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

On the regular trackers Ed Miliband’s ratings continue to rise – his net approval rating is now up to minus 15 (from minus 21 a week ago, and minus 34 before the phone-hacking scandal went nuclear). This puts his approval rating slightly above Cameron’s, who is on minus 16 (from minus 12 a week ago) – the first time YouGov have shown Miliband with a higher approval rating than Cameron since last September. Note, however, that it means people think he’s doing a better job at the moment, not that they think he’d make a better PM – YouGov asked best PM for the Sun earlier this week and Cameron still had a 9 point lead over Miliband.

On the specific question of how well they have handled the phone hacking saga, Cameron’s ratings have fallen further since last week. Only 24% now think he has handled it well, with 60% thinking he has handled it badly. Miliband is still seen as having handled it well, though slightly less well than a week ago.

There appears to be little confidence in the Murdochs. Only 19% think they’ve done enough to apologise, only 10% think they’ve been honest in how they answered questions and only 19% think they are taking the right steps to tackle the problem.

Asked if Cameron, Blair and Brown were too close to Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks and editors in general, 52% think Cameron was too close to Murdoch, 58% too close to Brooks, 47% too close to newspaper editors overall. These figures (or at least, those for Murdoch and editors) are not dissimilar for Tony Blair – 50% think he was too close to Murdoch, 46% too close to Brooks and 48% too close to editors in general. Fewer people see Gordon Brown as having been close to NewsCorp – 39% think he was too close to Murdoch & Brooks, 36% to editors in general.

On the question of whether people think media organisations have too much power or not, 66% though News Corp has too much power, followed by BSkyB on 51%. This was followed by the BBC, which 38% of people think has too much power, followed the Daily Mail & General Trust (32%). Public opinion on whether newspaper organisations have too much power falls pretty much in line with their respective readerships – the bigger the circulation of their national titles, the more people think they have too much power.

Turning to the question of what is acceptable conduct for journalists, paying police officers for information is seen as the least acceptable activity by some distance, with 84% of people considering it unacceptable in all circumstances. Paying for stolen information is seen as always unacceptable by 65%, but 31% think it would be acceptable in some circumstances (mostly only to uncover criminal activity), 59% think phone-hacking is always unacceptable, 56% think blagging is always unacceptable.

At the other end of the scale, covert recording of conversations or phone calls is seen as unacceptable by 50%, but acceptable in some circumstances by 47%. Undercover investigations by journalists using false identities are seen as acceptable in some circumstances by 65% of people, with only 30% thinking this unacceptable.

While most people think these sort of actions are unacceptable in theory, when YouGov gave them the specific example of the MPs expenses scandal it got a different response. 46% of people thought it was acceptable for a newspaper to pay for stolen information to expose the MPs expenses scandal, despite 65% of people saying that in principle it is always would always be unacceptable for a paper to pay for stolen info.


207 Responses to “More from the YouGov/Sunday Times poll”

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  1. Actually, Old Nat, I did think of you because for a long time you were the only SNP supporter here.

    But then I thought, well SNP are center/left (except for their corporation tax policy) so he should not feel too lonely.
    8-)

  2. The public service unions have found an unlikely ally on pension reform, if the Telegraph & Guardian can be believed. Andrew Lansley sent a letter to Danny Alexander saying the reforms would hit NHS workers, especially women & lower paid workers, particularly hard & mean many would opt out of the schemes. This would simply result in a bigger social welfare cost when they retire.

    It is also reassuring to know that Andrew Lansley believes there will still be social welfare in the future!
    8-)

  3. @ Amber Star

    “There was a crisis in our government & a tragedy which brought the left/center together as a community on these boards.

    There was no intention to make the right/center support feel crowded out. It is sad that some people have decided to leave, especially at this time.”

    As I said last night, when a tragedy strikes, it’s perfectly normal to feel even greater loss, greater shock, and greater sadness over those who were like you or those who you had an affinity for.

    I think it’s okay. If this had been some disgruntled old lefty who slaughtered a bunch of people at some Conservative Party camp, you still would have thought it was a tragedy and that it was cruel and that it was horrifying. But you wouldn’t relate as closely to the victims. Like of the 6 people who were murdered by Jared Loughner in his attempt to kill Gabby Giffords, I felt most devastated by her constituency chief of staff. He was so young and handsome and I think he was engaged. He was someone who I imagine if I had known, I would have been friends with him (similar political views, similar ages, etc.). It’s not that his murder was any more tragic or awful than any of the others like the 9 year old girl who was into politics and taken by one of her relatives to meet a real life Congresswoman. It’s just that this innocent victim happenned to be someone I felt an affinity towards.

