Peter Kellner’s latest projection gives hope to the Lib Dems but points to the squeakiest of squeaky bum times

In the Sunday Times (£ – Phwah!), Peter Kellner predicts 32 seats for the Lib Dems, which is in line with Stephen Tall’s long-standing projection.

But the overall seat projection from Kellner puts us in rather different waters than other projections. The Guardian’s projection, for example, has pointed almost constantly to a Labour minority government with SNP support.

However, Kellner’s projection opens up a new can of worms.

He predicts 283 for the Tories, 2 for UKIP. Add in 8 (or will it be 9?) for the DUP and you have a Tory bloc of 293 which could just about survive a vote of confidence if the Lib Dems joined in to make it 325. That’s a big “if”. Gordon Bennett. I hope not.

Meanwhile, on what I would call the “anti-Tory” side, we have 261 Labour, 50 SNP and 7 SDLP, PC and Green, making a total of 318, well short of the 323 needed to survive a confidence vote, unless the Lib Dems join in, making it 350.

But, of course, we have the usual muddle about coalitions v C&S v vote by vote v minority and the “over my dead body will I deal with them” factors and Queens Speech v confidence vote etc etc

It all points to an extremely muddled picture after May 9th.

But I think it will be a small miracle if Cameron and the Tories survive in Number Ten and I hope to God we don’t help them to do so. I don’t think we will – I just don’t see a policy consensus with us which the Tory right would support. And it’s not an emergency this time.

I’m off to deliver leaflets in a target constituency.

Apologies for any maths errors above. It’s early on a Sunday morning. But the fact that we are having to check the minutiae of Northern Ireland seat numbers underlines how close this is.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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94 Comments

  • Thinking back to 1978-79, I really hope we don’t get to the point where the Government has to rely on George Galloway for its survival,

  • Simon Oliver 3rd May '15 - 10:06am

    Here’s a completely off the wall idea. Coalition for the Union, with Clegg as prime minister acting as conciliator and buffer between Tories and labour. 😀

  • Ruth Bright 3rd May '15 - 10:07am

    Alas, alas 9 DUP would mean defeat for Naomi Long.

  • How on earth anyone can predict the LibDems getting 32 seats is beyond me. In Scotland the polls show them with just Shetland and in Wales the latest poll shows no seats. They are under massive pressure in England, from the Tories in the South West and Labour in London and the North. Can anyone produce a list of even 20 fairly safe seats – after about 15 I’m struggling.

  • @malc there are still a fair number of undecideds and depending upon which way they break, if any, will be the difference between . There will be a few thousand votes in total

  • John Roffey 3rd May '15 - 11:59am

    TCO 3rd May ’15 – 11:35am
    “@malc there are still a fair number of undecideds and depending upon which way they break, if any, will be the difference between . There will be a few thousand votes in total”

    Tory Central Office – you mean that there is one remaining desperate chance of saving Cameron’s career – that is if you and your pals can convince enough voters in LD marginals – where the main challenger is Labour – that the LDs did a splendid job in coalition – despite your Party not wishing to work in coalition with the LDs ever again.

    As malc says – the LDs will be lucky to keep above 20 seats – but desperate times need desperate measures. Are you at Matthew Parker Street – or do you have to work from home?

  • If this projection (and another one by John Curtice) are close, there’s quite a high likelihood we’re heading for what I suggested a few weeks ago would be the nightmare scenario for Lib Dems. That is :-

    * Tories the largest party by a small margin
    * Tories + Lib Dems not enough for a majority
    * Labour + Lib Dems + SNP ample for a good-sized majority

    From everything we know about Nick Clegg, I’d say it’s virtually certain that in the above situation he would attempt to prop up a minority Tory-led government rather than vote with Labour and the SNP. And I think that would be the final nail in the coffin for the Lib Dems.

    To be honest, propping up a minority Labour government would not be great for the Lib Dems either. And simply saying “we’re going to sit this one out” would be no better, since voters would rightly ask whether there’s any point supporting a party that’s spent the past five years arguing for the necessity of stable coalition government, even imposing fixed five-year Parliaments to force parties to make such coalitions work, and then at the next election said they were not interested in working with other parties. All these scenarios look dire for the Lib Dems.

    (For simplicity I’m not mentioning the very small parties since I’m assuming they’ll align along expected left/right lines. Nor am I necessarily assuming coalitions or other formal agreements.)

  • We will do very well to get 15 -20, and that includes possible narrow victories in St Ives and North Cornwall. Hopefully we will not be involved in any mathematical equation.

  • 318 seats is not well short. It’s 5 seats short. Any government that forms after Thursday is going to have to be very much more cautious. A labour lead government would basically be daring the Lib Dems not to vote for policies a lot of Lib Dems sympathise with, whilst a Conservative lead government would be asking for support for more cuts to welfare and tax reductions for the wealthy.. Of course the press will kick and scream about people being denied a “majority” government, but the press is dying. Rupert Murdoch for instance seems to see getting the Tories in as a matter of business survival and really tailors his news group to the thinking of the country a paper is based in more than to an ideology, although I suspect as an Australian based in America he has no particular liking for the Union. Rock and a hard place springs to mind.

  • Matthew.
    It doesn’t take a deal with SNP. The SNP have already said they will vote down a queens speech by Cameron and not one by Labour. Labour have already stated they will simply present their speech and dare the other parties not to vote for it. Both Cameron and Miliband are also fighting for their jobs. Miliband seems to have more stomach for a fight. On a personal level. as a Lib Dem voter I would find it virtually impossible to vote for a continuation of the coalition.

  • John Roffey 3rd May '15 - 12:41pm

    Stuart 3rd May ’15 – 12:02pm

    The most likely outcome is for Labour + SNP to hold, or close to, the necessary 326 seats and operate on a confidence and supply basis.

    Gus O’Donnell, the former Cabinet Secretary, made good sense when he commented on this outcome as being likely to produce less legislation – but good legislation – since each measure passed will have had to received backing [or abstentions] from a number of parties.

    Surely this form of government is far better than one party having a majority and implementing their full manifesto – which is then overturned by the main opposition party when they return to office.

    If the Lib/Dems play an honest contributory role in this arrangement – its supporters should recognise the value of voting for the Party.

