If the events in Ukraine are to appear as more than a series of disconnected events, you really must take the long view. So if you want to understand why it looked last night as though war was about to break out in the Crimea, perhaps take a look at this piece of analysis by Stratfor. It's a company that focuses on geography and history to explain what is happening in the world. Stratfor makes its money by signing up paying subscribers, but makes some of its work freely available. The book from which this is taken, The next hundred years, is also worth reading.
When Stephanie Flanders gave the Bob Friend Memorial lecture she said 'the boundaries between politics and the economy have become blurred'.
We saw that when Norman Lamont John Major's chancellor pulled Britain out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The Tories previous reputation for economic blow was dealt a fatal blow. It took years to recover. The simple fact is that economic competence or incompetence shifts votes.
Five years after the economic crisis Ipsos Mori latest poll shows just 7% of Britons expect to see the economy improve over the next 6 months. Britain is 23rd out of 24 countries covered in the survey.
Deputy Chief Exec at Ipsos MORI, Simon Atkinson, said:
"The loss of the AAA rating has of course been a shock to the politicians. But it is unlikely to change the mood among the public - they downgraded their assessment of the economy some years ago. These figures, like some of our economic data, have flatlined. The public need inspiration from somewhere but, at the moment, they aren't seeing green shoots anywhere."
Politicians and journalists pore over polling figures. On 7th March Gideon Skinner, Research Director of Ipsos/Mori will give an insight into how one of the leading polling companies operates and the state of the parties, post Eastleigh.
Everyone welcome - Newsroom Gillingham Building, 7th March at 1p.m.