The full tables for the YouGov Sunday Times poll are now available here.

The biggest chnk of questions were about Libya. 54% of people think that the government have responded badly to the situation in Libya, 59% think they have performed badly in protecting the safety of British citizens in Libya.

Asked about responses to the situation, 55% would support freezing Libyan assets in British banks. Only 21% though would support offering asylum to refugees fleeing from the country. On Gaddafi’s own fate, a majority (54%) think he should be tried by the International Criminal Court if overthrown, 24% that a new Libyan regime should try him. People were evenly split on whether a new regime would be justified in executing him – 35% think it would be justifed, 32% think it would not.

YouGov then asked some questions about Britain’s past relationship with Libya, in particular the attempts to normalise relationships over the last ten years. 40% think re-establishing positive diplomatic relations was the right thing to do, with 35% disagreeing. There is a similar split over trade links – 38% think it was right, 34% wrong. On some specifics, the majority (51%) of people thought it was right that British companies had invested in oil extraction in Libya, with only 21% objecting. However, only 7% thought it was right to have sold arms to Libya with 76% thinking it was wrong (later on the poll also asked if David Cameron was right to take representatives of arms companies on his Middle East tour – 62% thought it was wrong).

Summing it up, 45% think it was right that Britain tried to encourage a more positive relationship with Libya in the hope of encouraging reform, even if it ultimately failed. 39% thought it was wrong for Britain to have done deals with such a regime. There was no real party angle to this – answers were much the same for each party split, and most people think the Conservatives would have done exactly the same as Labour had they been in power at the time.

Finally on Libya, YouGov asked if Britain should request the return of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from any new Libyan regime. People were exactly split – 39% thought we should, 39% think we shouldn’t.


125 Responses to “YouGov on Britain and Libya”

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  1. 3 Dail counts still seem a long way from completion, with recounts underway.

    I would suspect that STV recounts are really complex, with every vote needing to be checked to ensure that it is correctly allocated. Could someone explain the details of how this is managed in practice? e.g. are eliminated candidates crossed off the ballot paper to make it easier to see who is the highest ranking remaining candidate?

  2. Craig

    “That analogy didn’t make sense at all. Smokers pay tax and have been all their life for NHS services.”

    Yes, but they don’t pay MORE than non-smokers although they are more likely to be a higher risk.

    Although a bit back-to-front, Robert N’s is not such a bad analogy as you suggest.

  3. Craig (again – sorry to pick on you! :))

    “Also a huminatarian would rescue people of all nationalities – not prioritise our own nationals who’ve done nothing to deserve our protection.”

    This really is a silly comment – the government is government of this nation, not of the rest of the world. Notwithstanding that we do frequently intervene in various efforts, can you even begin to imagine the uotcry if OUR government stopped prioritising our own nationals inthese situations like Libya.

    Where would you start and stop if you didn’t anyway, given any one government’s limitations?

    A teeny-weeny bit of reality/common sense might help here, even if you don’t like expats!

  4. Sorry, uotcry = outcry.

  5. @ Craig & BT

    As a non smoker I have always been tempted to go down the path that smokers/overeaters etc do not deserve free NHS support for related injuries because they are “self inflicted”

    However I feel this is the thin end of the wedge and I have been pursuaded that this should not be the case because the next step is to say that someone injured playing for example Rugby of football does not deserve free support either.

    Where would it end?

  6. John F

    Yes, agree – I wasn’t suggesting smokers shouldn’t get free NHS care like the rest of us, I was just saying Robert’s analogy wasn’t such a bad one.

  7. Because they die earlier, smokers make fewer demands on the NHS for old-age related conditions. They also pay a substantial amount in duty on their cigarette purchases.

    But such arguments are irrelevant if you buy into the concept of universal healthcare. Once one starts saying ‘universal except for these people’ it immediately ceases to be universal.

  8. I also buy into the concepts of “Universal Consular Representation” and “Universal Access to SAS Troopers”.

  9. re Survation poll…

    I’ve just visited the site and was amused to read this “The sample was slightly overweight females verses national census data…”

    I’m really curious to know why they preferred overweight females.

    And, what’s with the ‘verses’? Should it be ‘versus’?

    It’s somewhat alarming when the shop-window for an aspiring polling organisation makes these kind of grammaticals. Or is it just me being pedantic (or perhaps stupid)? (Rhetorical, no need to reply.)

