Daily catch-up: the surprising popularity and unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn's policies

Plus Peter Hitchens, the purpose of universities and a streamlined roadmap

John Rentoul
Friday 16 October 2015 09:09
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Some of Jeremy Corbyn's policies are surprisingly popular, as his supporters have pointed out for some time. And some of them are surprisingly unpopular. The charts above are by Peter Kellner from YouGov research for Prospect magazine (his article is here).

I have shaken my head before about the apparent enthusiasm for renationalising the railways, but I also found the support for returning academies to local authority control puzzling. Equally, though, I am surprised that there should be such opposition to scrapping tuition fees, which seems to go against all laws of "pony" polling ("would you like a free pony?"), although most people didn't go to university and perhaps realise that they would be paying for those who do. Several Corbyn supporters have also expressed dismay at the national-security-mindedness of the British people, which really shouldn't come as a surprise.

"I'm an optimist," says Owen Jones, interviewing Peter Hitchens. "You poor thing," replies the great miserablist. I know I have recommended two long interviews recently (both with Alastair Campbell), but this, the full version of a star-struck Jones talking to an increasingly fluent Hitchens, is also highly commended.

Times Higher Education has a good report on how my academic home, King’s College, London, is bringing academia closer to policy-making. The Jon Davis school of ultra-contemporary history is currently teaching an MA course with Sir Nicholas Macpherson, permanent secretary to the Treasury, on economic history since 1945. Dr Davis and I start our Blair Government course in January.

"Gregusmeus" is not impressed: "That'll end in tears. Academics need to be kept well away from real people. That's why we have universities."

Jack Dorsey, boss of Twitter, has just had to lay off 336 people. His email to staff is a wonderful example of someone trying to avoid corporate speak:

Emails like this are usually riddled with corporate speak so I'm going to give it to you straight. The team has been working around the clock to produce streamlined roadmap for Twitter, Vine, and Periscope and they are shaping up to be strong. The roadmap is focused on the experiences which will have the greatest impact.

The email concludes: "The world needs a strong Twitter." Via Matt Chorley.

A new supplement to the Banned List is coming up soon. Meanwhile, buy the book.

This is probably Citizen Sane's favourite George Orwell quotation:

"If you want a vision of the future, imagine yourself staring at a slightly thinner phone with marginally better battery life."

And finally, thanks to Moose Allain ‏for this:

"Perfect Storm 2 – The Sea Quell."

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