YouGov have some polling for the Times on attitudes to terrorism and Syria following the attack on Paris. The full results are here, and the Times’s write up is here.

There are two important findings in there. One is attitudes towards Syrian refugees. Back in September YouGov found 36% thought we should accept more Syrian refugees, 24% keep the numbers about the same, 27% that we should admit fewer or none. That support has dropped sharply, now only 20% think Britain should accept more (down 16), 24% the same number (no change), 49% fewer or none (up 22).

It would be wrong to assume this is necessarily connected to the attack upon Paris. The previous poll was conducted at the start of September, a week after the photos of the body of Aylan Kurdi washed up on the beach and amid sympathetic media coverage of refugees trudging across Hungary seeking a route to Germany. At the time there was evidence that the public had become more favourable towards the idea of accepting more Syrian refugees. However time has passed, the media coverage of sinking boats and desperate refugees has faded away again, and I expect a significant chunk of the change in public opinion is because of that – some heartbreaking photos and coverage did provoke a temporary change in opinion, but it was only temporary.

The other interesting finding is on sending British and US troops back into Iraq to fight Islamic State/ISIS. 43% of people now support sending in ground troops, 37% of people are opposed. The change since the last time YouGov asked is barely significant, but it’s part of a longer and much more clearer trend. Back in August 2014 when YouGov started asking this question the British public were strongly opposed to sending troops back into Iraq, but since then opinion has steadily moved in favour of intervention. We are now at the point where there are significantly more people in favour than opposed.

troopsintoiraq

On other matters, the monthly ICM poll for the Guardian came out yesterday, with topline voting intention figures of CON 39%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 12%, GRN 3% (tabs here. Their weekly EU referendum poll has figures of REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 38%. Survation have also put out some new figures, voting intentions are CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3% and EU referendum intentions are REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 40% (tabs here.


103 Responses to “YouGov on Syrian refugees and ISIS intervention”

1 2 3
  1. @AW

    I notice you don’t include the Duration poll which seems to have radically different results from the YoiGov poll. The difference seems to be that Survation explicitly asks about UN approval whereas YouGov implies UN approval or at least international co-operation ‘taking part in operations’ ‘Britain and the USA’ etch

    I again have the impression that YouGov questions are skewed to give a particular answer of headline.

    SURVATION

    Which of the following do you believe would be the best way for the UK to combat the threat posed by IS / Islamic State in the wake of the attacks in Paris

    The UK, like France, should independently launch airstrikes on IS targets in Syria immediately

    15%

    The UK should engage with all countries to co-ordinate an appropriate response, military or otherwise, backed by United Nations resolution

    52%

    The UK should assist in other ways which avoid any form of support for military action

    13%

    The UK should stay out of this situation completely

    13%

    Don’t know

    7%

  2. Anglia News reported after the Paris attack that at least one East Anglian Tory MP opposed to military action believes there is ‘no chance’ of the House of Commons voting for air strikes on Syria.

  3. By the way did anyone else see the school in Bobigny named after Robespierre.?

  4. Wolf

    I am a bit surprised. I did pass through Bobigny once (a while ago now) and most of the roads seemed to be named after Communists as I recall.

  5. Having looked at a map, the road names look more eclectic than I remember.

  6. Matthew Norman in the Independent offers a more balanced and sympathetic view on Corbyn’s current political difficulties, but it’s difficult to disagree with his conclusion: –

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/i-say-this-with-regret-but-corbyn-looks-detached-over-terrorism-a6738156.html

    While the two latest ICM and Survation polls aren’t necessarily terminal for either him or Labour, you do begin to wonder whether a tipping point may be close when enough of the electorate form the view that they can’t envisage Corbyn as a credible Prime Minister. Events may occur to make this Government very unpopular in time, as they did for the Coalition, but I’m not sure that there’s an inalienable law in politics that decrees that an opposition is an inevitable beneficiary of that if they aren’t a credible alternative themselves. This did for Miliband in the end and as much as people may admire Corbyn’s authenticity and good nature, that’s nowhere near enough on its own to constitute a political package that people will vote for.

