Full results for the Sunday Times/YouGov poll are now up here. As you’d might expect, given it’s silly season and it’s the only story in the news, the focus is again on the riots.

On the regular leadership trackers there is little change – David Cameron’s job approval stands at minus 12 (from minus 14 last week, and typical of late), Ed Miliband’s is minus 18 (from minus 22, still holding onto the increase he got from hackgate), Nick Clegg’s is minus 42.

As in the Channel 4 poll yesterday the primary causes of the riots are seen as criminality, gang culture and bad parenting (all named by 61% of people when asked to pick the main causes, and the top three when asked to pick the ONE main cause). That is followed, a long way behind, by social deprivation (23%) and unemployment (18%). Very few people though that the government’s cuts (10%) or poor policing (11%) were amongst the main causes.

45% think Cameron responded well to the riots (52% badly), 44% thought Boris responded well (45% badly). These are significantly up on similar questions YouGov asked for the Sun when the riots were still ongoing, which had 28% saying Cameron was doing well and only 24% for Boris – people are presumably viewing their reactions a lot more positively now things have quietened down. In contrast Theresa May is still seen as having reacted badly to the riots (31% well, 53% badly). For the opposition, 40% thought Miliband did well (40% badly) and Harriet Harman 26% well, 44% badly.

66% think the police responded well to the riots, with 31% saying badly – again this is significantly up on YouGov’s poll for the Sun in the week when the number thinked they’d handled it well was 52%. Asked how much confidence they have in the police to protect people and property from rioters 53% of people have some or a lot of confidence, 37% do not have a lot of confidence, 9% have none at all.

On the police cuts 56% of people think they should be cancelled, even if this means bigger cuts elsewhere. 23% of people think they should go ahead. Amongst the COnservative party’s own supporters 47% think the police cuts should be cancelled.

Finally there were some questions on Cameron’s “broken society”. YouGov re-asked a question from back in 2009 about whether people though Britain was a broken society, in regard of the area people themselves lived in, and in relation to the country as a whole. 37% think it is true in relation to the area they live (which is significantly down from 2009 when YouGov originally asked the question) with people most likely to agree in London. 74% think society is broken in Britain as a whole, virtually unchanged from 2009. Comparing ourselves to other European countries, 38% of people think British society is more broken than in other countries, 13% that British society is stronger and more stable and 39% that they are much the same.

There is very little confidence in the government’s policies solving the problems of “broken Britain” – only 22% think the government’s education policies will improve or mend society, 27% their welfare policies, 26% their law and order polices and 22% their economic policies. In every case a larger proportion of respondents think the government’s policies will make the problems in British society worse.


266 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times on the riots”

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  1. @ Neil A

    Interesting discussion about the police. How very different the tone is from a few weeks ago!
    ————————————————-
    Yes, most of the people here are very fair. There is not a for or against attitude to the police; rather there is approval when the police do well & disapproval when they don’t.
    8-)

  2. OLD NAT. I woke up so can respond, thank you for your response.
    On the point of 5 GCSE Grade C’s. Yes. Grade C is quite a basic level, well below the old O Level Grade C or 6 when I was a boy.

    On the question of schools generally I note that the PM will be speaking today about moral collapse including ‘schools without discipline’ . The rioters will be rioting in school next month.

    A proof that in England at least the state schools are inadequate and failing pupils is that the leaders of society tend to send their own children to schools that are not LEA schools; either private schools or church schools.

    Money must play a role, as Mrs Thatcher taught us; everything has to be paid for- £5K for a state school Head to spend per capita against £15k and more in the independent sector.

    I had hoped that the Blair Governments would make a substantial difference, but, sadly, they did not really.

    Of course I accept the causal link between families and schooling. That explains the flight of so many parents of ‘nice’ children to ‘nice’ schools. I am sorry but I would not want my children to have to sit in class with the children and young people involved in the ‘riots’.

    It is very sad that boroughs like Knowsley have very few Three Grade A students at A level.

