Your say: How safe do we feel in the UK?
Recent attacks in the UK, and across the world, may have rocked many people’s confidence in carrying on as normal. But how safe do we really feel?
At Opinion Outpost we truly value our members’ views, so we recently ran a mini poll about your attitudes towards safety and how you are feeling. The poll very quickly filled up with members taking part, to let us know exactly what they think, and we are grateful for each and every one of you who took part. It’s an emotive subject, and one which affects us all in some shape or form; whether publically or privately. As a thank you for having your say we wanted to publish the results to our valued members first of all – but we think your inspiring attitudes should subsequently be available for all to see.
In the wake of the most recent attacks in London and Manchester, many of our members took to social media to express their grief, shock and anger towards the abhorrent events. Yet the senseless acts of terrorism led others to defy what the terrorists wanted: the sight of Londoners going back about their business hours after the attacks, refusing to be afraid, and of Manchester coming together to support those who had been affected by offering food, shelter and comfort to the people who needed it most. Not to mention the uplifting One Love Manchester concert, where people of all ages, backgrounds and religions came together to remember the families affected and to stand in defiance against extremism. The sight of love, warmth and empathy healing the damaged cities, after events almost too unbearable to think of, proved to be the overwhelming message of the time – that we shall not be beaten by terrorism.
As a nation we are famous for keeping calm and carrying on. Yet what do we REALLY think? It is, after all, understandable to feel fear towards what we cannot control and what we cannot understand. We know that some refuse to be afraid, some may not want to admit to feeling afraid, and some simply cannot afford to. We must carry on, the general consensus states, and not let them win. But in the privacy of our own homes, what do we really say? Our online poll sought to find out what you really think. Here’s what you said.
The first question in our poll asked about how the fear of terrorism affected our lifestyles. When asked “would you carry on with any plans you previously made to go to tourist attractions or music concerts”, almost two thirds firmly answered that you wouldn’t change your plans, and agreed that “we shouldn’t change our lifestyles for terrorists”. Less than one third of members taking part said they would think twice about carrying on as usual, and just a tiny proportion of you (7%) said they would change their plans due to the fear of terrorism. Proof – if ever it was needed – that the UK is strong, resilient and that most of us really do want to carry on with our lives in our own personal defiance of terrorism.
Our second question in the mini poll asked about security and how we feel about being monitored. Prior to the recent attacks, us Brits were traditionally uneasy about authorities monitoring communications, even if this helped to fight terrorism. However, it seems we may have changed our tune a bit today, as when asked “do you feel the authorities should have the right to monitor private communications in order to prevent terrorism?” the majority of people agreed in some form. Almost half of members said they “might support some monitoring of private communications to prevent terror plots”, and a third of people said they certainly would let authorities monitor private communications for counter terrorism reasons. Fewer than 1 in 5 are still firmly against it, saying “privacy is important and private communications should not be monitored”.
Overall, the results were fascinating. The first question backed up what the media say is true. That overall we refuse to be afraid, and that our great nation must carry on in freedom and democracy in spite of the risk of terrorism. The second question shows an undeniable shift in our attitudes towards privacy, and how our values may have to adapt to fit the changing form of terrorism in a modern age.
Our members had their say, and their say is vital in understanding how we are feeling as a nation. Your views are uplifting in uncertain times, and they sometimes reveal not only what we know to be true, but challenge previous assumptions too. But best of all - you aren’t afraid to say it how it is. And it’s that freedom of thought, expression and opinion which is so vital to our society. This will never be taken away from us. So thank you very much for your views – you are what keep Britain great.
What do you think of our latest poll? Did you take part and are you surprised at the results? We would love to know what you think. Join the discussion on our Facebook page, and don’t forget to carry on earning money for your opinions at Opinion Outpost UK. Where your views truly matter.