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Peter Mandelson could well be right – LAB’s poll lead is artificial – politicalbetting.com

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  • RattersRatters Posts: 761

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 4,780
    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's had to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    On a personal note I am in my 40s and a lot of my friends/colleagues I know of a similar age don't have children. Time is passing and it just isn't going to happen for a lot of them. I don't really see any drive to do it.

    I would also observe that many of the people I have met over the years through football and school who had children in their 20's seemed to end up in all sorts of problems with relationship breakdowns, family court issues etc.
    Yes, many friends are still unmarried in their 40s.

    My wife and I were both 37 when we married, and I think there’s a perception that conceiving is still easy at that age. It’s really not, and it didn’t happen for us.
    Sorry to hear about that. We were slightly younger and it was 3 years of trying for us - it felt like a bit of a lottery. The odds however rapidly decline with every passing year.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's hard to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    Housing theory of everything strikes again.

    Partly psychological- it's harder to build a nest if it isn't your forever tree.

    But mostly financial. If you are paying the 2024 going rate for your home, another mouth to feed is too expensive and not having two earners unimaginable.

    Starmer has at least identified that as the problem, it remains to be seen if he can navigate the issues.
    It is partly housing; partly the infantilisation of young people as Foxy implies, with the school leaving age having been raised from 16 to a de facto 21; partly that women are more focussed on careers until older. And of course these are interrelated.
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 32,793
    @nicholascecil

    Brexit: The people’s damning verdict four years on - 57 per cent of adults in the country believe Brexit has been more of a failure, with just 13 per cent saying more of a success, @IpsosUK poll for @EveningStandard
  • TazTaz Posts: 10,924

    Taz said:

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    The sooner the better.

    Free the six counties.
    Gives me an excuse to publish one of my favourite opening paragraphs from PB.

    Much like getting your girlfriend pregnant on a pull out sofa there’s a deep sense of irony that the Conservative & Unionist Party, aided and abetted by the DUP, have via Brexit done more to weaken Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom than the IRA.

    https://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2021/02/07/how-do-you-solve-a-solution-like-the-northern-ireland-protocol/
    That's a quality opening paragraph and very true.
  • bondegezoubondegezou Posts: 7,436
    edited January 31
    .
    Pulpstar said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    I think 0.5M+ net immigration will continue for a while. The English language, and our relative closeness to North Africa, middle east and so forth will continue to make us attractive as a destination for a good while yet.
    Also our TFr whilst below 2.2 is substantially above Korea. So we should have relatively more children
    The top countries that immigrants have come from are:

    Poland
    Ireland
    India
    Romania
    Italy
    Portugal
    Spain
    Pakistan
    Nigeria
    USA

    None of these are in North Africa or the Middle East.

    Looking just at recent immigration, in 2023, the top non-EU countries were

    India
    Nigeria
    China
    Pakistan
    Ukraine

    EU countries are still counted separately in the government’s figures.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,758
    darkage said:

    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's had to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    On a personal note I am in my 40s and a lot of my friends/colleagues I know of a similar age don't have children. Time is passing and it just isn't going to happen for a lot of them. I don't really see any drive to do it.

    I would also observe that many of the people I have met over the years through football and school who had children in their 20's seemed to end up in all sorts of problems with relationship breakdowns, family court issues etc.
    Yes, many friends are still unmarried in their 40s.

    My wife and I were both 37 when we married, and I think there’s a perception that conceiving is still easy at that age. It’s really not, and it didn’t happen for us.
    Sorry to hear about that. We were slightly younger and it was 3 years of trying for us - it felt like a bit of a lottery. The odds however rapidly decline with every passing year.
    Oh indeed so. With hindsight we should have gone straight from the church to the doctor’s surgery, but things were pretty tight financially and stressful at the time, and it was too late by the time we realised it wasn’t going to happen by itself.

    No point lamenting on how things might have been though, they are what they are and we move forward in life. We have other family and our own health.
  • Wulfrun_PhilWulfrun_Phil Posts: 4,587
    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 91,510
    Sandpit said:

    Taz said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "A very Special Constable - thinks singing is against the law...
    BlackBeltBarrister"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naCHVg1QEow

    The met’s response. She’s discussing it with her boss. People are being mean about her and they’re keeping an eye on those comments.

    Clowns.
    The Met have totally lost the plot.

    They need to be given the RUC treatment, disband them completely and start again with a new management team. Probably best to split off the national roles at the same time into another new group, make the new London force (force, not service) considerably smaller.
    It's not a few bad apples, there's something wrong with the orchard.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!


    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.
    2036 not 2026 in that ONS projection, and with 2021 as a start date:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2021basedinterim

    The ONS are anticipating net migration of 315 000 per year in that projection, a significant drop compared to the last 2 years.



    2026 and 2036, with 70 million by 2026 and a slower rate to 2036. No need to panic about a falling population.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 60,951
    Good morning, everyone.

    F1: a few weeks until the first race and still no decision on how the sprint bullshit will 'work'.

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.from-power-unit-usage-to-promotional-events-8-rule-changes-you-need-to-know.3K9yKq5H9VZlJCr4HTua6i.html

    Sprint format

    This is an area that is still to be determined for 2024. During discussions at the F1 Commission meeting in November 2023, there was overall support for an update to the Sprint format for 2024 to further rationalise the weekend by separating Sprint activities from those for the Grand Prix.

    The Sporting Advisory Committee will work through specific details, particularly regarding timing and parc ferme regulations, for a final proposal to be presented to the F1 Commission for the first meeting of 2024.

    Following that meeting, any potential changes to the Sprint format will be announced.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 91,510

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    I'd put reunification as fairly likely in my lifetime, but further off than many think given how they cannot even talk about flags in Northern Ireland without a row - neither UK or ROI want the headache of the event, even then the latter ultimately does want it.
  • ClippPClippP Posts: 1,671
    Foxy said:

    I am sceptical that a lot of the 2019 Tory vote are going to switch from DK to Tory during the campaign.

    There has been a lot of churn over recent elections, particularly Red Wall to Con, and Blue Wall to Lab/Lib in the clichés of our time.

    So the 2019 Tory vote included a lot of recent converts. These are not lifelong Tory voters saying DK. They probably voted Lab in 2015 and 2017.

    And probably Lib Dem in 2010. Certainly not lifelong Tories.
  • StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 14,274

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    Counting votes, 1997 Major got about 70% of the votes that 1992 Major got. 2019 Jez got about 80% of the votes 2017 Jez got.

    Both those falls were enough to utterly kipper their parties. Rishi needs a lot to happen in his favour to avoid a worse fate.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,758
    edited January 31

    Good morning, everyone.

    F1: a few weeks until the first race and still no decision on how the sprint bullshit will 'work'.

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.from-power-unit-usage-to-promotional-events-8-rule-changes-you-need-to-know.3K9yKq5H9VZlJCr4HTua6i.html

    Sprint format

    This is an area that is still to be determined for 2024. During discussions at the F1 Commission meeting in November 2023, there was overall support for an update to the Sprint format for 2024 to further rationalise the weekend by separating Sprint activities from those for the Grand Prix.

    The Sporting Advisory Committee will work through specific details, particularly regarding timing and parc ferme regulations, for a final proposal to be presented to the F1 Commission for the first meeting of 2024.

    Following that meeting, any potential changes to the Sprint format will be announced.

    Hopefully they just scrap the whole Sprint bollocks and go back to the old format.

    The problem is that it sells Friday tickets and drives a higher TV audience, so it’s sadly not going away.

    I’d do the Sprint not-a-race on Friday night, then practice and race qualifying on Saturday.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 60,951
    Mr. Sandpit, nice idea, but I strongly suspect sprints will increase in number rather than be abandoned.

