Neo-Con YouGov At It Again With Leading Questions 137

This blog has over the years expended some energy on explaining that YouGov is anything but a disinterested seeker after evidence of public opinion, but rather a tool for creating a false impression of public opinion and pushing it in a direction. Needless to say, various legal threats I have received from YouGov and its directors have come to nothing.

Now take this YouGov question in their latest poll:

Would you approve or disapprove of the RAF taking part in air strike operations against Islamic State/ISIS in Syria?

There is no need to mention the RAF in this question – it is not their decision and the impression is subtly conveyed that the RAF want to do it. The question is carefully designed to tap in to the public’s well-documented inclination to support the armed forces in any conflict situation.

If you asked:

Do you approve of the government’s proposals for taking part in air strike operations against Islamic State/ISIS in Syria?

you would get a very different answer. Which of course is why the charlatans at YouGov asked the first question.

Nevertheless, there are two very interesting facts. Even on this biased question opinion is swinging very fast against airstrikes. Secondly, yet again there is a very real divergence of opinion between England and Scotland.

Since I joined the SNP, the comments section has been riddled with people claiming that the SNP is in fact no less neo-con than the other established parties. Today’s debate on Syria, in addition to the recent debate on Trident, make plain that is absolute nonsense.

137 thoughts on “Neo-Con YouGov At It Again With Leading Questions

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  • fwl

    & if they asked: Do you approve of Drone Squadron carrying out attacks?

    Presumably people would not feel the need to give support to the valiant flyers of drone squadron risking their mental health and rsi for the nation.

  • Anon1

    Do you approve of the RAF bombing the barbaric, headchopping scum, or are you a terrorist sympathiser?

    Is how I would have framed the question.

  • fwl

    “Go in quickly. Punch hard. Get out!”

    WW1 flying ace Commander Taffy Jones’ 10th rule for air fighting.

    If we go in to war in Syria then when do we get out?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Do you approve of the RAF bombing the barbaric, headchopping scum, or are you a terrorist sympathiser? Is how I would have framed the question.

    Do you approve of the underfunded, overstretched RAF bombing the barbaric, headchopping scum, who are firmly embedded in innocent civilian populations, with no consideration of stabilising the aftermath, and inevitably enabling equally barbaric scum to take over from the barbaric scum you’ve just bombed, on the say-so of someone who believes 70,000 nice moderate locals want to get killed in the process, for free, or are you even marginally capable of rational thought?

  • fwl

    Anon 1 Do you not think we could do better if we followed the operational master class of Israeli security services, who on their own account infiltrated bribed and blackmailed their way to a dominant position vis a vis their Palestinian foes. You will recollect their retired leaders lamenting on how their politicians then failed (because of an extremist minority within their own coalition government) to take the advantage and negotiate. Bombing is a last last resort. There are always more efficacious strategies available.

  • K Crosby

    ~~~~~Do you approve of the RAF bombing the barbaric, headchopping scum, or are you a terrorist sympathiser?

    Is how I would have framed the question.~~~~~

    You want to bomb the zionists and the Saudis?

  • fwl

    “Two things greater than all things are,
    The first is Love, and the second War.
    And since we know not how War may prove,
    Heart of my heart, let us talk of Love!

    Quoted by General Lord Wavell in the intro to his chapter on poems on fighting.

  • Loony

    Another day, another provocation. This time NATO invites Montenegro to join its not so exclusive club. Obviously the entire safety of the west would be endangered absent to the 2,000 strong Montenegran Army manning the defences.

    Maybe YouGov should ask “Do you approve of your governments unremitting attempts to provoke a wider war with Russia?”

  • fwl

    That 10th rule of Ira Jones Go in quickly. Punch hard.Get out! Could be a motto for the Israeli air force. Israel understands how to have short wars. We don’t.

  • MerkinScot

    I met a crowd of young guys in the pub a couple of weeks ago.
    Or rather, they approached me at the end of a birthday celebration for one of them.
    Unbidden, one of them burst into a polemic about Scotland taking in refugees.
    He was 21 he told me and had been an SNP member since he was a wee boy.
    “Sturgeon has got it wrong tae let in all these refugees when ISIS tell us they are going to send 500 terrorists to Britain and I’ll never vote for them again”.Fairly incoherent it was.
    The point is he started by claiming to be an SNP member while coming out with part of the UKIP manifesto.
    We see that a lot these days.

  • Phil

    Its not a misleading question though is it. The RAF would be the ones taking part in the airstrikes. It doesn’t mention the RAF’s opinion. If it had said do you support the RAF in carrying out airstrikes then i’d agree with you.

  • ttamala

    especially since the smug Peter Kellner – self-styled ‘President’ of YouGov – is none other than Mr Cathy (‘call me Baroness’) Ashton, a former EU high representative appointed presumably not on her past experience working for the Hertfordshire health authority but because of her midlevel grovelling within Labour party circles to Gordon Brown

  • Tony M

    I understand they’re (the refugees) vetted by the UN. The majority women with young children who’ve lost their partners and homes, the priority cases.

