Wednesday, June 01, 2005

More opinion passed off as fact...

It is Obtiser day. In the letters page, a missive from neil Dawson (Morley North Labour Party Secretary) attempts to spin the election result still further, suggesting that the Independents are a "Busted Flush". In it he draws our attention to the implied fact that Finnigan came fourth in most polling districts and labour came first in every single one by a good margin.

How does he know this? Well, he doesn't, it is speculation based on a non-scientific sample by party activists watching ballot papers as boxes are unpacked and counted but not sorted. (Sorting takes place after the initial count is complete, not before.) They may also use exit polls as well, but these results are at best indicative and can not be legitimately substantiated beyond the overall result. If politicians used the word "probably" in their potentially misleading claims they might be more credible, however being truthful and factual does not suit the political parties if it doesn't suit their message.

Two other political letters in the paper, the first from Ardsley Labour Councillors explaining about a local grass cutting problem. Needless to say, they blame the Council and also patronise a local resident who complained about them using the situation as a photo-opportunity.

The third letter is a sort of joke about mohican grass cutting and installation art which a) doesn't make any sense, b) isn't funny and c) isn't in the style of the author, who is on the same planning panel as me. I'll ask him to explain it to me next week and you never know, he might even tell me who really wrote it...

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