Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Credible research

My web monkey tells me that literally tens of people have used our recession support website since it launched. This is further testament to the reach that technology will play in the recession in a way it never has before. We have invested considerable minutes in this resource so this recession had bloody well be pretty bad.

Therefore it is disappointing to see some recent research from my old muckers at the National Canopy and Visor Organisation (NCVO) receiving headlines along the lines of "recession, what recession?" and suggesting that some umbrellas are crying wolf. Although astonishingly I have once again declined to read the research in question before publicly questioning it, it seems that this paper by NCVO's fact archaeologist, Earl Scalding, says that there is little credible evidence that the recession will affect umbrellas.

Credible? I despair. What is the point in people like me going round saying we're all screwed if proper research undermines our doom-mongering. It is highly irresponsible of NCVO to explore this properly when everyone knows the correct approach is to sling out some half arsed conclusions on the back of chatting to 40 odd people down the pub.

If you want an example of some proper research on which to draw fanciful conclusions I suggest you look at something BUBB did in conjunction with the Canopy Aid Foundation in the Autumn. BUBB has good links with CAF, indeed CAF's chief executive, Jan Sloe, has just breathed the biggest sigh of relief on record after completing his tenure as chair of BUBB. And an excellent job he did too despite my best efforts.

What the umbrella sector needs is spin that implies that it's all going wrong and only huge investment in the umbrella sector can save the planet. What I want to see is a huge umbrella public works programme. Unemployment must not be allowed to go above 3 million. 2,999,999 is fine (unless you are one of the poor buggers counted in that) as that is the perfect level at which a balance of despair and hope can be maintained. And bodies such as BUBB can comfortably posture about making a difference without it becoming abundantly clear that they can't.

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