Never underestimate stupidity

24 Mar

There are many joyful aspects to a temporary break from commuting into London. I know I can get home and back, I don’t have to sit rubbing knees with the carriage oddbod and no more daily commuter rage. Yet I do miss the insightful and hard-hitting journalism of the free commuter papers (and the lower back relief they give when folded and sat back on).  I now have to rely on those who continue to battle into the Big Smoke to flag up the snippets of excellence that the free papers provide. Many thanks to (A)nother Lawyer Writes for bringing to my attention Metro’s recent poll to find the most influential woman in London, providing yet another moment when I have to check the calendar and confirm it isn’t April 1st.

The Metro poll was timed to coincide with this year’s International Women’s Day. A worthy exercise, absolutely.  But who was named by Metro readers as their most influential woman to live or work in London in the past century? (Just take a moment to appreciate the gravity of this – most influential in the past century.) The woman who got the most votes was none other than Leona Lewis. That’s right, the Leona Lewis. You’ll know her as the winner of the 2006 series of X-Factor, pop diva and …. er, errr … that’s about all really. Astonishingly, Ms Lewis got 70.9% of the vote. Margaret Thatcher, who we may not all like but is certainly up there as someone who could be genuinely described as influential, limped into second place with 5.14%. What on earth were people thinking? Something has gone seriously wrong when Leona Lewis storms home ahead of women such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Betty Boothroyd and Shami Chakrabarti. If we must luxuriate in the bubble bath of celebrity then where was Katie Price? To be upfront  (no pun intended), she’s a darned sight more influential than Leona Lewis.

10,000 people voted in the poll. Two thirds of them voted for Ms Lewis. That’s a lot of stupid people. The only thing that makes me feel slightly better (about the world and about Metro) is that 1.3m copies of the paper are distributed across the UK each day so in reality that makes only 0.5% of their readership utterly daft. Even better, if the poll was web-based then 6,666 people out of 3.5m site visitors is positively microscopic. However, if the poll was for London’s most influential woman then the pool of readers may have been smaller and thus the proportion of idiots higher. How sad.

Whichever way you look at it – as someone clever once said, never underestimate the stupidity of the common man.

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One Response to “Never underestimate stupidity”

  1. Elena November 23, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    Was it a fix, I wonder? Leona Lewis’ record company paying the Metro a nice little earner in return for a little, um, ‘flexibility’ with the results?

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