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Chart of the Day: the people and the elite disagree on Europe

The populace and 'opinion-formers' do not agree on the UK's future in Europe.

 
Chart of the Day: the people and the elite disagree on Europe

Britain's ‘elite’ – business leaders, politicians, academics and journalists – do not agree with their less influential countrymen over the UK's future in Europe.

People in this group of 'opinion formers' are less keen to hold a referendum on Britain’s place in Europe, and more enthusiastic about staying in the European Union, according to a YouGov poll.

YouGov conducted two surveys on behalf of Chatham House. The first was of a representative sample of 2,079 adults. This fieldwork was undertaken between 13 and 15 June 2012. The survey was carried out online and the figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18 and over).

The second survey was of 735 ‘opinion-formers’ from YouGovStone’s panel of influential adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14 and 21 June 2012. The survey was carried out online.

Click on the image below to see the numbers

Referendum on Europe: Click to enlarge

37 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Herman Brodie

Jul 11, 2012 at 06:57

UK Politicians Must Yield on Referendum Vote

"It is time for UK citizens to take full stock of their relationship with Europe, which in recent years has been reduced to Brussels-bashing."

http://www.unexpectedutility.com/blog/politics/uk-politicians-must-yield-on-referendum-vote/

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an elder one

Jul 11, 2012 at 11:00

As an average UK citizen, one can only remark thatl the elite seem to have got us into the mess we are in so why should we heed their notionst.

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an elder one

Jul 11, 2012 at 11:01

sorry; typos!

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Pilgrim

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:40

"Opinion formers" don't seem to be very effective according to this presentation! The implication is that the minority of 'Opinion formers' who espouse an anti european view have a disproportionately large effect upon Public opinion! The Murdoch press perhaps?

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Confused of Cove

Jul 11, 2012 at 13:40

Firstly, beware: to the best of my knowledge, YouGov polls are self-selecting rather than random, so the population of respondents may be skewed.

Secondly, it's no surprise that the people are less enthusiastic about the EU - they've been fed a consistent diet of lies and misinformation by the likes of the Daily Mail & Express for decades.

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Alan Tonks

Jul 11, 2012 at 14:08

“The populace and 'opinion-formers' do not agree on the UK's future in Europe”

Well that is a surprise I would never have believed that, if I lived like some in a fantasyland.

Yes a YouGov poll well you certainly cannot trust that in any way shape or form.

I can certainly understand why the majority of politicians would want to stay in Europe, jobs for the boys or just pure greed.

As for academics a good few do not live in the real world anyway, yes I can see a good few journalists wouldn’t want to leave Europe.

As for many business leaders they will know which butter mountain to climb and that is a fact.

I know that this Government will never give the people a referendum on leaving Europe.

This Government lead in theory by David Cameron will not give the people an option, because Cameron has reneged on more than one promise to hold a referendum.

I never wanted to be in Europe and I still don’t want to be in Europe, but unfortunately we are there to stay.

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jambo

Jul 11, 2012 at 16:36

I don't let anybody form my opiniion - let alone those establishment prats who have got us into every scrape possible. Think for yourself!! and vote accordingly

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derek farman

Jul 11, 2012 at 17:55

A referendum, in my view would not reflect a sensible decision making process.

Too many ordinary folk will vote by emotion rather than common sense.

We would be mad to disassociate from Europe, but that is more than likely to happen if a referendum is taken

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Stephen Griffiths

Jul 11, 2012 at 18:00

Most people's anti-European rhetoric is based on some pretty unsound thinking. With it's position just offshore from China one wouldn't advise Japan to do anything to limit it's potential trade with China. Britain sits just offshore from the worlds largest free trading block from which most of it's GDP derives...and still many British people would like to see the zone disintegrate. It's suicidal and very very stupid.

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Robbie34

Jul 11, 2012 at 18:13

What has Japan's position to China got to do with the EU? Britain voted to be part of a trading bloc, not to be ruled by a group of failed politicians. Certainly, China does not have any direct involvement in Japanese lawmaking.

The UK imports far more from the EU than it exports, and Norway does very nicely being outside of it.

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Alan Tonks

Jul 11, 2012 at 19:03

Derek-I have plenty of common sense and I think a referendum is jolly good idea. I have unfortunately said previously, there is no way we are going to get one.

You are not ordinary folk then Derek and you don’t vote by emotion obviously. So you must be one of the so-called Elite and therefore common sense wouldn’t come into either, would it.

