YouGov’s regular voting intention figures this week are CON 40%(+1), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 7%(nc). Changes are from late November.

The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, so at a point when the Brexit negotiations looked to be in extreme difficulty and before today’s progress. They do, however, give us a point of comparison. At the start of the week just 21% of people thought the government were doing well at negotiating Brexit, 64% of people thought they were doing badly (including a majority of both Remain and Leave voters).

We shall see in the next poll if this week’s later events have done anything to change that.

Full tabs are here.


439 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 40, LAB 41, LDEM 7”

1 6 7 8 9
  1. David Colby: This is the Sixth best performance amongst the Twenty countries of what the OECD calls ‘The Developed World’

    Jolly good to see how well the OECD says the UK performed as an EU member. Not as well as eurozone-shackled Ireland, but there you go.

    Quite a contrast to how it expects the UK to perform post-brexit.

  2. SOMERJOHN

    @”Linking to an outdated forecast, already discredited by events, is possibly not the most effective way of making your point.”

    Quite possibly !

    Thanks :-)

  3. The gulf between the believers in an EU of Nation States , and the Shulz/JUncker/Macron vision of a supra-national Union is dramatically on show in Germany, where Merkel continues to find common purpose with an SPD who have moved far far away from her.

    I like this response to Shulz’s “vision” from an ally of Merkel ( quoted in the Reuters piece below:-

    “Senior conservative Volker Kauder said Schulz’s European proposal posed “a danger to the EU and citizens’ approval of Europe. Kauder told the Tagesspiegel newspaper it was necessary to strengthen Europe but also important to recognise that at the moment people longed for the “reliability that they believe they can find in national states”.

    CDU politicians are clearly thinking about the reasons for their electoral failure. One wonders if SPD have not bothered to think about it?

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-germany-politics/german-conservatives-reject-united-states-of-europe-ahead-of-coalition-talks-idUKKBN1E30KJ

    Merkel , meanwhile continues in limbo.

  4. I work with paper mills and, I expect as with other manufacturing companies, when changes are made to processes the mill managers do one change at a time so they can measure success or otherwise.

    Occasionally a shock occurs so that 2 are more developments are occurring at the same time so it is impossible or very difficult to measure specific impacts.

    I fear Brexit will be like this.

    Best example imo is education policies.

    The Coalition and now Tory Government have introduced a number of changes some of which are controversial. I am not going to list here or get in to a debate over them suffice to say that broadly speaking ROC politicians think the Economy will benefit from these changes in the long run (after 2025) and LOCs politicians think they will be harmful.

    So say the Economy does dip and dips further after 2025 how can we tell if the Brexit impact or Education policy is the main reason, Perhaps we do OK but would have done worse had not the positive impact of education policy compensated for the negative Brexit affect?

    I choose education but any number of supply side measures with 10 year outlooks will impinge and what about gradual QE reversal or not.

    There might be some measures such as inward investment that help assess Brexit impact but even then that is affected by how good our work-force is educated and infrastructure for example.

    This is why I think Labour are correct to focus on non-Brexit domestic policy as other wise any failings in the UK economy in the years ahead will ALL be down the Brexit which Labour went along with reducing the political advantage.

  5. @DAVID COLBY

    https://ig.ft.com/sites/numbers/economies/uk

    I cannot account for other countries as the graph I used were generated on the OECD stat site was not saved. It would useful to know what document you took you data from.

    BUt a couple of things our GDP per head only got back to pre 2008 levels in 2015. it is the reason for the angst that we have. The two biggest factors in terms of GDP growth has been population growth. and consumer debt. the OBR modelled that we would need to have increasing consumer debt and population growth to sustain the growth that we had as we were cutting government spending and shrinking the state.

    It is also interesting that the countries that have faired better that the UK in the europe have done so due to strong exports and investments rather than consumer spending.

    It is worth having a look at the per person figures too as I said we are not 15% better than we were in 2008
    ;-)

  6. JIM JAM

    A thoughtful post :-)

    I like your last sentence concentrating on the gun pointed at the foot .

  7. Colin,
    ” The change from uncontrolled economic immigration from the less well off of the hugely divergent economies of the EU ,to controlled immigration supported by the electoral mandate of the government of the day is the plan I think.”

