This week’s YouGov results for the Sunday Times are up online here. Topline voting intention is CON 30%, LAB 40%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 14%, so no obvious effect on voting intention from the Woolwich murder. Economic optimism (the proportion of people expecting their financial situation to get better in the next year, minus those who expect it to get worse) is minus 30. This is still very negative, but is once again the least negative it has been since May 2010.

Turning to the Conservative party and their “modernisation”, 61% of people think David Cameron is not in control of his party, compared to only 24% who think he is. Only 16% of people think David Cameron got modernisation right – 33% think he did not go far enough (including most Labour and Lib Dem voters), 32% think he went too far and abandoned too many traditional Tory subjects (including three-quarters of UKIP supporters).

Asked about the famous description of the Tories as the “nasty party”, 18% reject the whole idea and think the Tories were never seen as the nasty party anyway, 14% think David Cameron has manage to make the Conservatives less of the “nasty party” but the largest group – almost half of respondents – think Cameron has failed and the Tories are still seen as the “nasty party”. YouGov asked the same question in 2011 when 23% of people thought Cameron had managed to detoxify the Conservatives, suggesting a gradual reversal of the progress he had once made.

Moving on to the Woolwich murder, 41% of people think the government are tackling extremism and terrorism effectively, 47% ineffectively. Asked about people’s own fear of being involved in a terrorist attack, overall 10% of people think that there is a very or fairly high chance of them, a friend of member of their family being killed in a terrorist attack. As one might expect this is marginally up on before this week’s attack, but less than it was at the time of the 7/7 attacks in 2005 when YouGov asked exactly the same question. Whether or not they agree with British involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, the vast majority of people (70%) think that it has increased the risk of terrorist attacks against Britain.

Asked about attitudes to British Muslims, 60% of people believe that there is a dangerous minority of British Muslims who feel no identity to the country and would condone terror, 14% think that a large proportion of British Muslims have no loyalty to the country and would condone terrorism. The question was again a repeat of a question YouGov asked straight after 7/7, comparing these results they are marginally worse than 7/7, but the change is hardly significant.

There was a second batch of YouGov polling conducted for Dr Matt Goodwin at Nottingham University, who specialises in studying extremism (of the EDL & BNP sort), and reported in the Observer. Full tables for that are here. Again the questions are mostly repeats from earlier, in this cast from October-November last year (originally done for Matt’s work on the EDL here). This makes it a slightly different comparison to the 7/7 questions, comparing results of questions asked during a normal period to the same questions asked just after an emotive event. One might have expected an increase in Islamophobia and anti-Islam opinions. The actual picture that Matt’s research finds is more nuanced.

On a few fronts opinion has moved in a negative direction, with an increase in the proportion of people who think that conflict between different groups is inevitable and an increase in those who think there will be a “clash of civilizations” between British Muslims and native white Britons (though worth noting there were similar shifts when asked about different religions and ethnicities too).

However on other figures there has been no movement, or even positive movement – 63% of people agree with a statement that “The vast majority of Muslims are good British citizens”, by 40% to 23% people agree that “Muslims make an important contribution to British society” – both questions essentially unchanged from last year. The proportion of people agreeing that “Muslims are compatible with the British way of life” is up from 24% last year to 33% now.

I suspect the contradicting trends in the figures is a case of the Woolwich murder reinforcing people’s existing attitudes. For those people who were suspicious, hostile or prejudiced towards British Muslims to begin with it has strengthened those negative feelings. For those with more positive opinions towards British Muslims it has strengthened their resolve not to stereotype British Muslims and not to let terrorism divide communities.

Matt’s poll also asked about the EDL and BNP anti-Muslim demonstrations, using a split sample. Half the sample were asked about their opinion of demonstrations against what the organisers call “Muslim terror” and whether they had a positive or negative opinion of such demonstrations – a majority (51%) said they had a negative opinion, 20% a positive opinion. The other half of the sample had the same question, but with the demonstrators of the demos identified as the EDL and BNP – that knocked support for such demos down to 17%, and opposition to them up to 60%.

