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David Spiegelhalter's BMJ Confidential item refers to his objection to a Ministerial subversion of statistics. It is reasonable to conjecture that David will be fully aware of the situation in which those of his fellow statisticians employed by MInisters find themselves - may I take this opportunity to put in a plea in mitigation for them?
The Minister's "Sir Humphrey Appleby" would be expected, with or without the assistance of a ministerial advisor, to draft and fine tune statements to conform to political policy. Consider the position of the departmental statisticians responsible for obtaining the appropriate data, analysing them and reporting their significance. If David were subsequently to publicize the error of their ways, so long as their conclusions had supported the political will, they will have pleased their "Sir Humphrey" and enhanced their chances of promotion out of "Stats", into the higher flights of "Administration".