Home > All, General Rants, Politics > I’m sorry – I’m English…

I’m sorry – I’m English…

November 17, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments
eu vote

Get me out of here – I'm English!

You know that I neither like nor trust statistics. Here’s another example, quoted in (and graphic filched from) PoliticalBetting. It’s a YouGov poll. It separates participants into ‘English’, ‘Scottish’, ‘British’ and so on. The results suggest that those who consider themselves British wish to stay in the EU, while those who consider themselves English wish to leave.

YouGov president, Peter Kellner, analyses the results:

All told, the poll suggests our views on EU membership are largely shaped by how we in these islands think of ourselves. What distinguishes people who call themselves “English” is a passion for keeping other countries at arm’s length.

Whisper it softly, but is Englishness these days a source not just of pride but also insecurity?

This prompts the question from PoliticalBetting: Are the “English” less secure about the world than the “British”?

Possible, but personally I doubt it. Surely it is more likely that the English have enough confidence in themselves to not need the European umbrella? Confident, not insecure. So here we have one set of statistics with two diametrically opposed possible conclusions: the English are insecure and the English are super-confident.

All statistics ever do is prove your own, or the statistician’s, pre-conceptions.

Categories: All, General Rants, Politics
  1. Geoff, England
    November 18, 2011 at 10:01 am

    You might or might be aware that Peter Kellner is married to Caroline Ashton, holder of one of the EU’s highest-paid ‘jobs’. (I only stumbled across that fact very recently.) That explains Kellner’s snide attitude to us English and our wish to leave the EU. Conveniently, he neglects to tell us that opposition to the EU is by no means unique to the English people. Try selling the ‘benefits’ of the EU to the Greeks just now, or the Germans for that matter.

    Politicians and incompetent managers in the workplace use stats for the same reason a drunk uses a lamppost: as something to lean on, rather than for illumination, so you’re right to be wary of statistics.


  2. Home Rule for England
    November 18, 2011 at 9:36 am

    As Humpty Dumpty would say it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’


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