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Blair's 'war on terror' has made Britain more dangerous say voters

JAMES CHAPMAN / UK Daily Mail | September 21 2006

More than half of voters believe Tony Blair's 'war on terror' has made Britain a more dangerous place, according to a devastating new poll.

Almost three in four people now think the world is more violent than it was 50 years ago, and the majority believe religion is at the root of most conflict.

The public believes Government policies have helped make terrorism now the second biggest violent threat to the UK, after crime.

Some 55 per cent said they felt the Government had made the UK more dangerous through its anti-terror policies and 30 per cent said the Government was encouraging global instability.

YouGov, which conducted the poll for the peace organisation International Alert, found 74 per cent of British people believed the world to be more violent today than it was in 1956.

In fact, the overall level of violent conflict worldwide has fallen by 40 per cent since 1992 and is now at its lowest point since the Second World War.

Some 65 per cent were concerned about conflicts in other countries and 70 per cent felt that 'religious differences' were the most common cause of war.

Some 38 per cent believed terrorism to be the second greatest threat to Britain, after crime at 42 per cent. British people also feel powerless to end the conflict, with 69 per cent saying they felt unable to end the violence.

Another recent poll found that just seven per cent of the British public believe the U.S. and the UK are winning the fight against terrorism. Two-thirds of those who replied fear that the war on terror will continue after their death.

Dan Smith, secretary-general of International Alert, said: "There is a strong feeling of spiralling violence, largely to do with the threat of terrorism and how this is rooted in overseas conflicts.

"The survey shows there are serious misunderstandings about the true nature of conflict and peace. There is more room for cautious optimism than the British public feel."

He added: "This combined perception of ever-growing danger, official ineptitude and individual powerlessness is obscuring the truth about the causes of war and the prospects for peace.

"Peace does not just happen. It has to be built if it is to address the genuine underlying causes and if it is to last. That isn't easy but it is possible."

International Alert commissioned the poll to mark UN Peace Day today.


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