Saturday, 16 January 2010

Numbers in politics

We are going to be bombarded by statistics from all political parties in  the next sixteen weeks, as is normal during an election period. However, this time round mathematicians and statisticians are coming to our aid in the media.

Today the Independent newspaper starts a fortnightly series, exposing the spin put on the statistics of knife crime by the Labour government.

In BBC Radio 4's "More or Less", Michael Blastland explains how political parties' claims can be both true and misleading and how the Conservatives as well as the Liberal Democrats are currently not fairly represented by our electoral system. 

Sadly, this is the last in the current series, but, thanks to its links with the Open University, the programme has an extensive web archive.

Finally, "More or Less" examines, with the help of Roy Noble, the use of Wales as a comparison in news stories. You may argue that this is nothing to do with the politics of numbers. I say: just wait.

No comments: