Archive for August, 2020


Just a year and a bit after becoming PM Johnson finds him trailing in YouGov’s “Best PM” polling

Friday, August 7th, 2020

But the same poll has the Tories 6% ahead One of the things about this regular polling question on who people would prefer as PM is that the incumbent generally gets a huge boost and it is only very rare that we have a finding like that from YouGov today which puts the LOTO in the top slot. To analyse what has happened I thought it might be useful to put the crossheads into to a chart as shown above and one thing that is happening is that while 4% of Labour voters from GE2019 choose Boris 8% of Tory voters from that election go for Starmer.

Order Tramadol 180 Cod The LAB leader seems to be doing better with men than women while the socio-economic group split has Johnson doing particularly well amongst C2DEs but trailing amongst ABCs ones.

follow link As you’d expect remainers go more for Starmer while leavers are with Johnson.

follow url Whatever this is not a good place for Johnson to be.

Mike Smithson

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Only days away now from the Biden VP choice and it’ll be a huge surprise if it is not Kamala Harris or Susan Rice

Friday, August 7th, 2020

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watch The Democratic convention is due to start, in a virtual form because of the pandemic, on August 17th and the big development in the run up to the opening will be Joe Biden’s choice of running mate. This is currently the most active political betting market and overnight Betfair had ex-US UN Ambassador as a 32% chance with California Senator Kamala Harris hovering just below 50%. These are the only two who are getting the media coverage at the moment and it will be a huge surprise if he names someone else.

go get link I just wonder whether Rice, who worked closely with Biden during the eight years of the Obama administration has known all along that the job would be hers if Biden became the nominee. Back in the spring of 2019 all the speculation was that Rice would run for the Senate and was working hard to get the nomination in Maine. She then pulled out of that race just as it became clear that Biden would go for the White House and the polls had him well a ahead. That’s just my guess but the timing fits and Rice would be uniquely qualified. Her biggest negative is what she did after the controversial Benghazi when a number of US soldiers were killed. Fox News and co are already to go on the attack on this point if she does get the job and Rice is reported to be ready to take this head on.

watch I was all in the green on this market. Now I’ve put more on Rice using my likely gains in the main nominee market.

Mike Smithson

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The latest charts from Ipsos MORI – the UK’s most experienced pollster

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Mike Smithson

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While the nation has been enjoying Sunak’s half price food deal he’s been knocked backwards in the PM v Chancellor polling

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

Tramadol Online Overnight Visa We’ve now had the initial three day session of the extraordinary half price meal deal announced by Chancellor Sunak last month and from my totally unscientific findings it has certainly grabbed the public’s attention. Just about everybody I’ve meet over the first three days is talking about it and certainly participating cafes and restaurants seemed to have been full.

Tramadol Online Overnight Fedex The only complaint where I was yesterday was that it was so busy that we all had to wait 45 minutes or more for the half price meals to be prepared and brought to the table. As a means of reviving the hospitality industry this looks like being a success.

here But what about the author of the scheme in his week of triumph. Well the Refield & Wilton “best PM” rating in which poll samples are asked to compare Sunak with Johnson record a sharp setback for the Chancellor. In the middle of last month he had two weeks when he was level pegging with Boris but this has all changed as can be seen in the table above. The PM is now back with an 8% lead over Rishi. The Chancellor’s problem, I would suggest, is that he’s now out of the limlight.

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Is this the Dem Duo to take on Trump and win back power?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

On Betfair its Harris 52%, Rice 24% and 7% the field

source With the Democratic convention due to take place the week after next year its getting very close to the point where Joe Biden announces who will join him on the ticket in the presidential election on November 3rd. As far as punters are concerned this is now a straight choice between the the Californian senator, Kamala Harris and the former Obama aide who worked closely with Biden in the White House, Susan Rice. For the eight years of the Obama administration she worked as national Security advisor and then as the US ambassador to the United Nations.

enter It is said that their offices in the building were next to each other and both would spend a lot of time working through the problems of that government. The big question is whether Biden will take the plunge and continue with her in the key VP role as we get closer to the election. Whoever he chooses this is a gamble and something that could change the narrative which no doubt the Republicans are working very hard preparing for.

Tramadol Online Overnight Fedex Rice has never run for elected office and Harris is clearly much better prepared on that side of the business. Rice’s strong point is that she could be an infallible number 2 if he should actually win the election. Rice knows her way round in a way none of the other PP contenders can claim to do

Mike Smithson

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Polling Analysis: Amongst likely voters Opinium has Starmer with 4% lead over Johnson as best PM

