How not to make a Twitter poll.

A Question of Saffron

Something or other reminded me recently that I can’t seem to detect the smell or taste of saffron. A lot of people love it, and write passionately about it. They’ve smelled it being brought to them even before the waiter came through the kitchen door. They say they’ve had it explode in their mouth. And I have missed out… 

I wondered whether it was just me, or a fairly common thing, to be unable to smell and taste saffron, so I made a Twitter poll.

It was worded very poorly. To be fair to myself, at the time, I didn’t think about it at all carefully. The result was that it didn’t work the way I had expected.

A lot of people thought this was a question about whether saffron is wonderful, whether it is over-priced, or any of several possible interpretations. What I should have actually asked was “Can you smell and taste saffron”. Like this…

Of course, this isn’t good enough, either, as it discriminates against people who want to say that they can’t afford saffron, or have never heard of it. But the worst thing is, all we can tell from the result of the original poll is that about half the people who saw the poll, and answered it,

  • like the smell of saffron

and about half of them 

  • think it is too expensive.
which actually tells us nothing at all about how many people can detect the taste and smell of saffron, and how many cannot.


Polls. We see lots of them quoted, and they are mostly about politics, and are supposed to let us know how people think about things that matter rather a lot more than whether one can detect saffron.

And a lot of those polls are even less well designed than mine. Some are even designed to make people draw the wrong conclusion, and it’s not easy to tell which ones those are, is it?

David Cameron’s Memoirs – Sneak Preview

The country has let me down, you know. Let me be quite clear on this; you have let me down, all of you, and I’m so disappointed I have resigned, and will now be able to take many more holidays with my money in Panama.

I bet you didn’t even know that my clever old Dad practically invented tax dodging, which is really called efficient money management, of course. Because of him, I was born very well off, and had quite a struggle to make my way in the world.

When I was young, people realised I was extremely clever, and a jolly nice sort, and Dad sent me off to Eton, so he could enjoy my company. While I was there, there was absolutely no trouble of any kind, and there was certainly nothing about cannabis.

And, you know, going to Eton was quite surprisingly useful, as it let me get into Oxford University to continue my education afterwards. Hardly anyone realises that one simply has to do that sort of thing, no matter how easy one finds it. You must ignore my good friend, Lord Ashcroft, who says in his book, which isn’t as wonderful as mine, that I behaved dreadfully at Oxford. He pretends that I used to spend a lot of time with James Delingpole, smoking cannabis, and listening to Supertramp. [1] 

Now, listen, it’s jolly obvious that none of that is true, as I actually joined a club of people who understood that money had no great importance, and spent a lot of time appreciating fine wines. Or spent time appreciating a fine lot of wine. It was something like that, as far as I can remember. Take no notice of my fine friend, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, who says the Bullingdon club was a truly shameful vignette of almost superhuman undergraduate arrogance, toffishness and twittishness”. He forgets that we would generously give the ashes of fifty pound notes to beggars, and besides, good friend though he has always been, he is a bit Turkish in origin, and can’t really be trusted at all, about anything.

Because Oxford showed everyone how clever I was, I became a member of the Conservative Party. And I was elected as an MP, for Witney, a place that had previously had a Labour MP in 1999. The country clearly needed me, and I soon became leader of the Conservative Party, and then Prime Minister. That’s the most important job of all, so the country was jolly lucky to get me. And, you know, I was jolly pumped by all that, and went around making lots of pledges, vows, and promises. When the time came, and I hadn’t fulfilled any of them, I simply had all trace of them deleted from the Internet. [3] After I explained how this would help to clear up the mess I claimed Labour had made, especially the financial disaster they caused, not bankers, everyone was very pleased.

You can’t keep all the chaps happy all the time, of course, and a large part of my united Conservative Party hated Europe,  and had been complaining about it ever since we went in, in 1975. [4] I was keen to unite my wonderful party, and decided to call an advisory referendum, in order to show these chaps who was the boss. Letting the public imagine they are having a democratic choice about things was an awfully wizard wheeze. I was bound to win this one, you see. Then everyone would unite behind me, preferably without their usual knives, and all would be well within my Europe. Gosh, I was jolly pumped!

