Connecting Crouch End and Hornsey with news, views and information
I originally posted about the new Islington Free School here:
if anyone wants to read the background to this story you will find it there.
On the 24 July at about half five in the evening, I received a phone call from a pleasant man who told me he was carrying out a telephone opinion poll on local political issues. He said he was working for a company called "UK Ground Comms" A google search shows that a company of that name exists, but it does not seem to have a web site. I suppose a bit of effort at Companies House might throw up some more information. He said he wanted to ask me four questions. I got him to repeat them, and wrote them down immediately after the call.
1. Did I know about the controversy regarding the Old Ashmount Site? - in order to find out more I said "no'
He then read me a set script thus:
"Local residents have successfully campaigned to obtain government money to put a new primary school on the old Ashmount School Site. Islington Council do not want this, but want to build 140 homes on the site instead."
Following this he asked
2.. Do you support having a new primary school on the site?
3. Which political party will you be voting for at the next local election?
4. if a particular party were to say it supported the putting of a new school on the site would you change your vote?
When I asked he said he could not disclose who the client was.
I would be interested in comments.
If unsure with surveys of this type ask if they are being conducted in line with the Market Research Society code of conduct. If they are they will more than happily give you their registration number. If they say no then politely decline as there are no protections for any information you may give to these people.
The questions are leading and discussion of the issue very one sided.
The government won the election and is entitled to carry out its policy of promoting free schools. But the basic standards of transparency about the process are fundamental otherwise the democratic process itself becomes undermined.
What is scary about this is the fact that someone, not revealed, is paying a communications consultancy to carry out such a biased survey. To me, this is private money interfering in the political process: presenting one side of a local policy issue and then soliciting voting intentions and their potential to change. I would say it is scandalous.
I also think it says something about the policy if they have to stoop to these levels.....