There is a YouGov poll on David Law’s resignation in the Sun this morning. Overall 72% of respondents thought that Laws was right to resign, and 34% said he should also resign as a Member of Parliament. However asked if he should eventually be able to return to the cabinet, 52% of respondents said it would be okay, including 23% who would be happy for him to return within 12 months. Asked how much damage the resignation would do to the coalition, 7% expected it to do long-term damage, 44% to cause short term damage but no long term harm and 36% to not do any significant harm.

YouGov also asked broader questions about people’s attitudes to gay MPs. The vast majority of people said it was not an issue for them – only 5% said it was a bad thing for there to be gay ministers in the cabinet (with 13% saying it was a positive good, and most people saying they didn’t mind one way or the other). 9% of people said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who was gay (while they were small numbers across the board, Conservative voters were twice as likely to say they were less likely to vote for a gay candidate). One caveat is that these are the proportions of people who are essentially willing to admit they are prejudiced. On an online self-completed survey the effect of social desirability bias should be less than in a telephone or face-to-face poll, but nevertheless, it’s still bound to have some small effect.

167 Responses to “72% think Laws was right to resign”

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  1. @ XIBY

    ” I support the right of a people to self determination in their own land. I support life and justice. I support peace.”

    And apple pie presumably ?

    Who doesn’t ?

    The point is -how to achieve it.

    At least you included Iran in your group of “nutters”.

    But you did exclude the atrocities committed by their agencies – Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the al-Mahdi army from your list of unjustified killings.

    I don’t blame you-it would take a book to catalogue them-and would include, in addition to Israeli schoolchildren, countless innocent muslims .

    Can we understand Israel’s heavy handed actions ?-No.

    Can we understand the siege mentality of people surrounded by enemy rocket launchers, who want you gone ?-No.

  2. I didn’t get a fat lot from the You Gov poll. I think that when onen runs apoll one should have an idea that one is going to learn something.

    In this case we already have the example of openly gay candidates being elected (both male and female) and convicingly as their particular FPTP areas would suggest. No more no less.

  3. @Howard,

    I agree. Mervyn King certainly has stretched the word ‘independant’ to the fullest. Was it a mistake for Darling to renew his contract when it came up in 2008? I’d say he regrets it.

    The pound contines to struggle against the dollar. Clearly the pounds strength agaisnt the euro has more to do with Banco Di Madrid than it does the Coalition.

    Of course, over the medium term there is no doubt the pound will strengthen. Fiscal prudence will help that, of that there is also no doubt.


    ” Laws should resign as an MP.”

    Looks like you may be disappointed.

    I hope so.

    3000 messages of support to Yeovil ( including one from me) must be helping ;-)

  5. Tonight’s Dutch Poll shows CDA losing another two seats from 25 to 23 in the 150 seat Lower House, as does the Animal Party from 2 to 1.

    The three seats go to Wilders 1, up t 18, Very left wing pacifist SP up ` to 12, and D66 (Lib Dems intellectuals) up 1 to 11.

    So a polarising tendency which I described yesterday.

  6. @ COLIN

    David Laws has gone abroad to think about whether he wants to continue as an MP. He is unsure whether he can give his constituency his full attention. He was elected on a claim to honesty & openness that has not suvived examination.

    I did not say he should never stand for election again.

  7. @Howard,

    I posted a question to you about right wing alliance last night c.11pm in the Netherlands?

    I know that Britain is highly regarded there and I wondered what impact a Cameron victory would have especially on the fortunes of the economic liberals?

    Also since they have not ruled out doing a deal with Wilders I wonder what the chances are of a right wing coalition?

  8. @ Éoin, Howard,

    There will be no ‘real’ strengthening in sterling until UK interest rates are approx. 2 -3 xs inflation rate – as they were throughout most of the past 13 years.

    Other movements are transitory, IMO.

    I think sterling & interest rates are fine where they are but many would disagree; there is market pressure for a rate increase.

  9. @eoin
    I would like to dispute the idea of general anglophile feelings in NL. People like me have probably destroyed any romantic notion they had about us (as Roland referred to Urquhart et al, he was referring to a time long forgotten except for the privations. Many NL people even then, think it was the Canadians who liberated them as these were the ones the people in the Randstad met – sad really).

    NL is a very different country from 1977 when I arrived and was changing rapidly then. Even in those days though I had an old lady in a first class compartment blaming me for the Boer War! I assume most members know that Boer means Farmer in Dutch and that 75% of Afrikaaners and their language is more or less Dutch

    This where the right wing comes from. Apartheid is a Dutch word..

