The quiet summer rolls on – for once we have a proper silly season with barely any domestic political news. I’m off for the next week, so won’t be updating even if there are any chunky polls to write about. In the meantime Opinium released their regular voting intention poll last night, which continued to show a small Labour lead – CON 40%, LAB 43%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 4%. Full tabs are here.

795 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 40, LAB 43, LDEM 6”

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  1. I think it’s time some peeps organised a search for CARFREW – perhaps in the thorium mines, storage containers or summat.

    He’s prolly okay but – of course – it is definitely a bit of a concern…


    Yep-even Einstein.

    But they just change a constant or two -and Bob’s your Uncle.


    The political scene in Scotland looks very interesting. I know there are only cross breaks to go on but it’s probably safe to assume Labour have made quite a modest recovery in Westminster terms and the Tories may have slipped back a bit.

    The SNP will probably still be ahead for Westminster VI but will be polling less than the 39% at the last election.

    It’s too early to say but if Labour south of the border can get it’s act together and resonate with Scottish voters then we could be looking at split ticket voting again…SNP for Holyrood and Labour for Westminster.

    It’s fair to say…The independence and Brexit referendums have
    totally turned Scottish politics upside down.


    I hope he is wrong about this too!:-

    His prediction of the time we have left has fallen from 1000 years to 100 years -in 6 months. At this rate there won’t be a GE in 2022

    If my simple maths is correct & his prediction changes at a constant rate we will all disappear just as UK leaves the EU in 2019.

    Seems a shame-all that work & effort.

    Still-ECJ wouldn’t survive either so that’s something.

    Unless they have a different “constant” of course. Judges always win.

    But they won’t have anything to pronounce on so-Ha !

  5. COLIN

    I’m all geared up for Hawking’s doomsday prediction. Started my survival prepping a few years back and have been attending SAS survival training camps in the Hampshire Downs. ;-)

  6. COLIN

    So it’s definite then? England will only win the World Cup [or wurruld cup as we say in Scotland] once?

    Actually it’s been pretty definite for quite a while now. Why can’t we have foreign players like wot the others do is what I want to know?

    It seems a bit unfair to me that they get to pick all the gudduns.

  7. ALLAN

    Well done-but remember that Hawking says you will have to leave the planet to survive.

    So knowing how to live in a hole in the ground & eat woodlice won’t really help.

    Have the SAS got a training camp on personalised critical exit velocity?


    Looks like it-.

    50,000 years of hurt!-Footbah’s nay cummin haem -ever.

  9. Colin

    If the increase in seismic activity in Yellowstone park is a warning sign then we might indeed not make it to 2022. According to scientists it blows up every 600,000 years and it’s 600,000 years since it last blew up. But what do they know?

    They have these ridiculous ideas that if it blows the western half of the US will be buried under 10 feet of ash or some nonsense like that. They predict also that all the soot and ash in the air will block out the sunlight solving global warming and then some. They reckon it would be two years before we could get a reasonable growing season again so a lot of us would die of starvation!

    Thank God they are all full of Biloxi#

  10. COLIN

    Maybe s peppers guide to surviving on the moon would be more appropriate.
    Have the SAS got a training camp on personalised critical exit velocity

    That comes in next weeks training camp..This weeks camp is all about filtering water for safe drinking using a dishcloth and charcoal.

  11. Tony Ebert

    I was very specific about who I was calling appeasers. Those who are prepared to see the ECJ have supremacy over the internal matters of the UK such as how we deal with immigrants from the EU and people from the EU living in the UK. I was not saying that about all who want to Remain.


    As I say you are entitled to your opinion. I think my posts entirely rational, it’s just that you don’t like them. I have already said what I think of your posts, so I don’t need to repeat myself.

    Pete B

    Your 12.01. Nicely put you saved me the trouble. I think your last sentence is incorrect though. No doubt the Poles are happy with EU attempted interference in the Polish legal system.


    “As always, in your view, the EU id damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t.”

    Not at all, the conflict could probably be avoided if the EU reformed, abandoning the Euro and its four principles and becoming just a free trade area. I might even want to be part of that.


    “Can’t help thinking that a lot of Brexiteers are at base re-fighting WW2, in their heads at least.”

    That could not be further from the truth. One of the many reasons I want out of the EU is to avoid UK involvement in future wars in Europe resulting from the acrimonious breakup of the EU.

