Back in August there was a YouGov poll showing that 30% of people thought that Dr David Kelly was murdered. Following the publication of the post-mortem this week we asked if people thought it was right to release the post-mortem report (58% did) and repeated the same question as we asked in August on how people thought David Kelly died. The proportion of people thinking he was murdered has halved to 14%, the proportion thinking he committed suicide has gone from 32% to 52%. Just over a third said don’t know.

301 Responses to “14% still think David Kelly was murdered”

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  1. Roger M
    And “May” should have had a capital letter

    Yes indeed, Roger, but I was not going to pick up on typos. I am pedantic too ( I daresay you noticed), but what I see has really to do with my myopia, causing me to read every syllable.

    You do realise it was your typo (may)? I always copy and paste quoted text from correspondents without alteration.

  2. Regarding Andrew Gilligan,

    I have just re-read the bit of Tony Blair’s ‘My Journey’. (p 452 to 456)

    It really is damning for Andrew Gilligan. I would imagine that if TB had been wrong, he would have been open to be sued for Libel. As he wasn’t, I am assuming account is pretty factual.

    I see as TB had to defend the way ‘The Dodgy Dossier’ was being misrepresented. Sadly. in defending against this misrepresentation, poor Dr Kelly got caught up in something.

    BTW, this view is based on published material unchallenged (TB’s book, and the different enquiries that have taken place). However, conspiracy theories, however spurious are more fun for most people.

  3. eoin

    up to 12 today 10,11,12, at this rate we will be at 50 by yule

    ere we go, ere we go, ere we go, ere we go, ere we go, ere we go, ere we gooooo, ere we go………………………

  4. Goldman: The Fed Needs To Print $4 Trillion
    Tue, Oct 26 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Goldman Sachs has come out saying the US needs to print another $4 trillion,on top of the already $1.75 trillion.The decision on QE is expected in the next two weeks & would mean the US is getting close to 50% of GDP In QE. CRAZY!!!

    Obama has called for a cross-party agreement on more stimulus,surprised anyone? me neither!

  5. Eoin
    I gained the impression from AJ this evening that his intention is to focus on the type of cuts rather than their severity.

    For instance, the VAT hike cannot achieve anything other than a dampening of demand. I understand that business is holding back from meeting a demand they feel may shrink.

    Attacking the VAT hike will play to AJ’s strength since he can point out that an NI or IT hike only affects people in a reasonably paid job, or with unearned income in the latter case, whereas VAT hikes hit the poorest. Such opposition kills two birds with one stone, from his point of view. It was the reason GB gave for lowering VAT to stimulate demand.

    I have yet to hear an attempt at a convincing explanation for the choice of VAT from the government and wonder if they really had reasons. If they were good ones why did they not tell voters?

    Mind you voters don’t seem to care anyway (yet).

  6. @ Hooded Man

    “Those poor paragons of virtue, two of our most upstanding and honest politicians besmirched by the nasty journalist man?
    Blair and Livingstone make Gilligan look like Mother Theresa.
    Spare the sanctimony……”

    Well said HM.

    The man I will never forget is Andrew Mackinlay MP and his self congratulatory little smirk as he asked that nasty little question in Select Committee:-

    Andrew Mackinlay: I reckon you are chaff; you have been thrown up to divert our probing. Have you ever felt like a fall-guy? You have been set up, have you not?

    Dr Kelly: That is not a question I can answer.

    And the look on Dr. Kelly’s face when he gave that answer was a condemnation of the whole bunch of jackals, who left him twisting in the wind that day on national TV .

    No wonder Blair looked so shocked in the plane that day-guilt-sheer guilt.

  7. To any financial experts….

    I understand QE to be The Bank of England taking in ‘bad’ assets and exchanging them for better, more liquid assets.

    If a £50 bn QE occurs, is the process required to be reversed? What happens to the iffy assets now owned by The Bank of England? What if it isn’t reversed, what impact would that have on the economy?

    Thanks in advance :-)

  8. Richard in Norway,

    the Liberal Democrast have strung together their most impressive poltiical management since May in the last few days. Their recovery will ALWAYS hurt red.

    Vince (CBI), Simon Hughes (HB) Clegg, tuition, conscience searching, and pensions….. yellows have comme back from the brink and now understand what serious politics is all about… A David Laws return would be timely were it to occur.

