Friday, May 30, 2008
The poll has the Conservatives on 47% (+3), Labour on 23% (-3) and the Liberal Democrats on 18% (+1).
Anthony Wells election calculator gives:
Conservatives 450 (+252)
Labour 144 (-212)
Liberal Democrats 27 (-35)
Others 11 (-1)
Northern Ireland 18 (NC)
This of course would be devastating for Labour if these numbers were repeated at a general election. I don't think it would be quite that bad for Labour, but then I did not think we would be quite this far ahead in the polls either.
I must admit I may have to rethink my position on this. I had worked on the basis that Gordon Brown was safe as PM for a number of reasons: Labour MP's could not get rid of a second leader in one parliament and look credible (they would also face pressure to hold a general election) and that there are enough Brown acolytes around to hold the party together by fear. Accordingly I had been working on the basis of Gordon Brown being PM as we go into an election in 2010.
I may be changing my mind. Guido points out did say how much of a disaster Gordon Brown would be as PM. I think he is being that us right leaning bloggersdisingenuous. No one could have thought he would be quite this bad. Also I suspect that Gordon's band of trusted acolytes is actually dwindling fast. I also doubt they can cast as much fear in Labour MP's as the polls do. The net result is that Gordon Brown is now far from safe as PM.
Politicalbetting also has this and this.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
There is an interesting if gloomy article in the Guardian here which not only points out (as the BBC article does) that the rate of fall since this time last year is 4.4% the worst since 1992, but that over the last 3 months it has been falling at an annualised rated of 16%, worse than since the Nationwide started to collect this information.
Is this a good thing? Well, house prices are ridiculous, so in the long term a correction is good. In the short term however it is dire. It is going to cause people untold pain and will cause pain in the wider economy as well.
It has been obvious to me that housing had become and asset bubble for some years now, and we all know that these bubbles burst. We also know that causes pain, which is not good. The question is what can be done about it in advance? It is a hard one, but have to wonder what interest rates would have done to the housing market if they were tied to RPI not CPI. The former includes for housing costs the latter does not. Would that have curbed the excesses of the housing market, defusing the bubble before it burst?
It goes on to point out that if it does so then members of the NEC would be liable for the debts, including the following MP's.
* Janet Anderson MP (Div. V - PLP/ELP)
* Gordon Brown MP (Leader)
* Angela Eagle MP (Government)
* Harriet Harman MP (Deputy Leader)
* Pat McFadden MP (Government)
* Dawn Primarolo MP (Government)
* Dennis Skinner MP (Div. V - PLP/EPLP)
* Keith Vaz MP (Black Socialist Society)
(Hat tip to Timothy's helpful post here on PoliticalBetting)
My understanding is that if you are an undischarged bankrupt you can't be an MP. So there could be some interesting by elections.
The other interesting point is that the GMB have indemnified their two members on the NEC. Depending on how they have done this, it could leave the GMB liable for all Labour's debt, if the indemnity is to cover all loses. If however the indemnity allows for its members to go bankrupt but then the GMB will, as their "friend" buy out their interest in their assets (such as houses and pensions) then obviously that will not be a problem.
The big question is, however, will Labour go bust?
No. I can't see it happening. No matter how much noise the creditors make something will turn up or some deal will be negotiated. What is clear though is that Labour is in no shape to fight any elections.
As Guido noted, having formerly noted that oil prices had already dropped from $135 per barrel to $126, prices rose on Gordon Brown's request.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I have to say that it was both a very moving inspiring and funny programme.
I appreciate that Mary Whitehouse is not every ones cup of tea, neither was she mine, but I have now got a great deal of respect and admiration for her.
I had not realised how much of a campaign of personal vilification had been launched against her, and more shockingly her family.
It took a lot of courage to make the stand that she did, and organise the campaign that she did. She showed that people power can work.
She was also responsible for the concept of the watershed, which many parents are truly grateful for.
Both Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes use that as some kind of argument to say that David Cameron should be saying that we will be cutting taxes as soon as we get in. They are both wrong for a number of reasons.
