Compare and contrast

A couple of weeks ago someone sent me a link to a “poll” in the Tab (which, one understands, is some form of newspaper for students) that claimed to show Conservatives were in the lead amongst students. Nonsense of course, it was an open access voodoo poll with no attempt to get a meaningful or representative sample (hell, 10% of the sample were Cambridge students!). Of course, it was only a poll in a campus newspaper so I didn’t bother writing rude things about it, the only other media I found foolish enough to cite it were Vice and Breitbart.

Just for the record though, today’s Independent has a properly conducted poll of students by YouthSight (we’ve met them here before, under the name of Opinionpanel). This was a panel based survey amongst undergraduate full-time students, recruited via UCAS and validated through an ac.uk email address, weighted by type of university (Russell, pre-1992, post-1992, specialist), year of study and gender. In contrast to the voodoo poll above, it shows Labour with a solid lead amongst students who say they are likely to vote – Labour 43%, Conservatives 24%, Lib Dems 6%, Greens 14%, UKIP 5%. Compare and contrast.


310 Responses to “Compare and contrast”

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  1. @MRNAMELESS: “certain issues only affecting disabled people…”

    Are there any such issues? A mental disability is very different from a physical disability, for example.

    @GUYMONDE: “But those on disabled benefits have a powerful chunk of common interest.”

    That’s not the same as people with a disability, though. Most probably don’t receive any benefits.

  2. @RogerH

    You’re right of course. I was somewhat stunned by the numbers of people with a disability – 7.5M of working age. Only around 2m of them (plus another ~ 1.3M outside working age groups) receive Disability Living Allowance.

    Nevertheless, around 3M adults out of an electorate of 45M is not to be sneezed at.

  3. For so many years now we have had the agonies of various attempts to create a balance in the House of Commons which reflects the balance in society between men and women. All women short lists etc. none of which are satisfactory or fair.

    One really easy solution without changing the electoral method if the two major parties (and electorate) want to retain FPTP, would be at the next boundary commission to half the number of constituencies to about or just over 300. Then each constituency could elect one man from an all male list of candidates, and one woman from an all female list of candidates. That way we would create a parliament of exactly equal numbers.

    It would be rather fun to see how the male MP and the female MP from each constituency then co-operate and get along!!!!!

  4. GUYMONDE

    “Nevertheless, around 3M adults out of an electorate of 45M is not to be sneezed at.”

    I feel sure that they will be deeply grateful that you think they are worth “not sneezing “at, ;and flock to the political party of your choice as a result.

  5. GUYMONDE

    “In the real world, there is prejudice”

    “Indeed. A topical example is the bias of Universities in favour of the privately educated, who then perform less well than state schooled students.”

    —————-

    There is some truth in this, but it’s a bit more complicated than it may appear on the surface.

    For example, imagine a public school boy, up at Uni after spending his teens and a few years before that in the open prison that is boarding school. Where he wasn’t even allowed to go to the local coffee shop. You weren’t even allowed to the sweet shop on Sunday. You only get to meet girls briefly in the hols, and then you are gone again. You weren’t allowed a radio till fifth form, cassette till sixth form. You have had your fill of studying and sport and little else, finally you are free, and the dream of many public school peeps is to escape the destiny of accountancy and law and the corporate bollox. You’ve had years of forced competition, fortnightly marks in every subject, even behaviour got marked (yes, mine was usually a minus number), published in league tables even at primary school age… How interested do you think he would be in yet more time holed up in the library, competing with the state school kids who are on a mission…

    Some of course, know that following their parent into accountancy is inevitable, in which case they are also gonna have some fun beforehand…

  6. Interesting stuff regarding people with disabilities (better description than disabled people).

    My children both have Aspergers Syndrome (alongside other related issues), and it’s a terrifying world out there for them.

    Such conditions are widely misunderstood, even by the professionals who you have to deal with. The media view is pretty dreadful, ranging from all suffers are like Rain man to the condition doesn’t exist, and all they need a good hiding and more discipline. Both are utterly wrong and misleading.

    Until you have experienced the world viewed through the eyes of a relative with disabilities, you have no idea the barriers in everyday life that are faced. It seems the world tries to change people with disabilities to suit the ‘normal’ (whatever that means) world.

