Today’s Observer has, inevitably, news of someone else who wants to set up a New Centrist Party (NCP). Hence, to save some of the phone calls I’ll get tomorrow asking whether the polls suggest a NCP would actually do well, here’s my answer.

First, one should not assume that there is actually a big appetite for a new party in the place some in the commentariat seem to think there is. While most of the public consider themselves to be at or around the political centre, this does not mean there is a consensus about what that centre is, or that those people who consider themselves to be in the “centre” necessarily share their views with what the Westminster/media think the “centre” means. Public opinion tends to the left on economics, and is quite right-wing on more cultural issues like immigration and crime. There may well be a gap for a political party putting forward that combination of views, but it doesn’t seem to be the same gap that most of the proposed centrist parties are seeking to fill, which often seem to be aimed at a far more liberal worldview.

Even assuming there is a gap to be filled, can we tell how well it would do? Could you do a poll asking how many people would support a new party is one of the most depressing questions I get asked. It is one of those things that opinion polling simply can’t do very well. If you were setting up a NCP there is certainly lots of useful things market research could tell you about which demographic groups are most open to considering it, which messages would chime, what obstacles it would face – but in terms of predicting how well it would actually do? No, it can’t be done in any sort of useful way.

Imagine someone set up a new NCP in the UK. How would you ask a question measuring its support? Well, you can’t just say would you vote Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem or NCP, as no one would know what the hell NCP was or what it stood for. But if you tell people in the question all about this new party, then you are essentially giving it a little advert, pushing all its positive attributes in the question and putting it at the forefront of people’s minds, so that would be hideously leading. Also, what about all the other things that drive voting intention apart from policies? What about existing party loyalties? Who the party leader is? What about about how seriously the media take it? What about whether your friends and collegues are all talking about it, or have never heard of it? What about whether it is seen as a serious contender, or as a wasted vote in a tight Con -vs- Lab battle? Whether people would vote for a new party is dependent on so many unknown hypothetical questions it is impossible to expect people to give any sort of useful answer.

Today’s Observer has a news story about another NCP that may or may not be launched. Except, wasn’t there another one of those a month or two ago? And another one a few months before that? Didn’t George Osborne’s old Spad set one up? If you look throught the Electoral Commission’s list of registered parties there are a fair few examples of people setting up new Centrist, pro-European parties over the last couple of years, none of which have made any impact at all. This is not because of their political positioning (I expect all have espoused very similar views), but because no one really noticed them or considered them a serious electoral contender.

A party with £50 million to spend on publicity should at least get noticed, but a lot more will depend on how seriously it is taken. Do established MPs who bring credibility and a voice in Parliament defect to it? Is it reported along the main parties in media? Does it make a leader who is known to the public and seen as a viable, potential Prime Minister? How, under FPTP, does it propose to deal with the Liberal Democrats who are fishing for the same vote? Those are the actual obstacles facing a new party getting off the starting line (let alone actually being a success at elections), and opinion polls can’t predict how well they’d deal with them.


683 Responses to “On how well a New Centrist Party would do”

1 12 13 14
  1. @ Sea Change

    I am well aware of the prerogative: however since Tony Blair’s decision to seek Parliamentary approval to undertake the Iraq invasion no Government has taken military action of any consequence without first seeking the approval of Parliament, thus it has since that time become a convention: I simply say to avoid that convention would be a retrograde step in my opinion.

  2. Crofty: Free bus passes would involve another layer of bureaucracy, which would have it’s own expense and complications of course.

    Well, not really because the system already exists for OAP bus passes. And, probably because it’s administered at local level rather than by government(s), the pass-issuing system seems remarkably simple, straightforward and effective.

    I think the under-25 proposal has merit, but I would far rather see it funded by extra fuel tax than by higher road tax. That’s because the fuel tax you pay is directly related to how far you drive, how fast, and how much CO2 you produce. So the worst polluters/congesters pay most extra.

  3. @WB

    “As I recall Margaret Thatcher is claimed to have said “a man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure””

    I recall this quote, although I’m not sure if Thatcher ever uttered those exact words, but it very much summed up the the mentality of those 1980s hegemonic Thatcherite days. I actually recall having a conversation with an individual who echoed these sentiments almost exactly, and I’m sure he was not alone and was merely riding the zeitgeist. Bus users were “losers”, as were most people who didn’t have work, money or a house. It was one of the more disturbing aspects of those strange, in my view essentially un-British times when, for the first time in my life, instead of compassion for those who hadn’t succeeded in life, I felt contempt was in the air. I’m not sure we’ve ever recovered as a society, to be honest, and I think something changed utterly to us a country back then, our sense of who we were and what it meant to belong. We splintered terribly.

