Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Pointless offers a warning to Change UK

Embed from Getty Images

Change UK - or the Tiggers, as I still think of them - announced their Euro candidates today.

There are some names I recognise, notably the former Conservative cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell.

I note, however, that he is standing in the West Midlands rather than the East Midlands, where he was an MP for 36 years.

With Dorrell and a few other people we politicos have heard of - Rachel Johnson, Gavin Esler - the Tiggers must be feeling pleased with themselves.

But they should not feel too pleased.

Last year I pointed out how little most people know about politics:
Pointless is almost a mirror image of Family Fortunes, which rewarded contestants for being average not for being clever. 
Yet there are two subjects where Pointless contestants generally know little and find the thought they might know something to be so unreasonable as to be amusing. 
One is British politics and the other is geography.
After I had posted that, "the admirable Alwyn Turner" sent me the link to a post he had written in 2013.

It was about a round in Pointless that year where 100 people had been asked to name as many politicians as they could remember who had served in the Labour cabinets of either Tony Blair or Gordon Brown. That is, any cabinet member between 1997 and 2010:
Top of the list was John Prescott, named by just 15 out of the 100 people. 
Then came: Ed Miliband - 13 out of 100 
Ed Balls -13 out of 100 
David Miliband - 12 out of 100 
Jack Straw - 7 out of 100 
Alistair Darling - 7 out of 100 
Peter Mandelson - 4 out of 100 
David Blunkett - 4 out of 100 
Clare Short - 2 out of 100 
Mo Mowlam - 1 out of 100 
Margaret Beckett - 1 out of 100 
We never found out whether my nominee, Ivor Richard, made it into the pointless category, because there were simply too many names to go through. But amongst those who rated not a single mention were: Andrew Adonis, Andy Burnham, Jack Cunningham, Charlie Falconer, Patricia Hewitt, Derry Irvine, Donald Dewar, Frank Dobson, Geoff Hoon, Margaret Jay, Alan Milburn and James Purnell.
So, as I say, the Tiggers should not feel to pleased with themselves tonight.

Incidentally, this second post was quoted without attribution on the Today programme by a Leading Political Commentator, who unfollowed me on Twitter when I pointed this out.

But I'm not bitter.

No comments: