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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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  1. COLIN
    “You always seem to start from the wrong end John. Its as though you believe that large scale, uncontrolled, unmanaged immigration is-in itself-a “good” thing.”
    No, Colin, as you know, I think the misuse of language or the misstatement of facts is bad for your immortal soul, so I won’t let that go. If I may refer to @S.Thomas: . “Freedom of movement. Politically there has to be an end to free movement as far as the UK is concerned.However, having regained control of our right to oversee our own immigration policy we could out of self interest agree very generous reciprocal arrangements but not a s part of the treaty without safeguards for change.”- – this is to misstate the reality, both in respect of the meaning and character of migration, and as to any committed ornecessary U.K. policy. In regard to the latter, it is to give credence to a Farage-derived assertion on the effects and nature of migration which played to UKIP interest in drawing on the populist “comin’ over ‘ere and……,” which Cameron and the Conservative Party felt it had to concede for party political interest, rather than to abide by any careful assessment of the facts or of the national interests. In that regard, examine any statement by representatives of industry as to the need for and benefit from EU migrant labour, or – for a very thorough appraisal of studies and statistics for migration and employment and its social and economic impact in the UK as a whole – the Scottish Governments 2016 Report to the Scottish Parliament.
    My own position is based on the evidence that EU and the UK economies and demographic development, and thus, for example, availability of labour in care for the elderly or a balanced age basis of the population, measured by active workers to dependents and specifically to the aged, is not just the basis of a planned management of migration, but in practice – together with the push of an educated population suffering unemployment in the context of a half century of lag in urbanization and industrialization development, mainly in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, seeks work and livelihoods in the advanced industrial economies of Europe – and is prepared to die in travelling, mainly illegal to achieve it.
    For those and related reasons (including the basis which this imbalance creates in access to citienship as a root cause of dissidence), my view is that employment and migration policy have to be based on accepting that it is now – as the statistics show – at least fifty per cent from the international labour market that skills and labour in the UK economy have to be – and will be – derived.
    To relate this to recent debate on policy, a response which accepts this position could be found in policy ideas put forward by the Millibands in UK politics and by J.C.Juncker in the EU Agenda programme.

  2. SOMERJOHN
    the appeal of bungee jumping diminishes when you step up and finally see how thin and frayed the rope is…”

    9/10 for metaphor.
    It’sappeal diminishes still further when you discover that the bungee designer and operator have miscalculated the length of the rope v. distance to the ground, so that you’re going to whack into the concrete with full velocity. The assurance that the oranisers have laid on amulances and arrangements for triage and A&E is strangely unreassuring.

  3. its – tut tut.

  4. In migration. I think it will move more to the Gulf-states’ version of season – so, instead of migration, bonded workers.

    Hungary, which had to be taken to court for refusing to take more refugees, and whose government entices violence against certified refugees, including children, started to import Pakistani, Vietnamese and Indonesian labour in 3-5 year contracts for the construction industry.

    Romanian food processing and shipbuilding industries have imported Nepalese and Vietnamese workers in similar terms (the food processing industry also uses Hungarian migrant labour).

    While the argument for this is mainly about lack of manpower, and skills, it simply maintains the low wages in these sectors, more so than migration.

    Also bonded workers are great for circumventing some “red tape regulations” on welfare and employee rights.

  5. Autocorrect…

    First line: “On migration. I think it will move more to the Gulf-states’ version of serfdom”

  6. LASZLO
    Yes, that seems likely. But it may be that, as with any mechanisms which the Labour Party might propose, this is to deal in apparatus rather than in the totality of migration. The morphing of the legitimate international labour market into one which merges in national solutions and mechanisms may nevertheless, as Juncker has recognised, adapt continuously over decades and in successive changes to institutonal structure in recognition of the demographics of migration from countries of origin and that of receiver countries. It has been this and its adaptation to to national economies and care and pension systems.that is reflected in the EC 2015 Ageing Report which brought together all the then relevant national statistics and projections (Treasury and ONS in the case of the UK – worth a look if you are not familiar with it.

