I am proud to announce the establishment of the independant Office for Dodgy Statistics and to explain its objectives to you. In Britain we have a good record for producing high quality statistics such as in the National Office for Statistics. However, these organisations, good though they are, suffer from serious disadvantages. They are staffed by statisticians! The figures these statisticians produce are somewhat complex, intricate often, and their conclusions subject to numerous caveats. It is not too great an exageration to state that their output can only be understood by other statisticians so leaving the man in the street without figures he can rely on. In a democracy this is insufferable. Let me give some examples. You and I know that crime is a dreadful problem in Britain and is rising. However, our official figures show them to be falling. My office will re-configure these indices to show the true position so that public confidence can be restored. Let me give you another example: examination results in our schools. The official statistics show that more and more children are getting A-C grades in their GCSE examinations . Now over 80% and rising. At the current rate of progress 105% of children will get these grades! Yes, don’t laugh. Absurd isn’t it? We will re-base these results so that the figure is some 70%. At a single stroke the number of children getting into good universities will come down; and your Free Schools, when you start them, can show immediate results Now let us consider a really serious subject: immigration! Your Coalition Government has put a cap on non-EU numbers coming into this country. If I am honest with you I must admit that such a cap is difficult to administer and the pressure to admit skilled migrants is very strong. We have a solution. We have cancelled the computer project which enables the counting in and out of migrants. Now no-one will know for sure how many migrants are in the country. We shall produce figures consistent with the cap so re-assuring the public that they are not being swamped. I do hope that you are getting the general drift of my argument. We are about building optimism and confidence in the future without which little can be achieved. (applause at this point).
Confidence must be built in the Big Society. When you take off time from your voluntary work to have a pint in the social club or your favourite pub we wish you to be armed with the information needed to encourage slackers to take part. You will be able to quote the muber of hectares of grass your team has mown, the square footage of railings painted and grafiti removed from walls, the numbers of pensioners helped with their shopping (Iused to do this at Eton, yes, truly I did! Stop laughing at the back!). In this way we shall be able to show that the Big Society has been far more successful at carrying out essential tasks than the old discredited bureacratic organisation of Labour’s Big Government. That is our task. We are not going to let those dreary over-paid statisticians (do you know some have a higher salary than me!) spoil our fun – your fun really. Trust me! I’m a Tory.