The issue of how to respond to refugees fleeing from the war in Syria has been rumbling on for months, but became far more of an issue last week because of photographs of the body of toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach and media coverage of groups of refugees travelling across Hungary.

The coverage provoked a strong reaction on social media and led to petitions and campaigns in favour of Britain doing more to welcome more Syrian refugees to the country. There was a perception that public opinion had shifted in favour of doing more to help Syrian refugees as a result of the emotive photographs. However, social media is not necessarily reflective of wider public opinion, people making a noise and signing petitions are not necessarily reflective of those keeping quiet. Is there any actual hard evidence that people have become more welcoming towards Syrian refugees… or did that proportion of British people who have always welcomed refugees just speak up more vocally?

Since last week there have been polls from ComRes, Survation and YouGov asking about whether Britain should accept more Syrian refugees:

ComRes for Newsnight (tabs) asked if Britain should take more or fewer refugees from Syria and Libya than it currently does – 40% said more, 31% fewer, 26% about the same. A later question asked if Britain was taking its fair share of responsibility to deal with people coming to Europe from Syria, and found a pretty similar split: 39% said Britain wasn’t doing enough, 22% too much, 36% about the right amount.

Survation for the Mail on Sunday (tabs) asked how many Syrian refugees people thought Britain should accept: 29% said none at at all, 27% less than 10,000, 15% 10,000, 9% more than 10,000. They also asked specifically about Yvette Cooper’s suggestion of each local authority taking 10 families – 35% supported, 42% opposed.

Finally YouGov asked some questions split between the Sun, ITN and their own site (tabs here, here and here). They found 50% of people said that Britain should be doing more to deal with the migrant crisis… but of course, “doing more” does not necessarily equate to letting more people in. Some respondents could have imagined doing more as meaning doing more to help refugees in camps in the Middle East, or doing more to prevent refugees getting into Europe. Asking specifically about the number of Syrian refugees that should be allowed into Britain 36% said that we accept a higher number of refugees from Syria, 24% about the same number, 27% fewer or none at all.

YouGov also asked how many Syrian families should be allowed into Britain, but most respondents said don’t know (perhaps because YouGov asked about families, rather than individuals, or perhaps because the Survation survey had already asked about Yvette Cooper’s proposal of 10,000, so respondents had a reference point for their answer). 22% said Britain should not accept any Syrian refugee families, 14% less than 10,000, 8% more than 10,000.

Overall the three points paint a pretty consistent picture. A significant minority of the British public want the country to accept more refugees from Syria, but it is a minority. Most people think the current numbers are about right or we should admit even less, a significant minority would like to accept none at all.

But even if most people don’t want to accept more Syrian refugees, did last week’s harrowing coverage increase support for accepting Syrian refugees at all? YouGov found 9% of people said seeing the images of Aylan Kurdi changed their view and made them think we should accept more refugees, however I’m always rather dubious about such questions. What we really need is a question that was asked before and after to see how views have changed. The only one I can find is in this YouGov poll. Way back in May 29% of people agreed with the statement that the UK should be a place of refuge for Syrian refugees, when that was reasked last week it had gone up to 41%. With four months between the figures it’s not possible to pin it upon a single event, but it does look as if people have indeed become significantly more positive towards the idea of accepting refugees from Syria over the last few months… opinion just hasn’t moved so much that a majority would welcome more Syrian refugees.


464 Responses to “Has Britain become more welcoming towards refugees?”

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  1. PollTroll

    As a side issue, the Carmichael crowd funding appeal has ceased to accept donations – due to the untruths told by his supporters in their text! :-)

  2. Thank you Graham for just highlighting further why Corbyn will never become PM. The attitude of “they had it coming” towards our troops is not something that will wash with the public or indeed even labour voters.

    It’s so much easier to have a discussion when I have you providing proof of my arguments for me :) Much obliged

  3. @MITM

    I suspect you are retelling the deliberate misinterpretation and selective quoting of when Corbyn was explaining the trouble with declaring people who were defending their homes to be “illegal combatants”. It’s all too easy to turn a legitimate explanation of the obligations under the Geneva Accords that people are lawfully allowed to fight back when we invade their land, into “praising the people attacking our troops”.

