The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is now up online here. Topline voting intention figures are CON 32%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, showing the six point Labour lead that has been typical in YouGov polls of late. As well as regular trackers, today’s poll also has some questions on Syria and on the whole Edward Snowden, GCHQ, David Miranda, Guardian affair.

There is still minimal support for any intervention in Syria (if anything there is slightly less support than when YouGov asked the same questions back in May). While 77% would support sending humanitarian supplies to civilians in Syria and 41% would support sending protective clothing to troops fighting against Assad, a majority would oppose any other type of intervention – 58% would oppose sending small arms to the rebel troops, 74% would oppose sending British troops in Syria itself (just 9% would support military intervention on the ground).

A batch of questions on Edward Snowden and GCHQ show people pretty evenly divided on the principle of GCHQ’s behaviour, 41% think it is right that GCHQ should be able to listen into internet and communication data, 45% think it’s wrong. People are still split on whether the Guardian was right to publish stories about it – 40% think it right, 45% think it is wrong.

As the questions move onto the government and security services’s response, the destruction of the Guardian’s hard drives and the holding of David Miranda at Heathrow the balance of opinion moves slightly towards the security services. In questions about the Guardian hard drives people are, on balance, supportive off their destruction – by 54% to 23% they think it was sensible, by 41% to 34% they reject the idea it was pointless. Finally on the question of David Miranda’s treatment at Heathrow airport, 46% think the police were right to use anti-terrorism laws to detain David Miranda, 36% that they were wrong. 49% think it was a sensible use of powers to protect national security, 34% think it was a misuse of powers to interfere with legitimate journalism.

Also in today’s Sunday papers was an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph. The Telegraph article doesn’t make it clear, but I think this is actually one of ICM’s “wisdom index” polls (that is, rather than asking people how they would vote they ask people to guess what the percentages will be at the next election and average them) – the figures look more like ICM’s wisdom polls than their regular polls, and ICM don’t do standard voting intention online. For the record the poll has the Conservatives on 30%, Labour on 32%, Lib Dems on 16%, UKIP on 12%.

There is also an Angus Reid Scottish poll in the Sunday Express, already well written up by John Curtice here, which found current referendum voting intention standing at YES 34%, NO 47%.


366 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 32, LAB 38, LD 10, UKIP 13”

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  1. Assessing the impact of overseas students on the economy is both notoriously difficult and one of the things BIS try to do on a regular basis.

    BIS recently published a paper examining the very significant contribution that graduates make to the economy, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/229492/bis-13-858-relationship-between-graduates-and-economic-growth-across-countries.pdf

    This should give you a feel both for how important they are, and how complicated it is to work that out.

    A summary from BIS itself:

    – around 20% of UK economic growth (from 1982 to 2005) came from increased graduate skills; however, the growth accounting approach used for this result ignores the indirect benefits of HE

    – once indirect benefits are taken into account using econometric analysis, a 1% increase in the share of the workforce with a university degree raises long-run productivity by between 0.2% and 0.5%

    – this implies that we can attribute at least a third of the increase in UK labour productivity between 1994 and 2005 to the rising number of people with a university degree

  2. @Chris Riley – are you sure you’ve got that right? The report seems to be about graduates, not overseas students (who go home after graduating) – that was what we were talking about in Scotland.

    @RiN – re US presidents rights to go to war – doesn’t he need congressional approval within 100 days of taking action?

    Can’t help but feel we are being softened up for action in Syria. It is a completely horrible situation, but unless we can see a clear path to help make things better, I’m extremely doubtful about the merits of armed intervention.

    We know from the UN that there have been probable chemical attacks by the rebels as well as by Assad’s forces, we have seen some pretty dramatic acts of savagery from rebel forces, and we know that the rebels include radical Islamists who can’t wait to target Western forces if they got the chance.

    I think Cameron is kidding us if he tried to portray this as the Good Guys vs Assad, and I get the horrible feeling that the agenda is being run on the basis of ‘something must be done’ rather than a knowledgeable and careful analysis of risk, outcomes and future impacts.

