Richard Wilson's blog

richardcameronwilson AT yahoo dot co dot UK

Archive for the ‘Ridiculous online polls’ Category

Poll: Is Daily Mail Managing Editor Robin Esser a total fliphead or an utter nincompoop?

with one comment

Every so often the Daily Mail surpasses itself in its quest to retain its status as the UK’s number-one reactionary antediluvian hate-rag from the dark ages. Today was one of those days.

From the Daily Mail

They are hormonal, incapable of leaving their personal lives at home and only too happy to talk about their staff behind their backs.

Female bosses are a nightmare to work for, a survey of employees concludes.

And it is not just men who think so.

Two-thirds of women said they preferred a male boss because their straight-talking, ‘get to the point’ attitude makes them easier to deal with.

It turns out this story was based on a survey which the excellent Michael Marshall of the Merseyside Skeptics Society took back in June, as part of an investigation into dodgy online polling. Marsh writes:

forced-choice where no answers actually fit is a recurring theme in these polls… take for example, as a first question: ‘Who do you prefer to work for, men or women?’ Binary choice. Go on, choose. This is followed up with ‘If you prefer to work for a man, why is this?’. Tick-box choices on offer were amazing – ‘Less likely to get involved in office politics’, ‘Easier to reason with’, ‘They’re able to leave their private life at home’, ‘Less mood swings’ and my personal favourite ‘No time of the month’. Fortunately, they’d given a box for ‘Other’, in which I merrily explained to them what sexist bullshit they were perpetrating – but I expect many chose an option, banked their 10p.

The next question was even worse: ‘If you prefer to work for a man, why do you think women make bad bosses?Bad bosses?! Question 1 forced me to choose who I preferred, now I’m suddenly labelling women incompetent! And the options? Classics – ‘they’re hormonal’, ‘they bitch all the time’, ‘they will stab others in the back’, ‘they spend too long worrying about their appearance’ and – again my favourite – simply ‘they lie’. I clicked Other, but how many people clicked at random to get through quick and bank their 10p? We’ll see, if it makes the newspapers as fact.

I hope to write more soon about the Daily Mail’s reckless disregard for the most basic standards of journalistic integrity, but in the meantime I thought I’d put together an online poll of my own, following similar methods to those that created today’s Daily Mail story. Enjoy!

Written by Richard Wilson

August 12, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Another bizarre package from the Falkands

with 7 comments

enraged or emphatic?

Last week I mentioned that I’d received a bizarre package with a Falkands postmark, containing two very odd photographs.

In October last year,  several copies of “Don’t Get Fooled Again” had been placed in glass jars, and floated seawards down the river Thames, with a note in English, French and Spanish asking anyone who found them to get in touch, but this was the first time I’d heard anything back.

Now, for the second occasion in as many weeks, another package has arrived, again bearing a Falklands postmark – but this time the photograph it contains seems even odder.

It isn’t clear whether the person pictured is giving the book his emphatic endorsement, or is enraged by something I say in it, or both. Once again, any clues on this would be much appreciated.

PS – On a related note, a reader has left a helpful comment on my other post, saying that “I am from the Falklands where most people know most people, but we don’t recognize this chap. Could be a cruise-ship visitor or a yachtie though, that found it and just posted it from the FI”.

This seems like an interesting possibility – and perhaps now that we have a picture in which my correspondent’s face is a bit clearer this will help to shed further light on things!

Update – 2nd April 2009 – as many readers have guessed, the above account is also not wholly accurate…

Exclusive: 64% blame Bowie for global economic meltdown…

leave a comment »


Some weeks ago, readers of this blog were asked to vote on one of the most pressing issues of our time: whose fault is the global economic meltdown?

Seldom has an online poll been more fiercely contested – and seldom have the stakes been so high.

But the votes are now in, and it is clear that by a landslide 64%, the rock star and sometime actor David Bowie is known to be the man responsible, with Robert Peston coming in a distant second at just 29%, and Barack Obama almost nowhere to be seen.

Polls clearly show that it's all David Bowie's fault

Indisputable evidence that it's all Bowie's fault

The implications of this news have yet to be determined, but one thing already seems beyond doubt – neither “Diamond Dogs” nor “Black Tie White Noise” will ever sound quite the same way again.

Poll: Who’s to blame for the global economic meltdown?

with one comment

Now that it’s beyond doubt that we’re in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis, it’s time to focus on what really matters – figuring out who to blame.

Christopher Booker blames Barack Obama, city traders fault the BBC’s Robert Peston while the BBC’s Evan Davis blames David Bowie. So whose fault is the global economic meltdown? YOU DECIDE:

Written by Richard Wilson

February 1, 2009 at 6:42 pm