While there hasn’t been a lot of voting intention polling in recent weeks, there has been quite a lot of Brexit polling – those organisations campaigning for or against it used the summer holidays to get a good bite of publicity. This included some large polls from YouGov for Hope Not Hate and the People’s Vote campaign showing Remain at 53% and Leave at 47% if there was a referendum now. Today there was a new NatCen poll that showed Remain at 59%, Leave at 41% (though do check the important caveat from John Curtice’s report that the sample itself had too many 2016 Remain voters, so it actually implied a position along the lines of Remain 53/54%, Leave 46/47%) and a Survation poll showing Remain at 50%, Leave at 50%.

In terms of what to make of this, I’d give the same advice on support or opposition to Brexit as I do on voting intention. There are an awful lot of polls asking about support for Brexit, and a lot of people inclined to cherry-pick those which they agree with. Don’t pay too much attention to individual polls (especially not “interesting” outliers), watch the broad trend instead.

There are four regular tracking polls that people should look to to judge whether or not the public have changed their minds (the data is all nicely collected on John Curtice’s WhatUKThinks website here. First there are polls that ask how pople would vote in a referendum now – regularly asked by both BMG Research and Survation using the original referendum question, and using a more generic version by YouGov in their Eurotrack series of polls. BMG have been asking this since late 2016, and where early polls tended to still show more people would still vote Leave, that has gradually changed and since 2017 they have consistently shown more people would now vote to stay. Their EU referendum polls this year have averaged at Remain 49%, Leave 44% (Remain 53%, Leave 47% without don’t knows)

instead.

The Survation series didn’t start until 2017 – since then their polls have varied between neck-and-neck and small leads for Remain. On average this year their referendum polls have shown Remain 48%, Leave 46% (51% Remain, 49% Leave without don’t knows). Unlike the other two referendum polls Survation weight their referendum question by likelihood to vote which, given that previous non-voters tend to split in favour of remain, probably explains the slightly lower remain lead.

The YouGov Eurotrack poll is part of a regular poll across several EU countries on how people would vote in a referendum on their country’s membership of the EU, so doesn’t use the British referendum wording. Nevertheless, the results show a similar pattern to the BMG polling – results late in 2016 continued to show Leave ahead, but since then Remain has been fairly consistently ahead. The average across their five polls in 2018 is Remain 45%, Leave 41% (52% Remain, 48% Leave without don’t knows)

The most regular comparable poll isn’t asked as referendum VI, but is YouGov’s tracker for the Times asking if people think Britain was right or wrong to vote to Leave the EU, normally asked weekly. The pattern should be familiar – in late 2016 the poll consistently showed people thought Britain was right to leave, in early 2017 it began to flip over, and it now consistently finds more people think Britain was wrong to vote to Leave. On average this year 46% of people have said Brexit was the wrong decision, 42% the right decision (without don’t knows, it would be 52% wrong, 48% right).

So while the movement across the polls has not been massive (was are generally talking about a swing of 3 to 5 points from the referendum result), given the closeness of the 2016 result that is enough to mean polls are consistently showing slightly more people opposed to Brexit than in support of it. There is one important caveat to add to this. If you look at the breakdown by 2016 referendum vote you will often find the number of Leave voters switching to Remain is that that much larger than the number of Remain voters switching to Leave (if it is larger at all!), this is because polls generally find those people who did not vote in the 2016 referendum tend to split in favour of Remain.


270 Responses to “Bregret – an update”

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  1. Neil,

    The main postwar baby boom in the UK was in the 1960s. These people are between 48 and 58 now and won’t be dying off for a long time. Most of them haven’t even retired yet.

    The birth rate for most of the 1960s was over 800k/yr. Then it fell below 600k/yr and has only recently recovered to 700k/yr.

    The effects of this low birth rate (and the demand for immigrants to make up the workforce) are going to be around for a very long time.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/articles/trendsinbirthsanddeathsoverthelastcentury/2015-07-15

  2. Hireton

    More detail on Bradley’s staggering ignorance of NI (and quite possibly other parts of the UK too.