    The problem is that the old system already did this. Unregulated by government, yes, but there are no hordes of foreigners here depriving UK people of jobs.The market regultes itself, as all good Thatcherites no doubt appreciate. When the Uk recently cracked down on immigration from outside the EU, it worked! And surprise surprise, immigration form the EU went up to compensate. Sounds like firms seeking labour, not people just turning up in hope.

    If the government wants to cut immigration, it will be at the cost of industry having shortages (unless the economy tanks to compensat, which it well might.)

  8. SOMERJOHN
    If Northern Ireland could get its assembly back up and running it could exercise its devolved power over Corporation Tax and lower it to match the rate in The South. Ironically there would be nothing ‘U.K. wide’ about that, but it would be transformative.

  9. CONFUSED

    The agreement that our government has just signed with the EU says that there will be ” “full alignment”, if there is no big trade deal.”

    “Full alignment” seems to mean customs union and/or single market in all but name.

    Surely this means that a hard Brexit or “crashing out” can’t happen, because if it does happen we’ve agreed to carry on with “full alignment”.

    Can someone explain?

  10. Just before 6am here popping over to San Antonio to pick up my new truck ,hear you’ve been having a drop of snow over there in the U.K. can I say we beat you to it . Much to everyone’s surprise it snowed in Corpus Christi area a couple of days ago apparently there were children who had never seen snow before ,being Texas there probably open a new church to celebrate.

  11. DD retracting/correcting a misinterpretation on Ireland: apparently as far as the border is concerned no deal does not mean the border issue is not agreed Quaere: if there is to be no difference between UK and NI regulation and no deal means “full alignment” for NI and ROI and ROI is in single market and customs union, surely no deal means the worst outcome of all for those in favour of a hard/clean brexit?

  12. @Colin – “…unless the decline in EZ gdp forecast in the paper below transpires-in which case the pre-Brexit EZ/UK difference trend will be interrupted.”

    Understood, but not actually relevant to what I am saying.

    My point is only regarding UK growth under the alternative scenarios of Brexit and non Brexit. What happens in the EZ isn’t relevant to this.

    @David Coulby – “….factually the U.K. economy today is 15% larger than its peak in 2008 just before the recession…”

    Could you give a reference for this please?

    According to the World Bank data, (Sept 2017) UK’s dollar denominated GDP in 2016 was $2.618tr, after reaching a peak of $3.063tr in 2007. This is calculated on the purchasing power parity method. This suggests a fall of 14% over the period. This perhaps isn’t so surprising, given the Brexit devaluation, which will obviously affect the dollar valuation of the UK economy. However, as a comparative global indicator, this gives a good indication of the real relative value of the UK economy.

    I’ve also checked the ONS data, and this indicates that GDP has grown since 2007, but only by 8%.

    The IMF provides GDP data in local currency on a chain weighted (constant prices) basis, and this suggests that the 2016 GDP is 4.9% greater than in 2007.

    Nowhere can I find reference to UK’s GDP being 15% higher than at the pre recession peak.

    @Colin – “Nice to have facts.”

    Indeed. Even better if they are accurate.

    :), as they say.

  13. Alec may be it Pressman in disguise?

  14. @WB

    Yes, my point exactly. So this would mean that Remainers would be hoping for no deal, because that would mean us staying in the single market and customs union.

    Seems a bit paradoxical!

  15. In general I have been rather impressed with DD, but his performance over the last couple of days has been dreadful.

    We’ve signed a deal – you don’t try to pretend you can go back on this if it suits, and then have to retract the retraction within 24hrs.

    Incompetence of the highest order this time.

  16. @ALEC

    I agree with your analysis the best figures I have for UK GDP growth is from the FT link I provided. using the dollar value may not be fair I would use the local currency myself for growth since that is what the ordinary people feel, if anything

  17. @ TONY EBERT – The ‘full alignment’ is confusing everyone. DD says its a fudge, more of an intent than legal commitment, etc. DUP say it is reason for RoI to ensure we get a fuller trade deal. RoI smell a rat. Others in EU now worried UK don’t really mean it.

    It boils down to lack of trust and an effort to fudge phase1 to move on. Although ‘moving on’ seems to be confusing between everyone involved as well. EU want the phase1 elements made legally binding and UK side trying to shift talks to a more parallel approach.

    and then you have UK cabinet probably wanting different things as well (although for now less worried about that). Crunch meeting for them on 19Dec but I’m not fully convinced EU Council are going to sign off on ‘sufficient progress’ on 15Dec

    @ JIM JAM – yes forecasting is very difficult due to enormous amounts of uncertainty in the knowns let alone the unknowns. Then trying to say why a forecast didn’t meet actuals is full of assumptions as well – productivity being the item to ‘blame’ at the moment.

