I missed this a couple of days ago - here's a classic example of how an opinion poll can be quoted accurately to give a totally misleading impression...
Tim Montgomerie : 80% of voters support Osborne's National Living Wage - @YouGov poll
You'd be forgiven for thinking from that statistic that 80% were backing Osborne against the criticism that £7.20 an hour is not a "living" wage, especially after the withdrawal of tax credits. But you'd be wrong. This was the actual question -
This week the Chancellor George Osborne announced his first budget since the election. Below are some of the announcements he made. For each one, please say whether you think it is a good idea or the wrong priority for the present time?
Introducing a new compulsory living wage of £7.20 an hour for over 25s, rising to £9 an hour by 2020 (compared with the current minimum wage of £6.70)
As you can see, anyone who thought that the "Living Wage" was a sickening con-trick had no option but to reply that it was a "good thing", because otherwise they were implicitly saying that the minimum wage should have remained at £6.70. So the public weren't backing Osborne against the criticisms that have actually been made of the policy in the real world, but instead against hypothetical criticisms made from a hard-right standpoint. While it's mildly reassuring to discover that the electorate don't think the Budget should have been even more regressive, I'm not sure that takes us much further forward.
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STV's Stephen Daisley linked to my previous post yesterday, with this accompanying comment -
"There is nothing, not even a radio review, the Scottish Nationalists will not mine for grievance"
Stephen being Stephen, I naturally assumed that was one of his trademark pieces of hilarious postmodern irony, and it wasn't until half-an-hour later that the scary realisation dawned on me that he was actually being deadly serious -
"Nothing wrong with laughing at the radio review. Turning it into the latest tedious outrage is my problem."
Just by coincidence (or as far as I know it was coincidence), Grassy Knollington made a shrewd observation at roughly the same time -
"Pointing out errors & lies is mocked by unionists as "tedious grievance hunting". They hope to discourage you from doing it. Ignore them."
Other than the fact that Stephen Daisley isn't identifiably a unionist, I'd say that sums up the situation rather well.