  3. Mr Nameless

    The last Populus poll on the 22nd showed Lab 38 Con 30 lib 12 ukip 12.
    Have you got your +/- right. or has there been another one since the 22 and I’ve missed it, do you have the link for it cheers.

  4. The real worry with Syria is… do we have enough forces.

    I know we have the rest of Europe between us and Syria but if we have forces still on the ground in the Middle East and we move to bomb Syria I hope the government has considered the consequences, if Iran does decide to attack our forces the nearest are in quite easy reach, I am sure that there will be no distinction of what ground for the attack, as long as there are UK and USA forces to kill or worse capture.

  5. @Oldnat

    I noticed a mention of alcohol minimum pricing and it occurred to me that I haven’t ever heard of something empowering or enabling from Holyrood. Just a few off the top of my head, that made the headlines.

    Alcohol min pricing
    Smoking ban
    Air Gun legislation
    Edinburgh trams (one of those ones where each sides blames the other (it gives politicians jobs for a decade, that).

    Actually, the motorway ‘missing link’ work might be one, and while one came in ‘before time and under budget’, the deadline and budget was set higher than normal.

    I increasingly get the feeling that Holyrood lacks purpose, so makes new laws to justify its existence (as does Westminster in its own way). If Independence rids us of one tier, great. The status quo will mean continuing 2-tier government (3 or 4 if you count MEPs and councillors).

    More tiers than a soppy film. :)

  6. Turk,

    You’re correct. What happened was I saw the tweet retweeted and forgot to check the date. Apologies!

  7. 12 days until the Australian election. Very very close opinion polling – had a couple of 50-50 results recently.

    Interesting to note that the Liberal National Coalition is by far the most popular party (about 45% vs. 36% for the ALP) but that’s mainly down to the reasonable showing for smaller parties, notably the Greens (10%) whose preferences will probably trickle through to Labor.

    In short, it’s going to be a very tight race. We should keep an eye on it!

  8. MRNameless

    No problem thanks

  9. @Alec

    Yes, the point is quite how complex this sort of calculation is. The graduates report is there because it’s very current and it gives you an idea of the overall contribution of higher education of which overseas students are a part.

    Also, it never hurts to remind people of just how good and important our universities are, especially at the moment – A level results day was notable for the volume of really bad press articles about universities.

  10. I’ve noticed something recently on Twitter. Labour seem to be taking a remarkably deficit hawkish approach to a lot of things – £1.4bn payout for redundancies in the NHS, the allegation that the cost of the Bedroom Tax has been £1.5bn higher than doing nothing, asserting that they’ll cap the spending on HS2 at £50bn.

    This seems to be laying the groundwork for a position in 2015 of ‘we haven’t got that much money, and while the Tories claim to be reducing the deficit, they’re cutting in a haphazard way that’s wasting more money. We’ll make sure that the money government spends is used as efficiently as possible”.

    Doesn’t matter whether they stick to it or not electorally, since the objective is to find a position from which they can challenge the Tories on the economy. And in that regard, yeah, they could potentially gain a bit of support by appearing on the ball economically. We’ll see how it pans out at conference.

  11. The exchange between Turk and Mr Nameless caused me to look at the Populus and YouGov polling (see top right table) and there is a very close agreement between them isn’t there?

    I don’t know what method differences exist but, if there are few, then we seem to have a degree of reliability which I find difficult to accept with ICM and Opinium (for instance).

  12. We have more than enough airpower to deal with Syria in our sleep.

    The US accounts for over 40% of global defence spending, add in Nato and you get to nearr 70%. Of the remaining big players, Russia and China between them make up less 10% but won’t do anything but moan.

    The next big spenders accounting for over 3% are the gulf states who are all on our side and at least three of them have airforces bigger than Irans.