    My children don’t want putting in a box, away from the world. They don’t want the things that make them unique changing to suit those who can’t accept people for who they are. They don’t want pity or to be patronised.

    They just want the world to accept them as they are, and a level playing field and equal opportunities to take their place in the world, as others have said already.

    Until that world evolves and we become more enlightened, we will need positive discrimination to ensure they get a fair deal.

  7. Obviously there is deep institutional sexism in the criminal justice system, perhaps some quota could be employed to facilitate issues around gender equality?

  8. All this support for “positive” discrimination, on a site where you’d expect above average understanding & interpretation of statistics….this is not good at all.

  9. @Wood

    All this support for “positive” discrimination, on a site where you’d expect above average understanding & interpretation of statistics….this is not good at all.

    Please explain why this is not good? What on earth has this got to do with understanding statistics?

  10. cmj

    “Interesting stuff regarding people with disabilities (better description than disabled people).”

    And VERY much better than “the” disabled.

    Don’t think you’ll get far with wood be the way.

  11. mr BW

    Dead right: jail equal numbers of wimmin.

  12. ….they deserve it.

  13. @ CATMANJEFF

    I totally agree with you and think this is a good argument for guaranteeing interviews to people with “disabilities”.;

    I had to fight hard to retain a colleague with Aspergers Syndrome at my work mainly because people wanted rid of him who did not understand how to relate to him and he had been placed in a position which highlighted his communication difficulties and did not match to his abilities. I was able to arrange a move to another position for him in which he was more happy and suited his abilities in IT better. I have long since left the job but I am glad to say he is still employed there and keeps in touch with me.

  14. @Toonie

    I can only hope that when my children are at working age, they find a co-worker like you.

    It means a lot, thanks.

  15. @WOOD

    “All this support for “positive” discrimination, on a site where you’d expect above average understanding & interpretation of statistics….this is not good at all.”

    ——

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there is already lots of positive discrimination. People employing their mates, their tribe etc.

    Do you think the people earning squillions for taking down the banks and the economy were the best for the job? When they can’t do the maths to know if the derivatives etc. are really any good or not? And they couldn’t even allow for the possibility of misselling sub-prime mortgages? And then they go and do some misselling themselves… Libor, PPI etc.

    A bit of positive discrimination for the underrepresented is just levelling the playing field. But of course, I prefer solving problems at source, and creating more jobs would mean less pitting of one group against another…

  16. In other news, Happy Hour has begun…

  17. @ Wood

    Either women commit fewer crimes or they’re cleverer & therefore don’t get caught committing them. So what’s your point?

    BTW, It’s a proven fact that the women who do get sent to prison have received a harsher sentence regarding the crime for which they’ve been convicted than men receive for similar crimes.

  18. mr BW
    Dead right: jail equal numbers of wimmin.

    -If Women ever commit an equal number of crimes of the same seriousness as men then on the bases of statistics they will outnumber the male prison population.

    You might be interested to know that while females only account for 5% of the Prison Population they are actually more likely to get longer custodial sentences for crimes than men.

    Women accounted for 9% of all prison receptions in the 12 months leading up to March 2013.

    Between 1995 and 2010 the female prison population increased by 115%.

    26% of women in prison had no previous convictions – more than double the figure for men (12%).

    28% of women serving sentences of under 12 months had no previous convictions, compared with only 12% of men.

    Over half of women in prison report having suffered domestic violence.

    One in three women in prison report having suffered sexual abuse.

    53% of women in prison report having experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse during childhood.

    19% of women were not in permanent accommodation before entering custody and 10% of women were sleeping rough.

    31% women in prison have spent time in local authority care as a child.

    Nearly 40% of women in prison left school before the age of 16 years, almost one in 10 were aged 13 or younger.

    30% of women were permanently excluded from school.

    Women account for a disproportionate amount of self-harm in prison; despite making up only 5% of the population, women account for 28% of self-harm incidents.

    Women in custody are five times more likely to have a mental health concern than women in the general population.

    30% of women (as compared to 10% of men) have had a previous psychiatric admission before they come into prison.

