How Lord Ashcroft hopes to deliver a ‘Conservative majority’ for 2015


9:10 am - May 18th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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A year into the current government, Lord Ashcroft has done a detailed analysis of voters perceive the Conservative party and what is required for a majority (a vote share of around 40%) can be achieved in 2015.

It’s an impressive document that is worth dissecting; usefully, posted online. Here are some excerpts on the direction of travel Lord Ashcroft thinks Conservatives should take.

1. He thinks the Conservatives did well in reaching the core vote, but not well enough to go past that.

As the May local elections showed, Conservative support is holding up fairly well – quite an achievement given the action the government is taking on the deficit. But unlike most previous parties of government, today’s Tories must do more than just keep the voters that put them in power. We should be aiming to move beyond our 2010 share of 37 per cent to a level above 40 per cent that is usually needed for outright victory. Viewed from this perspective, the fact that the Conservatives are just about holding their own offers limited comfort.

He admits this coalition is easier for Labour:

On the other side of the equation, while the Conservatives struggle to piece together two fifths of the electorate, Labour’s core support plus left-leaning former Lib Dems could theoretically give Ed Miliband close to 40 per cent of the vote without needing to get out of bed.

2. While he finds that those who embraced the Conservatives were happy with the ways things were going, floating voters were less so:

First-timers whose view of the party had changed for the better since the election were all but matched by those who said it had worsened. The proportion wanting to see an outright Conservative victory next time, though still a majority, was lower than among Conservative voters as a whole. Only just over half said they would probably 8 vote for the party in 2015 (though a very high proportion said they didn’t know), well below the level for Conservative voters overall.

The research also found a gender gap. Women were consistently and significantly less enthusiastic about the Conservative Party and the government’s performance, and more concerned about the cuts, than men.

3. ‘Tories only for rich people’ charge still sticks he says:

The biggest barrier, which was not overcome by election day and remains in place for most of them, is the perception (which Tories are sick of hearing about but is real nonetheless) that the Conservative Party is for the rich, not for people like them. As with Conservative voters, Considerers who had never voted Tory were more negative in their views than those who had done so in the past.

4. There are five main policy areas he focuses on. Obviously the main one is the economy, which deserves a post on its own. There is also a big focus on the NHS, which mostly says that people aren’t convinced by Cameron’s view thart the NHS needs to change. I’ll pick out that too later.

But there are three other areas Ashcroft thinks are key for Conservatives

Our research suggests that welfare reform is a striking political success story for the Conservatives. Public demand for changes to the welfare system has been clear for years, and certainly not just among Tories. We found that people grasped and strongly supported specific elements of the government’s plans, such as ensuring that people are better off in work than on benefits, and they recognised that these plans are being implemented. In our segmentation analysis, agreement that the Conservatives have the best approach to welfare emerged as one of the factors most closely correlated with Conservative voting intention.

Immigration is a less clear cut success. Again, many people strongly supported Conservative plans, which they remembered from the election campaign, to restrict immigration from outside the EU (though they often lament the immigration from within the EU is the bigger problem), and to establish a Border Police force. It was very much less clear to them, though, exactly what had been done in the last year, prompting many to wonder whether any government will take the issue seriously.

As I have written more than once before, the Conservatives do not need to push immigration further up their political agenda, since we have a big lead on the issue and people are more worried about our commitment in other areas – but we do need to show we are delivering on our promises.

Crime represents a Conservative coalition-building opportunity that is currently being missed. As my research report, Crime, Punishment & The People showed earlier this year, a firm approach to law and order is the very essence of the centre ground. One of the things people expected from a Conservative-led government, whether they voted for it or not, was a tough approach to crime, but so far they have been disappointed. Asked what the government was doing on the issue, previously one of the Conservative Party’s strongest suits, most people thought only of police cuts – with some adding that they had heard we want to send fewer criminals to prison.

Opponents of Welfare reform have little to cheer here unfortunately – not only will the Tories push ahead strongly on the issue, but a lot of the public is on side. It’ll be very difficult to push back on Welfare changes. I suspect this is mostly why Labour isn’t saying much, other than opposing some specific measures.

5. Lastly, he argues against triangulation

Our complex segmentation analysis has actually revealed that the things that will build and maintain the Conservative voting coalition are the economy, David Cameron, welfare, crime, the NHS, and a demonstration that the Conservative Party shares people’s values. These are fundamentally mainstream concerns that have the potential to expand the Conservative voting coalition and delight longstanding Tories at one and the same time. In other words, attracting new voters need not alienate existing supporters, and we do not have to pursue a separate agenda for each segment of voters. There is no need to engage in elaborate and slippery triangulation.

