Discussion of the more serious side of the Mail's agenda
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By Fozzy
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#301122
Lord Brett wrote:
George Tait wrote:
youngian wrote:
Just watched that and if the comments are anything to go by, they serve a different audience to the tabloids-

http://www.itv.com/thismorning/life/phi ... -uk-debate" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Even over at Guido's blog, people were pointing out to him that he had been 'owned' by Owen. Having seen the interview, I'm inclined to agree.
Someone on Jones's Facebook page coined the phrase 'Owened' for these situations, which is quite a nice phrase.
Jones uses a fairly basic technique of ensuring that he does his homework, is completely on top of his brief, and makes his points calmly and succinctly. Staines' technique consists of blustering. I don't think he's bright enough to realise that that may be where he is going wrong.
By Inquisitor
Membership Days
#301266
MisterMuncher wrote:The fact that simply having facts and figures to hand in a debate seems revolutionary is a telling comment on the state of political discourse.
Indeed; it is my opinion that people in power and the are not challenged enough when it comes to citing sources, or critiquing those sources. In this day and age there simply isn't an excuse for not providing the links or printing the internet address of the cited source.

It's demanded of university students, and I think it should be demanded of those in power and the media.
 
By MisterMuncher
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#301276
And I'm inclined to agree right back: Information access, and publishing is as near to cost free as it ever has been. The present paradigm of political discourse is rooted in times when this wasn't the case. The old XKCD cartoon of the chap holding a Wiki-style "Citation Needed" placard up at a political rally should become the reality.

Dacre and drip-wise, there's simply too much bad information taken on trust by readers or handed out by writers because it's "common sense" that just does not bear any scrutiny.

In this context, I cast an eye over the "£100,000 earnings in benefits" figures cited for the Philpotts. Firstly, it's the comparison of the Philpott's "take" with a post-tax salary. So not really £100,000, but 68-odd.

Then it includes the salaries of the two women: Not benefits, so that's another 14k off. 54k now. Source unstated.

It includes tax credits of "up to" £38k, obviously a maximum possible, fag packet maths figure. It could be that much, yes. It probably isn't. Eg: For 5 children, it gives a figure of £17870. They've got this by multiplying the (maximum) child payment by 5, and adding the (maximum) basic element and (maximum) couples/family element. This gives 17865, so we're rounding up from a figure that is almost certainly inflated already. Once more, no source given.

Council rent is stated as "£150 a week". Source, you'll be shocked to hear, not given. No mention of what actual benefit this comes under, just a bald figure with no explanation.

So you have a headline, and a vague methodology for how it was worked out, but no actual figures cited directly derived from the case. A huge, high profile case in which benefits were apparently a key factor. So they could have taken in £100,000. Or certainly no more than £54,000, and with some degree of certainty, even less than that. The only properly sourced, testable accurate figure is the £8k of child benefit.

Wither journalism, investigation and forethought? You just don't need them if your audience is completely blinkered, and if it's actually less work to draw the blinkers tighter, so much the better. Then there's the fringe benefit. You create a seam of humanity so entirely possessed of your thinking that a simple questioning of the facts like this becomes construed as a defence of the killers or an urge toward profligate benefit spending. A self-sealing knot of unfalsifiable bullshit.
By smod
Membership Days Posts
#301296
MisterMuncher wrote:The fact that simply having facts and figures to hand in a debate seems revolutionary is a telling comment on the state of political discourse.
The right worked out a long time ago, you don't need facts to win the debate, just an emotional pull in your argument. Look how Cameron and others are able to justify policies/ideas with anecdotal evidence to seem 'in touch' or reflecting wider opinion. Jones has made the point before, we can have all the facts that prove our points correct, but we won't win these arguments if we don't present them in a certain way.