  7. LASZLO
    Yes, that seems likely. But it may be that, as with any mechanisms which the Labour Party might propose, this is to deal in apparatus rather than in the totality of migration. The morphing of the legitimate international labour market into one which merges in national solutions and mechanisms may nevertheless, as Juncker has recognised, adapt continuously over decades and in successive changes to institutonal structure in recognition of the demographics of migration from countries of origin and that of receiver countries. It has been this and its adaptation to to national economies and care and pension systems.that is reflected in the EC 2015 Ageing Report which brought together all the then relevant national statistics and projections (Treasury and ONS in the case of the UK – worth a look if you are not acquainted with it.

  8. Charles, Carfrew
    “As a serious investor TOH should be studying links such as the one you put up but I doubt that he or other brexiters will read it or believe it if they do. (I repeat the link below just in case they do).”

    Many thanks Charles. I have read it with interest. The sluggish UK growth in anticipation of Brexit is entirely predictable and indeed both Alec and I did so, reasonably accurately. It’s one of the Areas where Alec and I have been able to agree. Where we disagree is that I feel that the downturn has as much to do with the very high levels of consumer debt than Alec does. I think he feels it is much more to do with Brexit (if I have got that wrong Alec I apologise). I also agree with him that uncertainty is having a negative effect on the economy. One of the reasons I want it over quickly and am not particularly happy with a two year transition.

    The rest of the report seems far too pessimistic to me and frankly I don’t buy it. I see post Brexit as a period of expanding of trade with the rest of the World and a rebalancing of our economy, something long overdue in my opinion. That’s just IMO of course, and before you ask, no I’m not going to back it up with a detailed analysis of why I think that. This is not the place, nor am I prepared to spend the time doing that. Let’s just say I prefer to share a World view with people like James Dyson.

    As to my investment strategy Carfrew is quite correct I have already made significant sums out of the opportunity provided by the Brexit vote. In fact I bought my wife a new small car on the proceeds. The fall in the value of the £ boosted the profits of UK companies (artificially) leading to a rise in the Footsie 100 and 250 to new heights. I invested additional money in UK shares as soon as I heard the referendum result and was able to take profits relatively quickly. I don’t deal much in single shares (about 10%) of my portfolio.

    My long term strategy is very different and my investments are spread very wide globally and are mainly in more complex funds. For example I significant investments in China and India as well as some emerging economies and even some European investments (that should make you smile Charles).

    My question to you is why should I be worried by such reports Charles.I think it will be good for me and good for the UK in the longer term. As you know my main concern is for my children and grandchildren which is why I voted the way I did in the referendum.

  9. I am sure this campaign will be supported by those passionate about Brexit.

    https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/a50-chall-her-e50/

  10. PAUL
    There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently about how dogs learn reciprocally to use eye contact with their owners to convey emotion. I was disconcerted couple of nights ago to find Alice our cavapoo on the arm of my chair gazing up at me her tail wagging furiously in shared enjoyment of the loveliness of Darcy Bussell on Strictly It Takes Two

  11. John Pilgrim

    Thanks for mentioning the ageing reports. I knew of the German one, but not the other countries.

  12. @Paul Croft

    “Quite right: apart from anything else all the criticism – which is both childish and over-the-top – is totally pointless and just extends disagreements.
    Just can’t see the point at all – it comes over as obsessive.”

    ——–

    You mean like constantly picking away at someone’s use of language, coz that isn’t obsessive at all. You even do it when I’ve not been around or days or weeks, which hardly anyone else here would stoop to. Seems a bit much to try and claim the moral high ground over childishness when you keep chirping “deuce!!” and do forth. And it’s weird to get het up about one comment about a snail, and not be bothered at all by all the ordure heaped on Corbyn.

  13. @ToH

    You don’t have any investments in storage do you? Because they seem to be doing rather well at the moment, at my expense!

