YouGov’s final Sunday Times poll of the year is online here. Topline figures are CON 33%, LAB 43%, LD 10%, UKIP 8%.

YouGov repeated their semi-regular trust tracker they have asked since 2003. While people in the survey said the Mitchell affair had made them trust the police less, the percentage saying they trusted local police officers was actually almost unchanged – 67% trust local police officers a great deal or a fair amount, typical of all the times YouGov have asked the question in the last few years. There was a slight drop in the proportion of people who trusted senior police officers with 47% of people saying they trusted them. While this is the lowest YouGov have recorded, it is not a significant change from the 49% who said they trusted senior police officers in November.

In contrast the Savile affair does seem to have significantly damaged trust in the BBC. Today’s figures actually show a slight increase in trust in the BBC since YouGov last asked the question at the very height of the Savile affair – now 51% of people say they trust the BBC, compared to 44% a month ago – however this is still a significant fall from the BBC’s 60% trust rating at the start of the year.

Looking at the more specific questions on plebgate, Andrew Mitchell is now narrowly more believed than the police – 31% think Mitchell is telling the truth, 28% the police, 41% don’t know. 43% of people still think that Mitchell probably called the police officer a pleb, but this is a drastic change from September when 69% of people thought he did.

Despite the turnaround in opinion people still think Mitchell was right to resign by 49% to 26%. 29% of people think he should be offered another government job, 40% think he should not. Even if Mitchell’s own version of events is proven to be true, many people think that should be a resigning matter anyway – asked about Mitchell’s admitted version of events, where he said to the officer “I thought you lot were supposed to f—— help us”, 38% of people still think this would be a resigning matter, 44% do not.


169 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 10, UKIP 8”

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  1. @ Steve
    I am not of course going to say corruption and fit ups don’t happen of course they do, I personally have never witnessed any but the evidence stacks up that they do upon occasion take place.
    ——————-
    Fair enough; but the evidence also stacks up that police officers & their federation ‘close ranks’ against the public interest when ‘one of their own’ needs support.
    If you did personally witness or become aware of a fellow officer behaving in a way which was below the standards which I believe you set for yourself, what would you do? Help him/ her out? Or tell the truth as you see it? Or choose the ‘wise monkey’ middle path?

    -In 20 Years as an Operational Met Police Officer the circumstance never arose.

    Which perhaps indicates that these type of situations are not as some would suggest matters of routine.

    However, on a theoretical basis,if I was asked to lie I would refuse ,if I was asked to give evidence regarding something I had not witnessed I would not do so.
    If the behaviour of a colleague amounted to a crime I would report it and if required arrest them.

    If you are asking me however,if I would believe what a fellow police officer told me the answer would be yes I would right up until the point I knew it not to be true.

    Regarding the Police Federation while it isn’t a Union as this is not Permitted by Statute it is the closest thing operational Police Officers have to one.

    It in common with other trade associations considers quite rightly that its roll is to protect its members interest.

    Its purpose isn’t to set the standards for police
    officers behaviour.

  2. TOH:

    Just noticed that you say “bloggreS” plural. To save you time in recounting them all why not just wish me a merry xmas and leave it at that|?

    Your ole chum

    Paul

  3. @OLD NAT
    For all I know, and many Tories seem to bear witness to its likely truth, Mitchell may well be a deeply unpleasant man and, from an entirely human perspective, you can possibly understand police officers overreacting to being treated obnoxiously, but giving false witness and falsifying a police incident form can’t be justified. If the police lose the public’s trust then our whole criminal justice system and, conceivably, our entire democracy is brought into question.

    And The Times Leader this morning: “…the evidence is now compelling that he was brought down with the help of a doctored police log and false evidence from an officer impersonating a member of the public.”

    It appears to me that the culture which supports or permits such action, or its institutionalisation, inevitably travels beyond the police to other parts of society, in the law, forensic science, politics, local government, religion even; and that this is indeed corrosive of democracy and of the social structure.

