Ssssh! Don’t mention this opinion poll finding

Here’s one opinion poll finding that has had almost no coverage and I suspect will continue to do so because its finding is so at odds with what nearly everyone is saying.

It’s from Anthony Wells’s excellent polling blog:

YouGov re-asked a question from back in 2009 about whether people though Britain was a broken society, in regard of the area people themselves lived in, and in relation to the country as a whole. 37% think it is true in relation to the area they live (which is significantly down from 2009 when YouGov originally asked the question).

“Down”, not “up”.

People do think the country as a whole has seen society get worse, but such views can be heavily shaped by what the media reports. Going instead by people’s own personal experience of their area, the picture is that people think society has got better, not worse.

Almost whatever your view on the riots – whether you want to blame the riots on the Coalition Government, decades of decay and decline or the failures of New Labour – it’s a finding that doesn’t suit.

But that isn’t a reason to cast it into obscurity.

5 responses to “Ssssh! Don’t mention this opinion poll finding”

  1. Are we sure the people asked understood the question? Perhaps they should of asked are we more selfish, self centred and inconsiderate of the effect our own actions on those around us? Examples: Litter, drunkeness, yobbish behaviour, lack of respect for the police, speeding, parking, public swearing, public drinking, spitting, etc, etc.
    Is our national generosity whenever a crisis appeal goes out, just a sign of us being too lazy and self centred to actually get involved and using money as the easy way to salve our consciences?

    • FWIW, my experience of today's youngsters puts them neatly into one of two camps. The vast majority appear to have a great sense of natural justice and care deeply about the environment.

      However there is a significant minority, and I suggest it is these folk who we saw taking part in last week's riots, who selfishly believe their desires (which they unerringly refer to as "rights") should be met by others, apparently without requiring any contribution on their own part. Such young people seem to lack any form of self-discipline and might almost be considered as "feral youths".

    • Roger – your examples are ones that rather undermine the point you are making I think, given the evidence there is about – for example – there being less drinking now than there was a few years ago or 10 years prior. Similarly, the incidents of yobbish behaviour that count as crimes has fallen.

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