Thursday, 1 April 2010

Storm In A Statistical Teacup?

It is a bit rich for the likes of the Mail, Express, Telegraph, the Tories* and, of course, Andrew Green to be accusing Gordon Brown fiddling or even lying about the immigration figures, given the fact that they all regularly play fast and loose with facts and statistics themselves.

Daily Mail - "Mr Brown has been caught twisting the truth — yet again — earning a humiliating rebuke from the UK Statistics Authority for underestimating the scale of migration." & 'Brown's lies and chicanery on immigration are crying out to be exposed by the Tories'.
Express - "The head of the UK Statistics Authority wrote a personal note to the Prime Minister criticising his manipulation of data in an attempt to claim that the influx of migrants had significantly dropped during his premiership."
Telegraph - "Gordon Brown has misled the public on immigration figures. Again."
Sun - "Brown was humiliatingly caught out again using fiddled figures."
Andrew Green - “The Prime Minister has been caught red-handed fiddling the immigration statistics.” & "This amounts to fiddling the figures for presentational purposes and is completely unacceptable, especially on such a sensitive subject."

As Michael Scholar, head of the UK Statistics Authority said, "The Statistics Authority hopes that, in the political debate over the coming weeks, all parties will be careful to protect the integrity of official statistics." Fat chance of that.

* The Tories were of course more circumspect with their language: "inaccurate picture of his record on immigration" - Chris Grayling. Although he did say that Brown was turning into "a serial offender in misleading the British people."

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