    Sad that the majority of pupils who achieve Grade A’s in the facilitating subjects (Russell Group criteria) are from the private sector.

    700 pupils were expelled from schools for violent behaviour last year in England, and it is very hard to get a permanent exclusion.

    ‘Nice’ children, whose parents cant afford a private school, or get themselves into a middle class catchment ae being let down. Generation to generation

  3. The police are correct to push back against adopting US style policing for UK gangs. The gang culture in the Uk is not the same as in the US; it is nowhere near being the problem here that it was in the US.

    In the US, the public had reached the point where they were demanding that something be done about the level of gang-related violence. The general public are not at that point in the Uk.

    If the zero tolerance/ harrass the gang leaders policy results in major gang/ inter-racial violence kicking off in the Uk & things getting worse not better, the police chiefs will look very wise & DC could be in real trouble with the voters.
    8-)

  4. As I pointed out above the Orde and the rest of the police have been quite happy to take advice off Bratton in the past. I think what we’ve seen is the typical gang warfare demand of ‘get of my patch’. It’s directed not at Bratton (though he did seem rather fond of swanning around rather than staying at home when he was at the LAPD) but at Cameron.

    Partly it’s to point out he does have nothing to do with it, but also I suspect to help shoot down this half-witted idea of elected police commissioners.

    I think it’s daft too, but Bratton is now saying that he is ‘seriously interested’ in the job according to an interview in the Guardian. Cameron is obviously wanting to go for one of those ‘pointless rows with people on your own side’ which Blair used to go for. By the way you have to be an American citizen (or applying) to join to LAPD.

    Still that’s what patriotism’s all about, changing your nationality to make some money (see Murdoch, R).

  5. chrislane1945

    Although you work, and I worked, within different systems I suspect that our differences are ideological rather than system related.

    However, there are significant system differences.

    “A proof that in England at least the state schools are inadequate and failing pupils is that the leaders of society tend to send their own children to schools that are not LEA schools; either private schools or church schools.”

    You could put that the other way around. English state schools may be the way they are because your “leaders of society” [Thank God that neither the Bullingdonians nor their equivalents at St Andrew’s Uni are the leaders of my society!] don’t integrate with the community.

    My former MSP’s son went to the local school I taught in. My daughter’s former MSP’s daughter went to hers (“former”, of course, because of the sea change in Scottish politics in May).

    Assuming that your exceptionally stratified society is “normal” may be part of the problem within your structure. I have pointed out earlier that English systems tend to be very introspective.

    “Narrow nationalism” is a very unhelthy tendency that trust our southern friends will grow out of. :-)

  6. chrislane1945

    I replied, but something I said was caught in the spam trap.

  7. UK gang culture is more similar to the US than you might think. We’re basically on the same track, just a long way behind the Americans.

    The reason the riots were more or less confined to England is that the kind of area where they generally occurred (high density, with a large african-caribbean community, and situated close to wealthier areas) are more or less an England-only phenonenon (apart from parts of Cardiff, where indeed there was a little bit of trouble too).

    @Amber,

    I don’t think there’s any danger of zero-tolerance/harassing the gang leaders leading to things getting worse. Indiscriminate and disrespectful use of search powers might, but that’s not really what’s being proposed I think. IDS is talking about targeted, coordinated action being taken against the “Faces” that the lower echelons of gang culture look up to.

    As for the idea that Northern Ireland is a more appropriate test bed for dealing with English inner cities than the States, I think that’s complete balderdash. I don’t pretend to know very much of the day to day experience on the streets of Belfast, but I know the history of Ireland and the troubles very well. The inapplicability of Nothern Ireland policing to England is at the core of the reasons why all the talk of watercannons, baton rounds and using the Army was just so much c***.

    Your average yob on the streets of England lives in a dream world where he imagines himself becoming some kind of South Central LA gangsta dripping with gold, drugs and “p**sy”. Not for nothing were Mark Duggan’s (more or less) last words “I’m being followed by the Feds”.