    The rest is Africa, Latin America and the Far East… Most of them will be neutral including the big players India and Brazil. Japan and Australia are with us but won’t play a part.

    Syria doesn’t come close to 1% and we can field almost 80%. There best planes are in too few numbers, probably unserviceable, lack AWACs support and are at least a generation behind us.

    In the Airwar with Israel the last time Syrian lost 80 aircraft without even hitting an Israeli one.

    It shouldn’t take a week.

    As to troops on the ground that would be limited to seizing control of Chemical Weapons if necessary and be done by helicopter either US marines from Assault ships or US Airborne from Eastern Iraq.

    After that there would be no US, Nato or UK. Boots on the ground.

    Any formal Nato involvement might be blocked by Turkey so a Gulf War style “Coalition of the Willing” is more likely.

    If Iran retaliates it will be via Hezbollah in Lebanon and probably missiles at Israel, but then thy do that on a daily basis anyway so we might not notice the difference.

    Peter.

  13. @mrnameless

    The 50-50 polls are at the top end – in that case, if the Greens maintain a surge back to their 2010 showing, it might come down to Rudd being able to negotiate a deal (in the same way Gillard did) with Independents… some of whom at first sight would seem to have more in common with the Liberal/National Coalition. (Two Independents are retiring this year… neither Lyne or New England look to be promising territory for Labor.)

    Other polls are showing Labor 6% adrift of the Coalition on TPP (two-party preference). Polling of marginal constituencies also does not look too hopeful – Rudd himself has a tight race on his hands in Griffith (Brisbane).

  14. Peter

    According to Le Figaro there are already western boots on the ground as trainer/advisers and have been for two years

  15. Woud Labour oppose armed intervention in Syria, if the UK public were against it ? I think this is possible, as after Afghanistan and Iraq, Labour frontbench voting with the Government to authorise UK forces to be involved in such intervention, would be hugely divisive.

    For the Lib Dems, I cannot see Nick Clegg trying to whip many of his MP’s into the lobbys to support UK involvement. It could be a free vote, even for LD ministers, to avoid finishing the coalition. The Tories won’t be happy about this, as they would be whipped I suspect.

    Very tricky for all of the parties and for this reason I cannot see UK forces being involved. Syria is very different to Libya and needs a different action plan, involving regional powers including the Arab League to take the lead on this. This is a civil war involving different tribes, which could spread outside Syria.

  16. @MrNameless

    “12 days until the Australian election. Very very close opinion polling – had a couple of 50-50 results recently.”

    Just returned from four memorable weeks in that wonderful country, celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, and while I can’t say that the election campaign occupied my every waking hour, I did keep half an eye on it. As you say, the polls are tightening a little and while the good money is still on an Abbott/Liberal Coalition victory, Rudd and his Labor Party are edging themselves back into realistic contention. The campaign has its Australian idiosyncrasies and peculiarities, but there are uncanny similarities with the UK in terms of how the key elements of the debate are being framed and the leading personalities involved. When Rudd deposed Gillard, his personal popularity lifted Labor in the polls and got them right back into a contest that had looked all over. The Rudd factor slowly unwound, however, and three or four weeks ago it looked as if Abbott would win big. As with Labour in the UK in 2010, Rudd’s administration was showing signs of tiredness and defeatism, failing to defend its record and seemingly powerless to rebut the constant opposition charge that they’d engineered a phoney economic boom and squandered taxpayers money on a misconceived public spending splurge.

    However what appears to be happening is, dare I say it, a bit of an incumbency bonus coming into play. Rudd, although confronted by a largely hostile print press and media (yes, Mr Murdoch’s baleful shadow casts far and wide wide, I’m afraid), is a seasoned and Blair-esquely smooth campaigner and is beginning to get traction with his defence of his government’s record and his dismantling of the opposition’s core claims. He’s helped hugely by Abbott’s quite marked personal unpopularity and I suspect compulsory voting will assist him with getting out his predominantly younger age profile support.

