Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lies, Damn Lies (and Statistics)

I read this little snippet on the BBC News page earlier.

'Ex-Transport Secretary Stephen Byers has been cleared of lying to MPs about Railtrack but told to apologise for telling an "untruth".'

My initial response is sadly unprintable, but can you believe it?

The number one definition for 'untruth' on dictionary.com reads as follows:

'Something untrue; a lie.'.

So the little snippet from the BBC could just as easily read

'Ex-Transport Secretary Stephen Byers has been cleared of lying to MPs about Railtrack but told to apologise for telling a lie.'

What rubbish.

So, Mr Byers was dishonest. Like most of his other comrades. In my book he should be out of a job; plenty of others have forfeited all after lying and I don't see why we should put up with it.

Whilst we're on the subject of Railtrack I learned something at the weekend which made my blood boil. You may be aware that Virgin Trains are offering discounted walk-up fares on Sundays at the moment to compensate for delays. I was under the impression that these delays were caused by Engineering Works - a necessary evil which inconveniences those of us who rely on the train. But no. As I've said before the Virgin Trains franchise is run largely by the government, and apparently the lack of Sunday trains is more often than not due to RMT strikes. Just another reason why the government really shouldn't meddle with the railways.

If only Bob Crow and the other RMT baboons could be made to give up their cars every Sunday. That way they might experience what it is like for those of us who can't drive to suffer vastly increased journey times (sometimes double) and the discomfort of a bus when we've paid for a train. If that doesn't make them realise how selfish their actions are I don't know what will.

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