I think we would be mad to stay in and a referendum would make sound financial sense as well.

I would have thought on what you have written, the unsound thinking is coming from you Stephen.

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Richard Spira

Jul 11, 2012 at 20:10

@Confused of Cove. I'm sure the Daily Express and Daily Mail would be delighted to have readership of 49-57% of the adult population, assuming the sample is based upon that demographic.

I'd think that those numbers are more representative of the size of BBC audiences, who are fed a "consistent diet of lies and misinformation" - only in favour of the EU.

So it's encouraging to see that despite this, such large numbers are immune to the pro-EU propaganda.

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Roger Savage

Jul 11, 2012 at 22:25

Stephen - how would coming out of the EU affect trade with Europe?

This is one of the most stupid comments spouted forth by people on Europe. Just because someone doesn't want to be in the EU and sees it for the corrupt gravy train it is means that person is anti-European. Cobblers.

Look at Norway - it isn't in the EU. Yes it has certain arrangements with the EU, but it isn't ruled by them and it doesn't pay billions of pounds into the pot. Sensible. If the EU is so great, how come it's accounts have never ever been signed off as anything other than the fraud riddled maze of financial arrangements and lost money? Fact.

Alan has it right.

As for Derek - well, yes, I agree a lot of voters are morons but that hardly provides an excuse to deny people the right to vote on important issues. There's little enough democracy as it is and yet you seem to favour people with a vested interest in Europe making decisions on our behalf even if that flies in the face of what the majority want! Thanks very much - I wonder if you'd share that view on a topic that you opposed. I doubt that very much...

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 11, 2012 at 23:07

Ask any Norwegian how many EU laws they have to adopt and comply with to enjoy trade with the EU. More than a few.

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Chris Dickson

Jul 12, 2012 at 07:33

Would anybody be interested to know, as reported by this website a couple of months ago, that Norwegian (non-oil) and Swiss exports to the EEC have steadily RISEN over recent years and the 'opinion formers' are probably too wrapped up in their own worlds to recognise it.

Therefore, the evidence is that staying out of the EU would benefit the UK - please DONT take my word for it and check it out.

One cause of this, and there will be many, is that Norway and Switzerland do not have to adopt the Workers Time Directive, which allows them to remain flexible. The idiots running the EU want growth on the one hand, and want to clamp down on one of the cornerstones of enterprise on the other, i.e. hard work.

To see what the UK electorate think of Europe we shall have to wait until the European elections in 2014 - what price a bloody nose for Cameron ?

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Roger Savage

Jul 12, 2012 at 09:22

I don't doubt it Jeremy, but they're still at sufficient arm's length in terms of financial impact.

Chris - yep, totally agree.

Let the British people decide via a referendum! After all - what are the pro-EU politicians and other vested interests scared of? Answer - the gravy train flying past them whilst they stand waiting on the platform...

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derek farman

Jul 12, 2012 at 10:25

I guess I'll have to shut up, since most of you seem to believe a referendum is the right course. Some of you also make some very persuasive arguments for us to withdraw.

Naturally any thinking person will be fed up with Brussels interference in many aspects of our lives, and worried at the sheer numbers of Eurocrats milking that gravy train, and most important , the inability to balance the books.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

And Alan Tonks ...just for the record I'm miles away from being one of the elite .

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Pilgrim

Jul 12, 2012 at 10:38

References to Norwegian success is completely inappropriate. Norway has a population about 5 million, or less than one twelfth the size of the UK. It has the largest hydrocarbon reserves in Europe which it it exploits in the the National interest with far greater efficiecy than ever achieved in the UK. Historically Norway has been a relatively poor nation with primary dependence upon fishing, forests and mineral exploitation. The Norwegian economy has been transformed through the development of offshore hydrocarbons. Sometimes called the oil sheiks of the North because of the very strong international trade position of the country resulting from sales of oil and gas.

Very soon after the outset of development Norway started thinking about life after oil, and how oil production could be leveraged for the long term benefit of the Norwegian economy. The issue of development licenses for new field developments were rationed with a view to smoothing the pace of development so as to match the capabilities of the national construction industry. As a result of this Norwegian companies are now global players in the offshore construction market with wholly owned subsidiaries in both Britain and the USA. Norwegian research and manufacture has received uninterupted support from central government with the result today the Norwigian manufacturers are very significant suppliers to the offshore marketplace, on an equal or possibly greater scale than achieved by Britain.