  12. TOH: ” if the EU reformed, abandoning the Euro and its four principles and becoming just a free trade area. I might even want to be part of that.”

    So, a free trade area without free movement in goods, capital, services or people?

    You do have some funny ideas.

    And exactly how trade between the 19 EZ members would be made easier by operating in 19 different currencies instead of one isn’t clear to me.

  13. ALLAN

    Well that will help.


    Hawking is right. It is only a matter of time. Be it a Caldera Volcano like Yellowstone, or a major Meteor impact.

    Whether humanity would be destroyed completely-I’m not so sure. All the Great Extinction events have seen survivors -or we wouldn’t be here now.

    But we won’t be worrying about Opinion Polls-that’s for sure.


    Some scientists do come out with some quite spectacular predictions but this one is a little closer to home and is a real threat.

    A wave higher than Nelson’s Column and travelling faster than a jet aircraft will devastate the eastern seaboard of America and inundate much of southern Britain, say scientists who have analysed the effects of a future volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands.

    A massive slab of rock twice the volume of the Isle of Man would break away from the island of La Palma and smash into the Atlantic Ocean to cause a tsunami – a monster wave – bigger than any recorded, the scientists warned yesterday.

    Most of the wave’s energy, equivalent to the combined output of America’s power stations for six months, would travel westwards to the American coast but enough would be flicked north towards the English Channel to cause catastrophic coastal damage.

    A computer model has been designed to show the way the tsunami will build after the volcano, called Cumbre Vieja, erupts on La Palma, at the western end of the Spanish island chain. It describes the almost unimaginable scale of an event that the scientists say could happen at any time within the foreseeable future.

    “We’re looking at an event that could be decades or a century away – but there will be a degree of warning beforehand,” said Simon Day, of the Benfield Greg Hazard Reseach Centre at Univeristy College London

    Who knows…them pesky North Koreans could target the volcano with their ding,-dong- supreme leader anti imperialist missiles and help the volcano collapse into the sea.

  15. @TOH

    Thinking a bit more about your contention that multiple currencies are better than one, we could put it to the test.

    Let’s set up separate currencies for England, Scotland, Wales and NI, and let them float against each other.

    Further, let’s allow each of the polities to set its own interest rates, and to borrow freely on world markets.

    You could make a reasonable economic case for that. But most of us would think it simpler to operate with a single currency.

  16. Paula Thomas

    While quantum computing might lead to being able to solve many small but “hard” problems such as encryption, there is no reason to fear them becoming self aware while trying to solve an encryption problem.

    Quantum computing allows for nondeterministic polynomial time problems to be searched in polynomial time by searching the problem space simultaneously. I don’t agree that a quantum computer when programmed to solve an optimisation problem will risk producing the result “Invade Moscow!”

    AI will cause an upheaval in the jobs market, but they are not going to look to replace us as a species.

    I guess it will all depend how robustly the “Three Laws” can be enforced!

  17. Somerjohn

    Yes I agree my 1.33 post to you was a bit naff. I over reacted to your earlier comment and of course I really cannot ever me wanting to be part of the EU. My original point remains though, that the direction the EU is heading in is likelt to lead to its break up and that break up could be very acrimonious.

  18. Alan and Paula,

    I read recently that virtual particles in semiconductors may provide a way to manipulate qubits, I was pleased as a Asimov fan that they are called positrons.

    We can only hope the three laws follow too.

  19. Is the EU beginning to find that theUK is not Greece after all and that it is them and not the UK that is bereft of ideas now brexit is underway.
    Is it not time for the EU to say what exactly is “progress ” before trade talks or perhaps it is, as we cynics have been saying, all about the money.

    1. what are the EU proposals for Ireland?
    2 what are the EU proposals for UK citizens living in europe?
    3. What is the uK legal liability for payments to the EU?

    surely one cannot judge progress unless one has a yardstick to measure it against?

  20. Toby Ebert,

    “No-one on this site is calling you names so I suggest a more civilised approach from you in future.”

    To be fair I have on occasions, called him a “Little Englander” much to his displeasure!!!!

    However when he comes away with posts like todays, I am inclined to see it as an accurate description even if he doesn’t like it.


  21. MarkW

    A positron is not a virtual particle but the antimatter counterpart to the electron. (positive electron). It’s a real particle with mass momentum, angular momentum etc. Unfortunately in our matter dominated world, they tend to be short lived!

    Quantum entanglement is used in quantum computing so a electron positron pair would provide a means to producing this effect.

