Tuesday, May 23, 2006

today : our survey said...

I'm always very suspicious of think tanks, surveys and polling organisations. They seem to come up with loads of 'facts' - the basis of which they don't really explain to my satisfaction. The other day I heard that street markets are 50% better than supermarkets, back injuries cost British business £90 million a year, the World Cup will cost employers £300 million due to people skiving and that 57% of people think that immigration is a huge issue.

In fact the only honest fact I've heard recently is the Head of Immigration who said he had no idea how many illegal immigrants are in our country. People slated him without ever stopping to realise that the undocumented is by it's nature an unknowable thing. Basically he was admitting that any figures were guesses. Now there's honest for you.

Because of all this I have decided to set up my own think tank/polling/survey organisation. It's called the SRI (Saltydog's research institute) My first poll was conducted today and I asked lots of questions to examine the social and political currents in my house.

Q1. If there was an election tomorrow, who would you vote for?
A Labour 100% all other parties 0%
Q2. Do you support the United States president?
A. No 100%
Q3. What is the cost of missing work through back injuries ion the past year?
A. Nothing
Q4. Where do you shop?
A. The shops.
Q5. How much would you consider immigration as a cause of concern?
A. Not at all. I never worry about it.
Q6. How well off do you feel?
A. Very poor
Q7. Are you satisfied with the National Health Service?
A. As a whole: yes. In the specific case of my wrongly diagnosed ankle injury: no.

On a serious note the immigration poll was actually instigated by BBC news. It was their main headline on TV tonight. Is that really news, or is it the arbitrary creation of news as a reflexive response to other media who have vested interests and clear political agendas?
The real question; the one asked by the SRI is:
Q How sick are you of people conducting simplistic polls on complex issues and then reporting the headline results as news and fact, when it's actually shot through with bias and opinion?
A Very, very sick.

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