As Britain's industries have been driven down, with politicians and moneymen charting Britain's (independent) course towards a 'post industrial age', Norway has used its new found wealth to build its industries into a position of world leadership in design and manufacture for the offshore hydrocarbon industries. So no illusions please. Norway does not provide an example of success outside the EEC which can serve as a relevant example for the UK.

50 years ago the UK was a workshop for the world. 30 years ago was the last year in which we had a balance of trade in manufactured goods with a small surplus, 15 years ago was the last year in which taking combined manufactured goods and services supplied by Britain into account generated a small trade surplus. These days we have stopped talking about the balance of trade, in large measure we have stopped making things and have a massive and increasing trade deficiit year on year. Life feels good and this apparent in GDP figures, but these are as much a measure of consumption as of production and the UK's international debt becomes greater every year. Many of our great industrial companies are now either in foreign ownership, or have collapsed altogether. Britain has been too willing to listen to the siren voices saying you can have it easier, you don't need those 'smoke stack' industries etc. We are now a changed country, and I fear that we can never hope to regain the economic power and influence we once held. We have squandered our inheritance and now complain that the cupboard is bare!

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 12, 2012 at 11:40

There was an interesting programme on BBC3 recently, still on yesterday's iPlayer, "Coming Here Soon - 3. Japan, Fall of the Rising Sun". It shows how years of hopelessness driven by unemployment and poor social security has driven the Japanese suicide level to 30,000 a year. People desperate for a job are accepting poor pay and exhausting hours with no hope of improvement. After a while they have mental breakdowns, become alcoholics or commit suicide. This will come here because we have a government and its supporters bent on creating misery and squalor at every opportunity. The inevitable result of deliberately creating mass unemployment and insecurity for millions is not an accidental side effect.

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Stephen Griffiths

Jul 12, 2012 at 13:43

Robbie 34 and Roger Savage

I've just returned from 16 months driving round South America and it's a chilling reminder about what preceded the EU and what awaits us if the EU falls apart.

There is only one country in South America (Chile) which lets foreigners buy a car and drive it across borders. There are still mountains of paperwork. Car prices are astronomical because of import tariffs. Every country has different import and export rules such that you have to read through pages of material every time you cross a border to make sure you are not holding contraband (eg nothing made of wood may be taken into Chile with the exception of musical instruments). Borders quite frequently have tailback of trucks for miles due to the regulation required for crossing borders with freight. Obviously every time you cross a border you need to make sure you already have the next country's currency so that you can pay their various charges for visas and 'tourist cards'.

Bolivia regularly offers regular amnesties on cars stolen in Chile, Argentina and Brazil and illegally imported to Bolivia, allowing their 'owners' to legalise them in Bolivia. It makes no effort to return them. Understandably this pisses the Argentine, Chilean and Brazilian governments right off. Consequently getting cars out of any of these countries into Bolivia can prove incredibly tricky.

Individual countries are prone to knee jerk populist xenophobic measures...whilst we were there Bolivia tripled the price of fuel for all cars with foreign plates.

Import duties on basic electrical goods are crippling. When my Macbookpro power lead broke in Bolivia I had to wait two months and two and a half thousand miles till I was in Colombia to buy one for twice what I would have paid in the UK. When my wife's camera lens broke in Tierra del Fuego she was told she would have to travel two thousand miles north to Buenos Aires find a replacement part. It cost three times what it would have cost in Britain. There are barely any reliable couriers and the prices are prohibitive.

Property law is a nightmare. Argentina has a history of encouraging foreign investment in property and then taking the properties back later as a populist measure. The recent French moves to make home ownership by British expats more difficult are a move back in that direction I guess. Imagine where British expats in France and Spain would be right now without EU protection.

Individual nations legislate poorly with regard to foreign owned business interests and consequently large mining corporations have trashed all the large river systems in the Andes with disastrous consequences for the people who rely on them for drinking water and irrigation.

It's noticeable also that all the south american countries really really dislike each other and viscerally distrust each other much more than Europeans. In pretty much every south american country you go to, they believe everyone in their neighbouring countries are a bunch of corrupt crooks and you'll get robbed the second you cross the border. I don't think I once heard a single south american say anything positive about any other south american nation.

The result of all this paperwork and red tape is widespread corruption and graft. Even the border officials can't be bothered with all the paperwork so they would rather take bribes.