    About the only thing we can be confident of is that the arch Remainers will blame any and every piece of -ve news on Brexit and any and every piece of +ve news will be ignored :-)

    Corbyn is right to ensure HMG don’t forget about the very important domestic issues – these are very important to a lot of CON-Leave as well. The most important role of opposition is to keep HMG focussed on what matters and Brexit is sucking all the air out of the room for sure.

    However, I suspect Corbyn avoiding getting too involved in Brexit has a lot more to do with keeping the ambiguity of LAB Brexit policy – although Starmer keeps the gentle nudging towards staying in EU in all but name. Since I doubt Corbyn wants the poisoned chalice, I suspect he is fine with Starmer making all kinds of promises, knowing it won’t be for LAB to keep them.

  18. David Davis now says his interview yesterday was misunderstood

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics…t-with-ireland
    ‘Davis told LBC radio on Monday that his comments had been misunderstood. He said he had meant that the UK would avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland even if a final deal did not happen.
    “I said this was a statement of intent, which was much more than just legally enforceable,” he said. “Of course it’s legally enforceable under the withdrawal agreement, but even if that didn’t happen for some reason, if something went wrong, we would still be seeking to provide a frictionless, invisible border with Ireland.’

    So it is legally enforceable under the withdrawal agreement

  19. Pete B @ 1.55 am

    I read your support for ToH and your comment that you stay in the Midlands.

    I haven`t been irritated by your messages expressing your legitimate Brexit views in the same way that ToH annoys. But last night you lapsed into just the same provocation that ToH employs, by talking of the “dependent nations”.

    Don`t you realise that that is insulting when for 35 years you in England have been subsidised by people in Scotland? Maybe not in the past 3 years, though regional data do not seem to be available yet from 2015-16 onwards.

    Before then, the average per person paid into the Exchequher from both the East and West Midlands regions was less than from Scotland, and not a single Midlands constituency paid more than where I stay in NE Scotland. Kenilworth came the nearest to our contribution.

    It maybe that you get your “facts” from a far-right newspaper, but the sooner you accept that Scotland is not a “dependent nation” the better for everyone in the UK. Three years of reversed subsidy may well end, since oil/gas prices have recovered.

    And even if you don`t accept this view, it is surely better not to be provocative.

    On the snow, yes you`ve had quite a fall, and it would have been just as much a problem up here since too many drivers can`t cope.

  20. @ WB – my read on the ‘fudge’ of full alignment is that DUP seem happy with it but RoI do not (thanks to DD’s Sunday chat show comments).

    DUP will feel they have put the ball back in RoI’s court. If RoI make a fuss over moving talks forward then DUP (and hence UK) can blame RoI. Sadly N-S Ireland has a long legacy of playing the blame game to walk from talks.

    I’m not going to have time to keep up with events but speaking as a Clean Brexiter I’ll have no problem if RoI block sufficient progress or snarl it up in Jan with desire to codify everything in phase1 before moving on. For some time I’ve hoped we can reset the talks from a min.deal up basis – hoping to get the same final outcome (CETA+) but without the total destruction of trust and future friendship.

    One of the few things Remain and Leave agree on is DD has wasted a lot of time achieving very little.

  21. To everyone who’s so infuriated by the relatively decent performance of the UK economy since 2008 I must apologise as the figures I quoted were growth from the trough of 2008 not the peak (my error). HOWEVER, the facts stand, the UK is still sixth post 2008.
    I fully understand all the vagaries and caveats, I was never proposing that everything is going seimmingly well, just that our relative performance has been pretty good. I was not making any predictions either.

  22. @Colin

    Nicely done. The art of the cheerful retraction is probably under-used by the more committed posters here (me included!)

  23. David Colby: To everyone who’s so infuriated by the relatively decent performance of the UK economy since 2008

    I haven’t seen anyone infuriated; just curious as to the veracity of your 15% figure.

    I, for one, am delighted that you accept the ability of the UK to perform well while in the EU. The current omens don’t look so good for life outside, but we’ll see.

  24. DANNY

    @”The problem is that the old system already did this.”

    Did it-were EU Citizens not free to simply travel to UK to seek a job-whether the UK Government wished them to do so or not ?