    Abbott is relying on winning the day by concentrating on Labor’s supposed economic profligacy and trying to outflank Rudd on the right with a raft of strict immigration policies, particularly in relation to the Indonesian and Vietnamese boat people. Seeing Rudd and Abbott trying to out-tough each other on this issue made for a pretty unedifying spectacle, I have to say.

    Rudd might be scuppered eventually by having the misfortune of seeking re-election at a time when the recent Australian mineral-led boom is showing signs of coming to an end. Both Labor and the Liberals are accused of squandering much of this good fortune and this debate has echoes of the 1980s in the UK with Thatcher and North Sea oil.

    How do I think it will go? My sense is that Abbott will squeak it but the Liberal landslide that looked on the cards a few weeks ago is unlikely to materialise. Rudd’s a canny politician, however, and I wouldn’t entirely write him off yet. Fascinating stuff and plenty of interesting parallels with UK politics too. If I was an electoral strategist in either Cameron or Miliband’s camp, I’d be keeping a very close eye on this election and its outcome, particularly the campaigning techniques and personality dimensions.

    Ironically, either a Rudd or Abbott victory would contain both encouragement and worries for the Miliband and Cameron camps as they prepare for the May 2015 contest. A Rudd victory would strengthen the incumbency bonus and popularity factor argument, thereby putting a smile on Cameron’s face, yet Miliband would be pleased to see a victory for a centre-left politician up against a hostile press and an orchestrated barrage of centre-right arguments on economic and social policy. An Abbott victory would reinforce the view that an opposition can win with a leader trailing the incumbent in terms of personal appeal and that would reassure Labour and Miliband. Cameron, on the other hand, would have cause to smile too because the Crosby-esque Liberal electoral and campaigning strategy would have worked.

    As a final thought, and this is an argument for another time, I’ve become even more convinced about the benefits of compulsory voting having witnessed the campaign in Australia first hand these last four weeks or so. The level of political engagement and interest that I witnessed puts our anaemic and apathetic political culture to shame.

  17. Best course for Labour in terms of winning support would be for Ed to come out against military action, do a press conference and say:

    “I always opposed the Iraq War, but many in our party were convinced that invasion was the correct course of action. We were wrong, and we apologise. We know, too, that the public does not support military action against Syria, and though we empathise with the population of that country who have suffered under bad government, we realise that intervening militarily will make the situation worse, not better.”

    There’ll be a few howls of protest from Blair and people like Hodges, but really it can’t do them any harm. It’ll win back a few who disliked Iraq, and make sure there’s a solid, anti-war alternative for people to choose.

  18. @R Huckle

    Nine Labour MPs voted against military action in Libya, that was after a UN resolution though.

    Hague is ramping up the rhetoric… but waiting for the decision to be taken.

    Labour’s front bench is probably doing the same, otherwise they could find themselves in the kind of position Charles Kennedy found himself – supporting the troops, but opposing their actions.

    If the decision is taken it would not be easy for Ed Miliband as loyal leader of HM opposition to seen to be taking a position against UK’s foreign policy/allies.

  19. (Part repeat/expansion of comments from previous thread)

    As Anthony says YouGov repeated a set of questions (see page 5 of ref above) they last asked in May based on:

    Thinking about the conflict in Syria, here are some things Britain could do. Would you support or oppose each of the following?:

    The results don’t make happy reading for the hawks. The responses were fiercely against intervention and even more so than in May. While there is overwhelming support for humanitarian aid (77%) and that hasn’t declined, even sending “protective clothing, such as flak jackets and helmets” only gets 41-33 approval (from 50-26 in May). Even defensive armaments, such as anti-aircraft guns, get only 19% support. And it’s down to 9% for British troops on the ground.

