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. 16 seats to go: looks like a coalition between FG and Lab though depends on the precise FG total and the personnel make up of non FF/SF parties.

    Overall an excellent result for the party of the great Michael Collins…or as the song goes:

    “Who is the man with the blood on his hands/ shame on the traitor who gave the command for to murder the great Michael Collins” .

    I always assumed this was Éamon de Valera they were referring to!


  2. To be fair to David Cameron, in seeing trips abroad as mainly being an exercise to promote British goods, he’s only following the tradition that British PMs have been following for as long as I can remember. And the Arms Industry always seems to be preferred among exporters.

    This may because the British establishment is always a little horrified about physically making things (so working class, my dears) but things with military connections have a certain aristocratic lineage. Alternatively it could be to do with all the recently retired Generals, Admirals and MoD and FCO officials who tend to pop up at various armaments firms as consultants or directors.

    Certainly the FCO and British embassies have long seen their main purpose as promoting Britain overseas, rather than helping actual Britons. Having watched mainly Irish media over the last two days, it’s interesting to see how much more pro-active the Irish have been in rescuing their citizens. Of course that again is nothing new, many news reporters have long used an Irish granny to get the right passport as a back-up plan.

  3. Back on the subject of the Irish election, Neil A was asking about the relation between some of the new left-wing independents and Sinn Fein. The Socialist, People Before Profits and WUAG are already in something called the United Left Alliance which was set up last November and is to be formalised into a grouping. I suspect there may be coordination with SF, but no merger.

    A lot of the new Independents are also quite leftish. In the past most Independents have tended to be gombeen men – rural Little-Irelanders, often ex-FF concerned with getting the best of their constituency and themselves. Some of these put together all sorts of secret deals to keep the last government going in its dying days. There are still some notorious examples of this: Michael Lowry in Tipperary North; Michael Healy Rae in Kerry South where he took over from his father Jackie (I saw an interview with father and son and they are gombeen personified down to the flat caps worn indoors).

    However many of the new Independents are leftish community activists elected because of economic concerns, but not necessarily unrealistic. What unites most of them is opposition to the bank bail-out and the various rescue packages. They will be wary of Sinn Fein as well because of their old-fashioned rhetoric and possibly the leadership of Adams. Again though they may cooperate on issues.

    Over the last few days, I have heard FG politicians describe their party as ‘Centre-Right’ and Labour as ‘Centre-Left’. Certainly Labour does not have a left-wing as it did in the past (some of these are now in the ULA, such as Joe Higgins). So there will be some tension there, but they will work together, not least because they have been expecting to ever since the banking crisis. Most of the talk about FG going it alone was hot air – it was never mathematically possible. The real test will be soon however, to see if they can re-negotiate with the EU to prevent more massive cuts.

  4. NeilA

    Yes I agree -the Balls strategy as it is known over here :-)



    I have checked the actual quotes & you are correct.
    SF will try to renege on the Bank bailout but not Sovereign Debt.

    Its all very complicated -but one wonders if the separation of sovereign debt & support of banking debt is actually that easy anyomre in ROI.

    To an extent , if the SF policy was adopted-the Irish people would be saying to their bankers-our property values have collapsed, so we cannot afford to repay the loans you gave us to buy/build/.develop/.speculate on them-and our government has decided it won’t repay them either. :-)

  5. Much as I don’t like STV as applied to Scottish local elections, I have to confess that I am mesmerised by the RoI elections and the transfer of votes when candidates are excluded.

    One question though. I have seen several references to instances where a party has put up too many candidates in a particular seat, with the result that none get elected.

    I can see how this would happen with STV but why should it matter with STV? Indeed wouldn’t it be an advantage to put up as many candidates as possible, with differing interests – eg the environment perhaps, with a view to maximising the number of preferences? As candidates get elimated, their preferences would be passed on, ensurying that they would end up being concentrated in 1 or 2 successful candidates.

    Clearly the above isn’t the case because that’s not what actually happens. Would someone STV-savvy be kind enough to enlighten me as to why?

  6. Robert Newark,

    Good question… this is the best breakdown Ideologically I can give you of the Irish parties..