    @”If the government wants to cut immigration, it will be at the cost of industry having shortages ”

    No-there will be no such clash. The Migration Advisory Committee will transmit the needs of industry to Government.

    The policy for Work Permits etc will of course be a political decision based on the mandate of the Government of the day.

  25. TONY EBERT

    @”The agreement that our government has just signed with the EU says that there will be ” “full alignment”, if there is no big trade deal.”
    “Full alignment” seems to mean customs union and/or single market in all but name.
    Surely this means that a hard Brexit or “crashing out” can’t happen, because if it does happen we’ve agreed to carry on with “full alignment”.
    Can someone explain?”

    Para 49 says that : the overarching objective is no “hard border” & continuing observation of the GFA.
    It says that UK intends to meet these objectives as part of the negotiiated FTA with EU.-failing which agreement ,UK government will propose solutions within the Trading relationship which transpires with EU ,to meet the objectives.

    IF neither of those are delivered NI will observe all the rules of the SM/CU in respect of cross border transactions which support the GFA.

    Para 50 says that there will be no regulatory difference between NI & rUK.

    As you can see the degree of NI/RoI “alignment” is specific & narrow & the circumstances in which it arises ( and would have to be mirrored in rUK) are the complete failure of EU & UK to negotiate a trade arrangement -or any EU/UK trade relationship which could accomodate the “overarching objectives”.

    In addition para 50 appears to give the NI Assembly powers of veto.

    All of this , and the ambigiity inherant in it, will have to be resolved in the final legal Withdrawal Agreement signed by the parties.

    It is worth remembering at all times , that in ANY modern TA BOTH parties seek to produce a level playing field for their exporters by mutual recognition of each others regulations which are relevant to the trade sectors in the TA.

    It is also worth saying that both CETA & the putative Japan/EU TA feature mutual obligations to meet mutually acceptable standards on areas like Employment , Environmental protection, and Sustainable Development. So a body of Global Standards in these areas will become increasingly set -and countries wishing to sign bilateral TAs will need to adhere to them-as well of course, observing the mutually accepted product related regs.

    None of this is the same thing as being a member of the European Union’s Single Market & Customs Union.

  26. COLIN
    “The change from uncontrolled economic immigration from the less well off of the hugely divergent economies of the EU ,to controlled immigration supported by the electoral mandate of the government of the day is the plan I think.”
    To what extent, however, is the plan a political sop to popular expectation? Migration control will under that formula mainly be governed by the demands of industry, not by government monitoring or adminstration, including that of the low-paid in elementary occupations.
    Fruit pickers and packers from Rumania are skilled, needed, hard working and happy to have the work at the wages offered, greatly benefit their own communities and economy, and are a true and legitimate reflection of the character and behaviour of the European labour market – and should not be thought of in the context of any insulated labour market in industries which demand labour not accessible in the domestic market. Economic reality and demography will trump any plan or, sad to say, and the expectations of people who were persuaded by a false prospectus to vote for Brexit.

  27. ALEC

    @”My point is only regarding UK growth under the alternative scenarios of Brexit and non Brexit. What happens in the EZ isn’t relevant to this.”

    A UK in your non-Brexit mode is trading on preferential terms within a Customs Union ( aka Trade Agreement) only with the EU .

    A UK in your Brexit mode is trading on preferential terms with the EU and other countries , under the terms of TAs which have not yet been negotiated or agreed.

    How can you currently forecast the different economic effects in those two modes at present?

  28. Somerjohn

    “I, for one, am delighted that you accept the ability of the UK to perform well while in the EU. The current omens don’t look so good for life outside, but we’ll see.”

    Agreed. Why put our excellent performance at risk by taking a leap into the unknown and leave the EU, when we know how good its benefits are and that we can operate so well inside it?

  29. COLIN
    “No-there will be no such clash. The Migration Advisory Committee will transmit the needs of industry to Government.”

    Rather than the market doing so? What kind of politics is that, not conservatism surely?
    What we have and what we have apparently negotiated for is a free market economy in the UK, providing the benefits of access to EU labour in the Single Market, but not memership of it.
    That means, as I think Starmer intends, that we have the benefits of unfettered availability of EU labour to industry, with the only effective controls being those over working conditions (e.g. avoidance of gang masters and unfair housing etc or failure to give access to domest labour),
    As I understand it, based on the available policy research, the continuation of access to the EU labour market, enhances overall the productivity and income of the domestic labour force in industry, and anomalies in the system in the areas of prdominantly elementary occupations, inadequate jobs provision, housing, health and schools should be overcome by dedicated investment, not by excluding or controlling immigrant labour to areas of vital need to industry..

