that we are doing so.

  20. Somerjohn

    “You – and many pro-brexit posters here – are negative about the prospects for the UK if we remain in the EU”

    Yes because i think the EU will fail and the breakup could well lead to bloodshed as i have told you many times in the past. I suggest it’s you that doesn’t think clearly.

  21. @ Paul Croft

    “My own guess is that – as in the way Germany developed with amazing speed after the second world war – they will still be the dominant country in Europe after we leave the EU.”

    We can perhaps mostly agree that Germany is a dominant force in EU right now. What is more difficult to agree is whether that is a good thing or not.

    Clearly if Germany circa 1940s had succeeded in taking over Europe that would have been a bad thing. But we shouldn’t confuse that with the Germany of today. My own experience of Germany and Germans is that they are a very open and generous nation (which counts for a lot to me). For those more interested in economics, it seems that they have a very successful business and financial system. On top of that, I know several Germans who have a very good sense of humour.

    So should we really worry about Germans being so influencial in EU? Personally it doesn’t worry me, I could think of worse. And remember, it’s unlikely one country will be dominant forever, our own history tells us that as well as any.

  22. @Somerjohn – this is like Brexit as a poor X Factor candidate.

    If only they can believe in something hard enough, they are sure they can get it. Talent, ability, facts – these don’t matter. Just how much you believe.

  23. TRIGGUY
    Your post to Paul Croft

    “We can perhaps mostly agree that Germany is a dominant force in EU right now. What is more difficult to agree is whether that is a good thing or not.”

    Glad to see you agree that Germany is a dominent force in the EU. I can also agree with your third paragraph. I don’t have a problem with the Germans as a nation. There is much to admire.

  24. I knew a German Once.

  25. TOH: “Yes” (re my: “You – and many pro-brexit posters here – are negative about the prospects for the UK if we remain in the EU”)

    You accept your negativity.

    So you accept that your statement that “As to negativity it all comes from Remainers” is demonstrably false.

    QED

    As for: “I suggest it’s you that doesn’t think clearly.”

    Would you care to elucidate?

  26. TOH:
    It seems we’re now arguing semantics.

    I think we hold our own in the EU and therefore have significant influence in Europe and on the world stage.

    You think we dominate the EU with our manly prowess and therefore have spent 43 years being told what to do by the Germans.

  27. ALEC

    Good morning to you.

    There is an obvious reply to that facile post but i shall refrain as promised.

    Have a good day.

  28. SMILEYBEN

    You really have lost it or you didn’t read my post. I have never said that.

  29. TOH:
    Like I say, arguing semantics. You say potato, we say edible tuber.

  30. Paul Croft

    Pretty much in agreement. I look forward to the continued success of Germany in the decades to come. Of course they are going to be more powerful now that the UK has abdicated its own power within Europe. I suspect it will suffer from no lack of opportunities in the years ahead despite being “shackled by the EU”.

    Trigguy

    I suspect the only people who will have to worry are those directly competing with German companies. If they fail to compete, who will the blame shift to?

  31. TOH

    You still don’t seem to be able to explain how it is that this great country of ours, which will hold its own in the world, has allowed Germany to walk all over us in the EU. It does not bode well for life in the big bad world outside does it?

  32. jim jam

    should that read German Nonce:-)

  33. Somerjohn

    Your 10.11

    Fair comment, I withdraw that comment (““As to negativity it all comes from Remainers”) if that makes you happy.

    I agree I am very pessimistic about the EU’s future and you are very pessimistic about the UK’s future outside the EU. So we can agree we are both being negative.

    My comment was perhaps a little over the top and it would have been better if I had said something along the lines of “both sides in the Brexit debate are negative about the others position and this does not make for interesting an dialogue”.

    Perhaps we can agree on that?

    I look forward to some polling to discuss.

  34. SMILEYBEN

    I can agree on that, when I say potato I mean potato.

    Have a nice day, off to the allotments and then cricket to enjoy later.

    :-)

    Norbold

    I dont have to as I never said it. Try reading the posts.

  35. Perhaps my reference is to the Reluctant Fundamentalist was too esoteric?

  36. I think the problem with this exchange is that people are starting from entirely different premises and so are reaching entirely different conclusions.

    I don’t see any point in either side trying to discuss things as they are speaking a different language to each other.

