Lies, damned lies and statistics*

Published: Friday, 03 May 2019
AM I BEING skeptical (based on statistics previously released by CaRT) in not wholeheartedly accepting these figures? Asks Bill Ridgeway.
CaRT claims that '106 boats were removed from its canals and rivers over the past year' and '96.5% of boaters are now holding a valid licence'. Notice the use of mixed terms 'boats' and 'boaters'.


Sloppy and unthinking presentation of facts

These terms are not synonymous as there are, perhaps, twice as many boaters than boats given that many are crewed by a husband and wife (and other combinations). This is yet another example of sloppy and unthinking presentation of facts.
If CaRT was doing its job properly ideally the shortfall of 3.5% would equate to 106 boats. It may not be as 'black and white' as that but it should be close. Proportions given as a percentage prompt the question what is the total number?.

(Notice too the phrase: "I would like to thank all those boaters who pay ..." which may be translated as "I would like to thank all those boaters but I wont actually thank all those boaters who pay ..." as in "I would like to buy an expensive car but I wont actually buy an expensive car"...)
*The famous quote by Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli: There are three kinds of lies—lies, damned lies and statistics.