There was also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, which had topline figures of CON 24%(nc), LAB 35%(nc), LDEM 10%(-1), UKIP 22%(nc). It shows the very high UKIP score we associate with Survation, but again no obvious impact on voting intention from the Woolwich murder.


206 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 30, LAB 40, LD 10, UKIP 14”

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  1. @ Turk

    One election when a more right-wing alternative turns up does not eradicate a 70-year history of supporting the same party, which the Mail, Telegraph and Express have done.

  2. @ Peter

    Thanks. I have to think about it.

    There’s a niggling feeling (well, more than that) that some of the policies of the late 1990s, early 2000s were related to China if we follow the logic of geopolitics .

  3. @ Turk

    “Papers like the Daily Mail have become the ranters daily I wouldn’t be at all suprised if they support Ukip at the next GE no offence to UKip supporters.”

    Judging from the comments on DM’s website, the DM might be a little pink for them…

  4. Turk

    The “Tory” Press is still as extant as ever.

    Whether DC is a “Tory” is a separate question.

  5. Re: DC’s liberal approach.

    If Niall Ferguson has any embarrassment space left, given his recent faux pas, I suspect he might be a tad squirmish about his 2009 assessment of Cameron.

    “I am a convinced Cameroon, not least because I see him as a conservative mailed fist in a velvet glove.”

    Aye, right.

    Two big errors Niall.

    1) A misunderstanding of what Cameron stood for. He did actually believe all that Hug a Hoody stuff.
    2) A failure to realise that Cameron’s belief in de-otzi dying the Tories is (errr…”was”) crucial to making the Tories electable this side of the next World Cup in England.

  6. lefty

    “The “Tory” Press is still as extant as ever. ”

    That’s nice – you’ve amused ole turk again.

  7. PC

    You ARE Turk and I claim my five pounds.

  8. @Nail A

    ” We are a very, very long way from a police state and the “Snooper’s Charter” won’t take us anywhere near it.”

    Well, I for one would be far happier without it. Imagine the people with access to the data…the elected PCCs for a start. I’m for parents parenting, rather than snoopers snooping.

    Who’s to say that some of the snoopers aren’t the types of folk the charter is designed to spot?

    Anyway, it’s one of those policies designed to deflect attention away from other things.

  9. @ Billy Bob (from the previous thread)

    “Well fry me for an oyster, I do worry about you sometimes.”

    Lol. It’s really incredible to see what happened here. The more liberal/progressive candidate didn’t just win Republicans, he won them going away. I knew something was up a few weeks before based upon anecdotal evidence and hard numbers I was seeing. The most immediate pre-election poll had him leading among Republicans by 19%. The exit poll margin on election day was a clear and decisive win 65%-35%. When I saw that number posted, I nearly started dancing. (Not to worry though, about 1:40 am, in the hardware aisle of the drugstore at Sunset and La Brea in Hollywood, I did, out of pure deliriousness mixed with exhaustion, start dancing).

    That was in spite of a last minute dirty trick by the Greuel campaign, an election day robocall to every registered Republican in the city where an anonymous male voice declares “Hello. I’m just calling to let you know that President Obama has endorsed Eric Garcetti for Mayor. As mayor, Eric Garcetti will fight for gay marriage, universal healthcare, immigration reform, a strong social welfare network.” Didn’t work. :)

    Clinton endorsement actually backfired in this instance. It also backfired in the extremely liberal and heavily Democratic 5th District. Garcetti did win this district in the primary but by a 38%-30% margin. A win but really anyone’s game. He triumphed though 60%-40% in the general. Ah yes, the 5th District, where liberals would vote against a candidate because she had Clinton’s endorsement rather than in spite of it. This is the same district where Tom Hayden (former Chicago 7 member) was narrowly defeated for being too much of an establishment figure. God bless the voters of LA’s 5th Council District!

    “I have an Ellroy on the shelf, but haven’t read it yet. There are only so many Chandler novels unfortunately (but they repay re-reading), so I’ve been out SF way in the company of Dashiell Hammett and the Continental Op, and am now back in LA with Cool and Lam/Perry Mason etc, courtesy of Erle Stanley Gardiner… they lack atmosphere and characterisation but are ingeniously plotted.
    Gardiner passed the bar exam in 1911 and practiced out of Ventura… his novels are full of procedure. Mason (the fictional office has a Madison code) is not above planting false cues, with the intention of forcing the police/DA to delve a little deeper and inadvertantly uncover some genuine evidence (I doubt you could get away with that now). A side project was the Court of Last Resort, where Gardiner gathered together legal experts to review real-life miscarriages of justice.”