    If you start from the premises that we’ve been completely subjugated for the last 43 years by an institution that is been on the point of breakup for these 43 years you will arrive at a different conclusion than that if you start from a premise that we were a constructive member of an institution and played a large part in setting the rules of the institution.

    Clearly the UK is entirely divided on this and there is no way for the situation to resolve itself as there is no way for the sides to communicate without a common language. Where one side sees red the other side see blue and no matter how one side tries to describe “Red” the other side has no means to comprehend.

    This is largely why I feel the UK will remain divided for a long time to come.

  37. TOH: ” “both sides in the Brexit debate are negative about the others position and this does not make for interesting an dialogue”.

    Perhaps we can agree on that?

    Good to see some agreement. But actually the answer is yes and no: I think there’s no reason why a debate between opposite negative positions cannot be interesting and informative for both sides. And you could equally frame it as a debate between opposing positive positions – mine on the EU as, on balance, a force for good in Europe, and yours on the UK’s rosy post-brexit prospects.

    That latter point is why I’ve tried on many occasions to get brexiters to make the case for why they anticipate that rosy future. But those appeals don’t seem to produce anything beyond hopes and belief.

  38. Oh look, we’ve descended into a Brexit slap-fest again.

    Anyone have any thoughts on Moggmentum? I think he’s going to run.

  39. Barny:
    Moggmentum: I’m sure Labourites are all hoping that he will run. But Tories hoping Corbyn would win is a cautionary tale, no?

  40. Alan:
    While, yes, there is a difference in perception, surely there could be some truth in one of these positions?

    If I claimed, for example, that the UK has a vast influence over North Korean affairs, I’m pretty certain that would be wrong. If I said my local council collects money from local businesses to pay for Christmas lights, I’d be right. I could easily have the opposite perception of each.

  41. @SmileyBen

    They could make the debates pay per view and clear the national debt in a stroke.

  42. SmileyBen

    I’m not sure there is an “objective truth” apart from listing every action that the EU has taken to define what being a member of the EU has meant.

    The minute you try to summarise, there is going to be an element of interpretation.

    I still maintain it is impossible to convince those who see five fingers to see otherwise. The nation is divided between those who see four fingers and five fingers and the only thing which will resolve this will be attrition rather than reasoned argument.

  43. Colin

    *I was referring to the list of convicted rapists of young white girls in these 9 British towns/cities:-”

    What makes you sure all the victims were “white” girls – and why does that matter to you so much?

    Smells of the old White Slave Trade moral panic. Personally, the suggestion that Muslim/Pakistani men are a danger to “young white” girls seems a straightforwardly racist one to me.

  44. Alan:
    The difficulty is knowing whether it’s different interpretations of the facts, or whether one side believes things which are simply myths… I’m not certain myself.

  45. Why are those Young Girls so ripe for exploitation in the first place is where I would start any policy considerations.

  46. Re: Moggmentum.

    Speaking as a former Tory member, my honest view is that he will run. But he won’t win, or even come in the top two, for the simple reason that MPs nominate who gets to run in the contest, and he wouldn’t get sufficient support from MPs to make it through. However, I think he will run because doing so will probably get him into the Cabinet, so it’s a win/win for him.

    But if he were to be leader, I don’t think there would be a ‘Mogg effect’ electorally, at least not a positive one. I just don’t think there’s a gap in the market for his views. The authoritarian, reactionary right is well represented in the political sphere in a way that socialism hadn’t been for years. sphere. For Corbyn, there were a lot of younger people he could potentially motivate to vote who otherwise wouldn’t. Can anyone tell me who these voters are, who aren’t currently voting Tory, that would be enthused to vote Tory because of him? Bearing in mind turnout is very high amongst older people anyway.

    Let’s face it, the type of person enthused by Mogg is already voting Tory, whereas a great number of those enthused by Corbyn simply did not vote (mostly young people).

    That said, as a current Labour member, the experience of Corbyn still slightly scares me in the sense that we don’t necessarily know what might happen under him – given Labour’s better than expected loss in 2017 (which ultimately was still a loss, remember). But it’s worth noting that the situations aren’t the same – Corbyn was leading Labour as a party in opposition. Mogg, on the other hand, would be PM, with no ministerial experience whatsoever, and without being road-tested in opposition, or gaining any skills from being e.g. leader of the opposition (Corbyn, for example, has clearly learned a lot in the last few years and has evolved into an effective leader).

