No, 250,000 People Did Not Protest On Saturday

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Numbers have never been a strong point for the left. Hence why Owen Jones and his new mate Charlotte Church were pushing the quarter of a million figure for Saturday’s march in London. It’s nonsense.

Even lefties are sceptical:

While the police will not publicly give a figure, a source tells Guido this morning that Parliament Square can hold around 20,000 people. With a bit of overflow, the working estimate is around 25,000…

250,000 would fill not only Parliament Square but Whitehall and Trafalgar Square too. Twice over.

In order for the comrades to have achieved 250,000 people on their march, 5,000 people would have to have left the starting point at Bank every minute – almost 100 per second – in the time they claimed to have achieved this fantasy number. “A tight military formation couldn’t even do that,” Guido’s public order numbers bod derides. 

Are the lefties really saying they had the same number of people who marched on Washington in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement – put at between 200,000 and 250,000:

Landscape

Is Owen Jones really saying he is a bigger draw than Martin Luther King?

250,000 was also the figure given for Obama’s famous speech in Berlin in 2008:

obama

Notice a difference in the size of the crowd?

This is what 250,000 people looked like when Paul McCartney played in Mexico in 2012.

Shall we look at Saturday’s picture again?

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Looks about a tenth of the size… pretty shoddy journalism for the papers to just regurgitate the number given by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity without so much as a raised eyebrow. Continue reading

Official: Lazy Socialists Lost the Election

Most of the analysis of the pollsters’ collective nightmare has blamed the ‘Shy Tories’ – people who planned on voting Tory but didn’t tell the pollsters. Ipsos MORI have a different theory: that ‘Lazy Labour’ supporters not turning up to vote skewed the numbers.

The final MORI poll suggested 12.5 million people would vote Tory, just ahead of 12.2 million voting Labour.

They weren’t too far off on the Tory number – 11.3 million voted Tory on the day – but some 3 million Labour supporters went missing. Where did they go? MORI chief Ben Page says:

“we think not voted. Predicted turnout 82% day before. Was only 66%”

Their analysis suggests it was young left-wing voters not turning out on the day that explains the difference. The Russell Brand effect…

More BBC Website Bias: Food Bank Headline Claim Made Up

The BBC website lost all semblance of editorial impartiality yesterday, but how are they faring today? This headline makes their homepage this morning:

The claim comes from a report by the Trussell Trust, press released this morning as “Food bank use tops one million for first time”. It would be reasonable to assume from both that title and the BBC headline that, currently, one million people are using food banks. Is that the case?

Scroll down to the very bottom of the Trussell Trust press release, and of the “million” in the headline, they admit “on average 49 percent of foodbank users only needed one foodbank voucher in a year”.

In fact, “only 15 percent needed help more than three times in a year”. So it is misleading in the least to imply that a million people are currently using food banks.

What’s more, the Trussell Trust ‘fess up: “We cannot measure unique users on a national scale”. The “million” is not even a unique figure, it counts those who use foodbanks on more than once occassion twice.

But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good election story…

UPDATE: Full Fact also take issue with the headline:

“The claim that over a million people are using Trussell Trust food banks is inaccurate. It comes from confusing the number of different people using Trussell Trust food banks in a year with the number of times they use the food banks.

The Trussell Trust collect their data from the vouchers used by people referred to their food banks. If one voucher feeds a family of 4 people, that’s 4 instances. If the same family visit again next week, that’s another 4 instances. The Trussell Trust say that on average people needed two food bank vouchers annually, so the number of people using food banks is likely to be around half of the 1.1 million figure.”

The Graph That Ruins Miliband’s Argument

Even after Labour’s manifesto mea culpa about fiscal responsibility, Ed would still not say he thought Labour spent too much before the crisis. He had his audience cheering as he yelled “absolutely we were right to invest in those things”:

Miliband told the Labour manifesto launch:

“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…”

Really, Ed?

The financial crisis caused the deficit that Labour ran in 2002/3?

And grew in 2003/4?

And in 2004/5?

And in 2005/6?

“It was the financial crisis that caused the deficit…” in 2006/7?

And in 2007/8?

Really, Ed?