    You know, I’ve not read him. But I’m going to have to. Ellroy novels can be a little bit difficult to follow. It’s interesting though, the Black Dahlia movie was terrible and the novel was FAR better.

    “That is quite a result for Eric Garcetti: “America’s second largest (and most important) city will be led by a Keynsian.”

    Sad to say, there are plenty of distressing stories about the consequences of austerity here, which currently fall below the radar of our media. Added to that, the weather has been abysmal.”

    It really is. I mean, on election day, he won every single Council District in the Valley including Greuel’s former District (currently trails in three of them due to PAV voters but only narrowly and may win them once late ballots and provisional ballots are tabulated and factored in). He won the Valley overall (there are 5 Districts located totally in the Valley and then two other non-Valley based Districts that dip into the Valley) and even won Greuel’s own precinct. South LA was very strong for Greuel, the own place she won. But of the three South LA Council Districts (the 8th, 9th, and 10th), Eric did win the 9th.

    Preliminary numbers are as follows. While Greuel won PAVs 51%-49%, Eric triumphed on election day 57%-43% (and margin may improve). Overall, the current margin is 54%-46% (I think when all is said and done, it’s going to be about 55%-45%). Decisive all around. So yes, quite the victory.

    “On the bright side, rain isn’t always such a bad thing. Here is a bookshop in LA, it probably serves latte now though:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqoxk3SrZRw

    I like the rain. If you don’t have enough rain, you stop appreciating good weather and take it for granted. Rain washes away smog and makes the air fresher and cleaner. Its sound can help aid you to sleep (that gentle pitter patter). Plus, a nice storm can be somewhat romantic. Of course, I might think differently if I lived in Britain and it rained all the time.

  10. HOWARD

    @”No, those are irritant, to a state, but not strategic threats to a state. ”

    OK-we’ll tell folks they just have to be irritated now & again-I doubt you will be in your rural retreat Howard.

    @”What other measures would one support (‘expulsion’ for people who visit mosques?) I can’t think of any that would not be counter-productive.”

    Fortunately for the rest of us Howard, you are not dictating Security policy, so your lack of thoughts is irrelevant.

  11. Boris has proposed banning groups teaching “segregated university lectures”

    Were it not for a recent post on UKPR by CB11, I would have thought Boris has lost his marbles when I read that report.

    But , incredibly, Boris ( & Peter Tatchell it seems) have a point.

    http://www.studentrights.org.uk/article/2090/unequal_opportunity_gender_segregation_on_uk_university_campuses

  12. Plenty of discussion in the financial press about house price figures. They are heading up at the fastest rate since 2007, led by London and the SE. Unfortunately, analysts are saying that the main driver is a lack of sellers, with the government loan guarantee scheme also producing more buyers willing to pay higher prices.

    It’s very difficult to comment on this without being partisan, but I really don’t think many Tory supporters in 2010 would have proclaimed that their chancellor would abandon ideas of rebalancing the economy, getting debt down and the ‘march of the makers’, in favour of a good old fashioned house price bubble.

    Given the way his policy is moving house prices, the weakness still evident in the real economy, and the fact that interest rates are at an historic low, my fears that Osborne is saddling the taxpayer with costly debt liabilities is growing.

  13. Lefty

    “You are Turk”

    Good guess, try the other way round. I’ve been a secret Tory all along, only joking or am I ?.

  14. RE: Snooper’s Charter –
    I do find it interesting that those who claimed we should have no restrictions on the press, because it is an essential liberty defending against the tyranny of the state and because any restriction would lead to a slippery slope toward a police state (Orwell! Stalin! 1984!), are now quite supportive of giving the state more powers to fight against the danger from a non-hierarchical movement.
    And vice versa from some others.
    I suspect this is, on both sides, a case of whose liberties we are defending (My liberties are sacred.. yours not so much).

