UK Statistics Watchdog Goes Out Fighting
Allegations about the politicisation of data have intensified throughout the years of New Labour rule – most recently with last week’s issue of national figures showing thousands of children had not won entry into their first-choice state school.The government set up the commission in 2000 "to improve trust in government figures." The question is whether it didn't do its job well enough or entirely too well. A new UK Statistics Authority replaces it next month.
Critics of Ed Balls, schools secretary, accused him of trying to deflect attention from the statistics by simultaneously reporting that “a significant minority” of schools were breaking new admissions rules.
The commission has written to Mr Balls’ department and stressed the release of official figures should be “seen to be independent from policy comment”.
A group devoted to making politicians come clean on their use of statistics. More than a full-time job, I'd bet.