    They didn’t ask about about air support, but even “Surgical air strikes to destroy chemical weapon facilities” only got 38-36 support in May[1] and presumably that has declined since. “Enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria so the Syrian air force cannot attack rebels or civilians” did have considerable support (68%) back in December, but this more recent question may show a change in opinion and in any case there will be no UN resolutions to back this one unlike Libya. The possiblity of Russian and/or Iranian support might also reduce enthusiasm. And whether chemical weapons have been used or not seems to make little difference (I suspect this is already ‘priced in’).

    As with Libya, support/opposition isn’t a partisan thing, though UKIP voters are most opposed (presumably they don’t think any money should be spent on foreigners – even if it’s to kill them), there is surprisingly little gender difference and little age or social grade variance that I can see. London and Scotland seem a little more in favour, but that may be sampling (they’re the smallest YouGov regions). It’s very rare to see such uniformity across demographic groups on any question.

    However the difference with Libya is that intervention there always had considerable support – between 30% and 45%. Even though opposition varied within the same limits (sometimes ahead sometimes behind – about 20-25% were consistently DKs), the government could always say that the country was evenly divided. This simply isn’t true about Syria.

    [1] Figures in this para from the YouGov Syria tracker:

    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/sejssxpbth/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Syria-180613.pdf

  20. I can’t believe people are really wanting us to potentially start WW3 in Syria and the middle east. Lets just drag Russia and China in too, maybe Iran N Korea. Will we never learn.

    Politicians are there to serve people and they are not even recalling parliament to discuss this(sic)

  21. ALEC

    @”We know from the UN that there have been probable chemical attacks by the rebels as well as by Assad’s forces,”

    No we don’t :-

    After Del POnte made her TV interview remarks ( based on interviews with victims in neighouring countries) , the Commission issued this formal statement :-

    “The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic wishes to clarify that it has not reached conclusive findings as to the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict. As a result, the Commission is not in a position to further comment on the allegations at this time,”

    We also need to be clear about the current investigation-and the absolutely key issue of responsibility & culpability:-

    “The United Nations inspectors are due to visit the scene of the attacks later today. But one important point has been misunderstood, notably by Lord Ashdown in his article in The Times. The mandate of the UN team allows them to establish whether chemical weapons have been used – NOT who was responsible. Given that everyone now agrees that poison gas was employed in the suburbs of Damascus last Wednesday, the UN mission is beginning to look irrelevant.
    The question is not whether the atrocity happened, but who did it? And that is the question the UN is explicitly forbidden from answering.”

    BBC

  22. An ethical question that troubles me a little about the Syrian situation. If the indiscriminate bombing of civilians and the use of cluster bombs is on the non-intervention side of the “red line”, and something that we seem quite prepared to see continue, why is the killing of civilians by poison gas any worse. Surely both are unspeakable atrocities that bring about the mass death of innocent civilians and I’m alarmed that the momentous decision to intervene militarily or not then appears to hang on an arcane definition of the means of death, not the deaths themselves.

    By stating that we regarded the means of inflicting mass deaths as the pivotal factor behind intervention, haven’t we then opened up the appalling possibility that the rebels know that the introduction of chemical weapons in the conflict is the only way to elicit Western military support?

  23. Colin

    “Carla Del Ponte, a member of the UN independent commission of inquiry on Syria, said that testimony gathered from casualties and medical staff indicated that the nerve agent sarin gas was used by rebel fighters. “Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals and, according to their report of last week which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated,” Ms Del Ponte said in an interview with Swiss-Italian television, broadcast on Sunday.  “This was used on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities,” she added, speaking in Italian. Ms Del Ponte added that the inquiry has yet to see any direct evidence suggesting that government forces have used chemical weapons, but said further investigation was required before this possibility could be ruled out. The new claims come one week after the United States said it had “varying degrees of confidence” that sarin had been used by Syria’s government on its people.”

  24. Crossbat

    Where do you think the “rebels” are getting their chemical weapons from?

