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Political Culture in Contemporary BritainPeople and Politicians, Principles and Practice$

William L. Miller, Annis May Timpson, and Michael Lessnoff

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198279846.001.0001

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(p.479) Appendix II The Questionnaire

(p.479) Appendix II The Questionnaire

Political Culture in Contemporary Britain
Oxford University Press

How to Read the Questionnaire

Alternative Wordings

This survey makes full use of Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) techniques. Since we are concerned to measure the pliability and conditionally of attitudes, many questions appear in several, differently worded forms. Each form was put to a randomly selected subset of respondents. For example, if there are two forms of wording, half the sample was asked each form; if there are three forms of wording, one third of the sample was asked each form; and so on. Alternative wordings are shown using square brackets thus: [wording A/wording B/wording C]. Where the square bracket contains ‘(null)’, it indicates that one random subset of the sample was asked a question which had no additional words inserted at that point. Usually this occurs where some subsets were exposed to arguments, but one was not—for example, in [argument A/argument B/(null) ] the third subset was not exposed to any argument at all. In some complex questions, several parts of the question may each have two or more alternative wordings. In that case, every possible combination of wordings was put to randomly selected subsets of respondents.

Conditional Questions

Sometimes supplementary questions were put to respondents depending upon their answers to the initial question. In these cases the condition for asking the supplementary is indicated by small capital letters, for example: IF YES.

Strength of Feeling

Many questions were framed as statements, often quite aggressive statements. In these cases respondents were asked to ‘agree or disagree’ and then to indicate their strength of feeling by answering a non-conditional supplementary: ‘a lot or a little* or ‘very strongly or not very strongly’, although, as we explained in Chapter 2, the additional prompt was not repeated explicitly after each statement in a battery of agree/disagree questions. All questions that asked for a ‘yes-or-no’ answer had answer codes that included ‘qualified yes’, ‘qualified no’, but these were never offered explicitly.

(p.480) ‘Don’t Knows’, etc.

Throughout the questionnaire, responses ‘don’t know’, ‘can’t decide’, and ‘bit of both’ were accepted and recorded when given spontaneously but never prompted by the interviewer.

Questionnaire Sections

The two main sections to this questionnaire are headed ‘General Principles and Outlook’ and ‘Scenarios and Mechanisms’. The questions in these sections roughly correspond to the questions used in the text as indicators of, first, principle and, secondly, practical issues and mechanisms. However, alert readers will notice that this division is only approximate, and a few indicators of one type are included in a section mainly devoted to the other. In crafting the questionnaire we were concerned with the flow of the interview more than anything else.

Text Discussion

Answers to most—but not all—questions are discussed in the text.

The Questions

Opening Sequence

  1. Ql. Do you read any daily morning newspaper regularly? Which?

    IF MORE THAN ONE: Which do you rely on most?

    (Note: if asks, ‘regularly’ means ‘at least three times a week’.)

  2. Q2. On television, do you regularly watch current-affairs programmes like Panorama, World in Action, or similar programmes?

    (Note: if asks, ‘regularly’ means ‘at least one current-affairs programme per week, though not necessarily the same one’.)

  3. Q3. We would like to know whether you pay much attention to politics from day to day, when there isn’t an election campaign. Would you say you pay: a great deal of attention, quite a lot, some, or not much?

  4. Q4. Can you tell me your age?

    (Note: record age in years.)

  5. Q5. Sex of respondent.

    (Note: code by interviewer without question; question only if in doubt.)

(p.481) General Principles and Outlook

  1. Q6. Here are a number of things which many people think are very desirable goals but, at the same time, many people feel that it is not the responsibility of the government to provide them. Do you think each of the following should, or should not, be the government’s responsibility:

    • a decent standard of living for everyone?

    • that everyone who wants a job can have one?

    • adequate housing for everyone?

    • good education for everyone?

    • good medical care for everyone?

    • that citizens are safe from crime?

    • that big business treats its customers with fairness and consideration?

    • upholding morality?

    • fighting pollution?

    • evening out differences in wealth between people?

    • equal opportunities for everyone?

  2. Q7. Now, using a number from zero to ten, please tell me how important each of the following is to you. If it’s one of the absolutely most important things to you, give it a ten. If it’s one of the least important things, or you don’t like it at all, give it a zero. But remember, you can use any mark between zero and ten. First:

    • tolerating different beliefs and lifestyles?

