At midnight on Monday the Boundary Commissions release revised recommendations for the boundary review. A few notes to aid in understanding what it means.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, they are still pretty unlikely to happen. The Boundary Commissions are obliged by law to continue with the review, it doesn’t mean the government have the support to implement it. When the review produces its final recommendations next September the recommendations need to be approved by Parliament before coming into force. This would have been tricky for the Conservatives to do with a small majority (there were a few Tory MP threatening to rebel), it will be all the harder to do without a majority at all. They cannot currently rely upon the support of the DUP to push them through – the initial recommendations in Northern Ireland were very favourable to Sinn Fein, very unfavourable to the DUP, and the DUP were very critical of them. Of course, it’s possible the revised recommendations may be less offensive to the DUP, but we shall see – in that sense, probably the most interesting recommendations will be those for Ulster.

Two – this is not a new review, it’s a revised version of the one that started in the last Parliament. The current rules for the Boundary Commissions require them to deliver a review every five years, the fact that there has been an early election doesn’t affect this at all. The recommendations published today are based on the ones from last year, taking account of all the comments the Boundary Commissions recieved during their consultation period.

Three – they are still for 600 seats. There were reports in the press that the government were intending to scrap this review and start again with a new review based upon 650 seats. These reports have not been confirmed and at the moment the old 600 seat review is going ahead. Neither the Boundary Commissions or the government have the power to change the rules from 600 to 650 at will; it is set in law. If the government do want to change the rules and go back to a 650 seat review, they’ll need to get primary legislation through Parliament (and then the Boundary Commissions will have to start all over again).

Four – I will, as ever, seek to work out notional figures for what the 2017 election would have been on the proposed boundaries. That will, however, take a couple of days. I can tell you now that the changes will almost certainly favour the Conservatives, at least a little. This is not because the Boundary Commissions are partisan – they are resolutely and genuinely neutral. However, the pattern of population movement in Britain means that boundary reviews almost always favour the Conservatives. Generally speaking, the population in Northern inner cities (that tend to vote Labour) is falling relative to commuter areas in the South (that tend to vote Conservative). Therefore over time the electorate in the northern cities falls, the electorate in the home countries rises and we end up with Northern urban seats having lower electorates than Southern commuter ones. That means when boundary reviews take place, it tends to result in seats in northern cities being abolished and new seats in the south being created.

Fifth – MPs whose seats are “abolished” are not necessarily in any trouble. When boundary recommendations come out the first thing lots of people look for is big name MPs who appear to have lost their seats. It’s normally more complicated that that – parts of their seat will have gone into neighbouring seats and it will often be easily to work out a place for everyone to stand with a few retirements or peerages to help ease the way. While the reduction from 650 to 600 would make this review a little more challenging than usual, in the case of past reviews the vast majority of MPs who have seen their seats “abolished” have actually ended up staying on in a neighbouring seat. In short, Jeremy Corbyn is unlikely to struggle to find a Labour seat willing to take him.


1,017 Responses to “Some notes on tomorrow’s Boundary Review recommendations”

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  1. ANDREW111 wrote:

    “My understanding is that although there are four boundary commissions, it is not possible to simply postpone the NI part of the review, mainly because then the seats will not add up to 600. And removing even one seat from the rest of the UK would mean a full new review”.
    …………………………………………………………………………
    If I understand you to mean that the DUP will not have it, then I would bet on a full new review. People are protesting against abortion in biggish numbers this week (50th anniversary) and I never expect to see similar size protests for boundary changes.
    The Cabinet may think fewer seats in the contest will mean far fewer seats for Labour but I would not bet on anything in this volatile voter market. This was the year of Copeland by election defeat, yet Labour have bounced back in the polls. Is Hampshire NE safe for the Tories in 2018 ? A mere 29 000 majority.

  2. Jonathan S-B

    There is no sign of a BNP resurgence at the moment. UKIP are still much stronger than them.

    Meanwhile the Lib Dems got their best ever % vote in 2010 (the Alliance got 1% more in 1983), so there was no long term decline but instead a very sudden decline in 2010.