    I wanted, still want, to give Corbyn time but front line politics is cruel and unforgiving and it was always going to be a mammoth task for a 66 year old lifetime backbencher to make the huge transition. Early signs are not encouraging and he’s starting to look horribly out of his depth. What’s really worrying for those who wish him well is his poor political skills. A footballer who can’t even master basic ball control will struggle to play the game at a high level.

    As I say, I’m starting to think that the tipping point for Corbyn is getting awfully close.

  7. Re Couper2802 –
    I am surprised at your suggestion the YouGov survey (on military action in Iraq/Syria) is “skeweed to give a particular answer”. The question as quoted seems to me to be eminently neutral.
    True, it does not mention UN approval/disapproval – but I can see no way in which it is “implied”.
    It seems to me that the “skewing” is in your own attitude – since you don’t like the answer it must be wrong . . .

  8. @Mike of Sheffield

    Do you have an alternative explanation for the vast difference between YouGov and Survation – other than Survation makes a difference between UN supported action and action without a UN resolution and YouGov does not? So someone answering the YouGov question may assume UK acting with international approval.

    A UN resolution is key to get both public and House of Commons support but YouGov leaves the respondent in the dark as to whether UN approval has been given

  9. Why has the swingometer not been updated for a month?
    After the split in the Labour party over Defence and shoot to kill one would expect some changes in the levels of support.

  10. @MoS

    The YouGov question:
    “The RAF taking part in air strike operations against Islamic
    State/ISIS in Syria?”

    Implies that other countries are involved in the operation

    If the question was

    ” RAF air strike operations against Islamic
    State/ISIS in Syria?”

    Would be better

  11. Couper2802 – There seems no contradiction as Survation asks “…would be the best way…” So you could vote for that and either approve or disapprove in the Yougov poll depending on whether you thought a UN resolution was necessary or merely ideal

  12. Good evening all from a dark cold and little bit windy Westminster North. Had a lovely few weeks visiting my mammy’s mammy in southern Italy.

    “There are two important findings in there. One is attitudes towards Syrian refugees. Back in September YouGov found 36% thought we should accept more Syrian refugees, 24% keep the numbers about the same, 27% that we should admit fewer or none. That support has dropped sharply, now only 20% think Britain should accept more (down 16), 24% the same number (no change), 49% fewer or none (up 22)”
    _______

    The fact that one or two of the Paris attackers came into Europe as a refugee will no doubt play on peoples minds when asked if we should take in more Syrian refuges. One crumb of comfort is that the refuges we are taking in are from camps and not any tom dick or Mohammad who decide to set off on a journey through the Balkans.

    On military involvement in Syria for the UK…I can’t see any justification for it because what impact will we have? Russia and France along with the US coalition have IS covered and I really can’t see what 3 or 4 bombs more from the UK each day will do to improve our security or weaken IS in Syria?

    The UK as far as I know are providing air cover for the French aircraft carrier by means of a destroyer and at present conducting air strikes in Iraq against the bearded ones so I think UK is already doing a grand ole jobs at smashing IS.

    And I have to say I’m mighty impressed by Putin’s military command center in Moscow.

  13. # refugees

  14. @Coups

    A little while back, Yougov asked a question about whether Corbyn was a security risk. But didn’t ask the same of Cammo.

    Interestingly a few days later there were front page headlines in the Times about security chiefs concerned about the security implications of the deals with China.

    I dunno if anyone can clarify whether even then there were any Yougov questions over perceptions of security concerning Cammo and Osborne etc.?

  15. CB11
    To quote from The Independent article: “a politician who comes across as devoid of visceral revulsion and fury about what happened on Friday in Paris represents himself as something other than the rest of us – and otherness on this scale will rob him of a hearing…………This week, sad to say, he spoke for almost no one but himself.”