  22. S Thomas,

    “1. what are the EU proposals for Ireland?”

    Leave it as it is by agreeing to keep EU rules and external tariffs.

    2 what are the EU proposals for UK citizens living in europe?

    They have exactly the rights they have now and that EU nationals in Britain have the same, including freedom to for work or residence.

    3. What is the uK legal liability for payments to the EU?

    To pay for our share of the cost of all the programmes that they EU has currently agreed to for the duration of the projects.

    They have been clear from day 1 and they are sticking to them.

    To all intents and purposes the EU wants the post membership deal to be as close as possible to actual membership including making contributions, but with no say on decisions… The Norway model.

    Haven’t you been following any of this???


  23. The issue with AI is the ability of a system to make autonomous decisions without a man in the loop.

    We already have defensive electronics on ships that automatically respond to a threat with countermeasures because , with thinks like hypersonic cruise missiles or caveatting torpedoes the crew can’t respond in time.

    AI adds the ability to make judgements about threats without human intervention and many feel that is a dangerous step.

    it’s not about Robots taking over the world, it’s about them becoming our generals.

    Having said that looking at the aftermath of the Invasion of Iraq, we might have been better handing over reconstruction to an Atari!!!!!


  24. S THOMAS

    THe layers of EU decision making are not going to help UK get things moving quickly.

    This is one the Council’s lesser lights-not looking good is it?

  25. @ Paul Croft

    The fact remains that under Corbyn the Labour Party has made progress, and continues to improve in the opinion polls. according to Opinium, the lead is now 43-40. Sure, we don’t know how that will translate in a GE, but I can bet that only one of the party leaders would welcome a GE any time soon.

    Corbyn would be happy to contest another GE before the end of the year.

    May will be fighting tooth and nail to avoid one.

    It seems the Tories are running scared at the prospect of another GE, because they know they will lose more seats.

  26. S Thomas

    The UK and Greece are exactly the same, we have the same growth in wages at a stunning -13%

  27. Peter Cairns

    That’s down to a choice as to how AI is deployed. If you choose it to be autonomous then you had best do it in situations where the cost of a “mistake” is small.

    It’s easy to envisage the use of AI as a method to detect needles in haystacks with independent confirmation of the fact it is a needle.

    I agree that fully autonomous weapon systems are a bad idea as ultimately there is no accountability for a mistake. As an early warning system (funny thing about supersonic misslies, they have a very large signature and are pretty easy to target) they certainly have a role to play.

    I feel that talking about autonomous weapon systems in regard to AI is largely a red herring (apart from the “We shouldn’t go down this route” as the systems aren’t perfect and it’s very difficult to understand why a mistake was made and then correct it). It’s what AI can do to benefit society which is far more of interest to me.

  28. Alan, yes I know what a positron is, but iirc in this context they were referring to electron holes creating virtual particles they referred to as positrons.

    When it comes to AI it is more likely to evolve from new ways of using current computing hardware like asynchronous computing using neural networks.

  29. MarkW

    I’ve always just known those as “Holes”! Totally different beast to a positron and if people are using the same name for both I can see that might be a little confusing.

    They are a very old concept going as far back as Dirac and are pretty much the foundation of semiconductor devices.

  30. Alan, I am not an expert, and it really is an ‘iirc’. ;-)

    I think the holes and the electrons showed entanglement, and I agree the name they used for their virtual particle ( iirc) is confusing.

  31. PeterCairns (SP)

    yes how silly of me they have overlooked the referendum. It is not surprising as they have ignored or overridden every other past referendum so why should the UK be different.

    So for “progress” we should read no movement from the status quo. So “progress “which implies movement should in euro speak mean no movement away from what there is now. Any deviation from what exists is by definition lack of progress. so every proposal from the UK government takes us further away from progress unless it proposes the status quo which is the definition of “progress”

    Apparently we pay their pensions while they think this up

  32. MarkW

    Particularly confusing when talking about quantum entanglement as an electron positron pair can also demonstrate entanglement.

    I’d have to read up on electron-hole entanglement as it seems a little less intuitive. How do you define of measure the spin of “no electron”? It’s a bit like saying “I don’t have an elephant and it’s pink”.

  33. Colin: “THe layers of EU decision making are not going to help UK get things moving quickly.”

    Damned democracy, eh? Our elective dictatorship is so much easier…

  34. The break up of the EU..

    Well although I voted for Brexit and later regrexit (is that a word?) I do believe over time the EU will eventually break up or as I hope, totally reform it self.

