Friday, 13 November 2009

Influential spinfluential

At the station on Tuesday I picked up a copy of the Evening Standard ('Enin Stannit!'), now a shadow of its former self as it has gone free. In it was a list of 'the 20 people who keep London leading the world' - their idea of the capital's 'top 20 influentials'.

It consisted of 6 politicians, a banker, a policeman, 6 business people, a handful of vaguely arty types and two pop stars. No journalists or TV people. No scientists or educators. No sports people. But it did have Dizzee Rascal, so it must be okay, and 'down with it', mustn't it?

The article pointed us to the web for the whole top 1,000, which at least filled in a number of my missing categories. Notably, though, there were still no scientists, and the only educators were in schools.

All such lists are open to debate - but with this one, the whole premise is bizarre. Surely, to begin with, the entire cabinet should be in top list, not just three MPs. Can you really expect me to believe that Dizzee Rascal (sorry, I just can't get over his inclusion) is more influential than the Home Secretary or the Chancellor of the Exchequer? Remember that, next time you get a tax rise - it wasn't as important as some rap rubbish.

However, my real sadness is that lack of scientists. Perhaps next time the Evening Standard should scratch its list on a rock with a bit of flint. After all, there is obviously nothing influential that has come out of science and technology. Grrr.

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