  14. I do like the bungee jumping stuff. Endless possibilities for extended dark comedy.

    JP

    I loved Darcy with Dawn French as a ballerina some years ago.

    DF as a soprano singing Kylie’s “I Should Be So Lucky” was similarly entertaining.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

    [ Rothesay opinions anyone? ]

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………
    PS For animal lovers META PICTURE is a truly remarkable site with hundreds of amazing and beautu=iful photos.

  15. Anyone know anything about the Isle of Bute/Rothesay – from the point of view of a holiday?

    Depends what sort of hol you want. I’ve passed through Bute on way to Arran, which is much more dramatic, but then I like walking. You may not.
    The following site is part of a series which I have found v useful. https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/argyll/isle-of-bute.shtml
    I guess Bute has rather more castles, houses to see etc if that’s yr bag.

  16. carfrew

    But the snail does not deserve it whereas Corbyn..:-)

  17. @Colin

    “You always seem to start from the wrong end John. Its as though you believe that large scale, uncontrolled, unmanaged immigration is-in itself-a “good” thing. If anything qualifies as ” a spurious argument based on a poorly considered and muddled prejudice.” -that is it.”

    ——-

    That’s not his argument though is it. He’s saying it might be UK policy to continue with lots of immigration, but from different sources, because of the job requirements, business desires etc.

    And haven’t seen too much of a response to this.

  18. @S Thomas

    Careful, or St. Paul will brand you a sinner!!

  19. @ToH Thanks for your courteous attention to my post. I have watched the recent attacks on you with sadness, We would do far better to engage with you and try to take your points on board – hence my wish to get an agreed list of the arguments for Brexit. Given such a list and (ideally one for the other side) one could look at proposals such as those by S Thomas and see how far they would give people what they want.

    On the particular point at issue, my point was better put by peterW
    For Leave voters, the prognostications of economic doom were already in the price, either because they were not believed or because they were believed to be worth paying.

    On the investment point I am not competent to pronounce. I have, however, a nephew who was a very serious investor and made great wealth by betting against various countries/currencies (not sure of the distinction and even less sure of the morality), Unlike you he considers Brexit a self-inflicted wound. Like you, however, I suspect, he considers the current state of the UK economy to be very dodgy and essentially similar to that of countries against whom he had bet in the past. (Sadly I extracted this information at a wedding and had no time to understand the rationale for all but it did not essentially have anything to do with brexit)

  20. PAUL
    DF as a soprano singing Kylie’s “I Should Be So Lucky” was similarly entertaining
    For the ultimate dirty dancing you should see her Argentine tango – somewhere on Youtube I hope -but don’t let Rosie and Daisey watch it.

  21. @ CHARLES – ECJ is supposed to be a court. Are you suggesting that this decision was simply influenced by politics?

    YES. Although I am encouraged that the EU might be finally going after the German cabal

    YES to the 2nd part in naive theory. UK could be the financial capital for both EU and the World but clearly EU want Euro business back in EA19

    @ COLIN (9:49) – “I noted from this mornings reports that the Maltese PM had said TM’s speeches & contributions had been “her best yet” in Brussels.
    Maybe she is learning on the job :-)”

    I’m assuming this is sarcasm? Malta is about 2/3 the size and population of Leeds so reports of their PM being pleased with May on her knees giving a good performance are not very encouraging IMHO. Clive Lewis summed up that approach I think.

  22. @ LASZLO

    With regards Agricultural and Fishery Quotas & Subsidies, I genuinely hope the whole system is completely reformed from an “entitlement” system to one that gives reward for environmentally sustainable practices.

    With regards quotas sold outside the EU, I hope they have the same value as a British Home Stores voucher on Brexit.

  23. CHARLES

    Many thanks and don’t worry about attacks on me. Generally I’m not bothered, occasionally they become obsessive and that is worrying because it is a possible a sign of health issues of the perpetrator.