  8. More seriously on the topic of police budgets, does anyone know what the situation is with regard to the compensation due under the Riot Damages Act 1886. The police are supposed to pay up for any damage under this and Cameron seemed keen on that happening. But there are already technical problems. According to the Telegraph:

    Britain’s police authorities are [not] going to make it easy. Grudgingly, and with great difficulty, the authorities produced a form that can be used to make these claims, but it is clear that it has not been used in a while. For a start, you have to write the date on a dotted line that assumes that the year starts with 19, and it also expects you to make your claim in pounds, shillings and pence.

    If you read the article, there are going to all sorts of problems for those claiming and the police, both legal and organisational. Dealing with the uninsured claimants will be particularly tricky, but the insurance companies will also be fighting hard.

    But the real problem will be that I haven’t yet heard if the government will be reimbursing any payouts. If not there are going to be real crises in police budgets. There are also going to be a lot of riot victims out of business not because of the riots but because of unwillingness to pay up. That’s not going to look good.

    Like Neil A I also wonder if slowness in response was due to a lack of reassurances to other forces. That’s all part of the lack of coordination, but it would be interesting if someone (Cameron? May? Osborne? Alexander?) had at first refused to give an open-ended guarantee and so held things up.

  9. @alec

    “To be fair to Osborne, he did say he would have to find other ways to tax people if he did drop the 50p rate, but I don’t really think his heart’s in it.”

    Yes, if LVT takes a hold that could be a big worry for all parties. The majority of the voting public own property, so keeping that tax away from the majority will have to become another sophisticated tax exercise. Of course they could go the whole hog and apply LVT to all properties, with appropriate weighting.

    No more trusts or holding property in companies — tough, whomever owns it pays it. And while clearly the 50% tax rate is a dog-whistle issue, there will probably be significant fiscal pressures as the fall out from the riots crystallises.

    “I’m still waiting for the big revolt over planning law reform. [There were no] … members of the National Trust raging in anger about the potential loss of greenbelt land.”

    The recent young person’s Question Time was interesting. For me the issues seem to be:

    * Education — what’s the point? £9k pa and no certainty of a good job.
    * Housing — what’s the point? 8 or 9x the average salary (average! Ha! I’m luck to have a job giving me minimum wage).
    * Pensions — you taking the p1ss?
    * Car insurance — don’t need it mate.

    The aspirational society clearly aspired to putting their mitts through Dixon’s window and achieving their goals. All very nasty, all very bad.

    But now we have the (unbelievable) interaction between the government and police with each blaming each other over who was in charge. I must admit that this government still appears naive. Comments pandering to the Daily Mail (evicting people, stiffer sentences, …) and rhetoric around ‘sick’ elements of society all seem to show more of an interest in the political message rather than showing leadership.

    I was expecting the high and mighty approach — opps, but we now know what we are doing, leave it to us. We are an inclusive government (a coalition, don’t you know!). But no, they went straight to pandering the right.

    Labour, on the other hand, seem to be playing a more canny game. Ed Milliband is playing the, we got it wrong before, mate view. And is trying to be statesman like — public enquiry please — it’s in all our interest. They are also trying not to jump on the we need Socialist policies message (although ironically we probably do — more social housing to force down rents and house prices, getting LVT to replace student loans, etc). What with hackgate and this EM has some good opportunities to get his message across. Hackgate has reduced (temporarily?) the fear of politicians to confront the media.

    The party season starts next month, and it will be interesting to see if anything has really changed. The Tories need to get on the front foot. LDs will need to force up their moderating influence theme to gain their credibility, and Labour has a chance to shine in our Brave New World.

    Interesting times indeed!

    Back into the shadows…

  10. POLL ALERT

    Panelbase / Sunday Times
    (note: Panelbase are not a BPC member)

    “… The survey conducted by Panelbase, revealed 65 per cent of the British public believe Megrahi should have remained in a Scottish prison to continue his sentence, with just 20 per cent saying he should have been transferred to a Libyan prison.

    … Five-hundred-and-five Scottish voters were interviewed in the poll and 616 voters from the rest of the UK, aged 18 and above, between August 2 and August 9 this year.

