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It’s just over a year since Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, following an illegal coup on February 22th 2014. Ever since the beginning of the affair, the entire Western world’s press could’ve been highjacked by hordes of bloodthirsty warmongers to judge by the biased coverage on offer. In the UK hardly a journalist working in the mainstream media seems to give a fig for what ordinary British people think. As for the politicians.
Though things have heated up considerably, with the prospect of WW3 looming on the horizon, it appears British politicians aren’t the least bit interested in what their constituents’ views are on the subject. That’s despite the fact a general election is just around the corner in May. Or maybe it’s because of it? As all parties want to be heard singing from the same jingoistic songsheet, perhaps they don’t want to know. The prospect of a war that may lead to nuclear Armageddon could put some people off elections altogether. And what with politicians from all sides anxious to roll up their shirt sleeves and get down to the unpleasant business of sending other people’s sons and daughters to fight their wars in far-off lands… I mean, really, who on earth would want to upset the applecart by bringing a tricky, little matter like war into politics? You’d have to be insane with the poll booths opening in a few weeks time.
But some people did care what the British people thought twelve months ago, even if it may have been for personal reasons. The blood had hardly been swabbed from Maidan Square, and the dust had yet to settle, when YouGov published the results of the first poll on the Ukraine coup March 4th 2014. And it just didn’t add up. I mean it literally didn’t add up, or should that read numerically?
***First poll on Ukraine*** 50% say it is our business
The poll itself began with the extremely loaded question:
“In recent days the Ukranian government has been ousted by protesters and Russian troops have taken control of Ukraine’s Crimea region. How closely are you following this story?”
Obviously a lot closer than you, guv’.
Out of those polled only 18% said they were following events very closely. 40% said they were following events fairly closely, 17% said not very closely, with another 17% saying they were aware of the stories but were not following them. 9% answered they were not aware of the stories. That comes to 101% by my reckoning. Must count as some sort of record.
As it isn’t mentioned whether the protesters were Russian supporters or Ukrainians it’s most likely the 9%, who said they weren’t aware of the stories, asumed both parties mentioned in the question were Russian, simply because of the way the protesters are linked to the Russian troops the poll claims took control of Crimea. We might also consider a percentage of the 17%, who said they were not following the stories, may have thought both parties were Russian. In other words the poll was clearly designed to achieve the desired result.
The third, most important, question asked:
“Do you think the situation between Ukraine and Russia is something that should concern Britain and other Western countries, or is it purely a matter between Russia and Ukraine?”
How it should concern us wasn’t mentioned. Out of 741 people polled, 50% said they thought it was something that should concern Britain and the West. As the poll doesn’t give numbers we can assume they had to cut one person in half. 33% answered that they didn’t think it was something that should concern Britain and the West, and 17% said they didn’t know.
It might be wondered why only 741 were asked to take part. It’s hardly a convenient number to break down into percentages. And for what reason were actual numbers not included in the published table? Did the final percentages include those who had no thoughts on the matter? It’s evident some percentages had to be rounded up or down, othewise no row of figures could have reached the impossible total of 101%. We can only guess at which went up, and which went down.
Catherine Ashton, former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs of Europe and Security Policy for the European Union, who dined with leaders of the hardline, nationalist triad now in power in Kiev on the eve of the coup, is married to Peter Kellner. Coincidentally, Peter Kellner is president of the YouGov opinion polling organisation in the UK. Catherine Ashton is best known for the phone conversation she had with Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Paet, in which it was revealed there was strong evidence pointing to the Ukrainians, she’d been conspiring over dinner with, as being behind the snipers who fired on protesters and police in Maidan Square killing over 100. Some might think the poll was conducted solely for the benefit of Baroness Ashton. As for me, I couldn’t possibly entertain such a caddish thought.
That aside, what we should be asking now, is why not one leading political party, or major media outlet, appears to have sought to canvas the opinion of the British general public regarding such an important matter since? Don’t they want to know what the British people think, or are they running scared of what the result might reveal?
All British political parties ought to be very concerned about how British people regard the prospect of war in Ukraine. And the British people need to know if there is even one party determined to keep Britain out of war in Eastern Europe before casting their votes, not after.
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