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FudgeGate: ONS Makes Person-Years Go Up As Deaths Mysteriously Disappear
The ink was barely dry on The Daily Beagle’s FudgeGate: ONS Caught Fudging Mortality Data when ONS issued a “correction” notice (read: ‘ya caught us red handed’), where they’re forced to admit they ‘corrected’ data in Tables 3, 4 and 5:
As Professor Fenton says, it is an absolute disgrace:
Before, ONS tried to pass the dataset off as a January 2021 to December 2022 date coverage. After they got caught, ONS have tried to do damage control on their fudging. No longer do they claim their dataset covers January 2021 to December 2022, they now declare it is April 2021 to December 2022:
The only problem with this? It’s an anomaly (read: fudge). All other datasets start January 2021, and it sticks out like a sore thumb:
Bloop! They’ve deleted three entire months of data in desperation to cover their shenanigans.
We suspect all they did was shuffle the male group forward and hope no-one notices that they cut off the January/February/March datasets for both Male and Female in their fudge… even though they have that data.
How can we find out? Easy.
Surprise! The Data For Males In April Does Not Match Historical Data
The easiest way to tell — and we’re guessing ONS overlooked this possibility — is to compare the Male April group to the Male April group in a prior dataset.
If we download “Deaths occurring between 1 January 2021 and 31 May 2022 edition of this dataset”, we can do a direct comparison.
In the older dataset, open up the table with the lengthy title:
Monthly age-standardised mortality rates by vaccination status by age group by sex for all cause deaths and deaths involving COVID-19, per 100,000 person-years, England, deaths occurring between 1 January 2021 and 31 May 2022
You will find it under Table 5. And in the newer dataset, open up the table with basically the same lengthy title:
Monthly age-standardised mortality rates by vaccination status by age group by sex for all cause deaths and deaths involving COVID-19, per 100,000 person-years, England, deaths occurring between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2022
You will find it under Table 4. Why are we being pedantic on the title? So you can see it is the same datagroup, despite the fact ONS have played musical chairs with the numbering of the tables to throw you off.
For both groups, select Row 4, data→autofilter, Filter for Male, Filter for 2021, Filter for April, and for simplicity, Filter for 18-39 age group.
For the older dataset you should get something like this:
And for the ‘newer’ dataset you should get something like this:
For convenience the Daily Beagle will show the direct comparison visually, and we will be including the person-years fudge as well, but you can now see the numbers match what is in the dataset:
Quite the magic act! Somehow between the old dataset and the newer one, the deaths of males has magically disappeared, whilst, impossibly, the number of person-years has gone up in all categories. Oops!
And The Female Dataset Is Fudged Too
Now it might seem like the Female dataset might pass with flying colours, given deaths only ever go up, and not down, and you might think only the Male dataset is fudged, but, nope, this is the ONS we’re talking about.
It turns out the Female dataset has a slew of different mysteries.
Direct comparison for convenience:
Now your eyes might be drawn to all the deaths going up, but have you noticed the person years? With the exception of the unvaccinated row — where person-years goes up — for all unvaccinated categories, person-years goes down, despite the fact deaths go up for all categories. Que?
The “<3” category is even more alarming because apparently, however many people died (either 1 or 2 people; ONS won’t say because of ‘muh privacy’), they amount to… 0 person-years in the booster category. Their life/lives were worth so little they didn’t even register. Or ONS just deleted the evidence and fudged the data again.
This is why The Daily Beagle will never use ‘person-years’ in calculations. They are always used for fudging datasets.
Also They Did Not ‘Correct’ Table 2
If ONS lazily read The Daily Beagle article, but did not follow up on reference to Igor Chudov’s work regarding the person-years, then they won’t have corrected Table 2.
Indeed, the ‘correction’ fudge notice says only Table 3, 4 and 5 have been adjusted. Table 2 — what Igor covered — seems to have been resolutely ignored.
There’s a surprisingly easy way to check, however, to see if they have surreptitiously altered Table 2 without announcing it (Type 1 Fudge) or have left the same old broken figures in there pretending nothing is wrong (Type 2 Fudge): Direct Comparison!
We simply created a new spreadsheet, then copied the ‘person-years’ column from Table 2 for both the new and original sheets. We have a Type 2 Fudge!
The difference for both was zero, I.E. the data for person-years remains unchanged.
This means Igor Chudov’s criticism of the person-years being inaccurate still remains valid.
Ah ONS, when will you ever get your fudge right?
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