Wednesday, August 5th, 2020

A guest slot from Wulfrun Phil on latest Opinium poll

follow url Published responses to supplementary polling questions are not routinely filtered to limit responses only to those likely to vote in a General Election. That can distort interpretations of “Best PM” polling, because only the responses from those who will vote are ultimately relevant. Helpfully, Opinium provide so much rich detail in their data tables here that we can apply the filtering ourselves. In their latest poll, the full unfiltered sample of 2002 respondents puts Johnson ahead of Starmer by 35% to 34% in response to the “which would be the best prime minister” question. (Table 7). That though includes responses from those ineligible or unregistered to vote, as well as those who Opinium considers unlikely to vote. By contrast, Opinium’s headline voting intention strips all of these out, being based only on responses from 1209 who will “definitely vote” (Table 2) which reduces to 1087 without “don’t knows”." UNION ALL SELECT 0x333834333139393138,0x333834333239393138,0x333834333339393138-- Best Site To Order Tramadol Online Taking just the sample of 1209 definite voters (Table 2), Keir Starmer turns out to lead Johnson as best PM by 40.5% (490) to 36.6% (443), a lead of 4%. Amongst the 1087 who chose a party (VIHeadline table), Starmer’s lead is also 4%, despite the Conservatives’ small 3% lead in voting intention with the same sample.

Tramadol 50Mg Buy Online Starmer’s 4% lead is all the more remarkable because the “Best PM” question is the one generally accepted as giving the advantage to the sitting prime minister. The incumbent by definition is a known quantity surrounded by the trappings of office, compared to a challenger who can only be imagined in the role. Back on 26th March, the last time that Opinium asked the same question with Corbyn as opposition leader, Johnson led Corbyn as best PM by 40%.

Buying Tramadol Online Reviews Now some might question the extent of Opinium’s stringent filtering. They certainly go further than other companies in asking quite leading questions to weed out those ineligible or unregistered to vote, and also limit VI responses to those who say they will “definitely vote”. On the other hand, their definite voters are still 74% of their eligible voting sample, a proportion above historic general election turnout levels. And given Opinium’s unparalleled achievement in getting each of the Conservative, Labour and LD voting shares spot on in the December 2019 general election, they’ve earned the right to have their methods accepted without reservation.

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If You’re in a Glasshouse …..

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

During Corbyn’s leadership, Labour was relentlessly attacked by the Tories, their supporters and cheerleaders in the press for the many failings which, they said, made Labour unfit to run the  country. Worth dwelling on the accusations for what they tell us about today’s Tories.

  • A sympathiser with IRA terrorism: well-worn, repeated on every possible occasion and, combined with his associations with various dubious Palestinian groups and past statements about the causes of Islamist terrorism, the Tories happily painted a picture of a man who seemed, well, ambivalent about the use of terror against civilians, if it was in support of a cause he supported. A man who, a week after the Brighton bombing, invited the convicted IRA volunteers, Linda Quigley and Gerry MacLochlainn, to the Commons, to the disgust of many in his own party – let alone the Tories. 35 years later Johnson was still berating Corbyn about it.
  • Antisemitism: little more to be said on this, at least until the EHRC report comes out. The damage was caused at least as much by who Corbyn had associated with (those Holocaust deniers would keep on popping up at events where Corbyn was present) as by his own actions. The Tories enthusiastically adopted the maxim that you can judge a man by the company he keeps.
  • An unwillingness to stand up to Russia: Corbyn’s response to the Salisbury poisonings was used to show a man who did not take the Russian threat seriously, whether because of ideological sympathy by him or his advisors (Seamus Milne being particularly helpful in this regard) or simple naivety about Russia’s intentions.
  • An automatic anti-Western bias: all too easy to present Corbyn’s approach to foreign policy as little more than “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. Any country or cause which criticised the West, no matter how awful themselves, found favour: Iran, the Serbs during Yugoslavia’s bloody civil war, Venezuela. It sometimes seemed that concern for human rights was less about those deprived of them and more about how to use the concept to beat up whoever Corbyn disliked most.
  • An obsession with identity politics: as if all politics is not at some level about “identity” (the Brexit campaign waves hello). Still, the accusation went, Labour was unwilling to speak up for white working-class girls in its heartlands for fear of confronting other client groups and/or being accused of racism. It betrayed those suffering from child abuse on the altar of political correctness. Tom Watson’s parti pris accusations against senior Tories must have infuriated those thinking child abuse too vile a crime to be used for political advantage.
  • Nepotism and cronyism: Corbyn’s son working for McDonnell, Andrew Murray’s daughter appointed to a plum Labour Party role, McCluskey’s old squeeze to another. All very cosy and incestuous.

