Few Think Climate Change Will Effect Them

(Reuters) – LESS THAN HALF OF BRITONS believe climate change will affect them during their lifetime; and fewer than a fifth think it will disturb their children, a government survey showed Friday.

In the YouGov poll for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 69% of respondents said flooding would be the most likely consequence in Britain, but only 26% believed the country was already feeling the impact of climate change.

‘Recent research shows the public are unclear on what causes climate change and what the effects are,’ the department said.

Scientists say rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, caused by burning fossil fuels through greater energy usage, mass deforestation and increased transportation, will lead not only to flooding, but widespread drought, famine and disease, especially in poor countries.

People displaced by climate change, or ‘climate refugees’, was another consequence of a warmer world, and could weigh on Britain’s economy and social services.

‘The survey results show that people don’t realise that climate change is already under way and could have very severe consequences for their children’s lives,’ UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said in a statement.

‘With over 40% of the UK’s CO2 emissions a result of personal choices, there is huge potential for individual behaviour change to lower emissions.’

To raise public awareness, the department is launching its first ever advertising campaign today’confirming the existence of climate change and its man-made origin.’

To see the DECC television adverts, click here

Voters Back Tax On £10,000 Bonuses

(Press Association) – NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS OF VOTERS  believe the Government should impose a new tax on all bonuses over £10,000 a year, a poll has suggested.

And an overwhelming 83% of respondents agreed that excessive bonuses and executive pay fuelled risk-taking, which played a major part in the economic crash.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by centre-left pressure group Compass, found that 73% of voters agreed with a tax on £10,000-plus bonuses.

Some 68% would also support the Government in imposing a new tax on major transactions by financial institutions, in a bid to curb the “risk culture”. And 78% agreed that the growing gap between rich and poor was bad for society.

Nearly two-thirds of people (63%) supported the establishment of a High Pay Commission, which would review executive pay.

Labour backbencher Jon Cruddas, who warned this week that Labour was ‘paralysed by defeatism,’ said it was now clear that voters were ‘not intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich.’

He said: ‘[The poll] also shows that tackling excessive pay is electorally popular and the growing gap between rich and poor is a real public concern.

‘Public anger over high pay and the City bonus culture demand the government take bold action.

‘Establishing a High Pay Commission would enable the Government to take action and instigate an evidence and fact based investigation into the effects of excessive pay on our economy and wider society.’

Gavin Hayes, general secretary of Compass, said: ‘This poll demonstrates a seismic shift across the political spectrum in attitudes to high pay and shows very clearly that on this crucial issue, the British people don’t just want rhetoric from politicians — they demand concrete action.’

Brown Trails Badly in Two Opinion Polls

(Reuters) – THE LABOUR PARTY TRAILS THE CONSERVATIVES by up to 17 points in the polls, with a parliamentary election less than a year away, according to two surveys published on Sunday.

A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times put Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour up three percentage points at 28%, with David Cameron’s Conservatives unchanged at 42%.

A poll by ICM for the Sunday Mirror showed Labour down one point from last month at 26% and the Conservatives up two points at 43%, giving them a 17 point lead.

Brown has been trying to revive his party’s fortunes after its support slumped to the lowest level in a century in European elections in June.

Analysts have blamed everything from the economic crisis and rising unemployment to a scandal over MPs’ expenses claims and Brown’s personal style for Labour’s poor showing in polls.

The former chancellor survived calls to quit from Labour ministers who said it would give the party a better chance of winning an historic fourth election in a row.

Brown has focussed attention on helping Britain to emerge from its worst recession since World War Two and has been buoyed by tentative signs of a recovery in recent economic data.

However, the YouGov poll suggested that most voters do not expect the economy to recover until next year at the earliest.

Only 7% think the economy has already started growing again, while a further 13% believe the recovery will begin before the end of the year.

Seven out of 10 of those polled by YouGov said economic conditions will not improve until next year or 2011 — and nearly half fear they or a close family member will lose their job.

Britain’s jobless rate reached 7.8%, or 2.4 million people, in the three months to June, the highest since 1996, official data showed last Wednesday.

In a report last week, the Bank of England predicted Britain’s worst recession in decades would end early next year.

YouGov polled 2,007 adults on August 13th and 14th, while the Sunday Mirror gave no further details about the ICM poll.

Gordon Brown Fights For Political Life

(Telegraph) – AS ISLANDERS GO TO THE POLLS, Gordon Brown faces a concerted attempt to force him from office as Labour MPs circulated an email letter calling for his resignation.

Draft e-mailThe drafting of the letter has left the Prime Minister fighting for his political future, with rebels claiming that as many as 50 Labour MPs were prepared to put their names to an email demanding that he step down.

Details of what party insiders described as an attempted ‘cyber coup’ emerged after his authority was dealt a potentially critical blow by the resignation of Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary.

Amid signs that the election results  will be dismal for Labour, Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, has urged Labour MPs to stick with Mr Brown.

A YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph today suggests that Labour could finish third in the European elections, behind the Tories and the UK Independence Party.

The poll puts the Tories on 26 per cent, UKIP on 18 per cent, and Labour on 16 per cent. The Liberal Democrats got 15 per cent.

Most council results will be declared on Friday, and the European elections will not declare until Sunday night, meaning it will be three more days before the full facts of Labour’s performance are known.

But some of Mr Brown’s critics are set to increase the pressure on him as soon as the polls close at 10pm tonight.

Lord Falconer, who was Tony Blair’s Lord Chancellor, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday that he supported Mr Brown ‘as we go into an election;’ but declined to say if his support would continue afterwards.

Several other senior Labour figures, from both the party’s left wing and the Blairite faction, are understood to be ready to voice public criticism of the Government’s performance once the polls close.

To shore up his position, Mr Brown has been calling backbench Labour MPs to canvass their opinions about the future of the party.

He is also planning a make-or-break reshuffle — possibly as early as tomorrow.

He is still considering replacing Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, with his close ally Ed Balls.

… (politics.co.uk, 04/06/2009) – The eye of the storm

… (04/06/2009) – James Purnell Quits The Cabinet