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.


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”

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  1. re: Oldham West and Royton

    There appears to be a significant shift in the betting, with UKIP shortening from 6/1 to 3/1. Labour are still strong favourites but have drifted significantly in the last two or three days to 5/1 on.

    The strengthening support for UKIP appears to reflect the events in Paris, but also probably are a bit to do with having secured second favourite status. The Tories are now 100/1, so it is a two horse race.

    Could this by-election also be the first contest that will be significantly influenced by voting intentions for the EU referendum. Kippers vote in a particular way, obviously, but will people who normally vote for other parties, but want to leave the EU, use the by-election to express that specific opinion?

  2. @Pete B

    “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.”

    The ultimate logic of your argument is that we should “be wary” of all people who look remotely like Muslims. That’s an awful lot of blameless people you’ve got to be wary of and stigmatising whole religions and ethnic groups will ultimately lead to the creation of apartheid type communities, riven with fear and mistrust.

    Who wants to live in a society where we think that anyone who looks remotely Muslim is a potential suicide bomber or gunman? I can sort of understand a reflex, kneejerk reaction along those lines in the immediate aftermath of an atrocity, but it’s to be resisted. If it becomes entrenched, then we’re on the road to hell.

  3. “or to joining in” read: and went to prison to avoid ….

  4. @John Pilgrim

    “Are you hedging your moral and political bets a bit here?”

    I’m genuinely ambivalent about Corbyn. He’s a decent man who takes up courageous positions on some issues, putting his conscience and principles ahead of empty populism. That’s to be admired and his ideas on how to tackle Isis from a non-military perspective are interesting and worth exploring too, but my misgivings about him centre upon his political skills. Eschewing populism is fine but that’s not the same as having a tin ear to the genuine concerns of the public. Corbyn strayed into tin ear country when he gave his mangled response on the shoot-to-kill policy. At best, he was convoluted and muddled, at worst he allowed himself to fall into a gigantic elephant trap.

    Notwithstanding Roger Mexico’s rather interesting analysis of the recent ICM poll, these sorts of basic political mistakes will cost both Corbyn and Labour over time.

  5. @Roger Mexico

    “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.”

    I had exactly the same thought. There is a bit more to it than that, but nonetheless there seems a real risk of overcompensating for the error.

  6. Bearing in mind that the bookies appeared to be more successful than the pollsters at predicting the GE result, and the fact that the Referendum polls are a bit ‘all over the place’, the odds on Remain/Leave are perhaps more instructive than usual. The odds on a ‘Leave’ vote have shortened in recent weeks significantly and are now around 5/4 against.

    This has been developing over a few weeks, and is not a knee-jerk reaction to the Paris attack.

    For what it is worth at this stage, I think we will vote ‘Remain’, and I think the majority might be bigger than people expect. But the shortening odds heap more pressure on Cameron to deliver with his renegotiations. Having said that, he has had a personal boost in that his stance on migrants appears to have been vindicated by events, and shifts in subsequent public opinion.

  7. @RMJ1:

    Yes, it is true that Pakistanis would likely have a much higher standard of living in Pakistan but what they wouldn’t have is the sense of bitterness that comes from feeling excluded because of ethnicity.

    I’m from an Asian 2nd generation background, although not Pakistani or Muslim, and have reached a level of career and financial success that I am too generally content to be bitter but I would never ever describe myself as ‘English.’

    To be clear, that does not suggest any animosity, just an awareness that we are separate.

    Outside the isolated liberal enclaves it is often made clear that you will never be English if you are non-white, although you CAN be British (because that is inherently a mongrelisation of very different peoples by definition).

    Incidentally, I always find it curious when my Scottish Asian friends describe the likes of William Wallace as “our” history. It’s not always the case but it seems that if you are born in Scotland you will usually feel comfortable claiming Scottish identity and history as your own.

    It may not be logical, but one doesn’t need a degree in evolutionary biology or history to know that ‘tribalism’ is one of the most visceral and intrinsic human instincts. Throughout history this instinct has repeatedly overwhelmed all good sense.

    It is unsettling to not have any sense of ‘tribal’ belonging to the society you are living in.

    You can give someone all the possible opportunities that you can offer but tell them repeatedly you are not “one of us” and you will stoke an irrational bitterness.

  8. It certainly looks this morning like the government have abandoned any pretence to be ‘the greenest government ever’.

    We now have a variety of policy announcements that, taken together, could be argued to form a de facto energy policy. In some ways, this is a cause to celebrate – it would be the first time we have actually had an energy policy since privatisation – although we should be somewhat cautious, as these are still basically a series of disparate policy directives with little in the way of coherent oversight, so describing them as a ‘policy’ is stretching things a little.