  4. It will be very interesting to see the VI in the first poll after Corbyn’s election. Will there be a Labour surge or slump? Neither need be permanent of course, but the initial movement should tell us something.
    The only problem is that the polling companies are in the throes of re-examining methodologies, so results may not be comparable to earlier polls. I’m sure Anthony can give us guidance on this when the polls come out.

    BTW has anyone pointed out that the Labour Deputy Leader and Leader are Tom and Jerry?

  5. No Jayblanc wrong as usual

    I am referring to Dyab Abou Jahjah, who the Labour party banned from the UK for his comments supporting terrorism. Where he called for the death of every British American and Dutch soldier, and said that the death of every British soldier was a victory.

    Jeremy Corbyn shared a platform with this man, then afterwards pretended he didnt know him, which is fair enough, until you read that Jeremy Corbyn actually appealed on several occasions for this man to be let in the UK, despite knowing all this!

    And Jay, I am sure you are going to turn around and somehow defend this action, that somehow letting Dyab Abou Jahjah in is the right thing to do, but the public will never agree with you, because its such an emotive subject.

  6. @PeteB

    Yes they have pointed out Tom and Jerry lol

    And also I’m fulling expecting a Corbyn bounce, just as every new leader for either side gets a bounce.

    It’s when the video clips of corbyn and his own views start rolling that Labour will begin to take a dive.

    The Press will have a relatively easy time, Corbyn doesnt even try to deny he says these outrageous comments, he actually tries to justify them!

    The press dont even need to put pen to paper, they just need to circulate a few of his vids.

  7. Pete B

    Re your BTW – That joke was already tired by the time of the result being announced!

    As to polling – Survation has a “More/less likely” poll on Corbyn. YouGov asked if his win meant that the Tories would win the next TWO UK GEs.

    Survation and Panelbase also have Scottish polls (as we approach the indyref anniversary).

  8. @PeteB there is a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday. From the tweets of Mike Smithson, it would seem most people are answering ‘don’t know’ to most of the questions.

  9. Polling this far out really means nothing.

    In 2012 polls told us PM Miliband was an absolute certainty. There was no way a hugely unpopular conservative government would be able to retain seats, and the idea that they could actually win seats was laughable and could earn you a ticket to the asylum!

  10. There is a Survation poll on Corbyn

    More likely to vote Labour 18%
    Less likely 24%
    No Difference 58%

    Fit to be PM (interesting Q)
    Yes 24%
    No 34%
    DK 43%

    The headlines as you would expect are not great – ‘lurch to the Left’, ‘Cabinet Split’ etch

    The first post-election polls will be interesting.

    Also Corbyn is apparently only going to do 1 in 5 PMQs he will have other people do them. Weird

  11. There is a Survation poll on Corbyn

    More likely to vote Labour 18%
    Less likely 24%
    No Difference 58%

    Fit to be PM (interesting Q)
    Yes 24%
    No 34%
    DK 43%

    The headlines as you would expect are not great – ‘lurch to the Left’, ‘Cabinet Split’ etch

    The first post-election polls will be interesting.

    Also Corbyn is apparently only going to do 1 in 5 (event that cannot speak its name) he will have other people do them. Weird

  12. @maninthemiddle
    I detect a rather sceptical attitude to Corbyn in your latest posts. Should you consider changing your moniker to something like ‘ManSomewhatToTheRightOfLabour’? :-)

    @Oldnat
    Sorry my joke was old, I dont spend my life on political sites.

    @Jack Sheldon
    re major changes in party leaders – how about Chamberlain to Churchill?

  13. Pete B

    I’m not sure if someone has added Spike the dog to the joke though. Somewhat of a double-edged simile, given how Jerry often uses him as an unwitting ally.

  14. ON
    I don’t know of a Labour character called Spike, but Prescott looks pretty much like him – jowls etc.

  15. @PeteB

    Yes I am to the right of where Labour currently is, which makes sense as it lurches further and further to the left.

    I really don’t know what it will take to stop Labour going down this self destructive path.

    Genuinely I thought after the pasting in 2015, they were going to turn to Chukka Umunna and go back to the centre ground, and possibly on to win in 2020. I genuinely believe if both parties were in the centre Labour would win, as the tories still suffer from this nasty image. But it seems like Labour is doing whatever it can to make sure it does not win.

    It’s getting beyond parody, they are just running further and further left, and anyone who dares not follow them is declared, Blairite, tory, right win etc.

    There’s a whole spectrum between Corbyn Labour and the tories, that labour seem to want to deny even exists. Your either pure left, or tory.

