SURVEYS AND STATISTICS
By Brian Hall
Saturday 05 Nov 2011 08:15:00
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They always say....you simply could make it up. A right hotchpotch of statistics and surveys emerged during the week. One, for a start, has astonished the Geordie Nation, and quite a few others in the football world. Newcastle United - 3rd in the league, goals conceded  6 , games lost, nil. This is a true stat and I could dwell on it all day but I want to mention some other figures and questions which have blasted in.

 

One I came across was the planned Happiness Survey which is scheduled to appear early next year via the Office of National Statistics. the ONS. Honest. The planned questions sound a hoot. Obviously, the project will included questions such as ...do you like where you are living, are you optimistic about the future, and so on. But some seem to be potentially intrusive. Honest -again. One, for example, includes are you happy living with your husband, wife, partner? I then thought this Happiness Assessment questionnaire might as well go the full hog. Ask people if they are content with their local pub, the regularity of the local bus, and the state of their local footy team - trouble is, it would depend on your latest experience in all three situations, and the same surely applies to living with your lad or lass!

 

Anyway, another survey came belting out. Apparently it claimed, after a canny bit of research, that people born in August tend to fail more in life in terms of academia all the way across to football. It discovered, for example, that 60 per cent of English born premiership players were born in September or in the months closest to it, whereas only 14 per cent were born in August, or early summer onwards to that month. The reason might just carry some validity. If you first emerge in August, you end up the          youngest in school, man. I liked this one as I found it life-changing for me. At last I have discovered why I never reached the top in football, despite being watched by scouts, and failed in my plans to be Professor of Political Studies at Harvard, despite getting a canny good degree.  I was born in bloody August,  always the youngest in the class and generally one of the smallest, obviously, and now I no longer need to blame myself for being an abject failure in everything I have ever been involved with. 

 

 

Then came one on Laziness. Now this was right up my street, as I can certainly identify with being lazy. This particular survery discovered that, for example, 25 per cent of people admit that they cannot be bothered to put their car in the garage, and they just leave it in the street. Another bunch in the garage ownership lot had no room anyway in it, as it was packed with stuff that they could not be arsed to shift and throw out. I cannot drive and could not afford a car even if I could, or a garage for that matter, but you can be assured that if I did drive, etc, I would be in that 25 per cent group.

 

Three rather more important surveys have hit the agenda though, and maybe need to be treated a bit more seriously. One took place amongst members of the United Nations organisation, UNESCO, which provides funding for educational projects and so on for the very poor across the world. Countries voted massively in favour of recognising Palestine as a new member. Israel is furious, and the Yanks did not like the outcome either - they withdrew all of their funding, which is a canny chunk of the UNESCO budget. On the international front, another important one might take place, might, that is, in Greece, as they might, just might, have a referendum on whether to go ahead with the latest Euro plan. This could be dodgy stuff, as, whatever anybody thinks of the currency, it may well bring down a whole pack of very nasty cards on all our economies.

 

Back home, and onto what I would call yet another serious one, albeit familiar. Increasing numbers of frail elderly in the UK have been found to be at risk if we hit another  harsh winter. Further to this rather obvious conclusion, a scale of weather warnings has been prepared for them. I must admit that this one baffled me slightly, the production of weather warning scales that is. Have I missed something, or are other government departments not cutting back on checks on old people on a massive scale???.

 

Anyway, all in all, general use of certain surveys and stats should be treated with caution. It, as somebody once said.... Depends on How You Ask the Question. A poll in the North East on Halloween Night would have found a majority in our region were very happy indeed - Newcastle fans, after the Stoke victory. It would also found that a minority were far from happy - Sunderland fans. After all, it was the first anniversary of the Great Halloween 5-1 Humiliation.

 

tarah

 

Bry



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