    • preserving traditional ideas of right and wrong?

    • respect for authority?

    • self-reliance, having everybody stand on their own two feet?

    • following God’s will?

    • taking care of the needy?

    • strengthening law and order?

    • maintaining strong defence forces?

    • emphasizing individual achievement?

    • guaranteeing equality between men and women?

    • protecting ethnic and racial minorities?

    • providing help for the disabled?

    • guaranteeing everyone the right to free speech?

    • guaranteeing equal rights for homosexuals?

    • cutting taxes?

    • reducing unemployment?

    • holding down inflation?

    • achieving economic growth?

Now I’m going to read out a number of statements and ask you to say whether you agree or disagree with each of them. Please don’t feel under any pressure to (p.482) agree—we expect most people to agree with some statements but disagree with others. And if you have strong feelings about any of these statements, please just say that you agree or disagree strongly.

  1. Q8. We [have gone too far/have not gone far enough] in pushing equal rights in this country…strongly or not?

  2. Q9. On the whole, the [police/security services] [do more to harm our liberties than to protect them/protect our liberties more than they harm them].

  3. Q10. In Britain today, there is too much emphasis on citizens’ [rights and not enough on citizens’ duties/duties and not enough on citizen’s rights].

  4. Q11. Free speech is just not worth it if it means we have to put up with the danger to society from extremist views.

  5. Q12. Religious freedom should [apply to all religious groups, even those/not apply to religious groups] that the majority of people consider strange, fanatical, or weird.

  6. Q13. On the whole, the rights and liberties enjoyed by British citizens are [less/greater] than those enjoyed by people who live in [America/West European countries like France and Germany/Scandinavian countries like Norway, Denmark, or Sweden].

  7. Q14. A person charged with a crime should have the right to refuse to answer questions in court, without it being held against them.

  8. Q15. By their nature, men are more suited than women to do senior jobs in business and government.

  9. Q16. The majority is often wrong.

  10. Q17. The only alternative to strong government is disorder and chaos.

  11. Q18. It is very important to protect children and young people from wild and immoral ideas.

  12. Q19. [If something is morally wrong, then it should be made illegal/Even though something may be morally wrong, it should not necessarily be made illegal.]

  13. Q20. I’ll put my trust in the practical experience of ordinary people rather than the theories of experts and intellectuals.

  14. Q21. Social workers have too much power to interfere with people’s lives.

  15. Q22. [Television and the press should be more independent of government control/There should be more government control of television and the press.]

  16. (p.483) Q23. If people wish to protest against [something/a government action they strongly oppose/a law they feel is really unjust and harmful], they should have the right to hold protest marches and demonstrations.

  17. Q24. Most politicians can be trusted to do what they think is best for the country.

  18. Q25. [It is important for a government to be able to take decisive action without looking over its shoulder all the time/Constitutional checks and balances are important to make sure that a government doesn’t become too dictatorial and ignore other viewpoints.]

  19. Q26. To compromise with our political opponents is dangerous, because it usually leads to the betrayal of our own side.

  20. Q27. Immigrants to Britain should try harder to be more like other British people.

  21. Q28. We should not tolerate people whose ideas are morally wrong.

  22. Q29. In Britain today, too much emphasis is placed on individual interests at the expense of the community’s interest.

  23. Q30. On balance, British governments have been [reducing/increasing] the rights and liberties of British citizens in recent years.

  24. Q31. The poor are poor because [they don’t try hard enough to get ahead/the wealthy and powerful keep them poor].

  25. Q32. Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good.

Now some questions about choices.

  1. Q33. Should people have a general right to know the facts about each of the following:

    • information about themselves, for example, their own medical records and credit ratings?

    • the government’s plans?

    • private business activities that might affect the health of people who live near the company’s factory?

  2. Q34. Should there be any religious teaching in publicly funded schools in Britain?

    • IF YES: Should it be mainly Christian, or should it treat all the major religions equally?

    • IF CHRISTIAN: And should it be mainly Christian, even in schools where the majority of children come from non-Christian families?

  3. Q35. Which comes closer to your view? Our laws should aim to:

    • enforce the community’s standards of right and wrong;

    • protect a citizen’s right to live by any moral standard he or she chooses provided this does no harm to other people.

  4. (p.484) Q36. Which comes nearest to your view? Workers and management:

    • will always have conflicting interests;

    • share the same basic interests in the long run.

