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Author: Mike Smithson

Getting into a culture war with the RNLI looks pretty dumb

Getting into a culture war with the RNLI looks pretty dumb

Of all the institutions in the UK to get into a fight with then the RNLI is surely the one ministers would be best advised to keep well away from. Their job is often to risk their lives in order to save lives and the goodwill they have built up over a century and more is colossal. This is shown in the huge amount , £175m+, that the charity receives each year in legacies and other donations. The public buy…

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The odds here on Boris staying till 2024 should be longer

The odds here on Boris staying till 2024 should be longer

Could Tory punters be over-estimating their leader One of the big political betting features of the past couple of months is how much the betting markets over-stated Tory chances of retaining Chesham & Amersham and taking Batley & Spen. For long periods with the former there was a lot of money going the Tories as a 95% chance and even on the eve of the election you could have got 10/1 or better with Betfair on the LDs. This was…

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Are we rushing to premature conclusions about the latest COVID figures?

Are we rushing to premature conclusions about the latest COVID figures?

Both the Mail and the Express this morning try to paint a positive picture about COVID based on the declining numbers that we have seen in England over the past few days. Such headlines like the ones above might sell more copies or get clicks on their websites but are they being a bit too premature? We have been here before, of course, only for things to have to be reversed with the relaxation in the rules leading to more…

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Why Democratic party candidates should welcome Trump backing their opponents

Why Democratic party candidates should welcome Trump backing their opponents

There’s a new academic analysis just been published which seeks to measure the effect of Trump backing certain Republican contenders in the 2018 midterm elections. This is how the academics involved summarise their findings: We find that President Trump was more likely to endorse candidates with a higher pre-endorsement likelihood of winning and to endorse candidates in more competitive races, suggesting the president used endorsements strategically both to try and help Republican candidates win and to boost his reputation for…

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Four of the five latest VI polls have the Tory lead narrowing

Four of the five latest VI polls have the Tory lead narrowing

For a non-election campaign period, there has been a rush of polls all but one of which have the Tory lead narrowing. The most striking is from Survation that a week and a half ago had a CON lead of 11% – that’s now down to just two. Redfield & Wilton and YouGov have the lead at 4% with Deltapoll putting it at 5. The one that doesn’t fit the recent narrative has been Opinium which had the Tory lead…

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A novel approach to democracy from a Republican Senate candidate – give parents extra voting power

A novel approach to democracy from a Republican Senate candidate – give parents extra voting power

He wants to curb the influence of the “childless left” An intriguing idea is being put forward by J.D Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy and Republican candidate for the vacant seat for Ohio on the US Senate. In an attack on what he terms the “childless left” he’s proposed a radical scheme to give parents of children under the age of 18 extra voting power. He’s quoted in The Week as saying: “The Democrats are talking about giving the…

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