    Among the Scottish voters, 35 per cent said Megrahi should resume his sentence in a Scottish prison, 31 per cent said he should resume his sentence in a Libyan prison and 24 per cent said he should remain free.

    Half, or 52 per cent, said their opinion now was that Megrahi should have remained in a Scottish prison to continue his sentence and 24 per cent said he should have been transferred to a Libyan prison.

    A total of 18 per cent of Scottish voters said their opinion was that it was right to release him on compassionate grounds…”

    (behind paywall:)

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/Terrorism/article702356.ece

    Anthony, I thought that YouGov were the sole suppliers of opinion polling to News International. Is the YG / NI love affair over?

    [Nope, we do GB polling for the Sun and the Sunday Times. Populus do polling for the Times (and ICM used to do it for the NotW), and our deal only covers GB polling, not Scottish, Welsh or London polling (or indeed, anything other than GB polls) – AW]

  11. “As for the result being against
    Labour. surely it is good to have a politician who is
    prepared to risk that, rather than one following the Daily
    Mails agenda,knee jerk policies and all.”
    I agree, that was my point.

    Better that we fully understand these problems, than cover-over certain areas that we might not like the outcome of.
    Like an investigation of the economic causes for the right, or family/social causes for the left.

    Miliband’s tone suggests he would open the enquiry to all angles, which is a good start.

    But it’d be a shame if we don’t use this situation to do thorough research in to the politics/political psychology of the politically ‘dispossessed’.
    If we don’t understand *why* these people feel rejected by traditional political structures, how are we going to ever engage in that way?

  12. And this isn’t good news to open the markets with –
    BDO business confidence is down, July at 95.1 from 95.6 in June.

  13. I see this morning that DC has announced a review of all gov policies, in light of the riots.

    Does this presage a shift to more right wing policies or is it some admission that existing policies might be creating unrest?

    Has NC agreed to this review? Whare does this leave LD policies and the Coalition Agreement?

  14. @NEIL A.

    Brilliant post. Thank you. It expresses so clearly the unpalatable idea, wit which I agree, that we are on the American track with regard to gangs.

    I too know quite a bit about the north of Ireland or the six counties as some of us would prefer to call them.
    Where is EOIN by the way?

    The socio-political and economic situation in Belfast and Derry/Londonderry is very different to that of London and Manchester and Birmingham.

    Dallek’s biography of JFK has a very interesting passage apposite to our crisis with parts of the Afro-Caribbean communities- The Kennedy brothers told MLK and his supporters that they should encourage their people to adopt the same approach to self improvement and to family life that Irish Americans had adopted. The idea was greeted with increduility.

    Did you see the BBC News TV discussion at 7.45 this morning about the ‘Respect’ which society does not show the rioting ‘communities’?

    Extraordinary

  15. “The review will look at education, welfare, families, parenting, addiction, communities, the “twisting and misrepresenting of human rights that has undermined personal responsibility” and the “obsession with health and safety that has eroded people’s willingness to act according to common sense”.”
    So the review will start with a series of populist and right-wing assumptions.
    I’m no scientist, but typically if you start with biased assumptions, you end up with biased conclusions.

    “He will go on to pledge that, together with ministers, he will consider whether government plans and programmes are bold enough to mend a “broken society”.”
    Which surely signals an acceleration of the Conservative agenda?

    Now, if you’re (small-c) conservative or right-wing inclined, this’ll be great news.
    But what then, for the LibDems?

    The ‘health and safety gone mad’ and ‘human rights gone mad’ angles are things that might upset the LibDems, who’re strong on human rights and health and safety.

    But this could be a good point for the LibDems to stand up for what they believe in.
    It becomes clearer and clearer, when Cameron introduces policies that are Conservative and not in the coalition agreement, that the LibDems have to make a choice – merge, ideologically (not formally) with the Tories or stand up for what they believe in.

    I would imagine the left-wing LD MPs, like Simon Hughes, Charles Kennedy (who voted against the coalition) and Mike Hancock (to name a few) are feeling pretty uncomfortable with this sort of rhetoric.

