Tuesday, 1 February 2011

UK crime map undermining confidence

An artists impression of the Westminster crime map
As a map of UK crime statistics was today released to the public, the map has been hit by controversy over the areas of Westminster and the City of London, causing consternation among those who had hitherto trusted the police, politicians and statistics.

One user of the map Hamish Talbot from Birmingham, recounts his experience: "I looked at the Westminster map first," he says. "But instead of seeing crime statistics, I just saw this great black splotch. I tried refreshing, but it was still black, just black, like a pit. Then I realised, it wasn't that the data was missing. There were so many crimes in the area they just blotted everything out. All the colours merged into this sort of darkness. I stared at it and stared at it, hoping something else would appear, but nothing. It was just black - black, black, black."

Users had a similar experience with the City of London. "I thought it was just an ink splotch on the googlemap," said William Fortescue. "I was just about to email google to tell them they had blotted out the crime statistics when I realised I was looking at the crime statistics.  It was horrible. I felt like I was teetering on the brink of some dark chasm."

The controversy deepened when the police claimed they had not entered the crime statistics for Westminster and the City. "There were a few vehicle crimes, a few drunk and disorderlies," said the police spokesman. "That aside there are no crimes happening in those places, as you would expect. They are full of respected politicians on the one hand, and respected bankers on the other. We can't think of any reason why any of them should be arrested."

"I don't trust the statistics," said Eleanor Gibbon from Basingstoke. "Up to now I'd always believed everything statistics told me, even the ones that contradicted each other. But I can't believe our politicians are actually criminals. I mean, I know they lie all the time. And steal. And start wars. But serious crime? Come on now, they wouldn't be the top politicians in the country if they were criminals would they?

But the crime statistics have not gone away. Speculation mounts that they may have been entered on the map by a guilt-ridden civil servant. "Some people are feeling bad about some of the stuff we're doing at the moment," admitted one insider. When pressed to be more specific the source said, "Look, take a look at the modernisation of the NHS for example. Well it's not 'modernisation' is it? It's dismantling the NHS, but we knew people would go apeshit if we called it that so we came up with 'modernisation'. It sounded so...modern. Then we cherry-picked some cancer statistics to show how crap the NHS is, even though in general it provides comparable health outcomes to other countries for a lower cost."

But some say more is going on. Even spinning the dismantling of the NHS would hardly blacken the entirety of Westminster. Another source was more forthcoming. "Look, take the dismantling of the NHS," he said. "It will still be branded as the NHS, but organisations not in the NHS will procure health services from private companies not in the NHS, using taxpayers money. It is a massive subsidy from the taxpayer to private health companies - who have been lobbying government to get this. And by lobbying we mean paying. Some might call it corruption. Not me, I hasten to add, but some people less cautious than me might use that word.

"Or let's look at what's going to happen to the bureaucracy of the NHS. Clearly the bureaucracy will remain, possibly be even worse, but it will be outsourced. So, taxpayers money going to private companies, who may or may not be friends with government ministers. It's not corruption exactly, it just looks very like corruption, in the same way that the O2 still looks like the Dome even though it isn't the Dome any more."

Police have been alerted to the possibility of a massive crimewave in the Westminster area. They have announced that they are looking for a rogue civil servant who may be leaking data.


  1. Left wing bloggers were strongly opposed the policy.

    "I totally oppose it" said one. "I don't actually know what the policy is, and I'm not going to spend any time leaning about it. But I'm going to write snide comments and generally sneer at the government and the media."

    Another blogger wasn't sure how to approach the issue. "I was going to write another long sneering blog post full of sarcasm and not much else, but then I realised that's what I did in my last 250 blog posts". Asked what the alternatives were, he replied "I'm not sure actually. I guess I could research the subject and write a serious comment on it, but I might write something wrong and that would be really embarassing. If you just sneer and act sarcastic there's less potential downside. So that's probably what I'll do".

    Another leftist weighed in. "I learned at and early age that left = good and right = bad, and after that I donated by brain to charity because I didn't need to think any more.". Pausing, he continued "I'm gone through my whole life with this empty headed sense of righteousness, and its been quite enjoyable".

  2. I don't have anything to add to the debate, in fact all I can ever do is repeat exactly what the government line is. But, just in case people haven't heard it enough already I'll carry on doing it. The poor old government do really seem to have a hard time getting their message across.

    After all, the government is always right (well, as long as its a government of the right that is), and their polices are always perfect. That is why they are the government after all. I hope to one day be as big and powerful as them. Then I can get /my/ own way all the time.

    Anyone who disagrees with me must belong to some ill defined group of generally evil/stupid/naive* called the left (or "the wrong" as I prefer). Whom every one who is not right belongs to. Every one who is right belong to another group (who are in a group called for obvious reasons "the right"). I am part of the right, so obviously I must be right too.

    * delete as suits what ever point I want to make.

  3. I don't have anything to add to the debate, in fact all I can ever do is repeat exactly what the government line is.

    Don't you wish that were true? I guess in cartoon leftist land (i.e. here) it is. Reality is, disappointingly, a bit different.