- There is a problem of political presentation. If we say we are going to cut spending then the vacuous left will equate that (wrongly) to a number of nurses or doctors. It is true that someone like Denis MacShane calling for tax cuts makes it easier and makes it harder for Labour to make the argument over nurses etc.
- Who carries out the cuts? This is important because if the management responsible for the waste are asked to make cuts then they tend to cut what is necessary over what is waste. They are only wasting money because they are incompetent anyway. As an example Margaret Thatcher tried to cut 15% from the NHS budget in the 1980's. I worked in the NHS at the time and you could see that could be done. The only problem is that the people doing the cuts were to stupid to see where to do it so cut services instead.
- We do not know how bad the public finances are going to be when we win the next general election. We already know that Labour will borrow money hand over fist to pay for their own mistakes like the 10p tax fiasco and hock the country to the eyeballs in a fascist finance scheme.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
A government should be no different. Labour should not be frightened of being a party that leaves more money in the pockets of hard-working individuals, starting with those at the lower end of the income scale. A Labour government that got serious about weaning its bureaucracy and clients off dependency on the citizen's money would find itself popular again. David Cameron's only policy to curb public spending appears to be abolishing MPs' pension rights, which may be no problem when your household's net worth is in the millions. Today's Tories are not toffs in top hats, but most shadow cabinet members are very wealthy and do not experience the weekly worries of making ends meet.Worth a read.
One thing that strikes me though is how much of it seems died in the wool Conservative thinking.
According to this article in the Telegraph the change affects 18 million drivers, whilst the Daily Mail has this.
This seems to be causing some angst on the Labour benches, and not because a green tax is being raised, but because it is being done retrospectively.
There are a number of issues with the tax as proposed of course, like how it seems to hit quite a lot of what people think of as "family cars" and also the fact that it is more likely that a 7 year old family car is likely to be owned by someone on lower income than a new one.
I would pose the question "what will next weeks revolt be about?" but we still have the 42 days thing coming up.
Has a Prime minister ever looked so weak and inept?
Monday, May 26, 2008
Paratroopers in Iraq and Afghanistan get a lot more than hurt feelings, they get injuries of all sorts, followed by the MOD doing its level best to hand out as little money as possible, despite a clear responsibility to do so yet it has caved in over "hurt feelings".
Has the world gone mad?
Friday, May 23, 2008
It might just do that but it will crash, make no mistake about that.
The reason why it will crash is that supply does in fact outstrip demand, though not by much and oil states are beginning to have trouble selling their oil. In fact according to this comment piece in the Times yesterday oil tankers are waiting in ports laden with oil awaiting a buyer whilst Iran can't sell enough so is pumping less. Prices are rising because oil speculators think it should and are buying and selling futures at inflated prices.
The oil market is yet another asset bubble. It will burst. When it does oil will return to $70 a barrel.
|Monster Raving Loony||The Flying Brick||236||0.57|
|UK Independence||Mike Nattrass||922||2.22|
|English Democrats||David Roberts||275||0.66|
|Liberal Democrat||Elizabeth Shenton||6040||14.53|
|Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol||Paul Thorogood||118||0.28|
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Ben Brogan has heard similar with some Labour people telling him that they expect the Conservatives to get over 50%.
This is of course slightly nuts as there are 10 candidates and that makes it almost impossible to get over 50%.
The other thing people are watching for is if the swing is higher than Eastbourne in 1990 (20%), because not only did the Conservatives win the seat back at the next general election but also won a majority in the House of Commons. The thinking seems to be that they would win the seat back at the next general election. That analysis misses the way that we got rid of Mrs Thatcher and a few hated policies.
The big question is what will the fall out be like. Well here is my view:
1. A Conservative win, even by one vote breaks a duck.
2. If the Conservatives achieve a swing of 15% then Labour are in trouble and set to lose the next election.
3. If the Conservatives get a swing of more than 20% Gordon Brown will be dragged out of number 10 by the men in grey suits and shot in the street.You do have to wonder what place Labour and the Liberal Democrats will come though, and what percentage of the vote they will get.