    Humpty Dumpty was never put back together again.

  4. Just on Churchill, my family always despised him cos my great grandad lost his arm at Gallipoli. They thought he was an idiot quite frankly, and his military record is littered with utter disasters of a similar type. The soldiers who were injured or who died as a result of his incompetence are much less forgiving about him than commentators a generation or two removed from the event.

  5. Somerjohn

    “I think you’re overlooking the social benefits of buses being used by all types of pensioners, not just poor ones.”

    I think that’s a fair point. I didn’t think of that, because I don’t use buses, I think the last time I was on one, other than airport buses was about 50 years ago. The reason being in winter I think public transport of any kind is a sure way to catch a cold and for medical reasons it’s best if i can avoid catching one. In summer I either walk or use the car for long journey’s.

    Anyway I agree with you.

  6. @Passtherockplease “We seem to blame the EU for all our woes and seem to praise ourselves for all the EU successes. To my mind when campaigning for remain what surprised me was not that the result was than close we are treated to a huge amount of negativity about the EU which had often gone unchallenged.”

    It was Remain who decided (rightly in my view) to avoid all talk of the EU as a political power in the UK (whether good or bad). They steadfastly refused to discuss this as it would have showed how deeply embedded the EU was in our laws and institutions. And therefore how much control had already been ceded. Remember the Cleggster’s bald-faced denials of the extent of EU influence in his car-crash debates with Farage?

    And there is another simple reason why Remain did not wish to discuss the politics of the EU and keep it purely on economic grounds – because then they would have to admit to the final likely destination of the EU Project. And as we know from polling, the UK electorate has an extreme aversion to most of those likely destinations.

    So while your post makes some good points, you have avoided the elephant in the room. You have continued to talk economics without really engaging in the nature of the EU.

    @B&B “If my view and yours are diametrically opposed over the politics, and if we wrap all leavers and all remainers up in the same blanket, you can say that this is true for close to half the population each way. If our conflicting opinions cancel out, all that leaves us with is the economics, and we both believe them to be bad.”

    That is pseudo-logic. As my post above to @PTRP elucidates, Remain have almost totally avoided political debate about the EU. They have not engaged and thus our “conflicting opinions cancel out” is not true. Remain have tried to attack Leave’s political rock with economic scissors. And it has so far failed.

  7. @CROSSBAT11

    This was the loads’a money generational change and it has set us on the path of splended exceptionalism. You were successful because you had a house had a car and loads’a’money and as you said we never looked back. It is why you can have scroungers versus strivers and much of that sort of sh1t.

    It reduced the political debate and created the problem that because our housing cost take up so much of take home pay we cannot afford anything else.

    It has created a discontent that has not found a real outlet and I suppose the interesting take on Brexit is that we have one less thing to rage about.

  8. Somerjohn, I think that would potentially go down as the countryside subsidising the cities. As has already been pointed out, bus services in the sticks are generally dire, and a lack of services means that people have to travel, inevitably by car using fuel.

  9. @davwell – saw a male hen harrier near Crinan in Feb, just out of interest.

    On bus passes: Around here, giving anyone a free bus pass would be very low cost. Lets get the buses first!

    It’s a bit like the local NHS ‘Patient Transport Service’. You have to wait [email protected]@dy ages!

    On sensible economics:

    @TOH won’t like it, but thankfully inheritance tax is now becoming part of the economic orthodoxy – https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/apr/12/use-inheritance-tax-to-tackle-inequality-of-wealth-says-oecd

    Lets hope a few governments start to follow the OECD lead and recognise that the current tax system is broken and is harming our economies, especially younger generations. Every good patriot should be happy to support such a move!

  10. My view is that the UK should not join in Donald Trump`s attack on Syria for several reasons.

    First the need for deterring Syrian use of chemical weapons has become less because rebel enclaves have been much reduced in number and those remaining might well be left in rebel control in a Syrian settlement.

    Second the dangers of starting further conflicts in the region are immense – it`s more complicated than Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

    Third, any action that boosts Trump`s self-confidence could lead to him behaving totally recklessly in other areas – Theresa May ought to be urging caution.