  3. Euro elections

    while we are obsessed with brexit the right are on the march in central and eastern europe. When one looks at the Czech result, the Austrian result and the German election.I am not familiar with their exact stance but they are usually anti-islam and anti-eu.
    Meanwhile on the southern front Rahoy continues to mismanage the Catalan issue.
    Trouble on 3 fronts for the EU.

  4. re. Young Labour voters.

    It is easy to confuse cheering crowds at pop festivals for a general love for Labour among young voters. Most young voters are still pretty disenaged from politics

    I know quite a few under 35 voters (my two children amongst them) who cast their vote for Labour as the best of a bad lot, and to try and stop May’s hard brexit.. They did not actually want a Labour government.. Mission accomplished, almost..

    It is true that Labour have by far the best support among young voters, currently, but in 2010 43% of under 25’s supported the Lib Dems before the disastrous Pledge breaking. In other words the under 35 vote is pretty fickle, and very sensitive to broken promises. If Labour get in government and break their promises, as Hollande was perceived as doing in France, young voters will abandon them if some credible alternative emerges. But for the next election, Labour have them in the bag

  5. ” Is Hampshire NE safe for the Tories in 2018 ? A mere 29 000 majority.”

    yes!

  6. The Telegraph is reporting that May has decided to make major concessions on UC.

  7. Even though I almost never listen to any Q’s these days, the combination of entirely self selecting audience and live broadcast has always offered the possibility, sadly all too rarely realised, that the wheels may come off at any moment.

    Any answers on the other hand has always seemed utterly sterile, with callers vetted mercilessly for what r4 deems to be balance, and whenever I have caught it seeming to mainly be a platform for people who are unused to being able to detect any light and shade in whatever topic they are getting over excited about at the time.

    If any Q’s were a sporting fixture, any As would be the half hour afterwards where blokes who used to kick a ball about before their knees gave way sit around stating the obvious and telling each other how they would have done it differently until the continuity announcer shuffles in to let them know it’s time to go home.

  8. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/oct/21/air-france-boss-uk-airline-must-accept-european-court-of-justice-rules

    This is an interesting news item and really does demonstrate that some of the red lines within Brexit are, in reality, certain to become blurred. Nowehere more so that the insistence that the UK has nothing to do with the ECJ.

    Leaving with no deal whatsoever will mean no flights between the UK and the EU27 – that is a simple matter of fact, as no airline operator will want to fly passengers without the legal permission to do so. This would be utterly catastrophic for Brexit supporters and Brexit, with instant revocation in the minds of millions of voters that Brexit is worthwhile if it means this time of disruption. It won’t happen – I think we can be clear on that.

    So there will be a deal on flights of some kind. If UK carriers want to continue to operate routes between EU27 countries, they will of course be subject to ECJ rules. The position of flights in and out of the UK to the EU27 is less clear cut, but here, even on a best case scenario for Brexiters, some flights originating in the EU27 would be under ECJ regulation, while those heading out from the UK might not be.

    In reality, as we see here, EU carriers are lobbying for a level playing field, which means all flights would fall under ECJ jurisdiction. Given the catastrphy facing the UK and UK based carriers if no deal is struck, the deal will be made, and it must be very likely to mean UK carriers have to observe ECJ regulations, and UK passengers would have the right to access redress through the ECJ.

    We start to see how porous the concept of national borders and legal jurisdictions become when faced with the complexity of modern economies. In the travel industry at least, UK businesses and individuals will still be governed by ECJ judgements, and it’s another example of how the Brexit certainties are actually much less certain than many assume.

  9. Meanwhile, if I might commit the indelicacy of interupting all the Brexit speculation with some polling on the matter, there is a new Opinium poll for the Observer, though I can’t find an article on it yet (no doubt they are still trrying to find a way of blaming it all on Corbyn) and Opinium’s own usually useful commentary is replaced simply with:

    Tables for our most recent Observer polling can be found here:
    http://opinium.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/OP9180-Observer-Brexit-Tables.xlsx

    There’s no VI reported[1], though it was clearly asked. From the crossheads it looks like a small Labour lead plus Corbyn and May close on Best PM, much as we have seen from other pollsters.

