Monday , October 23 2017
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We confess to finding this amusing rather than worrying

Summary:
Boris is being shouted at over that £350 million figure and perhaps he should be and perhaps he shouldn't. But it takes Mr. Polly Toynbee to tell us that this is a constitutional crisis:The Boris Johnson affair – especially his dismissive rejection of the UK Statistics Authority – provokes a constitutional crisis. Not constitutional in the formal sense of the workings of parliament and the Crown, but in the spirit and procedures of Whitehall.The head statistics bod tells us and Boris that £350 million might not be the correct number, could even be a misleading statistic.We will confess that we don't monitor the slapdowns that head statistics bods give to Ministers but we do recall just the one earlier example, Harriet Harman and various Labour Ministers talking about the gender pay gap. A

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Boris is being shouted at over that £350 million figure and perhaps he should be and perhaps he shouldn't. But it takes Mr. Polly Toynbee to tell us that this is a constitutional crisis:

The Boris Johnson affair – especially his dismissive rejection of the UK Statistics Authority – provokes a constitutional crisis. Not constitutional in the formal sense of the workings of parliament and the Crown, but in the spirit and procedures of Whitehall.

The head statistics bod tells us and Boris that £350 million might not be the correct number, could even be a misleading statistic.

We will confess that we don't monitor the slapdowns that head statistics bods give to Ministers but we do recall just the one earlier example, Harriet Harman and various Labour Ministers talking about the gender pay gap. A number then wrongly used by Gloria del Peiro some years later, also by the EHRC. We're absolutely certain that there are examples of Polly repeating it.

What we don't recall is The Guardian (except in that piece by one of us) pointing this out and we most certainly don't recall anyone, not even us, describing it as a constitutional crisis.

No, not worrying, for we are far too mature in years to even dream that people would use statistics to illuminate rather than obfuscate in politics. We're also well aware that if politics didn't have double standards it wouldn't have any standards at all.

Tu quoque is indeed a logical error but it is amusing when it can be pointed out.

Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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