    Politics is about being a broad church, labour is turning into a secret society. you can only join and be part if you know all the right phrases, say the right things to the right people, and pledge undying loyalty.

    I actually think its unhealthy for democracy to see labour just apparently give up on ever getting into power. Preffering ideological purity to compromise and governing.

  16. @OldNat & Pete B

    It is perhaps worth noting that on the one occasion when Tom and Jerry teamed up they managed to save an orphan girl from her grasping, greedy guardians who were out to steal her inheritance.

    There was some fairly awful music along the way though

  17. It’s far too early for polls on Corbyn. So far most people would only have seen, read or heard that he can’t win a GE, so what would you expect them to say?

  18. Anarchists Unite

    What a perfect analogy! :-)

  19. Wonder what odds I can get on a Corbyn bounce in the next poll, being seen by UKPR readers as proof that Corbyn is loved by the public and set to win in 2020!

    You know what, he may even win a few local councilors and win the mayoralty in a labour stronghold like London. Still means absolutely nothing

  20. @OldNat & Pete B

    Of course should Tom, Jerry and Sadiq fail to get along this might be the appropriate image:

    http://media.giphy.com/media/rjZii4RTL6I0M/giphy.gif

    Appropriately enough it comes from an episode entitled “The Truce Hurts” ;)

  21. Can’t wait for the first by election in a Labour safe seat, they are always perfectly representative of the public as a whole am I right?

    If Corbyn can win in Newcastle and Sunderland, he can win in Nuneaton and Dartford!

  22. Anarchists Unite
    I don’t remember that episode but presumably the orphan girl would represent dole scroungers?

    MITM
    Good analysis of where Labour are now. I’m just a bit worried that Corbyn was initially given no hope in the leadership election and won easily. He’s now being given no hope of a GE victory (mainly by the same pundits), so could he win that as well? We need to see what policies emerge and whether the party holds together.

  23. @OldNat

    “What a perfect analogy! :-)”

    Yes I thought so :)

    (And watching that abomination had some use…)

    @ManInTheMiddle

    “Wonder what odds I can get on a Corbyn bounce in the next poll, being seen by UKPR readers as proof that Corbyn is loved by the public and set to win in 2020!”

    Probably the same odds as you could get that all those claiming that the local election is the test of Corbyns leadership (because they just know he will lose) will declare it meaningless if he wins :)

  24. Maninthemiddle
    FWIW I’ll leave you my dad’s thoughts on Corbyns election. Context he is a core Lab supporter and has voted for them every election since 74, he’s no Blairite but he’s no Corbynite either.

    His thoughts are that Labour can’t go on chasing the “centre ground” All it does is shift the terms of debate into the Tory camp and while it delivers short term electoral dividends it erodes the liklehood that policies labour was formed to fight for are ever implemented.
    Lab would have won in 97 regardless of who was leader but electing Blair entrenched certain aspects of Thatcherism that the left abhor and made once acceptable policy positions like nationalisation “hard left”

    Has the country shifted so far to the right in the last five years that the centre ground now concists of policies that even Thatcher didn’t advocate? Who knows but if we elected Umunna or Kendall it would have been just another acceptance of Tory policy.

    I’ve argued this point to him since I was 13 but he claims he came to this conclusion on his own. Regardless triangulation doesn’t make a party electorally unstoppable it just shifts the Overton window in a certain direction.

  25. @MitM

    Everything means something. First he needs to motivate the base. He’s doing that. Then he needs to bring politics much closer to the people. He’s going to do that. We’ll see where it goes from there.

    Too many people are getting hung up on “what’s his policy on this/that”, or the left v centre v right arguments, when JC’s USP is to attempt to change the way politics is made and delivered. You can bet your bottom pound coin that the Tories/LD and others will be hurriedly looking at how that too can involve a lot more people in the policy making process, whilst trashing Corbyn.

  26. @Pete B

    “I don’t remember that episode but presumably the orphan girl would represent dole scroungers?”

    It came from the movie (don’t ever watch it, it’s dreadful). I didn’t mean anything hard and fast with the analogy, but I think the girl would be the public at large; though all are free to read it as they wish – this is a democracy after all ;)

  27. MIM
    Are you seriously suggesting that a country that finds itself the victim of aggression is not reasonably entitled to seek to defend itself and to repel the aggressors? That certainly appears to be the logic of your statement.
    Sadly such an attitude reflects the humbug and hypocrisy of so many in our midst – we condemn aggression except when our own country is guilty of such acts.