  5. Q37. ideally, society should be like:

    • a unified body pursuing a common goal;

    • a collection of people independently pursuing their own goals.

  6. Q38. Which comes closer to your view? Women should be:

    • satisfied to stay at home and have families;

    • encouraged to have careers of their own.

    (Note: an ‘It’s up to each woman to decide for herself’ answer code was available if that answer was spontaneously given, but it was never prompted.)

  7. Q39. In dealing with mugging and other serious street crime, which is more important:

    • to protect the rights of suspects?

    • to stop such crimes and make the streets safe even if we sometimes have to violate the suspects’ rights?

  8. Q40. Generally speaking, would you say that most people you come into contact with are:

    • trustworthy or untrustworthy?

    • helpful or unhelpful?

    • selfish or unselfish?

  9. Q41. Would you support or oppose giving greater powers of self-government to Scotland? Wales? Northern Ireland? London? and regions of England, such as the North-West or South-East?

    (Note: answer codes included ‘support it if the locals want it’ if this was spontaneously given, but it was never prompted.)

  10. Q42. Please give a mark out of ten to indicate how you would rate the fairness and impartiality of British judges. If you feel they are extremely fair give them a ten; if extremely unfair, give them zero; but remember, you can use any mark between zero and ten.

    • Now, how would you rate British judges?

    • And how would you rate the fairness and impartiality of the police?

    • And the fairness and impartiality of social workers?

Now some Yes/No questions.

(Note: ‘qualified yes or no’ codes were available for all yes/no answers if spontaneously given, but never prompted.)

  1. (p.485) Q43. Suppose parliament passed a law you considered unjust, immoral, or cruel. Would you still be morally bound to obey it?

  2. Q44. Should [all workers, even those in essential public services like the Ambulance Service or the Fire Brigade/workers who do not work in essential public services]:

    • have the right to join a trade union if they wish?

    • have the right to strike?

  3. Q45. Should workers have the right to refuse to join a trade union if they do not want to join one?

  4. Q46. Do you think the police need to be subject to strong external control in order to protect civil liberties?

  5. Q47. I am going to read you a list of groups which some people like but others dislike. Please give a mark out of ten to show how much you like each group. If you like a group, give it a score above five; the more you like it, the higher the score. If you dislike a group, give it a score less than five; the less you like it, the lower the score. First, what number between zero and ten indicates how much you like:

    • gays and lesbians?

    • environmental campaigners like Greenpeace?

    • animal-rights activists?

    • communists?

    • feminists?

    • National Front supporters?

    • Muslim activists?

    • Militant Tendency supporters?

    • IRA sympathizers?

    • people who sympathize with Protestant terrorists in Northern Ireland?

    • black activists?

    (Note: computer calculates the ‘Most Disliked Group’ (MDG) with the lowest score, selecting randomly if several tie with equally low scores.)

  6. Q48. IF MDG SCORE IS LESS THAN FIVE: Now I’m going to ask you whether you agree or disagree with some statements about one of the groups you dislike. (In fact, the chosen group is always the MDG.) Remember, if you feel strongly about any of these statements, please say you agree or disagree strongly.

    • I would be unhappy if a [MDG] moved in next door to me.

    • I would be unhappy if a child of mine became emotionally involved with a [MDG].

    • [MDG]s should not be allowed to make public speeches in my locality.

    • [MDG]s should not be allowed to teach in publicly funded schools.

  7. (p.486) Q49. Do you regard [MDG] as dangerous, or merely unpleasant?

    • IF DANGEROUS: Very dangerous or only a bit dangerous?

Scenarios and Mechanisms

Now some questions about how rights and duties might work out in practice.

  1. Q50. Please give a mark out of ten to indicate how much you feel citizens’ rights and liberties are protected by each of the following. Ten indicates something you feel is extremely important for protecting rights and liberties; while zero indicates something you feel does nothing at all to protect them. But remember, you can use any mark between zero and ten.

    • tabloid newspapers, like the [Sun/Daily Mirror]?

    • quality newspapers like the [Telegraph/Guardian]?

    • television?

    • back-bench MPs in parliament?

    • local-government councils?

    • trade unions?

    • churches?

    • bodies like the Equal Opportunities Commission or the Commission for Racial Equality?

    • British courts?

    • European courts?

    • And what marks would you give the following for their contribution to protecting citizens rights?

    • the sale of council houses to sitting tenants?

