Friday, November 24, 2006

Lies, damned lies, and...

On 19 February 2001, the Guardian carried an extract from Polly Toynbee and David Walker's book "Did Things Get Better?" which said:

A quarter of the 4m poor children have been lifted out of poverty.

On 29 October 2004, Polly wrote that:

Through tax credits, most experts agree, a million children have been lifted out of poverty

which is admirably consistent, though displays a troubling lack of progress over the three and half year between the two articles.  On 10 March 2006, Polly Toynbee wrote:

700,000 children have been lifted out of poverty since 1998

Which worryingly suggests things were getting worse.  On 7 July 2006, she wrote:

The first quarter-way target was missed as 700,000, and not a million children, were lifted out of poverty.

Apparently someone must have inadvertently given the impression that a million children had been lifted out of poverty.  On 27 September 2006, she wrote of:

800,000 fewer poor children

Which at least suggests a resumption of progress.  However, in yesterday's column, we're back to:

But by stealth Labour has lifted 700,000 children above the poverty line

Confused?  You may not be the only one...

[I am in the debt of Xobbo,  whose comment on yesterday's CiF column gave a hint that something was awry...]

1 comment:

Mike said...

Boris sums her up in yesterday's Telegraph

Very funny