    Well, Corbyn spoke for me alright. My own visceral response was to think once more that the more than double the average of Pakistani youth in chronic unemployment which I noted in the mid-eighties in a study in W.Midlands, and my experience of the explicitly anti-western liberal culture of Pakistan in particular and the murderous attitude there of Sunni for Shia, would come home to roost. By contrast I can, I am afraid, handle the horror of terrorist actions as a symptom of a more deep seated evil which it is in fact in the hands of politicians to respond to rationally and resolutely. Starting in our unequal society.

  16. The other interesting finding is on sending British and US troops back into Iraq to fight Islamic State/ISIS. 43% of people now support sending in ground troops, 37% of people are opposed.

    Has the Iraqi government asked the UK to send troops? It’s a rather important point which isn’t covered in the YG question!

  17. The interesting point about the YouGov poll is that the fieldwork is 16-17 Nov, well post-Paris. And yet the movement from the previous times these questions were asked is pretty minimal. Support for ground troops going back into Iraq may have risen by 3 points (since 3-4 Sep), but support for air strikes has actually fallen by 2 points.

    Similarly the movements in opinion about Cameron and Corbyn (since 26-27 Oct) are only at MoE levels. It’s a reminder about just how little effect that ‘events’, even those which receive such blanket coverage, can sometimes have.

  18. “The fact that one or two of the Paris attackers came into Europe as a refugee ”

    Isn’t that very far from being considered a fact at this stage?

  19. @Arethosemyfeet (I’m not even going to ask…)

    It seems that one probably did. The second passport found so far as I understand belonged to an Egyptian who was a victim of the attacks and not a suspect.

    I don’t think there’s any gainsaying the fact that having hundreds of thousands of undocumented or poorly documented Arabs entering the EU without security checks increases the chances of jihadists getting in. It’s just that it’s not all that hard for them to get in anyway. It does perhaps vindicate the decisions of some central European countries who erected barriers as an emergency measure.

    I am hoping any negative effect on impressions of refugees is short-lived. After all, a genuine refugee is in a prolonged version of what someone climbing out of the Bataclan windows is going through. We wouldn’t turn away a young pregnant woman trying to escape from the Bataclan, would we?

  20. @JOHN PILGRIM,

    The standard of living enjoyed by the Pakistani youth in Britain, could only be dreamed of in Pakistan . I call them Pakistani because you do but they should consider themselves as British youth of Pakistani origin (or descent if they were born here). There is no reason there for any sympathy for, or participation in, terrorism.

    The real problem lies in our tolerance of the unacceptable. The medieval attitudes that still prevail in some communities and religious teachings, need to be confronted. It is not illiberal to confront these things, it is part of being civilized. Any religion that relies on physical threats to retain or recruit members, is not worth a light but it seems to be something that they all go through at some stage. Most are now a few hundred years beyond that point .

  21. ARETHOSEMYFEET (I don’t know)
    “The fact that one or two of the Paris attackers came into Europe as a refugee ”

    ….
    Isn’t that very far from being considered a fact at this stage?
    _____

    Not according to the French police. With the incredible amount of refugees coming into Europe any allah akbar shouting deranged bearded terrorist would be nuts not to seize this as an opportunity (in their warped mindset) to travel into Europe and commit an act of terror.

    David Cameron as far as taking in refugees has the correct approach and that’s taking in those who really need help from camps around Syria. This way it will hopefully stop economic migrants and potential terrorists coming into the UK.

    Surely now the EU should wake up and see that the open borders project is far too dangerous to continue with in today’s climate.

  22. The slow, but sure, decline of the once great Labour Party is awful to behold. CB11 says he wanted to give Mr Corbyn the benefit of the doubt but anyone with an interest in politics knows the great British public will never entrust the defence of the realm to this man.

    Unless Labour get shot of him soonest, they could well implode in the upcoming by election. These are desperate times for the Reds…..when will the MPs wake up. People are laughing at Labour.

  23. JASPER

    What’s happening within the Labour party is tragic but ole Corby does have the support of the party membership and its supporters. The junk that’s sitting behind him in the Commons is Ed Milly’s lot and not his.
    Maybe Corby should hold an emergency party conference and tell all the Labour MP’s who are against him to stand down and call by-elections so that those who do share his vision can get elected.

