Disgraceful behaviour by The Guardian for The best albums of 2015 – readers’ picks
We are in accord! For the first time any of us can recall, Guardian readers and Guardian writers had the same two favourite albums of the year, in the same order. This year, in a rare moment of rigour, we decided to exclude obvious attempts to game the system – so, Tinker’s Mitten (“like a beefier Flying Pickets”, one reader suggested, enticingly), Jodie Marie and Karnataka, we’re sorry; but next time you suspect your admirers might be voting for you en masse in a poll, tell them not to all vote at the same time (we record exactly when each vote is cast, for exactly this reason). Had they only spread their votes out a little more, all might well have featured in our top five.
So The Guardian admit to rigging the ballot, and the results then just happen to validate the boring consensus picks of the paper’s own critics.
Sorry, Guardian, but this stinks to high heaven.
If you run a poll with a public ballot on the internet with a very low barrier to entry, you surrender your riight to gatekeep the results, and accept the risk that outsiders might come and gatecrash your party. This happened last year when veteran punk satirists Half Man Half Biscuit was voted readers’ album of the year. The general consensus at the time was “Good on them. Anyone else could have done the same”.
What’s different this year, aside from Karnataka not being sufficiently fashionable for the gatekeepers? Running a ballot, then changing the rules when you get a result you don”t like really is out of order.
The irony is that had they not excluded Jodie Marie and Karnataka, they wouldn’t have have ended up with an all-male top five. So much for the diversity The Guardian prides itself in.
A couple of minutes Googling reveals that there is no such band as “Tinker’s Mitten”. This might be because The Guardian got their name wrong, or it might be that The Guardian got pranked with votes for a fake band. But Karnataka and Jodie Marie are very real. Were they just accidental collateral damage?
At this point the best thing The Guardian can do is admit that they screwed up, and republish a top ten (not a top five) with both Karnataka and Jodie Marie reinstated.