    Now you European political parties seem like you’re a bit closer to each other and so I think it’s only natural that you feel an affinity for those Norwegian Labour youths who were slaughtered. If you’re a strong Labour Party supporter, you might have attended a camp like that when you were a kid or you might have been a counselor at one or you might have sent one of your kids there. And those kids you see dead on the news or see reporting the terrifying events remind you of those who are like you and feel an even deeper sense of loss. It doesn’t mean you hate right wingers or non-Labourites or think this is a worse tragedy because the kids were Labour members. You just feel more deeply touched by the loss. And there is nothing wrong with that.

  4. @ Laszlo

    “Strictly speaking Norway doesn’t have a fixed penalty system. Even if the person had his/her sentence fulfilled, it can be decided that he/she is not fit to be let out to the society (I have no idea who makes the recommendation). Quite like Rousseau really.”

    Fascinating. I know nothing about Norwegian law but perhaps I should learn. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an expert in Swedish law (I don’t know why) and she is my hero (one of the many) and quasi-role model so perhaps I should learn the legal system of a Scandanavian country.

    I think it’s perfectly sensible to go without a death penalty. It’s expensive, it involves the state killing individuals outside of the reasonable use of force and combat/battlefield situations, and if given mistakenly can’t be fixed. But life without the possibility of parole (for non-juvenile offenders) is a perfectly sensible alternative and I hope this guy is locked up and kept away from society for the rest of his life.

    @ Old Nat

    “I’ll be sorry to see The Other Howard go, but to those who have problems being in a minority on a blog – think of my position!”

    Or me. Though I kinda enjoy being a minority here. You know, it’s not always fun being on a blog is like you politically. It’s kinda nice that I can disagree here with people (as I often do) and not get accused of “destroying the party!” or “harming the future of our country!” :)

  5. OldNat, James

    Excl DK – I don’t really know why, when VI excludes DKs that other questions aren’t also given including/excluding DKs.
    I know that other pollsters give both sets of figures for VI, but there you go.

    And it’s self-identified, which I know causes big problems (I’d imagine a lot of people would self-identify as centrist because they’re very moderate left and right) but it does seem to give a good indication.
    Labour was a party mainly of the left, with some centrists and still is.
    Conservatives was a party mainly of the right, with some centrists and still is.
    LDs were a party mainly of left and centrist voters, but is now mainly centrist voters but leaning toward the left.

  6. @ Crossbat11

    “As Laszlo rightly points out, we must await the trial and all the evidence being examined in court, but today’s Observer carried long extracts from Brievik’s rambling blog on Facebook, and he obviously had problems not just with Islam and multiculturalism, but with the present Norwegian Government and people on the left generally. His targeting of a Labour Party youth gathering and the Prime Minister’s Oslo quarters, therefore, would seem to make some sort of demonic sense.

    In fairness to Alec, who you go on to criticise, I think he was arguing that far right terrorism has a capacity for irrationality and acts of unspeakable savagery in a way that Islamic terrorism does not. The Oklahoma bombing, for example, came out of nowhere, as did the Norwegian carnage, whereas Al Quaida, an undoubtedly evil and murderous cabal, are prosecuting an extreme anti-Western version of Islam. I don’t think he was indulging in any sort of moral relativism at all, rather he was recognising the terror of both but felt they manifested themselves in very different ways.

    That said, it’s probably best for Alec to clarify what he meant, not me!”

    Two months ago, the chief of the LAPD came out and declared that he had his man, Giovanni Ramirez, in the brutal beating of Giants fan Brian Stowe (beaten into a coma at Dodger Stadium on opening day). Now Ramirez has been exonerated and new suspects are in custody. So what police say at first in an investigation might not be the full story and is subject to change.

    Before we go off into crazyland here, I have to interject. I think that Islamic terrorism is as capable of complete irrationality and brutal savagery as right wing Christian terrorism. Frankly, I think that ALL terrorism (regardless of its root or cause) is irrational, savage, reprehensible, and evil. I don’t look at any kind of terrorism and think “oh well that’s okay because it was committed by group X.”

    No one who died at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Shanksville 10 years ago did ANYTHING to warrant what happenned to them at the hands of Al Queda. For that matter, nor did anyone riding the London Tube on 7/7. They were indiscriminately slaughtered for absolutely no reason at all. The same is true of those slaughtered in Norway and those murdered in the Oklahoma City bombings. To draw distinctions is pointless.

  7. @ Lefty Lampton

    “I’ve never yet heard a cogent argument from the Far Right on precisely what the “culture” is that they feel under threat. Stoltenberg’s response (fighting this attack with more democracy and more openess) is PRECISELY how a liberal democracy should respond. THAT is the culture that is potentially imperilled by illiberal responses to both sides.”

    I thought so too. I wish we had had that kind of leader in the oval office on 9/11. The world would be far better off.