I wasn’t too bothered by the shocking lies being told by the frog-faced fellow, Garage (ghost writer, please check this name) and good old Boris, and completely unconcerned by the way some quite nasty racists were joining in with the #Brexit campaign, as they were calling it. Naturally, it would have been undemocratic of me to intervene, and attempt to counteract their lies in any way, especially as they pointed out that we didn’t need any experts warning us about the dire consequences of leaving.

I was certain people would understand that this was not a vote about getting rid of coloured people and Muslims. And we didn’t need an expert to tell us they couldn’t possibly win by driving round in a bus with a huge lie on the side. I knew £350m was the wrong figure, you see, and we were working hard to dismantle the NHS, so why would we spend money on that?

On June 24th, I found that the public had betrayed me, as a quarter of them had voted to leave the EU, in spite of me doing almost nothing at all to explain all the huge advantages of staying in.

So, rather than bothering to sort out the utter mess I had made, I just resigned to spend more time with my money. 

The End.

[1]  Lord Ashcroft’s book that Isabel Oakeshott wrote for him.
[2]  Wikipedia: The Bullingdon Club
[3]  Rewriting history to make me look super.
[4]  The Tory split on Europe.

It is time to stop the Brexit nonsense.

The story so far….

David Cameron didn’t win the 2010 election. The Liberal Democrats, a party that had tricked me and many others into thinking they were Liberal and Democratic, joined the Tories in an unholy coalition. In the 2015 election, they were hammered into the ground, losing most of their seats, for doing this. Served them right.

mascots cameroncleggnhs

David Cameron still had a problem in 2010 with a lot of his own party, who were so stark-staring bonkers that they wanted to get Britain out of the EU. To placate them, he announced he would have an “in out referendum” on our EU membership. He was certain the Liberal Democrats would prevent this referendum from happening. But the Liberal Democrats, now widely hated for being Tories in disguise, were no longer there to help him. And then he did better than he expected in the 2015 election, probably because of the systematic cheating his party is being very slowly investigated for allegedly having used, along with the usual lies they tell to get elected.

David Cameron’s Tories had a problem, as he wanted to delay the referendum for as long as he could, while the Brexit gang wanted it yesterday. And so, his weakness led to a rushed campaign, in which Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Michael Gove, and Christopher Grayling told a pack of lies, because they had no facts to support them, and the Remain people didn’t bother to explain the sensible reasons why we should stay, preferring to get dragged into idiotic arguments about the Brexit lies, and the whole thing descended into name-calling, culminating in some idiot

announcing airily that we had all heard quite enough from the experts who were trying to explain how much damage Brexit would do, but being ignored by the press. Oh, yes, Rupert and his billionaire chums with newspapers and TV channels all wanted us to stop being the third most successful country in the most successful part of the world. Something about normal people being able to live decent lives jarred with his world view. “Take back control!”  From whom, and for whom, they never said.

And one of the biggest lies came from a man that many people look up to.

boris in the air

Boris Johnson lied that Turkey was about to join the EU, and 75 million of them would come here, just like those 35 million Romanians we had already taken in. Here’s a fact: to join the EU, Turkey would have to comply with about twenty conditions. Over the last ten years, they have just about managed to comply with one.

And all of them pretended there was nothing racist about anything they said, dear me, no, perish the thought…

Came the big day…

It looked as if Cameron would get his Remain vote by a slim majority, even though he had managed to prevent a lot of people who would have voted Remain from having a vote at all, as part of the Tory grand plan to Gerrymander themselves into power for a Thousand Year Right. All those subtle changes, like the boundary changes, the way people register to vote, not extending the vote to the younger people who would have to live with the result for longer….

referendum with labels repainted

David Cameron was surprised to find 37.44% had voted to leave. He promptly resigned, leaving everyone else to fix the utter mess he had made, and buggered off on holiday.

Theresa May, who had made a simply enormous fuss about Gordon Brown taking over from Tory Blair without holding any kind of election, took over without holding any kind of election. She promptly announced that “Brexit means Brexit”, as if that idiotic slogan actually had any kind of meaning, and in spite of her own apparent support for the Remain camp before the vote. Like Cameron before her, she seemed convinced she now had the divine right to order everyone around, with no reference to what the British constitution actually required of her.

In particular, as explained very carefully by Professor A C Grayling, it is not at all a democratic thing to do, to let the 37.44% dictate the fate of the nation. British democracy works on the basis of MPs voting in Parliament.