  28. Graham
    I wouldn’t get too hung up on people like that, there the same people who generally think the First World War was Britain fighting the forces of evil and that on the whole the British Empire was a force for good in the colonies,,,,

  29. Rivers10
    That is perfectly fair comment.It is just so amusing to come across such a person so obviously lacking in self awareness that he genuinely believes himself to be ‘in the middle’! It is self delusion ,of course, in the same way that he failed to see voting UKIP at last year’s Euro/local elections as supporting politicians way to the right of centre – somewhere half way between the Tories and the BNP. I well recall the comment ‘People who vote UKIP tend to be people who would like to vote BNP – but do their shopping at Marks & Spencers’!

  30. Rivers10

    “I’ve argued this point to him since I was 13 but he claims he came to this conclusion on his own”

    “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” (Mark Twain)”

    Most parents try to bring up their children to share their core values, but many recognise that in the teenage years, they need to “re-interpret” those ideas in a way that is appropriate for the adulthood they are rapidly approaching.

    My kids (parents themselves) are now beginning to discover one of the greatest joys of parenthood – when your children argue, forcefully, that you should accept the values that you tried to instil in them in the first place.

    Now that you and your Dad are both adults, you can converse as equals – but remember Mark Twain!

  31. Laszlo

    The CPGB (ML) whoever they are put out the stupidest Trotskyist article on today’s events. The Socialist Pary (whoever they are) are not much behind. Even if I have nothing to do with them, I feel ashamed.

    The CPGB(ML) aren’t Trots[1] but Tankies of the sort who support North Korea but think it’s gone a bit soft. The SP is either the SP(E&W) who are our old friends Militant and so genuine Trots or the SPGB who can’t be Trots because they have been around since before even Trotsky was (founded 1904). They’re really weird.

    All of these groups really belong more to the study of religion than politics, along with Libertarians and believers in the Free Market.

    [1] I think I’ve finally worked out the difference between Trotskyists and Trotskyites – on is an insult and one isn’t. Unfortunately I can’t remember which way round it is.

  32. Interesting (and potentially disturbing) line being taken by the Tories that the 2nd (& 3rd) largest parties in HoC present “a very serious risk to national security”.

    If that is the Government’s realistic assessment of the situation, then should anyone oppose their banning of these parties, and the expulsion of their MPs from Parliament?

    Surely the protection of democracy demands that when people vote for parties that threaten the security of the state, then the agencies of the state should take measures to protect them from their own foolishness?

  33. Pete B

    BTW has anyone pointed out that the Labour Deputy Leader and Leader are Tom and Jerry?

    Yes. Me at 1:10pm

    [2] The election of Watson as deputy would have guaranteed enmity for Labour [from the Press] in any case. Be prepared for lots of tired “Tom and Jerry” jokes.

    (Warning: Also contains link to picture of Abba tribute band)

    The trouble with the phrase is that people think rather kindly of Tom and Jerry, associating them with the joys of childhood. So as an insult it doesn’t really work – it’s a bit like calling them ‘chocolate and ice cream’.

  34. The trouble with the phrase is that people think rather kindly of Tom and Jerry, associating them with the joys of childhood. So as an insult it doesn’t really work – it’s a bit like calling them ‘chocolate and ice cream’.

    Speaking of ice cream, if Ben Bradshaw had won the deputy contest, we’d have Ben & Jerry’s. ;-)

  35. Presumably the Church of England (as the only Established Church in the UK) will have no problems with the idea, but this draft proposal from the UK Government

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/11860993/Imams-will-have-to-register-and-face-security-vetting-under-Home-Office-plans.html

    seems likely to provoke a lot of opposition.

    Catholic sources said any plan for state supervision of priests would be “firmly resisted”.

    That’s nothing to the degree of resistance that they can expect from Presbyterians in Scotland and Northern Ireland!

    Expect sedition in Steòrnabhagh, resistance in Roghadal and dissent in Dalabrog – not to mention barricades in Barraigh!

    On a more serious note, only a very incompetent government, totally unaware of the religious sensitivities of many of the most loyal supporters of the British state, would choose to piss them off in such a dramatic fashion.

