People are pretty rational beings. Or at least, they generally behave in rational ways to how they are treated. You repeat something enough times, they will start to believe it. Tell them immigrants are taking their houses and jobs, they will become intolerant.
Blow up people on the tubes, they will react with suspicion towards Muslims. Lie and cover up previous ‘terrorist plots’ and they will react with suspicion at the next one. Lie about why you went to war and they will not support your foreign policy. Constantly play up “imminent terror” and people will start getting suspicious of coloured folks on planes.
So it should come as absolutely no surprise that Labour is losing support.
David Cameron is on course for a possible general election win, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today that shows support for the Conservatives climbing to a lead that could give them a narrow majority in the Commons, while Labour has plunged to a 19-year low.
Ministers – including Mr Blair – have repeatedly denied that there is a connection. But 72%, including 65% of Labour voters, think government policy has made Britain more of a target for terrorists. Only 1% of voters believe the government’s foreign policy has made Britain safer, a devastating finding given that action in Iraq and Afghanistan has been justified in part to defeat Islamist terrorism.
Is it any surprise that the recent “plot to blow up the skies and kill everyone in the universe” was greeted with cynicism on the BBC’s messageboards, on PP and elsewhere on blogs. This government has gone past the point where the majority of Britons are prepared to take its ruminations seriously.
Carried out over the past weekend, following the series of terror arrests, the poll shows voters do not believe the government is giving an honest account of the threat facing Britain. Only 20% of all voters, and 26% of Labour voters, say they think the government is telling the truth about the threat, while 21% of voters think the government has actively exaggerated the danger. A majority, 51%, say the government is not giving the full truth and may be telling less than it knows.
I’m sure John Reid is shocked his leadership bid has been blown sky high but the rest of us should not be.
The most amusing absence in recent days has of course been of Chancellor Gordon Brown. But he knows, as David Cameron does, that supporting Tony Blair or his cronies is akin to political suicide. But this isn’t rats jumping ship, it is astute political calculation when the majority of Britons believe our foreign policy is too closely aligned to George Bush’s.
Whether Brown will launch a leadership bid over the upcoming Labour conference remains to be seen. But the fact is whatever Tony Blair touches turns to dust. He hasn’t made a single good decision since…. well I can’t remember.
My feeling is Britons don’t want to live in a state of terror they are constantly reminded of by the police and politicians. Rather than gathering behind their leader as Americans do, they are revolting against them. And quite rightly too.
Now if only the British media were to start connecting the dots as some American networks have started doing.
[Hat tip Curious Hamster]
Long live rationality!
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