    I wrote on Medium a little while ago about how the difference between a gourmet and glutton is whether they want quality or quantity of food. Liberty is the latter, stuffing the sprint into weekends and too many races into the calendar.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,865
    kle4 said:

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    I'd put reunification as fairly likely in my lifetime, but further off than many think given how they cannot even talk about flags in Northern Ireland without a row - neither UK or ROI want the headache of the event, even then the latter ultimately does want it.
    I can’t believe that the Government and the DUP have managed to come to an agreement which is covered by the Windsor Agreement and which will be acceptable to the EU. I’m prepared to believe that the money had something to do with it, of course.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 49,758
    Ooh, just noticed that Nicola Sturgeon is at the Covid Inquiry today. This could be fun. 🍿

    Video to appear at https://youtube.com/@UKCovid-19Inquiry/featured
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 13,935

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    Counting votes, 1997 Major got about 70% of the votes that 1992 Major got. 2019 Jez got about 80% of the votes 2017 Jez got.

    Both those falls were enough to utterly kipper their parties. Rishi needs a lot to happen in his favour to avoid a worse fate.
    The Tories are utterly sunk unless they actually try being Conservative....

    At the moment they talk UKIP but govern New Labour.

    It doesn't work.
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,492
    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    To misquote Lady M, as if to Starmer, 'Screw your courage to the tipping point and we'll not fail'
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 13,935
    Scott_xP said:

    @nicholascecil

    Brexit: The people’s damning verdict four years on - 57 per cent of adults in the country believe Brexit has been more of a failure, with just 13 per cent saying more of a success, @IpsosUK poll for @EveningStandard

    These people are clearly not au fait with the hilariously stupid B2C VAT regime that the EU has brought in for member states.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 44,388

    kle4 said:

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    I'd put reunification as fairly likely in my lifetime, but further off than many think given how they cannot even talk about flags in Northern Ireland without a row - neither UK or ROI want the headache of the event, even then the latter ultimately does want it.
    I can’t believe that the Government and the DUP have managed to come to an agreement which is covered by the Windsor Agreement and which will be acceptable to the EU. I’m prepared to believe that the money had something to do with it, of course.
    I suspect too that the DUP know that:

    1) the people of NI are fed up with having no government, hence the waves of strikes.

    2) they are not going to get a better deal from PM Starmer.
  • BenpointerBenpointer Posts: 31,492
    Mortimer said:

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    Counting votes, 1997 Major got about 70% of the votes that 1992 Major got. 2019 Jez got about 80% of the votes 2017 Jez got.

    Both those falls were enough to utterly kipper their parties. Rishi needs a lot to happen in his favour to avoid a worse fate.
    The Tories are utterly sunk unless they actually try being Conservative....

    At the moment they talk UKIP but govern New Labour.

    It doesn't work.
    If they were 'governing New Labour' they'd be ahead in the polls; they're not really governing at all, let alone in the style of New Labour.

    Immigration, Justice, Defence, Education, infrastructure, borrowing, Policing... all gone to pot. And as for Health:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/jan/31/next-government-should-declare-nhs-a-national-emergency-experts-warn
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    edited January 31
    ydoethur said:

    Taz said:

    Andy_JS said:

    "A very Special Constable - thinks singing is against the law...
    BlackBeltBarrister"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naCHVg1QEow

    The met’s response. She’s discussing it with her boss. People are being mean about her and they’re keeping an eye on those comments.

    Clowns.
    Unkind.

    What have you got against clowns?
    It's an apt comparison.

    Clowns are sinister, too.
    Though generally lacking the legal power of arrest.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,168

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 13,935

    Mortimer said:

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    Counting votes, 1997 Major got about 70% of the votes that 1992 Major got. 2019 Jez got about 80% of the votes 2017 Jez got.

    Both those falls were enough to utterly kipper their parties. Rishi needs a lot to happen in his favour to avoid a worse fate.
    The Tories are utterly sunk unless they actually try being Conservative....

    At the moment they talk UKIP but govern New Labour.

    It doesn't work.
    If they were 'governing New Labour' they'd be ahead in the polls; they're not really governing at all, let alone in the style of New Labour.

    Immigration, Justice, Defence, Education, infrastructure, borrowing, Policing... all gone to pot. And as for Health:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/jan/31/next-government-should-declare-nhs-a-national-emergency-experts-warn
    LOL. Another NHS emergency.

    The boy that cried wolf comes to mind.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,168
    Sandpit said:

    darkage said:

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's had to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    On a personal note I am in my 40s and a lot of my friends/colleagues I know of a similar age don't have children. Time is passing and it just isn't going to happen for a lot of them. I don't really see any drive to do it.

    I would also observe that many of the people I have met over the years through football and school who had children in their 20's seemed to end up in all sorts of problems with relationship breakdowns, family court issues etc.
    Yes, many friends are still unmarried in their 40s.

    My wife and I were both 37 when we married, and I think there’s a perception that conceiving is still easy at that age. It’s really not, and it didn’t happen for us.
    Sorry to hear that.

    I agree. Biologically, we're really supposed to have children in our late teens and early twenties.

    Fertility becomes a bit harder after the age of 30, and quite a bit harder still at 35.

    After 40 it becomes very challenging.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,168
    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    It is obvious now but, for whatever reason, people aren't quite ready to believe it.

    Or maybe they don't want to be complacent and jinx it.
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 13,935
    edited January 31

    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    It is obvious now but, for whatever reason, people aren't quite ready to believe it.

    Or maybe they don't want to be complacent and jinx it.
    There is still a hilariously ostrich-like tendency amongst MPs in supposedly 'safe seats' to consider their patch immune from national polling.

    At this rate I'd only say the largest 100 majorities are truly safe for incumbents.

    If I had a seat with a smaller majority than that, I'd be screaming for a new leader....
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    .
    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    China has failed significantly to alter their decline, so I don't think even an authoritarian government would make much difference.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,865

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's hard to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    Housing theory of everything strikes again.

    Partly psychological- it's harder to build a nest if it isn't your forever tree.

    But mostly financial. If you are paying the 2024 going rate for your home, another mouth to feed is too expensive and not having two earners unimaginable.

    Starmer has at least identified that as the problem, it remains to be seen if he can navigate the issues.
    No, it's more complicated than that. Even those who can afford a house in their twenties (either due to family money, or living in a place with cheap housing) do not have children in the numbers that were normal 50 years ago.

    People want an extended childhood at university and a decade of nights out before they decide to settle down. Certainly both my boys fit this stereotype, much as I love them!
    I think that's right. I suspect the main reason we had kids relatively early was that my wife and I met when we were 18 so by the time we were 30 we'd already been together for over a decade. What else were we going to do by this point. We'd had enough fun already!
    I suspect that we might have ‘waited’ longer before starting a family if a wider, and more acceptable range of contraceptive methods and techniques had been available than there were in the early 60’s.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040

    kle4 said:

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    I'd put reunification as fairly likely in my lifetime, but further off than many think given how they cannot even talk about flags in Northern Ireland without a row - neither UK or ROI want the headache of the event, even then the latter ultimately does want it.
    I can’t believe that the Government and the DUP have managed to come to an agreement which is covered by the Windsor Agreement and which will be acceptable to the EU. I’m prepared to believe that the money had something to do with it, of course.
    Isn't it reportedly three times the billion May bribed the Unionists with last time around ?
  • CookieCookie Posts: 11,300

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's hard to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    Housing theory of everything strikes again.

    Partly psychological- it's harder to build a nest if it isn't your forever tree.

    But mostly financial. If you are paying the 2024 going rate for your home, another mouth to feed is too expensive and not having two earners unimaginable.

    Starmer has at least identified that as the problem, it remains to be seen if he can navigate the issues.
    No, it's more complicated than that. Even those who can afford a house in their twenties (either due to family money, or living in a place with cheap housing) do not have children in the numbers that were normal 50 years ago.

    People want an extended childhood at university and a decade of nights out before they decide to settle down. Certainly both my boys fit this stereotype, much as I love them!
    I think that's right. I suspect the main reason we had kids relatively early was that my wife and I met when we were 18 so by the time we were 30 we'd already been together for over a decade. What else were we going to do by this point. We'd had enough fun already!
    Conversely, I didn't meet my wife until our early 30s. We cracked on reasonably quickly after that - 2 years 8 months from first meeting to the birth of our first child, in between which we married and bought a house. But we couldn't really have had children any earlier because we hadn't found someone with whom to breed.