    The most right wing is comfortable Fine Gael. The have occasional bouts of one-nationism that sees them meander towards the centre but this particualr brand is moderately more right wing than that…

    Labour is centrist but a bit like the LDs, in that they surprise you ever now and again with a progressive Civil rights agenda or the occasional interventionist streak

    FF are like SNP.. populist, all things to all men/women.. very hard to pin down ideologically [deliberately so] To my mind they are an incy bit to the left but barely enough to write home about…

    sinn fein, the ULA are centre to far left.. their prograames are not enough to garner mainstream support and so usually they are quite irrelevant..

    I could mention the greens but they have no seats…

    all things considered ROI does not really have a left wing party… they don’t have a welfare state for instance… divorce was only legalised in 1995.. Abortion is still illegal…

    FF brought in free tuition fees and huge increases in dole and pension payments.. the kinda SNP stuff that makes them more problematic in pigeon holing…

    on corporation tax, almost all parties support low corp tax, and low general taxation in general.. another illustration of their right wing leanings..

    The incoming government will be a firm ideological friend of Cameron

  7. @ Colin

    Size Zero [is about the] size of a British eight-year-old.
    In an adult this is the totally starved look .
    In 2006 two models died trying to achieve it.
    Aside from my quip about the nanny state, I think the ultra-thin models actually results in many teenagers being over-weight. The ‘ideal’ is soooo unachievable for an average young person, they feel there’s no point trying to be slim because they’ll never be thin enough.

    I believe people instictively understand this & it may be why there is support for a ban.

  8. Thanks for that Eoin, most interesting that along with the US, Ireland does not have a left wing, as we understand it in the UK or even the rest of Europe. If there is no welfare state, does that mean that healtcare is all private insurance based?

    In terms of the forthcoming Scottish election, would it be reasonable to surmise that DC would be hoping for Labour to win power. It would seem to me that might give him some ammunition to fire at EM (re decisions they might take in Holyrood) whereas there is no mileage for him in Westminster, whatever the SNP government does?

  9. Robert,

    Yes spot on… it doesnt have a large or credible left…

    the heathcare is provided from threee sources… 1.. it began as a system founded on lottery money [see “the irish sweepstake”] Dr Marie Coleman wrote a fascinating book on it..

    second it founded on private heath insurance much like the US

    third, it is founded in cases of poverty through help from the state.. also a bit like the states.. but if you are somewhere in the middle, and are raising a family this can be tough…

    one example? There was a breast screening piece of equipment broken for 5 years and nodoby in the county hospital noticed… they are stilling tracing all the misdiagnosis cases… :(

    regarding Scotland, I’ll leave others to answer in greater detail.. my instinct is that DC will not want a red gain in Holyrood… an alternative power base to fustrate W/minster and pick symbolic battles could be a thorn..

  10. RE Election in Eire
    Some observations from a European perspective.
    1. Eire loses two titles: A) The EU country with the strongest ELDR party. This title goes now to Estonia (ruling Reformist Party: 27%) and B) The EU country with the weakest PES/S&D representation. This title goes (again!) to Estonia, where the Social Democrats are at 10,6% (GE 2007)
    2. Eire belongs now to the mainstream group of EU countries where the two major parties are EPP and PES/S&D. The remaining exceptions are 9: Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, Poland and the UK.

  11. Landocakes

    The trouble with lots of candidates is because the most efficient way to maximise the number of candidates elected is make sure that none of them reach quota! You want them all to be elected at the last stage when all other candidates have been eliminated except one, who has slightly less than all your candidates do.

    This sounds odd, but what it does is maximise the value of the number of first preferences you receive. If any of your candidates reach quota, that full quota is removed from use, while if you get elected at the last stage you don’t need a full quota.

    Also that candidate with more than quota might have their surplus transferred. But you can’t rely on all your voters automatically putting your other candidates as ‘2’, ‘3’ etc. Even with the best party discipline some will go elsewhere or be lost because only ‘1’ has been used.

    Similarly, if your candidate is eliminated with too few votes, you can’t rely on their votes going to your other candidates – and they also need to go to your other candidates equally or one will break through the quota, wasting votes as above. Because of that you need to run the number of candidates who can realistically win if everything goes well and no more.

