News Ketchup

  Correlation Street

I very rarely watch BBC Breakfast, as I tend to think of it as news for those over 90 and under 9. I’m sure this target audience is what they have in mind, because in the thirty seconds I found myself watching two niceys on a sofa yesterday, Mr Nicey said, “Yes, and all over Britain, snowdrops are out when they shouldn’t be. Why is this happening? Scientists say it’s all to do with the mild Christmas. We’ll have a report for you on that later…”

I didn’t hang around for the report. However, the Beeb’s news website this morning tackles the global economic crisis head-on by carrying on the correlations theme with, ‘There is an “unhealthy correlation” between the building of skyscrapers and subsequent financial crashes, according to Barclays Capital.’

Leaving aside the fact that I first read about this ‘correlation’ around 1983 during the first lot of neocon madness, I do find any observations about which way is up hard to take from Barcap. As I posted last week, the Geneva authorities are about to give them a pretty rigorous update on the nature of the earth/sky legal/illegal relationship: but whether or not this comes off, I think those of us struggling to keep up need a bit more guidance than keeping a global skyscraper tally.

Correlation of the Week, as Harry Hill would say, was yesterday’s head-on debate between the Indie and the Torygraph, “Does this House believe that immigrants take jobs residents could’ve had?” To which the answer is self-evidently yes, if jobs are scarce and the residents really want them; and no, if business is booming and we’re short of labour. Each had their own pet research study to support a case that didn’t need any research at all to support it, but such is the awe with which statistics are beheld these days, it didn’t seem to occur to either side that they were asking the wrong question.

The important one is, simply, “Can we shed migrant workers when the good times are gone, thus avoiding yet another increase in the social welfare budget?” To which the answer is an unequivocal ‘no’. And thus by recognising this, we get the answer to the other burning question of the hour: should we import skilled labour, or retrain our own? To which the answer is an equally obvious “Retrain our own”. The wishfully unthinking fluffy tendency are still struggling with this agonising decision, but the rest of have got it. Just a shame they run the country, not us.

The EU, meanwhile, is working 24/7 to try and establish in the X-factored mind that there is no correlation between the eurozone and its currency. This is pure 1984 stuff, and increasingly hilarious to watch. Infamous Leatherwoman Fifi Lafrumpe at the IMF said last Saturday that just because there was a problem in the eurozone did not mean that the currency itself was anything less than rock-solid. Further north in Berlin, Frau Doktor Rochester is still locked in the attic, but before being confined to quarters, she did say that if the euro fails, the EU fails.

Thus it seems that if the eurozone fails, the EU will collapse but there will still be paper stuff circulating with the word ‘euro’ on it. What, I wonder, will citizens use it for – sealing draughty windows? Nicolas Sarkozy will use rolled-up euro notes for the same purpose he always has – wags do not refer to him as ‘Narcozy’ for nothing – but even he isn’t going to need that much. I’m brokering a deal between Waddingtons and Brussels to get support for a special ‘Euromonopoly’ edition of the famous game, whereby the EU pays for the marketing (in dollars, naturally) and Waddingtons agree to take all the euro-notes off its hands to use in the commemorative sets. I am being paid in Yuan.

And finally, some Sloggers seem confused on the correlation between action and result, believing that to do nothing about Tesco’s mendaciously devious pack-pricing policy is better than doing something. I can tell them that there is a 100% correlation between doing nothing, and nothing changing. And while doing something may have no effect at first, we are only three days in and already the SHOP TESCO TRICKS Twitter page has 27 followers.

Using research to extrapolate this rate of membership and acceleration forward to the end of 2011 Q4, we will have 264, 627 dedicated whistle-blowers by January 1st 2013. So there.