In today's column, Polly Toynbee writes:
parents still overwhelmingly oppose religious schools - by 64% in a Guardian/ICM poll.
Actually, it's not parents, they don't oppose religious schools (but they do oppose state funding) and the, er, Guardian thinks that the timing of the poll may have affected the results:
The survey reveals that following last month's terror attacks, the majority of the public are uneasy about the proposals, with 64% agreeing that "the government should not be funding faith schools of any kind". (source)
She also writes:
At the time of writing, you could see the front page on the Catholic Herald website, which clearly shows the headline to be "Three days to save our Catholic schools". It takes a rare skill to be able to misquote a "blazoned" headline.
She also writes:
But the UK and Denmark are the only countries where drinking is on the rise.
Here, her research methodology is unusually clear -- she read yesterday's paper, when Martin Plant had a letter published in the Guardian which said:
Britain is the only country in western Europe (apart from Denmark) where alcohol consumption is still rising. (source)
Note the omission of "in western Europe" from Polly's column. In fact, there are many countries where alcohol consumption is on the increase. At the World Resources Institute online database, for example, you can pull up litres of alcohol consumed per adult in a number of countries with trends -- and it shows increases in countries from Albania to Zimbabwe.
UPDATE: Mr Eugenides has written to me, taking a break from posting the sublime, to point out that when Polly writes:
alcohol now costs 54% less in real terms than it did in 1980.
it contrasts with the Economic and Social Research Council's take on it:
In real terms, since 1981 the price of alcohol relative to incomes has decreased by 54 per cent.
Which is of course not the same thing at all.