    On the politics of it –
    It would be absolute electoral suicide for the Labour party leadership to back it. Not only are Labour voters opposed to it (Thanks Roger Mexico for the polling numbers), it would likely run up against a ‘Labour rebels’/’divided party’ narrative in the press (which would be even more hostile to Labour divisions than to Tory/UKIP divisions) and would be a good way to alienate 2010-LibDem voters who make up basically all of the support that Labour has gained since 2010[1].
    I suppose that it would be a fantastic way for the LibDems to gain back support and for the Greens to benefit (5-party politics? What a nightmare that would be under FPTP!), but I’m not so sure Ed Miliband would go with the ‘shortest [political] suicide note in history’.
    But perhaps Labour are jealous of the attention Tory/UKIP are getting in the press and want to experience the same?

    [1] If we take *just* the subsample for 2010-Libs, weighted average over the past week of polls, we get 8.4 to Con, 35.1 to Lab, 38.1 to Lib, 9.4 to UKIP, 4.9 to Green.. which would amount to approx 8% of the 2010 electorate to Labour (if anybody has subsample data for the LibDems going back a long time, I would appreciate the data if you’re willing to share).

  15. Tinged

    But it’s a classic labour policy as Well as being classic Tory, I think labour splits are more likely if ed opposes, free vote?

  16. TINGED

    @”I suspect this is, on both sides, a case of whose liberties we are defending (My liberties are sacred.. yours not so much).”

    I have a more charitable view of this debate.

    It is simply a searching for the right balance between the safety & security of the public; and the principles of free expression.

    When groups or individuals abuse & use our espousal of the latter, in a way which offends so deeply ; it is to our credit that we debate & think about the right response.

  17. @ Spearmint
    I pretty much agree with all you say; I just don’t see the evidence that UKIP are going to be fundamentally differnt and more influential on politics than the SDP. I’m also instinctively resistant to claims of ‘bias’…

    @Wood
    I’m genuinely surprised at your post, although these are your personal views and therefore I don’t have any right (and am not trying) to challenge them.

    I don’t detect honesty when I hear UKIP leaders speak (Farage sounds just like a city broker to me, which instinctively makes me dubious!), but that is a personal thing.

    What I can do objectively is look at what they stand against:
    – immigration and free movement,
    – personal freedoms,
    – Europe,
    – environmental protection,
    – support for the poorest in our society,
    – taxes levied in proportion to ability to pay
    and I see a party diametrically opposed to most of what I understand to be liberal principles.

    In fact I’m moving slowly towards becoming an ABU: ‘Anyone But UKIP’!

  18. There were concerns about the implications of Bush era plans for “total information awareness”.

    Construction work on the Utah Data Center is expected to be complete in September… according to Wikipedia:

    The data center is alleged to be able to capture “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Internet searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter'”

    According to Wired:

    ” …the Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)

    It needs that capacity because, according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.)”

  19. @Bigfat, to some extent I see UKIP still as a simple anti-euro vote. I’m all but certain to vote for them in the Euros, but…for many of the reasons you mention, probably not in a GE. Thing is, they’re…..disorganised. UKIP against personal freedoms? Well I reckon that’s somewhat a case of you thinking more of some personal freedoms than others, similarly to people having seemingly disparate views on press regulation/’snooping’…but more to the point, is whomever ends up standing for parliament for them in my area going to actually support, eg, flat tax? They’re a formerly one policy party undergoing rapid growth, I’m not sure what their official policies were/are can be viewed as a reliable guide to what individual candidates (and with a party so unlikely to form government it’s individual candidates that matter even more than usually) will actually stand for.

    The next couple of years are going to be very interesting to watch them, are they gonna be a tory extreme party, a greens of the right…or will they offer a range of populist policies, boring competent government & free votes on anything vaguely moral, all under a main argument of british sovereignty.

    Personally, I can’t see them doing anything much in parliament, but in local elections, and especially in the Euros, they’re going to have a large effect on the political narrative around europe/immigration.