  • think the best we could hope for from a democratic parliament (where no vested interests led minority keeps a steely grip on power and the apparatus of the state, for once) is a Tory minority govt that expires when Cameron stands down.
    that seems all the more likely in the wake of news of Ed’s 8′ pledges Millistone – but is that really a real story, or a tory dirty trick?!

  • John Roffey 3rd May '15 - 1:08pm

    johnmc 3rd May ’15 – 12:48pm
    “think the best we could hope for from a democratic parliament (where no vested interests led minority keeps a steely grip on power and the apparatus of the state, for once) is a Tory minority govt that expires when Cameron stands down.
    that seems all the more likely in the wake of news of Ed’s 8′ pledges Millistone – but is that really a real story, or a tory dirty trick?!”

    I think it would be better for the Party to simply concentrate on its own policies and forget red lines, orange lines or blurred lines. A statement that it is happy to contribute within a confidence and supply parliament – which ever party is able to form a government – but this will not be in a coalition – would serve the Party’s long-term future best.

    Ed Miliband to set his promises in stone [seems reasonable to me – and for the right reasons].

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/03/ed-miliband-sets-promises-in-stone

  • David bowler 3rd May '15 - 1:16pm

    I would be shocked if we fell to 15 seats. I believe there will be considerable tactical voting and don’t be surprised if we don’t hold a number of Scottish seats. There is also the personal vote of some of our excellent Mps.

  • The polls show lLib Dem support recovering a little, but still below 10% for the moment. But when voters are asked who, given that no single party has an overall majority, they would prefer as the second party needed to form a government, 37% plumped for the Lib Dems , more than UKIP or the SNP.
    That is why Nick Clegg and others are trying to promote Lib Dems as the party for stability, as the options seem to be between stable coalition or a minority government propped up by a range of supply and confidence and other arrangements..
    So the options can reasonably be portrayed as coalition or chaos, not to mention blackmail by the nationalists.
    Sadly, the efforts of the Lib Dem leadership to appeal to the voters are being undermined by certain MPs and some in the FPC who appear to be muddying the waters, so that today’s Observer talks not of the stability and certainty of a possible coalition, but rather of “weeks of political paralysis” and “Nick Clegg faces revolt over possible deal”.
    Nick Clegg has said it would be right for the largest party to be given a chance to form a government. Most democrats would surely support that, whatever Vernon Bogdanor says of the precedents.
    Let’s not give the media reason to talk of “a revolt from within the party”. Leave the internal negotiations on our limited range of options till after the election, or we may have nothing to negotiate, and not enough seats to play a role.

  • “But I think it will be a small miracle if Cameron and the Tories survive in Number Ten and I hope to God we don’t help them to do so”

    Agreed. And it comes down to those of us who agree with you, and those who don’t.

  • paul barker 3rd May '15 - 1:52pm

    I expect us to do better than 10% but I have no idea how many MPs that will give us. One big factor for after May 8th is that both Con & Labour are badly split, Con by Europe & Lab by “Austerity”. Entering Coalition with either means tying ourselves to a Party preparing to rip chunks out of itself, could we escape being damaged by association. Thats an argument for staying in Opposition.
    We have to remember that whatever the other Parties offer us, they are so split they probably cant deliver.

  • @John Roffey
    A Labour/Lib Dem/SNP (if necessary) grouping of some sort (formal or otherwise) is the outcome I’ve been hoping for from the start, so I hope you’re right. I agree it’s still a strong possibility.

    As a self-declared Labour voter, I’ve been pretty dismayed during the campaign by Miliband’s emphatic rejection of any kind of SNP deal. I’ve felt he’s just been playing in to the Tories’ hands – especially as no matter how emphatic he’s been, the Tories have (lamentably) just carried on with this line of attack anyway. But you make an important point that the SNP will not dare do anything other than vote for a Labour Queen’s Speech. The SNP guy on Sunday Politics this morning made this very clear. So perhaps Miliband’s rejection of the SNP makes a lot more strategic sense than people have given him credit for.

    @Glenn
    “Rupert Murdoch… really tailors his news group to the thinking of the country a paper is based in more than to an ideology”

    Totally agree on that. As I’ve pointed out here before, the Murdoch press tends to just back whoever is likely to win – thereby giving the illusion that their endorsement carries much more influence than it actually does. The only time I can recall them taking a punt on what seemed a likely loser was 1992. The ultimate proof of this has come with the Scottish Sun’s endorsement of the SNP while the London-based Murdoch press is rabidly stoking up fears of Scots ruling the country.

  • Tony Greaves 3rd May '15 - 2:04pm

    Ignore the trolls here, think about the future of our party. Another coalition with the Tories will destroy us, coalition with the DUP will tear the party apart immediately.

    Tony

  • @Peter Fane ” by certain MPs and some in the FPC who appear to be muddying the waters, so that today’s Observer talks not of the stability and certainty of a possible coalition, but rather of “weeks of political paralysis” and “Nick Clegg faces revolt over possible deal”.”

    Fortunately the contributors to this board are all working hard to support the leadership and party and not undermine them. I have, hang on …

  • Stuart:
    “Tories + Lib Dems not enough for a majority” is not the nightmare, the nightmare is Tories + Lib Dems just enough for a majority, particularly if the Conservatives claim to accept all Nick’s ‘red lines’.

    Not enough for a majority enables Lib Dems to stand back until Cameron and Miliband have concluded who can sustain a minority administration. Although Simon Oliver’s comment sounds hopelessly naïve, a position such as you describe, could allow Lib Dems to abstain in a confidence vote but vow to act as honest brokers and play a constructive role in parliament.

    We have shown that a coalition can work, we have nothing to gain in demonstrating a dysfunctional coalition that is unable to hold together.

  • Julian Critchley 3rd May '15 - 2:09pm

    I’m increasingly of the view that since Miliband’s foolish surrender to the Tories’ cynical scaremongering over the SNP (in what crazy world is the SNP beyond the pale as a coalition party, whereas the DUP and UKIP would apparently be fine ?), the rump remaining LibDems will be the kingmakers. If they throw their weight behind either Lab or Con, then that will pretty much decide whether we have a Labour or Conservative minority government (leave issues of what sort of agreement that might be to one side).

    Which presents an existential challenge for the LibDems. We’ve seen that Clegg’s catastrophic gamble that he could replace the two-thirds of previous members, activists and voters who’ve left the party over its support for the Tories with “soft conservatives”, has failed, dismally. There are almost no “soft conservatives” out there to compensate for those lost centre-left supporters. Which is why the LibDems are now achieving single-figures, and will be very lucky to get even 20 seats.