    • privatization of nationalized industries?

    • recent changes in the way the NHS is organized?

    • the introduction of elected school boards?

    • And now some things which have been proposed for Britain by some people, but are opposed by others. How much would our rights and liberties be protected and strengthened by each of the following? Use the same scale from zero to ten as before.

    • a Bill of Rights, passed by parliament, and enforced by the courts?

    • a Freedom of Information Act, giving more legal access to government information?

    • a reformed House of Lords, whose members were elected?

  2. Q51. Suppose we had a constitutional Bill of Rights, as some other countries do. If parliament passed a law but the courts said it was unconstitutional, who should have the final say, parliament or the courts?

  3. (p.487) Q52. Suppose someone in Britain objects to a law passed by parliament and takes the case to the European Court of Human Rights. Who should have the final say, the European court or the British parliament?

  4. Q53. Suppose a local council wants to do something, and gets the support of local people by winning a local [election/referendum] on that issue, but the government is opposed to it. Who should have the final say, the local council, or the government?

  5. Q54. Suppose [the majority of people in this country/parliament/the government] wanted to ban private medicine, in order to make health services the same for both rich and poor. Should they be able to do so even though the ban would reduce the freedom of individuals to do what they want? And would you, yourself, favour such a ban?

    And suppose [the majority/parliament/the government] wanted to ban the ritual slaughter of animals by cruel methods, even if it was part of a religious tradition. Should they be able to do so? And do you, yourself, favour such a ban?

    And suppose [the majority/parliament/the government] wanted to make homosexuality a crime. Should they be able to do so even though the ban would reduce the freedom of individuals to do what they want? And do you, yourself, favour such a ban?

    (Note: once chosen in a particular interview, the computer uses the same authority, i.e. ‘majority’, ‘parliament’, or ‘government’ throughout all three parts of this question.)

  6. Q55. Some people think that there should be no restrictions on what can be published in books and newspapers or screened on television, but others disagree. For each of the following please say whether you think it should be [allowed on television without any restrictions, or restricted, for example, to late night viewing, or banned from television altogether/allowed in newspapers without any restrictions, or restricted, for example, to books, or banned from publication altogether].

    (Note: use answer code ‘restrictions’ for any kind of restrictions, not just the examples given.)

    • pictures of extreme violence?

    • abusive attacks on [the Christian religion/minority religions such as the Muslim or Hindu religion]?

    • interviews with supporters of [IRA terrorists/Protestant terrorists in Northern Ireland]?

    • stories that intrude into [ordinary people’s/leading politicians’] private lives?

    • lies and distortions of the truth?

    (p.488) Now I’m going to read some more statements and ask you to say whether you agree or disagree with each of them. If you have strong feelings about any of these statements, please just say that you agree or disagree strongly.

  7. Q56. [Political organizations with extreme views should be banned/We should never ban any political organization whatever its views.]

    • IF AGREE: Would you still agree even if the political organization [did not support/supported] violence?

    • IF DISAGREE: Would you still disagree even if the political organization [supported/did not support] violence?

  8. Q57. Courts should not convict people purely on the basis of a confession [ (null)/because people sometimes confess to things they haven’t done/because people are sometimes put under so much pressure they confess to things they have not done].

  9. Q58. [Important political issues are too complex to be decided by everyone voting in a referendum, and should be left to parliament to decide/It would be better to let the people decide important political issues by everyone voting in a referendum, rather than leaving them to parliament as at present.]

  10. Q59. If people don’t like the government’s decisions about [income tax or VAT/local-government taxes], they can vote against it at the next election, but they should not [refuse to pay a tax they don’t like /hold disorderly demonstrations and riots to force the government to change its tax decisions/physically attack officials who are trying to collect the tax/hold protest rallies and demonstrations to oppose the tax].

  11. Q60. Newspapers which get hold of confidential government documents about [defence/economic/health service] plans should not be allowed to publish them [ (null)/because publication might damage our national interests].

  12. Q61. Newspapers should be banned from publishing research showing very high rates of crime among blacks [(null)/because this may encourage prejudice against them].

  13. Q62. Heavy television and press coverage of dramatic crimes like murders or terrorist incidents should be banned [ (null)/because it may encourage others to commit more crimes/because, later on, it may prevent an accused person getting a fair trial].