    There is however their tracker question (tab EUR7) If there were another referendum on whether or not the UK should leave the European Union, how do you think you would vote? which gives Remain 46%, Leave 45%. This is the same lead as last time in September, so no change, but not reversal. There’s a useful record of previous polling here:

    https://whatukthinks.org/eu/questions/if-a-second-eu-referendum-were-held-today-how-would-you-vote/

    Other questions also give a picture of public opinion as close but confused:

    (tab EUR4) If the UK cannot have one without the other, which of the following should be the Government’s negotiating priority in the Brexit negotiations? by:
    Staying in the single market even if it means allowing free movement of labour 40%
    Ending free movement of labour even if it means we leave the single market 37%

    (tab EUR8) Do you think leaving the European Union will ultimately be good or bad for the UK?
    In the next few years: Good 34%, Bad 39%
    But
    In 10-20 years’ time: Good 51%, Bad 25%

    However those most optimistic about the distant future are those least likely to see it – 68% to 19% for the over 65s.

    [1] Normally Opinium samples have tended to be around 2000, but this is only half that. There seems to be some changes in how weighting is handled.

  10. Alec
    “In reality, as we see here, EU carriers are lobbying for a level playing field, which means all flights would fall under ECJ jurisdiction. ”

    The example that springs to mind for me is whether the ECJ has jurisdiction over flights from the US to the EU for instance. I would assume not, though I don’t know for sure.

  11. Roger Mexico
    “However those most optimistic about the distant future are those least likely to see it – 68% to 19% for the over 65s.”

    Perhaps older people are better able to envisage lengthy periods of time?

  12. Hireton
    Only read the first paragraph, as it seems to want me to sign up for a free trial, and I’d rather not if truth be told. Looks like someone has finally managed to get through to them that not everyone has the ignorance of history of a spad.

    They are reporting that the waiting time will drop from six weeks to a month as if this is going to solve the problems of people unable to feed their children or facing eviction.

    They really don’t get it, do they? My thoughts on this, for what they may be worth, is that they will be both surprised and angry when the “concession” is thrown back at the weekly bunfight as not only a totally inadequate response to the hardships UC is inflicting on people in work as well as the jobless and disabled, but also a great big flashing admission by HMG big enough to be seen from space that they have got it wrong and are now trying to wriggle out of it. Very grudgingly and in a way that will not stand up to scrutiny from even the most lightweight of journalists.

    Unless they are going to admit that it isn’t working and come up with something that does pdq, I’m becoming more convinced daily that this is what will bring them down, since Labour can just keep hitting them with it over and over again in a way that their deliberately vague policy on brexit doesn’t allow them to – and also puts the narrative squarely back on the ground they owned during the election campaign.

  13. Though the concept of Universal Credit seems sensible – replacing numerous benefits with a single one to reduce bureaucracy – the implementation seems cack-handed to say the least. Never having claimed benefits, I know little about them but it does seem harsh to make people wait for 6 weeks without money. I assume many of these people have little or no savings.

    G’night all.

  14. The problem with the “free speech” idea, is that you may not actually get to hear both sides of an argument, or challenge something you don’t care for, because some people use free speech as an opportunity to close down or frustrate discussion. Kind of like if you had a public meeting and someone kept interrupting by shouting “deuce!!” and “match abandoned!!” Etc.

  15. “They really don’t get it, do they? My thoughts on this, for what they may be worth, is that they will be both surprised and angry when the “concession” is thrown back at the weekly bunfight”

    ———

    Well the question is, how many voters will care enough to change their vote? Given it may not be perceived as directly affecting a powerful voting block.

  16. Alec

    I was thinking the same as Pete B:
    “In reality, as we see here, EU carriers are lobbying for a level playing field, which means all flights would fall under ECJ jurisdiction. ”

    Does that apply to every other country in the world? If it does, why would that put the UK in a different position to them. If it doesn’t, why would it apply to the UK only? I don’t understand why thee would have to be a particular agreement with us on this.

  17. Carfrew
    If I understand it correctly, so far UC seems mainly restricted to people whose claims are considered uncomplicated, although one wouldn’t necessarily think so from the tales which are emerging. Before long it will be covering working tax credit and child tax credit, and will become far more visible to the Jams, hard working families and self employed people in the Tory heartlands who are the main recipients of these not unsubstantial benefits.

