Olympic success doesn't override economic and political distress
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In a YouGov poll on Friday the public revealed that the main issues that they believe should be facing parliament as they return from summer recess are the economy, the British Honour’s System and an additional runway at Heathrow airport. Facing discontent within his party and from the wider public, David Cameron is tipped to undertake a cabinet reshuffle within the next few days. The main reason for this reshuffle seems to be to show the public that the stagnant situation of British politics will change. However, the issues on the chalkboard are as unchanging as America and China’s position at the top of the Olympic medal table. The most important problem the public wants to see resolved remains the economy. After last summer’s riots, which saw Cameron return home early from his family holiday in Tuscany, economic and social problems were at the front of the parliamentary agenda when it reconvened in September. The Conservative party’s approval rating was down at 38% with Labour support above them at 39%. This summer has been a very different affair. The whole country has celebrated both the Queen’s Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympic games together with not so much as a whisper of trouble. Cameron was able to successfully complete his family holiday in Spain before returning to England to watch the Paralympic opening ceremony last week. And yet, as parliament reconvenes this year the situation is almost identical, if not worse than the same time last year. The Conservative party’s YouGov approval rating is down to 35%, with Labour up to 41%. Meanwhile, an extra 3% are unhappy with the state of the economy on last year’s figures. This bad news for the government comes at the end of a joyful, celebratory summer which saw a great boost to British national pride and team spirit. When parliament rose on July 17th for their summer recess 69% of people said the most worrying issue facing them and their family was the failing economy. As the summer ends, a major 80% of people think the state of the economy is bad, with only 2% regarding it positively. A further 50% think their financial situation will get worse over the next six months and 56% think that the government’s economic policy needs to change for the economic situation to see improvement.
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