  25. Allan Christie

    from pg 1of thread

    You are correct I don’t want a labour government anymore than I want an independant Scotland. Your friend ‘Old Nat’ clearly can say nothing as to what I said on independance in Scotland as he made a queer link between that description and Eritrea, he also described me as an extremist – ‘apocalyptic representations by extremists.’ – which other than trying to insult me had no point whatsoever as other posts I have made on here make it quite clear I am not an extremist. Rather I am a UKIP-Con who has no decent UKIP representation in my area and a very bad Con representation, so have turned to BNP who are actually quite reasonably represented (probably due to the reasons that I have just stated concerning other political parties).

  26. Colin

    Re your post I think that’s the point nobody can be sure who used gas to kill and injury the population, the assumption is it was Syrian government, but it could be ruthless elements within the opposition forces seeking to blame the atrocity on the Syrian government and use the west to break the civil war stalemate.
    Both sides have a proven record of barbarity, personally I wouldn’t trust either side to tell the truth.

  27. Turk

    You mean you don’t trust our side? Wow, but we are the good guys!

  28. @Petercairns – “We have more than enough airpower to deal with Syria in our sleep……..As to troops on the ground that would be limited to seizing control of Chemical Weapons if necessary and be done by helicopter either US marines from Assault ships or US Airborne from Eastern Iraq. ”

    Oh dear. Someone clearly still thinks asymmetric wars are won from the air, and that helicoptering in and out ground troops is an easy option.

    Have people not been watching the news from Iraq and Afghanistan these last ten years or so?

    I’m sure I heard something on the news about these no hopers killing US and British troops with home made bombs and such like – obviously I got the wrong end of the stick, and they were bringing something else back in those flag draped boxes.

    Engaging in Syria is participating in a civil war in another country. There isn’t even a unified rebel opposition, and the minute western forces go in, half the rebels will try to kill western soldiers.

    @Colin – indeed, which is why I said ‘probable’.

    On the balance of probabilities, it would seem reasonable to conclude that chemical weapons have probably been used on both sides, although it would appear that the Assad regime has used them more and with greater effect.

    What cannot be disputed is the fact that many atrocities have been committed by the rebels. These include numerous beheadings, the execution of captured government soldiers, the slitting of throats of captured soldiers and civilian government supporters alike, and the throwing from roofs of postal workers (postal workers for christ’s sake). All of this is freely available on Youtube, if you care to look.

    This is the noble cause that we seek to stand shoulder to shoulder with.

    I don’t pretend to know what the answer to the Syrian crisis is, but I think we should have reached the point where we start to understand the complexities of the Middle East, and following the Bush/Blair mantra of kicking ‘the bad guys’ is a bit simplistic.

  29. @ BILLY BOB

    “If the decision is taken it would not be easy for Ed Miliband as loyal leader of HM opposition to seen to be taking a position against UK’s foreign policy/allies.”

    There was no problem for the Labour Party in 1956 over Suez. They opposed the war and even organised a mass demonstration against the war in Trafalgar Square. And the Labour Party were proved right of course.

    I think it would be a popular move generally to oppose military intervention in Syria.

  30. Norbold,

    I think that the best option for the Labour party is to tread carefully and button-up whenever the ” I ” word gets used.

  31. Norbold

    “of course”-since when were Labour decisions good ones ‘of course’. I am not going to say any more as it would be deemed partisan.

    This is Reg of the BNP, but as I am mostly automatically ignored – due to silly stereotypical views held by a lot of posters here – when we are trying to have a good non-partisan conversation I have changed my screen name.

  32. Bill Patrick

    I agree in principle, but I think that they shouldn’t make themselves seem undecisive as they are not exactly seen as that decisive a party as it is.
    I think the overriding thing in connection with Syria should not be whether the Tory party wil drop five points in VI or the Labour party increase, I think the government should move in the way that is best for the people of Syria.

  33. Alec

    “I don’t pretend to know what the answer to the Syrian crisis is”

    Well the first rule of crisis is “never let a good crisis go to waste” that’s particularly true when you have used lots of money and manpower to create said crisis in the first place

  34. Reginald

    Are you serious, OUR govt should do what is in the best interests of the Syrian people?! I thought they represented the British people

  35. ?