    Annoying feckless Northerners who would never vote at all, let alone Tory is one thing, making your core supporters ring helplines, free or not, and visit job centres to get less money than they were previously getting from going online once a year may not be enough to swing many votes, but looking at the size of amber Rudd’s majority, and those of others in the jam/hwf Tory citadels does not seem a very forward looking strategy.

    My main point is that Labour and all the other parties will be able to fall back on this to beat the government over and over again in a way that isn’t offered by brexit. Even though brexit will continue to be the big one, even if by some miracle that looks as if it is coming right, this will play on and on as background music to the stereotype of heartless, out of touch Tories, and they have bumbled blindly into an entirely avoidable trap of their own making which has been clearly signposted for years.

  18. @TED (Dalek!!)

    I agree that Labour could continue to attack on it, but if it only affects a smaller number that may not have as big an impact. If as you say the carnage extends to things like tax credits etc. Then yes, that puts a different complexion on things.

    I’m also wondering how big a part social media will play in the future in bypassing the traditional media to make others aware of the reality of these things.

  19. @ The Exterminating Dalek

    “If I understand it correctly, so far UC seems mainly restricted to people whose claims are considered uncomplicated”

    I believe that was true initially, but they are now “rolling it out” in a number of pilot areas, where it applies more generally and that is why the flaws are being exposed at a faster rate than before.

    It now seems that there will be implications for the NHS too; there are a number of exemptions contingent on receipt of the individual pre-cursor benefits and GPs and dentists will no longer be able to tell who is entilted to these.

  20. kitsune

    That problem can easily be solved by making things like prescriptions a universal benefit

  21. Link to new Opinium polling for the Observer.

    http://opinium.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/OP9180-Observer-Brexit-Tables.xlsx

    Interesting that Labour voters are massively against a second referendum on the Brexit deal. Tories are more in favour, but still overall against such a move.

    It seems to me that Labour voters really did not like the last Brexit referendum campaign and how divisive it was. They therefore don’t want to go through the same again and might prefer politicians to take the decision not to go ahead with Brexit, if it is against the UK interest.

  22. catmanjeff,
    “Given the lack of third party votes in many seats from the last GE, the most likely sources of enough votes for Labour or the Conservatives to take a convincing lead is going to be:

    – taking votes direct from each other (this looks hard at the moment)”

    I posted this recently and said the same during the election. Now theres something like 15% of people who habitually vote but currently uncommitted. This time they are more ex tories, last time more ex labour and they went home. Which way they go now remains to be seen, but they have already detached.

    Or, it might be neither group is committed, they arent really being polled on level of commitment just vote last time. So they might represent the block which will think about issues and is highly open to persuasion.

    The analysis normally used is designed to give an estimate percentage support on the day of poling if there had been a real vote. I think it doesnt do well with these weakly supporting group. Maybe thats too pessimistic an outlook and the election just gone was particularly troublesome for predicting, but I suggest some of the seeds of the error at the start (tory 20 point lead?) were here.

    Last time leave/remain redistributed voters. In one sense nothing has changed, but in another it is subtly altering. Now there will be more attention to competence in delivery, and thats not going too well for tories. Leave voters may revolt against the tories even if they are still basically leave voters.

  23. BZ
    “I was disappointed by TOH’s VE day post mainly because it made no mention of the Attlee government immediately thereafter. “
    The answer is simple; I do not mentally link VE day and the Atlee Government.

    Since I believe in a low tax economic mode I have grave reservations about what the Welfare State has become. Of course I accept that there is a need for a safety net for those who through no fault of their own cannot provide for themselves or their families. I also accept that the State should fund the provision of good education up to school leaving age. As to healthcare, again I agree that the state should provide a basic framework but I have concerns about “free at source for all”. I do not think that is sustainable for very much longer, some sort of insurance based system is likely to be needed. I still want less state spending not more. I appreciate I am currently in a minority.

    PeteB
    I agree the concept of UniversalCredits is excellent, but implementation does seem poor.

    Norbold, PeteB.
    I echo your questions to Alec re flights to Europe.

  24. Good morning all
    Labour move decisively on Brexit?
    Are Corbyn and Starmer the Bismarck and Von Moltke of our time?

  25. @Norbold, PeteB, TOH

    For a country’s airlines to fly to another country, there must be an agreement between the countries on reciprocal rights. There is a good explanation from a neutral source (Australia) here:

    https://infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/international/bilateral_system.aspx

    More extensive rights are offered by ‘Open Skies’ agreements, such as that between the EU and USA.

