Daily catch-up: the old Palace of Westminster; Batman vs Superman; and more Greenery

All you need to know about Grand Simplifying Theories of Everything

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The Independent Online

1. The House of Lords and the House of Commons before the fire of 1834, via Londoner Walking. The debate about whether it looked better than Charles Barry’s perpendicular Gothic will go on at least as long as that over diplodocus versus diplodocus.

2. Who would win a fight between Batman and Superman? Philip Cowley is interesting at May2015.com on hypothetical hung parliament scenarios, while accepting that much of the speculation is as pointless as theoretical superhero contests. (Except that there is, as several people pointed out, nothing theoretical about them: the Batman vs Superman showdown has actually happened, more than once. Batman usually wins.)

3. Quotation of the Day is from Peter Franklin at Conservative Home:

“The Green Party is best thought of as a free-range environment in which middle-class liberal lefties can say what they really think. Stuck inside the battery cage of conventional politics, there are many Labourites who wish they could do the same.”

(Via Stephen Tall.)

4. This is important by Chris Dillow about why “left-wing” ideas don’t get a hearing. It is the the media filter, reflecting in turn deference towards bosses and the cognitive biases of public opinion, apparently. Among other things. Except that, if you follow the link to Dillow’s recent discussion of the citizens’ income, the subject on which Natalie Bennett did so badly in That Interview with Andrew Neil, you realise that the Grand Unifying Simplification of Everything turns out to be messy and complicated, just like the everything it seeks to replace. To make the citizens’ income work, you have to keep housing benefit and compensate medium-low-earners and so it ends up being as simple and successful as Universal Credit.

5. Party time for polling geeks. Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report (and YouGov) has done his “house effects” analysis again. House effects are the biases of different polling companies because of their different methods. Our pollster, ComRes, features twice, because it runs two series, one online for The Independent on Sunday and one phone poll for The Independent.



6. And finally, thanks to Moose Allain for this:

“I’ve never wanted an aardvark. They sound too much like hard work.”