Sunday, June 22, 2008

YouGov Poll on Civil Liberties for the Economist

YouGov have done an opinion poll for the Economist - which you can see here.

Here's some of the questions that were asked:

Britain has more closed circuit TV cameras (CCTVs) than any other country, monitoring streets, stations, shopping centres, offices etc
Do you think…

This is broadly a good thing, as CCTV cameras help to deter criminal behaviour and catch offenders

This is broadly a bad thing, because these cameras allow the state to 'snoop' on people and invade their privacy

Don’t know

Police are relying ever more heavily on DNA to solve crimes. Britain now has the largest DNA database in the world. It includes data on people who have not been convicted of any crime Which of these statements comes closer to your view?
‘DNA data should be held only for convicted criminals. Data on everyone else's DNA should be destroyed'

‘In order to be able to catch more criminals, the police should be able to build up their DNA database, so that eventually they hold DNA data on every citizen'

Don’t know

Currently, the police may detain suspected terrorists for up to four weeks before charging or releasing them. The Government wants to extend this period to six weeks. Which of these statements comes closer to your view?
These days it can take some weeks to analyse all the evidendence against suspected terrorists; it is right to be able to detain them for up to six weeks'

It is a long-established principle of British justice that suspects should either be released or know the charge against them within days; the proposed six weeks detention period is far too long'

Don’t know

David Davis, formerly shadow home secretary, has decided to resign as MP to campaign for re-election on the issue of civil liberties. He says that the Government's policies on ID cards, DNA and biometric databases, and the time allowed to question terrorist suspects, together threaten our civil liberties.
Do you think…

He is right; and he would do more to protect our civil liberties if he were home secretary

He is right; but he would NOT do any more to protect our civil liberties if he were home secretary

He is wrong: the measures proposed to tackle terrorism, crime and identity theft will enhance, and not undermine our civil liberties

Don’t know

David Davis benefits from his quioxtic "independent stand" with plenty of people supporting him simply for doing something unusual. And he has been the sitting MP for Haltemprice and Howden since 1987, so should romp home for non-civil liberties reasons.

There is danger for the Conservatives however in that he has forced them to adopt policies they wouldn't otherwise have done so, and which the public at large wouldn't vote for in a general election.

It is therefore in Labour's interests for David Davis to win and win big, so that he is a "big beast" in the Conservative party, forcing Cameron and co to pledge to abolish CCTV, 42 days and the DNA database. I suggest that official Labour people now remain completely quiet about this and if Bob Marshall-Andrews and Tony Benn wish to do their utmost for the Labour party, they should head to Haltemprice and Howden and "help". It would be a big deal for us if the Conservatives are bounced by Davis to adopt policies that the polls are showing very clearly that people don't want.


Anonymous said...

Why are Labour so chicken that they don't even put up a candidate to defend their position,I suppose they don't want to be humiliated again.

snowflake5 said...

Anonymous, my love, Labour doesn't want to get in the way of a glorious victory for Davis. I'm sure this is the reason other parties have decided not to stand either.

Because only with a spectacular victory can Davis persuade Cameron to march into the next general election with a manifesto pledging to abolish 42 day detention (and 28 days), abolish all CCTV and abolish the DNA database and thus put themselves in a position of disagreement with the electorate.

Here's hoping he can force Cameron's hand! ;-)