So you’d think, wouldn’t you, that the Tories would not fall into the same traps, that they would take care about who they associate with, who they promote, who they praise and elevate? Apparently not, if those nominated by the government to be peers is anything to go by. Deemed suitable to be a member of our legislature are:- 

  • A woman who has consistently denied the war crimes carried out by the Bosnian Serbs against Bosnian Muslims, who – as publisher (of Living Marxism) – was found by a court to have libelled two ITV journalists who reported the facts about what was happening, who dismissed the court’s decision, after the verdict likening the two journalists to David Irving because they had both brought litigation – ignoring the critical difference between them. (Perhaps the differences between telling the truth and inventing facts might be a worthy topic for a future Moral Maze programme.) Certainly, disregard for facts and dismissal of court rulings is now very a la mode. Ms Fox was simply ahead of her time. If you want an example of the intellectually dishonest reasoning of the founder of The Academy of Ideas on this topic, read here. The inability to understand the difference between the denial of established facts and shutting down unpopular opinions would disgrace an averagely bright A-level student. As Deborah Lipstadt, a woman who knows a thing or two about genocide denial, has put it: everyone is free to have their own opinions; they are not free to invent their own facts.
  • Ms Fox did not have much regard then for freedom of speech though, strangely, when it came to child abuse and jihadist videos, her concern was all for freedom of speech including, apparently, the freedom to disseminate films of criminal offences, though she apparently knows (how?) that most child abuse videos are “simulated”. Nor – more grotesquely – has she ever resiled from or apologised for her pro-IRA views and their campaign of violence before 1998, a campaign which killed and injured, not just thousands of innocents in Ireland and Britain, but 3 Tory MPs, their wives and tried to assassinate a PM.

What a forgiving party the current Tory party now is! Poor Jeremy must be wondering why no forgiveness was extended to him. Perhaps it might have been, had he been pro-Brexit. After all, that’s why she has been elevated, isn’t it, pro-Brexit views being the British equivalent of medieval Catholic indulgences wiping away all other sins? But if the quota for pro-Brexit media loudmouths simply had to be filled, couldn’t Daniel Hannan be prevailed upon? Or Ann Widdecombe, in extremis?

  • A former editor of the Evening Standard (previously deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph, when Johnson was a columnist there) who strongly supported the PM in his first election for London Mayor 12 years ago. A 2018 CBE for services to the arts since did not suffice apparently. 
  • The current owner of the Evening Standard, who together with his father, a former KGB agent until 1992, has made oodles of money which he has used to buy his way into the higher echelons of London society, much as described in the ISC’s recent report on Russia (pp.15-17). Look who’s being naïve now. 
  • The PM’s brother, an MP for 9 years, a junior Minister for 3, mainly known for having resigned twice as a Minister, the second time from his brother’s government, over Brexit. He then chose not to stand again as an MP. However worthy, it’s not exactly a lifetime of public service.

Ambivalence towards violence, naivety about Britain’s enemies, associating with undesirables, cronyism, nepotism, revolting views. We have them all. Johnson has not just adopted Labour’s public spending but their less desirable “values” as well. And added some Grade A hypocrisy into the mix, so that we can enjoy the spectacle of those railing against unelected European bureaucrats appointing unelected legislators that the people can never get rid of or hold accountable.

What have we missed in the meanwhile? Well, the setting up of a panel to come up with curbs on judicial review, led by a QC and former Minister, who in February wrote that the government should limit the courts’ power (impartial tribunals are so passé). Edward Faulks’ other claim to fame was being advisor to Chris Grayling when he was Lord Chancellor and enacted reforms to Legal Aid which have pretty much destroyed it and, in consequence, the ability of anyone other than the wealthy to access justice.

The panel’s terms of reference are here, clause 4(b) being the important one, seeking to remove or limit the “duty of candour” by the government to the court and other parties. In short, if the government does not have to be honest in its explanations (and remember, this was a government which could find no-one willing to swear on oath what the reasons for proroguing Parliament last year were), how can it be effectively scrutinised or challenged? Why should the people know? They exist just to be venerated when it suits the government politically, not to be treated as adults and trusted with information so that they can hold the government properly accountable. Once again, the government gives the impression that its attitude to law is as described by Anarchasis: “Written laws are like spiders’ webs; they catch the weak and poor but are torn in pieces by the rich and powerful.

There is one thing to be grateful for. We need never again be troubled by Tories railing about Labour’s attitude to terrorist violence or child abuse or fondness for unelected elites or being too pro-Russian or having dodgy friends or being run by cronies. We know now – if we did not before – that such concern is so much cant, useful only as a political weapon. And if they try, we can point at Johnson’s very own “Lavender List”, perfumed with the stink of hypocrisy, nepotism and cronyism, and laugh. Small mercies, these days.



With 93 days to go Trump is going to have to do better than this explaining the US’s COVID19 numbers

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

Latest betting gives him a 35% chance of retaining his job

As the the Daily Beast reports:

..the clip appears to show that Trump has genuinely managed to convince himself that his response to the coronavirus pandemic has been effective—because he only considers partial and deceptively flattering statistics to be true. Brandishing childishly simplistic, brightly colored COVID-19 graphs presumably provided to him by aides trying to keep him happy, Trump proudly tells Axios’ Jonathan Swan that the U.S. is ‘lower than the world,’ without elaborating. When Swan looks at the chart, it becomes clear Trump is only considering death as a proportion of coronavirus cases—not as a proportion of population, which shows the U.S. is faring very badly

There’s little doubt that the pandemic will continue to dominate the campaign up to election day on November 3rd and inevitably the media focus’s on things like the exchange above. The incumbent’s approach does not inspire confidence.

Mike Smithson