    The consistent LIbDem leadership line for 5 years has been : “We had to”. Whether or not you buy their argument that “the markets” forced it on them, or that the numbers didn’t make any alternative arrangement possible, the bottom line is that every sociopathic Tory policy, demolishing the public sector, hammering the poor and enriching the kleptocratic elite, has been justified by LibDem leaders saying “we don’t like this, and we’ve stopped them from doing worse, but we had to – we had no choice.”

    That defence is now gone. After next Thursday, the LibDems will have a very clear choice. They can either maintain this awful Tory bunch of crooks, fraudsters and thieves in power, or they can push them out of the exit. The numbers will clearly allow either option. Nobody’s going to buy the “economic crisis requires us to do what the City tells us” line again. It’ll be a real choice.

    Clegg, Laws and those right-wing libertarian entryists who seized the party prior to 2010 will try to force the party into another deal with the Tories. They’ll pretend that there’s no choice, or they’ll make up some spurious faux-constitutional argument for why it has to be done. But they don’t have the power to do that alone. The party as a whole will need to decide. I plead with the remaining members, do not let that happen.

    I spent more than twenty years in the LibDems as an activist, candidate and voter. Despite my dismay at what the Cleggite faction has done in the last 5 years, I still believe that there’s a need in British politics for a powerful liberal party dedicated to issues such as constitutional modernisation, intelligent politics and anti-authoritarianism. I hope one day the LIbDems might be that party again. But if the party chooses to put this destructive, vindictive bunch of Tory shysters back into power when it doesn’t have to, then this party will be stone dead, and deservedly so.

  • Stuart: I had not realised that you are a Labour voter, in which case “Tories + Lib Dems not enough for a majority” is your nightmare after all.

  • “Clegg, Laws and those right-wing libertarian entryists who seized the party prior to 2010 will try to force the party into another deal with the Tories. ”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/03/clegg-hints-at-eu-referendum-backing-if-tories-agree-to-lib-dem-red-lines

  • malc
    ‘How on earth anyone can predict the LibDems getting 32 seats is beyond me.

    You can get 4/1 on 11 – 20 seats at Ladbrokes ,if that helps.

  • @Martin
    My nightmare is Tories governing on their own. Anything else will be a blessed relief. However much I’ve criticised the Lib Dems these past five years, I’ve been mighty glad you lot have been there.

  • The Conservative party have run the most negative campaign I can remember…They have given up even attempting to put forward a coherent costed programme…. Aided by the media they have blatantly refused to give any detail of their £12Billion cuts (who would even buy a ticket in a church raffle without details of the prizes) whilst ‘rubbishing’ all possible scenarios put forward by ousiders… We’ve had a serial adulterer (and probable future Tory leader) running the ‘Milliband knifing his brother’ story; we’ve had the so called representatives of Big and small businesses (both of which were as trustworthy as the Iraq Dossier); we’ve had the ‘woad painted’, baby-eating SNP stories, etc….

    For me, a defining moment was Cameron’s Freudian “Career defining election” mistake…. One thing is certain, a Tory majority government (after all the bile heaped on the Scots wanting to destroy the UK) will be the surest way to ensure that happens sooner rather than later.

  • @Julian Crichley “Clegg, Laws and those right-wing libertarian entryists who seized the party prior to 2010 ”

    Here we go again 🙄

    That dastardly Nick Clegg seized the party from right under the nose of the gallant left wingers by the shocking underhand tactics of ….. winning a leadership election.

  • @Stuart “However much I’ve criticised the Lib Dems these past five years, I’ve been mighty glad you lot have been there.”

    Thank you Stuart. It would seem you have a much clearer view of the reality than the majority of supposed party supporters who post here.

  • If this projection comes to pass, then Cameron could stay on as PM and if he didn’t change the current spending plans I think Nick Clegg would vote for a Tory Budget so long as he promised more money for Northern Ireland it will pass. His problem will be the EU referendum, would he be able to get the SNP to support one if they thought it could lead to the break-up of the UK?

    When looking at the Conservative manifesto there isn’t much for them to ditch once they have changed their budget balancing policy – right-to-buy for housing association tenants, increasing inheritance tax threshold, strike ballot reform, lowing the benefit cap to £23,000, extension of the “deport first, appeal later”, reducing MPs to 600, introducing English votes for English laws, and repealing the Human Rights Act. Would Labour support cutting Jobseekers Allowance for 18-21 year-olds if they were guaranteed a job?

    Therefore we could vote for much of the Tory manifesto without doing a deal with them. Even if the Tories offer all of our so called red lines in exchange for an EU referendum it may be up to conference to reject it, but if there was no EU referendum our conference might support a very conditional confidence and supply agreement. If Nick Clegg is re-elected, and I assume 32 MPs assumes he does, then I don’t think he would agree to a deal with Labour that didn’t include our £3bn welfare cuts and our deficit reduction plans and I don’t believe Labour could support them.

  • “…Nick Clegg seized the party …. by the shocking underhand tactics of ….. winning a leadership election.”

    In which he promised that as leader in 2015 he would double the number of MPs that had been elected under Charles Kennedy’s leadership in 2005.

    Just four days to go to see124 Liberal Democrats taking their season parliament if his promise is honoured.
    I hope it is 124 — but let’s be realistic, we will be relieved if it is 24 or more.

  • @John Roffey “I think it would be better for the Party to simply concentrate on its own policies and forget red lines, orange lines or blurred lines. A statement that it is happy to contribute within a confidence and supply parliament – which ever party is able to form a government – but this will not be in a coalition – would serve the Party’s long-term future best.”

    I agree with this John (bet you never thought I’d say that).

    “Ed Miliband to set his promises in stone [seems reasonable to me – and for the right reasons].”

    My name is Milibandias, King of Kings. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

  • No point in speculating, if anyone wants to have an impact you need to go ow to a seat where we have a realistic chance of getting a Liberal Democrat elected.

    There are probably half a dozen seats scattered around the country. I have had e-mails, a post-card from Paddy, a letter from NC and a couple of phone calls in the last few days. Unfortunately they have asked for help in five different seats, none of which is the target seat that I live in. I don’t want to teach the experts in how to do their job but you can understand my puzzlement — who is in charge of this unique approach to concentrating our forces?