    To see how it works if it is done well, look at the count in Dublin South:

    It’s a five-seater, so the quota is 16.67%. However with only just over two quotas Fine Gael were able to win three seats because they ‘kept’ all their votes till the last stage, while gathering up the other candidates votes and surpluses as they were eliminated or elected. They then all got elected together. If they had put up four candidates, though they would have got some more personal votes, the FG vote would have split four ways and the Fianna Fail candidate would probably have got in as her vote would be higher some of the FG candidates, so they would be eliminated first.

    Like a lot of things involving mathematics, this runs counter to ‘common sense’, but is understandable if you work it through.

  12. i might add to rogers comments that it became clear that the FF vote was not transfering as it should, that is to say that when a FF candidate was eliminated a lot of those votes transfered to non FF canidates, probably because they were personal votes. many voters seem to have thought…..”i don’t like FF but paddy is a good man so i’ll put him first but give my transfers to FG”

  13. @ Old Nat

    “I think Margo would be flattered by the comparison.

    As to dyslexia. Yes it’s a family problem. Fortunately, my Mum (from whose family it seems to come) was a Primary teacher in the 1940s who understood that the “look and say” method of learning to read didn’t work with me and started me on phonic learning when I was 4. While nothing stops the problem, there are a number of techniques – including rigid adherence to rules and training in coping methodologies which minimise it.

    My daughter has the same problem, but still manages to deal with being Head of English in one of Scotland’s best performing schools, so that early training does help a lot. It does require a lot of concentration, which is a total pain.”

    I just saw your post. I appreciate your response. You were lucky to have a mom who was both aware of learning disabilities and actually cared. I would imagine that the need of high concentration can be difficult (I sympathise since this can be a major problem for me).

    One problem that’s come up for those with academic disabilities in the U.S. is that they can be denied accomodations for doing too well. Those who do well with training or medication or coaching and improve (especially those who are of above average intelligence) are punished for their success. Now this really isn’t compatible with the law. But it happens anyway.

    I was actually at a conference on Friday dealing with changes in the IDEA statute (well attended the last few sessions). The last one was heartbreaking. It was on reversing the course of classroom to the prison of public school kids with academic disabilities. It’s unbelievable how many public schools, youth authorities, and prisons don’t comply with IDEA. They do horrible things and ignore the law until some liberal dogooder lawyer shows up at the door with a lawsuit and subpoena in hand.

    But in the meantime, kids suffer as a result, especially when they come from working class backgrounds where their parents lack the time and resources (and knowledge) to get their kids the help they need. There was a handout on this one kid who’s public school did not comply with IDEA. You can trace his history through the school system while his learning and other disabilities were routinely ignored until he basically quit school as a teenager, got into trouble, and is now locked up for 45 years to life. Very sad.

  14. SoCal,

    Your dyslexia must be very mild indeed or you have overcome it significantly… I would never have guessed! :) :)

    I, on the other hand, sheesh!

  15. Roger & Richard,

    Thanks for that. I kind of understand it. But what if there had been 4 FG candidates instead of 3. One of them would indeed have been eliminated – but wouldn’t their votes have been transfered to the other 3, thereby making FG no worse off? In fact, wouldn’t having more candidates increase the chances of them staying ‘under quota’ until the last moment?

    As so often when I look at STV, I find comprehension tantalisingly near – and then ebbing gently away before i can grasp it…

    I do understand though, that transfers can’t be relied on. take that Dublin South example above. when the candidate for People Before Profit (essentially the SWP as far as I can make out) was eliminated, you might have expected their votes to go to Labour, say. And many did – however a good number were also pretty much smeared across all of the remaining parties.

    I find this absolutely fascinating. Are people really saying “Well my first choice is revolutionary socialism, obviously, but if I can’t have that I’ll guess I’ll just go for FG like everyone else.”

  16. @ Old Nat

    Also, as to Margo MacDonald, she’s clearly from a much younger generation than Hilda Mason was. I think she was something of a trailblazer, especially since she was a deputy leader of the party without being in office. Like I’ve said before, Statehooder ideology is probably the closest analogue to Nationalist ideology.

    I was thinking about this actually (I’m sure there are campaign finance laws prohibiting this). If Pete Wishart took a trip across the pond and spoke as a guest of honor, at a meeting of Statehooders to talk about his guiding political philosophy, I think Statehooders would really like him and relate to him. “That’s my kind of politician. Where’s Scotland again?” I think David Cameron would get the same sort of enthusiastic response if he was a guest of honor at some big Republican fundraiser in Newport Beach.