    I think the £ could suffer another fall if we leave without a deal but would recover as the economy starts to improve again.

    I read S Thomas’s comments with interest, I always do. Not really convinced and think we are still most likely to leave without a deal. Currency dealing can be quite risky and it’s not something I do.

  24. @ LASZLO

    I should say: With regards EU quotas sold outside the UK – I hope they have the same value as a British Home Stores voucher on Brexit.

  25. TOH: As to my investment strategy Carfrew is quite correct I have already made significant sums out of the opportunity provided by the Brexit vote. In fact I bought my wife a new small car on the proceeds.
    … My long term strategy is very different and my investments are spread very wide globally and are mainly in more complex funds.

    Thanks for your clear exposition of your personal immunity from the negative effects of Brexit, as the majority of your investment income derives from economies other than the UK’s.

    A sensible strategy. I’m in the same fortunate position of my personal finances being robust (my wants and needs are modest, which helps) and largely Brexit-proof. But very few of our countrymen and women are in that happy position. So if we happy few base our poiitical prescriptions on our own exceptional good fortune, there is a danger of appearing insensitive or even of gloating. I think that’s one of the factors behind inter-generational discord and the rise of Corbyn.

    I read this morning that a third of near-future retirees will have no income other than state pension; and that of those with private pensions, 88% have a pot of less than £100,000 (which would allow drawdown of perhaps £5kpa for 25 years).

    As for those at the start of their careers, unable to buy a home, the prospect of a damaged or collapsing economy must be infinitely depressing. So I suggest those who espouse brexit ask not what it will do for them, but what it will do for the generation following them. (And a good start to that would be to take on board younger people’s concerns).

  26. The Alastair Campbell speech is here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/16/theresa-may-brexit-cant-be-done

    I’ll offer an edited version to be delivered on the steps of 10 Downing Street on 21Nov (or change it slightly for early Dec, mid Dec). Most of the Campbell’s prepared speech is excellent, he was the master of spin so I’ll photocopy most of it – my changes in italics:

    “Leadership is about confronting the great challenges. But Brexit is the biggest challenge we have faced since the second world war. So I intend to devote my speech, in four parts, to this alone.
    “First, I want to explain why I voted remain – because for all its faults, the European Union has been a force for good in Europe and in the UK. I believed that our future prosperity and security, and opportunities for our young people, would be enhanced by staying in. Second, I want to explain why, nonetheless, I was something of a reluctant remainer. The truth is, there is a lot wrong with the EU. So though I voted remain, I was not starry-eyed. I was determined that, had we won, we would also fight for reform.

    “Third, I want to explain why I have been trying so hard to deliver the Brexit the people voted for. It was a close result. But leave won. I felt strongly that it was my duty to deliver the only Brexit that I believed could meet the demands of the majority of leavers – out of the single market and the customs union, out of the European court of justice. but with a fair divorce bill and a deep and special new relationship
    “But precisely because I have a profound sense of duty, I want to tell you the absolute truth as I see it. It cannot be done. Yes, you can shout. You can storm out. But I have looked at it every which way. And, as your leader, I have concluded that it cannot be done without enormous damage to our economy, to your living standards, to our public services, to our standing in the world. This is damage I am not prepared to inflict. The cost of the EU demands are too high

    “I will publish the terms of divorce and future relationship that the EU have offered us and if you look behind me you will see the backdrop has gone and instead there is onscreen the letter I will be sending to Donald Tusk and the EU 27 heads of government later today.

