Wednesday, June 26, 2013

GRAPH: Cuts By Department

Pickles shows himself as the “model of lean government” with a 10% cut, alongside Grayling and Maude, while the Chancellor leads by example. Hammond and May get off lightly…

Friday, June 21, 2013

Osborne Borrowed More Last Year

Turns out government borrowing actually rose last year. Revised ONS figures show public sector borrowing for 2012-13 was £118.8 billion, up from £118.5 billion the year before. This week’s Speccie cover article gets to the point:

“When the Chancellor stands up to present his spending review next Wednesday it will be with the reputation of a crazed axeman. Much of the country, whether it thinks it a good thing or not, subscribes to the belief that George Osborne is shrinking the state year-on-year, slicing here, chopping there. In a recent poll 58 per cent of respondents agreed with the proposition that Osborne’s ‘austerity drive’ is ‘harming the economy’… Osborne is no mad axeman but a bodger blundering around with a blunt chisel.”

Osborne wants to portray himself as a responsible, sound money Chancellor making tough choices, streamlining an overbearing state and making government more efficient. The truth is borrowing, and as the graph below shows, spending is still going up:

The Treasury is pushing the fact that borrowing fell last month year-on-year, which is encouraging. But to say they are not doing enough is an understatement…

See also: Tale of Two Austerities

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cyber Wars: UKIP Trumping Tories

UKIP’s efforts to do battle online are clearly paying off. According to analysis done by UK General Election 2015, the party is gaining Twitter followers and Facebook likes at a considerably greater rate than its opponents, with the Tories in particular falling way short. By way of comparison, over the same period @GuidoFawkes gained some 7,000 followers and now has 109,745 followers – more than any UK political party. Social media campaigning will have a big part to play over the next two years, so these stats make interesting reading…

UPDATE: Just noticed that LetBritainDecide.org seems to redirect UKIP.org. Not to be confused with CCHQ’s LetBritainDecide.com, or rather it is…

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

GRAPH: Tories Will Lose If They Ditch Dave

Two weeks ago Dave’s key defence against Tory plotters, his relative popularity compared to the party, was wobbling. Today Peter Kellner has some figures that will have Downing Street breathing a collective sigh of relief. Ed is less popular than Labour, somehow Clegg is less popular than the LibDems, though Cameron is again preferred to his party. Kellner says this is the graph that shows the Tories will lose in 2015 if they ditch Dave…

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Unemployment Stats in Full

  • Employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.5%, down 0.1 percentage points from November 2012 to January 2013
  • up 0.7 percentage points from a year earlier.
  • 29.76 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 24,000 from November 2012 to January 2013
  • up 432,000 from a year earlier.
  • unemployment rate was 7.8%, unchanged from November 2012 to January 2013
  • down 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier
  • 2.51 million unemployed people, down 5,000 from November 2012 to January 2013 and down 88,000 from a year earlier
  • number employed in public sector at lowest level since 2001 at 5.7million
  • number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance last month fell by 8,600 to 1.51 million

That last number one for the Tories to cling on to…

Thursday, May 23, 2013

ABC Online Figures for Newspaper Websites

UK national newspaper website figures for the last month are out, with the Mail still well out a head. The percentage change is year on year.

-MailOnline: 7,833,182 (up 39%)

-Guardian.co.uk: 4,771,866 (up 23.1%)

-Telegraph.co.uk: 3,041,594 (up 29.8%)

-Mirror: 1,176,217 (up 78%)

-The Sun: 1,698,572 (up 11%)

-Independent: 1,131,150 (62.5%)

-Metro: 406,187 (38,5%)

For the sake of comparison Guido had 516,730 unique visitors in April (up 53%).

Despite the new pay-wall, the Telegraph is beginning to catch up with the freebie Guardian.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Voters Trash Clegg’s Failed Fairness Mantra

Clegg’s strategy in coalition has been to promote the LibDems as the party of fairness. Apparently with no sense of irony, he has attacked the Tories for failing to “adopt the politics of fairness”, told Martha Kearney he is the “voice of fairness” in government, and dreamt up that catchy-as-it-is-believable slogan “Building a fairer Britain”. Unfortunately for Nick, repeating something over and over doesn’t mean the public will believe him.

A YouGov poll out this morning finds only 6% think Clegg would be the most effective leader at making Britain a fairer place. Nearly double that, 11%, choose Nigel Farage as the fairest party leader. There’s bad news for Ed too, he comes second to Dave by 21% to 19%. Topping the poll is public apathy: 29% said no leader could deliver a fairer society. People might disagree about what fairness means, but nearly everyone agrees Clegg won’t deliver it…

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Even Labour Supporters are Hardening on Hand Outs

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have actually put out something interesting for a change. Over the last thirty years, Labour supporters’ attitudes to welfare have hardened considerably. In the late eighties 41% believed social injustice was the main cause of poverty, now that figure is just 27%. This can be explained in part by the number that blame laziness amongst those on benefits, up from 13% to 22%. 31% of Labour backers see welfare recipients as undeserving, compared to just 21% thirty years ago. The biggest jump: 46% now believe the welfare state encourages dependency, up from just 16% in 1987. You can see how attitudes have changed among Labour supporters by clicking on the interactive chart above. Ed may want to lead the party of welfare, but his voters are not with him.

UKIP’s Highest Ever Poll Rating

Talking of headaches for Dave, last night’s ICM/Guardian poll has UKIP on 18%, their highest ever rating and double their ICM rating for a month ago. Labour, the Tories and the LibDems all lost four points each, with Labour falling below Ed’s fabled 35% target. UKIP are up nine points. What was that about a referendum?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Saturday Seven Up


Seen Elsewhere

Inside an Islamist Takeover Plot School | Newsnight
Ed Heads to Scotland | Sun
Assad’s New Chemical Weapon Attacks | National Review
Jason Groves New Mail Deputy Pol Ed | MediaGuido
Cocaine Conservatives | Standard
Jezza Browne Responds to LibDem Haters | LibDem Voice
Why Britain Needs to Leave the EU | Douglas Carswell
Who Tells Ed When He’s Wrong? | Speccie
Hands Off Our Cojones, Mr Clegg | Laura Perrins
London Live Averaging Just 2,400 Viewers | Forbes
Ed’s Constitutional Failure | ConHome


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Dan Hodges on Team Miliband:

“‘Poisonous’, was the picture painted by one former senior advisor. ‘Dysfunctional,’ said one shadow cabinet member. ‘A bunch of medieval courtiers, not an office,’ said another. The most positive description I could get was ‘It’s a work in progress. They’re learning. Slowly. But they are learning.’”



Nick Clegg says:

Do you want lies with that?


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