Thursday, August 17, 2006

Spectator Poll Shows Support for Aggressive Foreign Policy

The Spectator will today publish a YouGov poll with opinion sampled on Monday and Tuesday. Here are the highlights:-

*Tony Blair's original plan option of detaining suspects without charge for up to 90 days by three-to-one (69% to 23%)
*73% agree that “the West is in a global war against Islamic terrorists who threaten our way of life” while only 8 per cent think that “Islamic terrorism is a regional problem that poses no real threat to the West”.
* When asked whether Britain should change its foreign policy in response to terrorism, just 12% say that it should be made more conciliatory, against 53% who say it should become more aggressive and 24% who want no change.
* A majority of 55% to 29% of the public supports the introduction of 'passenger profiling' by the authorities in airports.
* Half of respondents said that most British Muslims are moderates, but 28% disagreed and almost as many said they didn't know.
* People are increasingly preparing for a long, bitter and potentially bloody struggle, with 60% of respondents saying they expect the threat from terror groups to worsen over time.
* Only 6% said they thought the conflict against Islamic terrorists would last five years or less and 18% believe that it will be over within 10 years.
* Fewer than a quarter of respondents accuse British politicians of deliberately exaggerating the threat and only a small majority think Tony Blair should have returned home to oversee the emergency. However, they do think that more should have been done by the government to increase airport security prior to 10 August.
* When offered the choice of maintaining the current close relationship with the US, switching to closer links with Europe or an unspecified third course of action (which could be an independent foreign policy), the public turned en masse against America. A mere 15% believe that Britain should continue to align herself closely with the US, against 46% who said that we should position ourselves closer to Europe instead. 29% support neither option.

Stephan Shakespeare, co-chief executive of YouGov, comments: “The British people now feel that they are in a global war with terrorism, and one that will last ten years or more. But that doesn't mean they have bought into the American 'neo-con' view of the future - even though they recognise the threat, and want a more aggressive response from the UK.”

YouGov interviewed 1,696 respondents online, weighted to be representative of Great Britain's population, on 14 and 15 August 2006.

13 comments:

john prescott's secret lovechild said...

Surprising but nevertheless encouraging that people take a realistic view of the situation. Methinks it was the letter from MPACUK et all to change foreign policy what done it. For far too long we've been appeasing the extremists in our midst, and as Kipling pointed out, if you pay the Danegeld, the Dane will never leave.

As for aligning ourselves with America or Europe, why does it have to be an either-or situation? We should always do what is in the best interests of Britain. On many occasions that may mean agreeing with one or the other, but on just as many occassions we should be free to disagree with either or both.

eddie said...

A poll that demonstrates the muddled thinking of the Brits if ever I saw one.

Distance ourselves from Bush and align ourselves closer to Europe? I thought we hated the EU!

Become more aggressive? Isn't that what our current (failed) foreign policy is?

Support 90 day detention? Well why don't we just abolish what's left of our civil liberties now and complete the wholesale destruction of British life that this government has presided over?

Hey, who needs democracy when you have Lord Protector John Reid watching over you?

Anonymous said...

"46% who said that we should position ourselves closer to Europe instead"

Right, send the Swiss navy to the Gulf! And mobilise the Dutch "Srebrenica brigade" immediately!

Rick said...

Well without the US Britain's full mediocrity becomes apparent in terms of manpower and equipment, and the fact that Britain faces such a threat yet imposes defence cuts shows how ludicrous the situation is.

Having to use TA soldiers in Afghanistan leads one to wonder how long their employers will keep their jobs open before restructuring them away

AnyonebutBlair said...

It fantastic to see the vast majority of the population hold a very sensible and realistic appraisal of the challenge we face from Islamic terrorism, and that the siren voices of the Guardian and the majority of bloggers on CiF are a minority. What is frightening is that we have for a variety of reasons become detached from the US. European foreign policy, don't make me laugh. Realpolitik has to recognise that the US is the arsenal of democracy and our security must come from close influence and a close relationship with the US. A world where the US has disengaged is far more dangerous. Who do you want to rely on. The EU? The French?

