Thursday, 24 September 2009

Bias is everywhere

It is important to recognise bias when listening to public debate. Sometimes our views are clouded by previous knowledge of people, parties or the media. When you read a newspaper headline the prime motivation is not always to inform and educate. In fact it is commonly to sell newspapers.

Wouldn't it be nice to hear something and know that the person means it and they don't have an ulterior motive. I am watching Manchester United playing Wolves. In the first half Nani has just tripped a rather large Wolves defender who fell. The commentator said there was nothing wrong with it. Alright there is contention in football and people see different things from different angles. It's the same with politics. I have heard three times that the Manchester United player who was sent off was "unfortunate". I am not sure what they mean because the defender made a deliberate rugby tackle to bring down the Wolves forward. It didn't look like fortune played any part in this foul.

In politics there are examples of cross-party agreements but this does not mean that all politicians think in the same way or have the same motivation. Knowing the character of your candidates in any election may be more important than any individual policy, but at least with a party label you have a general view of their opinions.

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