  36. Amber

    Great to see you back! (with a good joke as well!)

  37. Couper2802

    Also Corbyn is apparently only going to do 1 in 5 (event that cannot speak its name) he will have other people do them. Weird

    But like a lot of Corbyn’s actions, possibly effective when you think about it. What he’s basically saying is that the Wednesday posturing is pretty pointless so he’ll get the work experience kid to stand in or whatever. This has lots of clever consequences:

    (i) Cameron won’t know whether to do it himself or not. If he also sends a deputy every time Corbyn does, he loses his grandstand and the whole event loses its point. But if he does turn up every week rather than being a weekly joust between the Party leaders it actually becomes a time when people ask questions of the PM. Probably to his disadvantage, as the focus shifts from “Who won?” to “What was said?”.

    (ii) The public also thinks the whole thing is a pointless shouting match. So Corbyn indicating he feels the same is going to get their approval.

    (iii) It will really annoy the media, who the puerile nature of the thing suits. But because, like most things they report on, it’s something they simultaneously promote and denounce, they can’t say so.

  38. OldNat

    The proposal in that Telegraph article is genuinely one of the maddest things I have read. I actually went back to check the date.

    The greatest joke is that none of it will have the slightest effect in stopping extremist preachers, because they’re not usually ‘official’ in any way. Perhaps they’re intending to reintroduce preaching licences and ban discussion of religion anywhere except in a registered place of worship.

  39. Roger Mexico

    I doubt that the scheming mind behind the proposal ever thought that it would have any effect on deterring “extremism” (ie those religious/political factions who use violence to threaten Western control of oil – as opposed to those religious/political factions who we support in their use of violence to allow us to exploit it).

    It has all the hallmarks of an Osborne ploy to secure the votes of sufficient credulous idiots (as well as genuine Conservatives) to allow him to be PM when he replaces Cameron as Tory leader.

    That the proposals would damage the fabric of society is something that is unlikely to trouble him.

  40. It looks like I missed another scintillating, high quality series of exchanges in the early hours.

    Back to polling.

    The MoS poll this morning doesn’t look too grim at all. Once you get over the hyperbole that is to be expected from that paper, the poll is largely ‘don’t know’.

    Politics anoraks like those who inhabit this site know of Jeremy Corbyn. Beyond this world, I suspect the general public largely didn’t know he existed before this leadership contest. Those who have heard of him probably didn’t recognise him, and almost certainly never heard him speak.

    Jeremy does come across differently to most of the slick, polished politicians that appear on the media. Given how little the public like politicians, this is not a bad thing perhaps. My wife isn’t a political geek like me, and she found listening to him that he was refreshingly different.

    The papers from the expect quarters are full of really nasty, negative headlines, which is to be entirely expected. Jeremy’s biggest task is get heard by the public as himself. If he can, it might surprise voters that he isn’t quite the hard-left monster and enemy of the state he is portrayed as.

    If he can’t get a fair hearing above this clamour, it’s going to be very tough.

  41. “If he can, it might surprise voters that he isn’t quite the hard-left monster and enemy of the state he is portrayed as.”

    I remember much the same thing being said of Ed Miliband, but I suppose it will be much harder to portray Corbyn as being on the far left and “weird”.

  42. OLDNAT

    I agree with your logic and would be happy if both parties were banned.

  43. @Roger Mexico

    His PMQs proposals are interesting, but in my view a very bad idea. It is obvious that he would want to do something different as a signal of his ‘new politics’ but I’m not sure how rotation can help him at all.

    1/ It has been said that DC won’t turn up when JC’s not there. I doubt this. The PM is accountable to the whole house, not just the Leader of the Oppo, and there would be uproar from MPs on all sides if DC stopped showing.

    2/ He will be portrayed in the media as a coward, ducking the inevitable attack lines that DC will want to get out.

    3/ It is often said that PMQs keeps party leaders in touch with the full range of policy areas. By contracting out some bits to others he will miss out on that and help to create the impression that he’s not on top of Labour policy.

    4/ He will soon realise – as other leaders who have previously pledged to do PMQs differently have found – that boring questions only help the PM. Most people only engage with PMQs through the soundbites used on the news and if you only ask boring, sober questions you won’t get any airtime. It also suits the PM perfectly when the tone is calm because he can appear statesmanlike in his responses.