  10. @ Neil A

    “Universal Access to SAS Troopers”.
    __________________________________________

    For gods sake don’t say something like that or every hen party from now on will be putting in requests. LOL. :D

  11. @ BT
    Yes, but they don’t pay MORE than non-smokers although they are more likely to be a higher risk.
    And? They still pay as much tax into the pot as our government asks of them and helps fund these services. Not something that these foreign-based workers can claim to do. It can be argued that smokers, with the tax on cigarettes and earlier deaths do contribute their fair share to the NHS, but as I’m a non-smoker myself, and was more interested showing how the comparison’s false, I’m not interested in defending their corner at the present time.

    This really is a silly comment – the government is government of this nation, not of the rest of the world. Notwithstanding that we do frequently intervene in various efforts, can you even begin to imagine the uotcry if OUR government stopped prioritising our own nationals inthese situations like Libya.

    Where would you start and stop if you didn’t anyway, given any one government’s limitations?

    A teeny-weeny bit of reality/common sense might help here, even if you don’t like expats!
    Well it’s just as well I wasn’t even arguing that our government do that in the first place? I was just pointing out the irony of Robert Newark’s suggestion that the only reason you wouldn’t support our governments efforts to rescue these expats would be if you were anti-huminitarian; humanitarianism is universal: it’s not applied, and prioritised, only to nationalist concerns.

  12. @Craig,

    Technically the foreign based workers do pay the tax that is “asked of them”. It’s just that their overseas income doesn’t attract UK tax under the current rules (ie the tax isn’t asked of them).

    If someone only smokes smuggled cigarettes, would that remove their right to lung cancer treatment?

  13. BT
    This really is a silly comment

    It would be better to listen to or further question and challenge comments you do not agree with or understand. Craig could easily call your comments really silly, but it would achieve nothing.

  14. Craig’s ‘humanitarian’ comment is definitely on-point.

    The NHS provides emergency treatment to foreign nationals. The NHS will claim the cost from that person’s insurance (if they have any) but the NHS will treat the person first & ask about payment later.

    Which, IMO, is absolutely the right thing to do.
    8-)

  15. Davey 3.38pm

    I’m sure Craig’s not as easily offended as you imply he might be. :)

  16. @Craig
    Of course whilst the oil workers themselves may be ex-pat and not be required to pay UK tax, (but may pay tax in Libya?) many will have families who are based in the UK and will pay tax, whether direct or indirect.
    Perhaps introducing the ‘humanitarian’ word into my initial comment was not helpful but you seemed to be implying in your original post that just, because they were expats they didn’t deserve to be rescued. In my own opinion any British National so trapped should be rescued just as any Brit should be treated to NHS healthcare in the UK, regardless of illness or how self inflicted it is.

  17. Libya/
    I’m afraid I come down very much on the hard line. Many leaving Libya are from Aberdeen where many of the bigger oil company HQs for Africa are based.
    On the tax issue, having UK domiciled workers work abroad is a crucial part of our economy and the backing of UK government armed to the teeth is a big reason for basing such people in the UK. I think over 20% of the UK Stock Exchange is such companies and they form a bigger part of most people’s pension fund (for those lucky enough to have a pension).
    The issue of not discriminating in favour of our own nationals is one which would, I am afraid, not occur to citizens of other countries where it would be axiomatic that your own citizens come first.
    To add to the gaity of the discussion the SNP policy that Scotland should become independant, Scots would be offered Scottish passports but would retain UK ones so if they got in to trouble they could ask for UK assistance. I have attempted to point out that might not be automatically appealing to the rest of the uk.
    Speaking of which, the SNP have gone potty about that poll of yours, “demented universe” and all the rest of it. The call is out for Old Nat and Barbenzerro to draw up a manual for you to follow. Great fun. Next time just say they are winning. Life is much easier.

  18. @ Neil A

    “Au contraire.. I am rooting away (as it were).

    The King’s Speech is a very good movie.”

    Good to know. :)

  19. In the HoC debate on Libya , just finished, DC revealed that we brought over 250 foreign nationals out of Libya.

    On a slightly broader point about the nature of the incredible changes occurring in these countries-I find it extremely encouraging to hear that groups are forming interim administrations in Tunisia, Egypt & “Free” Libya; all of which are expressing the desire to establish pluralist democratic structures in their countries.

