Lawyer Cross Examining Boris Overstates His Case

Over at the Covid inquiry this morning they were arguing over whether the UK had the second highest death rate in Europe or not. Covid lawyer Hugo Keith KC asserted “the UK had one of the highest rates of excess deaths in Europe”. World Health Organisation data for the proportional cumulative excess death count for every country in Europe tells a different story. Boris was right to defend his record on Covid compared to other European countries:

Boris bristled at the claim saying he had seen Office of National Statistics data that suggested otherwise. The usually precise KC perhaps realising he had lost his footing backtracked a minute later to claim he was only talking about Western Europe.

Even revising the assertion to cherry pick “Western Europe“, the above data set still doesn’t produce the outcome that Hugo Keith apparently wanted to portray here. The UK is roughly in the middle of the pack, and against Europe as a whole, in the lower ranks. Does the KC have an agenda?

UPDATE:  Watch Tom Harwood make the same point.

mdi-timer 6 December 2023 @ 14:00 6 Dec 2023 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Debt is Rising in Nominal Terms, Real Terms and as a Percentage of GDP, Not Falling

According to the IFS “It’s not accurate to say that debt is falling. Public sector debt is currently rising in cash terms, real terms, and (most importantly) as a per centage of national income.” Yet today both Sunak and Hunt have claimed the debt is falling as per one of Rishi’s original five pledges. This is simply not true.

To keep debt from rising above 100% of GDP over the long-term would require a cut in annual spending of 4.4% of GDP according to the OBR. After today real-terms spending is scheduled to rise even if the Tories win the next election. The simple truth is the national debt will keep on rising unless the economy grows faster or spending is cut.

mdi-timer 22 November 2023 @ 15:52 22 Nov 2023 @ 15:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
BBC Disinformation Correspondent’s CV Fakery

Many of us may have slightly embellished a CV during our younger years in order to land a job. Such youthful indiscretions, however, can sometimes lead to unexpected twists of irony, as is such in the case of Marianna Spring, now the BBC’s Disinformation Correspondent and chief fact-checker. Earlier this week she was praised in the Guardian for her services to exposing fabrications across social media…

In a bid to secure work at the US-based news site Coda Story back in 2018, Spring claimed to have worked alongside the esteemed BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford. However, once Coda Story’s editor-in-chief Natalia Antelava did a bit of digging, it turned out Spring had never worked with Rainsford at all. It was, to use a BBC turn of phrase… misinformation. To Spring’s credit, she went on to atone for this self-described “awful misjudgement“. Awkward…

Hat-tip: New European

mdi-timer 8 September 2023 @ 11:09 8 Sep 2023 @ 11:09 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Gina Miller’s Polling Muck Up

On Friday arch-remoaner Gina Miller decided that it would be a good idea to incorrectly profile a set of polls about the regrets that voters had about Brexit. Deciding to call out the majority of news outlets about their statistical analysis may not be the brightest idea… 

In her tweet she claimed that the polling which was widely quoted in the media last week was based off of the Question Time audience in Clacton. In reality the widely quoted polling was actually derived from polling conducted by UK In A Changing Europe and was in fact proper polling. Somebody’s upset they weren’t invited on to the Brexit Special panel…

Instead, she claimed that the “professional polling”, as commissioned by her own very serious and professional “True and Fair” party was a more accurate display of the state of “Bregret” that voters are facing. An ironic name for her political party, as her tweet was neither fair nor true…

mdi-timer 26 June 2023 @ 13:46 26 Jun 2023 @ 13:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Streeting Caught Out On Pager Maths

In a speech delivered to the NHS Confederation last week, the Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting claimed the NHS owned ‘1 in 10’ pagers still in use across the world. Considering there are two million pagers in the USA alone, this maths seems a touch wooly.

They then refused to offer the evidence for their ‘extensive FOI-based research’ when Full Fact made an attempt to verify the claim. If you consider the 79,000 pagers Labour say are in use within the NHS, it would represent just one in 26 of the just over two million in the US and UK, not even beginning to take into account the number of pagers which may be in service outside of the NHS in the UK, and across the rest of the world.

This is not the first time a Labour frontbencher has been caught out by arithmetic, with Rachel Reeves, Jonathan Ashworth, and Rachel Reeves again all falling victim to problems with basic maths. Hopefully the new ‘Research Manager’ the party are advertising for will be proficient in basic calculations…

mdi-timer 23 June 2023 @ 14:23 23 Jun 2023 @ 14:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Fact Check: Khan’s Polluting Claims

In a now-deleted tweet calling for urgent action, Sadiq Khan called London the “18th most polluted city in the world”, citing air quality, light pollution and congestion. Not only is Khan’s self-flagellation alarmist, it also suffers the disadvantage of being wrong. Publicly over-exaggerating the inadequacies of his own environmental record seems to be a price Sadiq is happy to pay to further his punitive green policies. To recap: he’s been in charge for six years…

London is nowhere near 18th most polluted city in the world, on any of these measures. IQair ranks London as the 3739th in the world on air pollution. It is ranked 55th out of just 404 cities on congestion, and the UN reports mean noise pollution as joint 28th out of the 61 cities measured.

Guido isn’t sure where Sadiq got his facts. It could be from London’s air pollution being ranked 17th of 29 European Capitals in 2019, or from a deliberate misreading of the aforementioned UN report. Sadiq’s constant love of speaking hot air probably doesn’t help the statistics…

mdi-timer 6 October 2022 @ 15:13 6 Oct 2022 @ 15:13 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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