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Tory War on Fiddling the Figures

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posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 11:25 AM
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Source the evil
Daily Mail


The tories unveiled plans yesterday for independent bodies to take over responsibility for official statistics and economic predictions which would stop future Governments 'fiddling' the figures.


Seems like a excellent idea to me, past and current governments use statistics to bend the truth to favour themselves.

Independent bodies will remain above party alligences and report back on the truth rather than spin which seems to sadly grown more apparent in current politics.




posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 11:37 AM
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Yup, sounds good but im sure somebody will find a way round it.

Labour's great at useing stats to bend the truth in their favour.



[edit on 9-12-2004 by shorty]



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 12:08 PM
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er...

o-m-g! surely this means the downfall of civilisation how we know it?!
how could we possibly survive without the ability to lie with statistics... i just read a book on how to do so, big waste of time that was





posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by BLUELol
er...

o-m-g! surely this means the downfall of civilisation how we know it?!
how could we possibly survive without the ability to lie with statistics... i just read a book on how to do so, big waste of time that was




I'm only providing evidence of the ideas for cutting down on spin



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 03:08 PM
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I'm only providing evidence of the ideas for cutting down on spin


sorry matey, i was only being joketastic. on the surface, removing spin would be a great idea, but how boring. i always found alot of amusement in how foolish/gullable alot of people are when they blindly accept spin or a statistic as 'fact'.


plus one has to consider how independant these 'independant' bodies really are.

EDIT: i can't spell 'independent'.

[edit on 9/12/04 by BLUELol]



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by BLUELol


plus one has to consider how independant these 'independant' bodies really are.


Yes indeed, it must be assumed (if the torys got in) that it would be a member of them therefore its there best intrests to help the torys.



posted on Dec, 9 2004 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by BLUELol
sorry matey, i was only being joketastic. on the surface, removing spin would be a great idea, but how boring.


No problem
, but remember its often the boring things that effect the interesting things



Originally posted by BLUELol
plus one has to consider how independant these 'independant' bodies really are.


I guess nothing is really 100% independent these days



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 05:13 AM
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Its a very annoying part of politics, especially between Labour and Conservatives, they use different sets of statistics when debating the same subjects, such as crime, health, education, employment.

PM's Questions gets VERY dull, when you watch both sides reel out their own statistics, showing how they are right and the other side is wrong. It's all a matter of interpretation in my opinion, even when two politically opposed politicians use the same set of statistics they will still come out with two opposing conclusions.

It's fairly safe for me to say, most people have trouble believing what a politician says nowadays, the language that they use, how they answer a question without actually answering it. I think thats more of a problem than statistics, what we need is more transparency, not more statistics.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by squarepusher
Its a very annoying part of politics, especially between Labour and Conservatives, they use different sets of statistics when debating the same subjects, such as crime, health, education, employment.

PM's Questions gets VERY dull, when you watch both sides reel out their own statistics, showing how they are right and the other side is wrong. It's all a matter of interpretation in my opinion, even when two politically opposed politicians use the same set of statistics they will still come out with two opposing conclusions.

It's fairly safe for me to say, most people have trouble believing what a politician says nowadays, the language that they use, how they answer a question without actually answering it. I think thats more of a problem than statistics, what we need is more transparency, not more statistics.


- Where is the surprise in any of this?

This is what our politicians do.
We in the UK have an adversarial political system in the UK with a voting proceedure which works against co-operation and the co-opting into power of parties other than the single main dominant one.

In fact our system is practically designed around having a single dominent party.

Our system is so adversarial that when a party is ejected from power they then start complaining about the behaviour of the new party in power even though they are only doing what went before!


Are people here all too young to remember Thatcher and her PMQ's?
Jayzuss wept.
They were almost entirely a prolonged hectoring with endless selective statistics.

In that regard Tony Blair truely is not a patch on Thach.

How about John Major's grey droning on and on with stats?

Let's face it; PMQ's is entirely theatre.
It is, despite the claims made of it, not about holding the gov to account, that happens in the select committees where the time and expertise for proper examination is available.
(depending on the quality of the committee(s).....but then who is really that interested in hearing expert witnesses account for the differences in widget 'a' versus widget 'b', hmmm? Compared to that PMQ's is actually exciting!
)

The business where a handful of questions for the leaders of the other parties and a single go by every other MP is purely for the TV and anyone who imagines it could be otherwise (in that format) is just kidding themselves.

It's simple.

When Labour are in power tories get upset at the use of PMQ's and statistics etc which labour will, not unnaturally, attempt to forward to show themselves in as good a light as possible.

The same but reversed happened when the tories were in power.

As for statistics themselves?

Well we're coming down with statistics. There is no shortage of them. the trick is what they are based upon, what was the question asked and as with all these things it is here that the problems arise.

The fact is that no official statistics here are false or faked (I cannot think of a single case of that in decades under any gov) but they undoubtedly get manipulated as far as concluding what they mean goes.

That's why whatever the failings of the individual method or stat it is probably best to keep on using the same set.
They should be consistent and the same for everyone even if they aren't as comprehensive as a new lot.

For instance, this is why this gov can point to stats and say that crime is down compared to what has gone before......but that doesn't settle anything as the arguement then just moves on to under-reporting or some such standby.

There is no conclusive answer to this if things stay as they are with our 'system'.

.....and when people just don't like the statistics? They just claim they're either wrong, out of date, not showing the new worsening trend.....or that things should be much better! (my personal current fav)....blah blah blah, anything in fact to deny any progress.

There is not a lot of scope for nailing down black and white answers to a lot of politics.
The opposition will always attempt to say the gov is doing badly and the gov will always be relied upon to say it is either doing well or the best that can be achieved under the circumstances.

It won't be changing until we change the system that gives rise to this version of politics.

If we move to a more proportional collegiate kind of politics as they have in much of continental Europe we might see a different culture develop but until then?

Enjoy.

Oh and UK Wizard as for "Tory War on Fiddling the Figures"
; very funny. You keep coming up with such hilarious and ironic titles, good job.


[edit on 10-12-2004 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 09:39 AM
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Oh I agree with you SP, its not suprising at all. What I was trying to say was that creating more statistics is not going to solve anything. No matter how independant they may be, there will be statistics arguing the opposite.

The real aim of this, I imagine is to cast doubt on Labour's trustworthiness. I dont think its going to work either. The Tories are in a real prediciment really, sure there are many people who are not happy with Labour and many who do not trust them, but the Tories are equally if not more disliked(understatement I know).

Its not so much what the statistics say, more who says them, and whether you can relate to them(the person). Michael Howard has way too much history with the public, no matter what statistics he comes out with, people will judge and vote on what they think of him as a person.

At the moment he is trying very hard to change his image, earlier today he was on 'Today with Des and Mel' (daytime entertainment show, rather tacky, low brow) talking about how much he loves Liverpool football club.

I dont believe the Tories will be effective until they bring in new blood (they have many promising young future mp's) , statistics are fairly irrelevant when people dont believe the person(s) reciting them.



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 09:56 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
Oh and UK Wizard as for "Tory War on Fiddling the Figures"
; very funny. You keep coming up with such hilarious and ironic titles, good job.



Can't take credit for it i'm a afraid, your favourite paper (daily mail
)used it for their article title



posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 10:14 AM
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Originally posted by UK Wizard
Can't take credit for it i'm a afraid, your favourite paper (daily mail
)used it for their article title


- Never let it be said they ever pass up the chance to prove they have had an irony (and shame) by-pass!




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