Question: what's the value of anecdotal evidence, of the kind Jenny Macklin cites in this report on the Northern Territory intervention:
Ms Macklin said Labor supported the changes because there was overwhelming evidence of high levels of child abuse and neglect in certain communities.Answer: almost, but not quite bugger all. In this usage, "anecdotal" is being used as a synonym for "hearsay". Evidence you accept because it supports your existing opinions.
She said anecdotal reports from affected communities were encouraging.
"We're certainly getting anecdotal evidence that it is (working)," she told Fairfax Radio Network.
"Many of the grandmothers are saying that more money is being spent on food and of course one of the worst forms of neglect is children not being fed properly, going to school hungry, and of course that just means that they don't grow the way they should and can't concentrate at school."
Anecdotal evidence is Clayton's evidence.