Thursday, November 30, 2023

See the pandas, get a Severin Carrell for free

This is just a public service announcement (although I'm sure you'll have seen this on the news) that if you want to see the giant pandas before they return to China, you literally only have a couple of hours left.  I went along yesterday, because I wrongly got the impression that was the last day.  Weirdly, as I was watching the pandas, it suddenly dawned on me that I was standing right next to Severin Carrell of the Guardian, who was conducting a very earnest ten or fifteen minute interview with a panda enthusiast he had randomly waylaid.  In fact I accidentally recorded about half of it as I was videoing the main attraction.

As a poll had just come out, it reminded me that the angriest I've ever seen Severin on social media was when he was complaining about the truthful reporting of an independence poll, which he regarded as deliberately misleading because it stripped out the Don't Knows.  Of course he wasn't worried about the No vote being inflated, just about the Yes vote, because he wanted to imply that the No vote and the Don't Knows combined amounted to the real opposition to independence - a trick also beloved of Michael White.  We seem to be heading back to those bad old days - it's becoming harder and harder to locate independence polling numbers that exclude Don't Knows, even though that's the only metric by which a direct comparison with the indyref can be made.

Thank you to the Edinburgh Zoo employee who took the first of these pictures, although the reflection on the glass does its best to obscure the panda!  The visibility was far better in reality.


  1. We never seem to hear of Alok Sharma MP.........why?

  2. It's the truth, Sevvie, but not as you know it.