    The main points seem to be;
    1) Get rid of future renewables installations
    2) Shut down all coal generation
    3) Build gas fired generating stations in large numbers, quickly
    4) Throw large subsidies at these new stations, and at older current generators in the meantime
    4) Throw largesubsidise Chinese state run nuclear plants for long term energy security

    The industry view seems to be that this will be expensive, as they are replacing cheaper green energy subsidies with more expensive nuclear and very expensive capacity payments in the short to medium term, so bills will increase.

    We are also set to miss mandatory EU renewable generation targets in 2020, so incurring fines, but carbon emissions are likely to fall as we eradicate coal burning.

    The biggest questionmark seems to be on the mechanism to deliver the policies. It will be very expensive to encourage the level of gas fired plant investment that is needed, with no compensating argument that the subsidies are for sustainable and secure energy supplies.

    In polling terms, this government has already lost any voters heavily influenced by green politics, so that won’t matter, although it may well provide the Lib Dems with a way back in some areas. I doubt there will be many poll impacts, unless something goes badly wrong with energy supplies.

    The International Energy Association is now forecasting that a 1970’s style oil crunch in 2-3 years is becoming more likely, as OPEC re-assume dominance as low prices have slashed industry investment and production is declining, so it is conceivable that by the next GE we will be sitnessing $150 – $200 a barell alongside power blackouts due to shortage of capacity.

    For the government, that would be the ultimate disaster scenario, but there is still a lot of if and buts around that, and some time (just) to avoid the risks.

  9. On the threat to national security thing, does anyone feel that our national security has been enhanced over the last 15 years? Does anyone think that we have a successful policy?

    There does appear to be a recognition that bombing the enemies of al Qaeda and ISIS might not be a bright idea, which is progress. However some other unpalatable things to consider:

    1: Being part of NATO is a hindrance in this particular battle, as we turn a blind eye to Turkey bombing the Kurds. Furthermore, it is likely that in the event of ISIS being defeated, the territory held by the Kurds will end as a Kurdistan, which would probably want some Turkish territory as well. Nasty.

    2: NATO is also the block against forming (a totally expedient) alliance with Russia. At least Russia still has access to a warm water port if we are going to go after ISIS.

    3: We need to recognise that those countries which are in a position to elect governments are likely to elect religious conservative governments. Allowing those governments to be crushed by military dictators is not going to encourage religious conservatives to follow the democratic path. If liberals in those countries want to change this they will have to do it themselves, just as liberals in the West had to.

    4: Where a state is in danger of disintegration, dictatorship is not as bad as a anarchic power vacuum that can be filled by ISIS and the suchlike. This should have been obvious ever since the fall of Siad Barre in Somalis back the early 1990s.

    5: Perhaps killing large numbers of civilians (however unintentionally) with drones might not be the way to make friends and influence people.

    6: To eliminate ISIS (which is necessary) will mean selling out NATO members who support terrorists through the back door (Turkey), and will consequently weaken NATO in Eastern Europe.

    However I fear these awkward points will be ignored and we will continue on our current path. As General Melchett said:

    ‘If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.’

  10. AW

    If there is anything untoward in my previous post, I cannot work out what it is.

  11. PETEB

    @” It’s not racism or any other kind of ism, just common sense.”

    But “common sense” IS being described as racism-in our universities of all places.

    David Aaronovitch has a piece in today’s Times. He recounts a Conference at the School of Oriental & African Studies on the question of Muslim integration . He was going to speak on the subject of free expression.
    He describes the content of contributions by other speakers :-

    ” Dr. Rizwaan Sabir , a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores attacked the Quliiam Foundation as ” a strategic asset of the British State to undermine political Islam at home & abroad”.
    Dr. Katherin Brown of Kings Cleege London opposed ” counter radicalisation efforts that unreflectively presume that western society and feminism had benefitted Muslim women” when their real problems were ” discrimination, poverty & Islamophobia”.
    Professor Christopher Bagley said that calls for integration represented ” a strong undercurrent of racism & zenophobia”.
    Waqas Tufail of Leeds Beckett University said that counter-terrorism was ” fundamentally racist by explicitly targeting specific minority groups and ultimately leads to further alienation and marginalisation of an already demonised and criminalised group”

    Aaronovitch notes , from the last contribution quoted , that being a criminal is something thrust upon you rather than something you choose.