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/uk-regions/northern-ireland/news/98027/karen-bradley-i-did-not-know-people-northern-Ireland

  3. @ Neil A

    “I love Wales….
    The result of the contest to replace the Tory leader Mr Davies was announced by a Mr Davies. The winner was a Mr Davies, who beat a Mrs Davies…..”

    Priceless!

    Nice quote from the new leader:
    “Mr Davies acknowledged a lack of diversity amongst Welsh Conservative politicians…”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-45420165

  4. @Hal
    @Neil A

    I think there may have been another boom as the boomers grew up and had kids themselves etc.? Not sure, but worth considering…

  5. On birth rates – the 2017 number of live births fell 2.5% to 679,000, which is the lowest since 2006. Technically, this isn’t the ‘birthrate’, which is usually given as births per 1000 of the population. This peaked at 13.0 in 2010 and since then has fallen to 11.9, a level last seen in 2003.

    The death rate was 10.4 per thousand in 2000, and fell steadily to 8.7 in 2011, since when it has risen slightly to stand at 9.1 in 2016, with 533,000 deaths in 2017 in total (up 1.6%, so presumably another rise in the death rate).

    Overall, despite the falling birth rate and rising death rate, in 2017 there were still ~140,000 more births than deaths, so even without any net migration we are still adding another Basildon or Blackburn to the UK population every year.

    Obviously this means an ageing population, but like @Neil A, I’m not overly troubled by this – it’s far more troubling to experience the continual increase in population, and a levelling and gentle decline over several decades would be very welcome.

    I really don’t see why this need be overly economically painful. So long as we shift some taxation to wealth rather than incomes, the economic growth will allow us to fund the necessary care quite easily. Greater productivity can also release far higher tax revenues to pay any additional costs related to ageing, and if we can focus on ensuring there are fewer but healthier people, we can maintain an ageing population more readily than we are going to manage now with the mounting health issues many will face as they get older in our current society.

  6. @Hal,

    I agree (although “very long time” is of course a subjective judgement). But it’s still a temporary problem.

    Birth rates ebb and flow. A sensible country would bank the benefits of periods when the taxpayer to dependent ration is relatively high, in order to spend them during periods when it falls.

    Life expectancy has been rising steadily for years, which adds both to overall population levels and to the proportion of oldies in the population. But it is now levelling off (and although some of this is blamed, probably fairly, on the effects of austerity measures – in my opinion most of it is just diminishing returns in health, hygiene and lifestyle improvements plus the absolute ceiling of natural cell-death).

    So it could very well be that the mid 60s peak is the last big “boom” caused by birth rates. The average life expectancy for those born in the 1960s is probably about 81-82 years of age, which would suggest that the majority of them (us) should be dead by 2050.

    I am still firm in my belief that it would be better to “tough it out” and bear the consequences of the next 30 or so years of demographic stress, than to use the sticky plaster of importing new workers.

    As I said above I think there are a number of developments and strategies that could help with this, but ultimately if the state needs a higher share of GDP for a couple of decades I can live with that. Like most centre-right people I basically believe that the state should spend what it needs to spend, but no more than that. If its spending needs require additional taxation, I am OK with that.

    That isn’t the same as being opposed to immigration per se and certainly not the same as being anti-immigrant. It’s also not mutually exclusive with tailored immigration policies aimed at hard-to-fill vacancies (be it NHS doctors or short term visas for fruit pickers).

    And putting aside all issues of economics, I place as much importance on issues like bio-diversity and species/habitat loss, water availability, carbon emissions, population density and access to green space as I do on anything else. For me these are not side issues in politics to be paid lip-service to. They are the central pillars of my sense of wellbeing.

  7. One for the birdwatchers on UKPR.

    @TOH won’t like it, but HMG’s planning exercise for Brexit has been named ‘Operation Yellowhammer’.

    So it’s a little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese all round then?

  8. @ OldNat

    “More detail on Bradley’s staggering ignorance of NI”

    Thanks for the link. It’s difficult to know whether to laugh or cry. Let’s try to think of a positive. Clearly Bradley is an excellent person to represent English interests in NI because, like most of the population of England, she has no idea about it at all.

