The Plastic Hippo

December 3, 2014

Principia Mathematica



Somewhere in the nebulous goldilocks zone between mathematics and fairy tales, there exists a species dedicated to analysing statistics for political purposes. For all its richness, the English language has yet to develop a collective noun for statisticians busily blowing the smoke and polishing the mirrors that their political masters will use to prove that “up” is the new “down” and “new” is the old “old”.

A “Gaussian distribution bell curve of political statisticians” has its charm as a collective noun for number crunchers but is rather unwieldy. A “truncation” or a “variance” have merit but are vulnerable to misinterpretation and would anger legitimate statisticians not employed in providing evidence that converts lies into truth. Instead, a “sample of statisticians” seems more elegant and more accurate. With just hours to go before the Chancellor of the Exchequer`s Autumn Statement, you can bet the fiscal deficit that the sample of bean counters at the ONS have come up with irrefutable proof that Osborne`s long-term economic scam – sorry – plan is working subject, of course, to a sample of public opinion in the shape of a General Election.

There is a school of political thought that is suggesting the outrageous idea that opinion polls are a threat to democracy, particularly immediately prior to by elections. The argument is that if a particular political party is ahead in the polls, supporters of that party become complacent and do not bother to vote. Conversely, opponents of that party view the ballot as a foregone conclusion and also do not bother to vote. The Lord Ashcroft, a Tory Peer with dual Belizean nationality and a “Belonger” to the Turks and Caicos Island indulges in some harmless polling in the spare time he has when not avoiding paying tax. Last week he published a poll he had conducted in Ed Miliband`s Doncaster North constituency. In a safe Labour seat, Ashcroft`s poll suggested that Labour had a mere 12 percentage point lead over the nasty Kippers and Miliband had only a one per cent advantage over Cameron.

More than a few quizzical eyebrows were raised over these conclusions and upon investigation, the poll turned out to be complete and utter nonsense. To his credit, the Lord Ashcroft had the grace and dignity to apologise for the mistake and now realises that only polling Tory voters might in some way skew the result of a limited survey. Interestingly, the poll of Tory voters indicates a swing away from Cameron and towards the Farage creature. Oh dear. Fairy tales…one, mathematics…nil; or zero or a factor of the first number you thought of.

As George Osborne summons up his considerable fiscal expertise to tell the House of Commons that his scam – sorry – plan is working, the Sergeant-at-Arms might consider taking a sample of the Chancellor`s blood to ascertain what the bloody hell he was on during recent PMQs. No stranger to credit cards forming neat lines, Osborne is familiar with smoke and mirrors in ways that transcend mundane political expediency.

Previously and currently, in a desperate attempt to “prove” economic growth, the proceeds of crime were included in GDP which resulted in a massive levy from the EU. After such a monumental cock-up, George might wish to change his name again. After redefining the employment figures to include people who work unpaid for a single hour per week and creating a million jobs by simply changing the status of the job and by forcing people into low paid zero hour contracts, this idiot now bemoans a fall in income tax revenue. This time he should call himself Richard Cranium.

With a cheerful disregard of the ministerial code of conduct, the Chancellor and his department have been whizzing about splashing cash on dodgy deals and leaking the good news to the media before being announced or debated in the chamber. With the deficit increasing and borrowing going from one trillion to one and a half trillion since he became Chancellor, Osborne is wasted in more ways than one.

The statistics might work but the mathematics don`t. A £2billion injection into the NHS does not even begin to cover the £3billion “under spend” clawed back to the Treasury in October 2012. The budgeted infrastructure road building programme cancelled in 2010 is now re-instated in predominately marginal constituencies. After cutting funding for the Environment Agency and forcing redundancy on people who actually knew what they were talking about, flood defence in the Thames valley is now a priority. There are five months until a General Election and only a few hours until Osborne once again sees giant flying lobsters wearing top hats and spats hovering in the rafters. We will, no doubt, hear of the inherited shambles forced upon the current bunch by the previous bunch and no doubt the previous bunch will be rehearsing accusations of the inherited shambles forced upon them by the current bunch. Two words; food banks. Two further words; child poverty.

There are so many more words that need to be spoken about the disgraceful actions of this awful government and how these gangsters have stolen the United Kingdom. I want this country back and I want Osborne and Cameron to stay behind after school for a compulsory maths class which they will attend until they realise that economics is not a fairy tale.

It might be petty, but I really hope that Osborne is off his “thrupney bits” again when he attempts to stand at the dispatch box. In terms of probability, it might just happen.


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