    I know that Chris Smith, when he was an MP, used to attend Victory Fund gatherings (where usually only U.S. politicians would attend) and he was well liked.

  17. @ Eoin

    “Your dyslexia must be very mild indeed or you have overcome it significantly… I would never have guessed!”

    I don’t actually have dyslexia. I have some other more narrow academic disabilities. But I see what I wrote is totally confusing and would lead to that conclusion so my apologies. And honestly, I wouldn’t have known you were dyslexic had you not said so.

    My sister thinks she might have dyslexia, I’m not sure.

  18. SoCalLiberal

    The school that I managed had a high concentration on helping kids who had Specific Learning Difficulties (to use the technical term in use then). Of course they covered the whole ability range, and helping them to learn the techniques to become effective independent learners was what the Learning Support Dept. was for.

    You are right that kids whose parents bought in to helping their kids with the constant practice in sequencing that is required, (and that usually excludes kids in multiply deprived circumstances as well as others for many reasons) benefit most – and those for whom family and community fail to support enter that destructive cycle that you describe.

  19. SoCalLiberal

    Re your sister (I’m presuming she is an adult). It doesn’t actually matter whether she is dyslexic or not, as long as she functions well, and any reading/sequencing problems don’t cause her distress.

    We aren’t contagious, though I do remember one parent saying that her daughter “got dyslexia” when she went to that school! :-)

  20. @ Eoin

    Come to think of it though, you might fit into my example. You’re dyslexic and I gathered that you work in academia (either as a researcher or professor or fellow). So let’s say you decide that you receive a scholarship to go and get some sort of advanced master’s degree in the U.S. for two years. And suppose that in order to be admitted to this kind of program, you have to take an exam known as the GRE.

    Legally, under applicable statutes, you are entitled to appropriate testing accomodations which are designed not to give you any type of advantage over other testtakers but instead put you at even footing. Well you might run into a problem where the test administrator says that you don’t need accomodations since you’ve otherwise done so well academically. You’re not someone who dropped out of junior high and is illiterate. You’re someone who’s got a college degree and works in academia. So that sort of thing can become an issue. And the new IDEA statute is supposed to fix those sorts of discrepancies but there are obviously still issues that arise with new legislation.

  21. @ Old Nat

    “Re your sister (I’m presuming she is an adult). It doesn’t actually matter whether she is dyslexic or not, as long as she functions well, and any reading/sequencing problems don’t cause her distress.

    We aren’t contagious, though I do remember one parent saying that her daughter “got dyslexia” when she went to that school!”

    She is an adult but she’s still my little baby sister to me. I think that she has some kind of learning disability or possibly ADHD and I think that these conditions are harming her ability to perform as well as she could as she prepares to become a doctor. If she could diagnose and then treat and mitigate these conditions, she would do better.

    Obviously, dyslexia is not some kind of contagious disease. Funny story about my sister. She wrote her senior thesis in college and her academic advisor calls her in and asks her if she’s originally British or perhaps Canadian. My sister answers no. Why had this advisor asked? My sister, for some reason, used British spellings (consistently and correctly) throughout the entire paper. The advisor apparently said “this is all wrong but it’s also completely right at the same time.”

  22. Always slightly amused by the site of ex pat oil workers who get their wages paid off shore and major energy companies who lobby furiously to keep their profits away from Corporation Tax complaining about the poor service they get from HMG when the sh*t hits the fan.

    It’s tempting to wonder just what kind of rescue operation we could mount if they paid their share of the tax bill.

  23. alex

    it’s the same thing with the Somalia pirates

    where are all the Panamanian warships?

  24. You passed.

  25. alex

    i’m looking forward to seeing the Panamanian navy protecting shipping off the coast of east africa

    (i don’t know why but the country i’m thinking of is a moderated word, this is fifth attampt)

  26. Landocakes

    The reason running four candidates is less efficient is that those darn pesky voters won’t do what you want. Even at best only 70-80% of votes will transfer to the same Party. As you noted people will put PBP first and FG second.

    The reasons are many and various. The voters may know the candidates or like the sound of them or have some family or other personal connection. They may have been struck by something in a leaflet. Particular candidates may have done a favour for them (constituency work is particularly important in Ireland). And especially important is location. Because seats cover large areas, voters will often go for all or most of the candidates from their own town, irrespective of Party, before switching elsewhere.