    Do we just have much higher standards nowadays? Our field of choice is theoretically much larger, but we take much longer to find someone who will do. I suspect the former is partially the cause of the latter.

    Or maybe there is just more to do nowadays - and just as membership of clubs is declining as people find other ways to fill their time, so is finding partners and childrearing.

    Alternatively, humans are genuinely getting more awful and are less attractive as long term partners to the opposite sex.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 31,865
    Nigelb said:

    kle4 said:

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    I'd put reunification as fairly likely in my lifetime, but further off than many think given how they cannot even talk about flags in Northern Ireland without a row - neither UK or ROI want the headache of the event, even then the latter ultimately does want it.
    I can’t believe that the Government and the DUP have managed to come to an agreement which is covered by the Windsor Agreement and which will be acceptable to the EU. I’m prepared to believe that the money had something to do with it, of course.
    Isn't it reportedly three times the billion May bribed the Unionists with last time around ?
    I wonder how much it will cost next time!
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    edited January 31
    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    .

    Nigelb said:

    kle4 said:

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    I'd put reunification as fairly likely in my lifetime, but further off than many think given how they cannot even talk about flags in Northern Ireland without a row - neither UK or ROI want the headache of the event, even then the latter ultimately does want it.
    I can’t believe that the Government and the DUP have managed to come to an agreement which is covered by the Windsor Agreement and which will be acceptable to the EU. I’m prepared to believe that the money had something to do with it, of course.
    Isn't it reportedly three times the billion May bribed the Unionists with last time around ?
    I wonder how much it will cost next time!
    Snap.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's hard to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    Housing theory of everything strikes again.

    Partly psychological- it's harder to build a nest if it isn't your forever tree.

    But mostly financial. If you are paying the 2024 going rate for your home, another mouth to feed is too expensive and not having two earners unimaginable.

    Starmer has at least identified that as the problem, it remains to be seen if he can navigate the issues.
    No, it's more complicated than that. Even those who can afford a house in their twenties (either due to family money, or living in a place with cheap housing) do not have children in the numbers that were normal 50 years ago.

    People want an extended childhood at university and a decade of nights out before they decide to settle down. Certainly both my boys fit this stereotype, much as I love them!
    I think that's right. I suspect the main reason we had kids relatively early was that my wife and I met when we were 18 so by the time we were 30 we'd already been together for over a decade. What else were we going to do by this point. We'd had enough fun already!
    I suspect that we might have ‘waited’ longer before starting a family if a wider, and more acceptable range of contraceptive methods and techniques had been available than there were in the early 60’s.
    We've got a funny little anecdote about that. We were trying to have a child for a couple of years, and Mrs J being Mrs J, she was getting annoyed with a lack of success. Everything was about cycles, measurements, etc, etc. We even got an appointment with an IVF clinic. Then she booked herself in for a marathon, and for three months concentrated on the training for that instead.

    When she was doing the marathon, she thought: "Hang on, I need the loo more than usual." We got home and a test showed she was pregnant. The person at the IVF clinic laughed when we cancelled the appointment, and said that it's the sort of cancellation they like. And also added that sometimes people get so obsessed with getting pregnant it doesn't happen - sometimes being more relaxed about it is the only magic that is needed.

    That's easy to say, though.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 21,302

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    I don't see any sign of dissident Con 2019 voters (I know a few personally, and others on here) are particularly motivated to rush back. Or indeed that they prefer LibDems to Lab or vice versa. They have a settled view that the Government is useless, and an open mind on whether to vote for someone else or abstain. The idea that they are all on the edge of swinging back is a fantasy, as it was in 1997 (when many disilllusioned Tories decided on abstention).
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772
    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    How much did you actually have to do with the kids, particularly in the early years?
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,876
    edited January 31

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!


    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.
    2036 not 2026 in that ONS projection, and with 2021 as a start date:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2021basedinterim

    The ONS are anticipating net migration of 315 000 per year in that projection, a significant drop compared to the last 2 years.



    2026 and 2036, with 70 million by 2026 and a slower rate to 2036. No need to panic about a falling population.
    I think births and deaths are going to be broadly a wash in the medium term.

    2023 Deaths 581,298 Births data not yet out
    2022 Deaths 576,896 Births 605,479
    2021 Deaths 585,899 Births 624,828
    2020 Deaths 614,114 Births 613,936
    2019 Deaths 527,234 Births 640,370

    So the population will simply change more or less by net migration levels till say 2040 or so ?

    Edit: Or deaths might pick up significantly as the baby boomers start to hit their 80s.

  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    Nigelb said:

    .

    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    China has failed significantly to alter their decline, so I don't think even an authoritarian government would make much difference.
    The paradox behind all this is that it is largely driven by women choosing not to have kids, because new career opportunities, a world to explore, etc

    And good for them

    And yet studies indicate many of these women end up deeply regretting their childlessness, the women with only one kid wish they'd had more, then there are the women age 35-45 on the IVF treadmill...
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137
    Mortimer said:

    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    It is obvious now but, for whatever reason, people aren't quite ready to believe it.

    Or maybe they don't want to be complacent and jinx it.
    There is still a hilariously ostrich-like tendency amongst MPs in supposedly 'safe seats' to consider their patch immune from national polling.

    At this rate I'd only say the largest 100 majorities are truly safe for incumbents.

    If I had a seat with a smaller majority than that, I'd be screaming for a new leader....
    A new leader on the basis that third time's the charm? Polling has not so far identified any feasible candidate who might improve things.
  • MortimerMortimer Posts: 13,935

    Mortimer said:

    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    It is obvious now but, for whatever reason, people aren't quite ready to believe it.

    Or maybe they don't want to be complacent and jinx it.
    There is still a hilariously ostrich-like tendency amongst MPs in supposedly 'safe seats' to consider their patch immune from national polling.

    At this rate I'd only say the largest 100 majorities are truly safe for incumbents.

    If I had a seat with a smaller majority than that, I'd be screaming for a new leader....
    A new leader on the basis that third time's the charm? Polling has not so far identified any feasible candidate who might improve things.
    A new leader on the basis that Rishi is a drag on the Tory brand.....
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    Cookie said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's hard to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    Housing theory of everything strikes again.

    Partly psychological- it's harder to build a nest if it isn't your forever tree.

    But mostly financial. If you are paying the 2024 going rate for your home, another mouth to feed is too expensive and not having two earners unimaginable.

    Starmer has at least identified that as the problem, it remains to be seen if he can navigate the issues.
    No, it's more complicated than that. Even those who can afford a house in their twenties (either due to family money, or living in a place with cheap housing) do not have children in the numbers that were normal 50 years ago.

    People want an extended childhood at university and a decade of nights out before they decide to settle down. Certainly both my boys fit this stereotype, much as I love them!
    I think that's right. I suspect the main reason we had kids relatively early was that my wife and I met when we were 18 so by the time we were 30 we'd already been together for over a decade. What else were we going to do by this point. We'd had enough fun already!
    Conversely, I didn't meet my wife until our early 30s. We cracked on reasonably quickly after that - 2 years 8 months from first meeting to the birth of our first child, in between which we married and bought a house. But we couldn't really have had children any earlier because we hadn't found someone with whom to breed.

    Do we just have much higher standards nowadays? Our field of choice is theoretically much larger, but we take much longer to find someone who will do. I suspect the former is partially the cause of the latter.

    Or maybe there is just more to do nowadays - and just as membership of clubs is declining as people find other ways to fill their time, so is finding partners and childrearing.

    Alternatively, humans are genuinely getting more awful and are less attractive as long term partners to the opposite sex.
    Life is considerably less precarious for unmarried women than was the case for most of history; I think that's the biggest change.

    Of course that's true for men too, but relatively far less so.

