Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Lies, fantasy and rubbish

I quote the following verbatim from Hansard, the official record of parliament. This was a question and answer in Prime Minister's questions today:

Mr. George Howarth (Knowsley, North and Sefton, East) (Lab): I wonder whether my right hon. Friend could help me with a little problem that I have been wrestling with. [Interruption.] If the Government were to abolish public service targets, how would we know how well they are doing?

The Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. As a result of the targets that we have set, cancer is down 17 per cent. in this country

What is the evidence for Mr Brown's bold assertion? In fact it is complete nonsense. I am not aware of a 17% reduction of cancer, and I doubt that there is any evidence that cancer incidence has changed because of government targets.


Dr Rant said...

Thanks for picking this up Barry!

I've done a piece on this too!

Anonymous said...

A friend, who is a cancer specialist in the North of England tells me :

The incidence of cancer is increasing and by 2020, it is estimated that 1 in 2 of the population will develop cancer at some point during their lifetime.

The incidence of cancer increases exponentially with age. Paradoxically, a healthier, longer living population will have a higher incidence of cancer.

Regarding the Hansard statment, I think the PM meant a 17% reduction in mortality. This may be true, but the evidence that targets have produced this reduction is non-existent.