Friday 10 June 2016

£350 million per week is a lie

It doesn't matter how many times their "£350 million per week" claim is shown to be hopelessly misleading, the Brexiters carry on using this proven lie as one of the foundation stones of their anti-EU arguments.

£350 million a week is a lie

It's important to recognise that alongside the wealthier nations like Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria Finland and France, the UK is one of the net contributors to the EU.

It's difficult to estimate the precise amount that the UK contributes because there are various different ways of doing it. However one thing is absolutely sure, if you make your calculation by using the gross figure for the UK contribution without factoring in any of the money that comes back (through regional investment programmes, landowner subsidies, research grants, education funding ...)  and not even including the Rebate that never even gets sent to Europe in the first place, then you're figure is going to be a massively exaggerated over-estimate.

It's absolutely impossible to claim that factoring in all costs and excluding all benefits is a fair way of calculating a net contribution to anything.

 Fact Check have rubbished the £350 million claimvarious newspapers have rubbished the £350 million claim, the UK Statistics Authority have rubbished the £350 million claimthe House of Commons Select Committee have rubbished the £350 million claim, even the Institute for Fiscal Studies have said that it's "not sensible" to use the gross contribution figure without factoring in any of the money that the UK receives back.

Vote Leave just won't stop lying to us

It's appalling that Vote Leave continue to rely on this fundamentally misleading "£350 million per week" figure despite such a chorus of condemnation. They repeat it like a mantra, their Vote Leave; take control document is riddled with references to it, and they even painted it on the side of their Vote Leave battle bus, and they absolutely refuse to back down and admit the figure is a lie. In fact they're so belligerent that they even decided to start smearing the Institute for Fiscal Studies as "biased" rather than admit that including all costs and excluding all benefits is not a fair way to measure a net contribution to anything.

It's pretty difficult to explain why the likes of Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and Michael Gove continue using their misleading "£350 million per week" figure despite the fact that anyone who is paying proper attention is well aware that it's a lie.

The probable explanation is that they think they have more to lose by admitting that they were wrong than by continuing to peddle the lie.They imagine that it's better to have a consistent message that is based on a lie, than to make themselves look inconsistent by changing their message to remove the dishonesty.

They seem to think that it's better strategy to peddle a consistent lie rather than complicate things by admitting the truth.

What about the NHS bit?

It's already extremely difficult to believe that the UK contribution to the EU would be spent on funding the NHS, because Brexiters have been making all manner of claims about how the savings would be spent that add up to many times more than any possible savings. The fact that their headline figure in the first part of the sentence is a lie also casts doubt on the second part of the sentence.

Even if you overlook the fact that Brexiters have promised the EU contribution money many times over to all kinds of different causes, and the fact that the headline £350 million figure is a lie, you're still stuck with the question of whether you are naive enough to believe a bunch of radically right-wing Tories when they talk about spending more on the undeniably socialist NHS.

Back in 2003 Boris Johnson called for the NHS free at the point of need  principle to be scrapped, Michael Gove oversaw the privatisation of over 3,000 schools as Education Secretary, Chris Grayling has been busy carving up the justice system for privatisation...

These people represent the extreme right-wing fringe of a Tory party that has already spent the last six years carving the NHS into little pieces for distribution to their private sector chums.

Radically right-wing free market fundamentalists hate the NHS with a burning ideological passion, so any claims they make about wanting to protect the socialist NHS must be treated with extremely deep scepticism, especially if they are prefaced by an outright lie.

They're assuming you to be a complete idiot

The only way that Vote Leave's decision to continue repeating their dishonest "£350 million per week" mantra makes any sense at all is if they're assuming that the people they're trying to convince are complete idiots. 

There's no way that a "consistency trumps honesty" strategy could possibly work unless the target audience are unquestioning rote learner types who mindlessly absorb propganda narratives without subjecting them to any critical scrutiny whatever.

This "consistency trumps honesty" strategy makes Vote Leave even worse than the small child with chocolate all over their face who continues lying to the adults in the room that they definitely didn't steal any cake. The child is unaware of the overwhelming evidence that their statement is a lie. Vote Leave on the other hand are perfectly aware that it's offensively misleading to calculate a contribution by including all costs and excluding all benefits, but they keep repeating what they know to be a lie because they assume that their audience (you) are just a bunch of gullible idiots who will believe any old crap.

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1 comment:

Lord Blagger said...

1. Number of weeks in a year - 52.
2. Date of the referendum - 2016
3. Health spending in 2016 - 135.3 bn
4. Health spending now - 162 bn

(162,000-135300)/52 = 513+ million a week
That's 515 million extra a week.

513 million a week is more than the 350 million on the side of the bus.

Now look at a pound coin. Look closely. It's got a unicorn on it. Here's an image from the BBC. Must be true