    @ Crossbat11

    “Yes, my comment, on re-reading, was a little ambiguous and I should clarify it. I shouldn’t have rolled together “irrationality” and “unspeakable savagery”. Of course there have been many acts of Islamic terrorism that were unspeakably heinous and savage, but there is a warped rationality about them. Rob S has alluded to one aspect of this, although many Muslims died in the 9/11 and 7/7 atrocities, but Al Quiada’s rationale is a violent anti-Western one, based as it is on a distorted version of Islam. They want to terrorise the West out of Muslim lands and attack what they see as a corrupted Western Civilisation, I see no such “rationality” in Brievik or McVeigh’s outrages, beyond hatred of their respective Governments.

    Anyway, now we’ve locked horns directly, would you like to enlighten me further on your extraordinary comments yesterday about the nature of the Youth gathering that was attacked? And while we’re at it, what on earth did you mean by the comment ““unless one understands the role & place of of the Norwegian Labour Party in that country one cannot begin to make useful comment”?”

    I don’t think Colin made that comment.

    There is unfortunately nothing rational about what is completely irrational.

  8. @ Crossbat11

    “I rather suspect that the hypothetical discussion about the likely sentence to be given to the Norwegian mass-murderer is a smokescreen erected by those who’d rather not confront the real issues involved. Those issues are likely to be the growth of a hate-filled, nihilistic and murderous political philosophy that is festering away in many western liberal democracies, including our own. The people who espouse these views have nurtured their perceived grievances for some time and, on very rare conditions, they give vent to their hatred. One such occasion occurred, tragically, in Norway two days ago.”

    I don’t know. I think there has always been a hate-filled, nihlistic, and murderous political philosophy festering away in many liberal democracies.

    I mean, how else do you explain the Society of Cincinattus (who General Washington told to go f*** themselves).

    It seems to me that there are a lot of hate-filled, angry, right wingers out there. Yet if most acted like Tim McVeigh and Anders Breivik, there would be a LOT more political violence and acts of terrorism out there.

    I have heard a lot of angry hate speech on talk radio and on television (especially Rupert News). I turn it off and/or change the channel. I don’t think it leads to violence of this nature.

    I’ve found that many Republicans I know are people who really haven’t outgrown their teenager years mentally. The essence of being a Republican is to never take responsibility for yourself or deal with your own problems but instead to sit around blaming everyone else for your problems. It’s the government or the Democratic Party or liberalism or labor unions or blacks or Latinos or Asians or Jews or gays and lesbians or feminists or Muslims or whoever else (last month one Republican Assemblyman in California went after Italian-Americans on the floor of the chamber nearly leading to a violent confrontation with another member) who’s to blame.

    So people like this naturally love to listen to those who sit around all day long finding nothing better to do than find fault with something and blame other people. But they don’t all go out and bomb federal buildings or shoot up political events for young people. Okay, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit this but I used to do Junior Congress when I was in high school. I really enjoyed it. It met only three times a year and it was an opportunity for all the kids in southern California who were actually interested in politics (the few hundred) to have a weekend away from their parents, meet other kids, and have an excuse to party for the weekend. For me it was great because I grew up so sheltered that it was nice to meet people who came from different communities and different backgrounds and make lasting friends with people who weren’t like me (Los Angeles County alone, where a number of kids came from, has more people than all of Norway and Scotland combined). Now these were non-partisan events but you would get to debate political issues with other students.

    So anyway, this one time, the then chairman of the California GOP came by to give a speech. Funny story, he wasn’t actually scheduled to give a speech at this event (usually a political figure would drop by and give a speech and meet with students). He just happenned to be at that airport convention hotel coincidentally for some other event and thought it’d be good to drop by and give a pep talk. He proceeded to give a feircely hyperpartisan speech that was more like a hate filled rant laced with racial and homophobic slurs and highly personal insults against various elected officials as well as public school (or what you call state school) students. This prompted boos from most of the room and then a walkout from a number of students who were so offended by this guy. It strikes me that this guy had nothing better to do on a Saturday night than drop by a convention for political youth and (in a possibly innebriated state) offend people with an angry tirade.

    But think about it. He’s not a killer and nor are the people who have his same philosophical outlook on life. And I don’t think having that philosophical outlook on life makes one neccessarily prone to political violence.

  9. @ Crossbat11

    ” Those issues are likely to be the growth of a hate-filled, nihilistic and murderous political philosophy that is festering away in many western liberal democracies, including our own. The people who espouse these views have nurtured their perceived grievances for some time and, on very rare conditions, they give vent to their hatred. One such occasion occurred, tragically, in Norway two days ago.”

    You know, I can’t help but think of the seminal First Amendment case Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969). You had KKK members at a major outdoor rally in rural Ohio who lit up several crosses and gave speeches condeming the evil acts of blacks and Jews and calling for a white man’s revolution. They were arrested for incitement and convicted. Their convictions, however, were reversed by the Supreme Court. Unanimously.