    The basic problem for the UK post Brexit, as I understand it, is twofold:

    1. Without an agreement with the EU, rights of our airlines to land in EU27 (or EEA? not sure), and theirs to land here, would end. That’s one aspect of the “cliff edge”

    2. Even with a quick-fix agreement, that would probably only cover direct flights (eg an easyJet Manchester-Munich flight, not the current right of any EU-based airline to fly between any points within EU28 (eg that easyJet plane then doing a Munich-Milan leg).

    I believe the UK still has some (many?) bilateral deals with other countries extant, so I’m not sure to what extent the rights of UK airlines to fly to non-EU destinations would be affected. Worst case scenario is that we have to rapidly negotiate something like 90 bilateral deals (the Australian figure).

    The business model of companies like easyJet and Ryanair, and their rapid growth, is entirely based on the ‘single European sky’ concept.

  26. Re air agreements, there’s a flavour of the complexity on a pilots’ forum here:

    http://www.pprune.org/jet-blast/595662-uk-air-services-agreements-after-brexitcement-asas.html

    Here’s a sample comment:

    The EU – US treaty lists many previous treaties as being “suspended or superseded” including the various Bermuda II agreements. Thing is suspended and superseded are subtly different in English.

    I guess for Bermuda II the question is was Article 19 (termination) activated or not when the EU agreement took over. If it was then BII is dead as a dodo. If not then yay we can go back to the 1970’s.

    I see what you mean about the question of brexit good or bad being moot. For the UK airline sector it’s a scale from bad to catastrophe, good doesn’t feature.

  27. I thought this was interesting re Brexit from Roger’s summy of the opinium survey.

    ”In 10-20 years’ time: Good 51%, Bad 25%”

    Yes it is broadly 50/50 on leave/remain.

    I would be one of the bad 25% *hoping to be wrong I might add) but where I one of the 51% I would be in the right to leave camp.

    On these numbers around a 1/4 of respondents (after DK I assume) voters would prefer to stay in the EU even if they think it would be better for the UK 10-20 years after leaving.

    The generous interpretation is that the short term pressures these people are facing leads to a remain position now.
    I would be amazed if we had a second in/out ref anytime soon (who know a re-join one in the 30s or 40s is possible) but if I am wrong and there is one could not some of this group convert perhaps making the narrow remain polls suggest another narrow leave?

  28. @Norbold (& @TOH and @Pete B)

    “Does that apply to every other country in the world? If it does, why would that put the UK in a different position to them. If it doesn’t, why would it apply to the UK only? I don’t understand why thee would have to be a particular agreement with us on this.”

    The point is that the EU flight greement means that inter EU routes can only be run by EU carriers, but any EU carrier can run flights between any EU country. So Ryan Air can fly between Madrid and Munich, for example, where American Airlines can’t.

    If UK carriers want to maintain their important routes between two EU27 countries (eg not from the UK) then this will be under EU rules and therefore ECJ oversight.

    Seperate agreements are in place for EU/US flights (and everywhere else presumably). I don’t know what the position is for these, but I assume any transaction undertaken in the EU is covered by the ECJ.

    The point is that the UK needs a deal, and the best deal would be to retain the right to run flights across all UK/EU airports. That means in all probability the entire flight industry under the ECJ. The alternative is that we strike a deal more like the US/EU deal, which means UK carriers lose their EU27 routes. For many of them this would be terminal, so they would move their HQ’s, jobs and ownership into the EU27.

    The point remains that either we have a deal that means much of the UK airline trade is under ECJ rules, or we don’t have a deal and we lose a lot of jobs and business. Of interest, Swiss carriers have to accept ECJ rules as part of their deal with the EU, and they can only run flights starting or landing in Switzerland. A deal on that basis means both accepting ecj while also losing rights to run non UK based EU27 flights. This is why UK carriers are extremely worried.

    This shows some of the complexities, for EU and non EU flights.

    https://www.ft.com/content/57c0c01c-ef9c-11e6-930f-061b01e23655?mhq5j=e5

  29. RJW,

    Needs to be 7 or 8 more Tory rebels than Labour MPS vote with the Government, assuming all only DUP MPs vote with HMG and SF abstain as usual.

