I participate in YouGov surveys, partly out of the delusional idea that being as much as a 1/16 of a percent of the "nation's views" makes some sort of difference and partly because I'm nosy about what is being asked (you can sign up to be part of the YouGov family by clicking the link in the right hand bar if you like)
Sometimes the questions are a bit odd, or slightly boring - being asked your views about washing up is not necessarily that mind blowing - but at other times you get to click that mouse with vigorous enthusiasm. No - I do NOT like Gordon Brown!
A couple of months back they did an outrageous survey on terrorism that had clearly been commissioned by the government. One question was particularly appalling where you were basically asked to side with the government or terrorists.
I wrote to YouGov stating that my position, which I believed is shared by quite a few people, is that the government is fanning the flames of terrorism and, as an opponent of terrorism, I also oppose government policy - I neither want them to be tougher nor softer on terrorism - I want them to stop fucking up the world. They wrote back in a very conciliatory manner and agreed that they couldn't use the results of this question because a large number of people would find it impossible to answer.
Alas, I can't be everywhere. No, no I can't.
So when YouGov ran a survey for the Spectator they asked "Should Britain change its foreign policy in response to the terrorist threat?" Well, yeah, I think the idea of an ethical foreign policy would be cool. But what are my options?
- Yes - it should be softer / more conciliatory
- Yes - it should be tougher / more aggressive
- No, it should not change
- Don't know
Fellow statistics lovers will want to know that 12% thought we should give Al Qaida a nice cake and 53% thought we should nuke them, theirs friends and anyone who has ever called John Reid a fucknut.