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

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Watch: Best Maiden Speech of 2017 Intake Watch: Best Maiden Speech of 2017 Intake
Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’ Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’
Davis Accepts Donations from Top Blairite and TV Remainer Davis Accepts Donations from Top Blairite and TV Remainer
BBC #NotOnTheList Stars Paid Via Production Companies BBC #NotOnTheList Stars Paid Via Production Companies
Pants-Wearing Councillor Boasted He Had “Vaz in My Right Pocket” Pants-Wearing Councillor Boasted He Had “Vaz in My Right Pocket”
Champion: ‘Not Possible’ to Keep Student Debt Promise Champion: ‘Not Possible’ to Keep Student Debt Promise
BBC Rich List Revealed: Salaries In Full BBC Rich List Revealed: Salaries In Full
Torbynista Greening Loses Fight for New Money Torbynista Greening Loses Fight for New Money
New Labour Spinner Boasted of Bullying Angela Eagle New Labour Spinner Boasted of Bullying Angela Eagle
Remainers Behind Smears and Negative Briefings Remainers Behind Smears and Negative Briefings
Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
Byline Fined For Defamation in First Impress Ruling Byline Fined For Defamation in First Impress Ruling
Freedom From Abuse Not Abuse of Freedom Freedom From Abuse Not Abuse of Freedom
Milne & Blonde Pictured in Restaurant Milne & Blonde Pictured in Restaurant
Corbyn Spends Evening With Assad Loving Genocide Denier Corbyn Spends Evening With Assad Loving Genocide Denier
Osborne Defends Blackrock’s Investment on Front Page Osborne Defends Blackrock’s Investment on Front Page
Taylor Review Hijacked by Union Sock Puppets Taylor Review Hijacked by Union Sock Puppets
Assange Lawyer Named as Milne’s Mystery Blonde Assange Lawyer Named as Milne’s Mystery Blonde
The Great Fairtrade Scandal The Great Fairtrade Scandal