  9. It is quite remarkable that an MP from anywhere in the UK wouldn’t have at least a basic understanding of the Irish question, but isn’t it quite refreshingly frank of her to talk about it so openly?

    And we are talking about her knowledge levels prior to moving to the post. She is clearly contrasting that with what occupying the post has taught her. It seems to me that the criticism should be levelled at May for appointing someone without any background in the subject matter rather than at Bradley for accepting the post.

  10. I see the DTel columnist reporting that the Chancellor scrapping his tax concession for the 3.4 million self-employed will raise £435 million a year for the NHS.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/06/stealth-tax-self-employed-philip-hammond-u-turns-tax-cut-leaving/?li_source=LI&li_medium=li-recommendation-widget

    Isn`t that assuming too much? I reckon the money is now needed to pay for preparations for no deal and new customs arrangements.

    None of this would be needed if Theresa May just accepted the UK remaining in the SM and CU. Meanwhile she tries to deflect attention from the Brexit chaos by threatening revenge on Russia.

  11. @Carfrew,

    It’s a good point, and is true to an extent but if you refer to the ONS link from Hal above you will see that the “ripple” caused by the 1960s boomers reaching childbearing age in the 1980s is much smaller and flatter. In other words, various factors (I would volunteer the Abortion Act, greater gender equality / female workplace participation and the economic pain of the 70s and 80s) suppressed a predictable and expected boom.

    The further mini-boom in the noughties is probably also partly a ripple effect from the previous booms, but I would expect that it is also a direct result of Labour’s opening of the gates to immigration which saw large numbers of new migrants who would have mostly have been in the 18-30 bracket and ready to start having large families on their arrival.

    Like Alec I am relaxed about it. My anxiety is that we seem incapable of electing governments with the wit to manage the demographic challenges, rather than that they are in themselves unmanageable. Although in fairness some steps have already been taken with the increases to future retirement ages (including mine) and – against furious opposition – the trimming of some public sector pension rights (again including mine).

  12. Neil A

    What might concern people about the Bradley “confession” is that she shows no embarrassment about being utterly ignorant of the circumstances in part of the UK (note Trigguy’s wry observation).

    Presumably, that level of ignorance is quite normal among MPs from her part of the world.

    It’s not just that she got to Cabinet rank, with that dispiriting level of ignorance and unconcern, but that she even became an MP!

  13. @Davwel,

    Doing “X” to pay for “Y” is always a bit nonsensical as there is only one pot and lots of different streams going in and out of it. What matters is the overall level of spending and how it is apportioned.

    It’s certainly true that even in the best case scenario, the one-off costs of Brexit will far exceed £435m but one has to assume (rightly, although quite conceivably wrongly) that financial contingency plans were already in place for this in Hammond’s spreadsheets.

    I suppose in the sense that the cancellation of the cut is part of a spectrum of measures being looked at to provide the extra NHS spending that May promised, it is true that it is “going to pay for it”. But again, it is just a small fraction of that extra funding. Lots of other measures will be needed to fund it.

    As for the idea that the government is exaggerating the Skripal affair as some sort of deflection, I think that is crass. A foreign government almost certainly murdered one of our citizens. That is a very grave issue.

  14. Neil A

    “A foreign government almost certainly murdered one of our citizens. That is a very grave issue.”

    Indeed – as is that the UK government certainly ordered the deaths of many foreign citizens (as well as some in that part of the UK that Karen Bradley knew damn all about).

    That’s not to justify the murder in Salisbury, of course – just to put the moral outrage into a comparative context.

  15. Davwel
    “I see the DTel columnist reporting that the Chancellor scrapping his tax concession for the 3.4 million self-employed will raise £435 million a year for the NHS.”

    I don’t understand why they phrase things in this way. If the Chancellor was going to give a concession and now he isn’t, how does that raise extra money? Surely the self-employed will be paying what they have been paying all along?

    Anyway, my understanding is that he was only going to drop Class 2 contributions, which are only £2.95 a week anyway. Hardly likely to make much difference to anyone. 1 pint of beer more a week.

