Lies, damned lies and statistics

Monday August 27, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Thank you for publishing the letter from “The Accountant” on August 23 regarding the announced budget surplus.


He raises a valid point, one that must be democratically discussed.

The wry American writer Mark Twain once wrote, “There are three kinds of lies – lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Twain could have hyperbolised further and added, “official government statistics”, possibly the worst lies of all.

My experience as a New Zealand citizen is that wherever a large pot of money exists in any organisation, there are many dishonest spoons eager to dip into it. “The Accountant” may have a point.

One hallmark of a healthy democracy is that such issues and non-issues are freely discussed in the media. We need stirrers, provided they only stir with pens, not clubs.

I have no facts to either agree or disagree with “The Accountant”, but his letter secures my belief that Rarotonga is a healthy democracy.

Most important is that the CINews is free to publish his politically-challenging letter.

I would remind “The Accountant” that in any democracy there is a presumption of innocence of any persons accused.

It is up to him to prove the $27 million surplus is a smoke-and-mirrors exercise, it is not up to the government to disprove his allegations.

In my opinion, all’s well in Rarotonga politically, but of course I may be wrong. I hope not, we’ve had a wonderful week.

My thanks to “The Accountant” and CINews, and the friendly people of Rarotonga.

            PR Robinson

            Christchurch, New Zealand

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