  14. Q63. State benefits like family allowances should only be paid to those who really need them.

  15. Q64. People should be allowed to [take whatever drugs/drink as much as] they like [(null)/provided they do not harm or behave offensively to other people].

(p.489) And now some Yes/No questions.

  1. Q65. Should a [political protest group/religious group/group organizing a town’s festival or gala] be allowed to hold a parade that blocks town-centre traffic for two hours?

  2. Q66. Should social workers have the right to take a child away from its parents if [ (null)/there are allegations that] the parents regularly ill treat their child?

  3. Q67. In the case where there is concern about [illegal drug use/shoplifting] in a shopping centre, do you think that a [security guard/police officer/shop owner] should have the right to make random searches of the bags carried by [shoppers/people who work in that shopping centre]?

  4. Q68. If a person consults a [journalist/clergyman] in confidence, and confesses to a crime, do you think that a court should be able to force the [journalist/clergyman] to reveal the name of that person?

  5. Q69. Do you think it should be against the law to write or speak in a way that promotes [racial/religious] hatred?

    • IF YES: If this results in less freedom of speech about important public issues, would you feel differently about it being against the law?

    • IF NO: If this results in more [racial/religious] prejudice, would you feel differently about it not being against the law?

  6. Q70. Should [citizens of/people from] Commonwealth countries like [Canada and Australia/Nigeria and India] be allowed to vote in British elections if they are living in Britain at the time? And how about people from European Community countries?

  7. Q71. Should [people who cook for restaurants or schools/surgeons and dentists] be required to take a test to prove that they have not been infected by the virus which causes AIDS?

And now some questions of choice.

  1. Q72. If there is a real possibility that a [political demonstration/football match] may lead to public disorder or even a riot, should it be banned in advance or should the authorities make special arrangements to deal with trouble but allow it to go ahead?

    • IF FOR BAN: Who should have the final say on whether to ban the [proposed demonstration/football match]: the local council, the government, or the police?

  2. Q73. [Given that parliament has repeatedly voted against the death penalty/In order to clamp down on rising crime and violence], do you think Britain should reintroduce the death penalty for murder, or keep things as they are?

    • (p.490) IF FOR DEATH PENALTY: If careful research showed that reintroducing the death penalty would not cut the number of murders in Britain, would you still be in favour of the death penalty?

    • IF AGAINST DEATH PENALTY: If careful research showed that reintroducing the death penalty would cut the number of murders in Britain, would you then be in favour of the death penalty?

  3. Q74. If there is a genuine national emergency, is it all right to suspend some of our usual civil rights?

    • IF YES: Who should have the power to declare an emergency: parliament, or the government alone?

    • ALSO IF YES: Would [widespread terrorism/widespread public disorder/widespread attacks on minority ethnic or racial groups/an economic crisis caused by strikes in important industries] be sufficient to justify suspending some of our usual civil rights?

  4. Q75. In order to combat [crime, should the police/terrorism, should the security services/the spread of dangerous and undemocratic ideas, should the security services] ever be allowed to [tap phones/inspect people’s bank accounts]?

    • IF NO: Would you feel differently about that if you were convinced it would really help to combat [crime/terrorism/the spread of dangerous and undemocratic ideas]?

    • IF YES, OR NO BUT FEEL DIFFERENTLY: Should the [police/security services/security services] themselves decide when to do this, or should they get permission, each time from a judge?

    • ALSO IF YES, OR NO BUT FEEL DIFFERENTLY: If you discovered the [police/security services/security services] had done it to you, would you no longer feel it should be allowed, or would you feel it was just part of the price to be paid by law-abiding citizens for their protection?

  5. Q76. Who should investigate complaints against the [security services/police] and monitor their activities: [the government/senior members from another police force] or [a committee of MPs/elected local councillors] or an independent outside body?

    (Note: wordings in answer codes depend upon whether question is about security services or about police.)

  6. Q77. Suppose that a woman decides to have an abortion for no other reason than that she does not wish to have the child. Then, in this particular case, would she be morally right or morally wrong to have an abortion?

    • IF MORALLY RIGHT: Should she be able to get an abortion free on the NHS, or should she have to pay for it?

    • (p.491) IF MORALLY WRONG OR DON’T KNOW, ETC.: Irrespective of your personal views, do you think that the law should forbid such an abortion?

  7. Q78. Is it important to have more [women/ethnic or racial minority] MPs in parliament?

    • IF IMPORTANT: ideally, should the proportion of [women/ethnic or racial minority] MPs in parliament be as large as in the country as a whole?

