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More on the British Social Attitudes survey…  July 12, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.



Actually, looking at the social aspects of attitudes in the UK I’ve got to admit that a part of me casts a sceptical eye over some of it. Not that peoples attitudes are being incorrectly recorded, but rather that there are pendulum swings in relation to social welfare, austerity and so on that suggest that there is no point at which people lock into a fixed position. Or rather that a simple majority of people lock in to a fixed position.

So, for example, while hugely welcome as it is:

Support for higher taxes and spending rose to 48% in 2016, higher than at any time since 2004, and significantly up on the historically low of 32% recorded in 2010 at the beginning of the coalition’s austerity programme.

It was the first time since 2006 that the proportion of people calling for higher taxes and spending was greater than those wanting to maintain existing levels. Support for cuts to public spending fell to 29% (compared with 35% when the question was last asked in 2006). There was an 11-point decline in support for cuts among Conservatives over the same period.

And as much or more:

On welfare, there was a surge in support for spending on benefits for disabled people to 67%, compared with 53% in 2010. There was a significant softening in attitudes to benefit recipients, with the proportion of people believing claimants were “fiddling” the system dropping over the past two years from 35% to 22% – its lowest level in 30 years.

I’m unconvinced that given certain circumstances those attitudes won’t change back and back again and so on.

Or to put it another way, where were all these people in 2015 when the BLP offered some amelioration of precisely these areas but was roundly beaten?

Of course a part of the answer to the dynamics displayed is left governments that can both cement those approaches and explain them. That might, at least somewhat, slow the swing of the pendulum.

As interesting are attitudes on social issues. No surprise that there’s been a massive liberalisation in relation to same-sex sexual relationships (though only 11% supported them in 1987 – now that’s staggering and upsetting and shows the distance some/most have had to come – if you’d asked me I’d have thought it was much higher then but perhaps that is purely a function of my own subjectivity). Then there’s this…

Attitudes to sex before marriage were also quickly becoming more liberal, with a majority (75%) of people agreeing this was not at all wrong, up 11 percentage points on 2012.

I find that kind of staggering too. 25% don’t agree? And it used to be closer to 36%?

And this following is disturbing…

Attitudes to transgender issues were measured for the first time. Although 82% described themselves as “not prejudiced at all” towards transgender people, only four in 10 felt a transgender person should be employed as a police officer or primary school teacher, suggesting a gap between private and revealed views.


What possible issue is there in relation to a police officer or primary school teacher? But, yes, it does seem as if there’s a poll of unspoken, perhaps unacknowledged, prejudice.


1. simonjkyte - July 12, 2017

don’t believe any of this
even stated preference responses – just waste of time surveys


2. Miguel62 - July 12, 2017

This is classic case where people are more likely to BE prejudiced than to ADMIT it!!


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