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh, looks like people are being caught up in all this Government-by-fear stuff. Of course our policies re. the Middle East have to be changed. They are wrong! One way or another we will have to withdraw from both Iraq and Afghanistan - with a bloody nose. And as for supporting Israel's destruction of infrastructure and blocks of flats
(with people inside) in the Lebanon, words fail me. It's hardly surprising that we are subject to both real and suspected Islamic terrorist attacks, whereas France, Germany and the low countries, all with large Moslem populations, aren't.

strapworld said...

I just cannot accept that a majority of epople would want to align themselves with the treacherous french,and the EU rather than the USA. It flies in the face
of all previous surveys.

I have always been dismissive of polls, when I commissioned one I was asked what result was I after!!! before they formed the questions..

That was with a major poll company.

Rick said...

It's hardly surprising that we are subject to both real and suspected Islamic terrorist attacks, whereas France, Germany and the low countries, all with large Moslem populations, aren't.

Different Muslims..........Germany's are Turks carefully administered by a Turkish Govt umbrella organisation in Germany.

France has big problems with North African Muslims - they BBQ motor cars

Britain has Kashmiris and Afghans and Algerians and the whole heady brew

London is the Arab Capital bar none with so much Arab infrastructure it is central to Muslim politics

Kyser_soze said...

Ok, so a poll conducted after the foiling of a potentially huge NLC plot to blow some jets up, possibly with an unrepresentative sample and certainly without reference to external concepts (Afghanistan/Iraq) comes up with stuff like this...not really surprising is it? I would imagine that polls around the time of 7/7 would have yielded similar results.

And forgive me, but I've never been to convinced by any opinion poll taken that talks about an 'aggressive' foreign policy and yet seemingly fails to mention Iraq or Afghanistan, the UKs involvement in which the Speccy and many other Tory commentators have commented on, especially the current deployment in Afghanistan!

Samuel Coates said...

See ConHome's Platform for the full article by Stephan Shakespeare

Yak40 said...

Anonymous said "Israel's destruction of infrastructure and blocks of flats
(with people inside) in the Lebanon, words fail me. It's hardly surprising that we are subject to both real and suspected Islamic terrorist attacks, "


You need to read some history, this terrorism started decades ago. Get it into your head, the extremists hate us as said by the Hezbollah founder "We aren't fighting because we want something but because we want to kill you".
Pretty clear to me.

Helen said...

"And as for supporting Israel's destruction of infrastructure and blocks of flats
(with people inside) in the Lebanon, words fail me. It's hardly surprising that we are subject to both real and suspected Islamic terrorist attacks, whereas France, Germany and the low countries, all with large Moslem populations, aren't."

Oh dear, anonymous, why do you bother to comment with so little knowledge? Have you not followed the growing story of Hezbollah manupulation of the MSM? Why do you still believe stories that were dicatated by Hezbollah and photographs staged by them?

As for who is attacking whom, this country was called Londonistan for years before 9/11, never mind the Iraqi war.

Anonymous said...

I don't think a lot of the UK public truly gets the view of USA either. Listen, British CITIZENS have thrice tried to commit mass-casualty terrorist attacks on the USA homeland. Worried about aligning yourselves with America?? Be glad USA does not rightly see UK yet as "Afghanistan North", but increasingly USA citizens are rightly wondering just whose side the UK is on? Imagine US citizens trying to blow up 11 jets over the UK... Imagine US citizens trying to blow up London Financial district... Imagine US citizens cheering and dancing in the streets after the 7/7 Tube bombings and cheering for the 7/7 Tube bombers to kill more Brits....

Because that is PRECISELY what your nation looks like to USA now.

Londonistan is hardly an "ally"... LOL...