The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Numbers Game

The Ministry for Profitable Incarceration has been reprimanded for taking a Duncan Smith approach to statistics in its efforts to justify Chris Graybeing's mugging of the legal aid system. The UK Statistics Authority complains that Graybeing's little men have given misleading information about the earnings of barristers, have not bothered their little heads about extraneous items like VAT and disbursements (a truly Duncan Smith approach, of course, would not even know what "disbursement" meant), and have used mean and median measures without deigning to explain the reasoning behind such use. A spokesbeing was duly extruded to dismiss the issue with a casual wave of the tongue; apparently everything is available on the Government's website, and the Ministry is well aware that barristers' fees are not the same as their earnings, despite having conflated the two wherever convenient. "Whether the mean or median figure gives the best representation of typical fee income is open to statistical interpretation," the spokesbeing said; which apparently explains why the Ministry for Profitable Incarceration did not care to be too explicit about its own interpretation. It's enough to make one wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, this is the same government which promised no chaotic, top-down reorganisations of the National Health Service, and we all know how well that ended.


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