    Lets be frank here, the majority of the current Labour MP’s don’t represent the majority of the Labour party members or their voters.

  24. @AC,

    What if those MPs stood down and then stood as independents, or for a new centre-left party? They probably wouldn’t win the seats, but then neither might Labour.

    The problem is, the MPs are as “Labour” as Corbyn is. It’s their party too, and I doubt that many could imagine themselves as anything else.

  25. @JohnPilgrim

    “By contrast I can, I am afraid, handle the horror of terrorist actions as a symptom of a more deep seated evil which it is in fact in the hands of politicians to respond to rationally and resolutely. Starting in our unequal society.”

    I have some sympathy with what you say and have often wondered myself how much of the hatred that these home grown jihadists have for the societies from which they come is as a result of simmering, lifelong resentments. This isn’t an excuse for the atrocities they end up committing, and there are obviously other causal factors like religious fanaticism and a psychopathic predisposition to extreme behaviour, but I’m sure that some of it may arise from a feeling of abject alienation in countries that they should regard as their home. Unemployment, poor education, poverty, the toll of suffering casual racism on a daily basis, discrimination; what a baleful cocktail of misery that must become over time. Some escape, most endure, but a tiny minority must harbour deep and dark grudges that can be easily manipulated, fermented and exploited.

    I sometimes think about some of those appalling massacres in the US where former pupils have returned to their old Colleges, or disgruntled ex employees have gone back to their places of work, to commit horrific mass murders. The availability of lethal weapons, a festering and murderous resentment and the availability of a soft target combining to produce unspeakable crimes.

    These factors shouldn’t be discounted when looking at why these French and Belgian citizens did what they did in Paris on Friday night. As someone said in the papers today, explication isn’t justification, but we need to understand the base motivation at play and it isn’t, in my view, all about the West’s foreign policy in the Middle East. It’s much more complex than that which makes any sort of easy way out of this darkness all the more difficult.

  26. NEIL A

    I can’t argue with your comment and your’re probably right. ..

    Maybe ole Corby should just say.. “I’m a socialist get me out of here”

  27. Amber Star – “Has the Iraqi government asked the UK to send troops?”

    No is the short answer.

    The Iraqi govt formally asked the United States to launch airstrikes back in 2014. See

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-27905849

    I expect they wouldn’t mind us doing air strikes either.

    However ground forces simply won’t happen – the Iraqis refused to give the Americans legal guarantees for their troops, which is why Obama pulled out. And if the Americans don’t go, we won’t either.

    Though everyone is clamouring for “action” I’m not sure how we proceed apart from air strikes. Our only reliable ground proxies are the Kurds but they won’t fight outside the Kurdish areas because that will get them involved in a battle with Turkey and they don’t want to fight on two fronts.

    I still think that the only way to end this is cutting off the money. Hunting down those doing trade with Daesh, and forcing the oil price to a level that collapses all the players. But that will take time to work – at least another two years of low prices to bankrupt them all.

    Meanwhile all we can do is what the French are doing, which is conducting sweeps of cells. Of course they are able to do that at the moment because they’ve declared a state of emergency. Not so easy for us or the Belgians to operate in the same way.

  28. Allan Christie – “What’s happening within the Labour party is tragic but ole Corby does have the support of the party membership and its supporters.”

    What we really need is a new poll from YouGov going back to those who voted for Corbyn and asking whether they still support him.

    I think all those hard core entryists from the SWP etc still do. But the £3 revolutionaries seemed to be focused only on “austerity” – I don’t think they gave a single thought to foreign policy and we simply don’t know what they make of Corbyn’s stance on terrorism.

    If it turns out they are dismayed, then Corbyn’s opponents have a chance to get rid of him.

  29. @Crossbat,

    I’ve no doubt that alienation is a factor, but there are enough examples of jihadists coming from pretty comfortable backgrounds, and even being converts to Islam (and therefore having no personal developmental experience of anti-muslim prejudice) to make me think that it is more about Islam than about discrimination or lack of opportunity.

