Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Tories need a maths lesson

So the Conservatives are in trouble after getting their sums wrong!

Amazingly, in a report about inequality in Britain they made the startling claim that in the most deprived areas 54% of girls were likely to get pregnant before they turned 18. That's right - 54%.

Now it turns out that the figure is actually 5.4 and the decimal point was omitted.

And sure, it is easy to make proof-reading errors like that.

But seriously, what does this say about a party in which when their policy people and editorial people were putting the document to bed no one thought that the figure was so high it needed to be checked?

Put it this way. If this were true, in any deprived area when you come across two girls of 18, one of them would have to be pregnant or pushing a pram. And we all know(or rather those of us that venture beyond Notting Hill know) that that isn't the case.

Last year the Tories rather tactlessly tried to compare Speke in South Liverpool with what goes on on The Wire. Speke, they said, was an example of Broken Britain.
Now apart from being hugely insulting to people in Speke, this is simply yet another example of how the Tories don't get it. Given that they think pregnancy rates among teenagers are 54 percent in most deprived wards they must believe this to be the case in Speke. And yet anyone who has been in the ward for five minutes would realise this isn't so.

The problem here is that the Tories have no problem with demonising large sections of the population. And if you actually want to help people you don't start off by painting them in such an unflattering light.

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