Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A little White truth-seeking

On GU's Labour conference podcast yesterday (MP3 here), hosted by her colleague Mike White, Polly Toynbee said this (about 14m50s in):

TOYNBEE: ... Tony Blair took such a very different view about Iraq to all of the rest of the people of Europe, who were 90% against going into Iraq, so it was we who stuck out like a sore thumb on that...

WHITE: Ooh, I'm going to check that percent.

You'd be wise to, Mike. Start with Pew, who on 18 March 2003 (pdf link here) showed that opposition in France was 75%, and 69% in Germany. Go on to Gallup, who in January 2003 didn't show opposition at or exceeding 90% in any European country. Even Noam Chomsky doesn't quite have the audacity to claim 90% opposition. On 9 March 2003 he said:

In Italy, it's reached almost 90 percent opposition to war under any conditions, and close to that in Spain. [emphasis added]

To be fair, one poll did show 91% opposition in Spain, but this was after the war started, and is hardly pan-European.

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