    AV will still fail, and Holyrood will still give you a whipping. But for now, you can breathe again,

  9. Richard

    “Obama has called for a cross-party agreement on more stimulus,surprised anyone? me neither!”

    The words Paddle, Creek & Effluent come to mind.

  10. Howard – Sorry, I was reproving myself over it not you!

    Goldman Sachs has come out saying the US needs to print another $4 trillion
    Well they need it to pay out the Xmas, sorry Holidays, bonus. :evil:

  11. Howard,

    VAT is a cruel tax, that shows no compassion for those unable to pay it. Tax income, not outgoings. A buffon could make a strong political argument as to the cruelty of VAT hikes. Why are income tax rises off the agenda?

  12. @Howard,

    VAT is simple to understand, simple to collect and hard to avoid. So long as “other ways” of spending money are similarly taxed, I don’t have a problem with the VAT hike. At the risk of reopening earlier very bitter debates, the additional costs to the very poor should be limited as the bulk of their income should be going on VAT-exempt purchases.

    I do, however, think there is a case for widening VAT exemptions so that it is more of a “luxury tax”, as originally intended. Perhaps exempt entire areas of sales such as clothing and toiletries, with a “single item cap” of perhaps £100. Anything over that amount would automatically count as a luxury and attract 20%. Of course it would mean a bunching of prices at £99.99 but that happens to an extent anyway.

    Personally I’d like to see NI abolished and replaced with additional income tax at both standard and higher rate. That would also be consistent with your lot’s new pension scheme.

  13. Garry K

    The Bank of England buys AAA products with our QE,we can argue who says they are AAA,that is the situation though.

    The USA is doing it with no real plan as such.

    For instance the US banks need to lend approx $1.5 trillion per yr approx to keep the US housing market stable.At present they are actually lending about $250bn,the rest is being printed & given to the banks to lend out in loans,this is really becoming Del-Boy stuff in the USA.

    The US cannot under any circumstances let the housing market find its natural level,unlike the past when manufacturing took the strain,the US has none,just 10% of GDP.

    This is why the US will print any amount,borrow any amount to keep the consumer afloat in the US,its 70% of GDP & most get their equity out of their homes,therefore house prices are crucial for the US economic health.

    When the credit crunch hit,the US GDP contracted over 6% in consecutive quarters because the consumer pulled back & house prices dropped.

    The US economy is like a brain-dead patient,it is on life support of credit,one day someone will pull the plug,either the Chinese will stop lending,or the US will default.

  14. We are listening to NN on QE.

    Garry K, I am not a financial expert, but we used to call this ‘inflating the money supply’ or just plain inflation.

    Little Eagle is saying what I said just now. Hammod has just taken my breath away blaming Labour for re-inserting the VAT at 17.5%!

    Paxman is not up to this stuff, he can only stick to pre-arranged agendas.

    I wish these debates were given to the economic interviewers and not ’emotional’ interviewers.

  15. Garry K

    UK QE does not involve buying distressed loans at all.

    It is the BoE creating electronic credit ( as though cash) for banks who hold UK Gilts, in exchange for those Gilts.

    The Banks therefore gain liquidity, & BoE gains the UK Gilts.
    But since BoE is part of the Treasury, that liquidity has effectively been created by the government out of thin air-by “buyinng” its own debt-aka printing money.

    QE will be reversed when BoE puts those Gilts back into the real market place to “retrieve” the money it created-If the Treasury has by then eased its normal issuance of Gilts ( eg because the deficit has been severely reduced) this should be of little consequence.

    If the Treasury is still pushing out Gilts big time ( because deficit funding is still high) this will be of consequence in the Gilts market-perhaps pushing interest rates up.

  16. Many thanks Richard,

    I will sleep better tonight, knowing that at some point creeks and paddles doesn’t even begin to cover it….

  17. Oh don’t start people talking about VAT Eoin. I can well remember people arguing that it was not a regressive tax cos the rich paid more because they were more likely to buy yachts, rolls royces etc. The poor were ok cos there was no vat on gruel!