    I reflect from this piece , that being an Island outside Shengen, or not (allegedly ) having places like Molenbeek, or having better gun control is of no comfort when this sort of stuff is being TAUGHT to our university students.

  12. Surely analysis of whether Corbyn is “decent” ( a word he uses a lot) or not is irrelevant.

    Labour gains power -or doesn’t -by getting more MPs elected than the Conservatives.-the job of the Leader is to ensure that happens.

    At present could anyone seriously argue that JC is “leading” his party?

    I think the NS has it right in this piece-particularly :-

    ” True unity will not be achieved until the PLP reflects the leader, or the leader reflects the PLP.”

  13. ” True unity will not be achieved until the PLP reflects the leader, or the leader reflects the PLP.”

    The PLP chose to have Corbyn on the ballot. They had it within their power to keep anybody they thought unsuitable to be leader on the backbenches. They are responsible for the choice they made.

    And if Corbyn tries to force through a change in Trident policy & doesn’t succeed, he’ll probably have to resign. That’s a choice which he’s made against the will of the 2015 conference.

    The PLP have it within their power to influence that Trident vote via their connections with their CLPs and their connections with affiliates. If they’re not smart enough to see that; or not persuasive enough when speaking to their CLPs & affiliates then that’s down to them.

  14. An earlier post of mine went into auto-mod for some reason.

    The core of it is that if we do not accept that we have made serious errors in dealing with the Middle East, then we will continue to fail to ensure our national security.

    Rectifying them will also entail a cost to other national objectives, such as maintaining the credibility of NATO.

  15. AMBER

    @”The PLP chose to have Corbyn on the ballot. They had it within their power to keep anybody they thought unsuitable to be leader on the backbenches. They are responsible for the choice they made.”

    I bow to your superior knowledge of LP procedure. I was under the impression that he was short of the required numbers of nominees & one or two MPs helped him over the line-some of whom have subsequently regretted the decision.

    But I can willingly accept the proposition that the PLP has to work out what it really wants -and how to get it.

    Meanwhile the whole thing is a running comedy which cannot be good for Labour’s electoral prospects because right now , when you vote Labour you have to check what your MP believes rather than what the Leader believes. And that goes for Shadow Cabinet members too.

  16. I’m not sure I necessarily agree with those on the far left who claim Corbyn is a nice bloke who puts his principles before pragmatism. It is certainly true that he is less politically savvy than other politicians, but he has backtracked on many previous statements he has made and Labour policy seems to be in a constant state of flux these days.

    I’m certainly not saying he isn’t a nice guy…unless you are a close friend or family member of his it’s impossible to say either way. Unless you know him personally, you are compelled to base your opinion entirely on political soundbites and interviews. Personally, I think Corbyn’s problem is not that he is ‘too nice’, but rather that his personal and political skills are inferior to other leaders like David Cameron. He simply lacks credibility as an opposition leader.

    Just my opinion, of course.

  17. @ PeteB
    “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.”

    But you wear blue shirts, I wear blue shirts, and not only that but most of our friends and family wear blue shirts.
    Yet we don’t bomb or shoot people.

    Don’t you think we would both conclude that blaming blue shirtedness is little irrational.

  18. @ Mr Nameless

    “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.”

    But you don’t get to pick and choose.

    When inevitably a hospital or a wedding party etc gets bombed, no matter how well meaning and genuinely contrite the people the people who dropped the bomb are, you cant say I didn’t mean that bit.

    Dropping bombs kills people, occasionally some innocent ones. If you’re in favour of the policy then you have to accept it’s a price worth paying.

  19. Does anyone understand the reluctance to pursue ISIS via the UN? Surely this is a classic case where collective security could work. It is not as though any security council members are going to veto is it?

  20. @Kentadalian,

    Put it this way, if only people in blue shirts blew people up, I’d probably learn to relax around anyone wearing any other colour.

    It’s a bit like saying women shouldn’t worry about men following them in dark alleyways, because the overwhelming majority of men in dark alleyways don’t attack women. Or parents shouldn’t worry about people who approach their children on the way home from school, because the overwhelming majority of people who approach children will not harm them.

    They may all be rational responses, statistically speaking, but that just isn’t the way that human psychology works.

    Put it this way, there are around 5m muslims in France (hard to be sure as its illegal to ask). We know that 10,500 people are on France’s “S-List” of people known to be jihadists or to have been radicalized by jihadists. If we assume that maybe 1m of those muslims are children, that’s 1 in 400 of the adult muslims of France are known to support Islamist terrorism. Realistically, the S-List probably represents well under half of the total (I have no data on this, it’s just an educated guess based on the chances of any given extremist being identified).

