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Thursday 6 August 2020

Hartley Dooda CONNED By Dodgy Poll

The good news, for those still paying good money to read the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, is that Allison Pearson is away (whether this is with or without the fairies is not told). The bad news is that her temporary replacement is self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, talking mainly about Herself Personally Now.
Ms Hartley Dooda’s latest effort confirms - most likely inadvertently - that something which looks too good to be true probably is too good to be true. It also shows that the difference between Astroturf lobby groups Policy Exchange, and the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, is so small as to be indistinguishable. Especially when it comes to misuse of data.

Under the heading “The Left can’t stomach the Right’s right to disagree”, she tells readersA YouGov poll of 820 academics for the Policy Exchange think tank has found that nearly a third of those with political views on the right - and more than a quarter of Brexiteers - are too fearful to openly view their opinions at work”. Gosh! And there’s more.

The most bizarre finding was that, while 86 per cent of the academics said they would be comfortable sitting next to a Remain supporter at lunch, only 54 per cent could stomach eating lunch next to a Leave voter”. And, so what? Is there a point to this? Sadly, there is.
What do they think will happen if they dare to break bread with a Leave voter? Are they worried that our love of democratic accountability [ho ho ho] will leave a nasty taste in their mouths? This dislike - even fear and contempt - for anyone who hold a different opinion is a growing problem [pot, kettle]. But it’s not just confined to the senior common room. Institutions like the BBC are, arguably, even worse”. Or arguably not.

Ms Hartley Dooda then goes on to invent an encounter with a cameraman on the set of The Andy Marr Show™. But there is a serious problem with her column, dated as it is the 5th of August. Because the previous day - the article is timestamped 1100 hours - Jonathan Portes of King’s Collage London had written about the poll for the Guardian.

According to a report from the think tank Policy Exchange, Academic Freedom in the UK, pro-Brexit and rightwing academics are being ‘forced to hide their views’. The report cites a YouGov poll of 820 academics, which found that 32% of those who identify their political views as ‘right’ or ‘fairly right’ have ‘stopped openly airing opinions in teaching and research’” he told. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however …
On the surface, these numbers sound legitimate - but simple statistical detective work tells us that this equates to no more than about 10 academics currently employed at UK universities. The survey has been padded out with a large proportion of retired academics, and the report itself is littered with basic statistical errors.” See HERE for instance.

Portes adds this chilling aside: “Perhaps the thought police really are stalking the corridors of the ivory tower - but they aren’t the same people that the Policy Exchange report identifies. It turns out that academic freedom is only good when your views are defined as acceptable by a right wing think tank with close links to Downing Street”.

Not only did Julia Hartley Dooda get suckered by a dodgy poll, she managed to miss its authoritarian undercurrent. Which makes her journalism fail that much worse.
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Andy McDonald said...

Considering how several right-leaning talking heads have been musing publicly about "naming and shaming" left-leaning academics and pressuring institutions to dismiss them, this is all a little rich.

End of the day, if someone starts going on about how much they hate immigrants over the canteen table (if it's open), I'm going to move. "Chat shit, get banged" as I believe the young people say.

AndyC said...

When the awful realisation of what a disaster Brexit will be for the country finally becomes obvious even to the most hardened Brexiters, with food queues and medicine shortages, massive unemployment, a trashing of our rights, subservience to the US (rather than a leading role in the EU), the end of the NHS as we know it, and much more, I imagine near to 100% of Brexit supporters will be wary of putting their heads above the parapet and admitting they voted for or ever supported it. In case of doubt, I am of course only suggesting that they be showered in ridicule, or ballot box rejection. And be placed at the back of any queues.

Gulliver said...

@ AndyC

Then again, CV19 has presented Vote Leave, currently in charge of running (in the loosest possible sense of the word) the country, with a massive opportunity. The inevitable fallout from the sort of Brexit they have always coveted (the sort they were at pains to say was never going to happen, no deal) will now be blamed on Covid19, with a smattering of EU intransigence thrown in for luck.

The perennially outraged and spiteful 40% that make up the Tory voting block (well, the ones that survive the pandemic anyway) will lap it up.

Anonymous said...

This is the same culture war they're pushing in America. All these polls are skewed to propel the narrative that the people who own the country, own the press, waffle endlessly about nonsense and cover up their errors using, well, the media they own - these people are some sort of persecuted minority.

Meanwhile the press rant about immigrants, 'scroungers', 'lefties' etc. with impunity. This week they're demanding teachers concerned with the safety of kids in a pandemic are fired for example.

Wonder though if a (honest) poll was taken among right-wingers if they'd be happy to be pals with a black power activist, or a utopian techno Communist or... Ash Sarkar?

Guessing not.

Burlington Bertie from Bow said...

Don't overthink it. AndyC is right.

It's sheer embarrassment that keeps their mouths shut. And if it is 'fear', then it's fear of revealing themselves to be complete twats, fooled by the Fat Oaf and a couple of 3 line slogans.

If Droopy-Hartley-Brewer had a smidgeon of political sense or self-awareness she'd be keeping her mouth shut too.

Unknown said...

Brexit looking better all the time, come out of the bunker.

grim northerner said...

The real absurdity is that NOBODY is radicalised at university, the vast majority of students are generally left of centre because they are young and idealistic and they vote for mainstream political parties. even the handful of student radicals who do exist swifty drop far left politics after they graduate and enter the workplace.
It is the people who believe the baloney about "left wing academics" "brainwashing" students who are the victims of political propaganda.
I guess the reason being that people who didn't attend uni have no experience of university life and are unable to understand just how ludicrous the notion is, Rick from The Young ones" isn't about to launch a revolution.