Monday, 12 March 2007

Revenge of the B and C Listers

Blair, Cameron, Campbell. Do you notice anything odd here? Brown, Beckett, Armstrong, Amos, Benn, Browne, Alexander, Blears....I've just worked out that 40% of Blair's Cabinet have names beginning with the first three letters of the alphabet. Not to mention former members - Blunkett, Cook, Clarke. Something is going on, wouldn't you say?

Since the late 1990's studies led by Jon Krosnick, professor of psychology and political science at Ohio State University, have shown that the order names appear in on a ballot form affects the number of votes candidates receive. In the 2000 presidential race, George Bush (another B lister) won 9% more votes when he was listed first on the ballot, than when he was listed later.

It's bad enough for those of us who come lower down the alphabet. We went through school sitting near the back of the class. We got everything later than our less alphabetically challenged peers, from exercise books to meals. Our papers were marked by tired examiners, and the best further education places had been filled before they reached us. Now we're even being governed by the lucky people who sat at the front, and a by a PM who apparently has difficulty getting beyond ABC in the alphabet.

Sooner or later we're going to wind up with a prime minister named Aardvark, and a deputy who's a Burke.

And, just for once, may I go to the front of the class for noticing this, please?

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