  36. Reginald,

    I don’t think most people care about the Labour party position on Syria. They would only start to care IF Labour tried to make it into a partisan issue. Can anyone remember the Labour party line on Libya? No and I don’t remember knowing.

  37. TURK

    It’s a mess isn’t it.

    The one clear conclusion I draw from this is that the UN is powerless to help in situations like this.

    Frankly-way back before there was a defined Syrian opposition ( July 2011) , when Assad used tanks to put down civil unrest, the killings in Hama, Daraa & other towns warranted UN action.

    But Russia has neutered the UN throughout.

    Now we have god knows how many factions involved-plus the inevitable cohort of Islamic extremists-Hezbollah -etc etc.

    Too much time has elapsed & I have some sympathy with CB11’s doubts over “Red Lines”.

    Meanwhile-in Egypt, the Coptic Christians are in the middle of their own Kristallnacht-and who gives a toss ?

  38. Richard

    It has been reported that the rebels got a lot of their weapons from raiding military stock piles in Syria, hence chemical weapons.

    Who has the bigger incentive to use chemical weapon? Assad or the rebels?

    Crossbat, I agree. Why is killing a child by chemical worse than a bomb. Sounds like an excuse to intervene more to me.

    Also why do politicians think that firing more bombs will lead to less deaths? Especially when we(the west) give the rebels more bombs and the Russians/China give Assad more bombs. Diplomacy has to be the answer, with more involvement from regional powers.

  39. I read earlier that UKIP voters were more against war in Syria, isn’t that likely to be because they are older and have more experience of seeing failed interventions by the west?

    I was pro Iraq and Afganistan in my younger days, but now would take a dim view of starting a war there, when our soldiers are being killed and civilians including children are also being killed.

    Crosstabs will show older people are against wars in far flung lands

  40. @ Bill Patrick

    Can anyone remember the Labour party line on Libya? No and I don’t remember knowing.
    ————
    I can; Labour voted with the coalition.

  41. RiN

    Yes. It is the common principle of the strong coming in aid of the weak. We are not strong as such but we still have the ability to help so I believe we should. (This does not mean I agree with military intervention, I have not decided yet.)

  42. Bill Patrick

    Point taken.

  43. So much naivety about the situation in Syria and of the US, UK, French and Israeli intentions (Russia is known, China is more complicated: all the major geopolitical analysts perceived the aggression in Afghanistan as a part of the game against China (mind you they had the same opinion at the time of the Soviet intervention in 1979 – so one wonders how they perceive another colonial war in a rather important part of the world).

  44. And how do we pay for these wars?

    Bedroom tax, the poor lose out again, big business allowed to avoid tax. The average joe always loses under the coalition.

    Labour wont reverse these abhorrent taxes on the poor, and you wonder why people have lost faith in EM.

    All main 3 leaders aren’t credible, so why don’t I just vote to leave this union?

  45. Sorry, I meant Chinese analysts.

  46. @ Reginald

    While Assad’s regime is quite repulsive, I don’t quite get the meaning of your suggestion about helping – helping Al-Quida?

  47. Isaac

    There were stockpiles of CW in Libya which almost certainly fell into the wrong hands(depending on your viewpoint) it could well be that some of those have made their way over to Syria, it’s rumoured that the American ambassador was concluding a weapons deal on behalf of the Syrian free army when he was killed in an ambush in bengazi

  48. Laszlo

    Half of the rebels are Al-Qaeda! If they win where will they use these weapons next? New York? London? Israel? Against your family? Do you want to risk it? I don’t.

    Iraq has already radicalised many young in this country.

  49. RIN

    You make a lot of sense.

    What next? We go into Egypt? N Korea, no we can’t because they have nukes.

    Back home WE kill thousands of pensioners a year because they can’t afford to eat of heat their homes. Cue the Crude missiles.

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