“Project Blueprint” is here. Its worth taking seriously to predict future Tory direction and identify their weak points.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Angharrid..

Um…lets see…THE Lord Ashcroft who was accused of tax avoidence!!!…lol
Another millionaire who needs to live in the real world!
di*khead!!!!

2. Alisdair Cameron

Opponents of Welfare reform have little to cheer here unfortunately – not only will the Tories push ahead strongly on the issue, but a lot of the public is on side. It’ll be very difficult to push back on Welfare changes. I suspect this is mostly why Labour isn’t saying much, other than opposing some specific measures.

Or perhaps because having abandoned principle long ago, it’s the direction Purnell and co wanted Labour to take, and indeed they did go down that route.
How sad that Labour even now can’t oppose something on principle, because it is bad,because it is having unjust outcomes,because it attacks the most marginalised and vulnerable.Too compromised by their own connivance, too timid to fight injustice.

@Angharrid..
You may be right about Ashcroft, but it isn’t really about him is it. This is a detailed report produced by professionals.
Obviously there will be a bias in the approach, polling is a bit like statistics its is easy to get the answare you were looking for. But I don’t think we should dismiss it just because of the source of the funding.

2/Alisdair Cameron: Agreed. Additionally, of course, because all major parties are agreed on the need to kick people while they’re down, it’s not at all surprising that the public agrees with that – opposing views just don’t get much press time.

Labour could push back on welfare changes, and would increase public opposition to those changes by doing so.

@1,

“Um…lets see…THE Lord Ashcroft who was accused of tax avoidence”

so he has been accused of something which isn’t illegal – so what? And as Redfish points out it is totally irrelevant.

@4 Cim

“Labour could push back on welfare changes, and would increase public opposition to those changes by doing so.”

So you are implying that Labour can change people’s views by changing policy? Is it not more likely that people will not vote Labour because Labour policies do not match their views?

For this to work Labour would need to be very persuasive when it sells such a policy and I think Labour knows it will be difficult to persuade working people that welfare reform needs to be scaled back.

6. Chaise Guevara

@ 4 cim

“Labour could push back on welfare changes, and would increase public opposition to those changes by doing so.”

Agreed. It’s mainly a matter of presentation: are the people who are considered to be “better off in work” lazy scroungers or people with disabilities that make getting and maintaining a job difficult? While everyone (officially at least) wants to push the former into work and help the latter, it’s obvious which is going to be on the Tory posters, so to speak.

7. Chaise Guevara

@ 5 Fungus

“So you are implying that Labour can change people’s views by changing policy? Is it not more likely that people will not vote Labour because Labour policies do not match their views? ”

Both happen. Changing people’s views can be a simple as giving them the right information or putting forward a good argument.

8. workman Fred

‘Tories only for rich people’ charge still sticks he says:

Only for the rich!!! I don’t know!

I’m working class & would like to make LOADS of money to make myself rich like ALL the working class people I know, so why O why do working class lefties not want to be rich? What’s so wrong with being rich?
I believe it’s the old saying that lefties want us all to be poor together, OH apart from the lefts leaders, like ED living in a 1.6 million pound house.

Hypocrics.

@5 I

Oops that submitted a tiny bit too early …

@5 It’s not so much that people will be persuaded to a new opinion just because Labour (or another party) start talking about it. It’s more that there’s much less chance people will think twice about their opinions if they never hear them challenged anywhere in mainstream political discourse.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ workman Fred

“I’m working class & would like to make LOADS of money to make myself rich like ALL the working class people I know, so why O why do working class lefties not want to be rich? What’s so wrong with being rich?”

Think you’ve missed the point a bit there, mate. Pretty much everybody wants to be rich; most people don’t get to be rich; Tories tend to prioritize helping those who DO get rich, which seems pretty callous.

Fungus/5: So you are implying that Labour can change people’s views by changing policy? Is it not more likely that people will not vote Labour because Labour policies do not match their views?

Well, not just with a snap of the fingers, no … but over time, yes. And it also depends on how deeply-held the opinions are “X, after years of thinking” and “X, though I’ve not really looked at it much” both show up as “X” on surveys, but one is more amenable to change if someone presents an alternative.

Here’s a couple of YouGov polls from late last year
http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Pol-PolicyExchange-251110.pdf
http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results-101210_0.pdf
Look at the results for Conservative voters in the “prison versus community sentencing” question. 57:35 for prison in November, 36:44 for community sentencing in December.

In less than a month, there’s been a 30 (thirty!) point swing in Conservative opinion (from strong opposition, to mild preference). What happened in-between? Clarke unveiled his plans for more community sentencing.