    I detect that for some, these revolutions are not “the right kind ” of revolution, being broad based, inclusive of the middle classes, the educated classes, the professional classes-but these groups seem to be offering the distinct prospect of stable democracy based on multiple political parties, with little sign as yet of theocratic rule.

  20. @ Eoin

    “I have read your thoughts on the political alignment of the USA before. They conflict entirely with everything I have read on American politics. What law or set of laws in the US do you think at national level highlight work/success of the left? Are there any elements of national legislation you can point to that outstrip their European counterparts for their socialist content? I look forward to your data”

    See I’m not sure I can give you an adequate answer. I’m not sure that socialism is the exclusive ideology on the left. I think liberalism is left wing or at least the American conception of liberalism.

    When I think of major triumphs of the left in the U.S., off the top of my head I can think of are the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 1983 (of the 1866 Civil Rights Act), and Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Agency. And these are ones that, to my limited knowledge, don’t have close European analogues. There are lots of federal agencies and federal laws that are progressive triumphs that European nations have as well. Like the FDIC which protects individual bank deposits (as Amber pointed out, Europe has that too). Things like the USDA and FDA which protect food safety (European nations have these as well and probably do it better than us too).

    See it’s glib to say this but I look at constitutional guarantees (whether in the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the subsequent amendments) and see those as triumphs of the left. They’re embraced (mostly) by the U.S. right today but there are several rights Americans are entitled to that the government can’t take away that most Europeans don’t have.

    So to summarize:
    1. I don’t think leftism is exclusive to socialism.
    2. There are a few laws/agencies that are or were progressive triumphs that European nations don’t seem to have.
    3. A lot of progressive triumphs in the U.S. include the enactment of laws and establishments of agencies that Europeans have as well.
    4. Constitutional guarantees should also be looked at as left wing too.

  21. @ SoCaL

    I don’t think you mentioned President Obama pretty much nationalising the US car giants to protect the jobs & pensions of their employees.
    8-)

  22. SOCALLIBERAL

    SOCALLIBERAL

    I think liberalism is left wing or at least the American conception of liberalism.

    Liberals have introduced great reforms in both US and Europe. I am not sure how that makes them left wing. Any political party that is other than centre-left or centre right is unlikely to be liberal, and both the extreme left e.g soviet union and extreme right such as Nazi Germany are examples of totally illiberal regimes.

    Because of my political persuasion I know more Liberals than say socialists or tories and they are pretty evenly divided between moderate left and moderate right.or somewhere in between.

  23. @ Amber Star

    “I don’t think you mentioned President Obama pretty much nationalising the US car giants to protect the jobs & pensions of their employees.”

    Yeah and they’re turning profits again, hiring employees in the U.S. again, and their employees are seeing stock dividend payments for the first time. Imagine that, government might be better at some things than the private sector. (Generally speaking, I think the private sector does things better and more efficiently than the government but not in every case. Rigid adherence to the anti-government line strikes me as ideological dogma).

  24. @ Henry

    You pose some interesting food for thought. I’m not sure I completely agree. Liberals believe in the strength of a strong government to protect its citizens, preserve individual liberties and freedom, and maintain equality. At least as conceived by liberals, liberty and equality are the same thing. Now depending on what kind of equality you’re talking about, it’s either very simple to define or more nuanced. Racial equality, gender equality, sexual orientation equality? Those are easy enough. But economic equality? Liberals, at least the liberals I know and the liberals I see representing me in office, believe in the equality of economic opportunity, not actual economic equality between all citizens. And who is best to create and maintain equality of economic opportunity? Liberals would say the government.

    So I’ve never considered liberals to be center right.

  25. I agree with you on equal opportunities. However, economic equality, as opposed to equal opportunities, imposed by government is closer to socialism/communism than Liberalism.

    Actually, communist economic equality is equality for the mass, but the leaders are usually exempt.

    In many ways governments since the war have failed to deliver equal economic opportunities, often using glass ceilings to prevent the aspiring challenge the very rich. People used to talk of closed shops in the 60s but there is no better example of present day closed shop than British Law.

    On the other hand it is difficult to deliver economic opportunity equality to kid’s whose parents neglect them, or are on hard drugs or are alcoholics.

    This is not just a liberty issue. It makes economic sense to maximise everyone’s potential. It is not a left or right wing issue but definitely a liberal one.

    Liberalism is not only associated with equality, but also covers the big brother issues, that have been such a problem in recent years, and about which to be fair to them the Lib Dems in government are starting to address.

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