    You might find that shocking and appauling. But think about this. In the 42 years since Brandenburg, we elected a black president. And we live in a society that is far more racially and ethnically tolerant than it once was (not to say that we still don’t have racism but things are so much better than they once were). And so not only do I think that Brandenburg was correct as a matter of law and constitutional interpretation, I think that it was good for society as a whole.

    Now, I think that anyone who believes that they must resort to violence to advance their political beliefs, whatever those beliefs may be, is reprehensible. But there’s a difference between violence and having hatefilled, nihlistic beliefs. There are a lot of people who are unfortunately filled with hate. But they’re not violent killers nor would they dream of ever killing others for their political views.

  10. CROSSBAT11

    “I see no such “rationality” in Brievik or McVeigh’s outrages, beyond hatred of their respective Governments.”

    I strongly suggest that you read his bizarre 1500 word manifesto then….or await his “explanations” at his trial.

    What seems irrational to you & I may seem entirely rational to exteremists of all persuasions.

    “Anyway, now we’ve locked horns directly, would you like to enlighten me further on your extraordinary comments yesterday about the nature of the Youth gathering that was attacked? ”

    I can’t remember my exact words -but I think the feeling expressed was surprise at the idea of Youth Camps assembled for political purposes-something which does not appeal to me.
    I think it was Barney who responded that they have ( ?do) take place in this country-which I did not realise……..but then I am not a member of a political party , so would not know if such gatherings took place .
    Now perhaps you can explain why you found those thoughts extraordinary.

    “And while we’re at it, what on earth did you mean by the comment ““unless one understands the role & place of of the Norwegian Labour Party in that country one cannot begin to make useful comment”?”

    The epithet “what on earth” , again indicates a degree of surprise which I find puzzling….. I have learned something about Norway as a result of this horror,because one tries to understand the background.

    Arbeiderpartiet clearly-as OLdNat explained -has a position of political power in Norway which is very different to that of say the UK Labour Party.

    The murderer chose to kill the youth members of that party, -so far as one can understand his ramblings-because he sees them as part of a power structure which has imposed a system of “multiculturalism” on Norway which he objects to .

    So it seems to me that the historic & long term position of political power enjoyed by the Norwegian Labour Party is very much a context for these murders, and without making some attempt to understand it, useful comment might be difficult.

  11. oldnat

    “I’ll be sorry to see The Other Howard go, but to those who have problems being in a minority on a blog – think of my position!”

    A very favourable one because few know enough about Scottish politcs to argue with you.

    This is so both with regard to the 44 differences in the structure, processes and procedures of he Scottish Parliament and the fact that one of the two and a half parties in the environment that most are used to is not a contender to lead a government in the five-party (formerly more) Scottish Parliament.

    Even the Greens with two MSP’sare not safely regarded as “others”.

    Many posters [and highly regarded senior pollssters and commentators] know and understand more of American politics than they do of Scottish Politics.

    They expect some cultural differences in oher countries parliaments, but Scotland is even more foreign because of expectations that it is basically the same.

  12. The appearance of left/centre types on this site is easily explained, Mike Smithson has banned ’em all from political betting.

  13. @ Amber

    ” crowded out.”

    That is exactly the right word -you have to bite your tongue sometimes-this morning I have been told ( in capital letters !) that I must not “grub around” looking for explanations for the Norewgian tragedy.

    It is this sort of censorious politics which drives people away.

    But I notethat Alec faced the same problems of minority presence here-perhaps he will be once again in due course :-)

    ” Colin, have been very understanding & it is appreciated.”

    ….as is that remark Amber-thank you.

    “Anthony, has been incredibly lenient & understanding, this truly is an amazing site thanks to him.”

    He has-absolutely.

  14. @ Colin

    To be honest with you, I don’t really think it matters much what his rationale was. I mean unless he’s pleading an insanity defense of some kind and I don’t know what insanity test Norway has (or if they even have one at all) but his belief in the rationality of killing 94 people doesn’t seem particularly convincing.

    I hated camp as a kid and so I’m not sure I would have enjoyed a camp simply run by a political party. Though I can understand the concept for those who like summer camp and those who enjoy politics, a political summer camp would be very appealling.

    @ Old Nat

    This is off-topic but related to our conversation earlier this week on diet. Check out this blog:

    http://www.susandopart.com/blog/

    I swear by this woman and find her incredibly helpful.

  15. @Tinged Fringe – “LDs were a party mainly of left and centrist voters, but is now mainly centrist voters but leaning toward the left.”

    YouGov March aggregated gives LD identification for May 2010:

    left 86, centre 26, right 18.

