Daily catch-up: strangely named buildings, anti-politics and pedantry

More fun, games and earnestly serious psephological analysis from around the websphere

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1. There is a building in Montreal called Le Gordon Brown. No idea why. I wondered about compiling a Top 10 Buildings with Politicians' Names.

Xlibris1 suggested 10 Downing Street, named after Sir George Downing, Civil War soldier and Teller of the Exchequer 1660-84, and Buckingham Palace, named after some duke who was Lord Privy Seal.

I was more interested in the accidental ones, though. There is a David Cameron Hair in Cheam. The two David Camerons met there during the 2010 election campaign. (Thanks to Labour History Group.) Laura Potts says there is a George Bush funeral home in Norwich. And my colleague Tom Peck says a friend tells him she's had a Big Mac in Ramsay Macdonald's, near Adelaide. That must be the winner.

More stupid Top 10s in my book, Listellany.

2. Polling news. Labour soars to a one-point lead in today's YouGov poll (that part would be in backward-sloping ironic typeface, but that is not available on this machine): Lab 33%, Con 32%, UKIP 17%, LD 8%, Green 5%. That is, no significant change from yesterday's average.

3. Immigration from the EU: "We may never be able to control it entirely, because it’s a fundamental principle of the EU..." Nick Boles, Business and Education minister, makes the novice error of stating the truth, clearly. He was interviewed by Sam Macrory for Total Politics.

4. Stephen Bush, who compiles the Telegraph's excellent Morning Briefing, was travelling to work yesterday:

"Woman on bus reading texts over my shoulder. Just typed 'have a slight temperature' and she fled. Ebola panic comes to London."

5. More on anti-politics from Will Jennings and colleagues at the University of Southampton. They have repeated a poll question that was first asked by Gallup in July 1944, and again in 1972: “Do you think that British politicians are out merely for themselves, for their party, or to do their best for their country?”

Those saying politicians are doing their best for the country have fallen from 36 per cent in 1944 (perhaps a low figure at a time of war), to 28 per cent in 1972 and to just 10 per cent now.



Prof Jennings and his team link this to the success of UKIP:

“UKIP voters are not necessarily the ‘left behind’, but are people holding unambiguously and intensely negative views of politics and politicians. UKIP supporters are also much more firm-minded on this issue, with just 4% indicating ‘don’t know’ (a much lower figure than the average of 12% for the other parties). Not only are UKIP supporters more negative, they are surer of their views. They ‘know’ that establishment politicians are serving themselves or their parties not the country ...

“Another notable finding, given the conventional wisdom about anti-politics, is that younger respondents (18-24) are in fact much less likely to think politicians are out for themselves. This is despite the popular claim that young voters are unengaged.” 

6. And finally, thanks to Kat for this:

"Sir, we're mining too many useless minerals."

Hitler: "Mine less then"

Grammar Nazi bursts in: "MINE FEWER."

Hitler looks over: "Yes?"