    My advice is –
    Follow ‘Gardners’ Question Time’
    GQT were in Adrian Sander’s South Devon today and will be in Norman Baker’s Lewes next time.

  • We already lost all but one MEP. After this election top priority is to replace Clegg. Now he is gambling our EU membership for his nebulous red lines. A Labour SNP coalition will break up the UK. A Tory coalition will see us leave the EU even if it includes us. Best outcome now seems to be a Lib Lab coalition where Labour insist we change our leader and we joyfully oblige.

  • Would someone be kind enough to provide some info ?

    If as polls suggest could happen, Clegg is ousted by Oliver Coppard, does the Deputy Leader take over steering any negotiations. How long would it take to elect a new leader ?

    & what would make the party ditch Clegg after a poor showing results wise ?
    What would the losses have to be, & how quickly would the party act ?

  • I placed a few small bets with Ladbrokes about a month or so ago. Here’s what I bet and the odds they gave me. One of those relates to the Lib Dems.

    Labour to win the most seats, odds 11/8. Stake £10. (Not sure I’ll win this but it’s only a tenner and good odds).
    SNP to win Aberdeen South, odds 8/11. Stake £10. (Fairly confident on this).
    SNP to win Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, odds 5/6. Stake £30. (Fairly confident on this).
    SNP to win OVER 42.5 seats, odds 5/6. Stake £20. (Confident on this).
    Liberal Democrats to win LESS THAN 25.5 seats, odds evens. Stake £20. (Fairly confident on this).

    Well that’s my little flutter on the election. I living in Kirkcaldy and should vote SNP to try and win my bets but I won’t. It turns out that the Greens aren’t standing here so I will write “legalise cannabis” on my ballot paper and spoil it.

    I doubt a lot will change between now and Thursday, just gotta wait and see. If I were a Lib Dem I’d be concentration on knocking the doors on Thursday of those people who told the canvassers that they’d vote Liberal Democrats, asking if they’d voted and offering them a lift to the polling station if they hadn’t. At this late stage it’s about making sure your vote turns out more than trying to change minds… Good luck guys 🙂

  • jedibeeftrix 3rd May '15 - 5:42pm

    @ Alistair – “We already lost all but one MEP. Now he is gambling our EU membership for his nebulous red lines”

    Two questions:
    1. Do you not recognise the role of EU policy in the loss of EU MP’s?
    2. As a member of a party with a century plus of democratic tradition, do you not recognise the difference between a referendum and “throwing it all on red”?

  • Jedi,
    I’d argue the Lib Dems lost most of our EU MPs because moving to the Right put the party in a downward spiral because the Right aren’t actually as popular as people like you make out and yes because the EU isn’t that popular with the English either. However, I think when they vote to leave, bang goes the economy taking what’s left of British unity with it. Be careful what you wish for, coz I don’t get the impression you a want revised history books about Lesser Britain and the loss of world influence.

  • I actually think the best possible result from this election for the Lib Dems would be.

    1. Nick Clegg loses his seat.
    2. A centre left social liberal takes leadership of the party.
    3. They enter a coalition with Labour in exchange for proper PR plus their leader as both deputy PM and home sec.

    You could actually stop labour’s authoritarian side that way and rebuild the party. Doesn’t look likely though, the non-tory facing seats are where the Lib Dems will be hit hardest in England.

  • jedibeeftrix 3rd May '15 - 7:44pm

    i don’t want to leave per-se.

    i will vote to leave only if it becomes clear that the EU is unwilling to make space for euro-outs by ensuring they retain the fiscal sovereignty that is threatened by ECB caucusing eurozone consensus on fiscal matters that are destined to steadily be decided by QMV.

    camerons’s concession from the euro-group on double-majority cvoting to protect euro-outs is a start, but then again we are only beginning to see how the ECB will use the EBU tools granted to it by the crisis.

    if we don’t retain that essential fiscal and regulatory sovereignty i will indeed vote to leave. whether we would prosper or suffer from leaving depends on how much we deregulate and reduce taxes. i am intensely relaxed about the prospect. 😉

  • Jedi.
    I don’t doubt that you personally are intensely relaxed about the prospect of an EU vote or leaving the EU, but the rest of Europe and the banking system won’t be. The EU is a massive trading block, we are dependant on banking for much of our economy. There will be severe jitters caused by the third largest EU economy threatening to leave the EU not only that it will kick start another independence referendum. This is a double whammy economic threat. The SNP are going to have 90% of the MPs from Scotland and will almost certainly take close to 100% in the next vote for the Scottish elections.! Think about it.

  • Bravo Julian Critchley! I remain a Liberal only in the hope that the party will give up this horrible fondness for the right. All the (nearly 50) years I canvassed, I told people that the Tories represented big business, Labour the Unions, and the Liberals represented individual voters, we were a party that helped people to success, and helped them when they are down.
    And at the first chance of a Liberal influence in Government, the party supported knocking £20,000 off the value of my pension, sacked or pegged the pay of many of our customers, forcing our little business ( and many like it) into virtual closure, and then called the previously ” hard working families” that the government used to employ “benefit scroungers” and forced them to use food banks. Now we are faced with the worry of the looming closure/transfer of the Independent Living Fund which may seriously afect the life of my 30 year old son who is severely handicapped by Down syndrome. It also will seriously affect the lives of his team of “personal assistants”. Their situation is made worse by changes to the work pension system. If ILF is not raised so that it will pay their pensions, they will have their hours cut to pay for it. SOme may not be able to afford to work for James then.
    It does make a diference to real people, who forms the next government. If the Liberal Party is stil the party that helps people, it must ally with other parties who think the same way. If not, those of us who used to work for the party may be too busy going to food banks. The record of the coalition was awful. The macro-economic numbers may have improved a bit, but they represent a micro economic improvement only for a few households in the SE. The rest of the country has seen no improvement and if the Tories get back into power can only see things get worse.

  • Jedi,
    No I have not got it the wrong way round. The conservatives have promised a referendum because the issue has split them for over twenty years and they are threatened by UKIP. At the time of the Scottish referendum, the Conservatives were behind in the polls and Labour were the dominant party in Scotland. Look it up. Things have changed. I think the EU referendum will cause massive jitters because it isn’t just about “the will of the people” its about threatening a huge trade block and interlinked finances.

