Monday 8 November 2010

Guess Who? … Is Britain’s Most Credulous MP

The phrase “Evidence Based Policy” sounds to me like a rather trite statement of the bleeding obvious. Alas many of Britain’s MP’s seem to guilelessly value anecdotes, faith and misinformed public opinion over empirical evidence as a method for determining sound government policy.

After reviewing the voting records of all currently elected MP’s I had no problems in populating my children’s “Guess Who” game with 24 political numpties for whom critical thinking and evidence-based policy appear to be merely a slight hindrance to the promotion of their frequently irrational agendas.

So who is Britain’s most credulous MP? Click on the “Guess Who” board below and hover the mouse over each MP to display a “Guess Who” style question to identify the MP in question.

I have restricted the entry criteria to only those British MPs currently in office and have reviewed the voting records of all 650 MP’s paying particular attention to support of Early Day Motions promoting un-evidenced medical or pseudoscientific agendas, anti-human rights voting grounded in a non progressive faith position and simple denial or dismissal of scientific evidence that does not align with a predetermined position.

I have selected individuals on their personal voting record and publically available comments, articles and speeches regardless of their affiliation with any particular political party. However it is interesting to see a pattern of predominately Conservative cards, but with the DUP as far the highest ratio of credulous beliefs pro rata.

Skeptical Voter
Hinckley Times
The Telegraph
BBC News
The Church of Ireland Gazette
The Guardian
They Work For You

Narnia gag courtesy of Martin Robbins


dominic said...

Wow, you just brought some fun childhood memories back to me here, but are any of us really surprised that Tredenick was the winner?

Mike Agg said...

That's just depressing.

Alix said...

I'm not sure Carswell should be in here, or at least not on the strength of that quote. It's a reasonable enough appeal to known evidence (as he sees it). Why should technocratic government work now when it hasn't in the past?

He may be wrong in his interpretation of the evidence, of course. What I do think he has done is inferred slightly too much from Browne's proposal. If it really did just call for "evidence-based policy" to be used in government, then that is a totally different thing from full-on government by technocracy on the lines that Carswell is envisaging.

But I still think it's a fair enough question, even if slightly peripheral to Browne's point. Sometimes skeptic advocates seem to assume a full-on technocracy would inevitably be a Good Thing without ever actually making the case for it.

Crispian Jago said...


I can see that the inclusion of Carswell seems perhaps a little unfair, especially when you consider the company I have put him with. I have of course taken a somewhat extreme vitriolic viewpoint in this post and although I fully support the need for “evidenced based policy”, of course in reality I wouldn’t support a completely blind technocracy. However, I stand by Carswell’s inclusion. If his quote had called for the critical examination of evidence to decide what works rather than a blanket statement suggesting that the lesson we should learn from the greed of the bankers is not to trust any expert advice, then I wouldn’t have picked on him.

Penguin said...

Wot no Lib Dems? I can't believe that they are all squeaky clean and rational in every aspect of politics (and I tend to vote for them!)

Anonymous said...

There are a lot fewer LibDems: just a smaller pool of possible idiots.
On that basis the DUP are to be congratulated. A truly impressive display of prejudice and wilful ignorance.