I sense that die hards of either party will turn out regardless and so they must get at least 10% each, however they have both done immense damage to both their local activist base and core vote by the way they have run their campaign. We shall have to see how bad it gets.
Personally I think this is nuts and unhelpful but then if it is correct then the bookmaker gets a lot of kudos.
There has been a lot of money placed on this by election, pretty much all on the Conservatives. The bookmakers stand to lose a fortune if we win tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
My source for the rumour is a reliable Labour insider, who has dual sourced it himself. Furthermore this thread on Politicalbetting shows that other Labour insiders are talking about it as well.
I do not know how successful such a bid will be, but it really does look like ferrets will be fighting in a sack.
Monday, May 19, 2008
He is a truly inspirational speaker, and more importantly, whilst of African decent is not a traditional "victim" black politician. He will have the ability to lead.
I still want Senator John McCain to win, and think he may well do so, but one thing is sure, Barack Obama will one day be President of the United states of America.
When Obama wins the Democratic nomination, he will be involved in a presidential race like no other for decades which will reinvigorate American politics and will raise turnout. All very good for Democracy.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Sunday Times has news of a Yougov poll with the the Conservatives on 45% (+1), Labour on 25% (-3) and the Liberal Democrats on 18% (+1). (Please note the changes are on the last Yougov Sunday Times poll, not the last Yougov poll which had the Conservatives 26% ahead)
The Independent on Sunday has news of a 17% lead in a Comres poll. It places the Conservatives on 43% (+3), Labour on 26% (NC) and the Liberal Democrats on 19% (+1).
It should be noted this is the highest percentage that Comres has given the Conservative party. It in combination with other polls shows that Labour is drifting in the mid twenties which should come as a shock to them as that is lower than Michael Foot achieved in 1983, with a manifesto described as the longest suicide note in history.
Things do not look good for Labour in Crewe and Nantwich either with this poll in the News of the World indicating a decisive Conservative victory. It places the Conservatives on 45% compared to Labour on 37% with the Liberal Democrats on 14%.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The big question is however, what will be in next weeks relaunch?
The answer is of course, that there will not be one next week, because that will be when Labour lose the Crewe and Nantwich by-election. The re-launch will be the following week.
So what will be in that relaunch?
I have no idea, but then, neither has Gordon Brown, he has enough trouble dealing with the panics of today.
The Sun says this whilst the BBC has this.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Hat tip to the Crown Blogspot here.
If Gordon is being deserted by candidates before they become MP's what hope has he got?
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
This does compensate all those who lost from the 10p tax issue, but it does not give all of them their maximum loss. However it does sort things out now. Where it does fall down though is compensating an a lot of people who actually gained by the abolition of the 10p tax band. Suits me though.
So is it enough?
The short answer is yes and no. If it was to buy of Labour rebels led by Frank Field then yes it appears it is. Frank Field even apologised to Gordon Brown in the house for getting personal over the weekend.
If it was in the hope of not losing Crewe and Nantwich, it has not got a hope. For a start the manner in which the concession was dragged out of the government speaks of a government that is aloof, slow and difficult. Secondly the electorate can bank this now and still give the government a good kicking. In short, the Crewe and Nantwich by election will still show a Conservative win.
The BBC has this.
The assertion comes from a regular survey of what members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors are saying about rising or falling house prices. They have not seen a market as bad as this since Sunny Jim Callaghan was Prime ministers and we were the sick man of Europe.
If you were hoping for cheery news in your news papers this morning you will be disappointed.
On a more serious note, I do hope they are wrong. We do not need a major house price collapse, as that will cause major problems for many. What we could do with is a market that is flat.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Alan Johnson, Minister for Health was interviewed on it before they went on to discuss social care.
You can listen to it here.
I have to say Alan Johnson's reply sounds so plaintive. Please please stop attacking Gordon Brown!
Is this Gordon Brown's worst week since the last one?
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Hezbollah's guns have been turned on Lebanese of all varieties who do not agree with them.
This is crucial because all militias were disarmed after the Taif accords of 1989 except Hezbollah who kept theirs as they were a resistance movement to Israel's occupation of Southern Lebanon which only finished in 2000. The basis on which they kept their guns was that they were for resistance against Israel and would not be used against Lebanese. Even then of course the fact that they had the guns even if they were not to be used against Lebanese does not mean they are not able to intimidate.