  30. Couper

    The YouGov question is a fair enough one, it’s just not the same as the Survation one. Given that YouGov have been asking it regularly for over a year they’re not going to change it now because the value of these regular questions is the show the shifts (or not) in public opinion. The Survation question indicates that the public’s attitude may be more nuanced than the other at first suggests, but without both of them we wouldn’t know this and indeed if the Survation question was the only one it might also be misleading.

    However there is a complication in the way YouGov changed their political weighting after the General Election between the first two times this question was asked:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/dl5mxnrekm/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Iraq-Syria-and-ISIS-030715.pdf#page=4

    Because Conservative and UKIP voters are more likely to support intervention and the post-May adjustments will have increased their representation in the samples, either through weighting or pattern of survey requests. So the change shown in Anthony’s graph might not be as great as it first appears – though that’s not to say that the revised figures aren’t more accurate.

  31. CROSSBAT11

    I sometimes think about some of those appalling massacres in the US where former pupils have returned to their old Colleges, or disgruntled ex employees have gone back to their places of work, to commit horrific mass murders. The availability of lethal weapons, a festering and murderous resentment and the availability of a soft target combining to produce unspeakable crimes.

    One thing that did strike me about the deaths in Paris was how the availability of automatic weapons (and, as important, ammunition) made the attacks so deadly. In contrast the suicide bombs were responsible for very few of the fatalities (except of course of their operators). Such bombs can kill many in optimal, crowded, confined conditions (tubes, trains, busy bars) but guns can be used in less specific circumstances.

    The legislation in the UK that followed Hungerford and Dunblane may have helped protect Britain previously more than we think and maybe continental Europe should be looking at similar restrictions, though implementation is always going to be more difficult than on an island.

  32. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    ‘ sitting behind him in the Commons is Ed Milly’s lot and not his.’

    Spot on apart from the fact that most of those Labour MPs were Blair and Mandelson’s choices. Ed Miliband was continuously undermined by the same individuals who are now briefing and conspiring against Jeremy Corbyn. The dramatic rift between the PLP and the membership is sadly, the legacy of New Labour’s rigour in blocking anyone candidate who was not on message.

  33. @Crossbat
    @Neil A

    I have just come back from the Southern States of the USA. The African American’s there suffered far worse than the Pakistani’s do in this country, slavery, segregation and are still discriminated against in the South BUT they have never decided to become terrorists maybe a sociologist could do a study as to why they have peacefully endured and see if there are any lessons to be learnt.

  34. @Couper,

    I suspect it is because they were fighting for equality, rather than fighting for supremacy.

  35. @Roger Mexico,

    France’s gun laws are pretty similar to ours. I am not aware of any terrorist attack so far carried out in France with a legally held weapon. Unfortunately for them, they have long and completely unpoliced land borders which connect them to the rest of the EU and illegal weapons are widely available.

    One of my hats involves investigating the smuggling of assault rifles into the UK (yes that is a thing).

    America’s problem is different. “Ordinary Joes” flipping out can get hold of firearms in a heartbeat, assuming they haven’t already got some in their garage.

  36. Couper
    “maybe a sociologist could do a study….”

    There have been plenty, but perhaps to CB11’s “a feeling of abject alienation in countries that they should regard as their home. Unemployment, poor education, poverty, the toll of suffering casual racism on a daily basis, discrimination; what a baleful cocktail of misery that must become over time.” would tell you that there is a general understanding of these issues, in my experience going back over thirty five years, which is paralleled by indifference on the part of the UK establishment.
    That it takes home-grown terrorism or the creation of ISIS to provoke a response may also indicate how neglect of the problem – which is one of poverty, in Amartya Sen’s definition of lack of access to services and opportunity – could in the face not just of casual racism, but of genuine cultural differences from mainstream society, and the lack of any other attractive future, make physical conflict and a physical way out attractive.

  37. @John Pilgrim

    My point is that the reaction to those same circumstances and in fact worse circumstances, did not provoke a similar reaction amongst African Americans in the Southern States – why not? Can we learn from them?

