The week in bits: Polling, Taxes, Boris Johnson and Homophobia

2nd February, 2014 1:42 pm

LabourList readers excellent at predicting polls, suggests polls

Are LabourList readers the most reliable amateur psephologists in Britain? Or, perhaps, the most quietly influential group in UK politics? Polling here last weekend showed that a plurality of you believe that a hung Parliament, with Labour as the biggest party, will be the result of the next election. And for some reason, independent polling over the past seven days has followed suit, showing this to be more likely than at any point for the last two years, with Labours lead falling from six to two, three and three in consecutive YouGov polls.

Could this be down to special LabourList reader powers? The prospect of a growing economy? Or could it be the horror, the sheer gruesome horror of…


As Ed Balls pledged that Labour would reintroduce the 50p top tax rate, the country’s inordinately rich brave wealth creators shrieked with horror. And when the super rich helpless wealth creators scream with fear, there’s always one man they can rely on for protection: amusing journalist and part time London Mayor Clown, Bozo Johnson.

By a total and complete coincidence, Johnson falls into the wow so much money wealth creator tax band himself, although he’s never quite clear how much wealth he creates. How humble.

I watched Eastenders before it was cool, yeah?

Research this week suggest London has become a sinkhole for wealth, an unquenchable pit sucking money and talent from every corner of the country, creating an economic recovery that is taking place almost solely in the capital. Private sector jobs are growing by ten times as much in London as in the rest of the country.

This is soon to be reflected by a process of gentrification in the soap opera Eastenders, with chirpy working class cockneys replaced by boring young professionals and recent graduates with funny haircuts whose entire storylines will involve them listening to house music too loudly, very late on Wednesday nights. Could make for some pretty fascinating conflicts.

At least now we’ll know when there’s a real cross-country recovery for the people: it’s when the Rovers Returns becomes a gastro-pub.

Week in bits

Rome wasn’t built in a day because of too much red tape, reckons Cameron

If you’re being forced out of your area due to rocketing house prices, don’t fear, because there’s going to be an abundance of cheap, crap houses in just a few short years. David Cameron’s answer to the worsening housing crisis has been to announce that he’s slashing regulation on house building. Because if a job’s worth doing, I can’t be bothered to think of a punchline, this’ll do.

Major UKIP donor pays lots of money to look silly, also takes out advert in The Telegraph

There was a time before UKIP, where attempting to scrabble together a jocular retrospective on the previous week in politics would be like trying to find gravy in a London chip shop. But now a week could barely be said to be in bits without commenting on the fact that a supporter of the UK’s Third Party (© the British Media) has done something totally crackers. This week, Demetri Marchessini, who last year gave UKIP £10,000, took a page advert out in The Telegraph to rail against Times columnist Libby Purves’ views on homosexuality. Other than seemingly forgetting which newspaper Purves writes for, and spelling her name wrong, Marchessini also claimed homophobia was not real, because the word contains both Latin and Greek roots – a claim as odd as it is incorrect*.


We can just be glad, then, that UKIP did not go through with their proposed name change to the English/Latin hybrid ‘UK In Perpetuum’, because, according to Mr. Marchessini’s logic, they would have simply ceased to exist. And how would jocular retrospectives on the previous week in politics possibly have reached their word counts then?

Opening story written too early in the week, suggests later polls

Well LabourList reader, don’t you look the fool? Like Icarus, you soared too high and then, shortly before falling, you realised that Labour’s poll ratings were soaring even higher than you. Your week as Nate Silver is over, with YouGov’s Friday polling showing a ten point lead over the Tories. You should be embarrassed.

*‘Homophobia’ has two Greek roots.

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