Back in June, I invited readers to write to their coalition MPs to challenge them to address the issue of the government’s clearly-intentional abuse of statistics to tell outright lies on various matters, especially regarding the disabled, the unemployed and the NHS. The government was rebuked by the UK Statistics Authority for its claim that 900,000 people had dropped their disability benefit claims rather than be medically tested, that thousands of people had returned to work because of its benefits cap, and for claiming increased real-terms NHS spending when nothing of the sort was true.
A good number of people took up the challenge and wrote to their MPs before sharing their responses with the SKWAWKBOX, and the responses were remarkable – not least because many of them parroted exactly the same pre-prepared response, including Treasury minister Sajid Javid.
One email arrived fairly recently, detailing a reply by a reader to a rote response sent to his enquiry to Javid and Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as someone I suspect is a Parliamentary aide (email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com in case you feel like chipping in!).
This response was too good not to share – and in fact would have been shared a week ago had there not been so many other things going on. So here it is now – so good it apparently left the two ministers speechless, since they have failed to reply in any form since. Enjoy – and share:
Dear Sajid & DavidThank you for your reply Sajid dated 25th June 2013.I wrote to you on a number of issues, however my initial email dated 23rd June 2013 and entitled “Honest, open and transparent” contained some very specific questions that you have failed to answer, and your whole reply seems extremely disingenuous especially as large parts of it seem to be a copy and paste job see http://skwawkbox.org/2013/06/30/cant-read-or-dont-care-javid-goodwill-parrot-like-on-to-dwp-stats-lies/Therefore i feel the need to remind you of them now.You will be aware of the recent communications sent by the UK Statistics Authority to David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith and Grant Shapps highlighting unfounded claims on NHS spending, the effects of the benefits cap and the supposed phenomenon of almost 900,000 people abandoning their ESA claims ‘rather than face medical assessment’.Each of these claims was shown to have no basis in the statistics used to justify them. The claims misled the electorate, have misled Parliament and the latter claim demonised disabled people as fakers and scroungers, when the facts showed nothing of the sort.As your constituent, I require to know from you:1. whether you condemn this gross abuse of statistics and its continuance even after the UK’s official statistics watchdog told the government that it was making false claims.2. whether you will raise this issue with your senior parliamentary colleagues to call for it to stop.3. whether you are prepared to raise this question in the House.”Can i have your specific answers to these questions please?Your comments regarding reducing the deficit by a third, along with bringing borrowing costs down and funding lending to business have no basis in fact whatsoever – and show a complete lack of understanding of what is happening in the real world. Except, i think you DO know what is happening in the real world although your words are simply not true.A little like the way your boss keeps saying you have put 12.5 million into the NHS when he is really talking about future money that you don’t even have yet – completely disingenuous and a straight forward lie. As for your reliance on forecasts, do i really need to point you towards the many, many times forecasts from so called “Government experts” have been revised negatively over the last 3 years?Even one of your own supporters is calling your leader a liar.CLAIM 1
The last government left the biggest debt in the developed world.After continuously stating the UK had the biggest debt in the world George Osborne admits to the Treasury Select Committee that he did not know the UK had the lowest debt in the G7? Also, confirmed by the OECD Those who use cash terms (instead of percentages) do so to scare, mislead and give half the story.Its common sense, in cash terms a millionaire’s debt would be greater than most people. Therefore, the UK would have a higher debt and deficit than most countries because, we are the sixth largest economy. Hence, its laughable to compare UK’s debt and deficit with Tuvalu’s who only have a GDP/Income of £24 million whilst, the UK’s income is £1.7 Trillion.Finally, Labour in 1997 inherited a debt of 42% of GDP. By the start of the global banking crises 2008 the debt had fallen to 35% – a near 22% reduction page 6 ONS Surprisingly, a debt of 42% was not seen as a major problem and yet at 35% the sky was falling down?CLAIM 2
