A recent opinion poll listed Usain Bolt as the slowest man and Mary Poppins as a love Goddess...


Do we bother to have polls which ask meaningless questions and provide useless opinions? Opinions only matter if they are a result of a relevant set of facts given to experts to make a judgement on. Bolt of course comes bottom of the speed list if the others are Superman, The Flash, and Lewis Hamilton in a Grand Prix car. Mary Poppins trounces Mother Theresa, Medusa or Chancellor Angela Merkel on a beauty list of women with the letter M. It was budget day in the UK on Wednesday and I was listening to the results of a Sky Poll that asked the question “What should the Chancellor do with a minor windfall from a small shoot of recovery from new businesses? Should he spend it on:

A) The NHS (hurrah hurrah),

B) Social Services (yeyyyy),


C) Cut the rate of Corporation Tax (boo, hiss)?”

Giving money to Social Services is not binary to giving tax breaks. We all want to look after those less fortunate. However, to offer either giving more to  welfare or granting business a tax cut, is a question of such naiveté  that it makes believing in a unicorn an incontrovertible scientific fact.

Lesson 101 basic social economics. You can only afford to give more if you earn more. UK corporate taxes are too high compared to others and so act as a disincentive. Let’s encourage growth, take a short term hit by lowering current corporation tax and soon there will be an increase in tax revenue. Bingo! Then give out more money from a bigger pot.

"Would you like the Chancellor to increase the debt for your children or wait a couple of years and then spend more on hospitals etc. as well as reduce your debt?"

Put like that you might get a different opinion. Or...  not as no one understands the question!

...and another thing

When did the uninformed opinion start to matter anyway? At the birth of 21st century celebrity?

A comment like:

“Nero, the diet used in your orgy is not really what you should be eating at your age…” I suspect would have meant a swift exit of the court jester to become a canapé for one of the lions at the Colosseum.

I’m equally certain if an actress had suggested to Henry VIII how to run his love life, her pretty little head would have been quickly separated from her neck.

Everyone has an opinion, but everyone also has a bottom. However like a bottom it is only really of use to ourselves and should be kept that way.

...and another thing

Opinions of course do matter when they come from an expert on a subject you wish to know more about. Unless it’s:

Philosophy, in which case you’ll end up convinced that neither you nor the question actually exists.


A manufacturers instruction book which is really only their opinion how I should operate their product. I know better.

How did we arrive at the bent logic that the views of someone famous are valid on a subject they are not expert in? Whilst I gladly would listen to Meryl Streep or Gwyneth Paltrow’s views on the acting profession, their opinions on my diet, how I bring up my kids, dress, exercise or have sex, are as expert as a Brain Surgeon giving cooking tips to Gordon Ramsay (though Gordon might actually benefit from brain surgery come to think of it….).

This expert celeb advice becomes laughable when these opinions are more flakey than box of cereal. If I must have famous people’s opinions foisted on me how about something cool?

I might perk up if a Reality TV star popped up to give his opinion on the large Hadron Collider or maybe this week’s pop sensation discussing the colour scheme of International Space Station or his favourite quark.

Other than that, if you are famous and want to give me your opinion, wait till I’ve given it to you.

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