Keir Starmer: if Tories and Liberal Democrats like him, he’ll be electoral poison for Labour.
How humiliating for new New Labour leader Keir Starmer.
A survey by Tory-run pollsters YouGov has given him an approval rating of +23 – higher than that of Boris Johnson – partly courtesy of people who vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat and have a vested interest in duff Labour leadership.
It is no reason for anybody associated with Labour to feel proud – and certainly doesn’t bode well for the party’s election chances.
New Labour leader Keir Starmer has been given a boost thanks to YouGov polling today that shows he has a net approval rating of +23, which is higher than that of Boris Johnson.
Asked whether they thought Keir Starmer was doing well or badly as leader of the Labour Party, overall 40% said “very well” or “fairly well” and 17% said “very badly” or “fairly badly”.
More Conservative voters said he was doing well than badly, at 34% and 25% respectively. Lib Dem voters were very positive about Starmer, with a higher percentage saying well (63%) compared to Labour voters (54%).
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
The Treasury accused Moody’s of being out of date following Theresa May’s speech in Florence. [Image: Maurizio Degl’Innocenti/AP].
‘Make it up as we go’ Moody’s has struck again.
The credit agency – composed of a group of elites who meet up every now and then to decide countries’ credit scores, based on nothing more concrete than their personal opinions – has downgraded the UK’s credit rating from AA1 to AA2.
The reasoning is that Brexit will screw up the UK’s economy – and, fair enough, these elite old guys might have a point there – and also that easing austerity and ending the public sector pay cap will pressurise the public finances, making it harder for us to pay off our debts.
Well, if some of the rich elites around here bothered to pay their taxes every now and then, rather than whining about everybody else’s contribution, maybe we’d be able to make ends meet! Am I right?
By the way, the Graun is mistaken about the date Moody’s downgraded us from AAA – it was way back in February 2013.
That downgrade came after Gideon 0sborne, boy chancellor (and latterly boy editor of the E’enin’ Stannit (that’s the Evening Standard if you’re not from Lahndon) had spent two and a half years using the triple-A rating as a stick to beat Labour, claiming the UK had kept the high rating because of his policies, not theirs.
And what changed? Nothing. The UK continued to gain favourable credit deals because it turns out that, having a sovereign currency (Sterling), we’re considered always to be able to pay our debts.
Now, with the credit downgrade blamed entirely on the Tories, they aren’t crowing about their record any more; they can’t. Their policies have lumbered us with the largest public debt in the history of the UK, along with a huge amount of private debt as well.
It’s a miracle we can get any credit at all – but then again, we’ve got that sovereign currency which means we can create money if we have to. That’s what quantitative easing was, after all.
No, this time the Tories are accusing Moody’s of being out of date, because the downgrade was based on the situation before Theresa May gave her Florence speech on Brexit, that gave so much more clarity about the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
Did you miss that part of the speech? Don’t worry – so did the rest of us.
This Writer is left with the impression that these rich elites are playing a game with each other, knowing that the only people who will suffer from their decisions are the poor.
The Treasury has hit back at warnings by the credit ratings agency Moody’s that the likelihood of a hard Brexit and a squeeze on the public finances would damage the UK economy’s long-term health.
Announcing its decision just hours after Theresa May gave her speech in Florence on the government’s Brexit strategy, the ratings agency said it had cut the UK’s credit rating to Aa2 from Aa1 partly in response to the looming prospect of the UK’s access to the European Union’s single market and customs union being reduced.
Moody’s, which was the first major credit ratings agency to strip Britain of its top-notch AAA rating in 2016, said plans to ease austerity measures and lift the public sector pay cap would put pressure on the public finances while slower growth over the next four to five years was likely to reduce tax receipts.
Things have come to a pretty pass when this qualifies as news.
It seems the Conservative Party’s campaign strategy has come grinding to a halt, based as it was on claiming that Ed Miliband cannot run the UK.
First we were told he’s weird-looking, especially when eating a bacon sandwich – but it turns out the people of this country aren’t all that bothered, as long as he can do the job.
Then we were told that he couldn’t do the job – but by then the Labour Party was already publishing one policy proposal after another which showed that he emphatically could.
Finally we were told that he’s not a nice man; he stabbed his brother in the back to get the Labour leadership (we’ve been hearing that since 2010 and it hasn’t become any truer in all that time) and he has had (gasp) a love life!
Hang on! Wasn’t he so weird that nobody could like him, only two paragraphs ago?
That’s right. The Tory narrative has become that confused.
Add to that the fact that the Mailsplashed a photo of Juliet Soskice – whose husband, entrepreneur and Labour supporter Andrew Rosenfeld, passed away only two months ago – on their front page in this tatty attack Mr Miliband and the whole affair is revealed to be in very poor taste indeed.
Fortunately the public is having nothing to do with it and Mr Miliband’s approval rating has now eclipsed that of David Cameron.
Expect desperation to set into the Conservative camp by the beginning of next week.
Here’s a little something you might not have noticed amid all the gossip about Nicola Sturgeon snuggling up to the Tories and the Tories snuggling up to UKIP: Public approval of Ed Miliband has rocketed by 8.1 per cent in the last fortnight.