  16. Not to justify. Just to minimise.

  17. Neil A

    Not to minimise – just to point out that most states are quite happy to bring about the deaths of both other state’ citizens, and their own.

    Naturally, patriotic people are more concerned with foreign attacks on their own citizens, and minimise the actions of their own government.

  18. @Neil A

    Thanks for your reply Neil. So it seems there are some ripples, echoes of the original boom, but these may be alternatively explained by other, confounding factors.

    Regarding managing demographics, perhaps unsurprisingly I’d be in favour of looking at it from a systems perspective, and looking at everything from extending employment to new forms of higher density housing that don’t impact on green belt.

    And new ways to grow crops more efficiently and to reclaim land and all of that, till eventually we get to rotating habitats and Dyson swarms. Because ultimately so long as we do it in an environmentally sound way there are benefits to growing the population: more growth, more political and economic clout, more inventions – including ways to preserve the environment, more cures, etc.

    I confess to the green belt thing being another blind spot, which is a bit carp as it was something my mother came to value. She grew up on a farm, and after emigrating here bought a plot of land right by a farm and built a house on it with consequently nice views.

    But being foreign I don’t know that she knew about the green belt thing. Until the farmer sold the land and the developers moved in and we were going to be surrounded by a housing estate instead of horses roaming in the fields. So mum sold up and made sure the next house was by the green belt.

    P.s. regarding rent costs. Yes, it’s the biggest component but there have also been big hikes in energy, petrol costs for those commuting, tuition fees of course, and inflation has outstripped wages for many a year.

    Of course, many things have seen dramatic falls in price, many technologies etc., but there’s a lot of optional stuff like hifi and so forth which most can live without. With technology, the market often works pretty good.

    But it’s with essentials that just leaving it to the market has issues, because business tends to corner market, buy up rivals and drive up the price, and people have little choice but to pay.

  19. Carfrew

    “P.s. regarding rent costs. Yes, it’s the biggest component but there have also been big hikes in energy, petrol costs for those commuting, tuition fees of course, and inflation has outstripped wages for many a year.”

    You really are a glass half-empty sort of chap. The link below shows that while there may be a slight upward trend in petrol prices, it is cheaper now than from 2011-2013 (and the RAC figures are a good 7p/litre more than I pay now).

    https://www.racfoundation.org/data/uk-pump-prices-over-time

    If it’s true that inflation has outstripped wages for many a year, it’s pretty marginal because inflation has been very low over the last twenty years or so (average less than 3%p.a. this century). Minimum wage has risen from £5.05 per hour to £7.83 per hour from 2005-2018, a total of over 50%.

  20. “… and looking at everything from extending employment to new forms of higher density housing that don’t impact on green belt.”
    @Carfrew September 7th, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Just to point out that I learn a lot from this site, when you use the term ‘green belt’ it means a specific thing in town planning terms. If you mean build on any bit of green field that is different. Green belts are specific dedicated areas:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_belt_(United_Kingdom)#Effect_on_house_prices

    Of course the rest of the country that is not designated green belt is still owned by somebody, and the benefit of it is not that great if you are not allowed to use it — unlike Scotland, that has its right to roam anywhere.

  21. Boris wife kicking him out over an affair.
    Can’t stand the berk, but must admit I’m jealous of his reputation with the ladies…I really can’t see how the millionaire floppy haired fool does it.
    He might get away with yet another failed relationship with the blue-rinsed brigade, but his daughter verbally attacking him doesn’t look good.

    Regarding another referendum, I’m all for it.

  22. @Pete B

    Well you can say I’m glass half empty, yet another ad hominem, but what do you call it when you completely bypass the point – comparisons with decades ago, by just noting a bit of a fall recently.

    And just noting inflation has been relatively low, isn’t much use when wages have been falling behind in real terms by over two percent a year for FIFTY YEARS. That’s a big cumulative effect.

    Not only that, but the trend in these things is not very inspiring either. I’m sure you can come up with plenty of other comparisons that fail to address the issue, but you can bet Millennials on zero hours won’t be going “oh look, petrol prices eased a bit lately, suddenly the erosion of decades has been wiped out!”