    Re honesty, to take farage for example….listen to what he actually says, the things he says he supports/is against. Though I disagree with him on many things, I believe he’s actually giving his real views on matters, something I can’t accept from the main parties. Yeah, he’s posh as all hell, which IMO kinda rocks the ‘anti-establishment’ theory. I think it’s more ‘anti-PR’, anti-spin. But I’m probably just projecting my own feelings, ‘cos I am aware a good half of UKIP support and most of the leadership is just extremist tories.

  20. @Billy Bob – yottabytes, schmottabytes – it’s almost funny watching governments try to find technological solutions to intelligence gathering.

    I’m not certain, but I’m fairly sure our police colleagues on here (@Neil A and @Steve) would confirm that in any investigation, getting shed loads (shedlottabytes?) of information isn’t the problem – it’s the sifting, prioritizing and assessing data that is the problem.

    I often feel that spending large sums of taxpayers money on tech based information gathering systems is often wasted money, as we gather far more data that we can humanly handle. For example, pretty much all recent terror attacks in the UK and USA had sufficient data already in the system for security forces to intervene, if that information had been red lined and assessed correctly.

    I’m also tickled by the idea that western authorities think the high tech approach is the best. The reason it took so long for the USA to find Osama BL is the simple fact that he didn’t use a computer or have a mobile ‘phone – he knew these could be tracked. Instead, he used a system of runners and coded handwritten notes. The CIA had to rely on old fashioned tips offs and human intelligence.

    I’m a big fan of spending far more money on the covert security services, as I’ve always felt this is by far and away the best way to protect ourselves without so much need to kill people. We need far more human intelligence operatives, both undercover networks but most crucially the analysts. Logging everyone’s parking tickets might be a techies wet dream, but unless we have the human infrastructure to analyse it and capture non digital data, it still won’t do the job.

  21. colin

    “Fortunately for the rest of us Howard, you are not dictating Security policy”

    How do you know this?

  22. Why dont they ask questions like “Do you want foreign aid to be reduced?”

    All 3 main parties will maintain it, the Green want to increase it. Madness.

  23. @ALEC

    As the data is collected pattern matching programs analyse the data using rules – much in the way google knows what to sell you – this would throw up information for further investigation,so must be very helpful to the security services.

    We can assume that Osama Bin Laden would have been far more effective when in hiding if he had not had to resort to runners and hand written notes.

    As technology advances Security Services need to keep pace with the terrorists and if the terrorists switch to the internet for communication then the Security Services need to have the same access to the data as they did when the baddies were using phones.

  24. Anthony, what’s with this banner that’s suddenly appeared at the top of the page for “mobile spy”. Is this intentional, or has someone hacked the site?

  25. Howie is head of MI wotsit and I claim my TEN pounds.

    No scotch notes please – [no offence to Jocks of course.[

  26. ComRes poll for European Elections: UKIP on 27%, Labour 23% & Tories 21%.

  27. Paul
    I see have shall have to be more careful with my security techniques, as I may have been exposed. Old George Smiley, he was very clear about writing to political web sites (or he would have been, had they existed). Good that some can’t spell my name though, I must be doing something correctly.

  28. @Coupar282 – you’ve made my point exactly. It’s really very easy to fool google – just look at three websites you never would normally look at, and they have a false idea of who you are. Better still, don’t use the internet, or use it anonymously via an alternative IPS address.

    You could also have simple coded messages and dummy communication patterns that are design to fool auto tracking software – it’s really quite rare that terrorists send emails to each other saying things like ‘I’ve have the bomb finished for next Tuesday if you want to collect it’. [Oops – that’s me under obs now…].

    If you look at most of the information we have on successful prosecutions of terror suspects, it starts with an identification made via things like airline travel tickets, court appearances in Kenya, or physical identification by embedded agents. Once this has been done, communications can be tracked and other contacts identified.

    If you start relying on computer assessed online behaviour patterns, you start to get into the ridiculous position (which the UK and US security forces have both found themselves in) of arresting tourists for taking photographs of Big Ben and putting them on Facebook.

  29. Howard

    Your secret is safe with me and I think you’re doin’ quite a good job – despite what everybody else thinks.

