Peter Bye

Archives for UK in Europe

In my previous piece, posted on 22nd November 2016, I argued that direct democracy, where the electorate is asked to decide or approve policy, is dangerous. I suggested that representative democracy is a better alternative. One of the reasons I advanced is that a majority of people in an electorate are remarkably ill-informed, making rational… » read more

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Where are we going?

Some years ago the late Victoria Wood, a British comedienne, appeared in one of her excellent radio sketches as a sheep, frequently heard running across a field along with another. At the sound of each movement, one bleated ‘where are we going?’ to which the reply was ‘I don’t know’. They could have been describing… » read more

Posted by pbye

As readers will have noticed, the theme of my blog is respect for facts, which is essential for evidence-based policy. In this piece, I’d like to look at a related topic: the need to use plain language – saying it clearly, in other words. After all, if we cannot understand what is being said or… » read more

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In the wake of the UK referendum vote to leave the EU, there has been no shortage of analysis of the voting patterns of the electorate: who voted to leave and why. Given the momentous – and unexpected – result, the level of interest is hardly surprising. While some patterns are clear, others are harder… » read more

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Own goals can play a critical part in football. Northern Ireland has just been knocked out of the Euro 2016 tournament by Wales; the only goal was an own goal. I suspect there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the dressing room afterwards. The UK has, however, scored the own goal to end… » read more

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In the EU referendum campaign in the UK, those in favour of remaining (Britain Stronger in Europe) issue warnings of the dire consequences of leaving, primarily economic. A number of economic forecasts are used as evidence[1]. The Brexit people (Vote Leave) assert that staying is a risk and a better world is available outside, a… » read more

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I recently received a brochure from Vote Leave[i]. It says that it presents ‘5 positive reasons to Vote Leave and take back control’. How do these claims stand up? Number one is called ‘Our money, our priorities’. The brochure claims that ‘we send over £350 million to the EU every week’, or an annual figure… » read more

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In my previous piece (2nd February) I said that immigration was close to the top of Britons’ concerns, according to an Economist/Ipsos MORI poll[1]. Security, identified in the poll as ‘Defence/foreign affairs/terrorism’, was regarded as the most important issue, although it was only just ahead of immigration. However, as I suggested, the various concerns are… » read more

Posted by pbye