Politicians have huge power to change public opinion by talking up their own preferred option. I expect it takes longer than a month for issues which are more entrenched, like welfare reform, but there’s no shortage of time.

13. workman Fred

“Tories tend to prioritize helping those who DO get rich, which seems pretty callous”

Callous, I don’t see it that way, but is it the way of the world, dam right!
You got money you get in places that those who haven’t don’t, you can buy things those who haven’t can’t etc, etc, but if you don’t want that then why should I aim to make money for a better life?
Nope your way just sounds like communism, as in, we all want what each other has & should get it, & NOONE in the world wants communism any more do they, just look around.

I’m a worker who, if I make it rich will set up a business to help others like me, but, I also want stuff that others can’t get, because I earnt it though hard work & deserve it.
Is that callus? In your world I suppose so.

14. Chaise Guevara

@ 13 Fred

You’re STILL missing the point. Nobody’s saying that you shouldn’t have the opportunity to become rich, or that you shouldn’t enjoy your riches if you’re successful. We’re just saying that it’s wrong for the state to concentrate on helping those who are already better off, at the expense of the most unfortunate.

Also: look up “communism”. Not may people want communism any more but plenty of people want some kind of welfare state, which is what we have and is what “my way” is in favour of.

Workman Fred

Have you read a book called the Spirit Level, one that illustrates that societies where income is distributed more evenly than in the UK, productivity is better and people are happier? Thats not really communism (redistributive socialism maybe but not communism),

The whole thing seems very policy-focussed. That’s a mistake. The state of the economy & the perception of the government’s competence is going to be what swings this election, just like the last one (no-one disagreed with Brown’s policies, they didn’t even bother to find out what they were.)

So far the Tories are cruising for a defeat. They’re seen as making a mess on the NHS and other issues, not of delivering strong leadership.

Of course they’d say that this is because the Lib Dems are getting in their way, but that doesn’t wash with the voters, who just want results. Anyway it’s not true, since the NHS mess, at least, is certainly their fault (albeit the Lib Dems are to be blamed for not stopping them.)

17. workman Fred

“We’re just saying that it’s wrong for the state to concentrate on helping those who are already better off, at the expense of the most unfortunate”

Insane! The state is NOTHING without the rich.
The rich do a massive ammount for the poor, who else could do it?!

But forget that ah, let’s make them/the state, do more!
NO!
Those unfortunate enough to not make it rich can thank the rich for the life style they do have, unless you think the STATE, that only survives because of the rich, gets money from the faries & we are all equal!
Equality for all IS communism.

Fred

Its patently is not communism.

The state relies on all taxpayers not just the rich. But the rich should, in my view, pay a greater share. Also the rich act as a barrier to the lifestyle of those who are not as they have a tendency to hoard wealth and assets. This wealth and assets tend not to be taxed (we skew our taxation to income and not wealth, a wealth tax would be far more progressive IMHO).

So therein lies the inequality and under that the source of poverty too.

19. Chaise Guevara

@ 17 Workman Fred

“Insane!”

Grow up.

“The state is NOTHING without the rich.
The rich do a massive ammount for the poor, who else could do it?! ”

Without state intervention? Like what, exactly?

“But forget that ah, let’s make them/the state, do more!
NO!”

YES!

(This is easy!)

“Those unfortunate enough to not make it rich can thank the rich for the life style they do have, unless you think the STATE, that only survives because of the rich, gets money from the faries & we are all equal!”

Half the time, it’s the rich holding the poor down in the first place. Why on earth should they be thanked?

“Equality for all IS communism.”

Oh, go troll somewhere else, there’s a good fellow. There’s this place called Have Your Say, I think you’d like it.

So far the Tories are cruising for a defeat. They’re seen as making a mess on the NHS and other issues, not of delivering strong leadership.

I suggest you look at the actual polling on this. Here’s a recent YouGov (the pollster that’s proving most favourable to Labour at the moment):

The regular trackers would appear to have been impacted by the elections at the start of the month – David Cameron’s net approval is up slightly to minus 1 (from minus 3 last week), Ed Miliband’s approval is down to minus 21 (from minus 12 last week), which equals his lowest rating to date. Nick Clegg’s rating is minus 52 (from minus 50 a week ago), his lowest rating ever.

YouGov also asked about perceptions of the two main party leaders – primarily aimed at seeing to what extent if any Cameron was becoming seen as arrogant or unpleasant. People saw Cameron as arrogant by 46% to 39%, but he was seen as likeable by slightly more people (45%) than saw him as dislikable (42%) and, overall, public perceptions of him are still positive. His is seen as strong (by 51% to 27%), competent (by 52% to 30%) and as up-to-the-job (by 48% to 36%). His big weakness is not arrogance, but being seen in touch with ordinary people – 30% think Cameron is in touch, but 53% think he is not (which, of course, probably plays into the Conservative party’s wider problem of being seen as a party for the rich).

