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Should Dave stop being a PB lurker?

May 21st, 2012

Should we find the reports a bit scary?

There’s a new book out which reports that Dave is a frequent follower of “political betting websites” which he comes to for polling analysis. While PB is not mentioned specifically this is the only site that fits the bill.

We already knew from the Kavanagh/Cowley book on the 2010 general election that this is one of his favourite sites and I have had it reported to me over the weekend from a well-placed source that PB continues to be amongst his favourites.

    All this is very flattering but in a way it is also a bit worrying. PB’s success, I believe, is because politics is viewed as a horse-race where everything is about outcomes.

    Thus to PBers getting on at a good price is our main aim – not whatever is best for the country.

So the rightness or wrongness of a particular policy strategy is irrelevant. What matters is how such a strategy will impact on the polling, the betting and whether we win.

Inevitably we are the ultimate short-termists. That’s fine for those who get intense pleasure and profit from getting a bet right but I would hope that our leaders view things a little differently.

This is my last post for two and a half weeks. I’m off to southern Spain to do my bit to help their economy. For the first time I am not taking my laptop.

Mike Smithson