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Thursday, 16 June 2011

New (Labour) Math

Frank Dobson in Today's Guardian:

"When Labour came to power the NHS was performing 5.7 million operations. In 2009/10 the figure was 9.7 million, an increase of 58%"

Now I don't know whether the claim about the number of operations is true, but what I do know is that it isn't a 58% increase.  What I also know is that 5.7 million is 58% of 9.7 million, but what that tells me is that a former Labour cabinet minister is functionally innumerate, being unable to perform the simplest of calculations.

Another reason to keep these people, with their scant grasp of reality, out of office. Machiavelli probably didn't say, "if you can't add up, you can't govern", but perhaps he should have.


Jive Lad said...

Plus........why is more operations better? Surely if we were a healthier nation, then there would be *fewer* operations.

But then of course, it isn't actually a National *Health* Service......

Not a sheep said...

Oddly if he had used traditional maths rather than NuLabour maths he would have made the increase sound even larger.

Alex said...

Perhaps, but in NL-world it's the impact/impression that matters not the details, so 58% , which is in the same ballpark as 70%, is good enough.