  16. On a different note, but with just as serious political impact, has anyone seen the two business confidence surveys on the BBC website?

    A very difficult time for the economy ahead.

  17. Mike N,

    I’d suggest that not a few Conservatives will see this as the ideal moment fto engineer a split with the LDs and a call a subsequent election under a law and order banner. Cameron will be looking for confirmation that such an election is winnable in the polls.

    On which point, where is the YouGov political tracker poll today? I thought this was a daily event; am I missing something?

  18. To TINGED FRINGE.
    Very good point on the Liberal Democrats.

    The events of 1922 and what the Tories did to Lloyd George’s Liberals to break up his Coalition Government are very apposite here.

  19. Bob C

    “I’d suggest that not a few Conservatives will see this as the ideal moment fto engineer a split with the LDs and a call a subsequent election under a law and order banner. Cameron will be looking for confirmation that such an election is winnable in the polls.”

    Indeed, but with the party conferences about to start is DC’s announcment just some preparatory rhetoric?

    The LD conference looks like it will really interesting, especially as we expect some detail of boundaries changes to be available too by then.

    There is not YG poll over the weekend. The next one appears tonite/tomorrow.

  20. I wonder…

    I can’t really see Cameron going to the country on a Law n Order ticket in the middle of a giant row with the police and his suggestion of putting an American gangbuster in charge of the Met.

    But huge polling movements might persuade him. We haven’t seen much of those recently though.

  21. I did wonder how long it would take politicians to start telling us again about how everything has broken down, it’s all worse than it’s ever been but not to worry – they’ll fix it for us.

    The riots were clearly nasty, although nothing in scale, ferocity and coverage to the frequent bouts of violence in the 1980’s, but I would also suggest that when discussing this people ought to remind themselves eery ten minutes or so that since 1995 crime has been falling consistently and that UK citizens on average are safer now than they have been for many, many years.

    To my mind, this simple fact makes much of what have heard over the last few days look like childish posturing – particularly the bits about the state system sometimes encouraging social breakdown. If a huge drop in crime is the price we have to pay for state sponsored social breakdown – more please.

    There is no room for complacency and it’s clear there is a developing gang culture in some areas – I don’t share the view of others that this is something we should be more or less relaxed about, but I do think it is being overplayed. We ought to remember the success of specific initiatives against gun and knife crime, and remind ourselves that law enforcement hasn’t done too bad a job in this regard before we decide on a wholesale overturning of society.

    It’s clear that Cameron wants a small state, and he will use any event possible to get that. The truth of the matter is that the state has been a critical agent in dramatic reductions in crime for a long time. Well done.

  22. @Bob C – really can’t see a ‘Riot Election’ scenario. Cameron might want to pose as Cap’n Law and Order, and if he successfully introduces policies that work it could help him down the track.

    But to go to the country now with a set of policies only, against a backdrop of rising crime and where he has an established track record of poor deliver and U turns would be suicidal. Add the fact that he mishandled the riots in the first place and the economy is tanking, and I think we can discount this as a realistic option.

  23. john fletcher

    I hope Ed M is dangerous to the self serving banks, media and politicians.

  24. @John Fletcher – “EdM is positively dangerous. By trying to shift some of the blame to MP’s and bankers he is effectively giving a green light anyone who wants to riot again.”

    Nonsense. EdM has been extremely vocal and very clear in his assertions that nothing excuses the violence.

    In widening the debate to encompass ethical attitudes across the full social spectrum, he is certainly being provocative and dangerous, but not in the way you think.

    It’s only two weeks ago that three Tory backbench MPs were agreeing with Ed that traditionally politicians had given far too much to big business and had not paid attention to the wider needs of society.

    This train is about to leave the station – you can climb on board or be left miles behind.

  25. @ Alec.

    3 Labour MPs sent to prison for fiddling their expenses. If MPs are to blame then so is the Labour Party.

    Bankers might have taken too much risk but Labour did not complain as GB frittered away the massive taxes he raised on their bonuses.