  • Huw 3rd May ’15 – 10:35pm
    “…..at the first chance of a Liberal influence in Government, the party supported knocking £20,000 off the value of my pension, sacked or pegged the pay of many of our customers, forcing our little business ( and many like it) into virtual closure, and then called the previously ” hard working families” that the government used to employ “benefit scroungers” and forced them to use food banks. Now we are faced with the worry of the looming closure/transfer of the Independent Living Fund which may seriously afect the life of my 30 year old son who is severely handicapped by Down syndrome. It also will seriously affect the lives of his team of “personal assistants”. Their situation is made worse by changes to the work pension system. If ILF is not raised so that it will pay their pensions, they will have their hours cut to pay for it. SOme may not be able to afford to work for James then.”

    Huw,
    I was touched by what you wrote. Your experience reflects that of many real people. I wonder how many of those at the top of the party will read it and learn? This is not a Westminster or TV studio game, this is for real.

    The apologists for the rightwing have no answer to the real experiences such as your’s.

  • Bill le Breton 4th May '15 - 7:49am

    Matthew Green, I think you misread both Miliband’s temperament and Labour’s advantage of him not being not being PM at this moment.

    All kinds of results are possible in this election but let’s look at one where the Tory ‘block’ does not reach 323 (which can either mean that we have declared we won’t join them or that Ts + LDs + DUP + UKip is < 323.

    Once this position transpires, Cameron has no choice but to resign as he has LOST his Commons majority. Miliband immediately is appointed PM and sets about forming a Government and writing a Queens Speech. Like Wilson before him in Feb 74 he has no need to talk to any other Party or necessarily be influenced in his QS drafting of their views. He is PM until he loses the confidence of the House of Commons. He can even lose a Queens Speech without having to resign as he wd have to lose a confidence vote formulated by the FTPAct.

    Therefore, he merely challenges the House to vote against his QS. In those circumstances I cannot see the SNP voting it down – if they do, they have already stated that they would not vote against him in any following confidence motion (under the FTPAct). But even such a vote does not lead automatically to another election. One can assume that Miliband actually does put a few sweetners into his QS to help SNP support it, but he doesn't have to 'negotiate' to do this.

    Now, in such a position, if we hold the key remaining votes that wd see that QS getting through or falling, how do you think we shall vote?

    Will we be the Party that sees the QS falling? Wd we follow the SNP and vote against the QS and for him in a following confidence motion? I suppose at this stage there might be negotiations, but Miliband like Wilson doesn't have to have made contact with us before that.

    If we do get a chance to 'ask' for anything, then, in this situation in which a minority Lab government is installed and 'protected' by the FTPA, what should we ask for? Well we need changes to Commons procedures that allow us opportunities to express and campaign for our own policies – ie introducing a standing order that allows amendments to budgets + access for the whole of the Commons to the civil service to work up potential policies, and matters like these – all of which fundamentally increase the power of the Legislature swinging the balance against the Executive.

    We therefore stand on the threshold of a very exciting period that could transform the way goverance works in the UK.

  • Stephen Hesketh 4th May '15 - 8:06am

    Bill le Breton 4th May ’15 – 7:49am
    ” … Well we need changes to Commons procedures that allow us opportunities to express and campaign for our own policies – ie introducing a standing order that allows amendments to budgets + access for the whole of the Commons to the civil service to work up potential policies, and matters like these – all of which fundamentally increase the power of the Legislature swinging the balance against the Executive.

    We therefore stand on the threshold of a very exciting period that could transform the way goverance works in the UK.”

    Excellent points Bill. Anything empowering the Legislature against the Executive would be very positive indeed.

  • @Bill “Once this position transpires, Cameron has no choice but to resign as he has LOST his Commons majority.”

    Does he? Or can he test it first by presenting a Queens Speech and daring the others to vote it down and force a confidence vote?

  • Stephen Hesketh 4th May '15 - 8:22am

    Huw 3rd May ’15 – 10:35pm
    JohnTilley 4th May ’15 – 6:56am

    Huw, I agree with your comments and with John’s personal comments to you regarding the effects of policies on the lives of real people.

    As he suggests those on the right and their apologists have no answer to the problems their beliefs and policies have on ordinary decent people and their families.

  • @Stephen Hesketh “regarding the effects of policies on the lives of real people.”

    Are you arguing that Labour’s thirteen years in power had no effect on the lives of real people?

  • John Roffey 4th May '15 - 9:22am

    Stephen Hesketh 4th May ’15 – 8:22am
    Huw 3rd May ’15 – 10:35pm
    JohnTilley 4th May ’15 – 6:56am

    Huw, I agree with your comments and with John’s personal comments to you regarding the effects of policies on the lives of real people.

    As he suggests those on the right and their apologists have no answer to the problems their beliefs and policies have on ordinary decent people and their families.

    + another.

  • @John Roffey what about all “ordinary decent people and their families” who had their lives and livelihoods by Brown’s recession? Don’t they deserve a mention?

  • Livelihoods *ruined*

  • “Brown’sRecession”? Sounds like a quote straight from CCHQ…

    “Labour overspending did not trigger financial crash, says senior civil servant ….Permanent secretary to Treasury, Sir Nicholas Macpherson, contradicts Tory pre-election claims, saying financial crisis was ‘a banking crisis pure and simple’

  • Expats. Labour’s failure to bring down spending and debt in line with other comparable economies left the UK in a far worse position to weather the international storm as the IFS quote I finished for uou in the other thread shows.

  • @TCO
    “Labour’s failure to bring down spending and debt in line with other comparable economies left the UK in a far worse position to weather the international storm”

    If that’s true then we should all be very relieved that the Lib Dems did not win the 2001 or 2005 elections, since they were proposing to spend more than Labour…

  • @Stuart I agree. Not policy positions I supported.

  • Stephen Campbell 4th May '15 - 1:37pm

    @TCO: “Are you arguing that Labour’s thirteen years in power had no effect on the lives of real people?”

    Saying “Labour did bad things, too” doesn’t make right your party’s wrongs. Millions of people used to vote for you BECAUSE you weren’t as nasty as Labour. Fat lot of good that did.

    The coalition has deliberately enacted policies which has pushed some of the most vulnerable people in the UK into such destitution and hopelessness that they felt they needed to end their own lives. But, hey, they were only disabled or mentally ill people on benefits, so who cares, right?

    Meanwhile, the financial and political classes who caused this mess are still doing just fine and Lib Dems argue about how many angels can dance on a pin…

    The silence of the LIb Dems on the deaths they have played a part in causing continues to be deafening..