    • ALSO IF IMPORTANT: Should the law be changed to ensure more [women/ethnic or racial minority] MPs?

  8. Q79. Do you think the law should require [large private companies/the government and civil service] to hire a fixed percentage of [women/blacks and Asians/disabled people], or should [women/blacks and Asians/disabled people] get no special treatment?

    • IF FOR JOB QUOTAS: Would you feel the same even if this frequently means not hiring the best person for the job?

    • IF AGAINST JOB QUOTAS: Would you feel the same even if it means that [women/blacks and Asians/disabled people] remain economically very unequal?

  9. Q80. Should [parents who live in Wales/Muslim parents] have the right to have their children educated in publicly funded [Welsh-speaking/Muslim religious] schools if they wish?

    • IF YES: Would you still feel that way even if it substantially increased the amount of taxes local people had to pay?

    • IF NO: Would you still feel that way even if, as a result, the continued existence of that [language/religion] was threatened?

  10. Q81. Suppose [an NHS doctor or hospital/a private doctor, or private hospital, outside the NHS] makes a serious mistake in treating a patient. In these circumstances, should the patient get financial compensation, or just be regarded as unfortunate?

    • IF FOR COMPENSATION: Would you still feel that way if that meant that [taxes/private medical charges] had to be increased substantially to pay for compensation awards?

  11. Q82. Suppose that [British Rail/British Gas/British Telecom/an Electricity Company] provides a particularly poor service to one of its customers by failing to meet its advertised standards. Should the customer get financial compensation, or just be regarded as unfortunate?

    • IF FOR COMPENSATION: Would you still feel that way if that meant that [rail fares/gas prices/telephone charges/electricity charges] had to be increased substantially to pay for compensation awards?

    (p.492) Now some questions about ways of ensuring fair competition between the three main parties, Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat.

  12. Q83. First, consider the amount of coverage these three parties get on television. Should it be exactly the same amount for each party, or should it reflect the size of vote each party got in the last election, or should it depend upon how newsworthy each party is at the time?

  13. Q84. Next, consider how the electoral system affects these three parties. Should the proportion of seats for each party in the House of Commons be the same as its proportion of votes in the election, or should MPs be elected the way they are now?

Background/Analysis Variables

Finally a few questions to help us analyse the answers to this survey.

  1. Q85. Were you born in England?

    • IF YES: In the north, Midlands, south, or in London?

    • IF NO: In what country were you born?

  2. Q86. When you were growing up, did you live mainly in a big town or city, a small town, or a rural area?

  3. Q87. What about now, do you live in a big town or city, a small town, or a rural area?

  4. Q88. Are you now (read list): married and living with your spouse, living with a partner, widowed, divorced, separated, or have you never been married, or none of the above?

  5. Q89. Do you have any children?

    • IF YES: Sons, daughters, or both?

  6. Q90. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

    • IF YES: Brothers, sisters, or both?

  7. Q91. Are you now self-employed, working for pay, or not working?

    • IF SELF-EMPLOYED: Do you have any employees? Does your company get most of its business from the public sector or from the private sector?

    • IF WORKING FOR PAY: In a full-time job, or a part-time job?

    • IF NOT WORKING: Are you looking after the home, retired, unemployed, a student, or disabled/unable to work, or something else?

    • IF UNEMPLOYED/LOOKING AFTER HOME/DISABLED, ETC/OTHER: Have you had a paid job at any time?

    • (p.493) IF WORKING/RETIRED, UNEMPLOYED, ETC., BUT ONCE HAD A JOB: In your present/last job:

      • are/were you in a trade union?

      • do/did you supervise, or are/were you responsible for the work of any other people?

      • would you say you were part of the management or part of the workforce?

      • do/did you work for a private company; or in publicly funded education, health, or social services; or in the Civil Service or central government (excluding education, health, or social services); or in local government or for a local council (excluding education, health, or social services); or for a nationalized industry or public corporation; or in something else?

  8. Q92. Most people say they belong either to the middle class or to the working class. If you had to make a choice, would you call yourself middle class or working class?

  9. Q93. Would you say that most people living in your neighbourhood are middle class or working class? And when you were growing up, would you say your parents, at that time, were middle class or working class?

    • UNLESS ‘MIDDLE’ or ‘WORKING’: But if you had to choose, what would you say?

