British people support some restrictions on wearing the burka in public

The British people support some restrictions on wearing the burka in public but oppose an outright ban, according to a ComRes poll for The Independent.

The survey of more than 1,000 people found that almost two out of three people believe it should be illegal to wear a burka in places such as banks and airports.   But six out of 10 people oppose a ban on wearing it in all public places.

According to ComRes, 52 per cent of people disagree with the proposition that there should be no legal restrictions on wearing a burka, while 43 per cent agree. But when asked whether it should be illegal to wear a burka in any public place, only 36 per cent agree and 59 per cent disagree.

Some 64 per cent of people believe that it it should be illegal to wear a burka in places such as banks and airports, while 33 per cent disagree. By a similar margin (61 to 35 per cent), people think that schools should be allowed to prevent teachers  wearing burkas if they wish.

The most striking variation of opinion among  different groups of people is by age. Only 15 per cent of 18-24 year-olds believe that wearing the burka should be banned in any public place, compared to 57 per cent of those aged 65 and older. Support for curbs rises up the age scale.

Women are more opposed to restrictions than men. The South east region, including London, is the  most liberal on the issue, and  northern England the least. The top AB social group is the most liberal, with C2 skilled manual workers and the bottom DE group the least.


Latest Seven Days Show podcast now online

The latest Seven Days show podcast (episode ten) is now online. In this week’s podcast we look at the recession and whether it really is over; Blair’s appearance in front of the Chilcot inquiry; a hung Parliament and whether Cameron really would hold two elections this year if he failed to secure a majority at the first opportunity; Labour and targeted spending and finally THAT Tweetminster report.

To listen to the podcast click the play button above.

You can also subscribe to Tory Radio on I-tunes here.

Why do insurance companies screw you?

Today we received a renewal for our Home contents and building insurance. Whammy – a nice £200 rise. So what do we do but call the lovely Direct Line and enquire as to why the price has nearly doubled. Well apparently they sent auto renewals out – so you maintain your cover which NEVER include their loyalty bonus. So for the lazy, the stupid, the too busy – they get stung with a huge rise. By calling guess how much they were prepared to knock off? £180 there and then!

Did we renew? Afraid not. If that’s how they treat customers I think we will look elsewhere – and guess what. We can get the same policy even cheaper!

Why I too cant believe the Tweetminster report

You know what – I really can’t get too exercised about the Tweetminster report – for I’ve long believed we won’t see an Internet election in 2010. The biggest swing at the most recent elections (in the UK) took place in Bassetlaw during the County and Euros where it was a feet on ground, paper through letterboxes, and talking on the doorstep traditional campaign. Why? Well it works!

Now I found it amusing that Tory Radio was excluded from the Tweetminster report. So I asked why, and helpfully Alberto Nardelli gave some enlightened replies which I think I should share with you given recent events given they have already had to re-assess their findings.

So why weren’t Tory  Radio included? According to Alberto they,  “purposely have excluded artificial numbers from our report.” So initially I assumed it was an ad-hoc decision to exclude Tory Radio. No apparently they “don’t choose – it’s all based on scripts and algorithms” (Show us the methodology and don’t hide behind scripts and algorithms. It would be like me saying I have a script which detects bulls**t and it’s ringing pretty loudly at the moment).

What was my sin? Actively following as many people as possible. Not using any Software as was alleged but using a website where you can follow people. In fact many sites which judge twitter influence suggest that is exactly what you should do to increase your reach and influence.

Then the allegation was made that the majority of my followers are ‘Bots’. Again – no evidence to say 11,000 of the followers I have are ‘Bots’ – just an assertion that I assume it is shown by these fabled scripts and algorithms). Now according to Alberto “each time you follow one, 10 more auto-follow you and so on – our scripts detect such patterns.”

Again no evidence – but that’s where it falls down.

If I have one bot according to Alberto 10 more follow giving me 11. He says ‘and so on’. So from those 11 multiply by 10 and you are at 110. That means by 6 days I would have 110,000 following ‘Bots’ if it continued (which is what and so on means). I am the first to admit loads of my followers may well be marketeers. They are likely to be none UK based. Is that against twitter rules? Sorry I’m not sure Alberto can make the rules on WHO you can follow.

Granted followers are not the sole measure of influence. I agree. I KNOW I am nowhere near as influential as the likes of @TimMontgomerie and @IainDale. I actually don’t think I am as influential as the Mark Thomson @markreckons who is prolific on twitter and whose tweets I enjoy to read.

What I find amusing is that Tweetminster launched this report with lots of fanfare. I questioned it and was told they were right – yet since then they have had to reassess their findings in a big way. They focus on twitter which is all about engaging – yet as far as I can see you can’t comment on their blog (so not sure if I would let them on mine actually).

And when I did a bit of digging to find a different tool (tweet level) to measure twitter influence, I came off quite well. But what is even more interesting – is tweet level publish how they measure things. Tweetminster do not. For that reason even though Tweetminster  may think they have the best measurement tool, I cannot put any faith it their findings.

PMQs podcast now online…

… Though the PM was too busy doing important things to attend, but at least we got to see Hague on fine form.

To listen click the play button above.