    “I say to Ken, to Anna, to Nicky , and to their acolytes, it is decision time. If you feel you don’t wish to listen to the arguments I will make, then you know what you have to do. I am ready for any challenge, confident that finally I will be able to fight for what I believe is the right course for Britain, and confident that once the public have the proper debate we failed to have during the referendum and the election, that my view can prevail in the country.
    “The Labour party will also have to make up its mind. Most of Labour’s front bench support the position I am setting out today, though their MPs may need to be persuaded. We may need a new referendum to settle this. We may also need a new General Election if Jeremy Corbyn continues to frustrate parliament’s attempts to pass the Repeal Bill and other needed legislation . I am aware I am launching something here, the course of which is unpredictable. I am prepared to take all the risks attached to that. For I am no longer willing to pretend. I am no longer willing for the delusions of the few to dictate a strategy for the many, when so much is at stake.
    We tried to negotiate in good faith, we want to remain friends with the remaining 27 countries of the EU and our on going security arrangements and the rights of citizens which has already been agreed goes without question. However, we will not be bullied into a situation where we pay 60bn to end up with a worse deal than the arrangement we had prior to 22 June 2016 and we will not continue ongoing payments to the EU for that arrangement. We have agreed a 2year transition with the EU and I hope they intend to honour those arrangements to avoid unnecessary economic damage to both sides but that is their choice. We still hope for a fair deal and trust that the leaders of the EU27 understand this. We have set out the terms we consider to be fair but are quite prepared to walk away from negotiations after the December EU Council meeting if the EU insist on punishment terms for our ongoing relationship. Our new CoE will tomorrow set out not one but two budgets. The first will be our policy if the EU accept our terms and the second will be our policy if we have to walk away from negotiations. Make no mistake, the UK will survive Brexit and we will do whatever it takes to ensure a bright and prosperous future for all UK citizens”

    Minor change to Campbell’s final section:
    Big and bold, I’m sure you will agree. She would get resignations, and vitriol by the bucket-load from the
    Remainist media. She might lose her job. Equally, this might be the way to save it.

  27. I give up

  28. On Bute, the place to see is Mount Stuart castle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Stuart_House

    But I think it is closed for most of the winter, and I doubt you`ll be able to leaf through the Shakespeare First Folio.

  29. ROBBIE

    Thanks and that was helpful. I’ve visited Arran a number of times [my ex Director of Music from Northumberland actually retired there ages ago] and it is beautiful.

    Played golf there [given it up as a waste of my life long ago…] and the backdrop was the most beautiful I ever experienced.

    Actually, I played in Orkney also and that was really dramatic – I remember hitting my tee shot into the sea off from an adjoining cliff.

    [That wasn’t dramatic – fairly normal really.[

  30. SOMERJOHN @ TOH

    Very true. The three of us are in fortunate situations, and in spite of TOH’s confusion over when he was entitled to vote, I tend to believe his assertion that his kids are not worried. He was certainly blessed by fortune by being one of the very first born not to have to complete National Service.

    I find it hard to imagine that many other quitters who post here feel the same.

  31. ROBBIE

    “I give up”.

    Don’t worry too much – it’s a fairly harmless [albeit strangely obsessive] hobby.

    DAVWEL

    Ta.

  32. With regards immigration, lots of low wage seeking immigrants who competed with their native equivalents are effectively subsidised by the UK taxpayer because of the entitlements those people have to UK in work benefits. The employers also benefit from this top up to the low wage immigrants actual wage.

    Add to that issues such “right to family association” i.e. bring your elderly parents – who have never “contributed” to the UK tax system- for free care provided by the UK taxpayer, and you start questioning what is the overall benefit to the UK of that immigration.

    Of course, for corporations and rich individuals who own companies or lots of shares there are many advantages to the current arrangements!

  33. JONESINBANGOR

    I agree with you on the fisheries and agricultural policies and quotas.

    The trouble is that I don’t see a political drive to follow the goals that you mentioned.

    I have interviewed several dozens of fishermen, and their companies, wholesalers, market managers , retailers, etc. The gap between their very valid perceptions of the industry and the attributed causes is massive. And there is, of course, the flouting of the rules, which are not really discussed openly, but it’s easy to detect, but only when the rapport is established.

    As a result the industry as a whole doesn’t have a real lobbying power – beyond the attributed causes, i.e. EU regulations – and it is terribly fragmented on any other issue.