That’s right – the man people were once denouncing for being a bit weird-looking to be PM has finally had a chance to show people what he’s really like, and people really like him.
In total – since January – public support for Ed Miliband has surged by 18.3 per cent, according to polls by the Daily Mirror and Survation.
Now, sure, the Mirror is a Labour-supporting paper, so some of you may feel justified in suggesting it’s bound to get more Labour supporters, and this would skew the results. But, you know what? These polls tend to survey as wide a demographic as possible, so that criticism doesn’t really carry any weight. The simple fact that Miliband’s rating was at minus 14.6 per cent in January is ample demonstration of the fact.
He still has a way to go now – his rating is only at 4.4 per cent – but the climb of 18.3 per cent is far more than any other leader (including Ms Sturgeon).
The poll also shows overwhelming support for his plan to stamp out zero-hour contracts, with 64 per cent in favour and only 15 per cent opposed.
Celebrating Britain’s ruin: The Bullingdon boys rave it up in Davos – David ‘Flashman’ Cameron (centre, facing us), George ‘Slasher’ Osborne (left, back to us), Boris ‘Zipwire’ Johnson (right, back to us)
Confirmation has come through from the Office for National Statistics that the UK economy shrank in the last months of 2012.
It’s no surprise – you only had to look at the shop sales figures for December to know that something was going wrong.
The poor performance has negated the effects of the growth bump in the previous quarter, when the economy improved by 0.9 per cent, boosted by the London Olympics.
The official Treasury line is: “While the economy is healing, it is a difficult road.” Healing? Total growth for the whole of 2012 has flatlined. Again. If the economy was a hospital patient it would need a sharp electric shock to get it going again (but we’ll come back to that)!
The total economic growth since the Conservative-led Coalition government came into power is 0.4 per cent; less than that recorded during the first quarter of the Parliament when the government was still working under Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling’s spending rules.
“Today’s GDP figures are extremely disappointing, but not surprising. We warned the UK Govt their cuts were too deep, too fast,” said Carwyn Jones, the Welsh Government’s First Minister.
“UK Government cuts to capital investment in major infrastructure projects is causing damage to our economy. A new plan for growth and jobs should now be a major priority for the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”
Economist Danny Blanchflower tweeted: “-0.3% lack of growth comes as no surprise but is appalling this was made in #11 Downing Street. The question is what is Slasher going to do?
“Given that the coalition in June 10 predicted growth would be +6 per cent and we now have +0.3 per cent we are entitled to know what went wrong. One-twentieth won’t do.”
Sky News ran with this: “Osborne says Britain faces a difficult economic situation and that he will confront problems to create jobs.”
Comedy Prime Minister David Cameron received early warning of the figures, and responded by having a slap-up meal with his Bullingdon chums Gideon George Osborne (the man responsible for the mess) and London’s comedy mayor Boris ‘zipwire’ Johnson.
Osborne later responded: “We can either run away from these problems or confront them, and I am determined to confront them so that we go on creating jobs for the people of this country.” What jobs?
In fact, this is the very predictable result of the Conservatives’ ideology-led dogma, that put a project to shrink the state ahead of prosperity.
The Tories have always wanted to pin the blame for our debt woes on the state. They suggest that we are in crisis because public spending got out of control, and that this is what happens when the state gets too big.
But this is a fantasy, unsupported by any sound economic analysis and designed to pursue a reckless plan that puts the economy and long-term recovery at risk.
The image of a bloated state getting fatter on taxpayers’ money while crowding out a budding private sector is nothing but propaganda, and here’s why: Before the credit crunch, public sector debt was less than 40 per cent of national income – it was the private corporate sector that was out of control, with debt at almost 300 per cent of national income.
The Tories wanted to say the private sector was being crowded out by the public sector, but in fact, it was being propped up by it.
Those of us who listened to the experts knew that cutting would make things worse, rather than better, but we heard yesterday that Osborne is now ignoring the advice of his former bosom-buddies at the IMF and intends to keep chopping away at the carcass, presumably until there’s nothing left at all.
The same experts, last year, were warning of a double-dip recession – or what legendary economist John Maynard Keynes called the “death spiral”. Now we’re facing a TRIPLE-dip. We haven’t just entered the death spiral; we’re well into it!
Osborne’s solution is to cut benefits and wages so that people have less money to spend on the UK economy. With less money in circulation, shops will close and businesses will go to the wall. Foreign investors will turn away from a nation where they will see there is no profit to be gained. Creditors will start to worry and our credit rating will suffer. By the next election in 2015, there may not be any life in UK business worth mentioning.
Does anyone remember when David Cameron said, “The good news will keep on coming”?
He’s a public relations man, you see. His skill is in saying the opposite of what he means, in order to make a message palatable to the public. You could say he’s not very good at it, because his greatest feat was to persuade the British public to reject his Conservatism a little less harshly than that if all the other Tory leaders since John Major – which is what made it possible for him and Osborne to put us all in this mess by forming a dirty backroom deal with the Liberal Democrats.
I’d like to talk to some of the people he persuaded to vote for his squalid little gang of cutthroats. What would they have done, if they had know what would happen?
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