I admit I’m a sucker for surveys. Questionnaires in magazines that purport to show you whether you are introvert of extrovert, an optimist or a pessimist, how strong your relationship is with your spouse, whether you are a good parent etc…etc. I enjoy ticking the little boxes and choosing between answers a) , b), c), d)…and so on. Of course it is all a bit of fun, isn’t if? I don’t really think filling in few questions on a piece of paper or a computer screen can tell me anything significant about myself or my life.

(Just thought “on a computer screen” google has a nasty habit of targeting adverts on my bookmarked websites to reflect what I was reading in the last day or so. Why else would I get ads for ironing boards when I log in to the weather forecast?) Somewhere, someone is keeping track of what I am reading on the web.

Then there are so-called consultations. With these a body such as a local authority “consults” the users of their service, For some reason I’ve never been able to fathom these are referred to as “stakeholders”. Which we aren’t. “Stakeholder” ought to  mean a person not involved in some dispute who holds the prize – cash or whatever – until it is agreed who should get it.  Back to consultations. Often I’ve found these are simply an excuse for the organisation – local or central government to tell us what they intend to do. Oh yes, we have a chance to object and say why the massive development proposed should not be built in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The powers that be may even read our comments and thank us for taking the time to make them – but there’s no chance they will alter   their pre-determined plans because of what we say.




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