    • (Note: answer codes included ‘mixed/both’ if this was spontaneously given, but it was never prompted.)

  10. Q94. How many adults aged over 18 are there living at this telephone number?

  11. Q95. What is your own total annual income from all sources, before tax, to the nearest thousand pounds?

    (Note: if asks ‘own or household’, stress its their ‘own’ income.)

  12. Q96. Does anyone in your household have a car of their own, or the use of a company car?

    • IF YES: Altogether, how many cars are there in your household?

  13. Q97. Does your household own or rent your house?

    • IF RENT: Is that from a private landlord, a local council, or a housing association?

    • IF OWN: Is that on a mortgage, or is it owned outright?

  14. Q98. Was any of your schooling obtained:

    • in a religious school?

      • IF YES: Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim?

    • in a private, fee-paying school?

  15. (p.494) Q99. Do you have any school certificates or any other educational or training qualifications?

    • IF YES: Do you have a degree from a University or Polytechnic, including the Open University? In what subject?

    • IF NO TO UNIVERSITY: Do you have a certificate or a diploma from a college? In what subject?

  16. Q100. What is your religion, if any?

    (Note: read list only if answer is unclear.)

      • Church of England (C. of E.)

      • Church of Scotland (C. of S.)

      • Protestant non-conformist (not C. of E. or C. of S. but other Protestant— including other Presbyterian, United Reformed, Congregational, Baptist, Unitarian, Methodist)

      • Roman Catholic

      • Greek, Russian, Romanian Orthodox

      • other Christian

      • Jewish

      • Muslim

      • Hindu

      • Sikh

      • other non-Christian

      • not religious now

    • IF ANY RELIGION: About how often do you attend religious services?

    • IF CHRISTIAN: Would you describe yourself as an ‘evangelical’ Christian?

  17. Q101. Were you brought up in any religion?

    • IF YES: What?

    (Note: read list, as above, only if answer is unclear.)

  18. Q102. To which of these groups do you consider you belong: black, Asian, or white? Would you say that the area you live in is mainly white, mainly black, or mainly Asian?

    (Note: answer codes included ‘mixed1 if this was spontaneously given, but it was never prompted.)

  19. Q103. Now in the last few years have you, or anyone in your household:

    • received unemployment benefit or income support from the government?

    • sent children to a private, fee-paying school?

    • had any medical treatment as a private, fee-paying patient?

  20. Q104. In politics, would you say that you are generally on the left, in the centre, or on the right?

    • (p.495) IF CENTRE: Do you lean a little more towards the left or the right?

    • IF LEFT OR RIGHT: Strongly or not very strongly?

  21. Q105. Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as a supporter of any one political party?

    • IF YES: Which? And how strongly do you support that party: very strongly, or not very strongly?

    • IF NO/DON’T KNOW: Do you think of yourself as a little closer to one political party than to the others?

    • IF YES: Which?

  22. Q106. If there were a general election tomorrow, which party do you think you would be most likely to vote for?

  23. Q107. (Note: After 9th April 1992 only.) Thinking back to the general election on 9 April, when the main party leaders were John Major, Neil Kinnock, and Paddy Ashdown, do you remember whether you voted at that election?

    • IF VOTED: And which party did you vote for?

    • IF DON’T KNOW OR DID NOT VOTE, ETC.: Which party did you prefer at that time?

  24. Q108. Thinking back to the general election in 1987, when the party leaders were Mrs Thatcher, Neil Kinnock, David Steel, and David Owen, do you remember whether you voted at that election?

    • IF VOTED: And which party did you vote for?

    • IF DON’T KNOW OR DID NOT VOTE, ETC.: Which party did you prefer at that time?

  25. Q109. If the government found that it had a surplus of cash available, which should it do: cut taxes or increase spending on public services?

  26. Q110. Now looking ahead to the next year:

    • do you think the British economy will get better or get worse?

    • and your household’s economic circumstances: do you expect they will get better or get worse?

  27. Q111. Would you say that once you have made up your mind on an important question, you are not likely to change it easily, or can you often be persuaded to change it if someone has a good argument?

  28. Q112. When you work on something, do you like to take charge, or prefer to let others organize the tasks?

  29. Q113. Have you personally ever felt discriminated against, in some important matter, on grounds of your sex, race, ethnic background, religion, age, disability, or political beliefs?