The language of the left need to connect with people in wider society if we are going to win anything. We are up against a right wing media who will accuse us of belittlement and snobbery. These welfare myths are constantly challenged but people still believe in this scrounger myth.
By Dacre Bleugh
Membership Days
#301298
Two good pieces (esp the latter) on Philpott & the subsequent spin:

Labour must draw the sting from welfare, or lose in 2015
Ed Miliband has to defy the skiver talk instead of vainly propping up the status quo or doing the Tories' work for them
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... -lose-2015" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mrs Justice Thirlwall: the one woman Philpott couldn't defeat

Thirlwall issued a judgement so razor-sharp that when I read the full transcript I felt like punching the air
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/com ... 62469.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
By Cythna
Membership Days
#301846
MisterMuncher wrote:And I'm inclined to agree right back: Information access, and publishing is as near to cost free as it ever has been. The present paradigm of political discourse is rooted in times when this wasn't the case. The old XKCD cartoon of the chap holding a Wiki-style "Citation Needed" placard up at a political rally should become the reality.

Dacre and drip-wise, there's simply too much bad information taken on trust by readers or handed out by writers because it's "common sense" that just does not bear any scrutiny.

In this context, I cast an eye over the "£100,000 earnings in benefits" figures cited for the Philpotts. Firstly, it's the comparison of the Philpott's "take" with a post-tax salary. So not really £100,000, but 68-odd.

Then it includes the salaries of the two women: Not benefits, so that's another 14k off. 54k now. Source unstated.

It includes tax credits of "up to" £38k, obviously a maximum possible, fag packet maths figure. It could be that much, yes. It probably isn't. Eg: For 5 children, it gives a figure of £17870. They've got this by multiplying the (maximum) child payment by 5, and adding the (maximum) basic element and (maximum) couples/family element. This gives 17865, so we're rounding up from a figure that is almost certainly inflated already. Once more, no source given.

Council rent is stated as "£150 a week". Source, you'll be shocked to hear, not given. No mention of what actual benefit this comes under, just a bald figure with no explanation.

So you have a headline, and a vague methodology for how it was worked out, but no actual figures cited directly derived from the case. A huge, high profile case in which benefits were apparently a key factor. So they could have taken in £100,000. Or certainly no more than £54,000, and with some degree of certainty, even less than that. The only properly sourced, testable accurate figure is the £8k of child benefit.

Wither journalism, investigation and forethought? You just don't need them if your audience is completely blinkered, and if it's actually less work to draw the blinkers tighter, so much the better. Then there's the fringe benefit. You create a seam of humanity so entirely possessed of your thinking that a simple questioning of the facts like this becomes construed as a defence of the killers or an urge toward profligate benefit spending. A self-sealing knot of unfalsifiable bullshit.

Taking off the rent and dividing the money between everyone, it comes out at roughly £63 per person per week-hardly a fortune. If it means that children get enough to eat and decent clothes I can live with characters like Phillpot exploiting the system. What's the alternative, the workhouse?
 
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Posts
#550648
He did a similar, fact-free hatchet job on Bulgarians and Romanians at the beginning of 2014.

It took about an hour of cursory checking, (no, those WhizzAir flights were not even fully-booked let alone booked out for weeks to come), and being able to pick my way round the Cyrillic alphabet to demolish the whole thing as a pack of blatant, deliberate and mendacious lies.

The sooner he is out of harm's way, the better.
 
By Boiler
Posts
#550658
I was in St. Denis last year, as part of my tour of finding stations that formed part of the Petite Ceinture. Sure, it's not the most salubrious part of Paris and it seemed to have a problem with homeless refugees sleeping under the large railway bridges there (a woman on the tram suggested we keep our cameras out of sight) but there was also a huge police presence there.

But that aside- the elementary mathematics is a massive fail here.
 
By Kreuzberger
Membership Days Posts
#550660
Asking "how could they get is so wrong?" is to miss the point.

Unlike many stories where the dog-whistles and spin on the basic facts creates a misleading impression, these are not errors in their reporting. This is deliberate, calculated disinformation.

Their motives for this one will probably never be fully understood but it might be worth noting that these attempts to disparage and denigrate Paris coincided perfectly with May's visit to Macron.

He'll not have been pleased by the antics of his guest's frequent dinner date.
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