    Anyway, when it comes to glass half full, why not be positive? Instead of complaining, why not just be grateful for your good fortune for policies that raised your pay, kept housing and bills cheap, free tuition etc. etc.

  23. @Al Urqa

    “Just to point out that I learn a lot from this site, when you use the term ‘green belt’ it means a specific thing in town planning terms. If you mean build on any bit of green field that is different. Green belts are specific dedicated areas”

    ——

    Ye# I know that, indeed it was the point about the anecdote about me mum. She’d built a home near a green space that wasn’t protected and then found out it wasn’t going to be green any more. Hence moving to somewhere by the green belt.

  24. @Pete B

    If you want to be more glass half full, some other things you could celebrate are pensions of your cohort, and the windfalls from state sell offs, and demutualisation, and the stoking or other asset prices etc. etc. Something nice to wake up to!

  25. A little spoiler for those who think the government has sorted out the public finances – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-45421621

    In the weird world of Conservative fiscal rectitude, piling up debts that the state will have to pay in the useless university tuition fees debacle somehow doesn’t count as government debt. In perspective, the current year’s student intake will add £28bn to the debt pile.

    Makes that much lauded £2bn surplus in July look a little thin.

  26. ‘“A foreign government almost certainly murdered one of our citizens. That is a very grave issue.”

    Hmm. Define ‘our citizen’. Secondly are Russian spies really so incompetent?

  27. @James E @ Neil A

    “I love Wales….
    The result of the contest to replace the Tory leader Mr Davies was announced by a Mr Davies. The winner was a Mr Davies, who beat a Mrs Davies…..”

    Priceless!

    Nice quote from the new leader:
    “Mr Davies acknowledged a lack of diversity amongst Welsh Conservative politicians…”

    Reminds you of the town of Johnsons in Blazing Saddles.

    As a Proud Welshman I am not inexperienced in these matters, but we have always had a way around this by referring to people by occupation Davies the milk or Davies Shop for instance. Representing in court however it would not do to refer to Davies the Burglar.

    It is not confined to Wales however, once when I was prosecuting ion Gloucester Crown Court myself, the senior detective and the defendant all had the same surname: the Judge said at one point Mr B—- stand up, to which we all did, at which point he said not you Mr B—– and so we all sat down. He resolved it by the Welsh method by saying Mr B—- Defendant stand up!

  28. I wasn’t prosecuting myself by the way: oh for an edit feature!

  29. Good morning all from a sunny but quite chilly Central London.
    Some of the pigeons on Trafalgar square look a little blue.

    Okay so according to the Daily Mail Big BoJo is really considering a leadership contest against T May hence the reason he want’s to get all the sexy news stuff out now rather than later.
    …..
    Boris Johnson and his wife Marina Wheeler have announced in a joint statement that they separated some time ago and are now in the process of divorcing.

    Their split came amid allegations he has cheated on his wife again and a series of hints that the Brexit cheerleader is poised to make a bid to replace Theresa May in No 10.

    But in a surprise twist, one of Mr Johnson’s confidants said the disclosure was not an attempt to sabotage his hopes of becoming Prime Minister but a ‘damage limitation exercise’.

    The ally said: ‘I believe it is in Boris’s interests to get this news out there now so it is not used by his enemies in the height of a leadership contest”
    ….
    Is there polling data showing how the Tories would do with Big B at the helm?

  30. WB61

    Did you ever come across BoJo’s wife Marina Wheeler as a member of the ol Bar?

  31. ‘“A foreign government almost certainly murdered one of our citizens. That is a very grave issue.”

    So Theresa May and her Hard-right allies have changed the meaning of murder, i.e. kill with intent. It looks like desperation to me.

    We should be cooperating with Russia to bring peace in Syria and surrounding region, not deliberately provoking them for political gain.

  32. “A little spoiler for those who think the government has sorted out the public finances”

    A little spoiler for those who think government finances can ever be ‘sorted’.