Looking at how people answered the same questions about Ed Miliband, the most positive findings were that Miliband was seen as honest (by 41% to 18%) and open-minded (by 42% to 22%). The most negative were that Miliband was seen as weak (by 44% to 19%), not up-to-the-job (by 45% to 25%) and unlikeable (by 45% to 31%). I’ve been cautious in the past about concluding too much from Miliband’s negative ratings – he was new in the job and had plenty of time to turn things about once people got to know him. He has now been in the job for well over six months – Labour would be right to be concerned about perceptions of Miliband.

If the Tories have a leadership problem (and it’s not clear that they do) it’s currently being masked by the far larger problems of the Lib Dems and Labour.

21. slow pete

@workman fred

The state is nothing without TAX PAYERS, whether it be contributions made by super rich individuals or by the far larger number of individuals who pay their taxes to the government on the wages that they earn or create through smaller buisness.

The state would exist without SOME of the Super Rich Individuals such as Ashcroft (as i’m inclined by the press information, the people of belize (not the officials and members of the state that he has good relationships with) may exist without him also.)

Perhaps it would be easier for you to separate the differences of those who contribute to the state in terms of Stakeholders (The public at large, on wages) and Shareholders (Those individuals who exist off profiteering.)

…also if your idea of communism is total equality then have a look down your local high street, then the next town, then the next town, then the next town, then the next town ……. Stalin couldn’t have planned this eventuality of capitalism as communism any better, just would have had it nationalized rather than the majority of profit going off-shore!

INSANE!!!

22. workman Fred

@Peter
“The state relies on all taxpayers”

Who work for someone who wants to be or is rich!

@Chaise Guevara

“it’s the rich holding the poor down in the first place”

Stop it! You must know that’s not true, I’m poor but I know I can try to become rich & NOONE is holding me back from doing so.

“Oh, go troll somewhere else”

No, I’ve only recently started reading here & don’t normally post but some of the comments I see are just so out of touch with the working class I know I have decided to post now & then to let people know how other poor working class see things, because it just wont be said here otherwise will it?!

I imagine Sunny likes you being here though! Your very on the ball, hang out here alot?

@18 Peter

“Also the rich act as a barrier to the lifestyle of those who are not as they have a tendency to hoard wealth and assets.”

The rich have mostly earnt their money by providing goods and services that people want – improving peoples lifestyles. What do you mean by hoarding assets? wealth not spent they will invest to achieve the highest return possible which means investing in those prepared to pay the highest return. To pay this high return requires these funds to be used as productively as possible.

“This wealth and assets tend not to be taxed (we skew our taxation to income and not wealth, a wealth tax would be far more progressive IMHO)”

The wealth and assets has already been taxed at least once. Any investment income and capital gains is then taxed again.

17
Yes let’s all dop our caps to the rich but despite your username and attempt at naive comment I suspect that you are educated/wealthy and are here to troll as @19 suggests.

25. Mr S. Pill

LOL “workman Fred”. Lib Con’s trolls are getting lazier.

26. workman Fred

“but despite your username and attempt at naive comment I suspect that you are educated/wealthy and are here to troll”

I can assure you I am poor, I am a worker & I have just shown one of my lefty workmates, who goes on marches (yep hardcore), your comments & he laughed & said I deserve it!! He loves to hate me really :O)

Ok I admit I am not knew to commenting on blogs but I am new here, I get the feeling you are going to LOVE my visits to this site ;O)

27. Chaise Guevara

@ 22 Workman Fred

“Stop it! You must know that’s not true, I’m poor but I know I can try to become rich & NOONE is holding me back from doing so.”

Not, for example, the very rich elite who make up a large quantity of politicians? How much easier do you think it is to get onto the board of directors of a big firm if you know one of the people already on the board?

Yes, we all have opportunities available to us, and that’s largely thanks to existing state intervention. Before we had laws to protect workers’ rights, employers could give you a dangerous job at below the poverty line, and sack you if you were injured by their poorly designed machines. If you took the day off sick, you might be sacked – and possibly blacklisted, leaving you to starve.

You fail to see the benefits of state intervention that are all around you.

“No, I’ve only recently started reading here & don’t normally post but some of the comments I see are just so out of touch with the working class I know I have decided to post now & then to let people know how other poor working class see things, because it just wont be said here otherwise will it?!”

If you’re not a troll, then stop accusing people of backing stances they don’t agree with (i.e. stop telling me I want communism, because I don’t). You may not be trolling intentionally, but this is troll behaviour and it won’t make people want to listen to you.