Public Wake Up to Election

After five years of the public ignoring politics, it seems the election is finally getting cut through. Though Labour will disappointed at how little the public noticed their non-dom hit:

Don’t you know there’s a war on?

Labour Losing the PPC/Oxbridge Social Mobility Battle

Well this is awkward for The People’s Party. Should Labour be the largest party in parliament, 25.51% of MPs are likely to be Oxbridge graduates. However, that number drops to 20.86% in a Conservative-led Parliament. According to research and analysis by the Insight Consulting Group, more newly-elected MPs would be university educated in a Parliament where Labour has the largest party (158) as opposed to the Conservatives (139). So much for being the party of social mobility… 

No Natalie, Capitalism Has Delivered an 80% Decline in World Poverty

As newsrooms across the land stop what they are doing to read the Green Party’s response to Labour’s non-dom announcement, it is worth picking Natalie Bennett up on this:

“The last four decades have seen wealth accumulate at the top of society while those at the bottom struggle to get by.”

Now hold on just a darn prosperity-spreading cotton-picking second. Over the last four decades the world poverty rate – people living on a dollar a day or less – has plummetted. As this graph from CarpeDiem shows, in 1970 almost 30% of the globe was impoverished. 40 years later that number is as low as 5%:

Rather than more of “those at the bottom struggling to get by” over the last four decades, the world poverty rate has fallen 80%. For all the ideological socialist rhetoric, the cold hard facts show that capitalism has freed hundreds of millions from the clutches of poverty.

Are You Happier Than You Were Four Years Ago?

Depending on whether you believe the IFS or Ed Balls, the jury is out on Reagan’s question of “are you better off than you were four years ago”. One barometer that cannot be statistically disputed however is the question of whether or not we should, based on economic indicators, be more miserable than we were in 2010. There has been a clear decline in Guido’s Misery Index during this parliament and we should be happier today than we have ever been in the last five years.

Cameron and Osborne inherited an unemployment rate of 7.9% when they took office, a number which rose as high as 8.4% in March 2012 but has now fallen to a low of 5.7%, the lowest since 2008.

Falling inflation should make us happier. Though the Retail Price Index remained around 5% for the first year or so of this government, it then embarked on a steady decline reaching a current low of 1.1% in February.

Today’s very slightly revised GDP figures – up from 0.5% growth in the last quarter of last year to 0.6% – also contribute. While the Public Sector Net Cash Requirement – the individual monthly borrowing requirement – this month stands at zero. When we are borrowing less, we should all be much happier.

On all four measures of the Misery Index, there has been an improvement under this government, albeit small. Guido started our version of the traditional Misery Index – it is actually a variation on the Robert Barro version of the original Misery Index created by economist Arthur Okun – back before the last general election. Adding in the PSNR to the composite to give the deficit reduction objective of the government some weight. Are we happier than we were five years ago? Statistically the numbers say yes…

Another Shot Fox: IFS Say Yes To Reagan Question

Last year Ed Balls wrote:

‘”Are you better off than you were four years ago?” That was the question Ronald Reagan famously asked the American people in his first Presidential election campaign.

The answer back in 1980 was no

[…]

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GUIDO POLL: Foreign Nando’s V British Harvester

The PM has claimed that foreign food from Nando’s is better value than a good old British Harvester. He probably focus grouped his answers, but is he out of touch?[…]

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iPen Ain’t Gonna Happen

apple_haptic_stylus

Tech journalists have been lapping up a report by analysis firm KGI Securities that confidently predicts Apple will unveil a Stylus for its iPad in the second quarter of this year. It would be quite a change of philosophy for […]

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Plummeting Public Trust in Lefty NGOs

Edelman has published its annual “trust barometer”, sampling a massive 27,000 people on how they rate politicians, industries and organisations on honesty. The stand out figure is the huge drop in trust for leftist activists disguised as do-gooders: NGOs. […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Rod Liddle:

“Family of 12 from Luton – including a baby and two grandparents who are suffering from diabetes and cancer – feared to have joined ISIS… yay – result! That’s saved us all quite a few bob, no? Carry on like this and we might clear the national debt.”

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