Friday, 26 March 2010

How to create your facts

If I set out to conduct a survey on any subject I would need some questions to ask. I would need to find a target group for my survey and I would have to give an explanation of what I am doing. When I get my answers I would need to interpret the results.

I know that I can exaggerate the results. I can emphasise any aspects of the results and in political terms this is called spin. I can get the answers that I want to get. You don’t want that do you? Answer: no. It can be any subject, e.g. how to deal with the problem of dropping litter.

Firstly I could say that compared to violent crimes dropping litter is a relatively minor offence. It doesn’t hurt anyone if you drop litter and in fact it keeps people in work because you have to pick litter up. On the other hand litter is a malaise on society. The state of our country is a disgrace. All the cities in the world have many things in common but you can always tell a British city by the litter. All we have to do is to prioritise our reactions to dropping litter and if our reaction is strong enough we won’t have a problem.

Two surveys, different questions, different answers. This is what the Tory candidate for Morecambe did for a crime survey (see yesterday’s blog). It would be nice to think that our candidates could discuss important issues in the local press without resorting to creating their own news.

Change the world

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