    We got lucky, I think, as we waited six years between getting married and having children, by which time my wife was 34.
  • Pagan2Pagan2 Posts: 8,793
    biggles said:

    Nicola Sturgeon and Jeane Freeman purchased 'burner' phones at start of 2020 Covid lockdown

    https://www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-jeane-freeman-purchased-32005597

    On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Ms Sturgeon purchased a Nokia mobile phone from Amazon for £18.16. Devices available for a similar price are 2G only, although texts, WhatsApps and emails should still go through without any large attachments. The then first minister also purchased £18 worth of SIM card top-ups.

    That drawer full of burners that Jax had in Sons of Anarchy.... all the flip phones.....
    I was just musing on what I would do if I wanted a true burner phone. Can you still buy a pay as you go device in cash from a phone store? Can you top them up with a single use Visa card/voucher?
    Buy your phone at Cex and yes you can buy topups such as a single month from stores or giff gaff using a prepaid visa
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137
    Pulpstar said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!


    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.
    2036 not 2026 in that ONS projection, and with 2021 as a start date:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2021basedinterim

    The ONS are anticipating net migration of 315 000 per year in that projection, a significant drop compared to the last 2 years.



    2026 and 2036, with 70 million by 2026 and a slower rate to 2036. No need to panic about a falling population.
    I think births and deaths are going to be broadly a wash in the medium term.

    2023 Deaths 581,298 Births data not yet out
    2022 Deaths 576,896 Births 605,479
    2021 Deaths 585,899 Births 624,828
    2020 Deaths 614,114 Births 613,936
    2019 Deaths 527,234 Births 640,370

    So the population will simply change more or less by net migration levels till say 2040 or so ?

    Yes, and net migration is huge because net legal migration is huge, and small boats to Rwanda is just a distraction.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 11,300
    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Of my friends from school - who I assume have now stopped procreating, all but me fall into one of two groups: Married with exactly two children, or for whatever reason it sadly didn't work out. I'm tge only one with more than 2. Of the 11 of us, we've produced 13 children, which is well below replacement level.
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 20,540
    Mortimer said:

    Mortimer said:

    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    It is obvious now but, for whatever reason, people aren't quite ready to believe it.

    Or maybe they don't want to be complacent and jinx it.
    There is still a hilariously ostrich-like tendency amongst MPs in supposedly 'safe seats' to consider their patch immune from national polling.

    At this rate I'd only say the largest 100 majorities are truly safe for incumbents.

    If I had a seat with a smaller majority than that, I'd be screaming for a new leader....
    A new leader on the basis that third time's the charm? Polling has not so far identified any feasible candidate who might improve things.
    A new leader on the basis that Rishi is a drag on the Tory brand.....
    And the Tory brand is a drag on Rishi too.....the perfect couple!
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    edited January 31

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    How much did you actually have to do with the kids, particularly in the early years?
    Quite a lot with one (I have changed hundreds of nappies), virtually zero with the other - but that's coz she lived, and lives, in Australia, with her mum, and that was their choice
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137
    Mortimer said:

    Mortimer said:

    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    It is obvious now but, for whatever reason, people aren't quite ready to believe it.

    Or maybe they don't want to be complacent and jinx it.
    There is still a hilariously ostrich-like tendency amongst MPs in supposedly 'safe seats' to consider their patch immune from national polling.

    At this rate I'd only say the largest 100 majorities are truly safe for incumbents.

    If I had a seat with a smaller majority than that, I'd be screaming for a new leader....
    A new leader on the basis that third time's the charm? Polling has not so far identified any feasible candidate who might improve things.
    A new leader on the basis that Rishi is a drag on the Tory brand.....
    Rishi is not the problem, or there'd be better-polling candidates. Arguably the party is a drag on Rishi.
  • mwadamsmwadams Posts: 3,132
    Foxy said:

    I am sceptical that a lot of the 2019 Tory vote are going to switch from DK to Tory during the campaign.

    There has been a lot of churn over recent elections, particularly Red Wall to Con, and Blue Wall to Lab/Lib in the clichés of our time.

    So the 2019 Tory vote included a lot of recent converts. These are not lifelong Tory voters saying DK. They probably voted Lab in 2015 and 2017.

    I think the fragmentation of the Conservative vote is significant, and many of those DKs *are* lifelong Tory voters. And while they may not be able to bring themselves to vote Labour, I don't think they will vote for this lot.

    How do we think Ken Clarke is going to vote? My guess is "not for this shower".
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,036
    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Living space factors into this massively. It's hard to imagine having children when you don't have enough space to live, for yourself.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    edited January 31
    A possible gig for @ydoethur ?

    https://twitter.com/TrungTPhan/status/1752544537598443725
    NY Mag profiled an Ivy League college admission consulting firm working with parents of New York private high school students.

    Here is the setup:

    ▫️190 clients paying $120k each a year for their child ($23m total revenue)

    ▫️In exchange: children get basically 24/7 access to a “peer” (someone who went to an Ivy League) for help on essays, personal projects and study tips

    ▫️Consulting firm advertises it gets a high % of clients into preferred schools (but there’s no way to verify because parents will never publicly admit they are paying $120k to get their kid a consulting edge)
    ..


    A bit lower down is this gem:
    ...He broke into the city's private-school set and soon found himself in the fancy Fifth Avenue apartment of a new client. Rim says that one day this teen's mother gave him a reality check. As Rim recalls it, "She said, 'Chris, if you want to make it here in New York, you cannot charge $75. No one's going to take you seriously?" Rim says she told him to charge $1,500 an hour and vowed to bring him more clients.


    And of course the time you spend on your kids is likely of far more value to them (and to you) than any amount of money.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    Cookie said:

    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Of my friends from school - who I assume have now stopped procreating, all but me fall into one of two groups: Married with exactly two children, or for whatever reason it sadly didn't work out. I'm tge only one with more than 2. Of the 11 of us, we've produced 13 children, which is well below replacement level.
    Of my closest male and female friends - say 20 people - at least six or seven are childless (and it is now too late). Two of them bitterly regret it, the others seem OK but I wonder about one or two

    Of the rest we nearly all left it super late, several only had one, etc

    So, again, well below Replacement
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 24,137
    edited January 31

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    .
    Mortimer said:

    Mortimer said:

    Ratters said:

    I predict there will be a whole lot of people reflecting that it was 'obvious' Labour would get a significant majority after such a long period of 10-30 point polling leads, given a tired and unpopular government led by someone who has poor political instincts.

    The contrarian view (hung parliament or very small majority) is possible, but so is the Tories being reduced to 100 or so seats. FPTP has certain 'tipping points' as we've seen in the past in Scotland with SNP domination in seats with a plurality of the vote.

    It is obvious now but, for whatever reason, people aren't quite ready to believe it.

    Or maybe they don't want to be complacent and jinx it.
    There is still a hilariously ostrich-like tendency amongst MPs in supposedly 'safe seats' to consider their patch immune from national polling.

    At this rate I'd only say the largest 100 majorities are truly safe for incumbents.

    If I had a seat with a smaller majority than that, I'd be screaming for a new leader....
    A new leader on the basis that third time's the charm? Polling has not so far identified any feasible candidate who might improve things.
    A new leader on the basis that Rishi is a drag on the Tory brand.....
    And the replacement won't be ?
    Or the repeated process won't make the party look even more risible ?

    Face it, they're screwed.
    Or rather, they've screwed themselves.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    AI is, also, about to make this fertility problem a lot worse

    I've just realised AI will be able to act as a child, and it will be complety convincing. And you'll be able to give it settings - annoying, tantrum in Tesco, terrible twos, perfect angel, pride and joy, potential psycho

    Also one big reason people have kids is to have relationships and contacts in old age, AI can do all that as well
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,876

    Pulpstar said:

    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!


    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.
    2036 not 2026 in that ONS projection, and with 2021 as a start date:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bulletins/nationalpopulationprojections/2021basedinterim

    The ONS are anticipating net migration of 315 000 per year in that projection, a significant drop compared to the last 2 years.



    2026 and 2036, with 70 million by 2026 and a slower rate to 2036. No need to panic about a falling population.
    I think births and deaths are going to be broadly a wash in the medium term.

