“Stop banning stuff… Except junk food!!!”

Our polling for CapX on attitudes to political correctness certainly highlighted some major disconnects, not least in the responses to the poll itself. We found that two-thirds think its gone too far and half think stopping traditions that some people object to has gone too far – reaction ranged from claims that political correctness is a concoction of right-wing tabloids on the one hand to “I can’t believe it’s that low” on the other.

Clearly there’s a big, gaping chasm between what the two sides. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that one side is furious about something the other says doesn’t exist.

Here’s what I think is going on: It’s not controversial that people should be polite and not be racist, sexist, and so on. The contentious part is what each of those things mean in practical terms. Is that sentence rude, is that policy racist, is that ad sexist?

The view of (it seems) a lot of people is that the recent expansion of the things considered offensive by Westminster, the media and big business, doesn’t reflect a majority view of offence. Liberals, on the other hand, take the view that the same set of things are indeed offensive and should be treated accordingly.

I suspect that the great cultural division continues until this issue is resolved, or at least properly debated. But right now it seems the two sides are too busy talking past each other even to get that far…

So banning stuff, in general, isn’t too popular. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with junk food. A YouGov poll for Cancer Research UK found net support (46-42) for a ban on buy-one-get-one-free deals, and a big majority (65 per cent) supporting a ban on junk food ads before 9pm.

Keeping us all healthy is obviously a long-run benefit to the NHS, but what about funding? ComRes asked in a poll for the Mirror whether people would be prepared to pay a penny more in national insurance to fund the health service and found that 82 per cent would. Clearly, the NHS is a very strong brand, although the widespread view that it’s in crisis probably matters too.

YouGov had a 3-point Conservative lead in its weekly voting intention poll for the Times, but interestingly also a 7-point lead for “wrong” on its Brexit right/wrong question, the biggest lead that this series has given either side yet. This is an interesting finding, but as ever, it’s worth waiting for more data before concluding anything.

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