    If Bankers and MP’s are part of the problem, then it is a problem created and encouraged by the Labour Government in which EdM served as a minister.

    What a hypocrite EdM is.

  26. Thing is, John, you are unlikely ever to vote Lab and I will never vote Con (barring a road to Damascus moment or major change in direction by the party). So your views, and mine, are entrenched. Ed M reallt doesn’t have to persuade you, and anyway, you are unpersuadable.

    A poll that interested me, and made me mellower towards Tories in general, is that more than half Tory voters want cuts to services to be temporary, they don’t buy into the small Government agenda and, basically, they are nowhere near the place that the Coalition has positioned itself on the State-no state line that the electorate slide up and down.

    It’s those who are willing to change their mind that Ed is talking to. Not those who will vote Tory or Lab (or LD) whatever.

  27. @ Nick Poole

    Thing is, John, you are unlikely ever to vote Lab
    _______________________________________

    well at least we agree on one thing :)

  28. It’s very early in a five year parliament for the government to be setting up a major review of everything. This is really an admission of failure and supports my contention [snip, looks at comments policy, wonders why people find it so deviously complicated to understand, sighs – AW]

  29. DavdB
    “The country is in trouble and needs consistent if not strong government.”

    And there perhaps is the line DC and the Cons could take to justify a GE and to seek a mandate.

  30. @John Fletcher – I’m not posting for the reds here, so I have no problem with your criticisms of Labour – I was making the same points myself way back in 2007 when I started posting here. In many ways, I see Labour as worse in this regard as they have the pretence of helping the less advantaged. A Tory Lord has also been convicted of fraud, so let’s maintain the non partisanship.

    This is precisely why Ed’s recent statements are so very dangerous for many powerful vested interests. The wealthy have in effect captured the legislative process in this country and Ed appears to be developing a critique of this, which, if successful, could strike at the very heart of what we have come to view as modern Britain. [Why should a drug taking model be allowed to close down her village for her wedding in secret talks with the council and police, denying other villagers access to legal rights of ways without consultation, just because she wants to keep unwanted cameras away to protect the exclusive Vogue publication contract? Symptomatic of the way officialdom bends over backwards for the spuriously wealthy and ignores the majority].

    The fascinating facts are that despite the revulsion against bankers, fraudulent MPs and criminally motivated newspaper staff, not a single politician jumped up and said that after they had been punished through due legal process, these people should have their child benefits or tax credits taken from them.

    For someone like you,from your side of the political spectrum, you really need to address these issues and decide what you believe in. Do you want a society where justice is blind and everyone is equal before the law, or would you prefer to live in a society where your punishment depends on what the papers are saying and what you background is?

  31. David B

    ‘It’s very early in a five year parliament for the government to be setting up a major review of everything. This is really an admission of failure and supports my contention that this is potentially a worse government and a worse prime minister than Anthony Eden’s’.

    It is an interesting point of view, true the Tories seem to be stuck on 36%; however cuts are not popular and never were and if things get better they may add a few percentage points. 42% and they will be home and dry. DC is not as popular as he would like to be but still I believe leads over EM and NC.

    I think it is unlikely that the LDs will consider anything that will create a GE. The funds are just not available.

    I think it is fair enough that those to the left view this govt as the worst ever. Many Tories and even some LDs said the same about GB.

  32. Alec

    ‘.. not a single politician jumped up and said that after they had been punished through due legal process, these people should have their child benefits or tax credits taken from them’.

    Particularly after the recent legislation associated with the better off I am not sure that they receive much or anything in terms of benefirts/credits.

    Perhaps there are other more appropriate punishments, like a day in the stocks and people could be charged for throwing bad eggs at them and the money could go to the starving kids in Africa. It should raise a fortune.

  33. “I think it is unlikely that the LDs will consider anything that will create a GE. The funds are just not available.”

    Thank goodness the LDs continue to put themselves first. For a very brief time I began to believe they were not self-serving.