  30. Its great to see SoCal posting again….but honestly anyone selling to us Brits the virtue of rain…especially someone from southern california of all places…needs a slap :)

  31. @Billybob and Alec,

    I don’t think the new legislation is really aimed at the police actually accessing huge amounts of data. It’s aimed at huge amounts of data being efficiently recorded so that the police can accurately and thoroughly access the right specific bit of data that they need.

    Let me use CCTV cameras as an analogy. Operation Rainbow (I think that’s it’s name – it’s been a while) in the Met deals with the identifying and listing of known CCTV sites across the city. The idea is that if you have a terrorist incident, there is a quick to access and efficient database of which shops, stations, streets etc have CCTV cameras and the areas they cover. This doesn’t mean there are more CCTV cameras, or that the police have to view more footage. It merely helps the police to quickly identify what cameras they should be looking at. The “Snooper’s Charter”, if it were about CCTV, would be similar but grander. It would be the equivalent of all the country’s CCTV being loaded onto a single massive computer server (rather than thousands of seperate little ones, plus assorted VHS recorders, DVD recorders etc) so that if the police were investigating a rape that happened at 1.33 am in London Road they could access all of the relevant footage quickly and easily, without traipsing from shop to bank to pub asking for discs, and then struggling with incompatible formats and publicans who accidentally wiped the tape off the next day.

    @Statgeek,

    Suppose that one day, as a father, you find out that a 50 year old man has been having Skype conversations with your 11 year old daughter and blackmailing her into carrying out sexual acts on camera which he then uploads onto website for millions of p**dophiles to enjoy. You report it to the police, and they identify the Skype username of the offender. They then come back to you a month later and say “sorry, it’s impossible to trace who was having those conversations with your daughter as there is no database kept of the IP login details of the Skype user.

    Would you then be so sanguine? Would you consider yours and your daughter’s rights to be protected?

    This is more or less the exact situation we currently have. People who deny the need for new measures are perfectly within their rights to do so, but do not imagine that by doing so they are merely protecting innocent but secretive citizens from an overarching state.

  32. @ Tinged & RIN

    “On the politics of it –
    It would be absolute electoral suicide for the Labour party leadership to back it. Not only are Labour voters opposed to it (Thanks Roger Mexico for the polling numbers), it would likely run up against a ‘Labour rebels’/’divided party’ narrative in the press (which would be even more hostile to Labour divisions than to Tory/UKIP divisions) and would be a good way to alienate 2010-LibDem voters who make up basically all of the support that Labour has gained since 2010[1].
    I suppose that it would be a fantastic way for the LibDems to gain back support and for the Greens to benefit (5-party politics? What a nightmare that would be under FPTP!), but I’m not so sure Ed Miliband would go with the ‘shortest [political] suicide note in history’.
    But perhaps Labour are jealous of the attention Tory/UKIP are getting in the press and want to experience the same?”…

    …”Tinged
    But it’s a classic labour policy as Well as being classic Tory, I think labour splits are more likely if ed opposes, free vote?”

    To me this highlights why if Lab wins the next GE outright I think this will prelude a prompt VI recovery for the LDs. The Labour party is socially progressive and that is why it appeals to those ex 2010 LD voters who are disgusted with their party forming a coalition with the Tories.

    But the Labour party is not and never has been a bastion of liberalism. How can it be when it believes a strong state is necessary to implement its socially progressive values.

    In practice I think a Lab govt will quickly lose some of the love it has gained from more liberal previous LD voting minded voters. I don’t think it matter even if they go for a reprise of New Lab or a more leftist vision.

    Basically I believe the 2010 ex LDs are voting Lab to punish their own party, rather than join up with a new one. And even that trend is hard to pick out since its muddied by the necessities of tactical anti-Tory voting on a constituency by constituency basis.

  33. @Neil A

    There are records kept. They can currently be demanded by the Police by a court order on presentation of suitable cause. Your example is invalid.

    What the proposal would change is to create police control and direct access over the records from the moment they are created. And with out any restriction or direct judicial oversight on what a police officer may look at.

    Do you seriously suggest we should hand the MET information on people’s legal but potentially embarasing information, and just hope that a bad egg won’t sell stuff to the press? Because that’s not what very recent history demonstrates will happen.