Bottom line is it's a nightmare and they barely do business with each other at all. God forbid Europe heads back in that direction.

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Roger Savage

Jul 12, 2012 at 14:36

Stephen. So your analogy fits with Britain pre-EU does it? No it doesn't. So it is irrelevant to this particular debate.

I also believe firmly that the EU fits in rather well with your comment about paperwork, red tape and bribes/corruption.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we DID trade with Europe pre-EU membership.

Whatever you believe about how or why the EU came about, the fact is it is a flawed concept - especially the Eurozone - where either poorer countries drag down others or the stronger countries use it as a mechanism to gain control over the others. It's a form of socialsim in effect and just as corrupt as that always ends up being.

There's a lot to be said for countries looking after their own interests whilst still maintaining good relations with each other. It doesn't mean you have to be part of a union with unelected and unaccountable bureacrats dictating how each member country should be run. We have enough corrupt politicians in the UK and don't need any more inflicting themselves or their policies on us!

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 12, 2012 at 16:15

Roger

Stephen's point is that the South American nations do trade with each other but at vast expense and inconvenience which does fit the pre-EU Europe. Britain in those days traded largely with its colonies and ex-colonies.

How you go from red tape and hegemonic trade policies to socialism is baffling. You must have been reading the Daily Mail.

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Roger Savage

Jul 12, 2012 at 16:31

Add up the cost of being in the EU - we're hardly trading with the EU at anything other than vast expense and inconvenience - unless you favour bailing out Eurozone nations and find that convenient.

Not that baffling if you know much about bureaucracy - it fits perfectly with socialism.

I take it you're probably a Guardian reader!

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Robbie34

Jul 12, 2012 at 16:55

The whole point about a proposed exit from the EU has little to do with trade, and more to do with regaining control of our destiny. The best estimate is that we have 2.33 million extra EU citizens living here, although there may be more. We are unable to decide who can stay, and these figures are causing massive problems with the infrastructure of this country. When you consider the cost in benefits, and pressure on housing, health and schools, we really must have some say about migrants to the UK.

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Pilgrim

Jul 12, 2012 at 17:09

Oh for the grand old days. rationing, tarif controls, prohibition on export of currency, exchange controls, having sterling taken for use abroad entered in the back of ones passport before travel, multipage international carnets for use if taking a car across the channel, and across any european frontiers, posting bail bonds before entry to Spain, tough customs controls with any foreign purchases declarable, oh what fun! Do we really want to disconnect from Europe?

And what about the Euro? Huge numbers of foreign exchange transactions needed sometime for only a few hours drive? Calais to Rotterdam? Three hours drive and three currencies?

As for business, our costs in dealing with the eurozone are always higher than they need be because of the single currency conversion which has to be hedged if a business wishes to disconnect from changes in the euro to sterling exchange rate. The more currencies in play the higher the overhead cost on business for the treasury operation needed to eliminate the larger number of separate exchange rate exposures. All fun!

Lets hope that the Euro survives!

And as for UK independence, well I for one am profoundly grateful for the way in which the discourse with Europe has assisted progress and civilization in our society, They have influenced us, and we have influenced the rest of Europe. To some extent we are the creators of some of today's chaos in the Euro- zone. Maggie's preference for broadening europe rather than deepening it involved bringing nations at a much less advanced stage of economic development into the european fold. Deepening would have involved a smaller club of nations commencing to harmonise fiscal controls, but tragically that was not to be. Hence today's crisis in the Eurozone.

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 12, 2012 at 17:10

What is the response of the present neo-fascist government to immigration? Bureaucratic border controls. To scandals in the City? More laws and regulations. To absolutely anything? More laws and controls. The USA is no different. What do most of the reactonaries in these fora want to promote British industry? Tariffs, buy British laws and import controls.

I was taught to read with the aid of the FT and have seen no reason to change since I could afford to buy my own copy. I see Guardian readers in general as people with hearts and consciences but poor logic and an inability to count past ten without removing their shoes and socks. They make better neighbours than Mail readers.

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 12, 2012 at 17:35

Robbie 34

Those extra 2.33 million extra EU citizens are young and paying taxes - they do not qualify for many benefits until they have worked here for a while. They will be looking after me in my dotage as tax payers and wheel chair pushers. They help rebalance our excessively old society.