  30. Ah, right, thanks. Alec. Got it now.

  31. BZ
    Very interested in your post about your Grandpa and HMS Invincible. My Great Uncle, Jack Worn was a ship’s boy, aged 16 in HMS Malaya, which was one of the 4 fast battleships attached to the battlecruiser squadron at the battle of Jutland. Jack Worn was seriously injured with electrical burns to his arms, he was awarded the DSM.
    As to HMS Invincible, I always find it ironic that she was the battlecruiser that was employed in the role they were designed for, at the battle of the Falklands in 1914, ie, staying out of range of the enemy ships guns and sinking them, one by one. I have read Jacky Fisher’s handwritten notes from before the Great War, congratulating himself on having delivered the perfect ship, the battlecruiser. They were never meant to mix it with enemy ships with guns as big as theirs.

  32. @TW

    I think you may have misread (or I might have explained poorly) my position on pension, my pension will not be affected by Brexit.

  33. @ Somerjohn : Charles and others

    Thank you very much for your kind comments:

    I think there are very few people who do not take advantage of opportunities that are given to them on a plate as I was. My intellect is an accident of birth, a friend of mine was signed as an apprentice to Leeds Utd in 1977 in our last year of school and smashed his knee in a street kick around two months later, he never had the luck albeit born with that particular talent. We are all one accidental event away from a different future. I like to try to remember Kipling’s If;
    “If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same.”

  34. Somerjohn, Alec

    Thanks for the explanation.

  35. HELP TO BUY

    Interesting report on Help to Buy by Morgan Stanley (reported in The Guardian). They point out that the £10 billion of taxpayers money, that the scheme has cost, has nearly all gone to the house builders, not the the house buyers. This is because house builders have increased their prices by almost exactly the same amount as Help to Buy has decreased them for purchasers.

    By pure chance, the house builders are major contributors to Tory party funds….

    Younger voters are not stupid; they can see that these schemes are often a bit scammy and that Tory promises to help them are just that, promises.

  36. @Various – see here for details of where EU flight rules apply – https://www.caa.co.uk/Passengers/Resolving-travel-problems/Delays-cancellations/Your-rights/Is-my-flight-covered-by-EU-rules-/

    The rules apply to any flight departing from the EU + Norway/Switzerland/Iceland, and to any flight landing in these countries if the airline is based in one of those countries.

    So UK firms flying people from the EU27 to the UK post Brexit will still be under ECJ jurisdiction as a minimum, but flights from here to the EU27 might not be.

    Whatever happens, it still demonstrates the problem. By leaving the EU, we no longer have the ability to influence EU rules or appoint judges to the ECJ that interprets these. However, large parts of our economy, such as airlines, data handling centres, banks etc, will still be liable to ECJ action and judgements whether we like it or not, due to the interconnected nature of the modern economy.

    In this sense, national borders are much more porous and nebulous than hard Brexiters seem to think, and the insistence that we disengage entirel from the ECJ is simply not practical nor logical. After Brexit, UK consumers will still be taking cases to the ECJ.

    The only way we could do this completely would be to cease trading with the EU.

  37. COLIN
    “Not only that-you start at that end with a false statistical justification”

    I can see that my opening statement – that 50% of new entrants to the labour market are derivved from immigration, or words to that effect – could be misintepreted. That would not stop it being true, or justify your rather fact-bereft denial of its truth.
    It would certainly not justify your supporting policy statements that it will be in the interests of British workers or the British economy or to the country’s future demographic balance and tax base, to try to reduce net migration to below the demand, in numbers and skills, which industry, reputed research institutions and Government agencies tell it to be needed – needed also to maintain or improve industrial output and productivity and to maintain its basis in scientific research.

  38. WB
    “All of this arose from good luck”
    Having shared quite a lot of your experience (left school at 15 and studied at LCC evening classes and Birkbeck over an eight year period,shop steward at 17 in my colonial-related Civil Service job, before making Cambridge through the interest of a tutoro wh valued my early interest in African politics) may I point out that luck plays a big part but so- mainly, I suggest, does the institutional structure put there by people whose background was not so different to yours, and making your own luck – an intellectual capacity which you shared with them – think the Webbs or Nye Bevan – a streak of determiination and stamina, which I imagine has driven not only your career and that of people like you, but – I imagine – has driven you to work for the same access and rights of the majority, and particularly the deprived.