  • @Stephen Campbell what about the millions who were made jobless by Labour’s policy failures; which, no doubt, led to relationship breakdown, mental illness, bankruptcy, repossession and possibly even suicide?

  • Malcolm Todd 4th May '15 - 2:02pm

    Bill le Breton
    I continue to disagree with you about this, and I think in your latest post you have given a hint of why your reading of the constitutional position is probably wrong:

    “He [Miliband, in this scenario] is PM until he loses the confidence of the House of Commons. He can even lose a Queens Speech without having to resign as he wd have to lose a confidence vote formulated by the FTPAct.”
    Of course, the FTPA doesn’t actually say anything about a PM having to resign in any circumstance; all it does is set out a scenario in which an early general election would be mandated. However, you are almost certainly right that whereas in the past a PM who lost a vote on the Queen’s Speech would have been effectively forced to resign (or call an election), the FTPA by mandating a specific form of no-confidence motion has established a different standard. I just don’t see why you assume that that different standard can’t apply to an existing PM. There is nothing to stop Cameron claiming that he is entitled to remain in office unless and until the House of Commons passes a motion in the terms of the FTPA.

    We all know that the British constitution is uncodified: it is a mixture of specific Acts and more or less agreed-upon conventions, based on precedent and subject to both formal and informal effects of statute. It absolutely is not true that Cameron must resign, because there simply is no law that says so. That he is bound by precedent to resign is arguable, but by no means certain, because past precedents have been rendered of dubious relevance by the changed statutory framework — and because there is less political and popular acceptance, I think, that precedent is really the best guide for so far extremely rare situations.

  • When I was a Chair of a Housing I used to think I was closer to Labour than the Tories. However I became disgusted with Labour claiming to be a party of the people and doing so little for them at a time of prosperity. It appears that the Scots agree with me and have transferred their hopes for a better life to the SNP.
    If we aren’t part of another coalition can we put our party’s great energy and talent to working out how a 21st century welfare state should operate? Now we have experience of Government our proposals will be much more informed and hopefully a new Beveridge will emerge. That is what our country needs us to do far more than prop up either of the two main parties for the next five years.

  • TCO
    Actually, unemployment fell under Labour from the highs of the Thatcher/major years. So their record wasn’t as bad as you make out. However Governments do find ways to massage figures and that includes this one. Let’s be realistic, if people really felt the coalition had done a good job the election would be in no doubt and both the Lib Dems and the Conservatives would be looking at improved voting figures. Labour’s recovery is actually fairly remarkable considering the depths of unpopularity the later Blair years and Gordon Brown plunged them into. To me you can either put this down to the tactical “genius” of Ed Miliband or the unpopularity of the Coalition. This is why I think the Lib Dems need to rule out another one until there’s been a recovery in its fortunes. I think the Lib Dems mistake was to shift Centre Right as the electorate shifted Left economically and Right on some key social issues.

  • Stephen Campbell 4th May '15 - 2:23pm

    @TCO ” what about the millions who were made jobless by Labour’s policy failures; which, no doubt, led to relationship breakdown, mental illness, bankruptcy, repossession and possibly even suicide?”

    Once again, I will point out I hold no love for Labour. Haven’t voted for them for 25 years and probably never will do so again. What they did at times was every bit as bad as what the coalition has done.

    But that is not the point. Engaging in whatabouttery is not the point. People, myself included, voted LibDem because they WEREN’T Labour. People voted for you because we wanted more compassion in politics and an end for making the innocent pay for the mistakes of politicians and bankers. People voted LibDem because they thought you were different from the other two.

    All we got was more of the same, but worse. I can tell the LibDems are now a “party of government” in the way they don’t want to take responsibility for some of the horrible things they’ve done in office. Well done in joining the big boys club: I guess that means you get to make “difficult decisions” where other, powerless people are made to suffer and sometimes die for crimes of the powerful. Funny how those “difficult decisions” never affect those who “have” to make them.

    “The New Politics” indeed..

  • @Stephen Campbell you consistently fail to appreciate that the Lib Dems got fewer votes and many fewer seats than the other two and do were always going to at best be in a position to moderate rather than drive policy.

    Furthermore the tone of your posts seems to imply that the government wilfully sought to drive people to the brink. If do that is a very serious charge to make.

  • Stephen Campbell 4th May '15 - 3:13pm

    @TCO: “you consistently fail to appreciate that the Lib Dems got fewer votes and many fewer seats than the other two and do were always going to at best be in a position to moderate rather than drive policy.”

    No. I was actually an early supporter of coalition, but I left the Lib Dems after the NHS reforms went through. I knew you would have to do some things you didn’t like. But I underestimated the extent to which your party would lose its conscience in government. I genuinely thought you’d hold the Tories to account, or at least, make public any disagreements. I didn’t expect LibDems to keep quiet when the Tories smeared people on benefits as “scroungers”. I didn’t expect Danny Alexander, once a campaigner for the disabled and against Labour’s increasingly cruel welfare regime, to suddenly pop up on the telly defending cuts aimed at the most vulnerable.

    “Furthermore the tone of your posts seems to imply that the government wilfully sought to drive people to the brink. If do that is a very serious charge to make.”

    The vast majority of welfare cuts are aimed at the disabled and mentally ill. These people are already vulnerable and aiming cuts at them would logically never end well. In fact, before the cuts and sanctioning regime took hold, mental health doctors and charities such as Mind and the Samaratins warned the government that these cuts could end up in suicides. The government pressed ahead anyway. Mind have been very vocal about the effects sanctions and cuts have had on the mentally ill.

    The government was warned by experts that their policy would cause vulnerable people to become even more so. They were told in no uncertain terms what would happen. Yet the IDS and the DWP pressed on regardless. Anyone with half a brain knows that imposing punitive sanctions and cutting services mentally ill people rely on will not end well. I don’t think the government willfully set out to drive people to their deaths. I do, however, think that they didn’t care.

  • Stephen Campbell 4th May '15 - 3:55pm

    @TCO: “Furthermore the tone of your posts seems to imply that the government wilfully sought to drive people to the brink. If do that is a very serious charge to make.”

    I think leveling that charge at the government is far less serious than the fact that your government’s policies have driven people to their early graves. You come across as more concerned with protecting the image of the government than you do with the people whose lives this government have made a misery. Sticking up for the powerful against the powerless.

