Stet for stats

by Stephen Tall on January 6, 2007

I know what the Grauniad’s Martin Kettle is trying to say, but he might have found a more persuasive way of saying it:

The current decline of public trust in the reliability of government statistics is spectacular. An Office for National Statistics survey in 2005 underlines just how dire the situation has become. It found that a mere 17% of people think that government statistics are free from ministerial interference and only 14% say that government uses the figures honestly.

Quoting a statistic as proof of how debased statistics are is an admittedly neat meta-irony.

Though not quite as ironic as Mr Kettle’s optimistic thesis that the statistics bill announced in the Queen’s Speech could demonstrate Gordon Brown’s pluralist approach to open and accountable government.