Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fantastic news : David Cameron has finally accepted Alex Salmond's challenge for a head-to-head TV debate. Five months too late, but better late than never. Let's set the date.

I suspect David Cameron is going to regret this pre-scripted line at Prime Minister's Questions -

He said the head-to-head debate should be between the two people who "actually call the tune - that is me and Alex Salmond".

So Cammo's latest bizarre tactic for running away from debates is to suddenly agree to the debate he ran away from throughout the last few months of the referendum campaign. Ever since September, our old friend "Carlotta Vance" has been gloating about the Prime Minister essentially getting away with his cowardice in refusing to debate with his direct counterpart in the Yes campaign - I have a sneaking suspicion that may no longer be the case.

Five months too late, but let's get on with it. There's still plenty of time for a head-to-head Salmond v Cameron debate before the broadcasting regulations kick in, so as the challenge has finally been taken up, the words that spring to mind are "Any time, any place."

* * *

Possibly still smarting from the occasion last year when he randomly picked me out as someone to 'make an example of' (and found to his horror that I actually answer back), YouGov's Laurence Janta-Lipinski made this comment on Twitter an hour ago about my post on his firm's decidedly odd "apocalypse" poll -

"We do a fun, lighthearted poll. Some people take it *WAY* too seriously"

Apparently Laurence has failed to notice that part of my response to the poll was fairly light-hearted, but in all honesty it shouldn't have been. If the average employee at YouGov reckons that the very real long-term prospect of global thermonuclear war (which probably wouldn't wipe out the human race, but would certainly kill most of us) is a "fun" topic, the mind boggles. How can we trust them to poll objectively on the subject of Trident, if that's the underlying attitude?

25 comments:

  1. What a delicious irony. In their efforts to make Ed Milliband look small, the tory MSM are making Alex Salmond look like a bloody colossus! Of course, they would rather the scots took no notice of what is going on south of the border, but they are watching intently. This little spat between the red and blue tories won't do us any harm. None at all.

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  2. They are obsessed with Alex Salmond, has nobody told David Cameron Nicola Sturgeon is leader of the SNP?

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    1. Och Craig I think he thinks he can out do Alex, he is petrified of Nicola, he heard what happened to the Colossus that is Alistair Carmichael.

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    2. It's an outrage that he seems to not recognise our new FM and leader of the SNP!

      This is profoundly sexist, as well as an insult to Scotlanx.

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    3. I think that was sarcasm.

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  3. Remember when Wings included "space monsters" in one question in a poll, light-heartedly, and the hacks all used that as an excuse not to report on any of the findings?

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  4. It appears that the Guardian and Telegram have joined with YouTube in an new stitched up debate option for five leaders prior to the end of March. No prizes for guessing which two leaders are being dropped in this option ( SNP and PC).

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    1. Yes, they've brought forward their previous rigged plan in an attempt to tempt Cameron. Given his new-found obsession with the SNP, though, I can't see him agreeing to the proposal as it stands.

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  5. I see the BBC didn't ask Scots what they thought about immigration to Scotland, but to England (Britain).

    I heard in the news that England is overcrowded with huge pressures on services. Lots of folk down there seem concerned about it all. 15% of them saying UKIP.

    So, should I say to a pollster that more folk should be allowed into England even though I don't live there, keeping the above in mind?

    Hmmm.

    Anyway, the morn's Call Kaye was hilarious - full of immigrants saying Scotland was super welcoming and the poll was a crock of shit. BBC found seemingly just one dude with racist undertones mentioning some truth to Rivers of Blood stuff etc. He was from down south.

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    1. Where did you hear that they asked Scots about immigration to England? If so this was a politically motivated rigged poll for a non-story in order to attack a democratically elected government.

      Absolutely outrageous.

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    2. The tables. The polls asks about immigration to 'Britain' (England) not Scotland.

      In polls Scots give different answers to questions based on whether they are being asked about Britain or Scotland as they see these things as two different entities. Scotland is Scotland. Britain is mainly England to which Scotland is attached but a very small part and quite remote from.

      If you want to ask Scots what they think about immigration to Scotland, you need to ask them that. Ask them about Britain and they'll answer based on what the news is telling them about England to a large extent. If the news says England is being swamped, they're not going to be rude and say 'swamp them more!', but rather err on the side of caution and go with what England people seem to be saying.

      Sure it was 'push polling' as reports online and on the radio never mentioned that respondents were asked about Britain. Instead, it was presented as about Scots views on Scotland / that the Scots were as anti-immigrant as the England, but without the former explicitly said.