  27. SoCalLiberal

    There are tests which can indicate particular conditions eg

    I like the approach of the Dyslexia Institute. Dyslexia isn’t a deficiency. We simply look at the world in a different way imaginatively like Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, John Lennon etc).

    We do need to learn new tools, terminology and short cuts in order to function in the operating system used by others. We then benefit from being able to use their systems and our own.

    Tell your sister that she doesn’t have a problem – she has an advantage!!!!

  28. @ Old Nat

    “The school that I managed had a high concentration on helping kids who had Specific Learning Difficulties (to use the technical term in use then). Of course they covered the whole ability range, and helping them to learn the techniques to become effective independent learners was what the Learning Support Dept. was for.

    You are right that kids whose parents bought in to helping their kids with the constant practice in sequencing that is required, (and that usually excludes kids in multiply deprived circumstances as well as others for many reasons) benefit most – and those for whom family and community fail to support enter that destructive cycle that you describe.”

    Three comments.

    1. I think it’s great that you worked hard to help kids with academic disabilities. They’re not an indicator of one’s intelligence, work ethic, or motivation but too often they’re seen that way.

    2. I think what is unfair is that for a lot of low income kids, there aren’t really resources expended to help unlike for middle income kids and upper income kids.

    3. There are some people who have academic disabilities who don’t get diagnosed and /or treated and they don’t do as well as they could. But their struggles might mean that they don’t get to go to a more highly ranked professional school or don’t get into the college they want. Or they don’t function well in an interview or make mistakes on a job application and don’t get the job they want. That’s a bummer when the problems that lead to these things are fixable, especially in economic times like these. But what’s heartwrenching is when you look at someone who has academic disabilities who was not diagnosed and/or not treated/assisted and they cannot complete high school as a result and sometimes turn to crime as a means of livelihod.*

    (And I’ll just asterisk, in case Neil A is reading, that this isn’t to excuse or defend crime. This is simply pointing out that it’s unfortunate that criminality starts because of a lack of supervision and instruction in class.)

  29. @ Old Nat

    “Tell your sister that she doesn’t have a problem – she has an advantage!!!!”

    I will make sure to do that. :)

  30. @ Eoin

    “Yes spot on… it doesnt have a large or credible left”

    I gotta tell you, I think the U.S. has a large and credible left and I actually think on a number of issues, Americans tend to be to the left of Europeans.

  31. I’m being off topic here but Colin Firth just received an Oscar for Best Actor in the King’s Speech. I promise I will go and see this movie. I’m realizing it’s 4:30 in the morning in the UK right now. People back in England probably are asleep and unable to root for him. :(

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

    The King’s Speech is a very good movie.

  33. SoCal,

    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 :)

  34. Anthony,

    When are YouGov going to publish the full datasheets from yesterday’s Holyrood VI poll for the Scottish Green Party? I note that your full tables for the Sunday Times poll went up on your website immediately, but despite an explicit request to both yourself and Peter Kellner yesterday morning, we are still waiting.

    Don’t mean to nag, but you do realise that we go to the polls for our nation general election in just 9 weeks time, don’t you? In fact, the first postal votes will be getting cast in just over 6 weeks time. In contrast, the next UK GE is (probably) 4 years away. Not that I’m claiming that youGov are London-centric. Oh no. (in best Steve Bell John Major underpants and nasal tone fashion)