    In reaction to all that , since the 60s we have a lefty freedom loving baby boomer people, like me, who let the immigration issue ‘slip’. and now we have a reaction in this last decade from Pim Fortuyn onwards.

    Now I will answer your question!!

  10. AMBER
    “David Laws has gone abroad to think about whether he wants to continue as an MP. He is unsure whether he can give his constituency his full attention.”

    I don’t think thats right at all Amber :-

    This is what he said to local media :-

    “James Lundie and I were aware that we could have been far better off financially if I had been willing to be open about our relationship – but I was not. I grew up at a time when homosexuality had only just been legalised and when most people still thought it was wrong or shameful. I decided, therefore, to keep my sexuality secret, and the further time went on the more difficult it seemed to be to tell the truth,

    I have paid a high price for trying to keep my sexuality a secret. Losing your privacy, your cabinet job and your perceived integrity within 48 hours isn’t very easy. But I accept that I should have been more open and should have set a better example as a public figure.

    I will now need to take a few days to recover from the events of the last week and I then intend to get back to my work as local MP.

    There are many people with far greater problems than I have and they are entitled to expect me to get on with the job which I am paid to do.

    I love my job as local MP, and it is the greatest job and responsibility which I will ever have. Over the weeks ahead, I will want to understand whether I still have the confidence of my constituents, without which it would be difficult to continue my work.”

    ie he will continue as MP provided his constituents want him to.

    Good news.

  11. Lloyds Bank has raised one of its mortgage rates – of course if one of its remits is bailing out insolvent footballl clubs they’ll need all the cash they can get.

  12. Amber,

    If inflation control i slonger the modus operandi of the BoE we are all fecked. I would strongly consider an interest rate rise. Inflation is some sectors is running at 8%. In real terms the wage freeze is making this almost unbearable for those at the lower scale. They can’t keep attributing the rsie to the resumption in the normal VAT rates…. manufacturing growth in the US slowed I note and house prices at 0.2% are stagnat and unemployment is rising even though the claimant count is falling. I understand the double dip risks but I think there is a hidden double dip already occurring for the lwoer classes. We need ofwat to start insisting that the drop off in fuel prices is passed on much much quicker. I cant help but feel that ordinary people will end up paying for the spillage in mexico this iwnter through excessive billing as BP struggles to staisfy shareholders. Of course, again I realsie that most of BPs costs/profits are in the exploration/drilling sector but I don’t think that takes away from my point.

    people have to eat.

  13. Eoin
    Balkenende (CDA and PM) has ruled out coaltion with PVV (|wilders) saying it is ‘practisch ondenkbaar’ unthinkable) so that’s that I suppose.

    I answered your question, at last

  14. @ Eoin

    The OECD was very strange. In the early 1990s, when I was involved in these things, we have circulated these reports/recommendations and as a matter of fact, memberstates had the “right” to correct some of the points. No report was released until cleared with the government concerned. I would be surprised if it had changed.

    However, it seems that the OECD recommendation (which is unusual) to increase the interest rates to 3.5% by the end of 2011 and start the increases in the last quarter was not objected by the BoE or the government. They either mean it as a trial baloon or they will show defiance to it for home consumption.

  15. Eoin

    “I agree. Mervyn King certainly has stretched the word ‘independant’ to the fullest. Was it a mistake for Darling to renew his contract when it came up in 2008? I’d say he regrets it.”

    I agree it was a mistake with hindsight but at the time – in the finance capital sector induced chaos- it was unavoidable.

  16. @Amber Star

    I stayed in Haifa for a while. A lot of Palestinians (especially those of RC or Orthodox heritage) consider themselves to be first and foremost Arab Israelis and are generally tri-lingual at least. Their situation is very different to those who live in the camps (and have done for generations now).
    Would love also to visit Iran one day, From all reports, despite its many tribulations, it is a very ‘modern’ country. I am agreeing with you, it is simplistic to judge a people as if they were a stereotype.

  17. @ Amber

    I agree, since the introduction of the euro it seems that about 2% interest rate difference between the pound and the euro and about 3% between the pound and the dollar causes the strengthening of the pound (of course, there are temporal effects and it remains a question if the euro problems change the long term trends).

    I’m not sure why anybody thinks that there is a need for the appreciation of the pound (except for my summer holiday in the euro zone) because its use against inflation is highly doubtful. Sometimes it works marvellously, sometimes it does not – it is based on somewhat dogmatic economic theories, it is probably untrue, but the overwhelming majority thinks that even if it is untrue, it works. Dangerous…

  18. @ Rob Sheffield

    You don’t replace govenors of central banks. You wait until they become so old that they cannot go up the stairs. Until then you just renew their tenure.

