Friday, September 30, 2011

Not as big as they look and they know it.

Lies, damned lies and statistics, a quote attributed to Benjamin Disraeli by Mark Twain, though not mentioned in any books or other works by Disraeli. I've frequently used the quote myself to disparage the work of government when they claim that a majority of people support certain positions, when the statistics themselves often allude to a different position. The classic case being that the current government claiming they have a mandate to rule having gotten the most votes or the highest percentage of the vote, when a quick scan taking into account the number of non voters added to those who voted against the government shows no such popular mandate. Still that's the system we use and until we're given a better choice, it's the system we get to put up with.
One of the statistics that has always puzzled me though is the one claimed by gay people that 5 to 7% of the population is gay. I've never seen any evidence of this, 5% of the UK population is Muslim and I see a lot more evidence of this. Not that I'll admit that gay spotting is a pastime of mine or that they'd somehow stand out in a crowd, but surely there must have been a lot more evidence around of their existence if as was claimed by Stonewall to civil servants for a Whitehall consultation paper some 8 years ago. The figures themselves were then thought to be somewhat conservative as the claims of Alfred Kinsey that 13 per cent of men are exclusively homosexual and seven per cent of women exclusively lesbian were still widely believed.
Yet other surveys done by the ONS (Office of National Statistics) showed a very different story.
Homosexuals make up only 1.5 per cent of the population, the survey found.
One per cent said they were gay or lesbian, while 0.5 per cent said they were bisexual.
More men than women declared themselves homosexual, with 1.3 per cent of men saying they were gay compared to 0.6 per cent of women who described themselves as lesbian.
Gay lobbyists and politicians have long claimed that 10 per cent of the population is homosexual. But the figures from the Office for National Statistics’ Integrated Household Survey show this is a wild exaggeration.
Some 94 per cent said they were heterosexual, 4.3 per cent declined to answer the question or said they didn’t know, and 0.4 per cent said their sexuality was ‘other’.
Now these statistics were part of "The Integrated Household Survey" and was put together from five ONS surveys which asked the same ‘core questions’ over a year, it's confidential and unlike your average political poll of 1000 people this one is based on questions answered by 413,000 people. The fact that confidentiality is assured means that the answers are likely to be far more accurate than with an open poll.
This by the way isn't a tilt at gay people, what people choose to do and how they live their lives so long as it doesn't impinge on me and mine or break any laws is their concern. What this is about is undue influence...
The gay lobby keep collecting fat taxpayer grants both nationally and locally via the taxpayer, do a google on gay pride marches to see just who and what contributes, this is out of proportion for a group representing only just above 1 in a 100 of the population.
And for the government, there is a question of how you justify continued gay equality legislation when the general public is finding it increasingly irksome. (Well those who study the figures on government spending, the rest just watch X factor and go "huh" when asked political stuff).
Though not as seriously damaging, as in the equality rules that have already shut down 10 Roman Catholic adoption agencies at a time when numbers of adoptions of young children are disastrously low.
Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone once said ‘we are a world leader for gay rights but there is still more we must do’ which now has to stand against the claims of Christians who object strongly to the extension of marriage to same sex couples and who fear their churches will be compelled to celebrate gay weddings. Yet the statistics show that this is all to benefit only 1.5% of the population. Yet there are 70% who claim to be Christian and who see marriage as being between men and women, not same sex, as they already have civil partnerships for that, something of an advantage over men and women who wish to live together and not get married.
Yet the influential gay lobby has plenty of allies who will try to smooth over the little problem with the numbers. Starting with the BBC, whose website continued to publicise figures suggesting that the gay population was about 5%
Yet, Ministers are still barrelling along with enforcing civil partnerships in churches and redefining marriage influenced by groups who only represent 1.5% of the population. Yet if we were to use the majority rules that the government use as a mandate, this wouldn't be happening, the people of the church would get to decide. That this isn't happening shows the grave distortion in politics that an effective lobby can make, particularly one that distorts its own numbers out of proportion to its actual size.

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