An interesting little stat from YouGov’s latest tracker poll (with a hat-tip to Anthony Wells’ UK Polling Report blog). The internet polling company asked the question: Gordon Brown was asked on TV to respond to media rumours that he had been prescribed pills to help him cope with the stress of his job. Do you think it was right or wrong to ask him about this?
And here’s how those polled replied:
>> 22% – Right: the public have a right to know full medical details
>> 73% – Wrong: everyone, including the Prime Minister, has a right to privacy on medical matters that do not materially affect their work
>> 5% – Don’t know
As Anthony notes in his commentary, ‘Looking at the queston wording, YouGov did specificy that the Prime Minister had a right to privacy on medical matters “that do not materially affect their work” and I suppose Andrew Marr would have said that the rumours, if true, could affect Brown’s work. That said, 73% to 22% is pretty clear opposition to this sort of questioning.’
He might also have added, though, that the question referred to ‘media rumours’ – in fact, though, all those media rumours were single-sourced from one blog-posting. If the question had been, ‘Gordon Brown was asked on TV to respond to a rumour that appeared on the internet … etc’ I suspect the public response would have been even more solidly lined-up against Andrew Marr’s appalling misjudgement.