Is the terror threat being exaggerated?

Is the terror threat being exaggerated?

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    Yougov finds that less than one in two believes the politicians

In a YouGov poll for this week’s Spectator just 49% of those surveyed said “No” to the question “Do you think British politicians generally exaggerate the terrorist threat?” A total of 12% said they did exaggerate “because they are ill informed themselves” while 23%, nearly a quarter, agreed with the statement “Yes, they do – and they know that the truth is not as they portray it”.

Men seem to have a far more cynical view of the politicians with just 45% saying that threats are not being exaggerated compared with 53% for the women. Also having a much more jaundiced view than the population as a whole are those under the age of 30 and people living in the Midlands and Wales

    These figures, from a survey online of 1,600 taken on Monday and Tuesday, seem to indicate an extraordinary level of cynicism and far higher than I would have expected. Generally in times of a crisis or major threat there’s a strong move to back the Government

The magazine is presenting the numbers the other way round and states that “61% believe the government is not deliberately exaggerating the terrorism threat”.

By 55-29 those surveyed agreed with the statement “Passenger profiling is a recent term used to describe the process of selecting passengers based on their background or appearance. Would you like to see ‘passenger profiling’ introduced?

Just 14% agreed that “Britain should continue to align herself closely with the USA” while 55-28 agreed that most British Muslims are moderate?

The Home Secretary and potential leadership challenger, John Reid, might be encouraged by the 69-23 support for making it “possible to detain terror suspects who have NOT been charged with any offence for up to 90 days?”

I think that we need some proper voting intention figure before we can draw wider political conclusions. There should be more YouGov BrandIndex data this weekend.

Mike Smithson

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