What we had was an “advisory referendum”, the result of which was intended to advise Parliament of people’s wishes. But the way our country is supposed to work is that MPs vote for what they believe is in the best interest of the country, having due regard to all the circumstances, and listening to all those experts the Brexiters so despise.

Professor Grayling:

I have heard from a number of MPs who will oppose Brexit in parliament. I have heard from a number more who say they would like to oppose it, but they are concerned about going against ‘the democratic outcome of the referendum.’ I wish to demonstrate to these latter that to treat the outcome of the referendum as binding on them is precisely undemocratic, and that the interests of the nation and its future lies in their exercising their democratic right and responsibility to oppose Brexit if that is what they believe is right for the country.

The key point about what is democratic and not democratic lies in the difference between an election and a referendum. In an election, electors confer temporary and revocable license on representatives to attend parliament. In parliament the electors’ representatives are required to act in the best interests of their electors, which they chiefly do by acting in the best interests of the country. They are mandated to enquire, debate and decide on legislation, and to hold the executive to account. They are not messengers or delegates charged merely with reporting or acting on their electors’ views; they are plenipotentiaries, acting by their own best lights on behalf of their electors. If they do a bad job they can be dismissed and replaced.

This is representative democracy. The whole point of representative democracy is that its forms prevent the political system from descending into crude majoritarianism (‘the tyranny of the majority’ over minorities is a danger that systems of representative democracy are designed to prevent) or, worse, ochlocracy or mob rule. In an ochlocracy – consider the chaotic situation during a revolution, for example – the crowd overturns the rule of law, inflamed sentiments prevail, decisions are made on the spur of the moment, and reason is usurped by demagoguery.

And now, we have absurd demonstrations like this…


…where members of the 37.44% who voted to leave in the opinion poll advisory referendum are demanding that the Prime Minister do immediately something she has no power at all to do, ever. And it looks very much as though she thinks she can do anything she wants to.

The Eurosceptics, as they used to be called, spent the last forty one years whinging about us having joined Europe. Now, they think those of us opposed to the utter stupidity of destroying our country should just roll over and let them carry out their… Oh! Hang on. They don’t actually have any kind of plan at all for the way forward. No plan for what to attempt to get out of the two years they will have to negotiate terms, once Article 50 is invoked. No plan as to what to do when any country in the EU vetoes any of the things they think they will just demand.

We have to stop this madness. Parliament could vote to ignore the referendum, and apologise to Europe for allowing such stupidity to happen. Except they have all buggered off on holiday.

Write to your MP. Demand that this absurd nonsense be set aside, by Parliament, as the best thing to do for the country as a whole.

David Cameron’s Book of Bastards – 28

I can no longer call this my secret diary, as Samantha forgot to pack it for me, and has been reading it. Still, now I’m back from my triumph over Europe, at least I can carry on writing in it. She said it was “jolly nice”, which is dashed decent of her.

My speech in this video says all that needs to be said, and I cleverly prevented any “reporters” from asking their clever trick questions by leaving, and making them look as if they couldn’t keep up with my superior intellect! 

Britain continues to be made to look Great by me! It is true that none of the leaders I spoke with, some of them for more than a minute, seemed to understand what I was saying, but that will not stop me making a brilliant success of my clever plan.

EU migrants must be prevented from claiming in-work benefits for four years, the same way that we are making sure our own people will have to stand on their own two feet, by removing the foolish safety net of “benefits”.

Clearly, we must be fair to everyone. Those with no feet will be proud to stand alongside us in this!

I told the little reporter people, “It has been a long night and we have discussed some very important subjects, but above all I am delighted that the process of British reform and renegotiation and the referendum that we are going to hold – that process is now properly under way … we have started that process.”

Lots of people seem to think I can’t get the whole process of reform of the entire Lisbon Agreement done by 2017, when we will have our in out in out in out in out in out referendum. They say it can’t be done in time.

Even that common Farage fellow doesn’t seem to understand my determination to continue to do impossible things. Champagne time, more later!

The Dear Leader’s Diary, 27th bit.