    2023 Deaths 581,298 Births data not yet out
    2022 Deaths 576,896 Births 605,479
    2021 Deaths 585,899 Births 624,828
    2020 Deaths 614,114 Births 613,936
    2019 Deaths 527,234 Births 640,370

    So the population will simply change more or less by net migration levels till say 2040 or so ?

    Yes, and net migration is huge because net legal migration is huge, and small boats to Rwanda is just a distraction.
    From the ONS:

    Over the next 10 years, there is projected to be a total of 59,000 more deaths than births; this reflects lower projected fertility rates for all countries and an increasing number of older people as those born in the baby boom generations after World War Two and in the 1960s reach older ages.

    59,000 over 10 years is a rounding error (5,900 / year). So yes for now any change in population is pretty much entirely migration driven.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
    That's avocado vinaigrette - which is a classic French dish (so simple and delicious), but it is definitely a starter

    But some people like a savoury at the end of the meal, that old school British thing? Maybe it is that?


    "The savoury is a course that comes near the end of the meal, after the sweet but before what in Britain is called the dessert (which is usually fruit and nuts as opposed to pastries, puddings and the like which are part of the sweet course). Typically, savouries are salty, spicy or sharp. Cheese straws or ramekins, smoked fish, mushrooms, almost anything on toast are components of classic savouries. The article looks at why this is a peculiarly British preference, its origins in the later Victorian era and its gradual eclipse after the Second World War."

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344364561_The_English_Savoury_Course#:~:text=The savoury is a course,are salty, spicy or sharp.
  • mwadamsmwadams Posts: 3,132
    Leon said:

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
    That's avocado vinaigrette - which is a classic French dish (so simple and delicious), but it is definitely a starter

    But some people like a savoury at the end of the meal, that old school British thing? Maybe it is that?


    "The savoury is a course that comes near the end of the meal, after the sweet but before what in Britain is called the dessert (which is usually fruit and nuts as opposed to pastries, puddings and the like which are part of the sweet course). Typically, savouries are salty, spicy or sharp. Cheese straws or ramekins, smoked fish, mushrooms, almost anything on toast are components of classic savouries. The article looks at why this is a peculiarly British preference, its origins in the later Victorian era and its gradual eclipse after the Second World War."

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344364561_The_English_Savoury_Course#:~:text=The savoury is a course,are salty, spicy or sharp.
    It's also related to "when do you have the cheese"?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    mwadams said:

    Leon said:

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
    That's avocado vinaigrette - which is a classic French dish (so simple and delicious), but it is definitely a starter

    But some people like a savoury at the end of the meal, that old school British thing? Maybe it is that?


    "The savoury is a course that comes near the end of the meal, after the sweet but before what in Britain is called the dessert (which is usually fruit and nuts as opposed to pastries, puddings and the like which are part of the sweet course). Typically, savouries are salty, spicy or sharp. Cheese straws or ramekins, smoked fish, mushrooms, almost anything on toast are components of classic savouries. The article looks at why this is a peculiarly British preference, its origins in the later Victorian era and its gradual eclipse after the Second World War."

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344364561_The_English_Savoury_Course#:~:text=The savoury is a course,are salty, spicy or sharp.
    It's also related to "when do you have the cheese"?
    I've been to a couple of posh or old school restos where they offer savouries

    Simpsons in the City does them (tho it is closed at the mo, hopefully only temporarily)

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/simpsons-tavern-shutdown-stalemate-anniversary-last-years-b1113998.html
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    BRING BACK THE SAVOURY

    Some of them sound divine


    "Locket’s savoury, a slice of toast topped with ripe sliced pears, wilted watercress, and a thick blue cheese sauce which is then grilled, rather like Welsh rarebit. Delicious!"



    https://britishfoodhistory.com/2018/02/05/savouries/


    MMMMM
  • numbertwelvenumbertwelve Posts: 5,416
    Get the popcorn ready, Sturgeon is up at the Covid enquiry today….
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    edited January 31
    Leon said:

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
    That's avocado vinaigrette - which is a classic French dish (so simple and delicious), but it is definitely a starter

    But some people like a savoury at the end of the meal, that old school British thing? Maybe it is that?


    "The savoury is a course that comes near the end of the meal, after the sweet but before what in Britain is called the dessert (which is usually fruit and nuts as opposed to pastries, puddings and the like which are part of the sweet course). Typically, savouries are salty, spicy or sharp. Cheese straws or ramekins, smoked fish, mushrooms, almost anything on toast are components of classic savouries. The article looks at why this is a peculiarly British preference, its origins in the later Victorian era and its gradual eclipse after the Second World War."

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344364561_The_English_Savoury_Course#:~:text=The savoury is a course,are salty, spicy or sharp.
    Bond was clearly on a diet - no desert; a "very small" piece of tenderloin.

    Surely, with that alongside the alcohol intake, you recognise a fellow international knapper ?

    Also an avocado was an exotic beast back then for the average Brit.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 14,983
    Leon said:

    Cookie said:

    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Of my friends from school - who I assume have now stopped procreating, all but me fall into one of two groups: Married with exactly two children, or for whatever reason it sadly didn't work out. I'm tge only one with more than 2. Of the 11 of us, we've produced 13 children, which is well below replacement level.
    Of my closest male and female friends - say 20 people - at least six or seven are childless (and it is now too late). Two of them bitterly regret it, the others seem OK but I wonder about one or two

    Of the rest we nearly all left it super late, several only had one, etc

    So, again, well below Replacement
    We are doing OK in my immediate family - my parents and my wife's parents each had 3 children and my parents have 5 grandchildren while my wife's parents have 7. But yes among our wider peer group the norm is to have either no children or 2, we are quite unusual in having 3. I do know a guy who had 8 children in his first marriage and now has a child with a new partner, and she is expecting twins. But he is certainly the exception!
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,876
    edited January 31

    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Living space factors into this massively. It's hard to imagine having children when you don't have enough space to live, for yourself.
    I agree our dwellings are very very small - but is it a major factor in TFR ?

    The average house size here is 76 sq metres. In the USA it is 201 sq metres ! Our TFRs are very similar though, USA (1.64) (UK 1.56) slightly higher - they do have a slightly younger population profile mind. (38.1 vs 40.7 median age)
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
    That's avocado vinaigrette - which is a classic French dish (so simple and delicious), but it is definitely a starter

    But some people like a savoury at the end of the meal, that old school British thing? Maybe it is that?


    "The savoury is a course that comes near the end of the meal, after the sweet but before what in Britain is called the dessert (which is usually fruit and nuts as opposed to pastries, puddings and the like which are part of the sweet course). Typically, savouries are salty, spicy or sharp. Cheese straws or ramekins, smoked fish, mushrooms, almost anything on toast are components of classic savouries. The article looks at why this is a peculiarly British preference, its origins in the later Victorian era and its gradual eclipse after the Second World War."

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344364561_The_English_Savoury_Course#:~:text=The savoury is a course,are salty, spicy or sharp.
    Bond was clearly on a diet - no desert; a "very small" piece of tenderloin.

    Surely, with that alongside the alcohol intake, you recognise a fellow international knapper ?

    Also an avocado was an exotic beast back then for the average Brit.
    I can't find any reference to "avocado vinaigrette" as a classic British savoury. Also it doesn't make sense, savouries date from the 18th-19th century and avocados weren't around then?

    So I wonder if this is Ian Fleming talking out of his bottom, and not really knowing what an avocado is, ditto avocado vinaigrette, but trying to impress with his debonair "knowledge" of worldly pleasures
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 14,983
    Leon said:

    BRING BACK THE SAVOURY

    Some of them sound divine


    "Locket’s savoury, a slice of toast topped with ripe sliced pears, wilted watercress, and a thick blue cheese sauce which is then grilled, rather like Welsh rarebit. Delicious!"



    https://britishfoodhistory.com/2018/02/05/savouries/


    MMMMM

    That does sound very nice. Can't beat a bit of watercress - and so good for you too!
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415
    Taz said:

    I absolutely consider this a Brexit dividend,

    Sinn Fein claims Irish reunification ‘within touching distance’ after DUP ends Stormont deadlock

    Deal with unionists will lead to reopening of Northern Ireland's parliament, which will have a nationalist first minister


    The reunification of Ireland is within “touching distance”, Sinn Fein has claimed, after the DUP ended its two-year boycott of Stormont over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

    Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, leader of the DUP, announced the party executive had accepted Rishi Sunak’s Irish Sea border offer in the early hours of Tuesday after a turbulent five-hour meeting, which exposed deep divisions among unionists.