  • Mary

    The Blue Tories are doing their best to disrupt the flow of Corbyn’s speech with jeering, barracking and feeble interventions.

    The Red Tory, Hilary Benn, wearing a stupid red tie (Look I’m a Socialist), sits behind attempting to look magisterial.

  • Galbraith


    You mean you would have made it about bombing Saudi Arabia?”

    What a beautiful reply…..
    Spot on the money again Craig!

  • Mary

    Yes Fwl (who are you btw) Israel is good at short, sharp destructive wars. They have had a lot of practice on Gaza, several times, and Lebanon where they didn’t do so well.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Influencing minds, in order to get the desired mass response of those asking the question goes very much deeper than opinion polls. The propaganda comes in all forms on a daily basis and is incessant, backed up by major events. It is about creating a false reality in the minds of nearly everyone, and was extremely well predicted many years ago by both George Orwell and Aldous Huxley.

    When the film The Matrix came out, I simply did not understand it. So I watched it again, and then a third time. People tried to explain it to me, but I still didn’t understand it, and neither did they.

    Yet the reality is that most people live in a Matrix of a false reality. They believe most of what Authority tells them to believe. They switch off critical thought and analysis, in order to feel safe and protected by that Authority.

    Craig stated only yesterday “Yet the entire mainstream media and political establishment is united in shrill condemnation of Ken Livingstone for stating the undeniable fact that the 7/7 bombers were motivated by outrage at the British invasion of Iraq.”

    I didn’t respond. What is the point? You can’t change long held beliefs by argument. However, I don’t think it is an undeniable fact.

    On the day of the event Peter Power stated live on the BBC

    “POWER: …at half-past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for, er, over, a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing upright!

    PETER ALLEN: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?

    POWER: Precisely, and it was, er, about half-past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don’t want to reveal their name but they’re listening and they’ll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they’d met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision, ‘this is the real one’ and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from ‘slow time’ to ‘quick time’ thinking and so on.”

    Now, I am well aware that extremely strange coincidences happen but “in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning” stretches belief in coincidence theory to a point well beyond science fiction.

    So how did the Terrorist bombers know how to choose the exact same locations and time as a practice drill run in an office?

    Questioning such things publicly – even supposedly anonymously is liable to get you arrested. It’s a very brave thing to do, and that is exactly what Anthony John Hill did, resulting in him spending 151 days in Wandsworth jail (with no publicity) incidentally at the same time as Julian Assange (maximum publicity). The jury found him innocent and he was released.

    At that stage it wasn’t blowback. 9/11 wasn’t blowback. Now it probably is, but its taken 14 years of invasions by The West in senseless wars of destruction to achieve it.

    That is because there weren’t enough people like Anthony John Hill.

    So now, all we can do is blame ourselves for what happens next.


  • Anon1


    I could have sworn I saw you supporting military action against IS a month or two ago. What changed your mind?

  • Anon1


    I wouldn’t call it “beautiful”. It was the obvious rejoinder but it is just whataboutery.

  • nevermind

    So if all these brave Scottish pilots take their Typhoons out of Lossiemouth to become martyrs, who will be protecting British airspace from marauding moderates on flying unicorns?

    Have they got a few spare Hawk trainers hanging about?

  • Anon1


    Peter Kellner’s face as the exit polls came in during the BBC’S general election coverage has to be one of the greatest moments ever on live TV.

  • Mary

    Entirely coincidental with the ‘debate’ today, led by one of the three Bullingdon Boys.

    The Satanic urge is irrepressible. ‘Ere we go. ‘Ere we go. Set the fuse, light the fuse. Fire!

    It was Bomb the ‘Butcher’ Assad two years ago, now bomb our own creations two 2 years on.

    How terrible is keloid scarring which the beautiful dark skin is prone to!

  • K Crosby

    ~~~~~That 10th rule of Ira Jones Go in quickly. Punch hard.Get out! Could be a motto for the Israeli (sic) air force. Israel (sic) understands how to have short wars. We don’t.~~~~~

    Tell that to the victims of the wahabbi-zionists’ slow genocide.

  • Anon1

    So who was on the Stop The War March apart from the usual assembly of students, trade unionists, communists and luvvies?

    Even John Goss seems to have come out in support of military action against IS.

  • nevermind

    So four years of supporting IS finance structure, their assets and supply logistics, enabling them to plan and undertake 3 major terror actions, two in Paris and one in Istanbul, sort of, we want to pledge the destruction of IS/Daesh/AlNusra and any other of our affiliated moderates, once again.

    This time its for real, innit, because we are sending all our hugely superior hardware into action, we are sooo special it almost hurts, doesn’t it.
    And as a special bargain to plane spotters, we offer ‘spot one get one’ a bombing service on demand, put your headgear on, show your face and you get served.

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