It is difficult to understand how a media organisation that, over the last few years, has consistently failed to correctly predict major election results can believe it retains any credibility. Yet that’s what we have from a BBC statistics department that now has to go into full spin mode to cover its embarrassment even during a live results programme.
Such was the case on Sunday when it became immediately obvious that the Brexit Party were absolutely creaming the opposition, as if that hadn’t been widely predicted from the point, just six weeks ago, when Nigel Farage launched it. But this article is not about the politics of these elections, it’s about whether our national broadcaster is fit for purpose in the field of political analysis.
In June 2016, over 33 million of us went to the polls in a historic Referendum, the highest public turnout recorded for any poll in this country. We all held passionate views as to why we should Stay or Leave the EU, for whatever reason, and we all placed our vote in the sure and certain knowledge that the result, whatever it may be, would be honoured by Parliament. It now emerges that, whichever way we voted, we have been stitched-up – not by politicians, nor by the media, but by faceless bureaucrats who were more concerned in preventing their gravy train being derailed.
Let’s not get into how or why the nation has become divided – how the previous Prime Minister ran away from the wreckage he had created, or how Her Majesty’s opposition has taken its title way too literally. Let’s also recognise the truly democratic way in which the vast majority of those who voted to ‘remain’ have accepted the result, and have been prepared to move forward despite having not wanted to go this way. Continue Reading
The negotiations on a better EU deal for Britain conducted during the period of the coalition government had, unsurprisingly, reached a complete impasse, when it was decided that the best course of action would be to hold a sporting event to settle the issue. If the British won then they would put membership to their people, if the Europeans won then Britain would remain a member on the prevailing terms.
Various sports were considered and rejected. A soccer match between England and Germany was the obvious choice but the British, fearing it may end in a penalty shoot-out, declined. The next suggestion was a Rugby match between Scotland and Italy, but this time the Europeans felt that would be too one-sided. Continue Reading
To a certain extent, we all have our destiny encoded into us – medically at least – as Crick and Watson discovered when they revealed the structure of our DNA. Some people also believe that our future is written in the stars, or at least those in the sky at our moment of birth, which is why Astrology is so popular. But what of our name – is something coded into that as well?
Those of you who do Pub Quizzes will have encountered the round where the quizmaster produces a list of anagrams of celebrity names and asks us to identify them. We are amused by some, for example: ‘occasional nude income’ reveals Madonna’s full name (Madonna Louise Ciccone), ‘go gets beer’ becomes George Best and ‘O Dear, I’m a gonad’ is Diego Maradona. Some others may be a little more profound, such as ‘old west action’ (Clint Eastwood), ‘got St Leger tip’ (Lester Piggott) or ‘genuine class’ (Alec Guinness). But it’s the ones that are a little too close for comfort that cause us to raise an eyebrow. Who would have thought that the anagram for Osama Bin-Laden would be ‘a bad man – no lies’? Continue Reading
More and more home appliances are now being developed with some degree of intelligence, allowing us to communicate with them via our Smartphones. We can tell our Sky Box to record the footie, check what the kids are doing while we’re out for the night, even boost the temperature on the central heating when there’s a cold snap, so that we arrive home to a nice toasty environment.
Now LG have introduced a new Homechat function that allows you to talk to your Fridge, via text, to find out what you have in there. There’s even an in-built camera that can take pictures of the shelves and automatically order new provisions for you when you run out. All a bit gimmicky, maybe, but what will happen when these components are developed to the point where there is enough ability for a proper dialogue? Just how difficult could that conversation become….. Continue Reading