    If Mogg has a first year even half as bad as Corbyn’s, he would be gone long before that year would be up, and it might well lead to a major split in the Tory party – several MPs have already said they would leave the party in the event of him becoming PM.

    On the whole, I think it’s pretty suicidal if the party did somehow elect him – and if it was down to the membership from the start, I think he would win (I still maintain that had she not dropped out, Leadsom and not May would have become PM since the membership much preferred her). But thankfully for Tory MPs, they can, and will, prevent this from being a possibility.

  47. I’m interested in the concept of German domination of the EU (or Europe).

    I can accept that the most populous and economically successful country in Europe will naturally carry a lot of clout.

    And that other Europeans are understandably wary when confronted with Germany’s history of great technological and scientific brilliance; of great military prowess; of general all-round competence; and a distinctly scary track record of applying those advantages to the detriment of its neighbours and its own citizens.

    But where I fail to follow the logic is in assuming that Germany’s current role is of dominance. For me, dominance means forcing others to do your will; throwing your weight around

    And yet the post WW2 history of Germany surely demonstrates exactly the opposite. It learnt well that domination is no long term recipe for success (as we also discovered with the end of Empire). Instead, it willingly accepted the constraints of the democratic, legalistic pan-European construct that became the EU. Indeed, the EC&SC that was the first step on that road was specifically designed to remove Germany’s ability to wage war. The unruly giant willingly submitted to those bounds.

    It could by now have been so very different. In a Europe of separate, competing nations, Germany would indeed surely be dominant by now. It could have nuclear weapons, by far the largest and most effective armed forces, and submit all the nations of Europe to its will.

    But it hasn’t, and doesn’t. Instead, it’s a model citizen, showing astonishing circumspection and restraint. Yes, as the biggest funder of other European countries it likes a big say in how that money is spent. Hence its misguided (in my view – presumably not in TOH’s) emphasis on austerity and financial discipline. And to an extent, he who pays the piper naturally calls the tune.

    But what baffles me is those who combine a fear of a resurgent, dominant Germany, with a desire to see the end of the very mechanism that limits that domination, and puts Germany’s huge success to work for the common European good.

    To turn our back on that, is to shirk our role in keeping our continent safe and prosperous.

  48. The debate about grooming is somewhat depressing, in that it repeats an oft-repeated past failing – that is, the unwillingness to accept that a specific culture can promote or enable abuse or social failure.

    We see this in the acceptance of child sex abuse in various churches, the appalling treatment of young girls of all races by a small minority of men from Muslim backgrounds, the continuing poor educational performance of white DE children, or the very high rate of child abandonment by men from a west African background, or even sexual abuse by men in high-standing positions within the media.

    Without real care, considering these problems these can become a stick to beat a particular group with – priests, Nigerians, Muslims, benefit claimants. But without acknowledging the problem and its cultural affiliations, it can’t be addressed successfully.

    And it is very easy for these issues to be used by people with a malign agenda to condemn the whole of the group involved, ignoring the reality that it is almost inevitably a very small minority that are responsible.

    So we keep swinging back and forth between ignoring issues for fear of causing offence/challenging power, and broad-brush condemnations of entire groups for the sins of a few.

    As I said, depressing…

  49. Jim Jam
    You are close to the heart of things, each of those girls will in all probability have been assessed, at some point as having made an informed choice about the company they were keeping. The law becomes very grey the closer to 16 you get. Similar to the way in which Diversion At The Point Of Arrest (DAPO)works to keep certain types of vulnerable adults from clogging up the courts.
    Where’s our resident expert on this kind of thing, Neil A, when you need him?

  50. Alan

    Your 10.39.

    “I don’t see any point in either side trying to discuss things as they are speaking a different language to each other.”

    I think that is a very sensible post and I agree, we have fundamentally different beliefs, and visions of the future. That is why I and many others including yourself I suspect have found the last few months here so tedious to a degree.

    “This is largely why I feel the UK will remain divided for a long time to come”.

    I agree, although if Brexit proves to be an obvious success, then many will lose interest and divisions will reduce, although I agree there will be a hard core of Remainers who will argue for us to rejoin the EU at some time in the future
    .
    Somerjohn

    Yes, it is good to agree on something, but see my comments to Alan above, I see no point in the discussion you suggest because this would then become a debating society which it is not. People are bored enough already and many have left us.

    Analyst

    I agree with you about Mogg for all the reasons you have given, although I really like what I know of the man.

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