  30. SOMERJOHN
    My post was nothing to do with being in or out of the EU. You made that connection.

  31. Tony ebert,
    the agreement defines that the current freedom of movement, trade and anything else currently covered by the gfa will continue regardless of whatever else happens, and the dup contribution is to guarantee this will also extend to the rest of the uk. So its a minimum standard that the uk will continue in a relationship with the eu wholly equivalent to the cu/sm, but it seems implicit it would include things like working conditions, competition, pollution, standards of imported goods from third parties. Virtually the entire eu acquis, all the law a member must sign up to. The wording suggests the uk doesn’t have to do this law for law, but it must be functionally equivalent.

    It’s hard to see how this could be done except incorporating all eu law and keeping it updated as they change it.

    If the uk can think of an alternative way to do this then it can, but what would that be?

  32. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”To what extent, however, is the plan a political sop to popular expectation?”

    Not at all ??. the “Take Back Control” offer did not commit to a given number for net migration. The current Government still cl;ings to its target of a maximum number of course & you may argue perhaps that this was seen as the Referendum Leave “offer”. But I think it is clear that the Campaign strap line on Immigration was to replace No control ( on EU immigration) with Control. ie to place Immigration policy with the Voters.

    @”Migration control will under that formula mainly be governed by the demands of industry, not by government monitoring or adminstration, including that of the low-paid in elementary occupations.”

    Well now you are telling me what future government immigration policy will be.
    My response is that it will be the same as for any other political decision in government- a balance between a number of imperatives. In this case the use of newly acquired powers to balance the reasonable needs of Industry with considerations of social cohesion , and infrastructure to support rising population.

    @”Fruit pickers and packers from Rumania are skilled, needed, hard working and happy to have the work at the wages offered, greatly benefit their own communities and economy, ”

    No doubt !!!

    But is there not a consideration in respect of the labour costs & profits of our fruit farmers, the price that our consumers pay for their products, AND the “benefits” available to UK communities of paid work in this sector. You seem to be arguing for a government mandated industry sector which is permitted only to employ cheap Labour from Eastern Europe as a mechanism to maximise the profits of UK Fruit Farmers & the family fortunes of poor Romanians. I’m not sure that is a proposition with great ballot box appeal.

    @”. Economic reality and demography will trump any plan or, sad to say, and the expectations of people who were persuaded by a false prospectus to vote for Brexit.”

    I think this is to give too much weight to the demands of particular industry sectors. Demands which perhaps have let UKplc -and yes UK Governments-off the hook of training & developing domestic workforces.whilst leaving the social consequences of their cheap labour sourcing to UK communities to cope with.

    Of course in a Global economy there will be a global market in skills at a competitive price. But it is for a Government ( at least one with the immigration control available to it) to balance the demands of companies & the economy, with the well being & social harmony of its citizens & the tax burden required to fund the infrastructure for an ever increassing population driven by immigration.

  33. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”Rather than the market doing so? What kind of politics is that, not conservatism surely?”

    You invite the obvious response :-)

    What politics is dictation by the (private sector) “Market” ?-not Corbynism surely?

    More seriously-I don’t think that the proposition that the citizens of country should have a say in who is permitted to come to to it & why is controversial-or in some way inimical to economic growth.

    Mrs Merkel , I feel sure. has now understood this .

    Mrs. May certainly does.

  34. I assume that Cakeism abides because, were it not so, the Conservative party would collapse into civil war, divided between those who want a soft Brexit and others who would leave now. That makes it probable that the UK will leave the Single Market and the Customs Union – the clear intent of the government from the start of A50. If that is the case the interests of NI are best served by there being no deal?

  35. For those who like “bashing” DD then this will intereste them

    “EU Commission confirm Brexit divorce deal “not legally binding”, but “a deal between gentlemen”.

    So David Davis is wrong to have slapped himself down on LBC today.

    Very amusing.

  36. Colin: A UK in your non-Brexit mode is trading on preferential terms within a Customs Union ( aka Trade Agreement) only with the EU .

    You seem to have overlooked the many EU FTAs, with 3rd countries and groups, that the UK benefits from (and will have to re-negotiate post-brexit).