    The maths is as follows. Govt pays a public sector worker, that person is taxed. They then spend with somebody else, which becomes income and is taxed. They then spend with a third person which becomes income and is taxed. And so on until whatever govt spends disappears in taxation.

    That happens each time, every time government spends. Whatever it spends *always* comes back as taxation – whatever the tax rate.

    The only time that doesn’t happen in an accounting period is is somebody along the line *doesn’t spend* – aka saving.

    What you call a government deficit is just private sector people saving – inevitable really when you have compulsory pension contributions.

    To ‘fix’ government finances you have to stop people saving and paying down debt. Which isn’t remotely sensible.

    The whole thing with govt debt and deficit is smoke and mirrors. After Brexit the whole thing can be put on the Ways and Means account at a net cost of zero.

  33. DAVWEL

    There are other news sources that RT-you should try them sometime.

    The UN Security Council proceedings yesterday might interest you too :-)

  34. AL URQA
    @Allan Christie
    “I agree we should be putting much more investment into different parts of the world, and Africa in particular. But the attitude in this country seems to be we don’t want immigrants, and we don’t want to invest in their own countries to stop them coming here. The ironic part of this is the ‘best’ (from a business point of view) of their countries (generally young males) are the ones who are travelling”

    “Well I’ve no problem with immigrants. Indeed cultural differences are fascinating, and add so much to an economy. Just look at the number of Indian restaurants there are — and Chicken Korma is apparently our national dish!!

    You’ve got to be amazed!”
    ___________

    There are different attitudes towards immigration in the UK, some of us are happy with the increasing numbers, others want it brought under control but acknowledging we do need skilled professionals to settle here and then they are those who don’t want any immigration who are in a tiny minority.

    It’s all very well having hundreds of thousands of migrants coming into the UK to seek work but I really do question the benefits to our economy. Wages at the lower end of the pay structure are being depressed and where I do agree the economy has grown as a result of immigration, it does however come with a state the obvious scenario and that being the more people who move here will grow the economy but as for GDP per capital it’s not actually showing that much of a positive increase.

    I love my Indian food as well but the stench and our food has been enriched by different cultures but parts of the UK are turning into minority ghettos and it’s a growing problem.

  35. COLIN, totally agree. It was a stupid idea Labour continuing John Major’s PFI schemes.
    Mind Tories have form for being useless with the economy.
    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2016/03/13/the-conservatives-have-been-the-biggest-borrowers-over-the-last-70-years/

  36. NEIL WILSON

    @”The maths is as follows. Govt pays a public sector worker, that person is taxed. They then spend with somebody else, which becomes income and is taxed. They then spend with a third person which becomes income and is taxed. And so on until whatever govt spends disappears in taxation.
    That happens each time, every time government spends. Whatever it spends *always* comes back as taxation – whatever the tax rate.”

    Dear oh dear-back to Primary School old bean. :-) :-)

    You have missed out the small factor of Private Sector added value. Civil Servant spends his/her after tax income in/with a whole plethora of shops & companies ( some of them overseas) . Each of these will be adding value to its own costs & spending .

    One way of expressing the whole caboodle is GDP-the sum total of all private and public consumption, government outlays, etc.

    The UK State total Tax Income is currently around 35%. of GDP.

    The idea of Tax being 100% of GDP would certainly be an appealing prospect for any CoE -particularly a Labour one. But it might militate against the entrepreneurial spirit & work ethic somewhat !

  37. # That should read

    I love my Indian food as well but the stench coming from some of the fast food outlets is horrific such as KFC..

  38. PETE

    Ah-Richard Murphy. Yeeeees :-)

    The comments are interesting-particularly the ones he doesn’t like.

    The only sensible thing John McDonnel has done imo is to stop listening to Mr Murphy’s advice.

  39. JOE JAMES B, what these British traditions and the best of the past you talk of and how far back are you going?

    (if you do reply don’t expect a response for about 6 hours, nothing seems to show up on this site for hours these days)

  40. DAVWEL

    “We should be cooperating with Russia to bring peace in Syria and surrounding region, not deliberately provoking them for political gain”
    ____________

    Putin said his intervention into Syria was about keeping the integrity of the Syrian state from disintegrating into failed states like Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq. (Western failures)

    He also pointed out the fact thousands of Chechen rebels have scuttled like rats into Syria to fight for Western backed jihadists and under no circumstances will he let them come back to Russia.

