The Tories' 'chumocracy' over Covid contracts is destroying public trust.

Me in the @guardian 👇…
In this piece, I try to take seriously the government’s argument that it was important to use “informal arrangements” in procurement given the urgent need to source PPE.
In response to which I make two points:

1️⃣ The “need for speed” does not mean we should throw basic anti-corruption principles out the window.

2️⃣ Based on the results, it is hard to believe that senior political figures were willing or capable of “pre-vetting” suppliers.
Trust is a key commodity during a public health crisis, and unlike PPE and it cannot be outsourced.
The government has refused to engage with those calling for a public inquiry into the Covid contracts.

But with pay freezes and tax hikes on the horizon, the public deserves to know exactly who has been profiting from this pandemic.
Read the full piece here:…
And then check out my interactive map, My Little Crony!

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More from @sophie_e_hill

18 Nov
🚨 Based on exclusive reporting by @BylineTimes and @allthecitizens, I created a new visualization of the COVID contracts being awarded to firms linked to the Evangelical Christian sect, the Plymouth Brethren.

🔎 Take a look:…
In this map, I've broken up "government" into Central, Local, and NHS.
This gives a more granular picture and also highlights some local councils, like Bristol City Council, which have awarded contracts to multiple Brethren-linked companies.
Read 6 tweets
9 Nov
This is a more wonky thread about how I made this visualization in #Rstats using the awesome visNetwork 📦...…
First step is to create the underlying network data. We need one file of "nodes" - i.e. the people and organizations. And one file of "edges" - i.e. the connections between them.

I created these by hand, based on excellent investigate journalism: ImageImage
Now we can pull these together to create a network visualization!

You'll notice that I included a column for "type" in the nodes file. This allows me to use different icons for people vs firms vs political organizations. Image
Read 8 tweets
9 Nov
The cronyism in this Tory government is so out-of-control that I honestly couldn’t keep track… so I combined my two main skills (puns and #Rstats) to create this interactive visualization.

Introducing… My Little Crony!…
As a bonus, some rare archival footage of me creating this visualization:
Read 6 tweets
3 Oct
Ep 2 of "Suspicious Activity" (a podcast on the #FinCENFiles by @pineapplemedia and @BuzzFeedNews) recounts how George Osborne lobbied US regulators NOT to prosecute senior execs at HSBC...…
... which is a brilliant illustration of "structural power" as developed by folks like @PepperCulpepper and @RaphaelJReinke, as well as @Cornelia_Woll's "collective power of inaction".

Check out the podcast and then follow-up with some further reading from #polisci! (a 🧵)
Culpepper & Reinke (2014) use the idea of "structural power" to compare and contrast the UK and US bank bailouts in 2008.…
Read 11 tweets
1 Oct
Harvard will continue employing David Kane, who has never published in a statistics journal and has a history of making basic stats errors, as Preceptor of Statistical Methods.

This isn't just failing upwards. This is affirmative action for racists.…
The 🧾's:

In 2006, David Kane wrote a blog post on the Harvard @IQSS website, accusing the authors of a study published in Lancet of fraud.
The Lancet study, which estimated excess deaths in Iraq due to the war, involved a survey with a near 100% response rate.

Kane argued that this was indicative of fraud.

(Note: Kane's blog post is no longer available but it was quoted on @crookedtimber)… Image
Read 23 tweets
25 Sep
So it turns out that the Harvard instructor who invited Charles Murray to speak in his class also blogs under a pseudonym and... it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect... Image
Most of his posts involve him offering an in-depth commentary about events at Williams College, where he graduated from in 1988 but doesn't seem to have any current affiliation...
Here he is mocking a "Diversity, Inclusion, Race Equity" meeting… Image
Read 10 tweets

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