The case for evidence
There's a lot happening this autumn around evidence, with the Alliance for Useful Evidence moving into full operation, and a likely spread of 'evidence centres' around government.
The UK position is a lot more promising than it looked likely a year or two ago. By contrast the US presidential election is not particularly heart-warming for those who believe in facts and evidence.
A few weeks ago a well-informed friend told me that there was no correlation between the accuracy of what either side said and their political rewards. The fact checkers and bloggers simply didn't matter because they didn't reach large enough audiences.
Paul Ryan's speech a few days ago is an interesting test of this thesis. As CNN's Erin Burnett put it 'There will be issues with some of the facts. But it motivated people." In other words it was stuffed with what in everyday life are called blatant lies, including bizarre ones like claiming he ran a marathon an hour quicker than he actually did. But will it matter?"