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Tuesday 17 February 2015

IPSO Gives Desmond Raw Deal

Someone at the so-called Independent Parliamentary Standards Organisation (IPSO) appears to have forgotten why Richard “Dirty” Desmond pulled his papers out of the failed PCC. This was partly because he formed the impression that the body was loaded against him, due to the influence of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, whose hatred for Des, due to the latter’s “top shelf” magazine interests, is the stuff of press legend.
Who really controls IPSO? ((c) Steve Bell 2014)

So Desmond didn’t think the Express and Daily Star titles were getting a fair hearing. He may come to the same conclusion about IPSO. As the Guardian has told, “Daily Express website rapped by Ipso over 'distorted' Ukip story … Article suggested Labour was less popular than Nigel Farage party, when in fact the poll it was based on showed the opposite”. The Express had recycled a poll of Sun readers.

Despite the Express adding a correction, stating “We would like to clarify that the poll referred to in this article, that puts Ukip ahead of Labour, is a poll of Sun readers carried out by YouGov”, IPSO “found that the online article was a significantly distorted account of the results of the poll. It suggested that, overall, Labour was less popular than Ukip, when in fact the poll had showed the opposite”.
There was more: “The findings of the poll had been perfectly clear, and the newspaper did not provide a satisfactory explanation for the approach it had taken … No amendment had been made to correct the text of the online article, and the footnote published did not clearly identify the misleading information which required correction”. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, the Express was not alone.

As it was a poll they commissioned, the Super Soaraway Currant Bun ran a story on it, pointed up by the paper’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn, who told “Startling finding in @YouGov poll of Sun readers today; 25% still vote Labour, but just 6% have Ed Mili as best PM”. The link in his Tweet is now dead, which suggests the Sun has quietly withdrawn the article from view. I wonder why.
The comments by Mike Smithson at Political Betting on this poll might give a clue: “Could the Express poll be this Sun readers' survey which IS NOT A PROPER POLL. Known in business as a ‘voodoo poll’”. The Sun might have been best advised not running the poll in the first place, and the Express, not known as the Daily UKIP for nothing, might equally have been best advised not lifting it.

But the treatment of the two titles is so different: even after the Express clarified its story to tell readers that the poll referenced was of Sun readers, they got censured. The Sun appears to have quietly pulled its own version and got off Scot Free. At a time when IPSO might be expected to hold the line and keep all its participants within the tent, the last thing they need is to provoke Dirty Des to take his bat home.

And good to see that IPSO still resembles the PCC fluid in a differently labelled bottle.

1 comment:

SteveB said...

What's amazing is that despite everything fed to them, over a quarter of Sun readers still intend to vote Labour! Imagine what it would be if they read an honest paper.