    It paves the way for the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in the coming days, which has been mothballed since the DUP walked out of a power-sharing deal in February 2022 that was intended to help maintain peace in the province.

    Stormont’s return means that Michelle O’Neill will become the first nationalist first minister in Northern Ireland’s history after she led Sinn Fein to a historic victory in the May 2022 elections.


    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/01/30/sinn-fein-irish-reunification-touching-distance-dup-return/

    The sooner the better.

    Free the six counties.
    Hasn’t the Catholics in the six counties had a much better time of it all these years, than if they had been outside? Look at all the extra government money spent in those six counties? The benefits of UKs NHS? UKs pension system? UKs internal market? The last hundred years, the Catholics in the six counties have never had it so good? Arn’t you just supporting IRA/shinnfane spin just to distract from the truth?
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,168

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    I'm not sure Fleming (and therefore Bond) was a particularly big dessert lover.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    A very sensible thread by my favourite retired U.S. major general.

    The past 48 hours have seen much speculation about President Zelenskyy having decided to remove General Zaluzhnyi from his appointment as Commander in Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Of course, this is not a new story. But what might be the implications? 1/25
    https://twitter.com/WarintheFuture/status/1752482925688582469
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453

    Leon said:

    Cookie said:

    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Of my friends from school - who I assume have now stopped procreating, all but me fall into one of two groups: Married with exactly two children, or for whatever reason it sadly didn't work out. I'm tge only one with more than 2. Of the 11 of us, we've produced 13 children, which is well below replacement level.
    Of my closest male and female friends - say 20 people - at least six or seven are childless (and it is now too late). Two of them bitterly regret it, the others seem OK but I wonder about one or two

    Of the rest we nearly all left it super late, several only had one, etc

    So, again, well below Replacement
    We are doing OK in my immediate family - my parents and my wife's parents each had 3 children and my parents have 5 grandchildren while my wife's parents have 7. But yes among our wider peer group the norm is to have either no children or 2, we are quite unusual in having 3. I do know a guy who had 8 children in his first marriage and now has a child with a new partner, and she is expecting twins. But he is certainly the exception!
    I often find myself looking wistfully at large families with loads of kids and they're all apparently happy as they pile into the minivan. It looks fun

    But then, of course, I could not have had the wild adventurous life I have had, seeing all the world, and that has brought me tremendous pleasure, and is really what I am suited to doing

    And no doubt there is sometimes a father in that minivan, looking wistfully at someone like me, wishing he could have led a life of wandering adventure...

    The grass really is always greener
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 44,036
    a
    Pulpstar said:

    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Living space factors into this massively. It's hard to imagine having children when you don't have enough space to live, for yourself.
    I agree our dwellings are very very small - but is it a major factor in TFR ?

    The average house size here is 76 sq metres. In the USA it is 201 sq metres ! Our TFRs are very similar though, USA (1.64) (UK 1.56) slightly higher - they do have a slightly younger population profile mind. (38.1 vs 40.7 median age)
    If you are living in a one bedroom flat - not uncommon for couples - where do you put the children?

    Owning a 4 bed house means you own a million pounds of property in large areas of the country.
  • viewcodeviewcode Posts: 18,528
    Foxy said:

    viewcode said:

    Foxy said:

    darkage said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    Finland has a fertility rate of 1.37 per woman in contrast to the UK which is 1.56 - yet Finland does most or all the things you are prescribing as the solution, and has done for generations. Looking at a list of fertility rates by nation, you can draw your own conclusions about the link between gender rights and fertility.

    It's not so simple as that, for example Iran (not noted for gender rights!) has had a massive drop in fertility rate too.

    We have societies where childbearing is not valued by men at least as much as for women.
    (I think you mean "childrearing"?)
    Yes, I edited it, but child bearing is a key part of rearing!

    How many twenty somethings really want to have kids, male or female?

    It's why the average age of mothers having their first child is 30.9 and for fathers 33.7 years:

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/livebirths/bulletins/birthcharacteristicsinenglandandwales/2021#:~:text=1.,fathers remained at 33.7 years

    If you start at that age it's hard to have a big family.

    We now treat teenagers as children and twenty-somethings as teenagers compared to 50 years ago.

    Indeed. One of my well-worn rants on here is the problems that arise when we treat children like adults and adults like children. Pensionerism infantilizes adults, to the detriment of all.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415
    Scott_xP said:

    @nicholascecil

    Brexit: The people’s damning verdict four years on - 57 per cent of adults in the country believe Brexit has been more of a failure, with just 13 per cent saying more of a success, @IpsosUK poll for @EveningStandard

    Brexit was all Ed Daveys fault. Labour were involved in the fact Brexit happened too 😆
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 39,001

    On topic, polls are not predictions. We've been through that often enough over the last 20 years.

    Voting intention will change between mid-term (or, as now, late-term) polling and election, for well-known reasons:
    - DKs deciding;
    - The election campaign itself;
    - Events

    As Mike notes - or implies - the swingback effect is often less the result of people changing their minds from Party A to Party B as disillusioned Don't Knows (but ex-voters) returning to their habitual fold. That may happen this time too. Or it may not. The dynamics for that return - fear of the opposition, support for policies/values and lack of an alternative - don't apply anything like as much now as they did in 2019.

    Of the three points above, the campaign offers the Tories their best chance, not because they've a message to sell but because Labour is so skittish and defensive about selling their own. That lack of confidence and continual folding under attack will do nothing for their support. Where's the inspiration? The vision of a New Britain? Maybe the impulse to GTTO will be strong enough to overcome that. Alternatively, it could lead to even more abstentions.

    Second point of disagreement: Sunak is not the liability he says he is. Which is to say that while he *is* a liability for the Tories, so would any replacement likely be. No-one can fulfill the pragmatic managerial type model because (1) they're all unpopular generally, and (2) there's no record to run on after the last 5 years, while any populist type might unite the right to a degree but (1) then again, they might not, (2) it'd reinforce left-of-centre tactical voting, (3) the real world might intrude, as with Truss. The problem is not (just) their leader, it's their party.

    Yes. Brexit has ruined them. It empowered all the wrong people. Whether the implosion was inevitable or not is another matter. I think from 2017 onwards it probably was. The key event was Mrs May calling that election to get a better majority and losing the one she had. From that point, with the people and the political dynamics in play, it was written. Although this is very much backwards analysis from me. I can't say I saw it coming, least not to this extent.
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415
    edited January 31

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    “I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have.”

    It’s possible they have made up their mind and it’s Tory, but they are shy to admit it publicly. So they are predominantly shy Tories, not remotely going to split as widely as the unshy ones. So Mike is right.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 55,168
    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 75,876
    edited January 31

    a

    Pulpstar said:

    Ratters said:

    Foxy said:

    Andy_JS said:

    Nigelb said:

    This is going to ripple through the economy over the next decade or two, and there's very little Korea can do about it.

    One-third of daycare centers, kindergartens to close by 2028 due to low birthrate
    https://m.koreatimes.co.kr/pages/article.asp?newsIdx=367888

    We should be watching to see how they deal with it; it's not impossible that we start going the same way in a few years.
    Assuming the high levels of immigration don't continue forever.

    The way to deal with it is to encourage people to have more children.
    You need to encourage *women* to have more children. After all, it's their choice.

    And you don't do that by trying to go back to the norms of the 1950s, or treat them as baby-making factories. So you make it possible for them to have successful careers *and* kids; and that means that men have to do their duty as well. Try to reduce financial penalties for having more kids; make schools and schooling more flexible (*); help payments with nursery places. Make absent dads pay through the nose (though this alone produces a lot more difficulties).