    And for March 2011:

    left 34, centre 15, right 10

    We are quoting different sources, but looking just at YouGov after sections of the vote share have peeled off to Lab/Con/Others, the majority of remaining LDs still describe themselves as on the left.

    The March YouGov aggregates also have info on “will not vote”/”don’t know” and the other parties. Btw I have seen on these pages the contention that BNP appeals to disenchanted Labour voters, not on these figures… which indicate their supporters self-describing as “very right” by a proportion or 10:1 to any other category.

  16. In southern England, when some one says of another that they are ‘political’ it seems to suggest that these ‘political’ people are lefties.

    This seems to imply that left wing people are the ones who
    know about politics.

    I am on here from time to time, and I feel that the ‘right wingers’ seem to be rude to ‘lefties’ as well.

    For example I am very proud that I have been a teacher in the public sector since leaving Oxford (History) in 1978, but one contributor here used the phrase ‘council school master’ in a negative sense.

    Possibly the emotive stuff comes from the fact that Politics, like Religion can be very deep, and threats to our beliefs touch us atavistically.

  17. @Chris Lane – >‘political’ people are lefties<

    In large parts of the south, especially more rural areas, it is as if the social changes ushered in by the industrial revoulution had never happened. Many, however grudgingly, accept the status quo maintained by 'the powers that be', in other words the land-owning squirearchy.

    Being political is a bit naughty and daring, only for the sort of people who would have been fined one penny for not attending church.

  18. I went to Oslo once with my friend who really didn’t like it. I much prefer the Swedes.

  19. @BILLY BOB

    Thank you for that helpful insight.

    The vast majority of my pupils, in a grammar school, come from homes where their parents at ‘supper’ discuss a range of topics- excluding religion and politics:

    House prices, cars, holidays, food, clothes and the worst topic of all: how our children are getting on at school/university; competitive parenting.

  20. @Chris Lane

    You might be interested in a conversation I had the other weekend about a primary school in East Sussex, and the massive improvements made there during the time that Gordon Brown was Chancellor.

    In the 1990s there were only three teachers for the mixed age classes.

    The ‘room’ which then served as head’s study, secretary’s office and staff-room is now used as a stationary cupboard.

    I have personally heard remarks to the effect that it does not “do” to give “village children” more than the rudiments of education, because it would only make them dissatisfied with their lot.

  21. @ Colin.

    That “grub around for explanations…” (and excuses – you missed the “excuses”) comment wasn’t aimed at you actually. It was a response to some genuinely worrying comments I have seen on other right-leaning blogs seeking to contextualise what happened last week as somehow the fault of the liberal-left.

    But since you felt the comment was aimed at you, perhaps you could exapnd on your argument that, “…it would seem to be that tolerant & open societies -particularly Nordic ones-who have welcomed immigrants of the Muslim faith in significant numbers , have thereby imported a strand of violent intolerance associated with it.”

  22. @Billy Bob.

    Ah but you’re missing the point. As Gove himself has said, the quality of the school buildings are irrelevant. (Given that the state edcuation sector is constantly exhorted to follow the lead of the private sector, one assumes the policy at Eton is to cram 40 kids into a leaking Portakabin for History classes…)

    Having been educated in a Dearne Valley school set up to churn out pit-fodder, I agree wholeheartedly with the “village children” comments. Get them digging up turnips from the age of 3 while singing “All Things Bright & Beautiful”. That’ll learn them.

  23. The balance of posters on the site being heavily tilted towards the left at the moment comes from two things –

    Firstly, it’s because Labour are ahead in the polls at the moment, and the balance has always been tilted towards the side that is “on the up” – I expect just because it’s more enjoyable to look at and discuss polls when they are telling you good news! Nowt we can do about that.

    The second factor is that if the discussion is heavily tilted in one direction it doesn’t make it a welcoming environment for people with other political views – hence why I discourage even friendly and inoffensive partisanship. I don’t want a newcomer to the site to read the comments and see it as lots of Labour supporters discussing polling, I would like them to see it as lots of people discussing politics, who if they looked very closely and read between the lines they might guess were Labour supporters.

  24. The site might look more inviting if all posters had a coloured background….

    I’d quite like a blue one.

    Mind you, it’d have to be a very light shade of blue….

  25. Has anybody done an analysis of the “balance of posters” being left wing?

    I’ve posted a lot so that might give an impression of a lot of posters. But there are quite a few people swift to argue, choenlai, colin, various howards, sergio, bbc spring immediately to mind.

    Certainly I have felt that some posters want to address the issues raised but others just want to say, “your lot were worse you bunch of hypocrites”. It’s been a very exciting couple of weeks what with the phone hacking scandal, and the next bunch of economic data is due now.

    I will endeavour to hide my partisanship under a red bushel and see if I can’t be less annoying.