  34. JONESINBANGOR

    There’s actually a market for the quotas… It’s a highly volatile market, and some speculators (i.e. not only companies involved in the sector) are very active there.

  35. New BMG poll on leaving the EU in the Indy: Three-quarters of the UK public say Brexit is going badly, new poll reveals.

    With fieldwork 17-20 October, it includes:

    Almost half also think that the no-deal scenario threatened by ministers would be “bad” for Britain, and reject outright the hard Brexit plan to abandon talks at Christmas if the EU does not allow progress, according to the poll.

    ….

    The survey asked, “In your view, how well or badly do you feel the negotiations are going?” Seventy-six per cent said they felt they are going either “quite badly” or “very badly”.

    Only 1 per cent thought they are going “very well”, with a further 11 per cent thinking they are going quite well and 12 per cent saying “don’t know”.

    ….

    The survey suggests almost half of people, some 46 per cent, believe a deal is either “fairly” or “very” unlikely, with 37 per cent believing the opposite and 17 per cent saying they “don’t know”.

    Meanwhile, 45 per cent, think a no-deal scenario would be bad for Britain, only 11 per cent think it would be good, while 22 per cent say it would make “no difference”.

  36. bZ

    i am worried by the 25% who do not think they are going badly!. The brexiteers think they are going badly because we have not left and the EU is intransigent and they are going badly because of the EU and the other half think they are going badly because they have started at all and TM is to blame.

  37. TREVOR WARNE

    I suspect you’re correct that May will be making a #10 speech in the not too distant future bowdlerising the Alastair Campbell preface, but I wouldn’t be quite so confident of the ending.

  38. St H

    For once we agree.

  39. Howard, you said.

    “Generally I’m not bothered, occasionally they become obsessive and that is worrying because it is a possible a sign of health issues of the perpetrator.”

    I support those asking you to cool it.

    Every post contains something that seems to offend someone, why do it? It isn’t free speech its boorishness.

    It is in poor taste to question someones health when they disgree with your very easy to disagree with posts.

  40. MARK

    On the balance between freedom of speech and freedom to offend – and specifically where the latter moves from subjective to objective offence – I heard a brief radio snippet dealing with the approach by some University groups.

    Listening to it I must say I felt conflicted: you’ll be aware that Universities throughout the world are withdrawing invitations to speakers on the grounds that their views are offensive. And in many cases I would agree with their judgements.

    However the other view is that actually challenging such views, rather than simply banning them, is a far better way to deal with these situations

    Given that they were discussing Universities, where one would expect a high standard of debate, I was most drawn to that view. The problem seems to me to lie with the subjective/objective line. Most of us would be able to agree on things that we would feel to be so wrong as to definitely be offensive and therefore not worth debating with anyone, anywhere, and therefore pointless to invite people to defend such views.

    But, on the other hand it is impossible to agree precisely where the dividing line is. So, for example, I might be willing to listen to a debate on sharia law in a University setting, precisely because I know it would be challenged effectively. But I would not approve of someone espousing it in public, unchallenged and in a different setting.

    Anyway, the above has little to do with your post, [the answer to that problem could have been a simple, Livingstone “I am sorry of anyone was offended” response] but the radio programme did make me think about how one balances those two freedoms, and I was therefore curious as to others views.

  41. Somerjohn
    The post was specifically to Charles who felt I needed to read a report which I did. However as I have the time I will respond.

    Yes, you , I, and BZ are all lucky to be in the fortunate position we are, but I‘ll ask you both a question, how much of that is down to luck, and how much to hard work, and careful planning and investing on your part? Throughout my working life I was conscious of the need for a healthy income on retirement. I took pension entitlements into consideration when thinking about job changes. Like you I have no great interest in owning things, other than those required for mine and my wife’s hobbies. My wife and I started out in life with very little and therefore have always tended to be relatively frugal. My luck was firstly being born into the generation I was, and secondly having an illness from which I recovered, which enabled me to retire early on a full ill health pension. Since then my investment strategy has worked very well, initially with some good advice from a friend and generally by spending time on the detail (I do detail when I want to). So where I stand today is due to a mixture of hard work, sound investment strategies and a lot of luck.