  38. @AC etc
    AC said, in the same post:
    “Corby does have the support of the party membership and its supporters.”
    “the majority of the current Labour MP’s don’t represent the majority of the Labour party members or their voters.”

    The MPs represent those who voted for them, at least until the next General Election. They may be “Blair’s junk” but when they were voted in to form Blair’s government, Blair had a substantial majority in the country, so it is at least arguable that the present Labour MPs do represent Labour voters. If they don’t represent present Labour leadership, members and activists, and are replaced by those who do, then predictions of Labour disaster in 2020 may well be fulfilled.

  39. @C2802
    Maybe it’s because African American descendants of former slaves, with a Bible background in Christian churches, don’t behave in the same way as Arab descendants of former slavers brought up on the Koran in mosques.

  40. @ Couper2802

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Assassinated_American_civil_rights_activists

    It’s difficult to get an armed insurrection off the ground when your leaders (even the peaceful ones) have the life expectancy of a fruit fly.

  41. Corbyn and others have warned of the risk of Islamophobia because of the terrorism by a minority of Muslims. Surely Islamophobia is a rational response? If it was found that the only people wearing blue shirts blew us up, even though it was a tiny minority of such people, the rest of us would tend to be a bit wary of people wearing blue shirts. It’s not racism or any other kind of ism, just common sense.

    I think there will be a further shift in the polls away from wanting more migrants, and against politicians who continue to appear to make excuses for terrorism (i.e. Corbyn and cronies).

    As an aside, why aren’t powerful countries in the neighborhood of Syria, such as Saudi, Iran and particularly Turkey, not get more involved militarily against ISIS? I know they take refugees, but are we just not hearing about their military contributions?

  42. An even clearer example than African Americans is that of Hindus and Sikhs in this country. They are from the same part of the world, and more or less the same colour of skin as those of Pakistani descent. Therefore they will have been subject to much the same sort of prejudice, and yet we don’t get terrorism from them. Could it be because their religions don’t have violent sects? I have to admit ignorance, but is there an explanation other than that Islam can be interpreted in a way that requires death for infidels?

  43. @ Candy

    “Has the Iraqi government asked the UK to send troops?”
    No is the short answer.

    Indeed; & I think it’s easy for the public to be in favour of something which clearly isn’t going to happen.

  44. “The YouGov question is a fair enough one, it’s just not the same as the Survation one.”

    ————

    Well anything is fair if you don’t mind a question leading peeps to draw a conclusion other than might actually be the case.

    Which was Coups’ point concerning the “taking part in” slant.

  45. Is crowd sourcing defence policy a good idea when you have a professional army?

    Does anybody else wonder: If the voters thought there was any possibility that they (or their family members) would be conscripted to fight ISIS in Iraq or Syria they might not be so keen? Or is it just me who thinks like that?

  46. Meanwhile, while everyone is announcing (again) that Corbyn is a disaster and that Labour is doooomed, we do have another poll to illustrate just how that is happening. Or as it happens, not.

    The latest ICM poll (done as usual over the weekend, and so post-Paris) shows very little movement in its headline figures since last month, or indeed since May. All this despite Corbyn’s rise from obscure backbencher to the most evil man in Christendom, or what we are instructed to call him this week.

    However look at the details and some rather odd things appear. Let Martin Boon explain:

    It should be noted, however, that the raw data shows substantive change which our newly strengthened adjustment process disguises. Based on (pre-adjusted) turnout weighted data, the parties are neck and neck, which the manual adjustment converts into a 6-point Conservative lead.

    This is due to unusual combination of three factors. Firstly, the sample recalls voting in a Labour government for the fourth time out of six occasions since the last election (which is frustrating, but not the unusual part) but secondly, the level of partial refusal (respondents who told us what they did in 2015 but don’t know/refuse to tell us what they would do next time) this month has cut into the Conservative share significantly. In previous polls subsequent to the General Election, partial refusers have been fairly evenly balanced between the two parties.

    Thirdly, the Conservatives are rounded up from 38.5% to 39%, and Labour rounded down from 34.4% to 34%.

