SKETCH: Why do Economists Cost So Much?

The chairman of National Statistics has a familiar smile. Clever. Knowing. Wonderfully pleased with itself. The smile on the mouth of a man who makes £100,000 for two days work a week.

It’s the same smile as Robert Chote’s – and of course they are related. Both economists, both sometime heads of the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Now both attached to the public service udder (Chote sucking £142,000 from the Office of Budget Responsibility).

Dilnot has just been in front of the Public Administration committee explaining himself on police crime figures. His National Statistician had recently described the crime statistics system as “one of the best in the world” but he has now “de-designated” them for being unreliable. Or in the words of the committee, dross. Fiddled. Fictitious. And as ex-Met chief Lord Stevens said, they always have been. And indeed, as the chair of the committee has said, every police officer he’s spoken to has agreed the figures are fantastical.

So why have Dilnot and his highly-paid office been so completely useless?

“There simply wasn’t the evidence,” Dilnot said, “the world has changed since 2011” when the figures and the system that produced them were given a clean bill of health. “The evidence wasn’t there.”

But of course it was there, had they felt inclined to look for it.

The group-think these seat-shining, back-scratchers operate under is highly professional and devoid of common sense. Bernard Jenkin asked Dilnot what the experience had taught him.

He didn’t say: “Any target-driven culture must be vulnerable to this sort of manipulation”.

When the chairman pushed his face into this observation, Dilnot found himself saying, “That is something we are seeking to understand more clearly.”

Such is the naivety of the professional men of numbers, charts and percentages, the people who “prioritise the hierarchy of administrative data in a risk-based matrix”.

Yes, they are going to be more “risk-based” in their assessments from now on. That means they’re going to decide which figures are most obviously fraudulent and try and find out why.

I can’t help thinking this sort of work is easily done, and for half the price.



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Out of the bubble prole Andy Burnham tells Mumsnet

“I’m afraid I’m going to depress you all by saying that I don’t have a sweet tooth and don’t eat biscuits… Give me a beer and chips and gravy any day.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH: LAS VEGAS EDITION ENERGY MINISTER TOTTY WATCH: LAS VEGAS EDITION
DIANE ABBOTT FORGETS SHE DIDN’T THINK CORBYN COULD WIN DIANE ABBOTT FORGETS SHE DIDN’T THINK CORBYN COULD WIN
NATWEST’S ONLINE BANKING CRASHES ON PAYDAY NATWEST’S ONLINE BANKING CRASHES ON PAYDAY
OWEN JONES: LIE-RA OWEN JONES: LIE-RA
GMB UNION SUE UBER GMB UNION SUE UBER
Who Will Be UKIP’s Mayoral Candidate? Who Will Be UKIP’s Mayoral Candidate?

Meanwhile, in Venezuela… Meanwhile, in Venezuela…
TWITTER EMPLOYEES JUMP FROM SINKING SHIP TWITTER EMPLOYEES JUMP FROM SINKING SHIP
Times Trolls Burnham Times Trolls Burnham
CHAMPAGNE SOCIALISTS BACK CORBYN CHAMPAGNE SOCIALISTS BACK CORBYN
SINN FEIN SHOULD “TAKE INSPIRATION” FROM ARMED UPRISING SINN FEIN SHOULD “TAKE INSPIRATION” FROM ARMED UPRISING
ALL CHANGE AT GREEN PARTY HQ ALL CHANGE AT GREEN PARTY HQ
I Can’t Believe He’s Not Tory! I Can’t Believe He’s Not Tory!
UBER DESTROYING RACIST TAXI INDUSTRY UBER DESTROYING RACIST TAXI INDUSTRY
Could Labour Fall Apart Under Corbyn? Could Labour Fall Apart Under Corbyn?
Hilarious Prankster Hilarious Prankster
GREENPEACE LIVID GREENPEACE LIVID
Did Labour Leadership Candidates Smoke Dope? Did Labour Leadership Candidates Smoke Dope?
Another Andy Flip Flop Another Andy Flip Flop
Clegg Whores Himself Out Clegg Whores Himself Out
RETURN OF THE FRACKERS, CUADRILLA TO APPEAL RETURN OF THE FRACKERS, CUADRILLA TO APPEAL
FLASHBACK: TORY WHIP ON SCANDAL INVOLVING “SMALL BOYS” FLASHBACK: TORY WHIP ON SCANDAL INVOLVING “SMALL BOYS”
“Owen Jones is the 1%” “Owen Jones is the 1%”
Jedward Told to “F**k Off” By Indy Staff Jedward Told to “F**k Off” By Indy Staff
CLIMATE LOBBY DRAFT ARNIE CLIMATE LOBBY DRAFT ARNIE
MOD FORCED TO FIGHT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION… WITH TWEETDECK MOD FORCED TO FIGHT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION… WITH TWEETDECK
Mental Marxists: Tories Will Gas the Poor Mental Marxists: Tories Will Gas the Poor
MONEYBAGS BURNHAM TRAILS DESPITE SIX FIGURE FUNDING BONANZA MONEYBAGS BURNHAM TRAILS DESPITE SIX FIGURE FUNDING BONANZA
ROLL CALL OF LABOUR ‘MORONS’ ROLL CALL OF LABOUR ‘MORONS’