You don’t represent the working class, I’m afraid. You represent yourself and, at best, a few other people that you know personally. The fact that you don’t agree with comments on here does not make them out of touch.

cim @13

“In less than a month, there’s been a 30 (thirty!) point swing in Conservative opinion (from strong opposition, to mild preference). What happened in-between? ”

With respect, the question changed. In November, the question was whether voters supported the courts using more community sentences. In December, the question was whether votes supported the Government proposal to use more community sentences (with examples listed) for minor crimes.

The second question elicits a more favourable response from Tories not just by associating the policy with Ministers rather than judges, but also by specifying that it is for minor crimes (not stated in the first question) and by giving some examples of community sentencing.

29. Charles Wheeler

“Our research suggests that welfare reform is a striking political success story for the Conservatives. Public demand for changes to the welfare system has been clear for years, and certainly not just among Tories. We found that people grasped and strongly supported specific elements of the government’s plans, such as ensuring that people are better off in work than on benefits, and they recognised that these plans are being implemented. In our segmentation analysis, agreement that the Conservatives have the best approach to welfare emerged as one of the factors most closely correlated with Conservative voting intention.”

But a major part of the reforms involves cutting benefits to severely disabled people, including those unable to work – don’t Conservatives suffer from disability, or have disabled relatives and friends?

30. WorkingClassDave

@25

SHUT IT COMMIE.

31. Chaise Guevara

@ 25

As you can see, you have been destroyed by a blistering retort!

@ 30

Shouldn’t you be in school?

32. workman Fred

“You fail to see the benefits of state intervention that are all around you”

No of course I don’t, I’ve probably made use of some of them over the years but the state should only do so much & control so much, after seeing what the lefts idea of a state is I can only say it LOOKS like the nearest to communism I hope we ever get, I hated seeing my taxes going to certain people who should have never got it but Brown just couldn’t help his socialist self could he.
Brown did the left no favours what so ever in the eyes of so many working class I know, let’s talk immigration shall we, how much has that hurt the working man?
LOTS, you & I both know it.

“You don’t represent the working class, I’m afraid. You represent yourself”

Of course but from what I can make out I am far more in tune with my fellow working class than some of those I’ve seen on here so far.

I will however try not to be such a troll in future but I have to speak as I find & as I was born & raised in tough part London, watchout!

oldpolitics/28: The second question elicits a more favourable response from Tories not just by associating the policy with Ministers rather than judges

If anything, that backs up the point I’m making; the same policy, identified with a prominent politician from the respondent’s preferred party, now looks better.

but also by specifying that it is for minor crimes (not stated in the first question) and by giving some examples of community sentencing.

If those effects were the explanation, you’d expect to see similarly large swings towards community sentencing for Lab and LD voters – actually, they’re much smaller swings: 16 for LD, 12 for Lab compared to the 30 for the Conservatives.

29/Charles Wheeler: But a major part of the reforms involves cutting benefits to severely disabled people, including those unable to work – don’t Conservatives suffer from disability, or have disabled relatives and friends?

As the centre-left party said to the left-wing voter, “where else are you going to go?”

Yes, the Conservative policy will be very bad indeed for people with disabilities, but Labour are basically agreeing with it – indeed, they introduced a fair bit of it themselves. The Lib Dems are agreeing with the Conservatives. It’s rare that anyone else stands a chance of being elected in England, which is where most of the voters are.

A voter who broadly agrees with the Conservative stance on most issues isn’t going to be drawn to vote for someone else because of their stance on disabilities, because no-one else they could usefully vote for is offering anything significantly different.

“If anything, that backs up the point I’m making; the same policy, identified with a prominent politician from the respondent’s preferred party, now looks better.”

Yes. But that doesn’t mean public opinion has in fact changed – you may get the same answer in December if you asked the November question.

“If those effects were the explanation, you’d expect to see similarly large swings towards community sentencing for Lab and LD voters – actually, they’re much smaller swings: 16 for LD, 12 for Lab compared to the 30 for the Conservatives.”

You’re starting from a different base. Look at the percentage of opponents of it in Q1 who remain opponents in Q2. It’s about 74% of Lib Dems and 78% of Tories. The swing is lower for Lib Dems because more of them were supportive to start with. It’s lower for Labour because they react negatively to being told it’s “The Government” proposing it, whereas the others react positively.

36. Winston “roots” Chruchill

When Lord Ashcroft says ‘deliver’ – does this mean he’s put in a mail order on a website for a victory in 2015 with Zanu PF election promises international?

