Unashamed research geek that I am (but pretend not to be at work and when around girls) I’ve been following and blogging about the debate between the authors of The Spirit Level and their detractors at the ‘independent’ (for which read: right-wing) think-tank Policy Exchange. My rather breathless summary of the tussle is here, and this is a more detailed post about The Spirit Level thesis itself.
Well it turns out that I’m not the only anorak out there: here’s a report from the chaps and chapesses at ‘red tory’ think-tank ResPublica of a debate hosted by the RSA between the authors of The Spirit Level and the naysaying Policy Exchange naysayers. Although to be honest with you one can only imagine the bemusement of the former when they find themselves having to say, time and time again, stuff like this:
In defence of the Spirit Level, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett responded by saying that all of the research and proposals presented in The Spirit Level have been peer reviewed – as opposed to the works of some critics, defending their position that ‘In order to distinguish between well founded criticism and unsubstantiated claims made for political purposes, all future debate should take place in peer-reviewed publications.’
Pow! Wham! Zap! Take that you neo-Thatcherite goons you!