Wednesday, 26 October 2011

iGoogle - uGoogle

Sorry I have not been about much. Some of you may know I pull a muscle down down in the basement (as in bowels of Eland House). I was trying out a few new yoga moves - never again. Normal service will be resumed.
Latest Freedom of Information request:

Dear Chums

On my way home tonight I was listening to amazing Dr Hook and I was reminded that being in love with a beautiful woman and cutting the deficit have some similarities - they are both hard. So I am in favour of the many creative ways to cut spending at DCLG. I particularly want to applaud the way the Uncle Eric has done away with the need for robust research or evidence to support his policies.

We all know that conducting research costs money -all those boring planning meeting stating hypothesissesesses;  months going out doing field work speaking to loons and weeks writing it all up with a heavy heart knowing that no one is going to read it. Plus there is the real danger than findings come out wrong! Crazy waste of money I am sure you would agree.

So it is reassuring that DCLG Ministers as doing away with unnecessary costly primary research and happy to trot out the line from any old Tom, Nick or Harry with an axe to grind.

Recently we have had some amazing facts about rat populations (courtesy of a pest control firm), research of weekly waste collection which was more useful as bin liner and the amazing Opera report on procurement (which is still attracting lots of follow up FoIs).

I note that yesterday in Hansard Bob Neil provided a written answer on trade union activities.

Our Bobby quoted from reports from the Tax Payers Alliance and The Sunday Times. Both of these sources perhaps support Bob’s viewpoint but I wonder if this is a case of selection bias? Was there other research, that was conveniently cast aside? And is this research actually robust enough to be worth quoting?

Can you please answer the following to help me understand?

1)      Did anyone at DCLG actually read and attempt to fact check either of these reports? If so who?

2)      Did anyone at DCLG review the extrapolation method that the Tax Payer Alliance so skilfully applied?
3)      Was a wider literature reviews conducted? If so please provide results

Yours googling,


1 comment:

  1. Welcome back Derek.

    You have been missed. I hope the yoga injury is healing :)