11th January 2016

Lies, damned lies, and statistics!

Sorry but something isn’t quite right here…?

Stirling Observer: “About 300 people took part in the lantern parade which started from King Street and more than 2500 were at the event held in King’s Park”.

Having attended the lantern parade I agree that about 300 people started in King Street, but according to this report more than 2,500 were at the event in the King’s Park?

Assuming that the 300 in the parade were part of the 2,500 figure they claim was at the King’s Park (and ignoring the “more than” part of it) this means that around 2,200 people appeared at the King’s Park to attend the event in addition to the 300 from the lantern parade?

Which begs the question: how did they get there?

As I was part of the parade I observed that the 300 people I was part of were the only people walking to the King’s Park from the City Centre.

So where did the other 2,200 people come from?

To understand the ridiculousness of these figures, let’s assume that out of those 2,200 people, 600 of them made their way on foot from other parts of Stirling that was not on the route the parade took and who I did not see? That leaves 1,600 people who then must surely have arrived by car? I say this because I did not see minibuses or coaches parked up anywhere near the Kings Park.

If each car, on average, had 4 people in it (and that is being generous) this means that there must have been around 400 cars parked about or near the King’s Park? Four-hundred cars – really?


Forgive me for stating the obvious, but four-hundred cars around the King’s Park would have caused major parking and traffic problems and given the fact that on the night the roads around the King’s Park appeared to be no busier than normal, I completely reject the figures which are being reported as complete nonsense.

What concerns me though is that it appears both Stirling Council and Police Scotland have colluded over this figure for no other purpose than to give the impression that a badly attended event was, in fact, a highly successful one?

I have written to Police Scotland to ask them to explain these figures but, to be honest, I do not expect much by way of a reply as any deviation from the press reports amounts to an admission of gross exaggeration (or to put it another way – lying) for the purposes of deceiving the public.

I expect the highest of standards from both the Council and the Police and I would be delighted to be proved wrong. So if anyone from either organisation can explain the above then I will apologise for getting the wrong end of the stick.

At least they could try and tell the truth this time?