Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Polls & Politics: A Finger Pointing To The Moon

 "I am a finger pointing to the moon. Don't look at me; look at the moon." ~ Gautama Buddha

Often when listening to some or other politics programme on the television, in particular Daily Politcs, Newsnight and Question Time from the BBC, I am very aware of a distinction:-

  • When talking about Political Policy (what?)
  • When talking about Political Personality (who?)
I consider most of the "who?" category to be secondary and "low quality information" and yet if I were to do a proportion measure on the above programmes and calculate the time spent between the two, it might be quite interesting to see how much time is spent on this "who?" and at the cost of "what?". Why is this? Indeed, do you agree or disagree that one is primary and two is secondary?!

You can easily make the connection between the quote above and this consideration of politically productive discussion vs (not always but mostly) empty discussion (in the main).

A big hint why this happens is actually provided recently by Pete North, in serendipitous fashion:-

I remember a lot of "stick" that Pete North has taken, perhaps he's just one of these unfortunate types who the very look and sound of, is enough to piss people off and rub them up the wrong way... perhaps there's multiple other reasons that a radio talkshow could spend a good afternoon gossiping about and still not zero in on the de facto reason. It does not matter, we're not talking about Pete North, and the irony of "the look of disapproval" to "emote" this flaw... but what is worth saying is that this particular blog content is one of the most important made concerning the campaign process for this referendum.

Let's take another example however where this principle operates in polling data which is also something the pundits relish talking about as much as if not it seems more so than the actual political policy:-




Political Party:-

Socio-Economic Group:-



 How will all these data sets describe how people will vote in the EU Referendum? So much is made of this and yet so little is made of:-

Knowledge Self-Awareness "&" Appropriate Application "&&" Recognition in Others

The above graph is quite easy to appreciate. If you have been reading the past five blogs at then it is easy to appreciate the "green line" of "How much more I realise there is to know".

I think a lot of people rightly identify themselves as "Beginner": "I know nothing". However, they are unable to assess or fall for incorrect measures when the likes of:-


Authorative Business Leaders:-

Celebrity "Popular" Politicians:-

Prestigious Politicians:-

Foreign "powerful" dignataries:-

Intelligent Sounding Academics:-

Officious-Sounding "Impartial" Think Tanks:-

Provide their "Hazard" "I'm an expert" (of what?) opinions and what I think people generally have as "good intuitions" are confused by such appearances by the above as the above "trump" such beginner opinions "I know nothing".

I personally believe this all leads to the simple outcomes of "top trumps" or "Butting heads" replacing arguments with fractured and fragmented fallacies empty memes/headline factoids (Hazard!):-

Impressive forces! But I think such polical outcomes in people leave the combatants exhausted and frustrated: "They're all as bad as each other" observation.

These are the old argument forms that are increasingly visible and condensed given the Referendum is directly on the subject of the EU and much much less on the "who?" of tribal politics. Therefore even in this error of UK Gov (Cameron/Eton) vs UK Gov (Johnson/Eton) Remain vs Leave outcome, there has been a by-product we can make future use from.

And that's more concentrated and effective methods at looking at that moon in all it's heavenly splendour:-

EU Referendum: why we must leave22/05/2016
EU Referendum: "pettifogging regulation"21/05/2016
EU Referendum: polluted by ignorance20/05/2016
EU Referendum: a matter of regulation19/05/2016