Socialist Worker

Yes to unions, no to banks

Issue No. 2371

People are more favourable towards trade unions than they are towards politicians, banks or newspapers. 

Just 19 percent of people thought banks were well run—down from 90 percent in 1983. The survey describes this as “probably the most dramatic change of attitude registered in 30 years of British Social Attitudes”.

And 27 percent think newspapers are well run, compared to double that in 1983. Support for the police is also going going down.

Only 18 percent said they trusted governments to put the “needs of the nation above the interests of their own political party”. The number of people who said they “almost never” trust governments tripled between 1986 and 2012.

Yet two thirds of those surveyed said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of interest in politics, doubling the figure in recent years. And fewer people agreed that “people like me have no say in what the government does”.

The report says it’s “a mistake to presume that we have witnessed a generalised loss of confidence in institutions.

“As we might have anticipated, this is not true of the NHS. More surprisingly perhaps, it is also not true of trade unions.” 

Some 33 percent said trade unions were well run—up from 29 percent in 1983.


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