Relative Forgetfulness

Now that the Olympics are out of the way, I thought I’d catch up on politics a bit. Our misrulers are doubtless hoping we have all forgotten about the Leveson Inquiry but I for one have not.

Last month the BBC produced some numbers relating to the Inquiry. Of interest to me was how often certain members of the ruling class claimed not to remember certain incidents or conversations. These are Government Ministers, media tycoons and political fixers, all of whom you might expect need to keep a good grasp of things in order to do their jobs properly.

Of course, everybody forgets things occasionally so what might be of interest is relative forgetfulness. For example, David Cameron uttered 25,890 words and had 49 incidents of forgetfulness, a relative forgetfulness (RF) of 1.9 incidents per thousand words. This makes him one of the most forgetful witnesses. Only former journalist and spin doctor Andy Coulson (RF = 2.7) has a worse memory. Other major forgetters were James Murdoch (RF = 1.8), Rebekah Brooks (RF = 1.7), Colin Myler (RF = 1.7) and Rupert Murdoch (RF = 1.5).

Among the people with better memories were Jeremy Hunt (RF = 0.96) and Tony Blair (RF = 0.79) which probably makes Blair the most direct and straight-forward of the merry crew. And that was a sentence I never expected to write.

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