  •  TCO 4th May ’15 – 9:37am
    “…@John Roffey what about all “ordinary decent people and their families” who had their lives and livelihoods by Brown’s recession? Don’t they deserve a mention?”

    This from The Guardian reflects a more realistic appraisal of how the economy has been going over the last five years –

    The Tory economic plan is NOT working, at all – sadly, their PR war is | Business | The Guardian

    Conservatives claim the economy is working again.  That’s working, as in:

    • having the slowest recovery from recession in 100 years
    • working as in boasting about halving the deficit over five years when the plan was to eliminate it
    • working as in housebuilidng at its lowest level since the 1920s
    • working as in manufacturing and construction operating below their pre-recession levels
    • working as in fewer owner-occupiers and homelessness up by one third
    • working as in an extra half-a-million people on zero-hour contracts
    • working as in the first fall in living standards over a five-year period since modern records began in 1960
    • and working as in more than 900,000 people relying on food banks, a 15-fold increase since the last election.

  • John tilley.
    What I find interesting is how persuasive the myth of Conservative economic competence is. Even the Lib Dem campaign falls for it a round about way with the idea that the Lib Dems will give “the Conservatives a heart and labour a brain” The reality is that there were two major recession in the thatcher/major years and before that Heath’s Government record was a abysmal. When Osborne entered office the growth rate was just over 1%. It was choked off almost immediately and was disputably in a double dip for most of this parliament. It recovered after he took his foot of the cuts peddle but since the tale end of 2014 it was about 0.6% and is now at 0.3% with shrunken wages, low productivity, and a stagnant housing market. The record is in truth pretty poor and is only not even poorer because austerity was kicked into the long grass for a post 2015 Conservative government to inflict on the British public.

  • David Allen 4th May '15 - 7:52pm

    TCO – Are you Tory Central Office? If not, have you any Tory connection?

  • SIMON BANKS 4th May '15 - 8:12pm

    I don’t know what poll malc is looking at, but anything that shows us not winning Ceredigion is simple rubbish. Any poll which just extrapolates from national swings is also pretty much rubbish. Just look at England for a while and just at seats we’re defending: two or three Cornish seats and one in Devon is reasonable based on local polls; probably four in Somerset/Wilts/Dorset/Gloucs, still a big drop; three in Hants/Sussex (plenty of evidence for that relatively upbeat prediction); four or five in London; two or three in the East of England; one in the Midlands; two in Yorkshire; three or four in the North-west; maybe one in the north-east – total 22-27. Then consider that we’re likely to win one or two against the swing, especially where we lost in special circumstances last time (Oxford West) or the candidate is exceptionally well-established and popular (Watford). Give us one to three of those. Result – 23 to 30. Consider that when voters make the real choice in Scotland and Wales popular and hard-working MPs will get a bit of extra boost. You reach 32 quite easily. I’m not saying it will be 32 rather than 27, but 32 is perfectly possible. That is still, of course, a bad result and we shouldn’t forget that.

  • Glenn 4th May ’15 – 7:28pm
    “…..What I find interesting is how persuasive the myth of Conservative economic competence is. ……..The record is in truth pretty poor and is only not even poorer because austerity was kicked into the long grass for a post 2015 Conservative government to inflict on the British public.”

    I agree. The myth that Tories in government are competent flies in the face of the experience of the last six decades.
    I suppose it helps to preserve the myth if the Tory leader recruits directly from Murdoch’s pool of employees. The UK media consistently fails to expose errors and worse amongst the Tories being too busy talking about bacon sandwiches or other trivia. The fact that even some senior members of the Liberal Democrats have fallen for the myth tells you something about those particular individuals but not aout the beliefs of the party.

  • @ Sue S
    “we put our party’s great energy and talent to working out how a 21st century welfare state should operate? Now we have experience of Government our proposals will be much more informed”

    It is a lovely thought. The first question that we have to answer is should the welfare state be a safety net for those who experience hard times or should it enable everyone to make choices about whether they wish to work and if how much work they wish to do?

    If we believe it should be a safety net then we have to work out how to ensure that the government pursues policies to achieve full employment. That there are the jobs for everyone not just the best.

    We could decide that the economy can’t provide a job for everyone and so working has to be a choice and those who choice not to work should not be demonised, but provided with enough money to live comfortably.

    If we decided on the second we would have to completely reform the whole tax and benefit system and revive the old liberal policy of negative tax. We could use the welfare state to set people free and to give them more choices. We could create a society where no one is enslaved by poverty and dignity to given to everyone and not just “hard working people”.

  • @MichaelBG “We could decide that the economy can’t provide a job for everyone and so working has to be a choice and those who choice not to work should not be demonised, but provided with enough money to live comfortably.”

    But what if everyone chooses not to work? Someone has to provide the labour that generates the surplus that supports both the workers and the non-workers.

  • Peter Watson 4th May '15 - 11:03pm

    David Allen “TCO – Are you Tory Central Office?”
    Terry’s Chocolate Orange?

  • @Peter it’s not Terry’s; it’s mine 😉

  • Malcolm Todd 5th May '15 - 12:48am

    TCO
    “But what if everyone chooses not to work?”

    Well, what if a huge straw man gets caught by the wind and blown through the air and we all choke on tiny bits of straw? I’m not sure even the market could fix that.

  • John Roffey 5th May '15 - 4:29am

    TCO
    “But what if everyone chooses not to work?”

    Tory Central Office – with so many consumer products being made in part, or almost completely , through automative processes and the advances in AI we are all too quickly approaching a time when there will not be a great deal of work for we humans to do [Amazon’s latest distribution centre will require just a handful of humans and Google’s driverless cars and drones will eventually remove the need for humans in the distribution sector].

    If these ‘human free’ activities are in the hands of the main shareholder of giant global corporations – as is the case presently – a very large portion of humanity will be little more than serfs in a new global feudalism. If these are owned by nations – after a short period of work most citizens would be able to engage in sport, art of other recreational activities.

    Quite a stark difference.

  • John Roffey 5th May '15 - 4:45am

    With regard to the above – perhaps we should all be voting for UKIP as Farage seems to be the only one warning of the dangers of corporatism!

    Ukip’s Nigel Farage claims “corporatism” has made us “victims of the economy”

    http://www.cityam.com/209322/ukips-nigel-farage-claims-corporatism-has-made-us-all-victims-economy

  • @John Roffey Peter has it right.