    5/ Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is unlikely to be his strength, so exposing it to a wider audience than just parliamentary geeks like me doesn’t seem a great idea. It is unlikely that many of the people likely to be in the shadow cabinet will be able to get the upper hand on Cameron, who has been doing PMQs for a decade.

    6/ Overall, it will just create the impression that Labour aren’t a very serious political party.

  44. @Roger Mexico

    His prime minister’s question time proposals (why does the abbreviation go into moderation?!) are interesting, but in my view a very bad idea. It is obvious that he would want to do something different as a signal of his ‘new politics’ but I’m not sure how rotation can help him at all.

    1/ It has been said that DC won’t turn up when JC’s not there. I doubt this. The PM is accountable to the whole house, not just the Leader of the Oppo, and there would be uproar from MPs on all sides if DC stopped showing.

    2/ He will be portrayed in the media as a coward, ducking the inevitable attack lines that DC will want to get out.

    3/ It is often said that question time keeps party leaders in touch with the full range of policy areas. By contracting out some bits to others he will miss out on that and help to create the impression that he’s not on top of Labour policy.

    4/ He will soon realise – as other leaders who have previously pledged to do question time differently have found – that boring questions only help the PM. Most people only engage with question time through the soundbites used on the news and if you only ask boring, sober questions you won’t get any airtime. It also suits the PM perfectly when the tone is calm because he can appear statesmanlike in his responses.

    5/ Corbyn’s shadow cabinet is unlikely to be his strength, so exposing it to a wider audience than just parliamentary geeks like me doesn’t seem a great idea. It is unlikely that many of the people likely to be in the shadow cabinet will be able to get the upper hand on Cameron, who has been doing question time for a decade.

    6/ Overall, it will just create the impression that Labour aren’t a very serious political party.

  45. I can understand why Jeremy is sharing out, or, to put it less charitably, ducking the responsibility of, standing in the dispatch box at PMQs. He’s a man of principle and he very much believes in the power of Labour as a team that is far bigger than himself. Given that, and the question marks over party unity going forward, it’s understandable that he wants to let members of his front bench have their say.

    However, he has once again put principle before poll ratings. To the casual observer it just looks like he has no confidence in his own ability to lead or defend his record, and is running scared.

  46. JACK SHELDON

    @” Overall, it will just create the impression that Labour aren’t a very serious political party.”

    I think I am just beginning to understand what JC thinks the Labour Party should be.

    I think its a “movement”, with the role of MPs as elected representatives subservient to their role as spokespersons for the collective voice of the Movement-hence any one of them can pass on an activist member’s question to the PM on a Wednesday.

    This will be a group of MPs in Parliament mandated by the Labour Movement ( & not UK voters). to pursue whatever policy receives the “democratic” majority vote of Labour Activists.

  47. Good morning all from a rather pleasant Giffnock.

    Congratulations to Corby for becoming the next Labour leader.

    I don’t know what it will mean for the future of the present day Labour party but one thing is certain…..Wednesday around 12 noon in that place will be very interesting. ;-)

    AMBER STAR….

    Welcome back….Do you think JC will have much of an impact in Scotland? What’s your intelligence suggesting?

  48. On polling on reasons for not voting Labour are the questions open ended or are respondents offered a list to choose from.

    If the latter ,no doubt used to get the result quickly and cheaply,then I suspect there is more than an element of defining the narrative.

    Instrumental voters rather than those who identify are imo more likely to fancy a tax cut and will see the tories as anti immigrant .They wouldnt say it that way as its not pc so they plump for labour isnt economically competent or milibands not a strong leader.

    This is important as producing the wrong result leads Labour down a policy culdesac perpetuating modern day myths.

    What we dont need is yet another instant survation poll run to serve the political leanings of the commissioner .What we need is some proper research.

  49. On NATO, surely it is odd that a party that dislikes European integration on things like bananas and sausages are quite content to have integrated armed forces in NATO.

    Indeed, if integrated armies are the key to security, should not EU armies merge? We might then get a more coherent policy against Putin.

  50. @ Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the information on these lefty groups (also while I have heard about tankists, I didn’t know what they were. Now I do, and I’m saddened).

    What shook me was that one called themselves CP, but the language was just a meaningless chain of words, a la Trotskyists. I’m quite familiar with the vocabulary, but I have never thought of putting terms randomly after each other makes an argument, let alone an analysis (especially if I consider the once huge intellectual capacity of the CP GB).

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