    • (p.496) IF YES: And was that mainly because of sex, race, ethnic background, religion, age, disability, or political beliefs? And was that mainly by an employer, the police, a local or national government official, or someone else?

  30. Q114. Have you personally been stopped and interviewed by the police about a traffic violation or anything else?

    • IF YES: And on balance did the police behave courteously or rudely towards you?

  31. Q115. Have you personally ever been the victim of a crime such as having your house broken into, your car stolen, being assaulted, or anything else?

    • IF YES: And on balance did you find the police helpful or unhelpful?

    • (Note: answer codes included ‘no police contact’ if this was spontaneously given, but it was never prompted.)

  32. Q116. Have you personally ever contacted a local councillor about some problem?

    • IF YES: And on balance did you find them helpful or unhelpful?

    • And your local council offices:

    • IF YES: Helpful or unhelpful?

    • And your MP?

    • IF YES: Helpful or unhelpful?

    • And an office of a government department, such as DHSS, DoT, DoE?

    • IF YES: Helpful or unhelpful?

    (Note: It was usually unnecessary to reiterate the full original question wording when asking about council offices, MPs, and government departments, though this was done where necessary.)

  33. Q117. In the last few years have you, or anyone in your household received treatment at an NHS hospital?

    • IF YES: Generally, were you satisfied or dissatisfied with the service provided by the NHS? A lot or a little? And was that mainly because of the staff or because of the resources they had available to them?

  34. Q118. In the last few years, have you taken an active part in:

    • a sports club?

    • an arts organization, for example, a choir or a film club?

    • a school board, parent-teacher association, or other school organization?

    • a church or religious organization?

    • a charity organization, like Oxfam, Barnardos, Sue Ryder, or Famine Relief?

    • the affairs of a trade union or a professional association?

    • (p.497) a business organization, for example, a Chamber of Commerce, or a Round Table?

    • an election campaign?

    • any other political campaign?

    • working with others in your community to solve some community problem?

    And in the last few years, have you:

    • signed a petition?

    • taken part in a demonstration, picket, march, or protest meeting?

Special Questions for Politicians’ Sample Only

  1. Q119. When you last stood for election as a councillor, did you stand as a party candidate or as an Independent?

    • IF PARTY: Which party?

  2. Q120. On the council, do you now sit as a councillor for a particular party or as an Independent?

    • IF PARTY: Which party? And are you the leader of that party on the council?

    • IF INDEPENDENT: Are you the leader of the Independent group on the council?

  3. Q121. Do you chair your council or any of its committees?

    • IF NOT: Are you: Vice-Chairman? or Mayor?

      (Note: code most significant office only: i.e. the one nearest the top of the list.)

      • Chair or Convenor of Council/Mayor

      • Vice-Chair or Vice-Convenor of Council

      • Chair of Policy or Resources Committee

      • Chair of other Committees

      • none of the above

  4. Q122. Does any one party or group have outright, majority control of the council?

    • IF YES: Which?

    • IF NO: Does any one party none the less exercise minority control?

      • IF YES: Which?

      • IF NO: Is there a cross-party coalition which controls the council?

        • IF YES: Does it include: the Conservatives? Labour? the Liberal Democrats? Independents? the Nationalists? other groups?

        • IF NO: So the council is a completely ‘hung’ council, or is it run on non-party-political lines?

  5. (p.498) Q123. So do you regard yourself as on the side of the parties or groups which control your council, or in opposition to the parties or groups which control your council, or neither?

  6. Q124. How long have you been a councillor?

  7. Q125. And how long have you been active in politics?

Closing Sequence

I hope you enjoyed the interview. Thank you very much for helping us with this survey.

  1. Q126. If we wanted to contact you again in a year’s time, to update our survey, would you be willing to answer a few more questions?

Constructed Variables

  1. Q127. Nation (Scotland, England, Wales).

  2. Q128. Region (13 category region).

  3. Q129. Date of interview.

Special Constructed Variables for Politicians’ Sample Only

  1. Q130. Which party group led by interviewee, according to Chief Executive.

  2. Q131. Council type.

  3. Q132. Total seats on council.

  4. Q133. Largest party on council (which).

  5. Q134. Seats held by largest party (number).

  6. Q135. Seats held by largest party (per cent).

  7. Q136. Standard spending assessment (total).

  8. Q137. Standard spending assessment (per capita).

  9. Q138. Poll tax liable population.

  10. Q139. Average population per council seat.