Priti Patel is playing to a minority, but a dangerous one. 

Posted on

Politico is an increasingly useful source in my morning sweep of the news, often adding insights and data not available elsewhere. But they also generate their own stories.

This morning they report on polling they commissioned on the public’s reaction to the policing of the vigil marking the death of Sarah Everard at Clapham Common last Saturday. As they note:

The British public reckons the Metropolitan Police’s actions at Saturday’s vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common were inappropriate, a new poll by JL Partners for POLITICO has found. Forty-five percent said the policing of the event was “too tough,” only 30 percent said it was “about right,” and 8 percent said it was “too soft.” The poll provides an important corrective to initial snap polling that suggested the public was more divided on the events of the weekend.

They added:

This was the case across all demographics – “too tough” was clearly the most chosen option among men (41 percent) and women (49 percent), as well as all age groups, all regions and all social classes.

In other words, the police git it wrong and there is no desire for a crackdown. As they noted:

JL Partners’ James Johnson tells Playbook: “Polling over the last few days has shown us that people generally oppose protests taking place during the pandemic. But to label the whole British public as authoritarian and clamoring for a hard police crackdown is overstepping the mark. Taken over the last couple of days, this poll shows clear concern amongst the public about the police’s approach.”

Priti Patel is playing to a minority, but a dangerous one.