I’ve concluded that both Labour and Conservative have reached their ceiling – they cannot muster anymore core votes. This is why there was a surge for the liberals – but this surge won’t be there next time due to the ‘clegg factor’ – so I suspect the floaters will either vote for minority parties – or not bother at all.

The floating voter has worked out that voting is a pointless exercise in our faux democracy – only the die hard simpletons who identify with their party like their football team (Man Utd – red – Labour and Chelsea – Blue – Tory) will continue to vote.

Nobody is ever going to vote on policy again – not after the great liberal rip off.

37. Winston “roots” Chruchill

Chaise Guevara

It’s interesting that right wing trolling morons think everyone from the working class are called ‘dave’ or ‘fred’.

In the same way I think everyone from the Bourgoisie is called “quentin” or “sebastian”.

You can spot the right wing a mile off – they’re not very clever see, that’s why they’re always trying to pay more money to improve their education chances…..and finding that despite this they still end up as stupid as George Osbourne.

Latin is no use to you if you believe common sense is ‘beneath you’.

38. Winston “roots” Chruchill

workman Fred

“I hated seeing my taxes going to certain people who should have never got it”

Spoken like a true fascist – please tell us how you decided these people should have never got it?
Were you influenced by the Daily Mail per chance?

“let’s talk immigration shall we, how much has that hurt the working man?
LOTS, you & I both know it. ”

More dimwitted talk – you must be a daily mail reader. Are people really so stupid that they still blame immigrants for their problems? I thought that died out in 1944.
Immigrants came in to do the jobs that the UK ‘white trash’ turned it’s nose up at – or wasn’t qualified to do. It’s not the Government who packed up all the jobs and sent them to the other side of the world – that would be corporations you dullard….and that would be for profit clown boy, not for political reasons.
It’s called the Tendency of the rate of profit to fall – go and look it up and you might learn the true cause of all your angst.

“I will however try not to be such a troll in future but I have to speak as I find & as I was born & raised in tough part London, watchout!”

Ealing doesn’t count as a ‘tough part of London’ – we know you have shrunken balls syndrome and you’re not tough.
I think you’re a petit Bourgoisie desperately trying to convince everyone your ‘working class sort’ now that you realise the middle class doesn’t exist because your job is under threat.

39. workman Fred

“only the die hard simpletons who identify with their party like their football team (Man Utd – red – Labour and Chelsea – Blue – Tory) will continue to vote”

What a clever thing to say, LOL.

“Nobody is ever going to vote on policy again – not after the great liberal rip off”

Even better, BIG LOL, you know everybody do you?

“think everyone from the working class are called ‘dave’ or ‘fred’

If you think I’m not working class then you don’t know the working class very well, AND, if you don’t think I’m really working class, if right wing, then you lefties are in serrious trouble.

I like this site, I’ll be back often :O)

40. Chaise Guevara

@ 32 workman Fred

“No of course I don’t, I’ve probably made use of some of them over the years but the state should only do so much & control so much, after seeing what the lefts idea of a state is I can only say it LOOKS like the nearest to communism I hope we ever get, I hated seeing my taxes going to certain people who should have never got it but Brown just couldn’t help his socialist self could he.”

“The left” is a pretty broad category, and it doesn’t help that you keep comparing it to communism. What are you actually referring to?

The thing is, you don’t only benefit from the state in the visible ways – use of public roads, access to the NHS etc – but also due to less visible things like the worker’s rights I was talking about earlier. Unfortunately, we tend to take a lot of this stuff for granted (self included) and assume the state has nothing to do with it. If it wasn’t for the state, food companies wouldn’t bother checking to see if their food contained listeria unless it was cost-effective.

“Brown did the left no favours what so ever in the eyes of so many working class I know, let’s talk immigration shall we, how much has that hurt the working man?
LOTS, you & I both know it.”

I disagree. The general assumption is that immigrants take jobs from British working people, but there are more jobs available because we have a larger consumer base due to immigration. Overall I doubt it makes a huge difference one way or the other.

“Of course but from what I can make out I am far more in tune with my fellow working class than some of those I’ve seen on here so far. ”

Same problem: it’s just your perspective. Like any other large group, the working class have a huge range of opinions, needs and interests.

“I will however try not to be such a troll in future but I have to speak as I find & as I was born & raised in tough part London, watchout!”

Speak as you find, by all means!

41. workman Fred

“More dimwitted talk”

What charm you have.
No, It is dimwitted to believe that it didn’t hurt the working man, go ask them/us!

“Ealing doesn’t count as a ‘tough part of London”

I’d love to tell you where I was born & where I work but I have nothing to prove to the likes of you.
The lefts problem is that they can’t stand the thought that thier left wing ideal isn’t wanted anymore by so many working men & you don’t have to read the daily mail to know this is the truth, live with it.

