Jacqui Smith apologies for inaccurate figures

October 30, 2007

In a rare turn of events not seen since Guy Fawkes tried to blow the lot of them up, a politician has apologised for a mistake the government made. Jacqui Smith, her of the Home Secretary role, has apologised for the governments inaccuracy over recent figures on the number of foreign workers currently plying their trade in the UK. The original figures released stated that there were 800 000 foreign nationals currently employed in the UK. The actual figure is closer to 1.2 million. And Ms Smith has apologised. Such apologies and admissions are so few and far between that when they do happen, we should embrace them. That the newly updated figures are probably still underestimated is not the point, the apology is what matters for now.

The press uproar over the figures that has had Jeremy Paxman and his cronies jabbering about “honesty” and the “public right to know” is due to the figures affecting another set of numbers. Since labour came into power in 1997 they have (business didn’t do it, they did) created 2.7 million jobs. Nearly 1.2 million of which could be taken up by foreign nationals. 8% of the Uk’s workforce is now foreign. The supply chain of figures is reliant on the previous being accurate, if it isn’t, all their graphs and pie charts are of no use what so ever. When immigration is such a talking point in society, it is perhaps in the interests of the nation that these figures be accurate, the last time such a mistake with numbers was made Bush jnr walked into the Whitehouse.

Speaking to the BBC Ms Smith said, “Of course it is bad that these figures are wrong and ministers have apologised for that. I am sorry about that.” See, an actual apology. They took the blame. Isn’t that something. This could be the first of many. Maybe apologies about Iraq will follow.

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