    Fourth, and this is minor, the UK hasn`t the combat resources to do much more than give token support, but in joining an attack it makes the UK vulnerable from other Middle East extremists

  11. @Carfrew – Bus passes

    Yes, you raise good points. The problem with means testing is the cost.
    Technology will probably solve this. No doubt our bodily functions will even be uploaded to some futuristic blockchain that can track everything too! Everyone will have an inbuilt synth and the thing you love will become the thing you despise. Blame the Buddha.

  12. @CROSSBAT11

    as an addendum what I found found funny was how people view those that they think of as losers. I was once on my bike communting to work on the A4 in Bristol I pulled up at the lights next to a battered van and the person yelled you need to work harder and get a car. I am presuming he had watched top gear when I pointed out his van was worth less than £1000 and my bike retailed at £1500 he scoffed. “no bike is worth that” As usual in Bristol traffic I pulled off leaving him lounging in the queues but it kind of tells a story of entitlement and exceptionalism.

    The car versus bike issue is a microcosm of the issues we seem to gestate in society. We are more tribal than African my Dad says. It is funny since my car RS Megane and I do track days, which supposedly makes me a pure breed petrol head that and the fact that 80% of cyclist have driving licenses and drive at least once a week, how the hell are we seen as such different tribes I have no idea but it does seem that way.

  13. Yulia Skripal`s statement looks genuine to me, and must be respected:

    “”Most importantly, I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do.

    “Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves.

    “I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.””

    Notice that Yulia doesn`t permanently exclude contact with her Russian cousin.

  14. B&B:Somerjohn, I think that would potentially go down as the countryside subsidising the cities.

    I hadn’t thought of that. But I’m not sure I understand, anyway. Is the thinking that people in the country need cars, but for those in cities with good public transport they’re a bit of an indulgence (and more damaging)?

    Well, I live in the country, halfway between the largish county town and a mid-sized market town, and on the bus route between them, so bussing it to either town is easy (though as the last bus is at about 6pm, not much use for a car-free evening out).

    But mostly I drive, and not just around here but on motorways, through towns and cities, to airports and so on (plus down to Spain once or twice a year). So I certainly contribute my fair share to traffic, congestion and CO2, as do most people around here. So I don’t think a small amount of extra tax, which would reinforce the traffic-reducing effects of free buses for some, would be resented much.

    I see Labour is costing the scheme at £1.4bn pa. With around 30m cars on the road, that works out at £47 a year per car. All I’m saying is that it would fairer, and more effective in reducing pollution and congestion, to get that from 5p a litre on fuel than from £50 on road tax.

  15. Alec

    As a good patriot I accept that the tax already exists in the UK and no doubt it will be payed on my behalf in due course. My wife and I have taken all reasonable steps to pay as little as possible, and I mean reasonable, what any sane person does.

    Your quite correct I do not like the tax for reasons I have given many times before. I expect there are many things that the OECD supports that I don’t, so whats new as they say.

    :-)

  16. Davwel

    I suspect that Yulia is a little more than pis*ed of with her cousin for the suggestion that her and her father were suffering from little more than food poisoning.

  17. Alec

    I should have added that it was good to see from that piece in the Guardian that fewer and fewer governments are using a wealth tax. Quite right to in my opinion.

    :-)

  18. @SEA CHANGE

    I pointed out indeed a simple example of how our politics intervenes and is intertwined with the EU the simple issue of pesticides and bees together with Gove’s about face. The argument about Eu rules and regulations and subsidiarity was actually front and centre people were asked what rule and regulations were we opposed to and mostly it was how the UK implemented FoM. We don’t have the structures that other EU countries have and so we feel that people take advantage of the situation. The point is that most people like the regulations and at times we go in advance of such regulations ourselves. The point is often made that most of the regulations are standardisations associated with the single market. Often people can’t say what rules they would change and often as May did with respect to removal of charges for credit cards we seem to be happy with most of the changes and only baulk at it when it seems that it was the dastardly EU. it also points to the fact that direction the EU commission takes is basically an agreement of the 27 countries. They cannot impose things on a country the system is rules based and we agreed to the rules. The fact that we can leave points to how much control we have and as I pointed out subsidiarity as I pointed out seems to end as soon as reaches national government in the UK something that I pointed out in my post above.