  26. @BILLY BOB
    Yes, the capital transformation in schools has been huge.

    However, and I speak as a teacher, there is still a huge
    problem of lack of expectations and aspiration. Not just from children and parents, also from teachers.

    The ‘Left’ has not addressed that systemic problem

  27. Even if the Tories were ahead in the polls, you would see more posts that were anti-government. This is perfectly normal. When Labour were in government, I suspect that the posts were mainly negative, with people having digs about GB’s personality. The same happens for all aspects of life. For example, you will see more negative postings online about Banks or Insurance companies, than you will see positive ones.

    The main thing is to ensure that the postings nevers become personal or are just added to insult rather to inform.

    I don’t think you will ever come to a happy medium regarding partisanship. This is a site about political polling, so will naturally bring to the fore arguments about the policies and personalities of politicians and their political parties.

    In terms of moderation policy, I think it is perfectly reasonable at the moment, as posts only seemed to be snipped or removed where posters have gone too far.

    If you support a particular party, you have to take the rough with the smooth. For Tory/LD supporters, being that government is extremely difficult at the moment, you will just have to plough on, as you have no choice. Don’t expect people to be happy either now or at the next election. This was predicted last year, that the party who won the 2010 election could be out of office for a long time, after the subsequent election.

  28. Socal Liberal

    “There are a lot of people who are unfortunately filled with hate. But they’re not violent killers nor would they dream of ever killing others for their political views.”

    You can’t say this. There’s no telling what someone filled with hate will end up doing, whatever their original intentions. Hatred is destoying of mankind, including the character of the person who harbours the hatred. It changes people’s characters if not checked by them.

    I think you have too naive and high opinion of human nature.

    Apologies to other posters for a non-polling related comment.

  29. For those who are interested EM has released an updated list of his meetings with news editors etc from the General Election to present.

    http://www.labour.org.uk/updated-list-of-meetings

  30. @ Colin

    “What seems irrational to you & I may seem entirely rational to exteremists of all persuasions.”

    Interesting point. However, the much I cared to read of the “manifesto”, it seems to me to be a direct attack on reason. It is mainly about feelings, experience of the mind, introspection (not really, because it is not the individual, but an abstract society, but I have no idea what else word could express it). And here BJ today is perfectly right, I think, about the unnecessity to study the murderer’s mind.

    As much as I read, I got an uncomfortable feeling of what nobody seems to pick up in the media (perhaps deliberately?) – a lot of the language of existentialism and phenomenology scattered around in this document (not to mention the reported line by his lawyer about his admission).

    I honestly don’t want to analyse it here (or anywhere else) this, but I found your comment interesting and open ended.

  31. Lefty

    ” perhaps you could exapnd on your argument that, “…it would seem to be that tolerant & open societies -particularly Nordic ones-who have welcomed immigrants of the Muslim faith in significant numbers , have thereby imported a strand of violent intolerance associated with it.”

    Because senior members of the Norwegian Labour Party called for a “fight against radical Islam in Norway.” recently.

    Because the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) issued this warning in a recent report.

    “In Norway, extreme Islamist activity is carried out by small groups. However, the international connections the persons in these groups represent, in addition to activities they carry out, are such in nature that they can also influence that national threat picture,”

  32. Unless I’ve misunderstood, the terrible events in Norway have nothing to do with Islam at all, and to seek to blame multiculturalism seems unwise.

    You might as well blame all right wingers for the Norwegian attack as blame all Muslims for 9/11 or 7/7.

  33. @Colin

    If we continue too far with this discussion we may, quite rightly, fall foul of Anthony’s Comments Policy. Suffice to say, I was more surprised by the timing of your comments rather than their specific content which, as I said at the time, I did not fully understand anyway. I just felt, on a simply emotional and humane level, that to question the purposes of a gathering of young people at a time when very nearly 100 of them had been brutally and mercilessly slain, was, to say the least, a little questionable. Equally, I don’t accept that any knowledge of the history of the Norwegian Labour Party, or its position in that country’s politics, was germane to the argument at all, certainly not at this very early stage of the tragedy. Maybe I was reading too much into your comments, but I sensed a little qualification creeping in that I found distasteful, almost as if you were trying to inject balance into an issue where unequivocal condemnation and abhorrence was the only option.

    The important thing for all of us when a tragedy of this scale occurs is to respond humanely and, to some extent, emotionally. To start to pick over the political aspects of it so soon, in my view, is not appropriate. There will be political implications, because Brievik’s heinous act appears to be a politically inspired one, but that’s not for now.

    Maybe I reacted emotionally to your observations and did so intemperately as a result. Apologies for that if I did so and we must continue to agree to disagree as, I suspect, you and I will probably do until we draw our last breath!