Oh & the way you’re getting angry I assume I win ;O)

42. workman Fred

“The left” is a pretty broad category”

The left is way more left than the right is right, look at Cameron.

“Overall I doubt it makes a huge difference one way or the other”

Oh I see, if you believe that then I can’t believe working class!

“it’s just your perspective”

A perspective from the ground not a tower.

Hey Sunny! You readers, what are they like ;O)

35/oldpolitics: Yes. But that doesn’t mean public opinion has in fact changed – you may get the same answer in December if you asked the November question.

Sure, I don’t think there’s been an underlying 30-point change in opinion in a month, though it’s not completely impossible – but look at it a different way: 36% of Conservative voters support prison sentences fairly strongly. 35% support community sentences fairly strongly. Whether the remaining 29% support prison, community sentences, or don’t know depends on whether or not the policy is identified as coming from their preferred party – which suggests that their opinion on the policy is pretty flexible and open to persuasion – and that their preferred party is well-placed to do that persuading.

Some of those outside the 29% might well also be open to persuasion too, though it might take a little more effort.

My point is that “Public opinion” is not a constant, and in fact can be influenced relatively easily if influential people are willing to stand up and do so. (For an example of polling with more consistent questions, compare early polling on the AV referendum question with the final result; public opinion was changed on that, and fairly decisively, by the debate)

44. workman Fred

Edit

“Overall I doubt it makes a huge difference one way or the other”

Oh I see, if you believe that then I can’t believe YOUR working class!

45. Winston “roots” Chruchill

workman Fred

“No, It is dimwitted to believe that it didn’t hurt the working man, go ask them/us!”

..but Fred – it’s just competition – can’t you handle competition? That’s unfortunate as the system in which you reside is based on it. You can’t have people prevented from working because they are better at it than you are.

“The lefts problem is that they can’t stand the thought that thier left wing ideal isn’t wanted anymore by so many working men & you don’t have to read the daily mail to know this is the truth, live with it.”

Oh – “this is the truth” is it – well if you knew anything about ideology you would know it’s not the left’s ideal – it’s the working class ideal – remember, that thing you claim to be a part of?

I noticed you said ‘working men’ – so I can add sexist to your pre-existing rascism (or is it merely a phobia about immigrants).
I have met many ‘working class’ people like you before – you’re a sychophant – hoping that one day the master will choose you – or maybe trying to get over your own inadequacies by suggesting they have an unfair advantage over you (immigrants) – it is you who are the traitor to the working class.

“Oh & the way you’re getting angry I assume I win ;O)”

oh not at all – I have guffawed all the way through your posts – I now find it amusing to see the lemmings heading for the cliff telling the rest of us how we should join them, and blaming everyone and everything for your problems rather than looking at yourself.

If Labour betrayed the working class – it’s because the working class betrayed them first – they couldn’t win an election without the petit bourgoisie vote (the middle class to you son) because lazy working class mugs like yourself didn’t bother voting.

Don’t confuse me for a Labour supporter – I’m just trying to set the record straight.

46. Winston “roots” Chruchill

workman Fred

“The left is way more left than the right is right, look at Cameron.”

You’re defining the left by comparing it to a Tory? What nonsense is this?

“A perspective from the ground not a tower.”

Oh a hairy shirt working class man – next you’ll be telling us how many hours you work.
Trust me – if you were born and raised in London – then you don’t have a clue about hard work or unemployment. you are a silver spoon working class oik with blue underpants on.

47. Chaise Guevara

@ 42 workman Fred

“The left is way more left than the right is right, look at Cameron.”

That doesn’t even begin to make sense. They’re defined by each other. Are you going to explain what you mean by “the lefts idea of a state”, or do you not actually know what you’re talking about?

“Oh I see, if you believe that then I can’t believe your working class!”

Well, I’m not by most measures. So what? You’re not a snob, are you?

“A perspective from the ground not a tower.”

What tower would this be?

By the way, I see your resolution not to be a troll lasted all of five minutes. Now you’re attacking who I am instead of dealing with what I say. And dodging questions. Do you actually have a point to make, or are you just going to spout irrelevant one-liners all day?

48. workman Fred

Ok it’s coming to the end of work, got to do stuff before I go home.
As I don’t hide behind a proxy, when I get home, if I have time, I’ll make a post & answer the above points, & the point I’m making is that Sunny will be able to see where I am, not in London now but the town I live in is in no way posh, in fact rough, what I’m used to you see.

Laters :O)

This thread seems to have been invaded by the BNP or a a tory/lib dem troll. And it’s pointless feeding them, they’ll only come back for more.

