Saturday, June 20, 2015

At home he's a tourist


It should be possible to live in a world where pretty-much everything is based on fact, on hard statistical evidence. We have the historical data, we have the computers and we have a wealth of brainpower: more people than ever having had a university education combined with very well-educated individuals who are living longer.

As such no important decision of great magnitude should be made without hard evidence to back it up. Sadly we are still the victims of political mismanagement and self-interest, of abuse by major corporations and their minions. Mostly this passes us by, newspapers have been hollowed out, eviscerated, and the messages they carry are often for the purposes of their rich owners rather than ours. Occasionally a few heads will rise from the trenches and point out insane inaccuracies such as in this letter from major economists criticising George Osborne’s plan to make deficit reduction into law. Unfortunately it’s not the first time he’s been criticised by educated folk, I need not remind you that his party was re-elected with an increased majority.
As I said in April 2013 the truth is out there but we’re often too lazy to find it. There is a certainty that very few in the media are willing to lead us to it. Instead we are often misled by statistics and the 'interpretation' of fact. I was partly privy to some of this misdirection earlier in the week when I saw reports of UK Music’s  report into ‘music tourism’.

Wish You Were Here is a glowing analysis into the growth of festivals and live music, a very well researched document that aims to promote the UK music industry. I cannot and should not criticise that but I could not help but notice some irregularities. Looking deeper into the methodology made me particularly suspicious of statistics that claimed the industry supported '38,238 full time jobs in 2014’.