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Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Wisdom of Crowds - 47

The poor old Indie runs a piece this morning following research by the Royal Statistical Society and KCL that 'proves' that the public is 'wrong' on a whole range of social issues; for instance "Benefit fraud: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed. Official estimates are that just 70 pence in every £100 is fraudulent - so the public conception is out by a factor of 34."

To a point, Lord Copper. It depends how you define 'fraudulently' - the researchers interpreting it in the strictest sense, whilst the public no doubt including 'undeservingly' in their definition. And the public's view that one-in-four on the dole needn't be is probably more accurate. Nil points, KCL. 

Likewise 'Teen pregnancy' - the public figure almost certainly includes single mums in their early twenties who may have been older than 19 when they gave birth but are included in the generic cohort . And immigration. And crime. 

In fact, all that Hetan Shah's little exercise proves is that on a sensible definition of social issues the crowd one again has the wisdom whilst the officious office-holder is exposed as a nitpicking disingenuist. No doubt there is research that 'proves' that only 0.87% of them actually are ....

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

I'd love to see Plumbers in Parliament

Supporters of the Trade Unions have only got it partially right in their condemnation of Miliband's metropolitan elite party; they're not opposed to having working-class union members in Parliament; like their chums in the Conservative and LibDem parties, they're opposed to having anyone in Parliament who is not a dedicated member of Oborne's Political Class. Chair of the sixth-form debating society, Vice-President of the SU at Uni, internship at the UN then a 'job' as a researcher for an MP is the perfect resume for today's ambitious politician - just so long as it doesn't show a real job anywhere. 

And the system delivers to Mr Ed wholly inexperienced blow-ins like Luciana Berger (above) who can be parachuted into any convenient constituency in the country. 

Frankly, I'd love to see more plumbers in Parliament. And bus drivers, surveyors, army officers, farmers, WI Chairladies, small businessmen, nurses and merchant seamen. In fact anyone who has ever lived a real working life, whether a member of a Trade Union or of the Chamber of Commerce. I'd love to hear a Parliamentary debate thick with regional voices and local expressions, rather than dull Oxford English politicospeak. I'd love to see independent MPs balancing the gains to Anglia against the risks to Wessex when considering legislation.  

What I'll never agree to is an unjust impost that robs ordinary people to keep those like Berger in Schmuck and Schmutter.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Back to State party funding

The three dying private political parties would just love to be State funded in line with Christopher Kelly's and Hayden Phillips' proposals. They would become permanent Parties of State and assume a constitutional position and legitimacy that they completely lack under current arrangements - yes, any of the three can still be reduced to nothingness merely by the British people casting fewer votes for it. So far the Tories have prevented them all signing up to it - even with LibDem partners gagging for cash and on the verge of bankruptcy. Now the pressure is on from Labour, making the point that the party belongs to the professional metropolitan political class that staffs it and not to the Trade Unions and Co-operative Societies that fund it. 

The fraud and corruption inherent in Kelly and Phillips' proposals are likely to become nakedly apparent in 2015. UKIP are forecast to win a large and substantial share of the popular vote - but if they fail to get two MPs in the house, they get zero funding. The Lib Dems, even if they score a third of the popular vote that UKIP gets, would get £5 a vote so long as they had the minimum two members. And as the funding will always be based on the results of the last election, the incumbent parties will never lose their advantage. 

Both Kelly and Phillips realise their proposals are hugely unpopular with the British people, and for that reason both have denied any choice to the voter on whether parties are funded in their name. If you vote, they fund. And if five million of us choose not to vote in protest, they simply increase the funding per vote by 25%. Under their squalid, third world banana republic crooked little scam of a deal, the three big parties would never lose. 

Party funding is the most important item on our domestic political agenda - and the thieving class are just waiting for the right time to introduce it.  

Monday, 8 July 2013

New Australians eat sashimi

For me, the archetypal Australian is a small, pale, mincing management accountant or HR professional living in London with an expensive gym membership who likes to get back annually for the gay festival, or a humourless fat-arsed administrator married to an Aussie vet also working over here ("Darryl doesn't do small animals") with fantasies of ├╝ber-feminist superiority. Today, Australia is a gay-friendly, social-democratic part of south-east Asia with traces of European culture, a sort of Sweden of the southern hemisphere. As with cannibals with bones in their hair and steaming cooking pots, the beer-swilling Aussie lad in shorts and cut-sleeved shirt is a historic stereotype, no longer recognisable as a parody of the actuality. Except of course to some Twat called Guy Rundle who for some unknown reason the Guardian has permitted to pen a column.  

Guy, sweetie, your 2,000 word winge is thirty years too late. Those Fosters lager blokes are ironic anti-parodies, dear, not stereotypes. Today's Australian has a lisp and likes sashimi for lunch.