    I admire your optimism regarding a world where the state owns the means of production, but I fear that in practice it would be little different to the corporate serfdom you predict. The examples of history and human nature point that way.

  • Ed Shepherd 5th May '15 - 8:14am

    What started off as another analysis of the opinion polls has led to an interesting discussion about the future of human beings in a world where almost all currently paid work will be done by machines, androids or other technology. It’s a pity that none of the mainstream parties seem to have shown any interest in the imminent threats and opportunities that this poses. It’s even worse than we the masses being mere serfs; we the masses will be surplus to the requirements of the owners of capital whether that be states or corporations.

  • John Roffey 5th May '15 - 9:42am

    TCO 5th May ’15 – 6:32am

    “I admire your optimism regarding a world where the state owns the means of production, but I fear that in practice it would be little different to the corporate serfdom you predict. The examples of history and human nature point that way.”

    Serfdom is certain under corporatism. Likely – under national governments [whether capitalist of communist]. Democracy is the best hope for some kind of balance – and the stronger the democracy – the greater that hope.

    The Swiss, with a form of direct democracy, have the best chance – and are likely to remain the happiest nation because of this system of government.

  • Malcolm Todd 5th May '15 - 10:08am

    Ed Shepherd
    ” we the masses will be surplus to the requirements of the owners of capital ”

    Yeah, but who’s gonna buy their cars?

  • @John Roffey Swiss happiness has nothing to do with a heap of dubiously acquired money, then? 😉

  • John Roffey 5th May '15 - 11:38am

    Malcolm Todd 5th May ’15 – 10:08am
    Ed Shepherd
    ” we the masses will be surplus to the requirements of the owners of capital ”

    If you look back on the Osborne/IDS strategy – it seems as if serfdom is the better option – the alternative being death! Those that are ‘surplus’ being denied food, shelter or warmth.

    “Yeah, but who’s gonna buy their cars?”

    This is likely to be the cause of corporatism’s end – in its present form – but the devastation in the meantime is likely to be of historic proportions. Corporations will still be top dogs and some new development will take place which is unlikely to benefit the serfs.

  • John Roffey 5th May '15 - 11:43am

    TCO 5th May ’15 – 10:33am
    “Swiss happiness has nothing to do with a heap of dubiously acquired money, then?”

    I didn’t say that. If you look a t the table towards the end in this article – you will see that sufficient income is an important part of happiness – but once a certain level has been achieved – other factors become equally important.

    http://www.newsweek.com/whats-worlds-happiest-country-does-it-matter-324448

  • @John Roffey yup Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

  • @TCO
    “Someone has to provide the labour that generates the surplus that supports both the workers and the non-workers.”

    As John Roffrey states the need for people to do the work is likely to continue to decrease.

    Capitalism works by some people providing the capital and some people providing the labour and this means that these same people have the money to buy the products being produced. When the size of those who are being paid for their labour declines the amount of demand also declines and we end up in a recessional cycle. Some method has to be used to ensure that total demand does not decrease. One method would be to reduce the working week and make it illegal to work too many hours. I don’t think this compulsion is liberal. The alternative is to provide money for everyone so they can choose how much work they wish to do – the liberal solution. As a liberal I believe that most people would choose to do some work.

  • Malcolm Todd 5th May '15 - 1:53pm

    “As a liberal I believe that most people would choose to do some work.”

    I don’t think it’s got anything to do with being a liberal: the slightest awareness of current human behaviour makes it obvious. If TCO and others who spout the “what if everyone chooses not to work?” line were voicing a legitimate fear, how do they account for the fact that even under the existing system of unemployment benefits, people who are in receipt of benefit “for doing nothing” are from time to time caught (and rather more often, I suspect, not caught) doing work on the side, even though there is actually a powerful disincentive, in the form of benefit sanctions and criminal penalties, for doing so whilst claiming benefit? For that matter, why is it that most of us who do work continue to seek opportunities for better-paid or more challenging work, when we could quite happily continue doing the job we already have and are able to survive on? It’s quite obvious that most people don’t simply stop working just because they’ve got a subsistence income; and a benefit system that pays out regardless of whether you’re working or earning and isn’t withdrawn as soon as you get work naturally increases the incentive to take low-paid, part-time or short-term work. I don’t think this is hard to understand, even for Tories and libertarians who might oppose the principle of citizen’s income for other reasons.

  • John Roffey 5th May '15 - 3:43pm

    Malcolm Todd 5th May ’15 – 1:53pm

    “For that matter, why is it that most of us who do work continue to seek opportunities for better-paid or more challenging work, when we could quite happily continue doing the job we already have and are able to survive on?”

    I don’t think there is any doubt that everyone seeks to fulfil their potential – for the ‘middle class’ this is often through their work – probable until around 50/55 – when further promotion becomes less likely. However, for those of the ‘working class’ – it generally meant working harder and longer rather than promotion. Once someone’s job cannot provide for their further personal development – ‘non work’ activities takes its place.

    What is most obvious for the current crop of graduates is a very large proportion are having to ‘shelf stack’ or do similar work because IT has removed the jobs they might have hoped to have – and at an increasing rate.

    ‘Opportunities’ is becoming increasingly the main complaint for the huge number not in satisfying employment. Corporatism will increase this substantially – I would have thought and without doubt.

  • @Malcolm Todd I actually don’t disagree with much of what you’d said.

    However in any society there will be some 5h1tty jobs that need doing. What would be the incentive to do these?

    Also such a system has to be supported by the populace and there is a highly ingrained aversion to people perceived to be “taking the p155”

  • All politicians of the three main parties pretend that there are jobs for everyone and therefore those who are not working are perceived as shirkers and skivers. Therefore we have to recognise that since the late 1970’s no political party has provided enough jobs for everyone. The public need to understand this. Maybe we need to start by looking again at the retirement age and returning it back to 65 as a clear sign there are not going to be enough jobs. We can talk about the need to reduce the normal working week and how this can be achieved while not banning someone from working more hours than the norm. Then we need to talk about how we can ensure people can afford to work fewer hours a week and how companies can compete internationally and schedule their production with a reduced average working week. We need to remind people that the average working week fell (by over a third) from over 65 hours to under 40 hours and the economy didn’t implode.

  • TCO
    How about higher pay and kudos for the s—— jobs!

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