  34. @JayBlanc,

    No they’re not. My example is not invalid. I know this because I have several such examples on my workload as I speak (I may have changed some elements, such as the name of the company concerned, to make it easier for people to understand and to avoid providing a handbook for offenders).

    If they were, the current law would not require a court order. You need to re-read RIPA.

    As for police having control over the data, well that bit is true. But the process is far more complex (and better recorded and regulated) than you suggest. The police officer involved, which you seem to think might just be surfing through the data whilst bored one afternoon, would have to have detailed grounds for looking at it, which are recorded electronically, approved by a Superintendent and vetted by the Surveillance Commissioners.

    As it happens, there are some mobile phone companies that already allow police forces direct access to their databases. Those forces only access them when in compliance with RIPA, and with that compliance properly recorded.

    As for selling information to the press, well yes that could happen, but the police have access to all sorts of embarrassing information already (most of it much more embarrassing than who you sent an email to) and data breaches are pretty rare.

  35. “…Operation Rainbow (I think that’s it’s name – it’s been a while) in the Met deals with the identifying and listing of known CCTV sites across the city. The idea is that if you have a terrorist incident, there is a quick to access and efficient database of which shops, stations, streets etc have CCTV cameras and the areas they cover…”

    If you want public support for this principle, just stream all the CCTV data to the Net in real time, with (say) a 48hr backup. People who would object to a secretive data server in Das UberBunkah will enthusiastically accept free stuff that shows their house that they can access anytime – look at Google Maps.

    “…You report it to the police, and they identify the Skype username of the offender. They then come back to you a month later and say “sorry, it’s impossible to trace who was having those conversations with your daughter as there is no database kept of the IP login details of the Skype user…”

    If you mean the IP address (the multi-digit virtual location of your box), there are ways of spoofing that. Not ones easily comprehensible to fiftysomething paedos, but I assume they’ll read up. If you mean the logon id (the name/email/password used to logon to Skype), then – and this is a genuine question and I don’t know the answer – why don’t you just ask Skype? Have they ever turned such a request down?

    I’m being pointlessly picky here because the basic battle (can the state intercept and record all electronic communication?) is already lost (they can, they have, they do). So as you say, this is a tidying-up exercise.

    rgdsm

  36. A ComRes European election poll has been published which doesn’t seem credible to me because it puts the LDs on 18% only 3% behind the Tories and 5% behind Labour. The Euro elections are traditionally the LDs’ weakest type of election:

    Poll with changes since January:

    UKIP 27% (+4%)
    Lab 23% (-12%)
    Con 21% (-1%)
    LD 18% (+10%)

  37. Re the data debate:

    I may be wrong, but I believe the piece of legislation ensuring that IP addresses can be more easily linked to their users IS scheduled for this parliament.

    The part I understood had been dropped from the bill due to LDem objections is the section requiring internet providers to keep records of all activity for one year and make them available to a variety of authorities without warrant or judicial order.

  38. ComRes European election poll has been published which doesn’t seem credible to me because it puts the LDs on 18% only 3% behind the Tories and 5% behind Labour. The Euro elections are traditionally the LDs’ weakest type of election:
    Poll with changes since January:
    UKIP 27% (+4%)
    Lab 23% (-12%)
    Con 21% (-1%)
    LD 18% (+10%)

    ———
    This is what the Comres poll says seems a bit unlikely along with their assertion that this was somehow good news for the Tories.

    If reflected in the EURO elections it would mean Labour up 7% from the last Euros Tories down 7% UKIP up 10%(remember they polled strongly last time and Lib Dems up 4% which seems rather fanciful.

    Would point out it does when Greens(5%) included mean that the majority of UK support appears to be for parties that don’t favour holding a EU in out referendum!

    Which should annoy the swivel eyed loons who persistently say they are speaking for us all.

  39. Steve

    Maths not one of your strong points.

    UKIP + Tory = 48%
    LIBLAB + greens = 46%

    Add Eng Dems, and BNP, you would get around 50% for the “Out” camp.

    And the Greens are euro-sceptics, so I doubt they support this continued integration of europe.

  40. That Comres EU poll exhibits a mammoth change and only between two parties, as though EM had said something that profoundly upset pro EU Labour supporters. Surely this renders either it or its forerunner highly suspect?