    So, yes, the vast majority of Muslims don’t support terrorism, but its sobering to think that every time you drive past a mosque in France on a Friday, you’ve almost certainly just driven past someone who would happily murder your children because of their religion.

  21. Neil A

    Bear in mind that supposedly 1 in 100 men are supposed to have paedophile tendencies…

  22. @ Neil A

    You seem to be in agreement with the point I was making, namely that Islamophobia is not a “rational resonse” ( the words used by PeteB )

    It’s an emotional response based on our view of people we see as different to ourselves – however we may chose to define that.

  23. There’s a new MORI-ES poll out with details in the Standard, but no tables as yet (h/t Matt Singh):

    Con 40% (+2), Lab 31% (-1), no other details except

    Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn is the only major party leader not to suffer a fall in his ratings since October, the poll found. All four leaders, however, have negative ratings overall.

    The main interest is about growing public resistance to the cuts.

  24. @Hawthorn,

    I believe it is higher than 1%.


    I wasn’t really agreeing with Pete that Islamophobia could be described as “rational”. I was more making the point that most normal human responses and attitudes to most things aren’t “rational” either. I would probably say that Islamophobia (perhaps verily narrowly defined as “not liking Islam”) is a perfectly understandable feeling, and that those who experience it shouldn’t be treated as pariahs. It has been acceptable, fashionable even, to express dislike and sometimes revulsion at the Christian churches (especially the Catholic church) and we don’t cast out anti-Christians into the desert for it.

    I worry about the establishment condemning the views/beliefs of a proportion of the population that may be so large that, if completely alienated by the mainstream, could eventually deliver electoral supremacy to truly discriminatory politicians. In some ways its the mirror image of alienating minority communities. We have to find ways to peacefully disagree, and to disapprove of each other without being poisonous to each other.

  25. @Roger

    Perhaps Corbyn’s ratings are so low, they consist only of those who share his views on terror, Syria, shoot-to-kill etc.

    That’s a pretty large minority – albeit never likely to be more than a minority.

  26. Via NCP

    Ipsos MORI/Evening Standard:

    CON 41 (+5)
    LAB 34 (+2)
    LIB 7 (-3)
    UKIP 7 (-5)
    GRN 4 (+1)

    FIeldwork dates 14th-17th November

    Here’s something few people predicted. The Big 2 on 75%. Gosh.

  27. Outlier. Just saying.

  28. Meanwhile I have been patiently waiting for one of our Caledonian contingent to report the latest MORI-STV poll which came out yesterday:

    (links from there for tables charts etc), but I suppose I’ll have to do it myself. Holyrood VIs[1] are


    Con 18%

    Lab 20%

    Lib Dem 7%

    SNP 50%

    Green 3%[2]

    UKIP 1%

    Other 1%


    Con 16%

    Lab 19%

    Lib Dem 8%

    SNP 46%

    Green 7%

    UKIP 1%

    Other 2%

    According to Scotland Votes this produces a Holyrood of:

    SNP 72 (+3)

    Lab 25 (-12)

    Con 17 (+2)

    Lib Dem 7 (+2)

    Green 8 (+6)

    The Tories take 5 constituencies (I doubt some of those) and Lib Dems keep Orkney and Shetland. Labour don’t win a single one.

    [1] Using the ‘all likely to vote’ figures, though the ‘all giving a VI don’t vary’ that much from them. However the percentage of those giving any VI is so high in this sample (90%) that it’s getting silly.

    [2] I’ve allocated SNP 2, Lab 1 in the prediction, though recent by-elections may hint at a more equal split.

  29. MORI -ES tables etc are now available from here:

    Incidentally the Party Leader with the highest (or least low) satisfaction rating is a certain Mr J Corbyn:

    Cameron 40 – 55 = -15

    Corbyn 37 – 40 = -3

    Farron 18 – 32 = -14

    Farage 33 – 45 = -12

    A fact I’m sure we will see widely broadcast in the media

  30. @ Hawthorn

    The UN cannot act because of what happened in Libya. Russia would veto a Western proposal, and the West a Russian one. But they can co-ordinate among each other.

  31. @ Neil A and Colin

    On fire arm control. Well, the Balkans is full of firearms from the war, and it is probably not difficult to bring in some to the EU (there was shooting – not criminal one – in Sarjevo yesterday).

