Jacqui Smith's numbers don't add up

Small lies big numbers, or the other way around?

Fibber and friend Fibber and friend

Like milestones on a journey the route taken by Nulabour's descent is fixed by certain events and remarks along the way. For example we have Gordon Brown's comment of 'saving the world'. A simple gaffe some say, 'anyone might have said that', really? But the problem here is that our Prime Minister said it and in public; had 'the man in the pub' made such a remark the whole bar would have collapsed laughing with the man himself joining in. But our PM and Nulabour are made of different stuff, there is something sinister, unpleasant and flawed about them. In the Guardian today the Editorial has the title, Who's counting? In this the charge is made that Nulabour cooked the books on knife crime.

It's not hard to see why either, as all the ingredients were to hand. Brown has inherited from Tony Blair the vanity and desire to be personally associated with as many bright initiatives as possible. Blair as PM sent a memo round to this effect and was caught out promoting this idea, now it would seem, it's Brown's turn. But in a way Brown is the minor ingredient in this mix, the principle one being Home Secretary Jacqui Smith (see above right). For it is she who is to give the nation the identity card and database scheme it neither wants nor can afford. It was Smith's husband who was forever writing to her constituency's local newspaper in fulsome praise of the ID scheme, the Home Secretary and all things Nulabour. 'Nothing wrong with that' you may say, well read HERE and then make up your mind. For the fact is Smith's parliamentary majority is so low she could be the most vulnerable member of the cabinet, for her some numbers are vital, just a few points swing and she has lost her seat. So, according to the Guardian -

It is not hard to imagine the scene inside Downing Street and the Home Office shortly before Christmas. A high-profile appearance by Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith loomed in the diary. The event, in the prime minister's words, was intended to "send a signal about knife crime". So someone decided to cook the books, manipulating incomplete data to suggest that tough new laws were working. The result was a distorted and unsubstantiated press release and fact sheet that smashed rules on the proper presentation of official data.

Can it then be any wonder that politics in general and statistics in particular are held by the people who count, the public, in such low regard? The Guardian tries to draw comfort from the fact that other parties do this sort of thing too -

Before the year was out the Conservatives had stepped forward with their own set of dubious and premature figures on knife crime.

Perhaps they did but the public know that it has been Nulabour leading all the way since 1997 with their spinning that has done the damage. The head of the UK Statistics Authority thinks so, and Sir Michael Scholar has fought back to restore the creditability of the organisation saying "the publication of prematurely released and unchecked statistics is corrosive of public trust".

The Guardian also tells us -

It remains unclear who decided to misuse this data, how they got hold of it and why official statisticians were not able to stop its release.

It also remains unclear if, when this information is found, if the Metropolitan Police will use the Prevention of Terrorism Act to raid any offices in furtherance of their enquiries, so Damian Green beware! The fact is the Home Secretary is guilty of the worst sort of manipulation and should suffer for it. The statement by Smith -

"if you do carry a knife you are three times more likely to be sent to prison". is a lie.

She also said of the flawed data and its premature publication that her department was - "too quick off the mark".

Speed and the truth seem to be just two of Smith's problems for she also also claimed that the nation cannot wait for the ID card scheme saying -

"I regularly have people coming up to me and saying they don't want to wait that long."

She does not say who these people are, her helpful husband again?

Nulabour should be grateful she did not go on to say how, by this action, she had "shot herself in the foot". We all make gaffes but it would seem that, as with spin, Nulabour leads the way. And how the quality of the financial data stacks up had better be left for another post. But we do know that the UK Statistics Authority is unhappy about that too.