    Ps. I see you are still over estimating the Tory share of the vote

  18. In the case of the USA,they are also printing money to stop deflation.

    The problem is,you print money to create growth,the real scary time is if & when this growth is achieved,you have to time the ‘drain’ to suck the extra money out before you get hyper-inflation.

  19. Richard
    Very helpful post which explains why I reminded everyone this morning what Ted Heath said thirty years ago. It’s still self-evidently true.

    USA however has the material and natural resources which underwrites its profligacy. Greece hasn’t.

    What have we got?

  20. We are not going to have any real idea how things are going to pan out until the cuts start to happen and we get some sense of the impact on confidence, demand and all those other variables which economists think important.

  21. That’s true DavidB, but the good GDP figure and the credit uprating will both help with the confidence element.

    Ultimately, the saving of our bacon is dependent on what happens in the rest of the world. We can cut or boost public spending all we want but if the world’s economy sinks to the bottom we’re going with it.

  22. Eoin –

    YOu’ve either misunderstood what Populus do, or have understood it but not explained it very well. They do indeed reallocate don’t knows just as you say, and weight by likelihood to vote as you say. However, they do not smooth voting intention at all.

    The bit you’ve misunderstood (or not explained very well) is how they work out the targets they weight past vote to. They estimate the level of false recall in past vote by taking the average recalled vote in their last 20 polls, and then combining that with the actual 2010 election result (not sure if the ratio is 50/50 or 70/30 as there is clearly a typo on Populus’s sie) – the result is the figure they weight past vote to.

    Hence Populus’s published voting intention is based on how people actually tell them they’d vote, with the addition of how they’d think between 30-50% of don’t knows would vote (their tables also make clear what the result would have been without the addition of don’t knows.

  23. Hello Neil, hope you had a restful shift. I agree with you, which is why I support the emergence of large trading blocs. In the long term however people hate the loss of individualism, it’s when the world manages to get together, that a step change for the better is made.

    Now that is an opinion Anthony (apols) but I challenge anyone to disprove its veracity. I believe a poll would shew that voters fear an American economic disaster, more than anything we do here.

  24. AW
    there is clearly a typo on Populus’s sie


    The method you describe seems quite sound actually. Any comment?

  25. Anthony,

    I think I have explained it badly on the smoothing. Populus in no place on their site even use the word ‘smooth’. I don’t think they smooth but rather that the net result of their work has the effect of reducing fluctuations.. ( my term for which is smoothing). Populus do tend to record less shifts in polling that say Yg for example.. Perhaps in psephological vernacular smoothing means something different? Sorry for the confusion caused.. but i determined (whether it is at all possible to figure out the difference in yellows)

  26. Howard,

    Populus methodology- I attach a link- is I think, the most confused I have come accross. ‘In season’ Do YG add likeliehood to vote? I think they do don’t they, which seem to aid blueys to the detriment of Libs… by an occasional 1% if I am not mistaken.

    h ttp://

  27. Howard,

    I am all for the world acting together, but I’m not sure that “blocs” are the way to achieve it. Whether it’s 200 governments or 20 governments coordinating their efforts doesn’t make that much difference to me. “Blocs” tend in my view to set themselves up in opposition to one another and rather get in the way of peace and harmony!

  28. Anthony

    Speaking of unsolved crimes, I have a theory regarding Lib Dems and why YouGov has fewer (or rather less) of them.

    ICM, ComRes and Populus all ask how likely people are to vote on a scale of 1-10, 10 being definite. They then adjust the voting response by this, typically multiplying the response by the likelihood, so a potential Lib Dem who replies “9” is effectively given .9 of a vote when the Lib Dem total is calculated (hence “less” Howard).

    I can’t find it in the YouGov methodology, but I don’t think they do this. They seem to proceed straight to the voting intention – which of course includes the options of Don’t Know etc

    Now if supporters of all Parties respond to the likelihood question similarly, then this shouldn’t matter. But at the moment that’s not the case. Populus don’t publish these voting likelihoods (at least on their latest poll) but if you look at ComRes’s latest figures (on-line):

    (10) Con 70%; Lab 69%; L/D 59%
    ( 9) Con 15%; Lab 12%; L/D 19%
    ( 8) Con 6%; Lab 10%; L/D 11%
    ( 7) Con 4%; Lab 6%; L/D 7%

    or at ICM’s (phone):

    (10) Con 75%; Lab 73%; L/D 57%
    ( 9) Con 3%; Lab 4%; L/D 14%
    ( 8) Con 10%; Lab 7%; L/D 17%
    ( 7) Con 5%; Lab 3%; L/D 6%

    There are an awful lot more Lib Dems who are likely to vote, but aren’t absolutely sure.