    Of all the women who are sent to prison, 46% say they have attempted suicide at some time in their life. 51% have severe and enduring mental illness, 47% have a major depressive disorder, 6% have a psychosis and 3% have schizophrenia.

    83% of women in prison stated that they had long-standing illness, compared with 32% of the general female population. 73% were on medication on arrival at prison – mainly benzodiazepines (42%), methadone (36%), antidepressants (14%), and sleeping pills (10%).

    Women prisoners are subject to higher rates of disciplinary proceedings than men. According to the Ministry of Justice, “women may be less able (due for example to mental health issues) to conform to prison rules.”

    So maybe silly comments about Wimmin and Prisons aren’t actually appropriate

  19. steve

    You have an irony bypass I’m afraid: I posted those same figures some while back and am appalled at the tragic lives many of those in prison have already suffered.

    I thought that, in context, the fact I was being ironic was obvious but, since it clearly wasn’t I apologise for the misunderstanding.

    Jail, like war, should be a genuine last resort and far more appreciation of peoples situations should be given.

    Paul

  20. On second thoughts “Jail equal numbers of wimmin” has irony built into the phrase.

    Don’t see how anyone could read it seriously.

    Even Daisie larfed – and she’s a girl.

  21. @Steve

    Shocking statistics which demonstrate (if proof were needed) the rampant sexism at so many levels of society – including the criminal justice system.

  22. @ CMJ

    Very moving – lovely account of seeing the world anew through the eyes of your little ones. I really hope that they only meet ‘Toonies’ in the future.

  23. Anyone know what proportion of the judiciary are male?

  24. How many posters on this site are women?

  25. I dunno. Lots of the names offer no clue.

  26. @ R&D

    I believe about 23% of judges are women in England and Wales – less in Scotland. Also about 85% of High Court Judges are men. I also think that while a lot of women are solicitors only about 20% make it as senior partners,

  27. @CatManJeff
    That’s a long discussion, put shortly: I disagree with discrimination so obviously from that POV, it’s a bad thing, I would hope that the prison population thing illustrates the problem with misinterpretation of statistics.

    @Carfrew
    Two wrongs don’t make a right, etc. Trying to ‘balance’ cronyism etc with legislated discrimination…..do I even have to begin? It’s madness, by far the largest discriminatory factor in the UK job market is accent, how’re ya gonna legislate for that?

    @Amber
    “BTW, It’s a proven fact that the women who do get sent to prison have received a harsher sentence regarding the crime for which they’ve been convicted than men receive for similar crimes.”

    “proven fact”

    No, it’s a common misconception* that is in direct contradiction to reality. Even accounting for differences in offenses committed, women recieve lesser punishments (any kind) than men. This is consistent as far as I can tell throughout the western world.

    *An old wives tale, if you will.

  28. ” by far the largest discriminatory factor in the UK job market is accent, how’re ya gonna legislate for that?”

    Make EVERYBODY talk proper.

  29. @Colin

    I’ve obviously offended you and I apologize for that. I was merely trying to make the point (on an opinion polling site) that parties would be well advised not to forget that people with disabilities make up a significant part of the electorate. I did not make any party political points at all.

  30. @Carfrew
    Sounds like you went to the same school as me :p

    What you say has some truth, but it doesn’t excuse the Unis for choosing the *wrong* students

  31. @ Wood

    It’s fact – Steve has been kind enough to post the numbers, albeit he [mistakenly] directed them at Rosie’n’Daisie instead of you! Read them & retract your comment (or perhaps even read them & weep!).

  32. Rosie and Daisie,
    What proportion of you is female?

  33. @ Wood,

    Prison:5% female – 95% male

    That seems like a compelling argument for giving all seats all-women shortlists, if only to save on the expense of by-elections when the male MPs inevitably get done for perjury, expenses fraud, etc!

    (Can anyone think of a female MP/MEP/MSP/AM who has been convicted of a crime? Off the top of my head the only ones I can think of- Chris Huhne, Denis McShane, Jonathan Aitken, that SNP wife-batterer, etc- are all male. Of course it’s a biased sample because there are so few female MPs to begin with, but if we’re going to have this silly discussion we might as well draw the obvious conclusion…)

    Trying to ‘balance’ cronyism etc with legislated discrimination…..do I even have to begin?