Prior to the 2006 Israeli Hezbollah summer war pressure was growing
on Sheik Nasrallah to disarm, and the cynics* amongst you may wonder if that war was not engineered to maintain an excuse for keeping the guns.
After the war Hezbollah could sell themselves as being victorious and so ensure that they kept their guns. It worked. Ehud Olmert fell straight into Nasrallah's trap.
The thing is that Nasrallah has done what he said he would not do which is to use those guns which were held solely for resistance against his own people. (By that I mean Shia, Sunni Druse and Christian who are not on his side). he has broken his agreement and now the political pressure will grow to disarm Hezbollah. It will take a lot of time, but it will happen. Legitimate resistance is no longer an excuse as those guns have now been misused.
*Well, to be fair you don't need to be much of a cynic to think that.
The BBC has this.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Yougov is described as a controversial Internet pollster despite getting closer to actual results time and time again.
Any way, this article on PoliticalBetting has the following numbers:
Conservatives 49% or 462 seats
Labour 23% or 137 seats
Liberal Democrats 17% or 23 seats
Leading to a Conservative majority of 274, according to Anthony Wells swing calculator.
I have to say these are outstanding figures, and make Michael Foot's 1983 election defeat look like a stunning victory.
Jacqui Smith, the alleged Home Secretary has made a speech to an audience who work in the field of anti social behaviour.
It seems she wants the police to harass young thugs. This seems reminiscent of David Blunkett's threat to turn up outside a fireman's house who had been accused of football hooliganism in Portugal.
Harassment is a crime, made so by the Protection from Harassment act 1997. Presumably therefore this is not quite what she means though according to the BBC article persistent offenders will be targeted. Fair enough, if you think that person A keeps on breaking the law, watch him till he does and then arrest him. Keep doing so till learns.
The plan however seems to include for all sorts of other things as well. If there is someone in a household who is "persistently anti social" then they will check to see if you have paid your council tax, road tax have a car insured and even check if you have a TV licence. I do not which to defend people who break the law, but at least now we know what all those databases are for.
If you do not cooperate with the state, then they will dig and keep digging until they have something. Scary stuff. However you may feel that is fair enough as we are not talking about Mother Teresa here. It is not fair enough. If you happen to be the brother of a criminal it is not right that the police should single you out for special treatment. You have a right to be treated equally before the law.
Of course all this rampant populism fails to deal with the key issues which are that the police have far too much paperwork to do, even more if they arrest a youth and therefore not enough time to put feet on the ground to persistently arrest persistent offenders. Instead we now see the scary side of the database state, where if the state does not like you for one reason it will find many other ways of picking on you.
It seems that Hillary Clinton just does not get it. She simply can't win the nomination.
So why has she vowed to carry on?
She will win the primaries next week, and even the week after, but so what. They will not be enough.
I have heard of one Democrat strategist on channel 4 outlining some sort of way she could win, reliant on super delegates coming to the conclusion that Barack Obama isn't winning the demographic that Hillary Clinton is, and hers is more important. In short, it seems they are saying that white working class voters have shown by voting for Hillary that they will not vote for a n.... n... gentleman of African extraction.
Lets take that load of tosh head on. Firstly it is quietly raising the race card, which is ridiculous, secondly it seems to me that they are saying that those who vote in Democratic nominations for Hillary Clinton are less likely to vote for Barack Obama at the general election.
Where is the evidence for this? Not only that, but if Hillary Clinton conceded and backed him, she would surely bring over all but the bigots?
I have to say Barack Obama is such a powerful speaker that if he gave a speech at a Klu Klux Klan meeting, I would expect him to have a 50/50 chance of getting a standing ovation. He is that good at it.
The reason she will not and has not therefore becomes questionable. Is she a racist? Or is she after something else, like guaranteeing the Vice President spot?
