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Yes of course lefties are lying scumbags: why do you ask?

Or if they\’re not lying scumbags then they\’re either innumerate or entirely incapable of actually looking up numbers.

So, via Ritchie, we get this:

Today the Telegraph reported a government claim that 900,000 people had given up disability allowance claims because of the threat of medical examinations. The clear implications was that this was the result of their ATOS medical system and their drive towards a Universal Credit system.

The Tories said all these people claimed benefits because Labour encouraged them to do so.

A thorough left wing researcher called Steve Walker has also shown today that this is a straightforward lie. Not a bit of a lie but a complete and utter total fabrication of a lie. The sort only Gobbels would have thought he could have got away with it is so big.

Steve Walker looked at an MSN version the story and traced the data source. The data relates to be period 2002 to 2009, before the Conservatives came into office.

Oh. Gosh!

So, let\’s look at Steve Walker\’s post.

The government’s ‘latest figures’ currently go up to 2009 – the year before the coalition government took office.

Ooooh, my. So I click through to the page he links to and find:

Geographic coverage: Great Britain

Time coverage: 2002 to 2009

Type of data: Administrative data

And I think, hmm, that\’s a bit strange. The Government will have data on disability payment claimants a little more recent than that. They must do, they write the cheques after all.

So I actually went and downloaded the data set itself.

benefit claimants – disability living allowance
ONS Crown Copyright Reserved [from Nomis on 1 April 2013]

sex Total
item name all entitled cases
age Total
duration Total
condition any disabling condition

Date Great Britain England Wales Scotland England and Wales Great Britain and abroad Abroad (outside GB) Overseas (outside GB) or unknown
August 2002 2,471,650 1,995,090 203,170 273,380 2,198,270 2,473,960 – 2,310
August 2003 2,590,960 2,091,820 212,520 286,610 2,304,340 2,593,270 – 2,320
August 2004 2,690,470 2,173,470 219,690 297,310 2,393,160 2,692,910 – 2,440
August 2005 2,768,160 2,237,510 224,590 306,050 2,462,110 2,770,790 – 2,630
August 2006 2,833,670 2,292,910 228,110 312,650 2,521,020 2,836,320 – 2,660
August 2007 2,930,600 2,376,320 232,950 321,330 2,609,270 2,933,180 – 2,580
August 2008 3,020,700 2,453,320 237,460 329,930 2,690,770 3,023,770 – 3,070
August 2009 3,119,290 2,537,590 241,780 339,920 2,779,370 3,122,750 – 3,450
August 2010 3,200,540 2,609,180 244,740 346,620 2,853,910 3,204,280 – 3,740
August 2011 3,246,880 2,652,740 245,560 348,590 2,898,300 3,251,180 – 4,300
August 2012 3,296,380 2,698,340 246,300 351,740 2,944,630 3,301,050 – 4,680

So, err, the information goes up to Aug 2012 then.


I will agree that I cannot see any mass fleeing of disability allowance in those figures. But it does rather explode Walker\’s insistence that the figures only go up to 2009, doesn\’t it?

So there we go, Walker gets to shout and scream that:

\”The Tories and their press allies are past masters at stripping away the context so they can use the resulting distortions to attack their victims with impunity or even the approval of an ignorant public.

It’s shameful. Damnable. Criminal.

And entirely typical of the odious bunch of worms and snakes who are pretending to run the country while lining the pockets of their friends and backers.\”

And Ritchie can say:

So what do we learn?

First the Telgraph lies.

Second the Tories lie, blatantly.

Third, whatever problem there was Labour had solved it. Whatever has happend since is victimisation and bullying.

Last, IDS will do anything to abuse people, ably backed by Cameron, Osborne, Clegg, Alexander and the mass of their MPs.

To describe what is happening now as a propaganda driven programme of victimisation by organised hatred sounds melodramatic, but it\’s also the truth.

I am ashamed that these people have power in this country.

And all because a civil servant (you know, one of those necessary to make the Courageous State a reality) has updated the figures as he was supposed to but forgotten to tell everyone so on the landing page.

Ho hum.

There is a larger point here too. Don\’t forget, these people on the left are the ones who insist that it is possible to understand the economy sufficiently in real time to be able to plan it. We know enough, have good enough statistics, to be able to work out how to manage things through the political system.

And yet they are incapable of checking to see whether a statistical series goes to 2009 or 2012. Doesn\’t give us all a lot of hope about their numerical or planning ability, does it?

BTW, given that Walker\’s \”finding\” is indeed that the numbers only go to 2009, that\’s his entire case, numbers that we now know go all the way to Aug 2012, a wondrous prize for the first person to spot a walkback by any of these oh so outraged innumerate lefties.

To such lefties: please note that I\’m not defending, here, ATOS, calling all those on benefit layabouts. The response \”But all Tories are bastards anyway\” will probably have me agreeing with you. This is not the point here.

Walker\’s entire case is that the figures only go up to 2009. This is not true. Therefore Walker\’s case is false.




13 thoughts on “Yes of course lefties are lying scumbags: why do you ask?”

  1. Surreptitious Evil

    Well, we’ll have the opportunity to find out what type of leftie Walker really is?

    Anything like our Eoin, it will take m’learned friends getting involved before there is a correction, never mind a retraction.

