Blunt Assessment: After Saudi Farce, Now Libya Report Debunked

What on earth is going on with Crispin Blunt? The Foreign Affairs select committee chairman lost the plot last week, demanding private investigators find out who exposed his determination to water down criticism of the Saudis. The ‘super-committee’ on Saudi arms then descended into farce and released competing reports, with notoriously Arabist Blunt’s report arguing we should go much softer. Very odd behaviour.

This morning the Foreign Affairs committee’s report on Libya is now being called into question. Guardian journalist Patrick Kingsley has debunked one of the report’s most important and bizarre claims – that Gaddafi wasn’t a major threat to civilians in Benghazi. The committee cited a report from Amnesty International, however it appears no such Amnesty report exists. Confusing. Embarrassing for Blunt and the Foreign Affairs committee – that’s two very public humiliations in the space of 24 hours…




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Quote of the Day

The FT’s Wolfgang Munchau on the “fake maths” of economic forecasts:

“The truth is that our ability to forecast the future beyond the current quarter is limited… The curse of our time is fake maths. Think of it as fake news for numerically literate intellectuals: it is the abuse of statistics and economic models to peddle one’s own political prejudice… The fakeness of the maths lies in an exaggerated inference. Economic models have their uses, as do opinion polls. They provide information to policymakers and markets. But nobody can see through the fog of the future.”

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