Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Ed Miliband being interviewed by the BBC's Andrew Marr

Ed Miliband has made a good start. He performed well on today’s Andrew Marr show, you can see the interview here (approx 31:30 minutes into the show.) But the party still has a long way to go. A new survey by the polling firm ComRes for today’s Sunday Mirror revealed that if there was a general election called tomorrow the Lib Dems would be left with just 14 seats in Westminster (currently they hold 57). 

The article reveals that this is the lowest figure for the Lib Dems in any ComeRes study since it began doing them in 2004.

Its regular poll revealed that 22% of voters found that Ed Miliband is turning out to be the best leader, this is a significant increase from the December 2010 figure of 17%. David Cameron remains on 38%, no change from December. You can read the full report here and the full survey results here.

In addition to these promising figures, Labour secured a victory and Thursdays by-election in Oldham East and Saddleworth, well yes, opposition parties usually do pretty well in by-elections but it was promising to see the new Labour MP received such a high share of the vote (42.1%) and with a 5% swing to Labour from the Lib Dems.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

  1. Daniel Oxley

    The link to the appearance on the Andrew Marr seems to be broken. It might be my computer.

    • maryhoneyballmep

      It wasn’t your computer Daniel, the address was entered incorrectly. It should be working now.

  2. Daniel Oxley

    Thank you for that Mary. I must say that he did rather better than I thought but I couldn’t help imaging how much better Diane Abbott would have done if she had been given the opportunity to lead her party.

    Ed Milliband’s responses exceeded my expectations in a number of ways. One of these was that there were fewer of the usual Labour Party mantras such as the one about the downturn being nothing to do with Labour it was all about the global economy.

    Another encouraging aspect was that he seemed less keen than previously to affect the glottal stop.

    It was extraordinary though, that in a relatively long discussion about the economy the whole business of the Euro Zone difficulties was glided over as though everything was just fine in the EU.

    I should have been relieved I suppose that the EU was neglected in the exchanges. It would probably have led to an incantation of that other mantra – really, it is a mantra, its endless repitition has earned it an upgrade from being a mere cliche. It is the one common to the Labour Party and the ConDems which seeks to justify our EU membership by saying that the UK economy relies more and more on its trade with Europe.

    In my view this cross-party mantra is one of the worst. It is so persist though that it is worth examining.

    That the balance is shifting between our nonEU trade and our EU trade is true but when this is stated, the speaker rarely acknowledges that this was planned as a deliberate policy and it is rarely pointed out that the EU-trade is expanded to the detriment of the non-EU trade and what they never, ever point out is that overall, we trade at a loss with our EU partners. The fact that we trade profitably with every continent in the world except for Europe is not something that the political classes feel we lowly voters should know.

    The other bit of background to the mantra which should be known is that the shift to EU trade is often exaggerated. This is done in several ways. The clumsiest one is to quote from figures for all trade with all the nations of Europe not specifically the EU ones. The other is a little more clever, it involves including UK exports which only pass through EU, even though they a re destined for a country beyond the EU. For instance, a consignment of motor bikes, manufactured in Britain are exported to the Ukraine and they cross the English Channel. The arrive at a Dutch seaport, ready to travel by land to the Ukraine. Strictly speaking they were a UK export and they were sent towards the EU but they get into the statistics even though they are actually a UK export to a non-EU country.

    When Europhile politicians tell us with pride that we are doing more and more trade with Europe they are pointing out a massive problem – not explaining a triumph of foreign or economic policy. Why on earth do they think that it is such great news for Britain that we are linking ourselves more and more firmly with a declining economy which has been losing us money for ages when we could be looking farther a-field to the dynamic economies where we actually make some money?

    One further deception is practised when the EU trade mantra is followed by a glum faced statement about all the UK jobs which would be lost without our EU membership. For this to be true we would have to assume that leaving the EU would mean that we would lose out by not being able to export to the EU – great that they forget that we are losing out by trading with the EU already!

    We would not, of course, lose the right to export to the EU because if we lost it we could refuse the imports. Would car manufacturers in Sweden and wine growers in France really want to lose their lucrative UK market?