    I agree few of our countrymen and women are in the position we are in. However I am not basing my political prescriptions on my own good fortune as you put it. I genuinely believe that Brexit will be better for the UK in so many ways, including economically.. I do not share your view that the UK economy will collapse if we leave the EU without a deal. Only time will tell who is correct on that. If I have appeared insensitive I hope what I am saying now will help to correct that view.

    “I read this morning that a third of near-future retirees will have no income other than state pension; and that of those with private pensions, 88% have a pot of less than £100,000 (which would allow drawdown of perhaps £5kpa for 25 years).”

    That is a very worrying statistic and I feel for those who through no fault of their own are in that position. I had about half that figure when I retired 25 years ago but of course the £ was worth more then. However a question I would ask is how many of that third have actually had a good job over the years but have not bothered to provide for their futures, preferring to spend the money on” things” like flash cars, expensive holidays etc. I suspect many is the answer. For them I have less sympathy.

    As to the young I have a lot of sympathy, you could say “they’ve never had it so bad”. An education system that is not fitting them for the available jobs, housing stocks which are totally inadequate and therefore with prices which are unaffordable, for many sizeable debts when then leave University. We need to spend much more on building houses, more on apprenticeships, and much less on sending people to University to get degrees which aren’t worth the paper they are printed on; at least as far as the jobs market is concerned. Therefore we need to create more wealth, which certainly won’t be achieved by going down Corbyn’s route. Leaving the EU, cutting taxes including business taxes as much as possible whilst staying fiscally prudent make sense to me. All IMO of course. Does my answer help you to understand where I am coming from?

  42. Paul, that is not connected to boorish forum behavior in any way.

  43. MarkW

    If my comment offends you then I am happy to withdraw it. I was not intending to be offensive but was expressing very genuine concerns about obsessive behavour. It wasn’t me that originally described it as obsessive by the way, I think it was Paul.
    As to my posts I never mind people disagreeing with me, it would be very boring if we all agreed all the time.

  44. Local election results.

    UKIP appear to fizzle to the left or right in different areas.

    ‘ Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party ‘ as the writer amusingly and persistently coins it, is holding steady.

    No signs of honeymoon for the blues.

    https://labourlist.org/2017/10/council-by-elections-labour-holds-five-seats-as-ukip-slide-continues/

  45. PAUL Croft

    @”What’s the tartan like?

    Red mostly , with green & blue.

  46. MIKE PEARCE

    @”. It will be interesting what the divorce bill ends up being. Johnson can then perhaps explain where that extra money for the NHS is going to come from.”

    You seem to be confusing one off , or time limited payments to EU as a result of leaving, and the permanent gain to the Treasury of cessation of net budget payments.

  47. MarkW

    “I support those asking you to cool it.”

    Apart from you I’m not sure I have seen anybody doing that in the last twenty four hours with one exception.

    “Every post contains something that seems to offend someone, why do it? It isn’t free speech its boorishness.”

    Your entitled to your opinion, but all i can say is that I am am entitled to mine which i often post here. It is certainly not my desire to offend.

  48. TOH, or you could think about less disruptive.

    The last time i raised this you said something similar and also shared that your son has suffered from depression, so I was irritated to see you use the same rather inflammatory come back again.

  49. MarkW

    “No signs of honeymoon for the blues.”

    Agreed but Thursdays results were OK for them with some increased vote shares from memory.

  50. @Lazslo

    Yes, I’m aware that there’s a big quota selling /lending business.

    The whole system is a farce and needs complete reform.

    No more quotas for people who never put out to sea etc, and an emphasis on new entrants and local economic benefits from fishing.

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