    Whenever there is a divergence from the rule, it is based on politics and not competence.

  19. In fairness to our avuncular prof King, it takes 10 to decide these things so we should take cognisance of the fact.

  20. Another Flotilla is being organised by IHH.

    IHH is certainly not The Red Crescent.

    There is more to this than meets the eye it seems.

  21. @Rob,

    Thanks for that


    So is a ConDemNation likely in the Netherlands? I travelled throughout Antwerp Gent Brugge area and found them favourably disposed to you lot. Perhaps the flemish are a grateful for 1939?


    Thanks for that- Raffah is opened did you hear?

  22. @ Colin

    And apple pie presumably ?

    I loved that comment, it was well served ;)))

    Yes I agree with regards many of the factions you mentioned, though since Hamas has become politically active, things have improved. However I do not subscribe to fundamentalist thought especially the religious form, and as such do not support in any way the actions of the aforementioned organisations you referred to.

    But don’t you find it interesting that the secular governments of the middle east, such as the Fatah, where all destabilized by Israel and the West. For all his faults Arafat was the best chance at peace, and see how he was treated. I’m sorry but you can’t create the problem and then expect legitimacy in your handling of it.

  23. Colin
    I thought your remarks on Laws were measured and I think I said so when you contributed earlier. Eventually one has to reach a conclusion as to whether someone was misguided or evil.

    Blair was misguided on Iraq, became trapped by it, -evil? Only the present greed is that.

  24. Colin,

    I personally know two of the people that were on the convoy. One was a noble peace prize winner, the other is hard left (see Palestine Solidarity organisation)

    I am sure you know you don’t have to go that far left before some anti-semitism creeps in. They cover it with anti-Zionism but as know I see things in Black and white to me they are one of the same.

  25. @ Eoin

    Yes, I read it. Egypt plays its game, just as it played in the last three years in Rafah.

    Back to “normal” (how horrible): one country’s move in the region immediately sends other countries into the diplomatic game to change the situation in some of the tiny, minor degree. This then makes the first country to change the short term tactic – in this case perhaps a rocket attack from Gaza, to neutralise the move by other countries. And so forth.

    Really disheartening.

  26. XIBY
    “But don’t you find it interesting that the secular governments of the middle east, such as the Fatah, where all destabilized by Israel and the West.”

    Were they ?
    You have the better of me.

    Clearly the very existance of Israel-let alone the method of it’s birth -was painfull for many & still is.

    But does Israel have a right to exist?-yes or no ?

    If it’s No-as it is from Hamas & other Iranian agents-what do people expect from Israel-a shrug of the shoulders & build more bomb shelters?

    If it’s yes-then I really cannot believe there is a real impediment to peace.

    The arab countries are divided on the issue-The massive & destructive schism in Islam is a significant factor-Sunny vs Shia-.Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan on one side, Iran and it’s agents on the other.

    Syria & Hezbollah occupying Lebanon -to threaten Israel.

    International terror exported from & financed by both Saudi & Iran.

    I was reading a piece today which included this interesting commentary :-

    “It is the region’s collective failure to build stable, just, literate and prosperous societies.( which is the problem)

    Consider just one fact: “The Arab world translates about 350 books annually, one fifth of the number that Greece translates. The accumulative total of translated books since the Caliph Maa’moun’s time is about 100,000, almost the average that Spain translates in one year.”

    That quote’s from a United Nations Development Programme report published in 2002. It was written by Arab scholars and policy-makers. As Chris Patten noted in a lecture two years later, it caused a sensation: over a million copies were downloaded from the net.

    “Why,” Patten asked, “had wealth per head in this region fallen from a fifth of the OECD level to a seventh? Why were productivity, investment efficiency and foreign direct investment so low? How could the combined GDP of all Arab countries be lower than that of a single European country, Spain?”

    If Israel did not exist-do you really think there would be peace in the Middle East?

  27. Colin,

    They put Arafat under house arrest for three years. This was very foolish. His party was secular and willing ot recognise the state of israel. he had the support of the majority of the Palestinian territories and violence was at a low ebb against Israel. It was a very bad blunder. In a post 9/11 environment they radicalised Lebanon. I mean how do you radicalise Lebanon, that is quite a feat? They also gifted Hamas their election victory. All in all a disastrous administration by Bush. The man was a grade A muppet A* was reserved for Rumsfeld

  28. @Eoin – not sure that everyone can agree with your elision of terms… not least a number of eminent Rabbis, for whom anti-Zionism is an honourable, sincere and well reasoned stance. Like you though, I suspect that youthful idealism is not always the only motivation for some activists.

