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back to article End government pre-snoop on stats

The ability of politicians to spin official statistics to support their own point of view is likely to be severely curtailed – at least if UK Statistics Authority has its way. While the Reg finds it hard to believe that any government minister would be tempted in this way, the good folk over at the Statistics Authority would …

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So...

...how many people DO have an ID card then?

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A way to stop politicans spinning the stats...

... it will never get through parliament.

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Coat

Surely.....

only 0.2% of politicians ever misuse statistics by making up figures...?

I'll get my coat....

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Big Brother

3 hours is still giving in to the government ministers

They should have no advanced warning. I'm sick of their Machiavellian cunning and duplicity directed at us because it shows they work against us not for us. Our government representatives see the figures when we see the figures because they work for us.

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Anonymous Coward

Doesn't matter...

... if they didn't get advance stats officially, they'd just get them through the Lodge and/or Old Boys Club...

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Anonymous Coward

Lies, damned lies, and stat......

Could we please have some spin-free statistics to support the assertion that "they work for us"?

Primarily they work for themselves and their their commercial sponsors and partners because we, the punters, apparently don't provide them with enough money to maintain the the kind of lifestyle they mistakenly believe they are entitled to. Snake-oil salesmen have to dine in the best of restaurants, don'tcha know.

Tony Blair was employed by God to do His work on earth.

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Megaphone

@"Could we please have some spin-free statistics to support the assertion that "they work for us"?"

At the next election NuLabour will get all the statistics it needs to show the country is filled with people who hate and detest NuLabour for their outright betrayal of our country.

For all their two faced lies, robbing and moves to wipe out our rights and create a Police State, Mandelson, Blair, Brown and every NuLabour Home Secretary should all collectively be charged with treason against the UK and against its people. Treason against the UK, as in "serious acts of betrayal of one's nation."

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Flame

An aside.

It's New Labour, that's 'New' as in 'not the old'. Frankly it's not even that new anymore so you might as well just call them 'Labour'. It may be because it's Friday but for chuffs sake won't you stop using that ridiculous 'Nu' like it's some kind of witty reference to 'ZaNu'. It's not witty or funny or even relevant. It doesn't help whatever argument you might have and just serves to highlight your uber-right wing 'won't-sopmeone-think-of the-children?!', 'i-blame-the-immigrants', Daily Mail tendencies. Now that's fine if that's your purpose and you're happy to be viewed that way. I suppose it does make completely dismissing your rantings that much quicker as I'm able to do so as soon as I come across the word 'NuLabour'. But if you actually have a useful point to make then please do try and stop foaming at the mouth quite so much.

Also, what's this bollocks about 'treason'? For crying out loud do you have any idea of the last person was tried for treason in the UK? William Joyce in 1945 that's who. The bunch of tossers that run us now were elected by US (that's you and me not the U.S. (although..)). If anyone should be tried for "serious acts of betrayal of one's nation" it should be fucking muppets like you that truly believe that your endless vomitous bile and prejudice is actually reasoned opinion.

Now, try this exercise:

Step 1. Whenever you use the any of the words 'NuLabour' or "ZanuLabour" or similar in a post, delete that post and fuck off.

Step 2. When you come back refer to step 1

Step 3. Repeat until you get it fucking right.

/rant

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What's in a name?

"Step 1. Whenever you use the any of the words 'NuLabour' or "ZanuLabour" or similar in a post, delete that post and fuck off."

Completely agree with these sentiments When Blair, Brown and Mandelson hijacked the original Labour Party with the intention of implementing their Thatcherite policies they omitted to spell this out to the voters and simply didn't have the guts to rename the party to more accurately reflect the depth of their treachery: New Tory Party.

Any reference to 'Labour' by this bunch of self-serving tossers should be treated with absolute contempt.

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Anonymous Coward

They should just put Jacqui Smith in charge.

'8 out of 10 cat owners are running up to me in the street to tell me how their pets preferred broken glass to Whiskas... oh hang on, my husband just sent me a picture message...'

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Anonymous Coward

Lies, damn lies, and all that...

Good luck to the Statistics Authority, if they're to be believed. But they have their job cut out right now - neither I not anyone I know has the slightest trust in any govt statistics whatever. And not just because of politicians - there's a general and profound suspicion about the way statistics are generated and obtained - so often they don't fit in with people's own experience. That doesn't always make the statistics wrong of course, but in such things the perception is often more important than figures.

I can't see that changing anytime soon whatever the promises.

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Well, I don't believe you either

> so often they don't fit in with people's own experience.

So often they don't fit in with the stories you've been fed by the news media.

An individual's experience is seldom relevant to national statistics - but many individuals delude themselves into believing they know better than the Statistics Authority - because 'there's so much crime around' (read: so many crime reports in the media), or 'unemployment's rocketing' (read: the media only report closures).

In short, anyone who makes judgments on the basis of news reports is doomed to ignorance.

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Alert

Here's an idea

How about the politicos get access to the statistics at /exactly the same time/ as the media, the analysts and even we poor ignorant plebians?

If only there was some kind of cheap and gloabally available publishing medium that was specifically designed for mass dissemination of statistical data.

Oh well.

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Anonymous Coward

Liars, Damned Liars and Statisticians

This practice has been going on for some time, so why are they shouting about it now?

Of late we've had them shouting at oposition politicians for "misusing" statistics, IOW not using the statistics that ministers prefer them to use. From this we can see that the Statistics Authority are pretty much a ministerial tool. Could it be that this lastest outburst is an attempt to show they are not in the pockets of minsters? Or could this be yet more evidence that they are in the the ministerial pocket? How so? I think our current government know that the next election is not going to go well for them, could it be that they are trying to stop the next government from using that the statistical advantage that they themselves have enjoyed for so long?

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"so often they don't fit in with people's own experience"

Possibly because they don't properly understand the statistics. And that's partly because the media and the politicians have chosen to misinterpret them, or interpret them selectively according to their own benefit.

How many times have we seen a headline such as "xxx is falling" only to look at the figures and see that xxx is not actually falling, it is simply rising more slowly than it previously did.

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RW

"inconsistent with international best practice"

I just about choked when I read that. Is ___anything___ the current ship of fools do consistent with international best practice?

Prediction: if Labour wins the election, you will see a tidal wave of people leaving the UK. This may be a desirable end in the view of Labour because it will help lower the average IQ even further.

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