    Now if YouGov is effectively asking a straight yes/no question and these probable voters say “NO”, the difference between the Party likelihoods means that say up to 20% more of probable/definite Lib Dems being classified as DKs. Of course the other pollsters don’t include them at full rate, but it could still be an extra 2 or 3 points extra.

    A quick check on a few pre-election campaign polls show that it was Labour then who had the most reluctant voters, though they were more possible than probable voters; Lib Dems were still below Tories, but not to the same extent.

    I’d be curious to see what you and your number-crunchers make of this theory. It should be possible to check it by, for example, comparing DK (rather than other non-responders).

    And thank you for the information about how you weight the Parties you gave us on Sunday. I think I understand it now

  29. Aargh! I should know to leave a space! ( 8 ) 8)

  30. richard

    the rumours were of 1 trillion but 4 trillion does not surprise me. the banks in the US seem to be in that place where a paddle might help, a little. they are getting hit from both sides, the people they sold the mortgages to say that the sales were fraudulent and want their money back and the people that took out the mortgages are challenging repossession in the courts, demanding that the banks prove that they own the mortgagees. most of the time the banks can’t.

    the house passed a bill which would have sorted this for the banks by taking away the rights of the borrowers but obama had an attack of ethics and vetoed it

    i been reading a lot on this in the last 72. it’s very scary but you have a feeling that the elites will cobble together something to save the day, probably at the expense of the hard working American taxpayer/borrower and no one will go to jail

  31. oh and can i just mention again

    the value of american homes in real terms has fallen to 1967 levels

    anyone not worried

  32. Richard,

    What is the worse that can happen?

    Globalisation ends, we start bartering, communties seek to become self suffficient.. the local elders coordinate educational services, while the witch doctors take care of any medicinal matters? Maybe we’ll even travel on horseback :)

    I could live with that :)

  33. Roger,

    If ou go back to Aprils tables…. YG used to weight by likeliehood to vote… or at the very least they used to ask voters how likely they were 1-10… personally speaking, I remember that yellow have always been less likely to vote that the other two parties…
    with ICM reds and blues climbed to near 80%s by May. But search the Yg archives and you’ll find what you need…

    As far as I know, YG found it made 1% of difference (occasionally). sometimes to the detriment of yellow, usually to the aid of blue.

  34. Eoin,

    “Maybe we’ll even travel on horseback”

    Works for you lot, what with the Emerald Isle rammed full of the beasts.
    Spare a thought for us over here trying to get around on sheep and cows… :-)

  35. Neil A
    I admit ‘bloc’ was somewhat a troll. I looked at ‘block’ three times and decided it wasn’t Cambridge enough.

    The other correspondence this evening has shewn very conclusively why ‘schadenfreude’ (that’s Del Boy except that I joined the two words together as I believe one should) about Obama’s failure to ‘get real’ early on, is misplaced. In fairness, he is not master in his own house.

    We must engage with the world economic scene. I just hope that there are enough internationalists who will do so, as our ex-PM shewed the way so successfully.

  36. Hooded Man

    No problem. Just strap the English poor to rickshaws. Daily Mail readers would be ecstatic!

  37. eoin

    yes, maybe i am getting a little hysterical

    but i like being a doom and gloom merchant

    i’m off to bed maybe i wake up in a more rosy humor

    good night all

  38. Eoin wrote
    I remember that yellow have always been less likely to vote that the other two parties

    Tell me about it – too d*mn woollyminded.

  39. Old Nat,

    with the conditions of the English working class, they would not get 100m in a rickshaw! :(


    Yes, jam packed full of stud farms, do you know horses are an asset that is exempt from tax? It is one of the reasons we luv em.


    Nite Nite :)


    It is your youth vote and the flippancy they approach most things that is most to blame! Does that stay with them right up through the generations? I do wonder?