    I’m sure Anthony would say you don’t, and indeed, had better not.

  34. @ Wood

    …by far the largest discriminatory factor in the UK job market is accent, how’re ya gonna legislate for that?
    ——————
    People can modify their accent, if they believe it’s holding them back; people can’t change their gender, race or disability quite so easily, if at all.

  35. No, Steve posted
    “You might be interested to know that while females only account for 5% of the Prison Population they are actually more likely to get longer custodial sentences for crimes than men.”

    I don’t know where he got that from, but most of his list appears to be from womeninprison.org.uk, which is a cherrypicked list sourced to this
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/217824/statistics-women-cjs-2010.pdf

    Read it yourself, you’ll see it agrees with me. Or google any scientific study, they all say the same thing.

    It’s nice when you can cite your opponents sources against them.

  36. bfield

    Two-thirds.

    I just do the typing for the girls.

    Anyway, on the serious topic, positive discrimination is essential until it is clearly not needed and I don’t think that is a hugely difficult judgement to make.

  37. I have no time for sexism of any kind but strongly resent the use of All Women Shortlists to select Parliamentary candidates – a process which is blatantly sexist. It is actually determine my vote at the 2015 election. Next month I will vote Labour at both the Local and European elections. If I lived in Norwich South I would also be voting Labour next year. As it happens, however, I am just over the border in Norwich North where Labour’s candidate was chosen from an AWS. On principle I will not be supporting her and will vote Green. To date I have persuaded five other would-be Labour voters to do the same thing here.

  38. @Spearmint
    “I’m sure Anthony would say you don’t, and indeed, had better not.”
    I’ve really tried to resist, but it’s hard man….look at the temptation before me…
    @Amber, accent changing
    Yeah, and they do, and they can (and do), hide their sexuality…..but I don’t reckon it’s a good thing.

  39. “Yeah, and they do…..but I don’t reckon it’s a good thing.”

    Wot – not even if yer a Brummie?

  40. @Wood

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right, etc. Trying to ‘balance’ cronyism etc with legislated discrimination…..do I even have to begin? It’s madness, by far the largest discriminatory factor in the UK job market is accent, how’re ya gonna legislate for that?”

    ———

    Well, beginning would help, if you want to have a case. There is a difference between accents and the disabled, who have not only to deal with prejudice but also their disability. And sure, you can’t legislate for everything but if you use that as an excuse you wouldn’t have any laws at all.

    It isn’t two wrongs… offsetting discrimination and countering cronyism is not a “wrong”. But, I’m not batting for positive discrimination particularly. For me, if there are more and better jobs, there are more opportunities for all.

  41. @ R&D

    I divvint knaa wat yer on aboot.

  42. Happy hour is no more…

  43. Liverpool have won the league.

  44. @Guymonde

    “What you say has some truth, but it doesn’t excuse the Unis for choosing the *wrong* students”

    ———–

    I wasn’t excusing the Unis. I was excusing some of the public school kids for not working as hard as they could once they get to Uni, some of which will be reflected in the grade disparities…

  45. It’s nice when you can cite your opponents sources against them.
    ———–
    Everything which Steve posted is right there in the detail of the CJS study. Your accusations of ‘cherry picking’ would therefore be a hilarious example of ‘pot calling the kettle black’, were the subject not so serious.

  46. So, about this latest poll, oops, wrong website…sorry

  47. @Guymonde

    Also, I have myself listed numerous advantages a public school education enjoys in the past, which are often different to what people assume. But it is not entirely a one-way street. You couldn’t get much parental help with studies and homework for example when boarding (though maybe it’s a bit different lately with social media?)…

  48. @ Bluebob,

    Sadly, there isn’t one.

    See what happens when you go away for a weekend, YouGov!?

  49. Okay, @Amber….this isn’t the place (as I think I’ve said before), if you want to know, you can yahoo.co.uk mail me at politicsandgovernment
    and I’ll guide you through it

  50. @BLUEBOB

    “So, about this latest poll, oops, wrong website…sorry”

    ————-

    It’s the weekend, it usually goes more off-piste at the weekend… and after midnight sometimes…

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