  29. Colin
    But does Israel have a right to exist?-yes or no ?

    In this sort of issue (ultimately all of them) might is right.

    So who knows if USA withdraws clientstate status they are on their own again. If either side has Nukes then watch out all of us. We (NATO) need to destroy those whatever happens.

  30. EOIN
    “they radicalised Lebanon”

    mmmm-I’m not going to cross swords on Lebanon-but even a cursory reminder on Google shows how that “country” has been exploited by it’s neighbours.

    And Mr Arafat & his Fatah organisation were not absent from the exploitation either.

    The history is a mess of stuff-like a quagmire that you never escape.

    Do they want Israel to exist now-yes or no ?

    ( and yes-I do think the Israelis are hard & brutal & uncompromisingn & exploitative-but can I understand what it is like to live in Israel?-no-any more than I can understand living in Gaza. )

  31. @Billy Bob,

    Yes I accept that. If I allow myself to see the grey (as opposed to the black and white) then of course there is a difference. But hwen Judaism is so readily identified with Israel they do become almost synomonous.

    For me it matters not. I am interested in the plight of Palestinians. If it was Mongolia they bordered with my views would not change. In the 21st Century on Europe’s doorstop it is a shame we have the alrgest open are prison in the world. No seaport, no motorway, no airport, in short no viability.

  32. @Colin,

    Yes I agree the territories have been a pawn for many years. It seems Turkey have now joined the party of using ordinary Palestinians to boost their own popularity. (They have some cheek when one considers an unresolved probelm of Kurdistan).

    The Irish army partolled southern Lebanon for forty years under UN auspices. Many stories travelled home. Lebanese are European in outook. It is quite frightening that Hezbollah appears to have established itself as a significant minority in the state.

    On one matter I would urge caution. As SInn Fein and the IRA were separate so too is the poltiical wing f Hamas and likewise Hezbollah. It is possible to exploit the tensions here…. within these organsiations..

  33. Eoin

    “So is a ConDemNation likely in the Netherlands? I travelled throughout Antwerp Gent Brugge area and found them favourably disposed to you lot?”

    In Flanders the two main parties are both centre right Cleggites ( CDV LDV )- only difference being one is largely ‘catholic’ and the other is largely ‘secular’. Those really it is more like the ‘red and yellow shorts in Thailand’ i.e. not ideological but based on patronage networks whether you went to a ‘katholieke’ university or a ‘Vrie’ university.

    Though I expect the SPa to pick up some votes along with the non racist nationalist of NVA in the coming Belgian state elections on 13th June caused by a ……coalition becoming unworkable and collapsing and a fixed term parliament being terminated before time.

    You do know that – particularly in Antwerp- Flanders has a f*scist problem that makes the BNP EDP UKIP problem over here look like peanuts.

  34. Eoin
    People underestimate the desire for peace, and the capacity for forgiveness. (I once met one of Tito’s bodyguards who left the country because he could see the rise of the bad men who would exploit ethnic tensions for the sake of building a powerbase.) It seems to be the case that when people become aware that it is in their mutual interest to live peaceably then there is no problem.

  35. !!!!!!!!!!!!

    that should be SHIRTS….though I guess there is nothing to stop them making their shorts the same colour….

  36. @ Colin

    The question of the right of Israel to exist is not really a question. It’s there. It’s more about the internal politics of all these countries (including Israel) and if I understood you well,this is what you meant, and I agree.

    The bourgeoise of the Palestine, Egypt and Iran (and of course Lebanon) are well developed and if they are religious, it certainly does not affect their activities.This is a quite prosperous social stratum, but crucially all turn more and more toward the outside word (this is where they find their contacts, networks, etc.). And as Eoin mentioned, large factions of the Fatah were secular too.

    There is a real impediment to peace, even if we could switch off the international context, and it is the meeting of peasant societies with their existing production and sales methods, their reliance on various resources and the way they legitimise their positions.

    I know a little bit about Egypt’s economy and business. The causes of its problems are very complex, so while Chris Patten’s question is striking and a good one in many ways, it does not help to answer the key problems of, let’s say the Egyptian economy.

    I cannot comment on the cultural bit. It sounds a bit suspect, though, of course, I understand the tendency in it.

  37. Rob S
    You do know that – particularly in Antwerp- Flanders has a f*scist problem that makes the BNP EDP UKIP problem over here look like peanuts.

    Well they don’t think it’s a ‘problem’ Rob

  38. EOIN

    Yes -Lebanon seemed a kind of paradise-my god what they have done to it.

    Do you know how many Hezbollah are there?-and their rockets?…………..anyway its all too awful.