  34. @ alec
    Do you want a society where justice is blind and everyone is equal before the law
    __________________________________________

    Yes. Absolutely

    MP’s who broke the law went to prison. Excellent.

    I don’t know about the “drug taking model” story, I’m not into celebrities, but I don’t see that she broke the law in”closing down” the village. She appears to have had the law on her side. If she is caught with drugs, she should be punished like everyone else. Has there been any instance where she had been nicked and then let off?

    Bankers did not break the law. They may have been greedy and careless, but that is only a crime if you break the law in being greedy and careless.

    In short there is NO excuse for breaking the law, be you rich or poor and all should be punished equally. I have never suggested otherwise.

  35. Mike N

    ‘And there perhaps is the line DC and the Cons could take to justify a GE and to seek a mandate’.

    A very perceptive and interesting point raised. While it could work, I expect DC will aim to hold out for the full 5 years. I think because of finance and current state of the Party, the LDs would prefer this too.

  36. Mike N

    “I think it is unlikely that the LDs will consider anything that will create a GE. The funds are just not available.”

    Thank goodness the LDs continue to put themselves first. For a very brief time I began to believe they were not self-serving.

    A Broken Party perhaps; another project for IDS.

  37. Is Cameron looking to make significant changes to the Police Service ?

    Perhaps a similar system to Spain, with smaller local community Police and a much larger national Police, who will move to wherever there is any issue. By doing so, they could cut having county Police forces with all the infrastructure that comes with it. The local community Police could move into council offices to share costs and have mobile units out in the community. The national Police could have large bases in relevant locations which cover much wider areas.

    This appears to be what Cameron is saying, but perhaps he can only acheive this by making small step changes, because current senior Police will not accept any major restructuring.

    Is there any motive behind the Police cuts, other than saving money?

  38. Alec

    ‘In widening the debate to encompass ethical attitudes across the full social spectrum, he is certainly being provocative and dangerous, but not in the way you think’.

    And to be fair IDS also spoke today about failings of MPs, along with everything else.

    However, we have all suffered under bankers, MPs, FTSE 100 fat cats, corrupt police chiefs. Riots do not help and it is important that EM and other politicians continue to make that point.

  39. R Huckle

    ‘Perhaps a similar system to Spain, with smaller local community Police and a much larger national Police, who will move to wherever there is any issue. By doing so, they could cut having county Police forces with all the infrastructure that comes with it. The local community Police could move into council offices to share costs and have mobile units out in the community. The national Police could have large bases in relevant locations which cover much wider areas’.

    I find that quite an attractive proposition but I doubt it is one that DC will adopt.

  40. Tinged Fringe

    ‘I would imagine the left-wing LD MPs, like Simon Hughes, Charles Kennedy (who voted against the coalition) and Mike Hancock (to name a few) are feeling pretty uncomfortable with this sort of rhetoric’.

    I think Simon Hughes who has served a constituency facing every type of social problem would be an ideal person to get involved with IDS.

    One the one hand he has radically different views to IDS but, I believe they both recognise social problems that need to be addressed. I have the greatest respect for Simon who has taken on gangs in his constituency and always stood up for the most vulnerable.

  41. @HENRY

    I think Cameron is moving in the direction of having a National Police force, without the inflexibility he perceives in having county forces.

    I just think that he is not brave enough to bite the bullet, as I doubt that many Tory MP’s and constituency associations will support him, plus even Nick Clegg would be against. Had he been election with a sizeable majority, he may have gone for it.

  42. Both DC and EdM in their comfort zones.

    DC in West Oxon, EdM in his old school.

  43. although anecdotal evidence is pretty meaningless, my parents came up with a shocker the other day. They are both in their sixties and are genuine true blues. They campaigned for Thatcher (I can remember doorstepping as a child around the cobbled streets of Pendle), and even stood by Major in the “wobbly days”. My father’s hatred of anything even remotely associated with Gordon Brown is visceral.

