Friday 7 September 2007

Opinion polls and other things

I've just been playing cricket on the green. Not a proper game, just knocking it around. This follows an attempt at doing the same two days ago. Given that this is 7th September that tells us something about the summer we've had. I got bat in front of ball better today; on Wednesday I couldn't stop myself backing away to leg when batting, and when I was bowling the ball went all over the place.

I have discovered that I'm not as fit as I thought I was. I've also remembered things kids do, like marking as accurately as possible where the ball went because you know that when you get there it's going to look completely different; amazing how these things come back.

That was the other things bit. On opinion polls I've just read a really good, if somewhat long, article on Liberal Democrat Voice. Being a Liberal Democrat, I'm used to us being trashed in the polls, and then get far more in the actual elections than everyone, including us sometimes, thought we were going to get. And on that subject, for my Yorkshire readers, there was an excellent win for us this week in a by-election in Heworth Without. In the LibDem Voice article, I like particularly the the standard health warning near the end "all opinion polls should be taken with several sackloads of salt, whether they show your favourite option going up or down. They are not ‘news’, merely irresistible, so remember that however fevered the analysis, we’re only pretending they matter until actual elections come along". That phrase "not news, merely irresistible" is brilliant.

There will be more posting on vaguely political topics in the next few days. I'm not planning to go to the party conference even though it's in Brighton. The firm I work for has a habit of fixing its annual meeting to clash with whatever party conference is taking place in Brighton, so no politicking for me. If it stays as hot as this, I'll be glad I'm not in the conference hall.

October election? Who knows. Gordon Brown is playing a very canny game. Lord Sainsbury's two million is only going to make a difference to the temperature of the speculation, and not to the actual decision, I would think.

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