  39. WB

    Having shared quite a lot of your experience (left school at 15 and studied at LCC evening classes and Birkbeck over an eight year period,shop steward at 17 in my colonial-related Civil Service job, before making Cambridge through the interest of a tutor who valued my early interest in African politics) may I point out that luck plays a big part but so- mainly, I suggest, does the institutional structure put there by people whose background was not so different to yours, and making your own luck – an intellectual capacity which you shared with them – think the Webbs or Nye Bevan – a streak of determiination and stamina, which I imagine has driven not only your career and that of people like you, but – I imagine – has driven you to work for the same access and rights of the majority, and particularly the deprived.

  40. WB
    Henri Pirenne, writing in reposte to Max Weber’s theory of the rise of capitalism and the Protestant Ethic, pointed to how the course of history and its institutional basis has arise (to do my best to remember his phrase without looking it up) through the actions of “men who saw and trimmed their sails to the winds of change” (possibly where MacMillan go the phrase from).
    Institutiions are actually created and changed by the interventions of men or groups who happened to be there and have a specific insight, That is likely (I suggest) to have been the case in your own and the careers of others on this site, and distinguishes the anecdotal from the significant – which, of course, goes for your experience.

  41. JOHN POLGRIM

    @”I can see that my opening statement – that 50% of new entrants to the labour market are derivved from immigration, or words to that effect – could be misintepreted”

    It seemed to me to be quite unambiguous-or I wouldn’t have bothered testing it against the facts.

    @”your supporting policy statements that it will be in the interests of British workers or the British economy or to the country’s future demographic balance and tax base, to try to reduce net migration to below the demand, in numbers and skills, which industry, reputed research institutions and Government agencies tell it to be needed”

    ………..but I don’t support such a stance.

    I thought I made that clear in the order I described for the stages in which I believe post Brexit immigration policy will occur . ie:-

    Control
    Economic & social demand assessment
    Effect on migration numbers.

    You do tend to express your fear that numbers will come first , in terms implying explicit government policy post Brexit. I have nothing which would justify such an implication.

    Indeed once Control has been achieved-it will be your choice & mine to vote for the immigration policy which we believe is best for the country.

    That is something neither you, nor I, can do at the moment.

  42. R HUCKLE

    Interesting that Labour voters are massively against a second referendum on the Brexit deal. Tories are more in favour, but still overall against such a move.

    I’m afraid you’ve misread the tables (this is why people should right-justify their headings). Current VI Conservatives are 80-15 against there should be a second referendum once the government has negotiated the terms of leaving the EU, while Labour voters are 56-32 in favour. The whole sample is 35% for, 53% against, with those who voted Remain 64-25 in favour and Leaver voters 9-82 against (tab EUR5).

    Of course some of those minorities will be people who have changed their minds, but some Remainers must simply want Brexit reversed immediately for various reasons. Another question (tab EUR11) asked Under the Article 50 process, the UK will cease to be a member of the European Union in March 2019. If, by this time, no satisfactory deal has been agreed, what do you think should happen?

    Britain should leave the EU without a deal 37%

    Britain should enter a transition period where we remain in the EU single market until we can negotiate a satisfactory deal 25%

    Britain should abandon the Brexit process and remain in the EU after all 23%

    So there is clearly a lot of support for “Let’s call the whole thing off”, which means that care should be taken about polling support for ‘No Deal’ as it may include Hard Remainers as well as Hard Leavers. Incidentally even the ‘No Deal’ option above had 13% of Remainers backing it – too many to be just Leave converts. Is there a vengence element here? “Leave without a deal and see just what a mess you get into”.

  43. @ WB – Thank you for clarifying. Pensions (item #41) along with many other citizens right issues (80%ish of the 60 items) have been agreed between DD-Barnier. We didn’t get an update after round5 so I assume little changed to the remaining red boxes.