    However… they have lost faith big time. The clinching quote was “I thought Brown’s lot were bad – but this lot take the biscuit”. It is not ideological, it’s competence. It’s taken a year and a half for Cameron to lose two of his party’s strongest supporters. They will never vote for another party – they simply won’t turn out.

    Unless something pretty radical changes, I suspect – indeed would lay money on it – that 36% is growing daily softer. At some point a trickle will become a tide.

  44. Cheesewolf
    ‘The clinching quote was “I thought Brown’s lot were bad – but this lot take the biscuit”. It is not ideological, it’s competence. It’s taken a year and a half for Cameron to lose two of his party’s strongest supporters. They will never vote for another party – they simply won’t turn out’.

    Penrith a fabulous place and lovely old town hall.

    Your parents and the Daily Mail are as one on this, although whereas with your parents ‘It is not ideological, it’s competence’, I suspect from what they write with the Mail ‘It is ideological, not competence

  45. HENRY

    Tories think Brown’s was the worst governement since the 2ndWW and Labourites are increasingly thinking the same about Cameron’s efforts.

    This is either simply good old adverserial politics or a sign that we aren’t getting the quality of politicians we deserve or maybe we are? Taking up a career in politics doesn’t seem a very attractive proposition at the moment does it?

  46. AW

    Apologies for offending againsthe comments policy although I don’t think a one off comment about the disastrous 1956 Eden government was a very serious offence

    What’s the polling evidence on the worst govenement since 1945 – taking on board the fact that this is loaded with unquantifiable value judgements.

  47. @john Fletcher – “MP’s who broke the law went to prison”.

    Did they? All of them? I very small number were selected for legal charges, but a much more substantial number who appeared on the face of it to have done strikingly similar things were not charged. Of the numerous MPs who used less obvious methods to line their pockets that could have fallen short of criminal behaviour under the current laws, none recieved any form of discipline as far as I am aware.

    If you then explore sentences given down for major fraud and crime within the banking sector, these are painfully lenient, with the added bonus that crimes are rarely fully investigated and charges are rare. Compare to the US treatment of corporate crime.

    It’s all very well hiding behind the mantra of those who broke the law went to prison, but you need to understand that the law is written and applied differentially – that’s the point.

    Agree on IDS. I don’t always support his diagnosis and some of his policy suggestions are wide of the mark in my view, but I genuinely think he is a decent man who believes what he says and wants to make things better, and he has my respect for that. Much of what he says I can sympathise with and I think he is one of the few people who genuinely wants to cross party lines to seek solutions.

    The contrast between him and Cameron is therefore all the more stark. Cameron has made many mistakes and as yet has shown no inclination to learn from them.

  48. DavidB
    ‘Taking up a career in politics doesn’t seem a very attractive proposition at the moment does it?’

    There are people such as Tony Blair who seem to walk away unscathed, but most politicians seem to suffer, personal attacks, press always nosing around for anything embarassing undermined by supposedly own supporters.

    Gordon’s Brown’s happiest moment seemed to be when he and Susan were leaving Downing Street for the last time hand in hand with their children.

  49. DavidB – it’s a bit rubbish if you ask, the general public are very biased towards mentioning governments in very recent memory – so the best tend to be Thatcher & Blair (and Churchill if included – presumably people thinking of the wartime govt rather than Churchill’s mediocre tenure as a peacetime PM), and the worst also tend to be Thatcher/Major and Brown/Blair.

    Not that this is surprising of course – if you are under 40 you are unlikely to have many meaningful political memories prior to Thatcher.

    You do occassionally get straw polls of political academics or historians, which are rather more interesting, if still a measure of something unquantifiable. Leeds University did one in 2010 which ranked the best post-war PMs as Attlee, Thatcher, Blair and the worst as Brown, Home and Eden.

  50. @ALEC

    The ones convicted in the expenses scandal were those the submitted false invoices. So totally made up information to submit the claim.

    For other MP’s they had claimed too much due to claims being made on the wrong basis, but some of this was due to errors with the expense handling system. I don’t think they had any evidence of any criminal acts, otherwise they would also have been charged.

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