Tuesday :: Apr 20, 2004

The Poodle Bites


by pessimist

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been skating on thin domestic political ice for a while now. I had some hope that he saw the light when he talked Bush out of supporting Ariel Sharon's plans to put all the Palestinians on the Gaza Reservation and then take the West Bank land for settlers and prospectors.

Could the Israeli railroads have been far behind?

But Blair has his troubles with his own electorate.

Opinion swings against PM after bloodiest month in Iraq

Support for Tony Blair's stand on Iraq has fallen sharply in the last two months, according to the findings of the latest Guardian/ICM opinion poll.

The bloodiest month since the invasion of Iraq has seen public opinion in Britain swing sharply against Mr Blair, with 48% saying the war was not justified.

The survey also found that two-thirds of British voters have little or no confidence in the Americans' handling of the situation in Iraq, with 79% saying it is too dangerous for civilians working for British companies to be in the country.

There is still majority support for US and British troops to remain but a growing and significant minority - 42% - believe Mr Blair should follow the example of the new Spanish government and bring the army home within six months.

The detailed results show that support for the war has slumped from 53% in January to 41%. The percentage of people prepared to support the anti-war case and argue that the invasion was unjustified has grown from 41% to 48%.

Anti-war sentiment has not reached these levels since September, when the Hutton inquiry hearings appeared to place question marks against the likelihood of finding weapons of mass destruction.

The security situation in Iraq and the bloody battles in Falluja and Najaf have fuelled the sharp swing against the US-led coalition. Only 28% of British voters have "a lot" or "a fair amount" of confidence in the Americans' handling of the situation, while 41% have "not much confidence" and 27% have "no confidence at all".

Even among Labour voters, 62% have little confidence in the US administration in Iraq.

Asked when British and American troops should pull out, 27% said they should leave now - a rise of five points since last month. A further 15% said they should leave within six months (up two points). A simple majority, 51%, said troops should remain as long as is considered necessary - down nine points since last month, suggesting a significant switch in public opinion is under way.

Download this poll [PDF]
Now if only we could get a major change of opinion - against George Warmonger Bush - here in the United States.

pessimist :: 4:13 PM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!