    Guardian style – post will simply disappear. “Nuffink to see here, mate. Can I interest you in the story of how Maggie personally stole all the taxes between 2002 and 2009?”

    LHTD style – he’ll waltz in to the sunset with his fingers in his ears singing “I can’t hear you” horribly out of tune.

  2. I’ve had fun with the occasional comment on Walker’s blog correcting him on some point or clarifying what something really means. He’s the type of person who actually does some research. Which is good. Unfortunately he does it with his eyes closed and sometimes does not see that the figures actually prove something contrary to his point. And he is always very emotional and clouds his articles with so much baggage that it’s hard to pick up the real facts to work out for yourself if something he says is true or not.

  3. There’s also the obligatory crying, wailing and garment-rending disability recipients in the comments. “They’ll never take it without a fight”, woe is me, struck down by 47 illnesses since last Tuesday etc. I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic but those people aren’t the target of these cuts, it won’t affect them at all. It’s the ones who shouldn’t be on disability who are.

  4. Matthew, I agree. But it is the wailing and garment rendering from those who are affected because they could be working are the ones who make the case for those who really are disabled worse and also offend those who are disabled and working.

    They claim that they can never work because they are blind or have cancer. But I’ve personally hired a blind programmer. We paid for the screen reading equipment. And he was good, even for a Frenchman. My wife has worked with people who had prosthetic legs. For many disabilities you might have to change careers, but you can still do something. I will admit that in a recession with high unemployment the disabled are not at the head of the list for getting hired, but as rise out of the recession it will get easier.

    The only illness that I accept means that someone can’t work but they are physically able to do is stress, especially work related stress. I’ve known two people in that situation and one got back to work after 6 months, the other has been off for 3 years.

  5. This really is demonstrative of a more fundamental problem; bad statistics, endlessly repeated, dubious commentary, endlessly repeated. Tim’s post shows the error, but will not be included in the Left’s game of chinese whispers (likewise, somebody on the Left debunking a “right wing” one will not be, either). One particularly difficult aspect is the constant (usually deliberate) use of “Statistic A therefore conclusion B therefore policy C” when often C does not automatically follow from B, and B does not automatically follow from A (and A may be dubious in itself). Obvious examples include the Public Health Movement’s endless use of “Relative Risk X therefore causation therefore restriction/prohibition”.

    So anyway, where does the 900,000 come from?

  6. Surreptitious Evil

    Sorry – missed an apostrophe. Preview function, pretty please?

    Well, we have his response.

    Clearly, him telling us:

    The government-s -latest figures- currently go up to 2009 – the year before the coalition government took office.

    and showing a picture of the erroneous 2002-2009 Nomis front-page to the DLA stats is meant to emphasise that he was making a point about the switch from IB to ESA.

    And, try as I might, I can’t find the source for the final quote in his original post? Google seems to merely link back to his site?

  7. So far as I can tell, the “quote” is just him emphasising his own opinion. Like if I wrote,

    We must reform the banking system now!

    To imply that I’m quoting an authority, when really it’s just me spouting my usual schtick.

  8. I’ve taken a look at the numbers. The original 900,000 number is possible, although it looks a bit on the high side to me. It isnt actually possible to find 900K from them. However, it is possible to work out how much the claimant population should be increasing if everyone stayed on it. Each quarter there were roughly 50K new claimants, meaning that each year should yield roughly 200K. This was true for the 1 year to 2 year category. The number of new claimants has fallen 7K per quarter since the new govt. The number of claimants entering the more than 5 year category is now 70K per year. But it was never 200K (I’m assuming some people get better and some move off for other reasons), at its peak it was 100K.

    There was a peak of new cases back 2007/2008, that should have fed through to larger numbers of claimants becoming 5 year+, but I’d be pushed to make the total number since 2010 more than 120K. (plus the quarterly new claimant decreases of say 70K).

    What I think they might be doing is calculating the new increase vs. the raw annual number, which would be naughty since the numbers suggest a large percentage of those who declined to take the medical , were those who never continued out past 5 years anyway. (Even then I’d be pushed to make this number more than 400K). Still there may be churn that we cannot see.

  9. As a disabled person married to a disabled person I do have an opinion about disabled working. It can happen.
    We both work as we can, I have an external job part time while the wife works full time on our business – its one way to be able to cope with limitations, appointments, hospitalisation and pain.
    Vast majority of jobs we cannot do. Still plenty we can, we just choose to run a business in order to cater to our particular needs more effectively than an employer can.

    Many disabled can work. Many of us do work. Limitations apply but being unable to work one type of work doesn’t mean unable to do anything.
    This internet thing, suprising how many disabled can use a computer quite well. Or can sit and do something freeing up someone else to do other parts of a job.

  10. What is is that is supposed to have reduced? The reports I’ve read say it is incapacity benefit claims not disability living allowance – and if you look at the DWP’s tabulation tool you can find the figures for the former.(Direct link here) The numbers reduce from a little under 1.9 million in May 2010 to just over 1 million in August 2012.

    Pick Incapacity Benefit from the drop down menu and on the page that loads, scroll down to the “Useful Resources and Sites” section and pick the top resource which should be “One-Click” Type of IB time series.

    Hopefully those links will work…

  11. Oh dear. Been made to look rather foolish haven’t you? Can’t tell the difference between ESA and DLA. Ho hum.

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