Pilgrim

Thank you for that dose of reality. The younger readers have never known how bad life used to be. Many of the older ones seem to have selective memories on the issues.

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Robbie34

Jul 12, 2012 at 17:49

Pilgrim, how do you know that? The Government isn't sure just how many migrants are here.

Quote by Pilgrim:

Those extra 2.33 million extra EU citizens are young and paying taxes - they do not qualify for many benefits until they have worked here for a while. They will be looking after me in my dotage as tax payers and wheel chair pushers. They help rebalance our excessively old society.

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Robbie34

Jul 12, 2012 at 17:56

Pilgrim, you are saying that 2.33 million migrants have no effect whatsoever on the infrastructure of the UK? They do not use scarce resources of the NHS; they don't have children placing a burden on schools where they live; they have no effect on housing supply. I don't think so.

Many of the towns to where East Europeans have migrated - Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire are examples - have great problems with the numbers of foreign pupils that have to be admitted. NHS sevices are also overwhelmed.

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 12, 2012 at 19:31

Robbie 34

You are confusing me with Pilgrim.

I take the figure of 2.33 million from you at 16:55 today, who I assume, get it from a news source which in turn gets it from the government. If you don't believe your own statistics, you are hopeless. I don't deny that immigration puts a strain on some public services. It also makes others possible. Polish bus drivers, Kosovan supermarket staff and a varity of very hard working immigrant neighbours are just of few of the observations that lead me to believe that East and Central Europeans are an asset to this country. The children currently putting a strain on some services will be wiping your bottom in days to come.

At bottom (no pun intended), some people enjoy ethnic diversity and others hate it. There were black people in my street and in my primary school back in the early 1950s. My family had friends who were Russian, Bolivian, Italian, Austrian and East European. My mother's life was saved by a Jamaican customer in her shop and black South African nurses in hospital. By the mid sixties I was working in London with Africans, Indians, Sri Lankans, Malaysians, Canadians, New Zealanders, you name the country, race and religion.

In short, I like foreigners as colleagues, neighbours and friends. You don't.

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Robbie34

Jul 12, 2012 at 20:08

Jeremy Bosk said:

In short, I like foreigners as colleagues, neighbours and friends. You don't

That's a very sweeping statement and also nonsense. How can you extrapolate such from my posts? Where have you deduced that I don't believe the statistics that I quoted?

The argument about control of immigration has nothing to do with ethnicity: the plain fact is that the UK cannot support such an influx. Your observations may lead you, erroneously, to believe that East Europeans and others are an asset to this country, and flies in the face of statistics that show East European immigration has benefited the UK economy. Indeed, it has contributed to unemployment, particularly of the unskilled. The previous New Labour government purported to show that EU immigration contributed 6% to GDP, and was later shown to be nonsense.

You have failed to offer any substance to your argument, merely reminiscing about life in the fifties and sixties when Britain could willingly accept virtually uncontrolled immigration. Unfortunately, we are now in the 21st century and in the middle of a recession, and immigration control is a fact of life.

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 12, 2012 at 21:00

Robbie 34

I deduce things from the tone and substance of your own muddled responses. For example, "flies in the face of statistics that show East European immigration has benefited the UK economy." If you want people to understand you, write clearly.

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Alan Tonks

Jul 12, 2012 at 22:07

Jeremy- When you write reality goes out of the window, “I was taught to read with the aid of the FT” was that to hit you over the head with when your attention strayed. You obviously prefer the Guardian against the Mail readers, but I would say from some of your comments you prefer the beano.

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 12, 2012 at 22:39

Alan

The Beano is another excellent publication, much funnier than the Sun or whichever comic you read.

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Alan Tonks

Jul 12, 2012 at 23:40

Jeremy

So I did hit the nail on the head, you do read the beano.

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Jeremy Bosk

Jul 13, 2012 at 09:29

Not since the 1950s when I was allowed my own ticket in the public library, but I remember the Dandy, Beano, Beezer and Eagle with great fondness. I always though Marvel Comics - Superman etcetera - somewhat overrated.

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derek farman

Jul 13, 2012 at 13:45

Jeremy Bosk ....you must be same era as me . Remember all of those fondly .Used to get my weekend pocket money and go off to buy my comics. (no need to be taken by car .(parents didn't have one anyway, and there were no pervs to waylay me). The money also bought sherbert, liquorice sticks, aniseed balls, or gob stoppers.

Radio Fun was good too .

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