The idea that she is after that spot is odd to say the least. She will be 61 in October, and if Barack Obama wins the presidency and then gets a second term that means she will be 69 before she gets another crack at being the presidential nominee. Can you see the USA jumping back a generation? I can't. There will be another nominee making waves.
However a joint Omaba Clinton ticket could be the Republicans dream ticket because without having to utter a word they will get the support of both racists and misogynists whilst still having Hillary Clinton around to energise the Republican base like no other politician can which is fantastic for my betting position as I win biggest if Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination as president and John McCain wins as president.
The BBC has this.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Barack Obama has won North Carolina but it seems Indiana is still too close to call, according to this from the BBC.
I don't see Hilary Clinton conceding regardless.
However if Obama wins Indiana then the pressure on Hilary will grow. She has ignored it so far though.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The Conservatives clearly won the local elections there on the 1st of May pushing Labour into 3rd place behind the Liberal Democrats. That in my view puts us as clear favourites though the Liberal Democrat by election machine is good.
However both Labour and The Liberal Democrats seem to have irritated their base. The former by undue haste in moving the writ for the by election before Gwyneth Dunwoody's funeral then parachuting her daughter, a Brown loyalist, in the latter by talking rubbish about how our candidate is not local because he ran the New york Marathon.
More later, meanwhile the BBC has this.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Meanwhile Matt in the Telegraph a few days ago has this cartoon which really says it all.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
You can view the whole speech here.
That said he does seem keen to build a government of all the talents. It will be interesting to see what next week brings.
From the ridiculous Stalin to Mr Bean stuff, the cold winter bit or the wild west show over the Liberal Democrat vote that Jeremy Vine did last night to the lack of rolling results as they came in for the London mayoral elections the BBC has been a large pile of fetid urine soaked manure of the most odious kind.
One person who texted me insisted that it was because they are all lefties. I say no, it is because they are all a complete bunch of merchant bankers. It has nothing to do with political bias, it has all to do with the sort of bankers in the news departments of the BBC.
In order to get up to date results I decamped to my local pub and watched it on Sky news. There was no sound, but then there was no Jeremy Vine making a spectacle of himself. What there was in the bottom right hand corner of the screen was up to date results which were missing from the BBC.
Where there have been mistakes we will rectify them,Outstanding speech. I should add that he started by thanking all those who voted against him many of whom he said he had met over the last month, not all of whom were entirely polite.
where there are achievements we will build on them
where there are neglected opportunities we will seize on them.
Ken Livingstone also delivered a gracious speech.
Well done all.
Can I just say this.
The voting is over. It is excruciatingly hard work to lose an election,
(well, it is if you are trying to win) let alone winning one, however the work for the winner has only just begun.
I am personally confident that Boris Johnson will be a fantastic Mayor of London and will deliver results even if Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh is his diplomatic adviser. He may say some things that will throw seasoned hacks in to spin, but that is just Boris.
It is a fantastic result.
Brian Paddick also won more votes for the Liberal Democrats than they have in the past.
This is a win for the Conservative party, but a massive win for democracy as voters have turned out in much larger numbers than they have in the past.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Bizarre but true. See the BBC here.
The last time these elections were held was a very low ebb for Labour. In reality it would have been possible for Labour to claw back some net gains, certainly with the Brown bounce last summer. All that is now gone and labour have had a right kicking losing 331 seats.
The BBC have calculated the national share of the vote and that puts Labour in third place on 24% of the vote with the Conservatives on 44% and the Liberal Democrats on 25%. This is the worst Labour result for 40 years.
The BBC has this.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
The mood for a change in London also seems strong. Boris Johnson looks like he is going to win.
That said the question will be by how much. According to this thread on politicalbetting.com the last YouGov poll is much tighter than before.
To be honest I don't know what the margin will be but what I do know is that there seems to be a mood for a change. Labour voters are demotivated and we have the wind in our sails.
On the wider picture I suspect we will pick up over 100 seats in the council elections which will be a real bonus because 2004 when these seats were last contested was already a very low water mark for Labour. To give you some idea of how bad that was, if these elections were held with the same positive sentiment that existed for Gordon Brown between June and September last year then Labour would have gained at least 100 seats. No one thinks they will have any net gains now.