9/11 ten years on: what the public think now

45 per cent believe that a terrorist attack is either likely or very likely in the UK in the next ye

Tomorrow's New Statesman is a special issue marking the 10th anniversary of the 11 September, 2001 attacks. In conjunction with the issue, we commissioned a special poll from ICD Research on the subject, the results of which appear below.

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Asked if they feel safer now than on 10 September 2001, just 21 per cent said they felt less safe (14 per cent) or much less safe (7 per cent). 13 per cent said they felt slightly more safe (8 per cent) or much more safe (5 per cent). The majority (66 per cent) said they felt no different.

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Ten years on from 9/11 and six years on from 7/7, a large number of people believe that a terrorist attack is likely in the UK in the next year. 45 per cent said that an attack was either likely (37 per cent) or very likely (8 per cent), compared to 16 per cent who said that an attack was unlikely (13 per cent) or most unlikely (3 per cent). 39 per cent said that an attack was neither likely or unlikely.

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Asked if they were more fearful of home grown or foreign terrorists, 49 per cent said the former and 21 per cent said the latter. Those aged 55 and over are most fearful of home grown terrorists (61.8 per cent) and those aged 25-34 are least fearful (32 per cent).

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Finally, asked if they considered 9/11 to be the biggest news event of their lives, 45.5 per cent said yes and 54.5 per cent said no. Those aged 55 and over were least likely to say that the attacks were the biggest news event of their lives (63.6 per cent). Conversely, those aged 25-34 were most likely to say that 9/11 was the biggest news event of their lives (53.1 per cent), followed by those aged 18-24 (52.4 per cent).

This exclusive poll for the New Statesman was carried out by ICD Research, powered by ID Factor, from 27-28 August 2011 and is based on a sample of 1,000 responses

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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No, Jeremy Corbyn did not refuse to condemn the IRA. Please stop saying he did

Guys, seriously.

Okay, I’ll bite. Someone’s gotta say it, so really might as well be me:

No, Jeremy Corbyn did not, this weekend, refuse to condemn the IRA. And no, his choice of words was not just “and all other forms of racism” all over again.

Can’t wait to read my mentions after this one.

Let’s take the two contentions there in order. The claim that Corbyn refused to condem the IRA relates to his appearance on Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme yesterday. (For those who haven’t had the pleasure, it’s a weekly political programme, hosted by Sophy Ridge and broadcast on a Sunday. Don’t say I never teach you anything.)

Here’s how Sky’s website reported that interview:

 

The first paragraph of that story reads:

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised after he refused five times to directly condemn the IRA in an interview with Sky News.

The funny thing is, though, that the third paragraph of that story is this:

He said: “I condemn all the bombing by both the loyalists and the IRA.”

Apparently Jeremy Corbyn has been so widely criticised for refusing to condemn the IRA that people didn’t notice the bit where he specifically said that he condemned the IRA.

Hasn’t he done this before, though? Corbyn’s inability to say he that opposed anti-semitism without appending “and all other forms of racism” was widely – and, to my mind, rightly – criticised. These were weasel words, people argued: an attempt to deflect from a narrow subject where the hard left has often been in the wrong, to a broader one where it wasn’t.

Well, that pissed me off too: an inability to say simply “I oppose anti-semitism” made it look like he did not really think anti-semitism was that big a problem, an impression not relieved by, well, take your pick.

But no, to my mind, this....

“I condemn all the bombing by both the loyalists and the IRA.”

...is, despite its obvious structural similarities, not the same thing.

That’s because the “all other forms of racism thing” is an attempt to distract by bringing in something un-related. It implies that you can’t possibly be soft on anti-semitism if you were tough on Islamophobia or apartheid, and experience shows that simply isn’t true.

But loyalist bombing were not unrelated to IRA ones: they’re very related indeed. There really were atrocities committed on both sides of the Troubles, and while the fatalities were not numerically balanced, neither were they orders of magnitude apart.

As a result, specifically condemning both sides as Corbyn did seems like an entirely reasonable position to take. Far creepier, indeed, is to minimise one set of atrocities to score political points about something else entirely.

The point I’m making here isn’t really about Corbyn at all. Historically, his position on Northern Ireland has been pro-Republican, rather than pro-peace, and I’d be lying if I said I was entirely comfortable with that.

No, the point I’m making is about the media, and its bias against Labour. Whatever he may have said in the past, whatever may be written on his heart, yesterday morning Jeremy Corbyn condemned IRA bombings. This was the correct thing to do. His words were nonetheless reported as “Jeremy Corbyn refuses to condemn IRA”.

I mean, I don’t generally hold with blaming the mainstream media for politicians’ failures, but it’s a bit rum isn’t it?

Jonn Elledge edits the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric, and writes for the NS about subjects including politics, history and Daniel Hannan. You can find him on Twitter or Facebook.

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