  41. The data thing is more complex than that. Skype is a Luxembourg tax exile, owned by a US company (Microsoft). Although it would probably comply with a request under RIPA that was this obvious there might be many instances where it might not.

    And even if it did, what evidence would it hold? If you’re really lucky it would hold time and date of a call and the Skype IDs involved and their location (if they were using a mobile device, for example). But the Skype ID might be difficult to link to an individual.

    ISP authored IP addresses need you to know who was assigned an IP address at a particular time, as we’ve run out of unique addresses under IPv4 they get recycled, so you might need to get the ISP and its database involved.

    Of course if the guilty party was aware they were doing something wrong then they may have tried hard to hide this. So they have a Skype ID that links to a one time email address set up through Yahoo etc… They log in via proxy sites using spoofed IP addresses… They use mechanisms based in countries that are hard for our police to do business with…

  42. Dan
    SNP and PC opposed to referendum
    but its pretty even admittedly, definitely not the overwhelming majority the SEL’s would have you believe

  43. Dan,

    The Greens are in favour of staying in the EU. As are some of the Conservatives.

    On the other hand, I don’t think anyone is in favour of any more integration.

  44. Hal – but they’re also in favour of radical EU reform, and to judge from that article on the Green Party website, of a referendum on British membership.

  45. Yet again legislation is trailing in the wake of technology.

    Within three or four years thousands of us will be gladly paying google to collect information we don’t trust our police with.

    Once it’s “Glass” project goes live, like it or not in most public places you will see someone with those odd glasses on and if you can see them they and Google can see you.

    A simple combination of face recognition and GPS will let them track who you are and what you are doing whether you like it or not.

    Mobiles already scan for friends phones in the area so collecting data on any phone or wireless device around is easy enough and contactless payment should make it even easier to build a picture of what we are all doing.

    It’s really quite odd how as consumers we are queuing up to pay Google for the privilege to do what we fear BIG Brother might.

    Peter.

  46. PAUL CROFT

    @”How do you know this?”

    ……you think he might be !!….really?

  47. @Howard

    “…That Comres EU poll exhibits a mammoth change and only between two parties, as though EM had said something that profoundly upset pro EU Labour supporters. Surely this renders either it or its forerunner highly suspect?…”

    I may be wrong (shurely not – Ed) but I think the big jump in UKIP in ComRes is because the pro-EU anti-Tory LD switchers to LAB aren’t sticky. Which is weird. I assume pro-EU votes (?!?) are coalescing around LD and anti-EU votes are coalescing around UKIP (which would account for the 40/60 split).

    Euros 2009 ………– CON 28%, LAB 16%, LDEM 14%, UKIP 17%, OTH 25%,
    ComRes/People (Jan) – CON 22%, LAB 35%, LDEM 08%, UKIP 23%, OTH 12%
    ComRes/People (May) – CON 21%, LAB 23%, LDEM 18%, UKIP 27%, OTH 11%

    rgdsm

  48. NEIL A

    I have appreciated your perspective & experience on data access . It is helpful.

  49. (reposted after removing nonsequitur)

    @Howard

    “…That Comres EU poll exhibits a mammoth change and only between two parties, as though EM had said something that profoundly upset pro EU Labour supporters. Surely this renders either it or its forerunner highly suspect?…”

    I may be wrong (shurely not – Ed) but I think the pro-EU anti-Tory LD switchers to LAB aren’t sticky. Which is weird. I assume pro-EU votes (?!?) are coalescing around LD and anti-EU votes are coalescing around UKIP (which would account for the 40/60 split between UKIP and LD).

    Euros 2009 ………- CON 28%, LAB 16%, LDEM 14%, UKIP 17%, OTH 25%,
    ComRes/People (Jan) – CON 22%, LAB 35%, LDEM 08%, UKIP 23%, OTH 12%
    ComRes/People (May) – CON 21%, LAB 23%, LDEM 18%, UKIP 27%, OTH 11%

    LDs are niche marketers, and they have a niche that – oddly – works quite well for them in Euros. It *may* be that being pro-EU is an advantage in a Euroelection although obviously it’s not so useful in UK elections.

    rgdsm

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