Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Media impartiality

Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:

Note, "All time high."

The tweet that provoked this, from Jonathan Ashwoth, Labour's Health and Social Care Secretary:

Nothing there about cancelled operations at an all time high.

The Ashworth tweet links to a statement put out by Labour which also does not make the claim Conway (using the weaselly "the impression you might have been left with") inveigles into the debate:
New data obtained by Labour through FOIs has revealed a huge increase in the number of cancelled operations because of staffing issues and equipment failures.

Last year, 78,981 operations were cancelled. These operations were either classed as urgent or were elective operations cancelled at the last minute – either on the day the patient was due to arrive in hospital or after they had already arrived.

The number of operations cancelled because of staffing issues and equipment failures have each increased by a third in two years. Last year, 10,900 were cancelled because of staffing issues and 4800 were cancelled because of equipment failures.

There are currently over 100,000 staff vacancies in the NHS, with shortages of 10,000 doctors and 43,000 nurses. Cuts to NHS Capital Budgets have left the health service with a £6.5 billion repair bill.
Again, nothing in there to justify Conway's disingenuous claim.  It's odd he would put these words into a Twitter thread where he then goes onto do some really detailed statistical analysis ... Unless, of course, he was just trying to create a false impression about what Labour were claiming, or wasn't very good at his job.

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