Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Yougov and The Stone Club.

Taking a stroll round the internet Mrs Rigby spotted this job advert
Posted: 09 February 10
working for YouGov Plc
Salary £225 a week three month contract
YouGovStone (a subsidiary of YouGov), the online opinion leader research company, is looking for someone to provide additional back-up to Carole Stone in keeping her legendary database up to date and helping to organise the detailed arrangements for events and debates for both YouGovStone and TheStoneClub. This joint role as an administrator and events organiser is an opportunity for someone who wants to be involved in current issues, politics and the media.
closes 31 March 2010. We may appoint before the closing date.
contact Send a CV and covering letter to saqi.sheikh @
Now that advert didn't seem quite right, because it was asking for somebody to work for one organisation (YouGovStone) whilst linking the advert to another one (YouGov). Wouldn't it be a bit like Kraft advertising a job at "Kraft" itself, when the small print tells you it's really at one of the subsidiaries - Cadbury's or Heinz. Or would it?

Mrs R had never heard of YouGovStone / The Stone Club, so she looked it up and found this site
YouGovStone is a joint venture between leading online market research agency YouGov and business consultant Carole Stone.
We deliver in-depth insight by asking people of influence their views on subjects that matter to us all.
Here's more about Carole Stone, who was once producer of BBC Radio 4’s discussion programme "Any Questions?"   
Working with chairmen and chief executives of large companies and charities Carole brings together politicians, journalists and business people – today’s opinion formers – to discuss issues of mutual interest. She also holds regular ‘salons’ at her home in London’s Covent Garden both to introduce people to each other and to focus on particular topics.
Now, as Managing Director of YouGovStone, Carole has developed these activities inviting opinion formers to consider and provide feedback on the most important issues facing the country today.
The Stone Club
TheStoneClub is a private members' club. We have two tiers of membership.
Silver (£500 pa +VAT)
Membership is for those who want a regular monthly 'salon' - wine and conversation sparked off by a controversial topical speaker We call it: In Conversation With ... Silver members are invited to two debates a year, backed by YouGovStone research, on major issues that affect us all. And there are Summer drinks and a Christmas party for all TheStoneClub members.
Gold (£1,000 pa +VAT)
Members have all the benefits of Silver but membership is more business focused. There is a monthly Breakfast when TheStoneClub members are briefed by experts from the worlds of business, politics and the media. We will be' taking the temperature' on topical issues of concern to us all.
Okay, so Mrs Rigby has admitted to not being particularly smart about some things, and as far as businesses like this go she really hasn't got a clue. But she does think that sort of membership fee is quite a lot. She couldn't be a member, her pocket money isn't anything like enough so this club seems quite exclusive, or maybe open to people who can perhaps put their membership fees against their business expenses. Maybe?

It's far too late on a Saturday night, not really the best time to try to think sensibly, which is probably why Mrs R can't work out how the two things (organisations) can go together and allow the one to impartially measure opinion, whilst the other seems to be taking money to form opinion based on who is invited to speak at the various functions.

YouGov is meant to be carrying out very regular pre-election opinion surveys, which are intended to measure public opinion.

Can anybody help her out with an explanation please, how a private club, an apparently opinion-forming club, can be linked with a group that's supposed to be completely impartial.



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