What Lib Dem members think of … Chilcot, John Terry, and the recession

by Stephen Tall on February 13, 2010

At the start of the week, Lib Dem Voice invited the members of our private discussion 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 200 of you who completed it; we’re publishing the results on LDV over the next few days.

LDV asked: Do you think the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will result in a ‘whitewash’?

You told us:

  • 25% – Yes it will
  • 19% – No it won’t
  • 43% – Probably, but too early to be sure
  • 11% – Don’t know
  • 4% – Other

Three of your comments:

  • Suspect it will show facts but avoid “blame” like so many other inquests
  • The questioning at times has been poor and the penalties available are limited; this said, to avoid being the victims themselves those running the inquiry will want to get themselves at least one scalp.
  • Its proving to be more interesting than I expected. I’m not sure the final report is as important as the public revelation of the evidence
  • LDV asked: John Terry was sacked this week as England football captain following stories of an affair with the ex-girlfriend of a former team-mate. Do you think this was the right decision?

    You told us:

      37% – Yes, the right decision
      27% – No, the wrong decision
      19% – Don’t know
      18% – Other

    On reflection, I should have offered a ‘Don’t Care’ option, as that would have covered the opinions of many of you who plumped for the latter two options (sample comment: “It’s a matter of supreme indifference and any politician who comments on it publicly should be ritually disembowelled.”)

    Of those who did express an opinion, though, views were divided:

  • Depends why he was sacked. Was he sacked because he’d had the affair, or because he’d lost the support of his colleagues. If it’s the former, then it’s nonsense. If it’s the latter, well, I can kind of see why . . .
  • None of our business; unrelated to his footballing performance. And hypocritical to replace him with Ferdinand who has a poor sporting disciplinary record.
  • Nothing to do with role models – just that Terry has again stepped outside the guidelines Capello imposed and the manager is entitled to expect the captain to adhere to them.
  • Though a very keen supporter of Football, I consider this to be a private matter between Terry, his wife, and the management of the national team.
  • The manager has to think of the team, and how it is led. Hopefully Terry will be captain again in a few years…
  • I’ll leave the last word on this question to the following commenter:

    Say the words: French. Underwear. Model, slowly and pretend you wouldn’t. Liar.

    Finally for today, LDV asked: Do you think that the seeming end of the recession will help Labour’s chances at the general election?

    You told us:

      42% – Yes, the public will give Labour some credit for the recovery
      46% – No, the public blame Labour and will feel it’s ‘time for a change’
      9% – Don’t know
      4% – Other

    Pretty evenly divided, with many of you doubting whether the recession has actually ended; while many of those who said Labour might benefit based their view on a comparison with how poorly the Tories have handled their own economic policies. Here’s a sample of your comments:

  • They still won’t win, but it’s one less thing to beat them with.
  • Because it will become quite apparent that the Tories will screw up any real recovery.
  • The electorate is likely to be sceptical. Labour did little to cause or prevent the crash. Anyone claiming credit, except Vince Cable is more likely to attract ridicule than benefit.
  • However, the evidence may not be that there is a recovery. Even the 0.1% may be adjusted down and the first quarter of 2010 could well be neagtive growth just before the election.
  • Coming out of a longer recession than any other country and by such a small margin does not add shine to the reputation of Gordon Brown. The blessing is that unemployment hasn’t shot up, but then that tends to lag the economic indicators somewhat, so we may not be over the worst.