Not PMQs coming up soon

Gordon was busy in Belfast – so this week we had the joy of see Harman vs Hague. Oh what a sight to behold. In case you missed it, we will be bringing you the podcast really soon.

Of course to make sure you never miss our podcasts suscribe to Tory Radio on I-tunes here.

Exclusive – Top 20 political tweeters from 3 main parties

Following my list earlier today, the list from Left Foot Forward and now the list from the excellent Mark Reckons blog, using Edelman’s Tweet Level system – here are the top 20political tweeters in the UK from the three main parties:-

1.   Tom Watson – 69
2.   Sarah Brown – 67

=3.   Iain Dale – 65
=3.  Ellie Gellard – 65
=3.  John Prescott – 65
6.   Kerry McCarthy – 64

=7.  Alastair Campbell – 63
=7.  Tory Bear – 63
=9.   Tory Radio – 60
=9    Nick Clegg – 60
=11. Conservative Party – 59
=11. LabourList – 59
13.  Tim Montgomerie – 58
14    Lib Dems – 57
15.  Boris Johnson – 56
=16. Tom Harris – 55
=16. Craig Elder- 55
=16  Mark Pack – 55
=16  Mark Thompson – 55
=20  Lib Dem Voice – 54
=20  Will Howells – 54
=20 Jo Swinson – 54

Labour topping poll of top 20 political tweeters?

Following my earlier list today of top Tory tweeters, Left foot forward have helpfully done the same for Labour tweeters (again using Edelmans tweet level service) which means that I can now give you the top 20 list of political tweeters (Lib Dems not yet included).

The score the to right is the “tweet level”.

1.   Tom Watson – 69
2.   Sarah Brown – 67
=3.   Iain Dale – 65
=3.  Ellie Gellard – 65
=3.  John Prescott – 65
6.   Kerry McCarthy – 64
=7.  Alastair Campbell – 63
=7.  Tory Bear – 63
9.   Tory Radio – 60
=10. Conservative Party – 59
=10. LabourList – 59
12.  Tim Montgomerie – 58
13.  Boris Johnson – 56
=14. Tom Harris – 55
=14. Craig Elder- 55
16.  The Fabians – 54
=17. Lord Drayson – 52
=17. Cath Elliott – 52
=19. Ed Balls – 51
=19. Samuel Coates -51

So who really is winning the battle and influencing on twitter?

Well the Tweetminster report certainly created a few ripples in the world of twitter – but are all their claims justified?

For example the exclusion of Tory Radio because they believe the majority of our followers are bots? Not sure I agree – but is there anything wrong with following as many people as possible – it’s called engagement. Their claim that the Tory twitter effort is dominated by a “party machine” has already been debunked. As far as I can see on the top 20 most followed people on the left there isn’t much grassroots representation, but perhaps all those algorithims come up with a different conclusion than I would.

Now Iain Dale has helpfully produced a list which provides us with the most followed Tories which you can read here. Like Iain I have never claimed that followers equates to influence.

So what to do. Well the helpful people at Edelman also have a nice piece of software where you can put in your own twitter username and it will calculate a score that equates to your influence.

The first figures is their ranking using the very interesting Edelman Tweet level website which you can use here. The figures in brackets is how people appeared in Iain Dale’s rankings which solely focused on number of followers. And the final number is the “Tweet Level”.


1. (4) Iain Dale – 65
2. (10) Tory Bear – 63
3. (2) Tory Radio – 60
4. (3) Conservative Party – 59
5. (8) Tim Montgomerie – 58
6. (1) Boris Johnson – 56
7. (13) Craig Elder– 55
8. (17) Samuel Coates -51
9. (9) Louise Bagshawe – 49
=10. (5) Grant Shapps -46
=10. (16) Nadine Dorries – 46
12. (18) Tory Politico – 44
13. (7) James Cleverly – 43
=14. (11) Eric Pickles – 42
=14. (20) Shane Greer – 42
16. (14) Henry Macrory – 40
17. (12) Danny Finkelstein – 38
18. (19) Jonathan Isaby – 36
19. (15) Dan Hannan – 31
20. (6) Trueblueblood – 4

Interestingly the likes of @graemearcher would appear in this list with a score of 50. That doesn’t surprise me as Graeme is very engaging on twitter as he is in his blog posts. Now if you think Im doing this for the lefties.. think again, they can do it for themselves, though I would be interested in their scores.

If you should appear in this list do let me know!

Note:- Thanks to Edelman for their great Tweet Level Tool


"Remember though this was the biggest recession in over 70 years!" – Labour activist

I really like Tom Scholes-Fogg. He is good value. In his latest twitter exchange with me he commented, “@toryradio nice jump from Police to the economy! Remember though this was the biggest recession in over 70 years!”

It is good of Tom to admit how appalling Labour have been bringing us the biggest recession in over 70 years. Though running my own business I really didn’t need to be told.

If this is the Labour grassroots that is going to be so effective on twitter I think perhaps I can sleep soundly in my bed.

Update:- Not content with telling everyone how bad Labour how bee withregards the economy Tom helpfully added, “Jonathan anybody who says that this was not the worst recession since 1930’s is wrong!”Anyone want it for their election leaflet?