    It is fed also by intolerance of the common aberrations and misdemeanour which are integral to our social system – to cite two examples which have been discussed in this blog: Mitchell’s stated use of “supposed to f-cking help us” is everyday grown-up language which draws on a rich vein of vocabulary rooted in our use of obscenity to express stress and exasperation. without which Anglo-Saxon social intercourse would be much the poorer; and from the same source – if it were, as we all supposed, true that he used “plebs” as an insult, it was again between adults in a stressed situation, and – in this blog and elsewhere was greeted with satire, exploited to make a political comment, but not thought to be in other than in derision at an indiscretion and an absurd piece of pomposity – not a cause for pursuit aimed at ending the man’s career. Since when did scabrous and irrational insult not have a place in our public discourse or private quarrels?

  4. Anthony, TOH and everybody: Happy xmas and an even happier new year

    Paul

  5. I always assumed that the police only “fitted” someone up if it was the only way to put a known criminal behind bars. So I wonder what horrible crimes Mitchell had gotten away with that justified this alleged “fit up”

    Really need the smiley things back!!!!

  6. Happy pagan money festival to all

  7. RiN

    Now that’s not in the spirit of xmas – you’l be upsetting the other “bloggers”.

    Anyway its quite possible to let it pass without spending any extra money at all – apart from on the traditional flood defences of course.

  8. Someone has sent me a cartoon which is about a Xmas Therapy Group. A shrink sitting with notepad and pencil, and opposite are Santa, a snowman, a reindeer and an elf.

    Santa says “I don’t believe in myself”
    Snowman says “I think I’m BiPolar”
    Reindeer says “The other reindeers keep calling me names”
    Elf says “I think I’m in a dead end job”

    Merry Xmas to all

  9. STEVE

    “Its purpose isn’t to set the standards for police officers behaviour.”

    Sorry, Steve, let’s have that again.
    The published aims and objectives of the Police Federation of England and Wales state as its principle objective:
    To represent and promote the interests and welfare of our members, and to support colleagues to achieve the required professional standards.
    And, to quote Steve Williams, Chair-elect of the Federation:
    “I want the Police Federation to heighten its mission in influencing policy at all levels for the greater good. I want us to strive to always improve the work life experience and value of all those we represent.”

  10. CB11

    @”Now the Police have taken their place alongside the BBC, the trade unions, the EU and the civil service in the Right’s pantheon of villains.”

    I was wondering what the “Left’s” equivalent would be.

    Some in common -The Police , Labour Home Secretaries have received just the same roughing up by the Federation as TM -and there have been reminders a plenty on this thread of the Plod’s stitching up of the working man & woman.
    The EU possibly . Well it latter certainly used to be a “villain” when the term “Left” meant something-before EuroBlairism appeared. Now ?-an ambivalent groping for the appropriate attitude-ie the one which chimes with public opinion AND trumps the Tories. Difficult to pull off, but ED has no shame when it comes to principled opportunism.

    Some different ones of course-Toffs are clearly choice du jour, encompassing everything that Ed can fling at DC to keep the class conciousness levels up, neatly facilitating , as it does , self-righteous indignation & innuendo on everything from Plebs to Paedophiles, Eton to Fox Hunting & Inherited wealth to the word Supper.
    Last PMQs was a wonderful example -the planted questions evoking “Scrooge”, Fox Hunting, and even the suicide of a Labour voting constituent.

    Bankers of course-now that Tony & Gordon have gone , this is a safe & evocative bogeyman, encompassing as it does all that went wrong with their administration-but without actually mentioning either of them.

    And that Alpha & Omega of evil in the Labour Book of Villains , Margaret Thatcher. Where would Labour be without her immense shadow to cringe before ?

  11. JOHN PILGRIM

    Always happy to chat with you, but I’m unsure as to why you addressed those comments to me.

    If, as you suggest, Mitchell was seen as a deeply unpleasant man by his colleagues, his appointment as Chief Whip may have been another example of poor judgement by Cameron.

    One wonders how much of the Mitchell story is simply internal Tory party vendettas, into which the police have been drawn, rather than a police vendetta against a Tory.

  12. Happy Christmas everybody and a healthy and peaceful New Year.

  13. And to you TOH.

    Happy Christmas UKPR & all who pontificate here.

    Smiley with a white beard .

