Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by slipperman, Aug 21, 2007.

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  1. As you do, I was half-listening to an article on the radio this morning as I struggled to drag my unwilling carcass out of bed. It was about how the UK was lagging well behind other developed countries when it came to spotting and successfully treating various types of cancer.
    What made me sit up and take notice was a quote from (I believe) a NHS spokesman who stated that research had shown that for every 6 miles you lived away from a cancer treatment hospital, your chances of survival decreased by 1%. What?! Can someone please explain to me why we are employing people to come up with these meaningless statistics? It is not only in the NHS, as I have heard similar spokesmen (sorry, spokespersons) spout the same kind of statistical drivel about traffic levels, speed cameras etc etc.
    Call me naive, but maybe if we were to significantly reduce this type of bureaucracy, there would be more money to go around for something like, oh, I don't know, the treatment of cancer, say? :x
  2. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    You must have dropped off again as you ended up listening to 2 completely different items. The mileage one was to do with survival times to A&E Departments and the cancer one was about out of date stats.

    It appears every time someone hits a government spokesperson with stats they are always out of date. :?
  3. 98% of statistics are made up!!!!!

  4. Thanks elovabloke, I probably did catch the wrong end of the stick due to my comatosed state! However, I still believe my point about statisticians and administrators is relevant. Let's clear them out!
  5. What's worse is that this has given Health Minister Dawn Primarolo two opportunities in as many days to appear on national TV. The woman's voice has to be the most irritating in the government (worse even than Hazel Blears') and she always seems to be reading from the press officers' autocue. Consequently she has now reached number 10 on my assassinations list.

    As for the statistics, were these figures not from 2000/01 hence Neu Arbeit can claim the situation has improved since? Most likely it has deteriorated since and our survival rates are just above those of The Gambia.
  6. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Funny that, I though she was the office cleaner until the name plate came up. Seen better interviewees in the RAF.
  7. Statistics were the birth cry of spin doctors
  8. What is even more damning, is the report that despite throwing record amounts of funding at cancer screening (among the highest in Europe), we still have the lowest survival rate in Europe - where has all the money gone?

    The 'interview' on BBC breakfast time with Dawn Primarolo was of a style which has become typical of the BBC - let the minister whitter on without challenge or interruption and no attempt made to present anyone with a counter argument.
  9. No.

  10. In a recent survey, 9/10 statisticians who expressed a preference* said it was 93.21%

    *survey size 1000. 999 failed to respond. Of the remaining 1, one said he was 90% certain that was the figure he'd heard down the pub last night.
  11. This time I am sure. Its 73%.