    The EU as a single entity is the largest economy in the World and as a nation we have lots to loose out on if we continue down this little England approach whenever we talk to the EU and get up their backs.

    We’re not as important to the EU as we make out ourselves to be and our economy in relative terms to the EU is equivalent of that between Scotland and England.

    Food for thought…

  35. somerjohn

    spot on there. Theresa May -what an elected dictator! she can do what she wants when she wants to. Take big Ben and the bongs.
    And that Junkers he was surely elected… someone…. .No matter he is, because he is European, by definition a democrat due to Europe’s long history of committment to democracy as evidenced by…well.. as evidenced.

  36. Separate currencies for the home nations!!

    It already exists…Whenever I visit the old country I’m always having to get rid of my Scottish notes before heading back south. Anything south of Carlisle will stick its snooty snotty nose up at Scottish bank notes.

  37. Alan, on thin ice now, I think an electron hole in a semiconductor can have similar quantum effects to a positron, hence it is was called a virtual positron.

  38. Markw

    Do the positrons have a view about brexit?

  39. S Thomas

    They are distinctly positive (although have the tendency to vanish in a puff of smoke when brought into contact with reality).

  40. Alan, very funny.

  41. alan

    they are certainly not remainers then !

  42. Google shut down two computers in one of their many AI projects as they started to talk to each other in a language that their human minders could not decipher.

  43. S Thomas,

    “yes how silly of me they have overlooked the referendum. It is not surprising as they have ignored or overridden every other past referendum so why should the UK be different.”

    Extremely silly, but then at least your consistent!

    We did vote to leave and the EU respects that. but as many here have pointed out we were never clear and what exactly we wanted afterwards other than being out.

    The EU is perfectly entitled to put forward what it thinks the preferred solution is. It’s came to that conclusion at it’s first meeting less than a month after the referendum, it hasn’t changed and frankly over a year later it’s still a lot clearer than that of the UK Government.

    As to “Overriding” past referendum. In every case the Government of the rejecting country has gone to the EU and requested changes, changes have been made and the new treaty has been presented to the people of that Country.

    Denmark held two referendums of the revised Maastricht treaty and it was the people of the Country who finally decided to agree it in a democratic vote.

    How many votes on Maastricht did the UK Government give people here?

    Damned Johnny Foreigner and the dastardly undemocratic EU, asking the people….we’ll have none of that nonsense here!


  44. LASZLO

    Not because of any concern but because the “feedback loop” of optimising a round trip of message plus response ended up becoming more efficient than using the standard English sentence structures.

    Ultimately it was a curious but uninteresting result.

  45. s thomas

    “we pay their pensions”

    The “their” is just so typical of people like you.

    “They” also pay “ours” of course, and will presumably have to continue paying UKIP ex-mep’,s such as Farage, for a very long time.

  46. Alan Christie
    “We’re not as important to the EU as we make out ourselves to be and our economy in relative terms to the EU is equivalent of that between Scotland and England.”

    And what about the UK’s net contribution to the overall EU budget? Somewhat greater percentage than Scotland’s to the UK methinks.

    Anyway, I’ve had enough of Brexit discussion for now.

    P.S. Paul Croft – I never realised you were Scottish. You always seem quite reasonable and don’t bang on and on about polities and haggis etc.

  47. Peter Cairns

    The objection I have to you or anybody else calling me a Little Englander is simply because it is untrue.

    The Definition of Little Englander is (Oxford Dictionary): A person who opposes an international role or policy for England (or, in practice, for Britain).

    I want the UK to reach out and engage in trade deals with the whole World, whereas Remainers seem to want to remain constrained from doing that, within a EU which is declining in importance as a percentage of World Trade, expected to be 10% or less by 2050.

    I am proud of our role in the Security Council and NATO. In other words |I am the reverse of a Little Englander.

  48. Howard

    A big Englander?

  49. peter cairns (SP)

    woops sorry to have upset you.

    i dont recall the Eu ever holding a referendum. I must have missed it. First you complain that the silly electorate didnt know what they were voting for in the brexit referendum and then you complain that the government did not hold a referendum on Maastricht .So your position is that the uk is damned if it holds one and damned if it doesnt. Poor old Blighty
    stlll you are right. Europe can teach the uK a thing or two about democracy . Their track record is unblemished.

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