    You can legally buy a disarmed (that shoots only blanks) sub machine guns (AK 47, M65) in Slovakia for 200 quid. If you know guns, it takes 5 minutes to turn them into proper ones. In September the Germans caught a van carrying 16 such guns.

  32. Laszlo

    I saw some pretty scary looking weapons (hunting rifles and the suchlike) for sale in a mall in Ljubljana during a holiday to Slovenia.

  33. I have to say if I was asked if I was satisfied with Corbyn’s performance as Labour leader, I’d be quite tempted to say “Yes”…

  34. MORI actual tables aren’t available yet, though the topline results and charts are there as well as the comment article (usually the charts come last).

    It’s also worth pointing out that Corbyn’s figures aren’t that different from last months, it’s just that the other three have lost since last month: Cameron by 6 points, Farron by 9 and Farage by 20. Farron’s seems mainly driven by Lib Dem supporters (50% of all voters still have no opinion, which is unchanged), but as there will be so few in the sample that could be more random variation.

    Fieldwork was 14-17 November, so like ICM over the weekend (as you might expect for a phone poll) and post-Paris.

  35. @Roger Mexico

    We’ll make a Scot of you yet!

    No sign of a Corbyn Scottish bounce yet.

    I believe the Ipsos Mori poll also shows 65% of Scots in favour of remaining in the UK but haven’t yet found it online!

  36. I rather hope that the overwhelming vote for strike action by hospital doctors represents something of a turning point in terms of the willingness of white collar groups to take on their employers. Many of them have far more power than is generally appreciated but hitherto they have been reluctant to use it. Imagine the impact of a week long strike by schoolteachers !

  37. Couper: “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.”

    It’s unfortunate that sociology has been demonised as a leftie pseudo-subject, because increasingly we need to understand perplexing and often threatening developments
    in society. If we don’t understand them, we will struggle to formulate effective policies to avoid malign consequences.

    So the question of just why Muslim minorities seem especially prone to violent rejection of the values of their host societies is one that demands urgent attention if we are to de-fuse the ticking bomb.

    For what little it’s worth, I suspect that in the UK at least, a relevant factor might be the origins of much of the Muslim community in the 1960s/70s recruitment of unskilled, rural populations to work in textiles in northern towns. With low levels of education and English, there was a natural tendency to congregate in a few locations, reducing the incentive and opportunity to adapt and integrate. Given the subsequent decline of the industries they came to work in, these communities remained poor, isolated and inward-looking. The habit of forced marriage to newly immigrating men from the same rural background will have reinforced this. Second or third generations remain somewhat isolated because of de facto segregated education, the strong role of mosques, and cultural values at odds with the rest of Britain.

    If that is an accurate summary of the position – and I would be happy to be corrected if I have swallowed too many stereotypes – then it is hardly surprising that some young people of Pakistani descent remain alienated from society, looking instead to what they perceive as ‘their’ culture and value. Young men have always been up for a fight in defence of ‘us’ against ‘them’, or for what they perceive as noble ideological causes (International Brigade, Zionist zealots etc).

    My back-of-a-fag-packet analysis may be completely wrong, but I do think the subject needs urgent study if we are to find solutions beyond the sticking plaster of improved security (vital though that is).

  38. John Pilgrim – “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.”

    The problem is not poverty.

    The lead terrorist that they killed from Belgium was the son of a businessman who made enough money to send his son to a private school and set him up in business as an adult. That puts that family in the top 10% by income. They had an “attractive future” as you put it.

    What motivates Daesh is the same as what motivates people who join the KKK. They have a superiority complex. They like the idea of joining an exclusive group that emphasises their superiority. They dehumanise everyone outside their group and act with extreme sadism towards them.

    There’s a photo from the 1950’s of the KKK tying a black man to the back of a pickup truck and dragging him in its wake to kill him. And there’s a video of the head terrorist in the Paris attacks doing the exact same thing to Iraqi Kurds.

    You wouldn’t bother to try to excuse the KKK, so why are you doing it for Daesh?

    They are psychopaths, that’s why they’re drawn to that group. And the only solution is putting them away. You can’t reason with them because psychopathy is intrinsic. There isn’t even any medication you can give them. Sometimes people are just bad. The excuses they come up with for why they do what they do vary over time, but the way they act is the same.

  39. Also – the majority of the victims of Daesh are yazidis, kurds and shia.

    What we’ve got here is fairly well off muslims from europe travelling to third world countries to torture and kill poor people for for s**ts and giggles. Think about that for a minute.