      First thing I thought when I saw the results on the BBC was 'They've not asked about Scotland, but Britain'.

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    3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-31800374

      "The poll found that 49% (of Scots) wanted to see less immigration, exactly the same proportion as across Britain, and 15% said it should be stopped altogether.

      This is in contrast to politicians at Holyrood who tend to agree that Scotland needs more skilled migrants."


      Highly misleading. The poll didn't ask about Scotland at all, but clearly Britain (England).

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    4. Well that was good thinking, and you're right of course. If I was asked about 'Britain' I wouldn't immediately think, 'Scotland', just as if I was asked, 'Europe', I wouldn't think Scotland either.

      Where can I find the tables? On BBC website?

      I live in Edinburgh, where there are now a minumum of 30,000 young Spanish, probably a similar number of Poles and Eastern Europeans, most of them educated to degree level, especially the Spanish, and though the city expands by around 900 a month, or nearly 10,000 a year, I have yet to hear a single bad word about immigrants or concern about immigration. I am on a community council and our regular police updates never mention it and neither does anybody else. There may be poor areas of Glasgow where asylum seekers are taking housing, but that would hardly be representative of patterns of immigration in Scotland.

      The whole thing is a set-up.

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    5. Sure it's a set-up; a subtle but deliberate one. They knew what would happen.

      If you asked about Scotland you'd find a marked drop in resistance to immigration. It would be still there to an extent in some areas (even only because it's being pushed UK-wide by the media), but notably less. It's the elderly that read the mail etc that are the most anti because that's the shit they are sold.

      tables:

      http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/fmu1858606/BBCResults_Immigration_150306_Website.pdf

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  6. The problem for Cameron is that the Labour Party at Westminster, who have been under pressure to 'shaft the Nationalists' have now got the perfect 'open goal' to aim at.

    They can now repeatedly bang on about Cameron having this head to head debate with Salmond, if he really thinks the SNP are so dangerous, and would destroy the nation if they get some influence!

    If Cameron does not have this debate they will be able to shout 'coward' at him, and the charge that this cowardice, will let in the 'Natz', because Cameron is hiding under his bed, while the nation (England) is in mortal danger!

    I'm sure Alex will expertly ramp up the pressure, and at every opportunity to do so, I will remind any media outlet who screams some scare story about the SNP having influence over England, that if this is true why isn't the current leader of the Nation (England) not willing to enter into a televised debate with AS.

    OG, by Cameron.

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    1. David Cameron releases Conservative election campaign song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH-AafkQPEo&t=30

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  7. SqueuedPerspextiveMarch 11, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    James, I am sure you used to have a donate option I used a while back.
    Can you post a link or something in your next update ?
    I am sure I am due you another bung ... or are you having a fundraiser ?

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    1. I've never had a donate button, although I ran a couple of fundraisers last year, both of which met their target. I'll make a decision about whether to run a third after the general election.

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    2. I would be happy to donate to keep reading your stuff. Deal?

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    3. Thanks, Douglas, I really appreciate that. I'm unsure about another fundraiser, because it's kind of like a self-imposed prison sentence - asking for money for a huge amount of work I haven't done yet. But I'll see how I feel after the election.

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    4. SqueuedPerspextiveMarch 13, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      Well, if do fancy adding a donate button I would feel better and you shouldn't feel bad - call it a thank you button if you like. It shouldn't be there to make you feel you need to do more - just that what you have done is appreciated.

      Failing that I will look out for your fundraiser.

      Either way thanks for your work thus far.

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    5. SqueuedPerspextiveMarch 13, 2015 at 10:36 PM

      P.S I might even double my donation if you could try a change of language. I favour the use an archaic word - now out of vogue - 'method'.

      I know you quite rightly describe your analysis as a methodology, since it is the study of how research is done.

      However, old fashioned and simple it may be, but don't the pollsters just use a method?

      ;-)

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  8. Maybe it's time for some complaints sent to the BBC ? We can't ignore this.

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    1. About the immigration poll...

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    2. BBC editorial guidelines say that online polling companies should only be used after being referred to the Chief Adviser (aka our old friend Rik Bailey).

      10.4.30 is the specific guideline.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-politics-practices-opinion/

      The reporting of the poll breached a number of other guidelines. The language used was too strong, it led their online coverage (and some other output, e.g. Morning Call) and insufficient information was given about the poll itself.

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