LDV members' survey (2): booze, recession and Afghanistan

by Stephen Tall on April 4, 2009

Over the last week, Lib Dem Voice has invited the members of our private forum (open to all Lib Dem members) inviting them to take part in a survey, conducted via Liberty Research, asking a number of questions about the party and the current state of British politics. Many thanks to the almost 200 of you who completed it; we’re publishing the results on LDV over the next few days.

We asked: The Chief Medical Officer has proposed fixing a minimum price for alcohol sales in Britain. This measure is opposed by the Tories and Labour, but supported by Lib Dem spokespeople. Do you believe it is time to support a minimum price for alcohol?

Here’s what you told us:

34.7% – Yes, minimum prices will help tackle the UK’s binge drinking problems
8.3% – Maybe, there’s merit in the proposal but the middle of a recession is the wrong time
51.8% – No, government should not penalise the responsible majority because of an irresponsible minority

These results were, in fact, strikingly similar to our poll on the public blog, addressing the same issue.

Here are a couple of your comments:

In Scotland, our policy’s the direct opposite of this! It makes life very difficult at FMQs.
I’m in favour because it would support pubs. It would do nothing at all to tackle binge drinking.
Absolutely not. No way is this the way to tackle the problem of binge drinking. Need to look at the cause not support a ‘cure’ which this is not
A minimum price for alcohol is illiberal and will hit the wrong people in the wrong way. Better education and policing is a much better solution.
Minimum price for alcohol will actually stop the unfair advantage which is in place for the likes of Tesco. It will reduce alcohol consumption for the youngestmost dependent on alcohol. Causal drinkers would hardly notice a difference.

Next we asked about the current recession: When do you think the UK economy will begin to grow again?

Here’s what you told us:

6.7% – Second half, 2009
22.3% – First half, 2010
24.9% – Second half, 2010
17.6% – 2011
9.8% – Later than 2011
18.7% – Don’t know

Just over half of you believe the recession will come to an end within the next 18 months or so, while a little more than one-quarter think it will last into 2011 or beyond. Almost a fifth of you were honest enough to admit none of us really has a clue. One commenter suggested, “Ask Vince. He knows all and sees all.”

Finally, for today, we turned our attention overseas, asking: Should British troops withdrawn from Iraq be redeployed to Afghanistan?

Here’s what you said:

49.2% – Yes, they are needed there
17.1% – No, other countries should send troops
24.9% – No, all foreign military deployment in Afghanistan should end
8.8% – Don’t know

Here’s a selection of your thoughts:

But other Nato countries still need to commit more. Obama encouraging Iran, China and Russia to get involved is right.

we need to win the battle of hearts and minds in Afghanistan and the british troops have a history of achieving this. it will take time.

It has been centuries since a war was won in Afghanistan; invasion was folly.

Britain is already overstretched in trying to be a world policeman; Vince has said that we will have to look at our defence comittments in view of our financial situation, and he is quite right.

If we abandon Afghanistan now it will have been pointless invading in the first place, and problems will expand to neighbouring countries such as Pakistan. We need to see this through.

We are supporting an imperial adventure. Its expensive, has no clear strategic purpose and is a wste of blood and treasure. another poor call by the leadership.