Apologies for the lack of blogging, but real life has been rather busy of late. However, in the interim, here are some links to interesting reports, sites, etc.
UK LINKS and SITES
The UK House of Commons Public Administration Committee has released a report recommending that departmental press officers and government statistics staff should work together much more closely to ensure that press releases give an accurate and meaningful picture of the truth behind the figures. As the Committee Chair, Bernard Jenkins, MP, explained:
“Politicians tend to promote the statistics that best present their case. Finding the whole truth about government statistics is not always easy, and it should be. The numbers may be perfectly true but the act of selecting certain numbers distorts the true picture. This is important when those numbers are being used to justify a particular policy, a particular apportioning of resources. In some cases, spinning reduces the story behind the statistics to such an extent that the picture is no longer true.”
The official website of the Office of the UK Prime Minister has been undergoing a revamp. It now features a very interesting and useful history section. This includes a blog on the history of government written by guest historians, and a detailed history of 10 Downing Street – the official residence of the Prime Minister.
The History of Parliament website will appear to anyone interested in the history of the UK Parliament. From the site’s About page:
The History of Parliament is a research project creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in England, then Britain, from their origins in the thirteenth century. Unparalleled in the comprehensiveness of its treatment, the History is generally regarded as one of the most ambitious, authoritative and well-researched projects in British history.
It consists of detailed studies of elections and electoral politics in each constituency, and of closely researched accounts of the lives of everyone who was elected to Parliament in the period, together with surveys drawing out the themes and discoveries of the research and adding information on the operation of Parliament as an institution.
AUSTRALIA LINKS and SITES
UK newspaper The Guardian has launched an online Australian edition (it also has a US edition). There is a subsection dedicated to this fall’s general election, and a very interesting look at political donations in Australia.
The always excellent Antony Green provides a very handy guide to upcoming Australian elections, both national and state.