    Having more children isn't just a personal thing; it's a societal thing. It doesn't matter what we do to encourage women to have more children, if society does not value the children or women. From what I've read, this is part of the problem Korea faces.

    Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects.

    (*) Teachers will not like this.
    We do not have a declining population. We are due to add 10 million people in two years.
    I don't think we are, not even under Sunaks Tories!

    You are right. 70 million is only six million more.

    Anyway the point is, we do not need to panic about a declining population just yet.

    UK population projected to grow to nearly 74m by 2036
    Rise of almost 10% over 15 years would see 70m mark passed by 2026, a decade earlier than previously projected

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/jan/30/uk-population-projected-to-grow-to-nearly-74m-by-2036

    The whole thing is a bit unsatisfactory and conceptualises societies as Ponzi schemes dependent on ever-increasing populations.
    That's why I said; "Or perhaps we should choose to manage a declining birthrate, and a declining population. That's another choice, but not one I've given much thought to about the resultant political or societal effects."
    Interestingly, the projections are based on our of date birth rate data, so the 'births minus deaths' may in fact go negative over the period when projections are updated later in the year. So migration becomes even more the dominant factor.

    "The unlikely projected recovery in UK births - https://on.ft.com/3ug30k8 "

    The fact is, as a 34-year old with two children and plans for no more, is that the distribution of people my age is broadly:

    - Group 1: already had children, but will probably only have 1 or 2
    - Group 2: plan to have children with partner, but just leaving it later
    - Group 3: would like children but no long-term partner and so, particular for women, are conscious of age
    - Group 4: couples in relationships who are deliberately choosing not to have children - this is a much larger group than you'd think
    - Group 5: singletons with no interest in children whatsoever

    Without removing free choice, I see little a government can do to either A ) shift almost everyone into groups 1/2, or B ) make people have more who do have children have more than 2 on average.

    But the fact is everyone can see having children is hard, and limits freedom young adults have become accustomed to, and that only gets harder with the more you have.

    There is a reason this is a global phenomenon: we can take steps to mitigate it so we don't end up like South Korea, but we should be realistic that achieving a replacement birth rate is unrealistic within modern society.
    Living space factors into this massively. It's hard to imagine having children when you don't have enough space to live, for yourself.
    I agree our dwellings are very very small - but is it a major factor in TFR ?

    The average house size here is 76 sq metres. In the USA it is 201 sq metres ! Our TFRs are very similar though, USA (1.64) (UK 1.56) slightly higher - they do have a slightly younger population profile mind. (38.1 vs 40.7 median age)
    If you are living in a one bedroom flat - not uncommon for couples - where do you put the children?

    Owning a 4 bed house means you own a million pounds of property in large areas of the country.
    :D I'm in one of the areas of the country where it most certainly isn't - though to be fair my house would be out of reach for me now compared to when I bought it in 2018 (+100 grand or so @ fair value).

    I wonder if Hunt's (Frankly massive) childcare reforms will encourage more couples to have a few more kids. We'll be sticking with one (Well that's the plan) but if Hunt's plans go swimmingly it *should* probably increase TFR a bit. My guess is the next few years will be full of stories of full nurseries which will nullify the effect till it can be sorted.

    Decent sized properties are probably necessary but not sufficient ..
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    Leon said:

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
    That's avocado vinaigrette - which is a classic French dish (so simple and delicious), but it is definitely a starter

    But some people like a savoury at the end of the meal, that old school British thing? Maybe it is that?


    "The savoury is a course that comes near the end of the meal, after the sweet but before what in Britain is called the dessert (which is usually fruit and nuts as opposed to pastries, puddings and the like which are part of the sweet course). Typically, savouries are salty, spicy or sharp. Cheese straws or ramekins, smoked fish, mushrooms, almost anything on toast are components of classic savouries. The article looks at why this is a peculiarly British preference, its origins in the later Victorian era and its gradual eclipse after the Second World War."

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344364561_The_English_Savoury_Course#:~:text=The savoury is a course,are salty, spicy or sharp.
    Bond was clearly on a diet - no desert; a "very small" piece of tenderloin.

    Surely, with that alongside the alcohol intake, you recognise a fellow international knapper ?

    Also an avocado was an exotic beast back then for the average Brit.
    I can't find any reference to "avocado vinaigrette" as a classic British savoury. Also it doesn't make sense, savouries date from the 18th-19th century and avocados weren't around then?

    So I wonder if this is Ian Fleming talking out of his bottom, and not really knowing what an avocado is, ditto avocado vinaigrette, but trying to impress with his debonair "knowledge" of worldly pleasures
    The first commercial international avocado shipments were in 1927, so they certainly weren't around in the 19thC.

    Avocados were dinner party fare back in the 60s, but invariably as a starter.

    Casino was published in '53. Back then even olive oil was exotic in the UK.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    The missing factor is religion

    Religious belief = kids

    The childless societies of east Asia are amongst the most atheistic in the world. More religious societies have more babies

    If the Chinese are really serious about reversing their baby bust they need to bring back God; but then He might be a threat to the CCP
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 8,502
    edited January 31

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    This is partly true, but it also relates to any kind of uncynical or altruistic group activities often being seen as naive or silly. These trends come from both the right and the left.

    We are now cynically atomised in an unhelpful way.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    Nigelb said:

    Leon said:

    DougSeal said:

    It's in Labour's interests to maintain the 'too close to call' line right up to the election.

    Mandelson is advising Starmer regularly and nothing he says can be interpreted as the comments of a neutral bystander.

    He's worried about turnout.
    I’m sticking by my Tory majority of around 20 call. Maybe a hung Parliament.
    I think Labour will win very comfortably.
    CR; this morning I've just started reading 'Casino Royale'. I'd thought I'd read it before when I was a kid 35 or 40 years ago, but it seems so unfamiliar that perhaps I hadn't. I'm enjoying it so far, though.
    It's a great novel.
    What is your position on the avocado controversy in Casino Royale? Has Ian Fleming seen it on a menu but never tried it? Does Bond think an avocado pear is a dessert?
    Here is the passage in question, where Bond is ordering dinner with Vesper. Does he order the avocado as a dessert?
    ‘Now,’ he turned back to the menu, ‘I myself will accompany mademoiselle with the caviar, but then I would like a very small “tournedos”, underdone, with “sauce Béarnaise” and a “cœur d’artichaut”. While mademoiselle is enjoying the strawberries, I will have half an avocado pear with a little French dressing?’
    That's avocado vinaigrette - which is a classic French dish (so simple and delicious), but it is definitely a starter

    But some people like a savoury at the end of the meal, that old school British thing? Maybe it is that?


    "The savoury is a course that comes near the end of the meal, after the sweet but before what in Britain is called the dessert (which is usually fruit and nuts as opposed to pastries, puddings and the like which are part of the sweet course). Typically, savouries are salty, spicy or sharp. Cheese straws or ramekins, smoked fish, mushrooms, almost anything on toast are components of classic savouries. The article looks at why this is a peculiarly British preference, its origins in the later Victorian era and its gradual eclipse after the Second World War."

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344364561_The_English_Savoury_Course#:~:text=The savoury is a course,are salty, spicy or sharp.
    Bond was clearly on a diet - no desert; a "very small" piece of tenderloin.

    Surely, with that alongside the alcohol intake, you recognise a fellow international knapper ?

    Also an avocado was an exotic beast back then for the average Brit.
    I can't find any reference to "avocado vinaigrette" as a classic British savoury. Also it doesn't make sense, savouries date from the 18th-19th century and avocados weren't around then?

    So I wonder if this is Ian Fleming talking out of his bottom, and not really knowing what an avocado is, ditto avocado vinaigrette, but trying to impress with his debonair "knowledge" of worldly pleasures
    The first commercial international avocado shipments were in 1927, so they certainly weren't around in the 19thC.

    Avocados were dinner party fare back in the 60s, but invariably as a starter.