    Now part of the more interesting aspect of leaving is what we control and how and if it really makes a difference having control in itself and yet not making thing better is a waste of said control in my view but more importantly it appears that actually divergence in rules is going to be a long way off if ever and thus we will seemingly be subject to such rules but with no say. As much of the negotiation has led me to believe the devil is often in the detail and the detail points to something less than us controlling what we do but having to share sovereignty as happens with every international agreement. Sometimes I fear we confuse the issue for example we are bound by the ECHR and the rules have been set by previous governments and we adhere to them we can leave and set up our own but I would think that we would only do that if we found the rules onerous, my personal view is that the common rules of the EU and ECHR and for that matter NATO are not. Your view is that the EU rules are. f we end up aping the rules then I think it would be a waste of time and indeed seem like a childish tantrum in my opinion but we await the result of the negotiations.

    In two respects I was wrong about the EU referendum, I thought that leave would win by a bigger margin. On the doorstep most people even remainer could only recite euro myths as things the y understood as issues surrounding the EU. Most people did not even understand how EU rules were made. Did understand that the UK government blocked rules which in most simple terms really did not make sense to block and felt that we would reap huge benefit of not adhering to these rules as they seemed to be exclusively anti British in construction. As I said we will not be able to hide behind the idea that the EU did this to us. We will somehow blame some other bureaucrat ‘jobsworth’ I await the pleasure of people seething about it.

    As I often said it reminds me of Iraq, a bad concept of what we believe sovereignty is followed by a bad execution, followed by fallout and then we’ll just won’t ever talk about it.

    The fact that we as a country are so split on this kind of says much about why I don’t think anyone will be satisfied.

  19. Judging human nature and who is responsible down a chain of commanders for nasty events is not as simple as many folk believe, including our politicians such as Boris Johnson.

    I can see similarities between the poisoning of the Skripals and the killing of predatory birds in the UK. I paste a link just out:

    https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/illegal-trap-use-on-gwct-vice-chairs-shooting-estate/

    I have met the characters claimed to have been responsible, but certainly cannot decide which are the guilty, if any of them. It seems to me that pleasant Phillip Astor (or now maybe David Cameron) could know as little about the folk one or two steps down his hierarchy, as does Putin about his embassy staff or secret service.

    What motive would Putin have for derailing the football competition – but Boris is certain he has a motive. Just like what motive could Phillip Astor have for killing a goshawk, given his position.

  20. new thread about “warmongers or not” poll

  21. The other slightly odd thing about the bus pass idea is that it seems predicated on the current pay levels of under 25s which one would assume that Labour would get rid of.

    And I still think the bureaucracy of issuing largely unused bus passes could be quite expensive.

    Also, we older people are thoughtful enough to signify that we no longer need them by simply dying.

  22. I have no idea whether involvement in Syria has any purpose or not but can’t help thinking that, were it the US supporting Syria, instead of Russia, there would be a much more noticeable degree of outrage from the current Labour leadership than they currently demonstrate.

    As a Labour supporter I find that both sad and strange.

  23. crofty

    That’s your prejudice speaking, not Corbyn’s.

  24. @Sea Change

    “@Carfrew – Bus passes
    Yes, you raise good points. The problem with means testing is the cost.
    Technology will probably solve this. No doubt our bodily functions will even be uploaded to some futuristic blockchain that can track everything too! Everyone will have an inbuilt synth and the thing you love will become the thing you despise. Blame the Buddha.”

    ———-

    This is a bit more like it! Synths AND Blockchains!!!

    Universality, has advantages and makes means testing and its costs irrelevant. In the longer run, in a civilised, ever-progressing society, we might see free bus travel as something to aspire to for everyone, like free healthcare, a benefit of living in an economy like ours. We get growth most years and our national income grows and we have to decide what to spend it on, or invest it in.

    As our population grows, and traffic becomes denser, there are congestion as well as pollution and efficiency reasons for investing more in public transport, and incentivising its use. But of course, down the line it might be self-driving electric cars, not buses.

  25. @Crofty

    “The other slightly odd thing about the bus pass idea is that it seems predicated on the current pay levels of under 25s which one would assume that Labour would get rid of.

    And I still think the bureaucracy of issuing largely unused bus passes could be quite expensive.”

    ——–

    The cost and bureaucracy is a concern, but can be minimised by ditching means testing. I don’t know how much it costs to issue a pass, but I just had my polling card through for the locals and I don’t think issuing those bankrupts the nation.

