A rational reponse?


by Sunny
22nd August, 2006 at 10:24 am    

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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16 Comments below   |  

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  1. Simon Benjamin — on 22nd August, 2006 at 11:38 am  

    I think you have to be wary of polls Sunny. Look at George Bush – everyone expected him to lose his second-term, but lo-and-behold, the crazy foo was voted in… this time democratically (well, for the large part).

    But saying that, in times of crisis, people look to a strong and charismatic leader – which Cameron indeed is – and they might just get the nod even though it’ll mean living under a conservative government which I can’t say I’d be too thrilled about. But Mr Blair has fucked up big time in the closing stages of his tenure as PM and this has has destroyed any credibility labour had.

    The only alternative I would prefer would be a lib dems government, but post Charles Kennedy, they’ve fell by the wayside.

    Bring him back!

  2. AsifB — on 22nd August, 2006 at 11:44 am  

    Its easy to see – and agree- why people don’t trust the Government.

    There is a lack of rationality in thinking Cameron would be any different. His media management tendancies and close circle of pro-White House advisers are somewhat similar to Blair. And Gordon Brown for that matter…

  3. Vladimir — on 22nd August, 2006 at 11:51 am  

    Agree with Simon need of a third alternative, and really admired Charles Kennedy as most alcoholics just want another drink this one wanted to be Prime Minister!

    I do thnik Tony Blair has made some real change as PM though, when considering Tory rule previously. There has been a shift in what is being thought over in regard to policy.

  4. Kismet Hardy — on 22nd August, 2006 at 12:09 pm  

    Yeah, the American people didn’t trust their government either

    But create enough mass brick-shitting panic and they’ll win the vote again

    It’s not like Tony Bleugh doesn’t take notes from Georgy Porgy now is it?

  5. TottenhamLad — on 22nd August, 2006 at 12:28 pm  

    Things change, the worm turns…

    55% want racial profiling…
    From The Times (2006 August 17th):
    55% support passenger profiling, poll indicates

    Normally placid Brit parents shrug of their inhibitions and get tough…
    From The Times (2006 August 21st):
    Nervous passengers delay flight

    The end may be nigh for immigration
    From The Sunday Times (2006 August 20th):
    Public wants much harsher immigration policy, says poll

    How long till repatriation makes a come back?

  6. Leon — on 22nd August, 2006 at 12:32 pm  

    How long till repatriation makes a come back?

    I’d love to see that one come back mainly because the sheer absurdity of the argument.

    Britain has gone too far in terms of multiculturalism and integration to turn the clock back now (take a look at the number of mixed race kids or the fact that 26% of NHS Doctors are Asian, kick them out and the NHS collapses).

  7. Jagdeep — on 22nd August, 2006 at 1:04 pm  

    I think this is an unfocussed article Sunny. No matter what people think about Blair, and ten years in power is enough reason for people to want him to move on, I don’t think for a moment that people are sick of the police or their efforts or their public statements. In fact on the whole I reckon the British public are supportive of them at this moment in time.

  8. sonia — on 22nd August, 2006 at 2:29 pm  

    yeah and in any case where would people be ‘repatriated’ ‘back’ to? like these countries are going to want them ‘back’. he heh.

    tottenham lad – since most of the public knows jack shit about ‘immigration policy’ so any smart Home Secretary could say, i’ve ‘tightened’ the policy and not many people would know what that would come down to on a ‘real’ level for folks on visas. :-) I think it’s probably a good thing most people don’t know some non-British citizens can vote in the General Election! i bet they’d make a right fuss about that, ho ho.

  9. Courtney Hamilton — on 22nd August, 2006 at 3:20 pm  

    New Labour’s popularity may be falling, but, I fail to see what difference the tories or the lib-dems would make. On all the major issues their the same, the differences could be measured by the thickness of a Rizla paper.

    They all agree on some form of passenger profiling, and they all seem to agree that immigration controls should be tighter.

    I for one still believe that Britain should abolish all immigration controls, but there are no political parties out there who would argue for that.

    All the main parties would have sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, even the libertarian Lib-Dems are not exactly arguing for troop withdrawal are they?

    We do have a problem with Islamic extremists in Britain, this is self-evidently true, but, launching full scale wars in foreign lands and closing the door on immigration will not solve that – all it succeeds in doing is creating more problems for us all.

  10. Leon — on 22nd August, 2006 at 3:32 pm  

    yeah and in any case where would people be ‘repatriated’ ‘back’ to? like these countries are going to want them ‘back’. he heh.

    Indeed. I’m mixed race and born here, so where would I go?

  11. Yakoub/Julaybib — on 22nd August, 2006 at 4:24 pm  

    Of course, when they reintroduce repatritation, us honky Muslims were be declared traitors to our culture and lynched from the nearest lamposts! ;-)

    Back to the real world, though, and Cameron. Is his being elected going to make much difference? Gordon seems to have garnered a reputation for smart economic management and fiscal prudence, and the middle classes certainly won’t want to risk going back to the boom/bust era of rising house repossessions. And the cash cows circling Conservatives for Israel will make sure Dave doesn’t waver over supporting the Zionist Nazis. So why bother?

    Perhaps Dave looks and sounds more like the kind of person Mr, Mrs and Ms Middle England would prefer to work for. Less smiling charm, more plain management.

    Wasalaam

    TMA

  12. Leon — on 22nd August, 2006 at 4:34 pm  

    Smiling Charm, Smarm.

    Davey boy’s got alot more to do if he wants power, despite recent pollings, to convince people the Tories have changed. To be honest he’s the least of the problems the Tories have (in fact more like him and they’d be in power for some time); it’s the treacherous and ambitious backbenchers he’s got to worry about.

    I know at least one person who is convinced that if DC and co loses the next GE, there’ll be an IDS like coup to install Hague as leader…for DC, the enemy might not necessarily be sitting across the dispatch box from him.

  13. Sunny — on 22nd August, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    Simon – I agree. The continued floundering of the Lib Dems deeply saddens me.

    Jagdeep, yeah I wrote it late last night. and posted it this morning before rushing off. I think the broader point is that government is essentially losing the trust of the people, and however many terrorism scares is not going to bring that back. Watch the vide… I wouldn’t be surprised if Labour is playing the same game here.

  14. Leon — on 22nd August, 2006 at 5:51 pm  

    That video is quite shocking. I never realised mainstream American media was still capable of actual decent journalism!

  15. Refresh — on 22nd August, 2006 at 6:45 pm  

    Leon – which video is that?

  16. Sunny — on 22nd August, 2006 at 11:02 pm  

    Leon – I know! Refresh, the YouTube video at the end of the above article.

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