Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Political Compass: Six years on.

Six years ago, almost to the day, I wrote a post about the Political Compass test. It spawned a huge, light-hearted discussion in the comments thread, that nowadays is a joy to read. I believe that political discussion has become woefully polarised these days due to the in-built distortions caused by the algorithms used by Facebook and twitter. 

You can find the post by clicking the following link: POLITICAL COMPASS

It's well worth a read just for the comment section (102 comments!) But for the idle buggers who frequent this place, I've cut and pasted the piece below:



Political Compass

Over the years I have seen my political views slide slowly to the right. At school I was definitely “left wing” and since then, passing through university, working for someone else and then working for myself I have found my sympathies laying more and more to the right of centre.

But it’s not as easy as that. There are some current Conservative policies that I am diametrically opposed to: Planning “reform”, NHS “reforms” nuclear weapons… i could go on. However I still saw myself as to the right of centre.

The other evening Chris Townsend & I were having one of our regular fun ding-dongs on politics (always in good humour, it should be said!) and he introduced me to a questionnaire that I hadn’t seen before, that dug deeper than left or right and also examined your views on authority and libertarianism.
It was quite late at night when I bundled my way through it at breakneck speed and i was quite surprised at the result. It turned out that I was in fact a bit of a lefty libertarian!

This evening I went back to the questionnaire to have another go – less tired and taking more time over my answers. The results were surprisingly similar – but this time it found me bang in the middle in the left / right sense but still a bit of a libertarian.

Here are the graphic representations of the results:

Political Compass 7th Feb 2012
(7th Feb, Late at night, done quickly)

Political Compass 9th Feb 2012 
(9th Feb, Completed with care)
So how does this compare with some better known in political circles? here you go:
Political Compass Compatriots
Political Compass Compatriots 2
So there you have it! You can have a go for yourselves by clicking on this link:

You don’t have to let me know the results, but secretly I would love to know! The one big surprise was to find myself politically well to the left of Gordon Brown… I am not quite sure how that works…

Reading that brought back happy memories and also the realisation that my views on two of the topics had changed radically - nuclear weapons and the reform of the NHS. 'Blimey', I thought to myself. 'Perhaps I'm slewing to the right in my old age?'

Full of trepidation I set to, and had another bash at the test. Here's my latest result:


Phew! I'm now ever so slightly more to the left than I was six years ago, and slightly more Libertarian in outlook. I could well be the love-child of the Dalai Lama and Angela Merkel. Hold that thought...

However, this means I can relax, as I am still a happy, fluffy, cuddly type of chap and not a frothing Nazi. But I wonder. How will I turn out in another six years' time, in 2024? I must set a reminder in my Google Calendar.

Right then! Now it's your turn. How will you get on compared to six years ago?

  • Will Chris Townsend make for a happy bedfellow with Mrs Merkel?
  • Will the Dalai Lama, Ghandi and Nelson Mandela need to buy bigger beds?
  • Has the CIA been tapping anyone's phone calls? (You'll need to read the 2012 comments)
Here's the link again for you all to try:

Answers, please in the comments section. Thank you in anticipation! 


  1. Replies
    1. I'm not so sure, Mike. But I reckon you can keep the flip-flops on as you're closer to The Dalai Lama.

  2. I'm with Ghandi...and the Pieman, it would seem 😊

    1. Yup. I reckon you've found your soul-mate with Mahatma. And Chrissie too, it seems! You're a very lucky man, Geoffrey/

  3. Glad to see you've moved slightly in my direction Alan! I'm about where I was before: Economic Left/Right: -8.25
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.13

    1. Careful now, Chris!
      A few steps to the right and you'll be signing papers to join the Conservatives!

  4. It seems I've moved left and down! -9.13 and -7.23 respectively. It seems that if I do the questionnaire again in another 6 years they'll have to recalibrate the scale on my behalf. I still feel like the designers of the questionnaire have an odd concept of where the centre might lie.
    I enjoyed reading the post again, and the comments. The curious thing is that, despite, or perhaps because of, being a voracious reader, my recall of what I've read is atrocious - I enjoy reading things but then instantly forget all of the details. But - I do remember this post, so it must have had an impact. I didn't remember my comment and was surprised to find that I was guilty of raising the spectre of the CIA. Still, I was only in my forties then and still young and impetuous.

    1. The survey was dreamed up by Glenys Kinnock and her mates quite a while ago now, so it is unsurprising where they believed the centre should be.

      I would shift the centre of the axis about three to the left and two upwards. Then I would go about shifting the positions of where they expected the politicians to be. Aunty Glenys and her lefty mates would have deliberately added four to the right and three upwards for them.. I wonder where she would have stuck poor husband?

      Now then, you gnarly old lefty: Don't you go filling young impressionable minds with any talk about Bolsheviks and the like...

    2. And don't even *think* abut any trips to the USA. Expect large men with rubber gloves and orange suits & stretchers to be waiting for you at JFK...

    3. It's just occurred to me, Mark, that your question marks might be because you thought I was being beastly to you!

      If that is the case, please excuse my clumsy attempt at humour; I thought my smilies (that don't come out as smilies on Blogger unfortunately) would reinforce that I was having a bit of fun at your expense, Sir!


    4. This is very odd, Alan. I don't remember the question mark comment at all! No offense was taken at all. I thought your comment was funny!

  5. I'm with Chris.
    Economic Left/Right: -8.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.1

  6. This year we seem to have a tightly clustered bunch in the bottom left.

    The peasants are revolting, Sir!

  7. 2012: Economic Left/Right: -5.50, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.46

    2018: Economic Left/Right: -2.75, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -0.72

    That can't be correct - I'm not the sort to mellow with age. Maybe my swingometer needs some lubrication?

    1. Blimey, Stef!
      In another six years I can see you propping up the bar at the local Conservative Club, lubricating your swingometer...

    2. That's unlikely, Alan. I'm about 20 years into a lifetime ban imposed on me for upsetting one of the top dogs at our local CC.

    3. Ah, but whose lifetime?
      If it was the Sainted Margaret's your ban is over Sir!

      Get on down there!


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