Labour created the biggest deficit in the developed world by overspending.Firstly, the much banded about 2010 deficit of over 11% is false. This is the PSNB (total borrowings) and not the actual budget deficit which was -7.7% – OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2012 page 19 table 1.2Secondly, in 1997 Labour inherited a deficit of 3.9% of GDP (not a balanced budget ) and by 2008 it had fallen to 2.1% – a reduction of a near 50% – Impressive! Hence, it’s implausible and ludicrous to claim there was overspending. The deficit was then exacerbated by the global banking crises after 2008. See HM Treasury. Note, the 1994 deficit of near 8% haaaaaah!Thirdly, the IMF have also concluded the same. They reveal the UK experienced an increase in the deficit as result of a large loss in output/GDP caused by the global banking crisis and not even as result of the bank bailouts, fiscal stimulus and bringing forward of capital spending. It’s basic economics: when output falls the deficit increases.Finally, the large loss in output occurred because the UK like the US have the biggest financial centres and as this was a global banking crises we suffered the most. Hence, the UK had the 2nd highest deficit in the G7 (Not The World) after the US and not as a result of overspending prior to and after 2008- as the IMF concur.CLAIM 3
Our borrowing costs are low because the markets have confidence in George Osborne’s austerity plan and without it the UK will end up like Greece.Yes, the markets have confidence in our austerity plan and that’s why PIMCO the worlds largest bond holder have been warning against buying UK debt.The real reason why our borrowing costs have fallen and remained low since 2008 is because, savings have increased. As a result, the demand and price for bonds have increased and as there is inverse relationship between the price of bonds and its yield (interest rate) the rates have fallen. Also, the markets expect the economy to remain stagnate. Which means the price for bonds will remain high and hence, our borrowing costs will also remain low.Secondly, the UK is considered a safe heaven because, investors are reassured the Bank of England will buy up bonds in an event of any sell off – which increases the price of bonds and reduces the effective rate. Note, how rates fell across the EU recently when the ECB announced its bond buying program. Thirdly, because, we are not in the Euro we can devalue our currency to increase exports. Moreover, UK bonds are attractive because, we haven’t defaulted on its debt for over 300 years.David Cameron would like people to believe the markets lend in the same way as retail banks lend to you and I.Overall, when the facts and figures are put into context these juvenile deficit narratives and sound bites (“mere words and no evidence”) simply fail to stand up to the actual facts. The deficit myth is the grosses lie ever enforced upon the people and it has been sold by exploiting people’s economic illiteracy.So, David Cameron when are you going to apologise? Or rather, resign.Which substantiates this article.“We, the people, need to strike back at the secret deals done between the elites of the political and financial revolving door, and make it clear that we will not pay for anything about which we were not told.Once the cry was, “No taxation without representation”. Today the cry must be, “No debt without consultation.”“It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” ~ GoebbelsFinally, what do you have to say about this article?“A top Conservative Party funder is revealed today as the man behind one of Britain’s biggest high-cost lenders.
Financier Henry Angest – a friend of the Camerons and a former Tory Treasurer – gave the Conservatives a £5m overdraft facility shortly before the last General Election at an attractive interest rate of just 3.5 per cent.”Considering the public shouldn’t even need these facilities, they are being stung for anything up to 3000% – by one of your supporters. I guess we should be pleased that you saved us from such disgusting interest rates because somehow, someway i guess we the public paid for this? While you create the environment for this elite to prosper.What sort of people are you David & Sajid? Indeed what sort of people are most of politicians these days!Edward Snowdon recently wrote “In the end, the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake.“We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be.“It is afraid of an informed, angry public” – And so you should be. £100,000 for new toilets, £10,000 pay rises that apparently you can do nothing about…..how convenient. Mortgage payments taken from the public because the system says you are “entitled” even though many of you are millionaires – the word corrupt and abhorrent go hand in hand.And then you attempt to convince the masses that they should have morals by not using tax avoidance schemes.Is it “morally” right that millionaires should claim mortgage interest payments from the public purse?The lies and bile you regularly spout is quite disgusting and even reaches our health service.You are the real people’s enemy, the real financial terrorists of the western world. And thankfully more and more people are beginning to realise it.Danielle – how on earth do you work for these people?