It appears that I am going to have to have something done about Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who has been going round without permission, saying that there is something wrong with my government giving itself the power to listen to all the phone calls in the country, check every web page everyone looks at, read all the texts and emails everyone sends, and everything else they ever do. Surely, this is the very least we can do, in order to prevent anyone from committing acts of terrorism? I have a God-given duty as a Christian to protect every one of the people of my country from everything they might want to do that I don’t approve of. This is how I protect their freedom, and is totally non-negotiable until I change my mind.

People are still saying silly things about me winning my election victory. They are pretending that I am to blame for what they call unfairness in the First Past The Post system, which is absurd. Surely they remember that when they had the chance to choose between this fine system, that has given the country our wonderful new government, and a fairly badly thought out system selected carefully from all the much better ways of voting, they didn’t choose the useless AV system? Moaning about all the other ways of doing Proportional Representation isn’t going to stop me telling them they had their only chance, and now we can not change.

I have found out that Mr Gove and Mrs May have tricked me into seeming not to care about human rights, which of course, I do. My solution to the problem is obviously far superior to theirs. Instead of pulling out of the European Court of Human Rights, we will just give ourselves the right to ignore it, while saying human rights matter very much to us. That will make everyone happy.

The Dear Leader’s Diary – Episode 26

Everything is going according to the Long Term Plan, which was given to me by my close friend Barry Obama. I was quite surprised to be Prime Minister again, without needing any help from Clegg’s Awkward Brigade this time. They lost lots of seats, of course, and I wasn’t at all surprised by that, as their supporters all spotted that they had been made to look like idiots by Clegg, who did a brilliant job of pretending to oppose us in 2010.
I’ve put my Long Term Attack on Human Rights on the back burner (in one of my kitchens, LOL!) for now, and will quietly sneak it into one of the other bills a bit later.
The things I am going to do to the European Community, to improve it include
  • Completing the single market. (George says this matters)
  • Reducing EU red tape, so businesses are not held back by silly “Elf and Safety” rules, and can make bigger profits without worrying about their staff.
  • Making sure that Eurozone decisions do not over-ride the interests of non-Eurozone countries. That’s us, of course, but it’s also the good old USA. Barry is very keen on something he calls Tea-Tip, which I think is the TTIP agreement that is so important to the big businesses in America. It’s business, so it matters.
  • Allowing national parliaments to reject EU laws. 
  • Reforming the budget, so we stop giving so much to farmers. Most of them will still vote for us anyway, because their parents did.
  • Opting out of any commitment to closer union. Britain is a leading nation, and just being part of Team Europe makes us look silly. We need to be part of Team USA!

The Dear Leader’s Speech – Episode 25

Frankly, today should have been an even greater triumph for me than it was. As every schoolchild should know, and will know under my clever plans for the educational system of this great nation of mine, I am the fifth cousin, twice removed, of her majesty the queen, and a direct illegitimate descendent, via five generations of women, from King William IV. As you can see, he was almost as devastatingly handsome as me. However, I don’t mind sharing out privileges, as long as they go to the deserving, hard working, rich people I like to mix with, so I allowed my cousin to wear her expensive crown, and purr her way through the speech I wrote.

Unfortunately, I have included so many important things in my speech that it has been necessary, temporarily, to drop my planned destruction of the Human Rights Act that was so carelessly inflicted on my One Nation at the end of the war. This improvement, giving my grateful subjects a proper Bill of Rights, as demanded by the vast crowds who followed me everywhere during my triumphant re-election campaign, has been put on the back burner in one of my many kitchens, but will reappear when we have worked out how to explain it in a way that everyone will vote for.

Critics have said, and it shows how tolerant I am, that they are still at liberty to say such undemocratic things, that I will be likely to make the question for the in out in out in out referendum on Europe so complex that some of the simpler kind of English
people, who have not benefited from going to Eton, will not be able to comprehend the three split infinitives and two self contradictions in the question, and will accidentally vote 110% for what I want, which is for us to stay in Europe, and be in charge of all decision making, instead of voting the way our friends in UKIP would prefer.

Knowing that they will not have any way to prevent our much needed further cuts in the wildly over-generous benefits the state provides, the few remaining Liberal Democrats will not like my Full Employment and Welfare Benefits Bill, which will somehow force the creation of two million new jobs and five million new apprenticeships, but at the same time reduce the maximum possible benefits to £23,000 and ensure nobody can claim them. Especially not the young, who will have to “earn or learn” and won’t be able to claim housing benefit, leaving it to be claimed by older people, who are much better at passing it on to their hard working landlords.