    As far stability in Syria and the wider middle east then all roads lead to Moscow and Washington and they are in the midst of a new hot war, even more problematic than the cold war.

  41. Nope, still can’t see anything past Alan’s 10;33 post.

    By the way Alan, I think it might be a bit early for you to ask her out on a date;-)

  42. @ OLDNAT – I think we’re drifting into the realm on pedantic. The original point was

    Taking back control = UK businesses subject to UK laws in UK courts

    @ ALEC – It has seemed like “operation yellow” (ie cowardice) for a long time – they even tried to considered sending out yellow leaflets saying how awesome Chequers was . I think Hammond added the “hammer” to yellow as he seems determined to destroy the party and have McDonnell take his job. May is suffering from PTSD since the GE leaving her inner circle of unelected advisors to run the country.

    What a sh1t show.

    Still if Corbyn moves to 2nd ref and Remain maybe we can hand the country back over to Brussels and give CON some time in the widlerness to “evolve”

  43. ALLAN, pretty sure the Eu have brought out a new rule saying you can’t undercut
    local wages, or something like that.

    https://infacts.org/8-good-things-eu-has-done-since-brexit-vote/

  44. A new YG “Boris” poll which various other polling info
    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/oa8jqtgot4/Internal_180905_Boris_W.pdf

    Net favourable ratings:
    May -26 (+9!!)
    Corbyn -28 (+2)
    Hammond -28 (+2)
    Boris -22 (+7!!)
    DD -21 (+4)

    All deep -ve with huge partisan divide as you’d expect.

    What is mildly interesting is the degree of dislike for CON options amongst non-CON VI. Lots of DK for Hammond and DD but neither is totally despised by non-CON. IMHO May and Boris are both too toxic for marginal voters so come the next GE we need a less toxic new leader to have any chance of a clean majority.

    Some silly season rumours of DD to be caretaker PM until Jun’19 but it is not as daft as it sounds.

    CON-Remain MPs would prefer him to Boris, SMogg (we are in “less bad” scenarios!)
    rCON MPs and CON members might accept it as it means they get past 29Mar’19 and can then have the bl00dy leadership battle post-Brexit
    Enough non-CON MPs and VI might tolerate the fudge of a ‘caretaker’ PM?

    Just speculating on ways out of this mess.

  45. @ COLIN / NEIL – and a lot of the “multiplier” effect is lost on buying imported depreciating assets often on consumer debt (e.g. German cars!) [1]

    How is MMT, Modern Monetary Theory, working out for Venezuela??

    MMT = Magic Money Trees

    The issue is the “Magic” is a lie and the “Money Trees” (e.g. banks) have very shallow roots in UK – one sniff of McDonnell as CoE and our status as Global Financial Capital is at risk (I never expected Brexit to scare them off but McDonnell would and they won’t be going to Paris for sure – Singapore, etc instead)

    [1] I used to have raging debates with “academics” about the actual multiplier effect being less than 1 (either due to Japanifaction where savings (MPS) go ballistic due to QE, or due to “leakage” from large trade deficits). Britain has had enough of experts (ie academics thinking Economics is a pure science). GGGggggrrrhhhhhh…

  46. PETE
    “ALLAN, pretty sure the Eu have brought out a new rule saying you can’t undercut
    local wages, or something like that”
    ____________

    That’s true but I’m referring to wages being depressed, ie wages increasingly being offered at the minimum wage by employment agency’s who have thousands of unskilled migrant workers on their books who can turn up at a moments notice should an employer be looking for a cheaper option rather than dealing with new employees via their own HR systems and actually offering a living wage to British born workers.

    I’ve personally not got any time for employment agency’s and see them as parasitic worms of working Britain, depressing wages and overlooking British born workers.