    I like your last para-but who is there to do it?

    Iran is the problem-they are feared as much by the Arabs as by Israel -if only Iran could turn out like Iraq seems to be………….have no fear I’m not advocating that!…..the price is too high………..and it is indefensible.

    We only have the brave souls on the streets in Tehran.

    I have a feeling that the mad Sunni Wahabis will be overcome-and Saudi is influenced by the West.

    Iran is something else.

  39. @ Billy Bob

    Yugoslavia would be an interesting comparison – national and religious tensions, international interferrence, loss of nationalist call, massive economic development differences, economic decline, etc. but with many cautions.

    Even with these cautions, where peasant societies from different ethnic/religious groups met in the former Yugoslavia, once the state ceased to be able to play the placating roles (the borders of the successor countries are results of Tito’s constiution aiming at pacifying the Croats and the Bosnians (he was Bosnian)) and this offered an opportunity for political movements, parties to play their games (:-(), also of the “international community” to participate in this game, using these peasant communities as pawns.

  40. Rob S
    I suppose you know the flemish joke about the orthodox jews living so near to the Antwerpen Centraal Station. It’s so they have a quick getaway route.

    Actually this shows the long standing nature of the situation as of course nowadays we would refer to the airport.

  41. Labour have picked up 18,000 new members now, since May 6th

    I worked out a cute little statistic of my own.

    If new memberships continue to grow at the same rate until the May election in 2015, that would mean an extra 1,262,900 members!!!

  42. Howard

    “Rob S
    You do know that – particularly in Antwerp- Flanders has a f*scist problem that makes the BNP EDP UKIP problem over here look like peanuts.

    Well they don’t think it’s a ‘problem’ Rob”

    Well they do- that is what the ‘cordon sanitaire’ (at all levels of governance) is for.

    Though I always suspected myself this was more about the Flemish preoccupation with external image/ brand management (both personal and societal) and an aversion to being seen as ‘outside the norm’/ rude/ hooligan esque.

    Rather than being hugely worried by the basic principles of ther VB themselves- many of which you will hear ‘behind the curtains’ of many a LDV/ CDV voting houshold in the ribbon settlements and villages.

    Weird use of French though.

  43. @Laszlo

    It almost seems there is the need of a strong ‘myth’ for people to realise their unity. Danger when that ‘myth’ collapses.

  44. A tear in the eye?
    Political groupies are turning in to Luvvies. Its becoming like a replay of Princess Diana.
    It doesn’t matter how many supportive messages are sent to Yeovil. The facts suggest Laws obtained public money by makinge false claims. This isn’t a duck house, a moat, wisteria or a cleaner. It is not about being “evil”, “unorthodox”, or being gay. As I have said poor people are deterred from making similar claims by threat of imprisonment. This threat is routinely supported by politicians of every party. It is more than 300 years since judges in England made clear that they had a duty to ignore extraneous circumstances.
    There is a chasm between this situation and Ministers taking loans, being beastly, jumping in to bed with inconvenient people or making policy errors on an epochal scale.
    On the one hand, I shouldn’t complain because it promises to be a machine delivering votes to Labour but the spectre of Ireland does raise its head

  45. @Sue

    “Labour have picked up 18,000 new members now, since May 6th”

    I’m one of them- first time since Ecclestone. On and off since I was 16.

  46. @ Sue
    If new memberships continue to grow at the same rate until the May election in 2015, that would mean an extra 1,262,900 members!!!
    Maybe we can grow it even more :-)

  47. Rob S

    Had a look at the Belgian media and did not get an impression of panic that one gets here and elsewhere (particullarly D).

    Unemployment at 6.5% did not not strike me as a reason for more right wing shift than is already present, which, by my work experience in Flanders dockyards, is sufficiently expressed, I would have thought.

  48. @ Éoin,

    Perhaps you can check. I do not think the ship of which you spoke has left Turkey yet.

    Allegedly it will sail, escorted by a Turkish military ship. This would be extraordinary. If it tried to break the blockade or enter israeli waters without permission, it would be an act of war.

    Israel are not taking it seriously for now; they say Turkey would not do this. Check it out & let me know if your information is different to mine.

  49. Amber
    May a gold / orange supporter (prefer it to yellow) suggest that reactionary expansion was to be expected, following the election and deal, but I still feel that Lab needs a new theme.

    Oddly, could it be an alternatively marketed ‘Big Society’?

    It would come over more believably from Labour, I would have thought.

  50. @ COLIN

    RE: David Laws – my info is from a different source than yours, obviously. We will find out what Mr Laws decides in due course.

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