    In the end though, you have a point in that the benefits ought to justify the cost. If wages improve, then there are still reasons to consider it, like reducing pollution, reducing congestion, helping town centres counteract the online shopping thing, making more bus routes viable, etc.

    But we haven’t seen a proper analysis yet to be sure.

  26. “COLIN
    WB
    @”Churchill’s military exceptionalism is, I think, overated.”
    From the safe distance of a 2018 armchair ?. No problem.
    From the perspective of the citizens of UK in 1940, and particularly of their armed forces on the beaches of Dunkirk. ? I don’t think so.
    April 12th, 2018 at 9:25 am”

    Just trying to catch up, you can see from this post how far I am behind but I just had to comment.

    2 or 3 years ago my wife and I were sat in the vets waiting room near our home in France.Opposite were sitting an elderly French couple with their dog. We had done the usual ‘Monsieurdame’ greeting as they had entered as the French always do when they enter a roomful of strangers.

    After a few minutes he realised from the conversation my wife and I were having, that we were English. Slowly, the old man got up and came over to us, took my hand and shook it and in broken English told me how grateful he was to the British for coming to The aid of France in 1939 and in particular that his hero since has always been Winston Churchill, not Charles deGaul. If it had not been for Churchill, we would all be speaking German now, he said. France owes a great debt to Mr Churchill and always will.

    Anecdotal but quite a moving episode.

  27. The Other Howard,
    “I agree, because you clearly now see what drives Brexit. All Remainers want to do is talk about hypothetical views on what might happen to the UK economy post Brexit. There is no meeting of minds and I for one as I have made clear many times am not interested in having discussions about hypothetical scenario’s…. ”

    “…The alternative is economic and cultural decline as we continue to be sublimated into a corrupt, undemocratic European Super State which may survive for a few years and will then collapse probably dramatically and bloodily.”

    If you arent interested in hypothetical futures, why are you presenting one and then discussing it?

    Or did you mean you arent interested in hypothetical futures post brexit, only in hypothetical futures where brexit doesnt happen? I agree there will not be any meeting of minds while people are willing to consider some alternatives but deny others!

    Colin/WB,
    “Churchill-I have just read the Darkest Hour book.”

    Now there was a politician who had a vision of what was important for England. Twice chose to engage with Europe because he believed the national interest was there. He would not be running away now.

    “If this organisation is incapable of action-what then?”

    The UN is an extension of the imperial power of the permanement members who founded it. I am reminded of an anecdote from an earlier era where admiral Fisher was the British delegate to the Hague convention of 1899. He agreed bans on dumdum bullets, poison gas and bombings from ballons, but not limitations on the navy, our principle concern. I imagine today we dont care much about the navy, but ‘bombing from balloon’ seems popular. It isnt about restricting the ability of the major powers to act, but about exercising control over minor upstarts. It is absolutely not about protecting the rights of Syrians to choose their own destiny.

    “What point is WB making? That WC made mistakes?”

    I think there were several rationales for action. One, that Britain must be seen to be doing something and not be powerless. Politically, it must be seen that something is being done. Two, that it required the enemy to spread his resources, because attack might come anywhere, Three, it might work. Four, a number of skirmishes by way of raids had secret intelligence objectives, and even failed raids where this was not the case served to mask a pattern of raiding of highly sensitive objectives. There was a secret intelligence war going on behind the troops on ground one, which still isnt clearly understood.

  28. Sea Change,
    “And as we know from polling, the UK electorate has an extreme aversion to most of those likely destinations.”

    Do we know that? I’m not sure we do, which polls are you talking about?

    I suspect remain fought a very soft campaign anticipating an easy win, and perhaps trying to get on board 75% or so of the public. Thus didnt want to scare the horses for those suspicious of the EUs future. Whereas I imagine remainers on the whole are comfortable about potential further EU integration.

    Davwell,
    “Fourth, and this is minor, the UK hasn`t the combat resources to do much more than give token support, but in joining an attack it makes the UK vulnerable from other Middle East extremists”

    That isnt minor at all. Its the job of the Uk government to protect the Uk. Any implication that governments have caused terror attacks on the UK by their own actions is incredibly sensitive politically.

  29. Sea Change,
    “It was Remain who decided (rightly in my view) to avoid all talk of the EU as a political power in the UK (whether good or bad).”