“workmanfred” is a fraud. What sort of workman has uninterrupted internet access throughout the working day with enough time on their hands to pump out multiple long winded trolling posts all effing day? What boss would be so indulgent? Certainly not mine. I smell a rat. Maybe part of Ashcroft’s new strategy is to unleash right wing activists onto various blogs and comments pages to indulge in fantasy role play as cover for online brown shirting. I’ve certainly noticed an upsurge in this sort of thing. I’ve seen right wing trolls pretending to be everything from lawyers, multi-millionaire businessmen and ex-sas men, to “authentic white working class” all over the place (often it’s the same person). The thing is they are so amateurish and incompetent that they are very easily caught out. It is pathetic that they have to stoop to this kind of thing and have no dignity. What are the odds he’s using a proxy server? Oh, and it is relevant that Ashcroft is a tax avoider. He collects VC’s, taking the medals of servicemen whilst contributing nothing towards the upkeep of the forces or the country they defend. Sick.

Opponents of Welfare reform have little to cheer here unfortunately – not only will the Tories push ahead strongly on the issue, but a lot of the public is on side. It’ll be very difficult to push back on Welfare changes. I suspect this is mostly why Labour isn’t saying much, other than opposing some specific measures.

This is probably because most of the public have been fed on a diet of “welfare claimants are scroungers” crap for years. And New Labour, rather than challenging this, shamefully played along to it while in office. If nobody in positions of influence challenge these perceptions then it is hardly surprising that the public will accept as fact the (false) idea that there is an army of “welfare scroungers” just waiting to be cut back on.

Yet anther aspect of the shameful legacy of New Labour!

I have no idea why people are feeding trolls, but this was not an illuminating discussion underneath…

Along with sock puppetry and straw men, the false persona tactic is becoming a staple of right wing trolling. I have noticed how unlike left wing commenters, who on the whole stick to the objective issues quoting authoritative sources, rightists will use their oppening posts to establish an online ID, based on obvious and shallow stereotypes. Often this will be conveniently relevent, for example here the issue was how the tories wanted to target more voters outside of their priviledged (and shrinking) power base. Hey presto, a “working class” man turns up, with an oh so convenient handle just in case his prose was too subtle. This is a blatant attempt to claim some sort of spurious authority over proceedings, and these sorts of troll will often subjectivise and reduce the whole thread to a discussion of their own imaginary experiences. The U.S. republican party tried to do something similar during the 2008 elections with Jake the plumber, or whatever his name was. He became a joke. Fortunately most left blogs are populated by people whose IQ’s are far in advance of the average right wing troll, with the sense to dismiss suspect personal info from anonymous disembodied sources. Their covers are so shallow that even a perfunctory probing will reveal evidence of fraud. This guy will micturate in our aural orifices and subsequently inform us of precipitation all day if we let him, he clearly has nothing better to do. Must be some sort of idle rentier, just like Ashcroft.

54. Workman Fred

Phew made it.

@Chaise Guevara

You’re a busy person if your the same Chaise Guevara I found interesting search results for, made some interesting posts on the daily mail!
Anywho, I will talk to you even though I believe you are one of those in your face lefties you see on the high street shouting their view at you!

@seb
“What sort of workman has uninterrupted internet access throughout the working day with enough time on their hands to pump out multiple long winded trolling posts all effing day?”

Get the feeling I’m annoying you! And like I said above, I don’t use a proxy, why would I?
The company I work for is experiencing tough times & when things are quiet the boss doesn’t mind us going on the web now & then, today was a very quiet day, mostly I will be posting from home, put my thoughts together better, I know you’ll look forward to that.

“the false persona tactic is becoming a staple of right wing trolling”

I put my point of view & have been called various predicable names, for example, I mention immigration & am called the predicable left wing cry, why can’t they see that immigration isn’t now seen as racist & is now a valid concern? Why call names instead of putting a balanced argument, it’s as if they would lose & so just shout random stuff loudly, stops the argument I’ll give them that but you walk away none the wiser.

You call my point of view trolling, I call it another point of view, if people on here are so sensitive that they can’t hear another point of view without climbing the wall & throwing names around then maybe I should just go & leave you to your little bubble talking at each other, that sounds like fun! At least there’s no arguments! That’s right, you all have the same ideology, stupid me, no need to argue it’s all in the book.

Maybe Sunny should issue a warning to the working class like myself about posting a view & how if it’s not a propa left wing one it’s not tolerated.

Terminator!

56. ronchesta

@8 nope dont wanna be stinking filthy rich..cant live in 20 homes at once or own 30 cars…i dont need..is that it? lifes great goal = own lots of houses and cars..er thats it..utopia…


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