  14. STEVE
    “Its purpose isn’t to set the standards for police officers behaviour.”
    Sorry, Steve, let’s have that again.
    The published aims and objectives of the Police Federation of England and Wales state as its principle objective:
    To represent and promote the interests and welfare of our members, and to support colleagues to achieve the required professional standards.
    And, to quote Steve Williams, Chair-elect of the Federation:
    “I want the Police Federation to heighten its mission in influencing policy at all levels for the greater good. I want us to strive to always improve the work life experience and value of all those we represent.”

    -None of which in any way contradicts my comment.

    Of course representing members interests should include helping them to meet professional standards.

    I didn’t comment on whether I think the Fed does a good job or not. However,it is as I explained the only body Police Officers are allowed to join. Serving Police officers are prevented by law from joining Trade Unions or Political Parties.
    My personal opinion is that Police Officers should be allowed to join Trade Unions but as it currently stands this is against the law.

    The Fed does not represent officers above the Rank of Chief Inspector in any case and consequently their ability to influence Police decision making is very limited.

    Partly the problem is that media will often ask Police Fed officials to comment on issues relating to the enforcement of professional standards, investigations and decisions made at senior level which frankly have nothing to do with them, it is human nature to answer questions when asked.

    If we take another example the Royal College of Nursing this is a professional body that doesn’t set professional standards either but of course will assist members to meet the professional standards that are set for them by the governing NMC and statute as this is part of their roll when members may face disciplinary procedure based on failing to meet the required standards.

    What else would you expect a “trade union” type organisation to do?

  15. OLD NAT

    Scusi – my post was meant to be for CROSSBAT11 in reply to his 6.20 p.m. post of 23/12; and the ‘deeply unpleasant’ comment was his; from Mitchell’s statement yesterday, the poor guy has had difficulty sleeping and eating – so my Xmas greetings to to him and his wife too. It would he hardly surprising to see him back in office shortly.

    Always happy to chat – me too, and you and your family have a Happy Xmas.

    AMBER i much admired your earlier post, and am glad to see the recognition that a failure to reform and monitor a police culture of corruption at no matter at what level or in what behaviour or where it occurs, and collusion to permit corrupt behaviour, will, if allowed to continue, take us very close to the edge of civil conflict.
    Have a good one.

  16. STEVE

    “What else would you expect a “trade union” type organisation to do?”

    To act on its own behalf and that of its members in the terms of its statutes, incluiding in this case maintaining the ethical basis and service standards of its relationship with and responsibilities to the public.

    If it is genuinely thought by its own officers or its members of not being required to comment in public on the quality of the service which its members provide to the public which pays them, then that may provide a clue to what is wrong both with the Federation and with the Force, and needs to be addressed.

  17. STEVE
    “What else would you expect a “trade union” type organisation to do?”
    To act on its own behalf and that of its members in the terms of its statutes, incluiding in this case maintaining the ethical basis and service standards of its relationship with and responsibilities to the public.
    If it is genuinely thought by its own officers or its members of not being required to comment in public on the quality of the service which its members provide to the public which pays them, then that may provide a clue to what is wrong both with the Federation and with the Force, and needs to be addressed.

    ————-
    Your are confusing the Police Federation with the Police Service.
    I had hoped I had explained the difference.

    “maintaining the ethical basis and service standards of its relationship with and responsibilities to the public.”:
    Is a phrase that appears in the Charter of Many Police Forces and Police Authorities .

    The Police Federation does not provide a service to the public it is a staff association for junior police officers.

    I wondered when the public who pay them comment would appear.

    Would you prefer G4S?

  18. colin i think if you look a bit harder you’ll find planted questions used by all parties not just labour

  19. STEVE
    “Your are confusing the Police Federation with the Police Service.”
    Your question was what would I expect a Trades Union type organisation to do. I looked at the Federation’s statements of its aims and objectives to check that, as I expected, it seeks to represent and promote the interests and welfare of our members, and to support colleagues to achieve the required professional standards.
    That is, in its actions and standards as a service organisation in maintaining the peace and quality of life of the public.
    Yes, who pay for it = has that nothing to do with how the Federation, as a trades union type of organisaton, behaves towards the paying public and its other guardians, just as all other trades union type organisations have to behave, with respect and incorruptibility, towards the management and customers of the service organisation they may be part of.
    No I would not prefer G4. The police are part of my community in a way I would not permit to a private company.

