Thursday, April 1, 2010

lies, damn lies: statistics, strikes and the abuse of truth

Spring Harvest 2010 - click to find out moreWe're looking forward to going to a Christian retreat at Skegness called Spring Harvest, which we attended last year.

We'd been worried about an impending strike by the RMT union that was going to stop as many as four trains in five from running.

The timing of tFrederick Denisoun Maurice - click to read more on Bishop David Thomson's blogransport strikes gives a fascinating insight into the anti-religious mentality of union leaders. On the feastday of Frederick Denison Maurice, founder of Christian Socialism, we see a train-strike planned to disrupt the travel plans of members of Judaeo-Christian faith traditions around the time of Easter and Passover, and BA cabin crew, among the highest-paid in the industry, planned their original strike to disrupt the Christmas/Hannukah period.

The original BA strike was cancelled because members of the Unite union who no longer worked as cabin crew voted for the stoppage, invalidating the ballot. Now, we hear that, thankfully, the Telegraph's David Millward reports that an injunction has stopped the railway strike because - among other innaccuracies - more votes were cast than there are members in the relevant parts of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union.

This blind reliance on manipulated statistics betrays a contempt for the truth that pervades the modern left. For example, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has just beHerr Brown?  Click to read more on the Business and Politics siteen rapped by Sir Michael Scholar, chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, for stating in a podcast that immigration fell in 2009, using uncompareable statistics to back up his claims. But for me the most shocking abuse was by Equalities Minister Harriet Harman, who consistently claimed that the conviction rate for alleged rapists was 6%, discouraging women who had been violated from reporting the crime to the police, when the true conviction rate is over 60%.

Despite the best efforts of the RMT to disrupt travel at the time of major Christian and Jewish feasts, the trains will run next week and so (please God) we'll get to Spring Harvest, but I bet Frederick Denison Maurice is turning in his grave.
click to find out more on the BBC website


Please feel free to leave a comment - Frugal Dougal.