Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Seven-Up

This week a mere 97,212 visitors visited 295,677 times viewing 498,781 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

You’re either in front of Guido, or behind…

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Flaws Emerge in Government Transparency Website

The Register has followed up Guido’s story yesterday about the government’s less than transparent new transparency website. They have delved a little deeper and found that when they downloaded the raw data of a department selected at random , this is what appeared in Excel:

Useful. Invariably, downloading the data merely gives you the limited information in the colourful boxes above in table form. But only for each sub-category of each department at any one time. So if you wanted a comprehensive spreadsheet of all the data across the whole government, across one department even, you would have to spend hours doing it yourself. In fairness to the Cabinet Office this is a beta version so they do the opportunity to iron out these faults. If they do GIST does have the potential to be a useful tool. And after all, all the best people in tech do go and work for the government…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator points out the maths is dodgy too:

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

No Interest in New Government Spending Website

GIST is the government’s new spending website, the beta version of which is up today. On the surface it all looks very sharp and transparent, showing you how much each government department has spent in each quarter and allowing you to click through to more detailed information. There is one thing they clearly don’t want taxpayers to find out about however. 

For some reason there is no big, colourful box for the government’s debt interest payments. This year’s debt interest payment is £47.1 billion. Per quarter, that would be the fifth largest square on the table above. All we get are vague non-explanations such as “reducing the structural deficit in a fair and responsible way: £26 million”. Which means absolutely nothing. Hashtag transparency…

UPDATE:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Young MPs With Slim Majorities Are Top Tweeters

Nottingham Uni student James Donald has crunched the numbers and found that the younger an MP and the smaller their majority, the more likely they are to use Twitter. Unsurprisingly, younger MPs tend to tweet the most.  Micky Fabricant being the exception that proves the rule…

MPs with majorities under 10% are relatively prolific users, with those in safe seats much less likely to bother:

Makes you wonder whether they are doing themselves more harm than good…

Via Notts Politics, Democratic Audit.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Party Funding Figures in Full

How much money is there in politics? £72,405,726 is the total income reported by Britain’s political parties in the last year.

 72,405,726 reasons for reform…

Q2 GDP Up 0.6%

As widely predicted, GDP increased by 0.6% in the second quarter. Good news all round as all four main industrial groupings within the economy (agriculture, production, construction and services) increased in Q2 compared with Q1. Services were up by 0.6%, production by 0.6%, manufacturing by 0.4% and construction by 0.9%. That’s almost healthy…

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lazy Male MPs Want Longer Lie-Ins

Lazy male MPs are demanding longer lie-ins before they start work in the morning. Leaked internal polling commissioned by the House of Commons Procedure Committee, in charge of sitting hours, reveals that 56% of male MPs say early starts are having a “negative impact” on the House’s effectiveness. 58% of men oppose rules stopping them from bunking off Tuesday mornings, while many are unhappy at having to be in for 9:30am on Thursdays. 116 MPs polled had the cheek to argue early starts have a negative impact on their personal effectiveness. It turns out the girls are far harder-working, 54% of women MPs are happy with the current family-friendly arrangement. Since Parliament isn’t sitting again until September 2nd they can snooze all day for the rest of the summer…

In response to the poll of MPs who want longer lie-ins, Guido thought we should poll voters to find out what they think:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Misery Index: Summer Sunshine

With temperatures hitting the thirties, the Aussies capitulating at Lords and borrowing down last year, it’s smiles all round this summer. Unemployment fell again this month and, crucially, Public Sector Net Cash Requirement is down at 3.1 from last month’s high. Which all gives us a summer Misery Index of just 12.03. Pimms o’clock…

N.B. stats bods can check Guido’s adding up here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Income Inequality at Lowest Since 1986

Today’s ONS figures show that the income gap between the richest and poorest is at its lowest level since 1986. The graph below shows the Gini coefficient for disposable income in 2011/12 was 32.3%, a fall from last year and lower than every year until the mid-eighties. For all Labour’s hand-wringing, ONS attribute this primarily to a drop in earnings for the at the top and an increase among the poorest fifth.

Also worth noting the growth in disposable income for rich and poor households since 1977:

ONS says the rich are not getting richer whilst the poor get poorer. This will undermine the rhetoric of many on the left. Fundamentally undermining Ed’s plan to fight the election arguing that while the economy might be growing, everyone is worse off.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Three Graphs That Skewer Europhile Myths

At the beginning of the last decade over 60% of Britain’s goods exports was to EU countries. Over the last twelve years that percentage has fallen to 50%, as our goods exports to the rest of the world has increased from under 40% to 50%.

What’s more, Britain’s trade deficit with the EU is far greater than its deficit with the rest of the world. The idea they wouldn’t trade with us if we leave is farcical.

Thirdly, Europe is becoming less important in world trade. In 1990 the EU was 27 per cent of world output. By 2016 it will be just 18 per cent of world output, a pretty significant fall.

Food for thought come Friday.

Via notourbiggestmarket.org

Seen Elsewhere

5 Things We Learned From Guido’s Party | GQ
Revealed: Guido Fawkes Anniversary Dinner Guestlist | Peter Oborne
More Owen Jones Errors | Michael Ezra
Why Should Men Get Equal Maternity Leave? | Laura Keynes
Dentists Have Last Laugh Over Sneering Keynes | FT
Why’s Clegg Giving Men Paternity Leave? | Conservative Women
Cam Cannot Stem EU Immigration | David Keighley
9 Mansion Tax Questions for Ed Balls | TPA
Politicians are Lying to You About Immigration | Alex Wickham
Give Journalists Public Interest Defence in Law | Guardian
Cameron is Going to Have to Deal With UKIP | Dan Hodges


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Chris Bryant talks to the Times Diary about a famous gay actor:

“I don’t think I’ve had sex with him. He says we had sex in Clapham. I’m fairly certain I’ve never had sex south of the river”



Progressive Inclusion Champion says:

Great to hear Carswell call for inclusive policies and that UKIP must stand for first and second generation immigrants as much as the English.


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