    They attacked France simply because France dared to try to defend those poor syrians and iraqis. France spoiled some of their fun, and they’re hitting back. That’s what this is about.

  40. Good evening all from Westminster North. I bought a 7 foot Christmas tree today and thinking of putting it up at the weekend.


    “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”

    That’s a good point, I forgot about the £3 cheapo party members but I think it’s safe to assume they will get behind ole Corby’s foreign polices because the further left people are then the less they tend to like military interventionism.

    That said…a poll on the £3 lot would be interesting.

    “I believe the Ipsos Mori poll also shows 65% of Scots in favour of remaining in the UK but haven’t yet found it online”

    I had to do some digging on your post and I think you’re being confused with the following question.

    “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

    Remain 65%
    Leave 22%

  42. @Somerjohn,

    I think that’s probably right, to some extent. But isolationism itself is not necessarily a problem. Ultra-Orthodox jews, in their redoubt of Stamford Hill, have managed to stay more or less completely detached from UK society without a hint of violence, despite Judaism being in some ways quite a violent creed. One can hardly argue that their community hasn’t suffered stigma and prejudice.

    There is a cocktail of “reasons”, and I think the teachings of Islam can’t be excluded from that cocktail. The spread of Islam was a military campaign of conquest and domination. To some extent the religion is spring-loaded for war, and it doesn’t need that much of a nudge. Judaism and Sikhism, both of which are quite warlike, aren’t really about expansion and conquest. It is that “conquistador theme” that I think is the fatal ingredient in the mix.

    Being equal isn’t enough. Islam, or at least Islamism, is about being on top.

  43. @allanchristie

    I knew that but didn’t spot that my spellchecker has developed Unionist sympathies substituting UK for EU!

    The interesting points from the Holyrood poll is the apparent decline in SNP support and the rise in Tory support if they are confirmed by other polls. As I said I believe the 65% support for remaining in the EU is th highest yet recorded in Scotland.

  44. @Alec

    Clever Germany with all those renewables and all that lignite baseload.


    “I knew that but didn’t spot that my spellchecker has developed Unionist sympathies substituting UK for EU”

    Install AVG on whatever device you are using and that should eradicate any unusual sympathies from it. ;-)

    I’m not sure I agree with you on the apparent decline in SNP support. This poll has them increasing their majority but admittedly the polling has them down on previous polls and it will be interesting if other polls show the same trend.

    Yes the 65% figure is the highest I’ve seen for Scotland remaining in the EU and if that sort of support continues then it may trigger the triggers that trigger another Scottish indy ref if the rUK votes to leave.

  46. DH – 9.33 a.m.

    Many thanks for your excellent post.

  47. @Hawthorn – 10.38


  48. Neil A

    Well that’s a striking pairing: militant Islam and Stamford Hill orthodox Jews. In terms of origins I suppose they have quite a lot in common, and over in Israel their shared ‘eye for an eye’ philosophy has predictable results.

    I suppose the difference is that Judaism does not generally have an expansionary, conquering mindset because it is based on exclusivity and exclusion; as far as I know there is no proselytising and no wish to compete with other religions.

    So I think your suggestion that part of the problem lies in Islam’s expansionary, conquering ethos rings true. Militant Christianity went through a similar phase 500 years ago, when it was 1500 years old, so maybe when Islam reaches a similar maturity it will grow out of its warlike impulses. But can we wait that long?

  49. DH – 9.33 a.m.

    Many thanks for your excellent post.

    May I add my thanks to John B’s?

    Your insight into this complex & emotional subject was very much appreciated.

  50. @Somerjohn,

    I’m not sure the “Age of Discovery” (or the age of sailing to other people’s countries and stealing them – as the rest of the world might term it) was really about Christianity. Certainly it brought Christians and Christianity in it’s wake, and forced it on a lot of people. But the impetus for expansion and discovery wasn’t really driven by religion. It was more about science. demographics and economics. Had Islam succeeded in conquering Europe in any of its various attempts up to the 16th century, then I’m pretty sure that the explorers and conquistadors would still have travelled to the Americas and would still have utterly pole-axed the native peoples, but they would have brought crescents instead of crosses. They certainly did so in Africa, where Islam penetrated deeply and quite brutally before Christians came to conquer hundreds of years later.

    But the underlying point is that Christianity, and certainly the gospels, preaches against conquest by arms. Christian conquerors were expressly disobeying the teaching of their faith, whereas Islamic ones were doing it “by the book”.

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