  34. @ Nick Poole

    “Has anybody done an analysis of the “balance of posters” being left wing?”

    If you did the analysis (beyond some numbers of postings, etc.) it would be tainted by the analyser’s own assumptions.

    Nevertheless, look at the dates when rather good news come out for the conservatives or labour (rather few good news for libdems) and you will see the immediate tilting. It is especially visible if it happens during a discussion in the middle of a discussion about a completely different issue.

    I don’t think this can be helped.

    In a number of discussions there is definitely an aim of building up coalitions behind the argument that reaches across political affiliations or feelings. In these discussions the debating parties are actually individuals and not political affiliations. It is partly personal sympathies based on the posts, partly common views on certain issues. You can see very surprising coalitions. To me the most revealing were those around the first wobble of the government a year ago.

    There are discussions among individuals in which people chip in. If there is a political imbalance in the posters, then you will have the impression of imbalances.

    There are posts that stand alone and nobody really engages with them. Many of these are about enhancing our understanding or knowledge. These are “stored” in the minds of the regular posters (I hope), but for a casual visitor do not appear. Some of these posts are simply because there is a great deal of expertise and experience here that are shared.

    What, in my view, create bad impressions, are the situations and no doubt there have been many in the last month, when there is an urge in various posters to offer support to one or another poster whom one feels politically affiliated (at least to a degree) irrespective of the actual content of the supported message. This, while transient, gives the strongest impression and the one that AW dislikes the most (apart from PMQT :-)). In these situations the defensive reflexes are just too strong.

    I don’t think arrival or leaving of posters change much about these features.

    I tried to be arm’s length while writing this – as I wrote, I could see my posts in various categories…

  35. chris lane

    “Possibly the emotive stuff comes from the fact that Politics, like Religion can be very deep, and threats to our beliefs touch us atavistically.”

    Belief is the problem, whether political or religious, that
    has brought us terrorists of all sorts, right, left and religious, lax regulation of banking and newspapers.

    My English teacher told me that there was a lie in the centre of every beLIEf

    At the time we thought he was teaching us spelling.

    Ah ken noo!

    I’m a Unitarian and don’t do belief.

  36. Laxman’s gone.

    Here comes Sachin.

  37. I have to say, the Norway tragedy really got to me. I’m 17, politically interested, and I’ve been to equivalent UK Labour Party meetings. Spent quite a lot of yesterday thinking that but for the chance I was born in the UK and not Norway, that could so easily have been me. It’s the internal element that is so frightening. Islamic terrorist attacks are almost of the course, but for Breivik to be a Norwegian national just makes it so much more terrifying.

  38. I don’t want a newcomer to the site to read the comments and see it as lots of Labour supporters discussing polling, I would like them to see it as lots of people discussing politics, who if they looked very closely and read between the lines they might guess were Labour supporters.
    ———————————————–
    That’s me done for :-(

    I don’t even use a red background because it’s so obvious that I’m a Labour supporter, the background seems excessive.
    8-)

  39. Amber

    “That’s me done for”

    I would doubt that! Like most on here you write from the point of view of your own beliefs, but I don’t remember you making “silly” partisan points which are only there to slag off other posters or their parties.

  40. @Nick P

    …and there goes Sachin! He should have been given out by Billy Bowden a few overs before he was and Strauss dropped him at first slip off Anderson. He looked all at sea and couldn’t hit Swann off the square.

    The Little Master and Lords don’t seem to get on with each other, do they?

  41. Crossbat11 & Nick Poole

    Took me some time to work out that you were talking about Krickett.

    I saw that on a village green in Sussex once. It seemed to be a strange form of shinty – except that only two players had sticks, and the goals were awful wee. :-)

    (The beer was good, though)

  42. @ OldNat

    Yes, I’d forgotten that the Scots were largely immune to the many attractions of the old game. Maybe that was why you gave us one of the least effective England captains of all time; Mike Denness. Was that your fiendish revenge for us inventing, and then exporting to your fine country, the great game of cricket?

    Mind you returned the favour with curling, I suppose!

  43. Chris Lane & LeftyLampton

    The “village school” attitude has been alien to Scotland for several centuries.

    Deference is a concept that many in some parts of Scotland would have difficulty in comprehending.

    Here on Bute, the local landowner is just one of hundreds who control family business directly in the tourist industry, or supporting the tourist industry as quality food producers He happens to have more money than the rest but is regarded as a successful operator making an important contribution to the community.

    Even those of us not in the tourist industry realise that “we are all in it together” and that Johnny Bute (aka Johnny Dumfries, racing driver) is one of many who are not only interdependent, but on whose success transport and other services for the rest of the population depend.

    Further North, if your ancestor got a bad reputation during the clearances, you would be well advised not to go to the loo in a pub leaving your beer unattended.