    Casino was published in '53. Back then even olive oil was exotic in the UK.
    Yes, I agree, this is Fleming trying to impress but not really understanding his own material
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 41,082
    An avocado is manifestly not a savoury perhaps sliced covered in cheese on toast I could just see it although I have never seen it on a menu so let's rule that out. It is a starter.

    Plus it helps to sustain the international drugs trade and often takes water from local villages where they are grown so I've no idea why people are such fans.

  • david_herdsondavid_herdson Posts: 17,417
    kinabalu said:

    On topic, polls are not predictions. We've been through that often enough over the last 20 years.

    Voting intention will change between mid-term (or, as now, late-term) polling and election, for well-known reasons:
    - DKs deciding;
    - The election campaign itself;
    - Events

    As Mike notes - or implies - the swingback effect is often less the result of people changing their minds from Party A to Party B as disillusioned Don't Knows (but ex-voters) returning to their habitual fold. That may happen this time too. Or it may not. The dynamics for that return - fear of the opposition, support for policies/values and lack of an alternative - don't apply anything like as much now as they did in 2019.

    Of the three points above, the campaign offers the Tories their best chance, not because they've a message to sell but because Labour is so skittish and defensive about selling their own. That lack of confidence and continual folding under attack will do nothing for their support. Where's the inspiration? The vision of a New Britain? Maybe the impulse to GTTO will be strong enough to overcome that. Alternatively, it could lead to even more abstentions.

    Second point of disagreement: Sunak is not the liability he says he is. Which is to say that while he *is* a liability for the Tories, so would any replacement likely be. No-one can fulfill the pragmatic managerial type model because (1) they're all unpopular generally, and (2) there's no record to run on after the last 5 years, while any populist type might unite the right to a degree but (1) then again, they might not, (2) it'd reinforce left-of-centre tactical voting, (3) the real world might intrude, as with Truss. The problem is not (just) their leader, it's their party.

    Yes. Brexit has ruined them. It empowered all the wrong people. Whether the implosion was inevitable or not is another matter. I think from 2017 onwards it probably was. The key event was Mrs May calling that election to get a better majority and losing the one she had. From that point, with the people and the political dynamics in play, it was written. Although this is very much backwards analysis from me. I can't say I saw it coming, least not to this extent.
    I tend to agree. If Labour (or enough Labour MPs) had been willing to get May's deal though - as with Brentry in the 1970s - we might not be where we are now. But Corbyn wasn't willing the help her out and neither were centrist Lab MPs. That might be understandable but it also meant there was no majority for anything in that parliament, which in turn enabled the extremes - with both sides attracting more support in the face of the threat of the opposite (and growing) extreme. Ironically, in this case, Corbyn was the moderate willing to countenance Brexit (in theory anyway), while the Lib Dems were the extremists, backing Revoke.

    But ultimately, that split on the left enabled the populists on the right, who then took the lesson that they'd found a magic formula not not only beat the left but also to gain ascendancy on the right.

    I don't think there was any 'key point' as such but the repeated failures of the centre in 2015-17 - Corbyn's win in 2015, the Brexit vote itself, Corbyn's second win, and May throwing away her majority - have set the scene ever since.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    That's the Tory party you're talking about, perhaps ?

    It's certainly a caricature I don't recognise in my or my family's lives.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    TOPPING said:

    An avocado is manifestly not a savoury perhaps sliced covered in cheese on toast I could just see it although I have never seen it on a menu so let's rule that out. It is a starter.

    Plus it helps to sustain the international drugs trade and often takes water from local villages where they are grown so I've no idea why people are such fans.

    Coz they taste amazing smashed up on toast with Marmite?

    And they really DO
  • MoonRabbitMoonRabbit Posts: 12,415

    On thread.

    According to the latest YouGov, of 2019 Conservatives who have made up their mind which way to vote in the General Election, only 49% are currently committed to vote Conservative with 19% now choosing Labour (and 29% Reform.)

    I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have. That group by definition does not include the Conservative core vote.

    So if the Conservative net lead over Labour in decided 2019 Conservatives is only a net 30% (i.e. 49-19), why should the Conservatives expect to get as much as a net 30% lead over Labour from undecided 2019 Conservatives, if they end up voting at all? The thread header seems to be implying that they will get more than that.

    Any views, anyone?

    “I think it reasonable to assume that the voting choices of the 2019 Conservatives who have not yet made up their mind are likely to be subject to no less churn than those that have.”

    It’s possible they have made up their mind and it’s Tory, but they are shy to admit it publicly. So they are predominantly shy Tories, not remotely going to split as widely as the unshy ones. So Mike is right.
    Mike is also correct that the Conservatives will get a far far better result swapping out Sunak for virtually anybody to fight the election, simply because they will be in Honeymoon, whilst Sunak is now weighed down by 6 years and more of awful mistakes, the worst if all being last years Tory conference, when he changed from the USP he was installed to appeal to voter for.

    It’s psychologically bizarre how so many PB Tory suddenly leap to Sunak’s defence whenever it’s pointed out, he is now clearly a drag on the Con electoral result, they were get a worse result with him than without him, not weighed down by his party. They clearly can’t see this? He is the anti matter to Boris 2019 appeal, if you were drawn to Tory’s by Boris, you will be repelled by Sunak. Voters as a whole hate Sunak to Corbyn levels, means doesn’t matter what he is saying no one is listening, any new leader for the election would at least be listened to.

    What hurts the tories most of all though in this “false flat” election period is appearing divided and fighting each other, so opponents do stoke “it will be better result without Sunak” just for the divided party, not to actually get rid of the opposition parties best vote winner.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 38,772

    Leon said:

    Re fertility

    I managed to knock out two kids, somehow, amidst the chaos of my life. I never really lived with either of the mothers - in the first instance we tried but failed within months; the second woman didn't even want to try

    And yet even then the responsibilties severely impinged my life for a while, and the whole thing has been horrifically expensive. Albeit now I see it as absolutely worth it, despite all the pain and hassle. The only thing I can really compare it too is Brexit

    So I can totally understand why young people don't want their own personal Brexit. However that does mean the human species will die out

    The predominant feature of Western culture today is me me me me me..

    Anything that might involve any sense of duty, sacrifice or service is dismissed as the individual being a bit of a mug or even sneered at and frowned upon. We are encouraged to have and take whatever we want, whenever we want it, and damn right too, and we don't owe anyone anything or have any obligations to anyone.

    And, thus, a secret emptiness creeps into people's lives.
    If that was true, I doubt there'd be much of a volunteer or charity sectors in the country.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 41,082
    edited January 31
    Leon said:

    TOPPING said:

    An avocado is manifestly not a savoury perhaps sliced covered in cheese on toast I could just see it although I have never seen it on a menu so let's rule that out. It is a starter.

    Plus it helps to sustain the international drugs trade and often takes water from local villages where they are grown so I've no idea why people are such fans.

    Coz they taste amazing smashed up on toast with Marmite?

    And they really DO
    With a poached egg on sourdough toast for me but they are the work of the devil.

    There's a good documentary on Netflix about it.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 62,040
    Leon said:

    TOPPING said:

    An avocado is manifestly not a savoury perhaps sliced covered in cheese on toast I could just see it although I have never seen it on a menu so let's rule that out. It is a starter.

    Plus it helps to sustain the international drugs trade and often takes water from local villages where they are grown so I've no idea why people are such fans.

    Coz they taste amazing smashed up on toast with Marmite?

    And they really DO
    I unashamedly love them.

    They've been cultivated in Central America for nearly ten thousand years, which possibly predates the drug trade ?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 46,453
    Seeing as we are talking about food and eating, I can proudly announce that I am now down to 85.4kg, 188 pounds, 13 stone 6

    Just 6 pounds from my target

    In about seven weeks I have shed 12kg - 26 pounds! And you can tell, I actually look almost.... slim (by my standards)

    Fasting WORKS

    I am of course celebrating with a massive ribeye and a $50 bottle of red from the best supermarket in Cambodia, but tomorrow it's back to austerity. Gotta lose those last pounds. The end is in sight!

This discussion has been closed.