  40. Old Nat

    “No problem. Just strap the English poor to rickshaws. Daily Mail readers would be ecstatic!”

    Private sector job creation, getting people off welfare and making work pay, environmental transport policy, renewable energy source, public health concerns, obesity and social ‘mobility’ ( ;-) ) all solved at a stroke.

    You’re a genius!

  41. Eoin,

    Don’t kid us on that you’re all animal lovers or that benign tax regimes are anything to do with it. It’s the gambling isn’t it?

  42. Eoin

    They only seem to have published likelihood during the election campaign (it vanishes before that). Of course they could still be asking it, but it’s not shown anywhere and I can’t find a comprehensive methodology (as opposed to various useful articles from Anthony and others)

  43. Roger,

    Yes- that is right…

    In 2005 in the final YG poll immediately before the election, at the very last minute YG found that a switch to measuring likelihood improved their accuracy by 1%. again 3 weeks out form the 2010 election they did the same. No doubt three weeks out from the next election they’ll do the same…

    Generally, it has the result of pushing blue up c.1%.

  44. Hooded,

    You’ve got me there…. But only for me in the month of March, when it becomes the UK’s biggest import for that month :) I had imperial commander at 7s last time :)

  45. I thought that the get out of jail card was to allow inflation to reduce the indebtedness … which of course will hit people’s savings. Hence Osborne’s plan B is more QE, and the city seemed to react to the 3rd quarter’s 0.8% growth with disappointment because it made QE less likely, the FTSE falling 40 odd points.

    I’m not an economist so please tell me if I’ve got it wrong.

    VAT was Mrs T’s favourite tax because she didn’t think it was fair for anyone to pay more just because they were rich. It seems likely that the coalition substantially agree with her position.

  46. Regardless of the topic in question, “…someone being murdered, what is your opinion?……..”

    who is funding this?
    Are we going have trial by YouGov?
    Silly season indeed.

  47. Re: U.S. Printing 2 trillion dollars and Obama calling for a cross-party commitment to stimulus

    Where are you guys getting this information from? I haven’t seen or heard anything about it.

    There is a Wall Street Journal article reporting that the Federal Reserve is planning to buy up treasury bonds.

    That’s different I think. Fortunately, the Federal Reserve Board isn’t controlled by partisan hacks. :)-

  48. Also, two other things:

    1. Goldman Sachs is not exactly a credible source.

    2. Getting a new stimulus through Congress is probably not going to happen for Obama even if the Democrats hold the House and the Senate (as I think they very well might). There are too many Democrats who will vote against any new spending, Senate Republicans filibuster anything Obama tries to do, and the new Republicans coming in are even more right wing, more radical, and more crazy (and of course, even if they don’t gain that many seats, they’re certain to gain). They’re coming in to teabag, not to vote for anything neutral.

    As for David Kelly, I’m sorry he killed himself. :(

  49. @Howard,

    You old trolly troll you….

    I am all for international treaties, regular frameworks for talks, United Nations and all that.

    I suspect that even with your troll hat firmly in it’s box you’d still prefer that the entity that attends those things was the EU or some other super-national body. I’d prefer that it was the UK. OldNat probably prefers that it was Scotland. Either way, if the proposals are sensisble, and the delegates are reasonable, progress will be made.

    The problem, frankly, isn’t entirely the Western democracies. Trying to get the likes of China to agree to policies in the interests of the world, rather than the Chinese, is a real challenge.

  50. Roger/Eoin –

    YouGov only weight by likelihood to vote during election campaigns. The rest of the time we don’t even ask a question on how likely people are to vote, so there is no great chunk of Lib Dem support that YouGov is cutting on for turnout reasons.

    Looking at the data in Roger’s post, the effect of weighting by turnout at the moment should be to *reduce* the level of Lib Dem support in ICM’s polls, so if there was an effect it would be in the wrong direction to explain the gap!

    As it is, the method ICM, Populus and ComRes use won’t actually affect the topline figures much – they weight people who say they are 9/10 likely to vote to 0.9, people who are 8/10 likely to vote to 0.8 and so on. In practice, that means there isn’t very much difference between a party who has 70% of their voters 10/10 certain to vote, and a party who has 50% of their voters 10/10 certain and 20% 9/10 certain.

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