Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

In which The Author contacts the BBC (again!)

I’ve just sent the following email to PM host Eddie Mair at BBC Radio 4, after they broadcast a very one-sided discussion about public spending on yesterday evening’s edition. The postscript is a tongue-in-cheek comment about a semi-regular feature in which one of their reporters has lunch with a politician. Ordinary listeners have started offering to meet her as well, so I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring. As you can probably tell, the breadth of coverage so far has been slightly limited.
Hi Eddie

It was nice to hear the public’s responses to the question about public spending in yesterday’s programme. I don’t remember getting a leaflet through my door (maybe they forgot about us here in Wales, as usual) so my guesses were somewhat wide of the mark.

However, I notice that you trotted out without question the Establishment line about 30% of spending going on social security payments. You forgot to mention that the vast majority of that is spent on old age pensions; a fair percentage is also paid to people who have paid into the system for years while working, and who are now out of work because of the greed of the bankers. A further tranche goes on working tax credits, subsidising employers who are too tight-fisted to pay their staff a living wage. Any chance of putting the countervailing argument forward some time between now and May 6th?

All the best

Steve O’Gorman

PS I’d like to volunteer to take Becky Milligan out for lunch – simply so that she can meet someone who’s not a member of UKIP for a change.

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