Why doesn’t the Office of National Statistics want us to know that Mohammed is the most popular boys’ name in England and Wales? Yesterday, it put out its annual survey of the top 10 baby’s names. In 2014, it reported, the most popular boys’ names were Oliver, Jack and Harry. This contrasts somewhat with a similar survey by the website BabyCentre last December which claimed that the most popular boys’ name was now Mohammed.
When that survey was reported in the Daily Mail it was jumped upon by various left-wing ‘fact-checker’ websites who denounced the survey as an abuse of statistics. Not only were the figures based only on respondents to a single website – which is true – but they had been arrived at by the ‘dubious’ means of adding together various spellings of Mohammed, while ignoring different spellings of other names. Though the Mail reported the survey purely as a matter of interest – as did the Guardian, in fact – the accusation was clear: the tabloids were yet again trying to stir up fears of Britain being over-run by muslims.