Brown's Fake Tractor Statistics

One of the things that annoys me about Prime Minister's Question Time is the way in which Gordon Brown regularly throws out what are now known in some quarters (in a reference to the old Soviet propaganda days) at Tractor Stats.

Brown regularly lies and falsifies these figures or merely, makes them up. Nobody ever seems to challenge these. For example; "We are lifting children out of poverty" a phrase he regularly uses, and today was no exception. According to official figures, Labour has failed in its keystone policy of abolishing child poverty and the facts are that they have not made a dent in it. In 2002 Brown boasted that Labour had lifted 1.2 million children out of poverty (what this means I really do not know) but the BBC were reporting the figure was nearer half a million. So, a doubling of the actual figure. More than doubling. In March, 2007, The Independent reported

"Child poverty has increased for the first time in six years, prompting fears that ministers will miss their target of halving the number of children living in poverty by 2010. The statistics are a huge setback for Labour and were described by charity Barnados as "a moral disgrace"

And in May this year the same paper declared,

"The full scale of Labour's failure to help the poorest in Britain was laid bare yesterday with revelations that hundreds of thousands of people were being plunged into deprivation even before the recession hit, and that the Government had been unable to make any impression on the numbers of children and pensioners in poverty." (The Independent)

Sadly, Cameron, who I thought was under par today, never picked him up on it.

Some of you may have read this post which blows the gaff on the Car Scrappage Scheme. Today in PMQs, Brown listed "35 thousand" motorists have been helped by this scheme". In reality, that means that the Government has given out a grand total of £35,000 - rather less than an average MPs faked expenses - and God knows how much this fiasco has cost to set up. I dare say £35,000 wouldn't cover Peter Mandelson's travel and lunch expenses incurred in having meetings with motor manufacturers.

So what is the purpose of reeling off these lists? You do not need to delve very far to see how specious most of them are. Is it supposed to make Gordon Brown look successful and statesmanlike?

I leave the last word to Shaun Woodward, the Northern Ireland Secretary who tonight on Newsnight, commenting on the Prime Minister's performance at PMQs, said

"Gordon Brown is a man at the top of his game."


Aye We Can ! said...

good post - and you saved the best quote for last

Bill Quango MP said...

Shaun Woodward. Was he really the curly haired chap from that's life?

I don't know why Brown is never challenged on his made up numbers. Even the Speccie's Brownies seems to have no effect.

It does all prove one thing though.
Goebbels was right.

Anonymous said...

Small point - your maths is off. If Brown has helped 35,000 motorists at £1000 a motorist, he's given out £3.5 million.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, make that 35 million. Now my maths is off!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Oh dear. I really shouldn't dabble in figures. Thank you anon. I will not edit the post. Hands up, I cocked it up big time.