    Have a look at this advert…
    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=polish+hiring+polish+in+uk&oq=polish+hiring+polish+in+uk&aqs=chrome..69i57.7988j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&ibp=htl;jobs#htidocid=hXe4p72cAkycAe5UAAAAAA%3D%3D

    BRS currently seeking Factory Workers on behalf of their client based in Cambeltown, Argyll and Bute to work within a hardworking team of Polish speaking individuals. Accommodation is provided.

    Our client is a world class manufacturer for both the onshore and offshore wind energy market, who provide both ready to install turbines as well as offering a repair and modification service to their clients.

    No experience required as full training will be provided!

    Must be willing to work Overtime & Weekends and be fluent in speaking English / Polish

    Job details:

    Start Date: ASAP

    Term: Ongoing / Long Term

    Bonuses: Accommodation provided! (Individual rooms / walking distance to work) / Overtime Rates / Long Hours

    To submit your interest in this position, please submit your CV and we will contact you to discuss.
    ________

    How many locally born people in Campbeltown will be able to speak Polish?

    At the other side of the argument and it’s something ol Corby brought up and that’s if say a Polish worker working for RBS on a salary of £42,000 in the UK and then subsequently gets a transfer to Poland the he/she should still be receiving the same remuneration package as they did back in the UK but this is not always the case and UK companies have exploited this and paid the going rate in Poland.

    It’s something for the EU to sort out I would had thought?

  47. @Trev

    “How is MMT, Modern Monetary Theory, working out for Venezuela??“

    ——-

    Well how are lots of things working out for Venezuela? Like having oil, having a currency, having taxes etc.

    So do you think we should give up all those things just because things aren’t working out for… Venezuela??

    Just because something gets misapplied somewhere doesn’t make it inevitably bad!

    Also, it’s early days for MMT. Mistakes are liable to be made, lessons learned. The bank crunch took out seven percent of the economy, more than twice a typical recession and we still got back to over 2% growth inside two years. Not bad for a fledgling approach. (Asset prices got inflated, but we might have avoided some of that, it’s just that such inflation was useful electorally).

    .

  48. Re Karen Bradly

    In one sense this is refreshing that an MP actually says something of the truth of UK politics. In the main we have MPs who are just as ignorant as their electorate and why should they not be ignorant. They are often only experts in get themselves know and elected. She was a humble MP not long ago and now she is given a responsibility of section of government that she knew very little of.

    We see this however across a number of ministries so why are surprised that MP screw up time and time again have policies that are ill suited to the task and the electorate wonder why it all goes wrong.

    @JAMES E

    That is not a surprise that the electorate are contradictory, interesting they are the customer (politicians are trying to buy their votes so you never tell someone whom you want to buy your wares that they are wrong you just paint them a scenario where they feel that they can have their cake and eat it.

    So in GE2015 people voted for £20B in cuts to welfare and they were perrsauded in the belief that these cuts would not be for in work benefits. No matter what evidence was provided people believed that since that is what they wanted to do nobody said that the electorate made the wrong decision, they were ‘lied to’ was the argument

    In the end the electorate holds contradictory views depending on the detail of the issue and often how it is presented and what people believe as to the data associated with view. So your average electorate would not know that ovr half our welfare budget is spent on pensions and more people than not believed that we spent 25% of the welfare budget on unemployment benefit. With that level of misinformation you can have contradictory views.

    I often use this poll and article on immigration to show how confused people are

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/02/immigration-immigrants-british-people

    There was a similar one performed on welfare which again was equally enlightening

  49. Did anyone else hear Blunkett on R4 doing his bit to improve morale in the party he purports to belong to and represent?

    Day six of seven to save the Labour party apparently, although he seemed somewhat unclear about whether the adoption of the principles on anti-semitism had already saved it or not, presumably because having been put on the spot by NR’s gentle probing he’s a bit slow on his feet these days to think up another spurious trope to aim at Corbyn without time to think about it first, even when NR seems happy to give him all the time and prompting in the world to do so.

    Absolutely desperate stuff, it must be utterly soul-destroying for them that all the muck the Blairites and Right Wing “Moderates” continue to shovel day in day out has made not a single percentage point of difference in the polls since last June.

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