  35. Here is a “tour d’horizon” of polls for EU countries (GE, Presidential or State Elections) of particular interest:
    France, 2012 PE, runoff scenarios (TNS Sofres 19-2)
    N. Sarkozy vs D. Strauss-Kahn 37%, vs. M. Aubry or F. Hollande 44%, vs. S. Royal 48% – defeated in all cases. With another candidate, the center-right is in even worse shape: none of them makes it to the 2nd round, which will be between and socialist and the far-right Marine LePen, with a landslide for the former.
    Italy, 2011 (very probable GE)
    Center-left alliance 43%, center-right (Berlusconi) 37%, Center/Third pole 20% (Demos, one week ago). OM for C-L because of bonus seats in Parliament (Low Chamber), hung Upper Chamber (senate) with possible collaboration CL+ Center.
    Socialist 33,5, ND (center-right) 27, Communist 10,5, Far Right LAOS 7,5, SYRIZA (Rad. Left) 5, Dem. Alliance (new liberal party) 4,5, Greens 4, Dem. Left 3,5
    (Marc Institute, 26-2). No OM for Socialists (138 seats out of 300), but possible coalition with Greens and DL (10 seats each). All time low for ND, all time high for far right and far left, max. fragmentation with 8 parties in Parliament.
    German States with SE in 2011:
    Nowhere majority CDU+FDP, total parity with CL only in Baden-Wurtemberg, who has never had a CL administration.
    In other countries with GE scheduled in 2011, consolidated advantage for CL alliance in Denmark (10 points lead over center-right) , better still in Croatia (20 points). Reelection of center-right gvt in Estonia, with reinforced majority (Liberal RE on the rise, conservative IRL in slight decrease), small rise of social dem, opposition at the expense of other opposition parties (Center, Green etc). Reelection of PO in Poland, but with fewer seats, coalition with PSL (agrarian-centrist) at risk, maybe they will have to ally themselves with soc.dem. SLD, on the rise (14-20%. Conservative opposition (PIS) not good because of recent split, but holding nontheless (26-30%). Total uncertainty in Finland, where all three major parties suffer losses to the benefit of far right PS, rising from 4 to 16-18%. Conservatives round 20%, center and soc.dem at 17-19. Possible J. Katainen (cons.) cabinet with difficult alliances equation.

  36. Omission from the previous post:
    The figures after the Italian predictions concern Greece, where there are rumors of a probable snap election in April.

  37. @Alec
    ‘Always slightly amused by the site of ex pat oil workers who get their wages paid off shore and major energy companies who lobby furiously to keep their profits away from Corporation Tax complaining about the poor service they get from HMG when the sh*t hits the fan.
    It’s tempting to wonder just what kind of rescue operation we could mount if they paid their share of the tax bill.’

    Or the sight of smokers queuing up for heart surgery at an NHS hospital? (Self inflicted?)

    The argument is a silly one don’t you think, unless you are anti-humanitarian?

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

    Foreign-based oil workers doing every thing possible to avoid paying UK tax shouldn’t then demand a prompt service from the UK.

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

  40. Yesterday on this thread certain people suggested that the dangers of the desert rescue missions by the RAF/SAS/SBS were being exagerated for political advantage.

    I would just like to point out that one of the Hercules on a similar rescue mission last night was hit by small arms fire.

    Had it been an RPG is would have been a disaster.

    I hope those who comment on military operations without any knowledge or expertise of such , and the dangers involved, will reflect on the folly of doing so.

  41. Anthony,

    Survation’s MoS poll [sample 500] has been released, in case you haven’t spotted it. It shows the LDs battling to avoid 4th place.

  42. @ TheGreenBenches

    Hadn’t even heard about it. It seems half of that simple didn’t give a preference. Hm.

  43. …and 66% would be pretty disappointing for Labour in that constituency – less than 2001 G/E levels; perhaps it’s another case of Survation underestimating Labour again?

  44. Craig,

    Illsley got 48% if I am not mistaken…. 63% would be quite the feat…

    Unfortunately, I take Survation polls with a pinch of salt… always happy to be proved wrong though, so G’luck to them! :)

  45. John F,

    Beware of the falling coconuts! :) Especially when touring your property portfolio in S.America :)

  46. @ The Green Benches

    LOL :D

  47. @John Fletcher
    Yesterday I commented that the SAS daring rescue was a tad overblown. I’m still of that opinion even though one of the aircraft came under small arms fire.

    If there was any risk to the oil workers at the airport/runway or to the aircraft/crew the flight/mission should have not taken place IMO.

    None of this detracts from the planning and diplomacy that would have had to be undertaken.

    I will say no more on this topic.

  48. @ Eoin

    That 48% is unnaturely low, they’re usually pushing 70+. The only elections they got a lower mandate than 66% would be ’83, ’05 and last year. :)

  49. @ Mike N

    one of the aircraft came under small arms fire.

    Was hit by small arms fire.

    Have you ever been the recipient of incomming?

  50. Craig,

    Thanks… For red’s sale, let’s hope survation then have underestimated them… :)

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