  20. John

    ” No I would not prefer G4. The police are part of my community in a way I would not permit to a private company.”

    I got a feeling that you ain’t going to have a lot of choice, I wondered what the Tories were playing at when they reduced police funding by 20% in the spending review, now it seems obvious that we are in the beginning stages of a privatization campaign

  21. RiN

    Yes, i wonder; a subtle way to softening up the public acceptance of private and vigilante policing would be for bobbies on the beat to be represented by a Federation which is not an equal partner with its funding and regulatory agencies in setting standards of behaviour and performance to provide a service of ethical guardianship under the rule of law.

    STEVE
    I’ld prefer that this is not a subject of dispute. Can you answer the requirement I have of the police service and its representatives, including the Federation, that the staff association which looks after the interests and welfare of junior constabulary has an equal place with the regularory agencies in maintaining unimpeachable and transparent standards of behaviour and service?

  22. I think the nice thing with a private police force is that they wil be easier to bribe.

  23. @ Steve

    I think John Pilgrim has a good point when he says that the Federation’s first priority must be maintaining the public’s perception that the police are deserving of our support.

    The Federation can do this ‘cheaply’ by forming alliances with the media but that seems to have somewhat backfired recently. Or they can do it properly by not giving cover to police officers, at any level, who are a danger to the public or who undermine the public’s trust in the police service.

    As you say, Steve, police officers have no employment rights & no right to organise politically; their only legal remedy for dissatisfaction is to resign from the service. Therefore they are at the mercy of public support. If the government believe that few votes will be lost by treating you all like bondservants, then they have the option to do it. If the government believe they will lose votes by being at loggerheads with the police, they are more likely to treat the police well.

    Thus the interests of the Federation & the public are aligned. We must mutually support one another for the common good; you are ‘bonded’ to the public. The Federation must prioritize protecting the goodwill of the public above protecting individual officers.

    So, from the above it rationally follows: The Federation is nothing like a Trades Union. You are deluding yourself, if you believe it is! A TU can organise politically & it can choose to ‘close ranks’ to support an individual member provided enough of its other members support this course of action. Trades Unions do not need public support (it is merely desirable) because their members have legal rights which are supported by UK, ECHR & International laws. TU members are not ‘bondservants’. The Federation’s members are.

  24. Amber

    That’s a really perceptive analysis of the situation.

    Ta.

  25. Merry Christmas all. Have a stat-free week or so. ;)

  26. Nollaig Chridheil! (as my Granny might have said – except that in her day, the midwinter celebration was Hogmanay, not Xmas).

  27. I trust the police service, allowing that everything has bad apples. I trust private services far less; look at rail track.

    There is nothing wrong with the government owning services; look at Scandinavia for example.

    I really dislike privatisation; the argument for itis poor.

  28. A very happy Yuletide to everyone from a very wet Wales.

  29. I hope everyone here has a great Christmas. Today I’ve learned (from the New Scientist, no less) that globally, more people are now dying of obesity than malnutrition. Ponder on that as you tuck in tomorrow!

    Really enjoyed UKPR throughout the year, and once again, we seem to have generally managed a far higher quality and standard of posting that you get on other political and polling sites. Thank you all for that, and enjoy your festivities.

  30. Has AW gone all Victoria Beckham (“Fashion stole my smile!”)?

    Or should we blame the profligate Colin (“I’m afraid to tell you there’s no smiles left. Kind regards – and good luck!”)?

    Wishing you all an austere Christmas…

  31. For those of you watching Lizzie’s broadcast to her subjects tomorrow –

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/251431.html

    How many foodbanks would such wealth pay for?

  32. Merry Christmas from here in Buckinghamshire. Hopefully it will stop raining soon, or perhaps we won’t care if the presents are good enough?

  33. KEITHP

    You’re really going to love that Ark, we wrapped for you!