    @ PTRP – A correction in how you see my view. I like Centre policies, not Corbyn policies. The LAB manifesto had some good policies but broke a lot of my personal red lines. The conference rule changes and McDonnell move further to the left made those red lines more obvious and important to me. I see nothing in Corbyn’s plans to tackle the three fundamental economic problems we face: low productivity; huge current account deficit; and ageing population. A lot of his policies would make those issues worse IMHO. I believe in free markets where possible, small state, low taxes, budget surplus, low debt but accept markets are not prefect and when the govt needs to step in they step in with long term solutions that tackle the major issues our country faces. A govt should also be responsive to the political winds and clearly we have some societal issues that need addressing. IMHO nationalisation, return of militant unions and free uni fees are not the answer – those are all red lines for me that IMHO would destroy our competitiveness and make the broader macro economic issues worse. We need to make a fairer society by reducing the relative distribution of wealth but also ensure we have economic policies that enhance our future potential to create wealth – enhanced trickle down, not return to a 1960-70s model. IMHO both Brexit and the shift to far-left by LAB offer a one-off, time limited opportunities for a more centrist CON party to fix all three of UK’s major macro economic issues and hopefully address the societal issues as well! Mayb0tch might have scuppered the chances with her GE no show disaster but I’m still cautiously optimistic!

  44. @Princess Rachel

    That problem can easily be solved by making things like prescriptions a universal benefit.

    As they are in all parts of the UK except England.

  45. @Colin

    “Indeed once Control has been achieved-it will be your choice & mine to vote for the immigration policy which we believe is best for the country.”

    ——-

    Problem with this of course is that parties may continue with current immigration levels, if the economic consequences of not doing so – and of not having enough Doctors etc. – would cost them votes anyway. They may just get more from outside the EU.

  46. @TREVOR WARNE

    Trevor, you keep saying that Labour’s policies are far left, but in fact they are the default positions in most of northern Europe, including conservative Germany: nationalised utilities (esp. railways), free tuition fees, generous state pensions, good technical education system, workers’ representatives on company boards. According to you Angela Merkel and the whole of Scandinavia would be far left!

  47. CARFREW

    @”Problem with this of course is that parties may continue with current immigration levels, if the economic consequences of not doing so – and of not having enough Doctors etc. – would cost them votes anyway”

    I’m not aware that “current immigration levels” have caused a lack of doctors ?

    But anyway-If post Brexit Political parties win General Elections, then we must assume that their immigration policies have been acceptable to a majority of voters.

  48. TW, you can call them what you like, and keep on hammering out hard left militant unions and so on, into nearly every post, but Labour’s policies are popular.

    Opinion polling does rather confirm this and has been cited here often.

  49. @ ROGER MEXICO – “Britain should abandon the Brexit process and remain in the EU after all = 23%

    So there is clearly a lot of support for “Let’s call the whole thing off”

    So by “clearly a lot of support” you mean 23%?

    and that assumes we could even just simply call the whole thing off and as R HUCKLE assumes just stay in on the terms we had before 23June16.

    also assumes CON govt must fall (as no way they would just call it off) and LAB would come to power and maybe in conjunction with SNP decide to call the whole thing off.

    I can’t open the tabs to look into the poll specifics today. Looking forward to checking them tomorrow as it looks like a very interesting poll with a few new questions.

    I expect within the 23% are quite a few LDEM but at a guess 15%+ of the “call it off” are LAB who believe Corbyn is going to do a U-turn at some point and whip his MPs to “call it off”. I doubt those people will be pleased with Corbyn if he doesn’t perform this miracle soon – but that is just IMHO of course!

  50. Trevor W

    The far left policy would be: immediate transfer of control of companies to the employees (ownership is neither here nor there then, so it could remain private without any kind of managerial control or influence) on the basis of co-workers’ teams who, through their elected representatives form elected management deciding on investment and dividends (determination of wages and alike are delegated to the teams), creating institutions for direct negotiations between suppliers and customers and competitors on output, prices, etc.

    Politically: every 200 voters elect a representative (who can be recalled at any time), creating various levels of local governance, up to national ones (lower levels elect the higher ones).

    Nationalisation, and creating various horseshoe making workshops for the Northern working class, creating a government who has only charity functions (more or less the 2017 Labour manifesto) is not even leftwing.

    Ps. All those mentioned in the “far left” programme have successful examples (of course anecdotes are not synonyms for data – but as all were abandoned for political reasons, it’s not really relevant).

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