Cash for cushions: the wordcloud

You can now view details of MPs’ expenses as a wordcloud. The Open University’s Tony Hirst, who produced the Google Map of MPs’ travel expenses in April has created wordclouds based on the Guardian Datablog’s spreadsheet.

The more recherché items, such as moats and porticos, lack the prominence their studied refinement deserves, but the wordcloud is very telling:

mpexpenses-wordcloud
Charles Arthur writes in the Guardian:

Cleaning, food, interest, mortgage, payments, repairs… those are the sorts of things that this debate has been about so far: the more often a word appears in the overall list of expenses, the larger it appears in the “tag cloud”.

A second version produces pairs of words:

mpexpenses-wordcloud-pairs

You have to love how it generates words pairs such as “pouffe mortgage”. Who knew they went together so well?

Pouffe, if pouffe were needed, that the MPs’ expenses scandal needs a decent name.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Cash for Cushions.

I rest my (hand-stitched Hermès) case.

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2 Comments

  • David Heigham 16th May '09 - 11:32am

    Various blogs are serching for the name this morning. I cross-post comment 316 from Guido:

    ‘Billings-gate’ is the best -gate.

    ‘Troughery’ for the form of behaviour.

    ‘Heathered’ is the past participle describing those caught.

    ‘The Pong Parliament’. (The Wrong Parliament fits too much of the recent political mess.)

    ‘The Great Stink’ was a Victorian coinage for Westminster without proper sewers; it appeals to a sense of tradition.

    ‘Hard disks’ is the phrase that will replace ‘hard cheese’.

    ‘The Slimetrails Affair’ would do for an instant book
    ‘Telegraphic Receipts’ would give credit where it is due; and paid for.
    ‘Fawked Manure’ could be used to describe the eventual fall-out.

    But ‘The Downloads Affair’, soon to shorten to ‘ Downloads’ is what will stick. After all, we all do a download in the appropriate place most days.

  • Helen Duffett 16th May '09 - 12:52pm

    Some good ones in there.

    ‘Cash for Cushions’ is catchy because it’s alliterative, it’s onomatopoeic (contains lots of ‘shushing’) and it’s alluding to a previous Parliamentary scandal.

    And, unlike my amour propre deconstruction, it’s short 😉

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