Asking people to make a decision without giving them all the options to choose from generates meaningless results

But it doesn’t stop the media from portraying the result as a clear expression of people’s wishes.

In recent surveys held by the British Chambers of Commerce, and now by the SME networking business, BNI, business owners have been asked if they want the UK to remain in the EU and continue to import and export with our neighbours, or to leave.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a substantial majority of business owners, given this false choice, will opt to stay in the EU in order to preserve their overseas trade.  Why is it a false choice?  Because in none of these surveys have the business respondants been asked if staying in the EU would matter to them if the UK left the EU but remained part of the single market and trade continued as freely with EU states as it does today.

These surveys are inherently dishonest, therefore their results are completely meaningless.  Reporting the results in the way the Telegraph has today, while making no mention of this fundamental, deliberate and persistent flaw in the questioning, means what we are reading is nothing less than blatant propaganda produced by people who restrict the options to choose from for a reason.

6 Responses to “Asking people to make a decision without giving them all the options to choose from generates meaningless results”


  1. 1 SadButMadLad 10/06/2013 at 8:32 pm

    Nor do such surveys take into account that *if* a business did lose a bit of business from the EU, that they wouldn’t be able to find it elsewhere. We live in a world where products and services can come from or go to anywhere in the world.

  2. 2 Puzzled 10/06/2013 at 8:52 pm

    They have knowingly deployed the logical fallacy “false dichotomy”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

  3. 3 Sean O'Hare 11/06/2013 at 9:00 am

    if the UK left the EU but remained part of the single market and trade continued as freely with EU states as it does today

    At best that seems a partial, but greatly unsatisfactory, solution to our EU membership problem. The single market is a customs union and therefore has an external tariff which would not allow us to trade freely with the rest of the world. Also are you sure that we could remain in the single market and take a seat at the WTO?

  4. 4 BulloPill 11/06/2013 at 9:54 am

    Not sure how much the Chambers of Commerce have been polluted with “Common Purpose” these days. My recent dealings with the local one have left me wondering if it still owes allegiance to Mandlescum – just the sort of “help” needed by this small business. Unfortunately, these non-elected entities control the gates to significant support to business – bribing us with our own money.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 12/06/2013 at 5:40 am

    Sean, I meant access to the Single Market, as per all my other writing on the subject – and as Norway and Switzerland show, you can have that and hold a seat at the WTO.

  6. 6 Flyinthesky 12/06/2013 at 9:24 pm

    And on we go, posing highly selective questions to the populous, continuing to foster the illusion of democracy and democratic representation.
    It’s much like customer satisfaction surveys, posing a hundred questions but never the one you want an answer to. Are we thick, well yes, apparently.
    What do they want to hear? and how can we very carefully phrase it?
    You couldn’t make it up, but we have and we’re living it.
    “We need to be seen to be doing and gratefully most, of the mindless emotive driven, are accepting it.”


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