    The last bit means that the vagaries of rounding turned a 4.1 point lead into a 5 point one, but the rest of the difference comes entirely from the way ICM is now treating undecided etc voters – even after weighting and adjusting for likelihood to vote[1] Labour are very slightly ahead initially.

    I do have a slight problem with this in that they may be trying to make the same adjustment twice, firstly by weighting to May’s result and then making they adjustments that would have got May’s result ‘right’ to start with. There’s also the problem that the constant attacks on Corbyn and Labour might be thought more likely to produce a ‘shy Labour’ rather than a ‘shy Tory’ effect.

    There clearly is something odd going on because this is the second month we have seen this big adjustment with ICM, normally only a point or so would be changed. I suspect ICM would admit their methodology is in flux and the BES data may give hints for alternative methods such as adjusting targets.

    [1] LTV patterns are the opposite of what we saw with the last parliament with UKIP and then Conservatives showing the lowest averages, and Labour and Lib Dem high.

  47. The experience of being broadly pro-intervention at university is a lonely one. But then when their arguments are so poor and echo-chambre-y, how can one be anything but? I genuinely heard the phrase “if we ignore Isis they’ll go away”, which is frightening as an attitude once you get past the Simpsons song.

    It should be noted that I’d tend to support attacks on oil facilities and supply lines, as the US have been doing, over built up urban areas, which I feel should risk fewer civilian casualties than indiscriminately blasting Raqqa.

    Curiously my one supporter here is a massive Corbynite – who is also a massive HDP supporter and thinks we should be pouring money into the YPG.

    Life in the Labour Party continues to be odd, because I’m still not sure how to respond when people ask me if I like Jeremy Corbyn (inevitably the first question). The last place this happened was at a very hipstery gig in Bristol on Tuesday night – not a location usually filled with Burnhamites. I suppose I finally understand those people who didn’t like but put up with Blair – although they at least had the thrill of winning to comfort them.

    By the way, Andy Burnham and Sarah Champion are coming to do a talk to Sheffield Labour Students next Thursday. Questions on a postcard.

    And if anyone wants to cheer themselves up with politics related hilarity, my friend and colleague Will Morgan infiltrated the Britain First conference last weekend. It was great:
    http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/8586158

  48. PETE B
    “Corbyn and others have warned of the risk of Islamophobia because of the terrorism by a minority of Muslims. Surely Islamophobia is a rational response? If it was found that the only people wearing blue shirts blew us up, even though it was a tiny minority of such people, the rest of us would tend to be a bit wary of people wearing blue shirts. It’s not racism or any other kind of ism, just common sense.”

    That is very well expressed. Indeed the more rational and active among us might consider putting on black shirts and taking to the streets to oppose them, and throw stones through their windows.

    CB11
    Are you hedging your moral and political bets a bit here?
    Re Corbyn’s position, and taking our finger off the trigger for a moment, advocating diplomatic and trade based removal of ISIS support from Saudi or other oil and the ending of arms supply contractor and national revenue interests and their related corruption are pretty radical and rationalistic stuff, by comparison with launching a few more Tornadoes into the crowded jingo bingo.

  49. Couper
    “My point is that the reaction to those same circumstances and in fact worse circumstances, did not provoke a similar reaction amongst African Americans in the Southern States – why not? Can we learn from them?”

    Good point. In my opinion not enough credit is given to the protest movement inherent in the war against the capitalism of the west expressed in the US prison statistics.

    Huffington Post Politics piece Can Black Boys Cry? Tears Of Trayvon Martin states “African-American men comprise a mere 6% of the American population, but according to the Department of Justice, they make up nearly half of the 2 million inmates in U.S. jails or prisons. According to the U.S. census, nearly half of America’s 19 million black men are under the age of 35 years old, and the ratio for young black male imprisonment is around 10 percent, or 10,000 prisoners per 100,000.”

    Odd that Muhammad Ali chose to convert and join the Black Muslims as a peaceful alternative either to engaging in class conflict or compliance, or to joining in what he regarded as an unjust and unjustified war against the Viet Cong. Now there’s a voice that’s missing.

1 2 3