The sun is well over the yard-arm now, so I will complete these notes after I have celebrated with a case or two of properly expensive champagne with George and a few of my other millionaire chums…

The Dear Leader’s Secret Diary – 24

This seems as good a place as any for me to collect a few of the splendid jokes I have heard, ready for use by me, at those events where we keep the proles out, and don’t have to be politically correct. Here’s somebody called Sandi Toksvig OBE, a pleasant young lady who has started the totally unnecessary “Women’s Equality Party”, talking about my friend Nigel “the Führager” Farage…
‘I watched the count for South Thanet and I found myself cheering for the Tory candidate,’ she told the audience. ‘I hate Farage for that, I really do. He made me cheer a Tory, the bastard.’

She then went on to refer to the testicle the Ukip leader lost to cancer, joking about what Farage and Hitler have in common: ‘Farage kept having pictures of him defaced with Hitler moustaches. I mean he’s not really like Hitler. Okay, he has a German wife, he hates foreigners, he only has one testicle, and he was defeated.’

I practised this one on Sam, who seemed somewhat impressed. She seems to think jokes about cancer can not be funny, for some reason.

And then there’s this photograph, which clearly demonstrates that Boris has no clue how to play that violin.

David Cameron’s Secret Diary – Episode 23

This is terrible! In spite of my getting the finest advice available, see above, and being considerably more clever than anyone else I have ever met, something has gone badly wrong with my plan to sort out Europe. 

While I was preparing my in-out in-out master-plan to keep us at the heart of Europe, by separating us from it, and getting rid of all the Human Rights and Green crap, a couple of undemocratic foreigners have effectively sidelined my clever move. How am I to make it look as if I have brilliantly reorganised things, if these unimportant people from minor countries are allowed to sabotage me? I am going to write their names in my Book of Bastards. Surely, common sense demands that instead of all negotiating together at meetings I could have attended, these two should have listened properly, with due respect, to whatever it was I was telling them, that would have helped them to realise I can run the EU all on my own?

They have made a serious mistake with their back room deal, and it is going to take a lot of time, photo-opportunities, and secret briefings of important newspapers like the Sun, to get things back on the track that I, and I alone, am determined to deliver, so that once again, everyone in the UK will love me.

As I have said before, and will keep saying, there will be ups and downs – you’ll hear one day this is possible, the next day something else is impossible. In out, in out, up down, up down. I’ll show them I’m not mad!

My Jolly Secret Diary, part 22, by DC.

I am beginning to suspect people have been reading this, my Secret Diary, with a complete disregard for my absolute right to privacy. So, if you are looking at this document on my private, personal iPad, whomsoever you may happen to be, rest assured that I shall get my friends with the impressive office in a certain Gloucestershire town (but I’m carefully not saying which!) to find out who you are. I have quietly given them the go-ahead to look at every computer in this wonderful free country of ours, except mine, obviously. I’m sure they will get on with that just as soon as they have finished checking all the pictures they took with all the webcams they accessed. And of course, they will be careful to delete any pictures of underage girlies they may have accidentally taken, as soon as they have all examined them carefully.

I recently found that there was a jolly clever article about how nobody had the sense to challenge our narrative at election time, and the way we pretended everything was Labour’s fault, even when it was actually the fault of some members of our administration like poor, silly little Clegg, or something over which we had no control at all. Blaming Labour for the banking collapses, Bernie Madoff, inflation and all the other things they had no control of was a brilliant master-stroke of presentation, which yours truly is proud of. (Of course, Lynton thinks it was him, but only I know just how clever I am.) I will have to get this Bernal fellow removed from the internet, the way I did with all the “promises, vows, and pledges” people imagine I made.

The picture of the secret building in Cheltenham Gloucestershire has reminded me that this Bernal chap is also part of a secret cabal, “academics” they call themselves, as if that meant they know more than me. They are writing ridiculous “open letters” about how I make the law which suggest that I should waste Parliamentary time with discussions of all the important things that are done in that building. This idea that I, the Prime Minister, can’t make up a law all on my own, is deeply unpatriotic, and I think I will have these “academics” sacked and deported. They must think they have rights!