  34. There were starry, starry skies here in the Pentlands at 1.00 a.m. Is this a portent?
    I wish all you witty and wise people a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

  35. p.s. Christmas Story:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20719382

    “The biggest ever bombing campaign by US B-52 bombers took place over Christmas 40 years ago, when the US dropped 20,000 tonnes of explosives on North Vietnam. More than 1,000 Vietnamese died, but the assault may have helped bring about the peace deal signed a month later……..
    Later, Kissinger would describe the communists as being “on their knees” as a result. ”
    BBC Newsweek 24 December 2012.

    And the rest is history. In the ensuing years, including 1990, when the EC negotiated the return of 100 ,000 Boat People, under the humanitarian aid permitted by the US dictated “road map” for a return of Vietnam to the international community, what was striking was the extraordinay magnanimity of the Vietnamese people, used as they were to centuries of war and its consequences.
    Kissinger’s words, by contrast, reflected a US policy dictated by domestic politics rather than by any interest in the truth. It was the fact that the US forces had been out-manoeuvred and beaten and ruined as a fighting forces, and the knowledge of the American public that it was their sons and daughters dying or wrecked for life by immersion in the hellish conditions of the Vietnam War, that led to the Peace Accord.
    Tthe loss of Vietnam did not have Kissinger’s predicted domino effect, and the US embargo in practice fostered doi moi and the growth of a flourishing petty capitalism under a laissez-fair economic system.. By contrast the long drawn out defeat in Afghanistan leaves an inheritance of fundamental Islam which has infected the whole of the Muslim world and vastly reduced the freedom and quality of life of the West.

    Ergo, qua John Gray, it is a good moment to think carefully about the meaning of Christianity, and the power we put into the hands of powerful and unscrupulous men who are more than prepared to manipulate the relatiojnships of faiths and nations to further their own, ultimately narrow, purposes and versions of the truth.

    Happy Christmas

  36. That cheered me up John……………………….

  37. :lol:

    Have a nice day, fellow poll-spotters.

  38. @Oldnat

    makes a change from socks!

    @John Pilgrim

    It’s not the first time a powerful military machine has fallen into the hands of incompetents – who then proceed to misuse it to breaking point, then portray the result as a victory.

  39. Let’s not forget the real meaning of Christmas, and here’s John Graham Mellor to remind us:

    As the floods of God
    Wash away sin city
    They say it was written
    In the page of the Lord
    But I was looking
    For that great jazz note
    That destroyed
    The walls of Jericho

    The winds of fear
    Whip away the sickness
    The messages on the tablet
    Was valium
    As the planets form
    That golden cross Lord
    I’ll see you on
    The holy cross roads

    After all this time
    To believe in Jesus
    After all those drugs
    I thought I was Him
    After all my lying
    And a-crying
    And my suffering
    I ain’t good enough
    I ain’t clean enough
    To be Him

  40. According to the Archbishop of Westminister, Gay Marriage is Undemocratic. Well, he ought to know something about that: for instance Faith leaders in the HoL, etc. Irony, mmm?

  41. …and who voted for God, now that I think about it?

  42. The thing I find most difficult about this whole gay marriage issue is having to support Cameron against outdated and bigoted attacks from the clergy…..The Church has lot to answer for in more ways than one.

  43. PAUL

    To cheer you up, I recommend a break in Hanoi, preferably around this time of year. You’ld enjoy the music and the cafe night society, and it’s as cheap as chips.

  44. Happy Christmas All.

    (means Christ’s sending in Latin).

    Nick P: Well quoted poem; thank you.

    TSElliot’s The Magi also is worth re reading.,

  45. ‘The Burning Babe’ by Robert Southwell

    As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
    Surprised I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
    And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
    A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
    Who, scorchëd with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
    As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
    Alas, quoth he, but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
    Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
    My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
    Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
    The fuel justice layeth on, and mercy blows the coals,
    The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defilëd souls,
    For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
    So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
    With this he vanished out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
    And straight I callëd unto mind that it was Christmas day

  46. Christmas is for getting while the getting’s good.

    Lucy from Peanuts.

  47. The American’s want to to give us a Christmas present

    60,000 of them have signed a warehouse petition to have piers Morgan deported

    I’d rather have a stale box of chocolates!!!

  48. Warehouse should read whitehouse

  49. RiN

    Unless the extradition is to Norway, you will be spared. As long as lengthy court proceedings drag out for a few tears, so will we.

  50. Guardian poll out.

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