    Schools are, and always were, different, right from the beginning.

    In my time there was networking and nepotism among those educated at private [tr: public] schools, but it worked the other way too. In 1964, as a recently qualified accountant, I was told I nearly wasn’t appointed to my post in a supermarket business because of that. Perhaps they were influenced by the fact that a former classmate of mine, whose only qualification was that he was his father’s son, was a director of a subsiduary company which bore his name.

    The main division was in the state schools, and that company asked the question “Which School did you go to” The predjudice was for or against on the religious divide.and the name of the School was an instant indicator.

    Today the issues in schools are different to a surreal degree as you can see here:

    http://mull-escape.co.uk/self-catering/save-mull-ulva-primary

    The threat of closure has been removed. Elsewhere a school has been reopened for a single pupil.

    Scots are not impressed by extensive press coverage of a very different system in a different country with different problems and proposed solutions grounded in political principles and theories unmoderated by practicalities.

    Look up the video and spot the difference.

  44. CROSSBAT11

    Your post much appreciated (& understood )-particularly the last paragraph.

  45. @ John B Dick

    The utter lack of deference in Scottish society, I think is key to our political identity. We look at Cameron differently and the Tories. By and large we don;t share their world view, their views on education and on health and on the market, in general.

    Hence we have two parties occupying essentially the same political ground -albeit with different roots and different solutions – taking over 75% of the available vote. In fact pre 2010 we had three parties on the same ground ( In truth we still do – just that the Lib-dems joined Tories in an act of political hari-kiri – at least in Scotland.) And even our largest minor party – the Greens occupy broadly similar ground. It’s perfectly possible for someone to have voted for 5 political parties in Scottish Elections since 1999 ( Scottish socialists, as well as four other non Tories) and have had no political shift in values at all.

    The Tories represent a devoted minority in Scotland whilst all other parties battle for a centre-left sensibility.

    Your comments on Bute are interesting. ( I had a brilliant week there last week in fact – gorgeous weather for once) I found a similar situation when visiting friends in Shetland in the 1990’s. I found myself in a bridge school at Scalloway social club with a fisherman, the deputy director of finance and an unemployed schoolleaver and each seemed perfectly at home. I think economic survival of small communities breeds an innate solidarity between all citizens – regardless of traditional definitions of class, religion, political ideology and the rest – an awareness that what unites us is always far greater than what divides us.

  46. @Billy Bob and @Chris Lane – Re new schools; It’s not relevant to polling, but I thought it might interest you that I am currently engaged by an LEA to try to work out why all their new BSF schools have seen their energy consumption double and the official building energy efficiency rating plummet.

    Over specification is my current target, but I’ll have the official report finished in a couple of weeks.

  47. AmberStar

    “….SNP are center/left (except for their corporation tax policy) …”

    …and their nuclear policy which is further left than anybody at Westminster except the lone Green and is deeply inconvenient to Labour because the leadership have long abandoned it believing that they cannot be elected without pandering to “Middle England” whose opinions are formed by the Murdoch press, despite the fact that many, perhaps most, of their longest serving and most active members privately adhere to the previous policy.

    In Scotland there have been from two to four other electable choices to the left of Labour, and voters know it.

    .

  48. Iceman

    “The utter lack of deference in Scottish society, I think is key to our political identity.”

    I agree, but it’s also necessary to recognise the downside of that as well. It can lead to the attitude of bringing down those who “get above themselves”.

    Most traits have good and bad sides (though I can’t think of a good side to deference :-) )

  49. Iceman @ John B Dick

    “The utter lack of deference in Scottish society, I think is key to our political identity.”

    It really is total and complete: The clearances and Red Clydeside, and the Lord Kelvin role model.

    “It’s perfectly possible for someone to have voted for 5 political parties in Scottish Elections since 1999 ( Scottish socialists, as well as four other non Tories) and have had no political shift in values at all.”

    I might have done that actually though I’m not sure. Because I moved constituencies I certainly voted for four, and I attended meetings of the fifth as a supporter, not a member.

    “The Tories represent a devoted minority in Scotland whilst all other parties battle for a centre-left sensibility.”

    And even some of them have gone native a bit.

    “Your comments on Bute are interesting. ( I had a brilliant week there last week in fact – gorgeous weather for once)”

    Lets make contact if you come again.

    “I think economic survival of small communities breeds an innate solidarity between all citizens – regardless of traditional definitions of class, religion, political ideology and the rest – an awareness that what unites us is always far greater than what divides us.”

    That must be right, especially if the landowner’s son go to the same school as everyone else in a very rural area. I wonder if there is any research on this. If not OLDNAT should do it.

    We’re all in it together.

    Alle Menschen werden Brüder

  50. Does the “Happiness Index” remind anybody else of John Major’s Cones Helpline?

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