    The wiki list has 85 countries on it, including deals agreed but not yet signed, and micro states. Maybe half that number are significant and in force.

    Of course it’s problematical to produce UK economic forecasts without knowing details of the settlement. But both ONS and OECD forecasts are based on benign settlement scenarios. The risk is on the downside.

  37. An iron law of politics is that when you have to have your political mates make a public statement that you are not actually what the public thinks you are, then you are definitely what the public thinks you are.

    Thus you have had the spectacle of people claiming that Michael Howard was actually a fully living human with a sense of humour; IDS actually genuinely cares about the poor and does understand the policies he espouses;
    John McDonnell is actually really chilled out and funny and just now, Andrew Mitchell asserting that despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, David Davies is actually really intelligent.

    This cements the increasing view that the egregious Cummings was nevertheless correct when he described Davies as ‘as thick as mince, as lazy as a toad and as vain as Narcissus’.

  38. TOH

    “They were intended for those who still have open minds. Admittedly probably very few here.”

    Can you not see the irony in your viewing anybody who simply sticks to their long held view that they would prefer to remain a member of the EU as having “closed minds”, whilst you sticking to your long held view that we shouldn’t is – presumably – somehow the product of your own open mind?

    Personally I find that attitude rather offensive.

  39. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”That means, as I think Starmer intends, ……………”

    Yes-Dawn Butler explained the new policy “Easy Migration” on DP today.:-

    ““It means that… there has to be movement… well, that is something that he will then develop in terms of detail… we will need movement in people… we will need movement of people but it won’t look exactly as it looks now…”

    Is that clear ?

  40. SOMERJOHN

    @”You seem to have overlooked the many EU FTAs, with 3rd countries and groups, that the UK benefits from (and will have to re-negotiate post-brexit).”

    No-I accept that.

    But my question to Alec stands

    Anyway-we can argue about whether Brexit will damage the economy long term or not.

    You clearly think so.

    I don’t know but think it unlikely. Though a Brexit blip is certainly on the cards imo.

  41. David Colby: My post was nothing to do with being in or out of the EU. You made that connection.

    I did indeed. Not difficult:

    1. You identified the UK’s economic performance from 2008 as relatively better than most developed nations.

    2. During that period the UK was in the EU.

    3. Ergo: you accept that the UK was able to perform well while in the EU.

  42. @Paul Croft

    The problem with keeping your mind open is that you run the risk of your brain falling out.

  43. COLIN
    “Is that clear”
    As the proverbial mud.

  44. COLIN
    “Well now you are telling me what future government immigration policy will be.”
    No, Colin, what future immigration will be, regardless of this or any government policy

    “What politics is dictation by the (private sector) “Market” ?-not Corbynism surely?”
    Re-write that as “determination by the free market” and the answer is economic as the basis of free choice in a democratic soiety based on the rule of law, and economic policy common to all the UK main parties, up to now, and certainly Starmerism in the present debate.

  45. Terry Pratchett once said “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

  46. COLIN
    I really find it very odd that you are describing the recruitment of labour by industry as “dictatorial” and by private sector. Are they, including the public services, such as the NHS, not the experts and is it not imposition of restrictive policy on them not dictatorial?

  47. Paul Croft

    “TOH

    Can you not see the irony in your viewing anybody who simply sticks to their long held view that they would prefer to remain a member of the EU as having “closed minds”, whilst you sticking to your long held view that we shouldn’t is – presumably – somehow the product of your own open mind?”

    It’s a religious thing. I am always being told by theists that I should keep an open mind, i.e., agree with them, and that atheism is the product of a closed mind. TOH certainly has that fundamentalist religious fervour about him and his beliefs.

  48. Sorry, I got side-tracked by that comment from Paul.

    What I actually came on here to say was that for those following my adventures on trying to become a Spanish or Portuguese citizen, I received an e-mail today asking me to formally submit my Family Tree showing that I am descended from at least one Sephardi Jew and show proof that it is my tree.

    Having spent about 40 years compiling my Family Tree, this is not difficult for me as I can show my ancestry going back to Sephardi ancestors in the mid 17th century and the documentation to back it up. So, that should be a step nearer to retaining EU citizenship!

  49. @Norbold

    In similar vein, the other group of people who constantly exhort you to have an open mind are quacks trying to flog things like homeopathy that have been repeatedly disproven.

    Good to hear your Sephardic heritage is coming in handy though!

1 6 7 8 9