    Indeed. They expected to win, so didnt feel they had to try very hard. But with the tories running both leave and remain, the remainers complacent in the expectation of victory felt they did not need to call their party colleagues liars, moreover liars for decades for having placed blame on the EU for things which were plainly Uk parliamentary decisions, and having unfairly claimed credit for EU moves which went well.

    “because then they would have to admit to the final likely destination of the EU Project.”

    I am a remainer but really do not know what the final destination of the EU project will be. I do know that as a member nothing will be imposed upon the Uk without its consent. I suspect that leavers fear the UK would in time be quite content to become part of a european superstate, and that is why they have piled into a campaign now, as we are passing the demographic peak of anti EU feeling.

    The plan is to try to make it impossible for a future remain majority to become a member again, but I think the real likely outcome is that if the Uk does leave now, it will simply accept any changes which have been made by the time we rejoin, without having had the opportunity to shape the new EU to our advantage.

    As members now, we could and probably would carve out a twin track membership not unlike what the government now seems to be aiming for, but retaining political input to and control of the EU. A far better outcome for the UK.

    I see leave as wholly detrimental to the sovereignty of the UK, and most likely make virtually no difference to the degree we follow EU rules. Either formally as a party to treaties, or informally because it is in our national interest, we will continue to mirror almost all EU rules and regulations. As a member we have have more power to change EU rules than we will have if we leave, but in either case we will end up following them. So its lose lose in all respects if we leave, and leavers need to understand the real consequences instead of what they think they have voted for.

  30. Sea Change,
    (repost because of automod)
    “It was Remain who decided (rightly in my view) to avoid all talk of the EU as a political power in the UK (whether good or bad).”

    Indeed. They expected to win, so didnt feel they had to try very hard. But with the tories running both leave and remain, the remainers complacent in the expectation of victory felt they did not need to call their party colleagues liars, moreover liars for decades for having placed blame on the EU for things which were plainly Uk parliamentary decisions, and having unfairly claimed credit for EU moves which went well.

  31. Sea Change,
    (repost because of automod)
    ““because then they would have to admit to the final likely destination of the EU Project.”

    Remainer really do not know what the final destination of the EU project will be. As a member nothing will be imposed upon the Uk without its consent, but possibly leavers fear the UK would in time be quite content to become part of a european superstate. That is why they have piled into a campaign now, as we are passing the demographic peak of anti EU feeling.

    The plan is to try to make it impossible for a future remain majority to become a member again, but the likely outcome is that if the Uk does leave now, it will simply accept any changes which have been made by the time we rejoin, without having had the opportunity to shape the new EU to our advantage.

    As members now, we could and probably would carve out a twin track membership not unlike what the government now seems to be aiming for, but retaining political input to and control of the EU. A far better outcome for the UK.

    Leaving is wholly detrimental to the sovereignty of the UK, and most likely would make virtually no difference to the degree we follow EU rules. Either formally as a party to treaties, or informally because it is in our national interest, we will continue to mirror almost all EU rules and regulations. As a member we have have more power to change EU rules than we will have if we leave, but in either case we will end up following them. So its lose lose in all respects if we leave, and leavers need to understand the real consequences instead of what they think they have voted for.

  32. Sea Change,
    (2nd repost because of automod)
    “It was Remain who decided (rightly in my view) to avoid all talk of the EU as a political power in the UK (whether good or bad).”

    Indeed. They expected to win, so didnt feel they had to try very hard. But with the tories running both leave and remain, the remainers complacent in the expectation of victory felt they did not need to call their party colleagues out for being less than accurate in their statements about the EU. Moreover having in the past themselves been just as inaccurate in assigning credit or blame to the EU for things which were plainly Uk parliamentary decisions, they probably didnt feel it was safe ground for their own future careers.

  33. DISSAPPOINTMENT FOR CORBYN

    Trump’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ remarks, suggest to me that this is the end of it.

    So as long as Russia doesn’t choose to escalate it, all’s well that ends well. At least no harm has been done.

    Whether any good’s been done is a moot point. But at least it underlines the principle that you can’t use chemical weapons and assume there’ll be no response at all.

    I know this will come as a disappointment to ‘liberals’ in the US who favour getting bogged down in hopeless wars and causing orgies of death and destruction.

    Or to Corbyn etc in this country, who were hoping it would all go wrong.

    And the US, UK, France, relationship stays intact

    But there we are. That’s what happens when you have conservatives in the White House and in Downing Street.

1 12 13 14