Wednesday 12 November 2014

Yet more evidence of the BBC's pro-immigration bias

There's an interesting story on the BBC News website. It was published just over three hours ago. 

You won't find it on their home page but it's there on their UK page, in 12th place, in small print.

It's a story I first spotted at lunchtime on the Telegraph and Daily Mail websites. [The Telegraph then had it as their second story]. The BBC hadn't reported it at that stage. But they have now. Quietly.

So what's the story? 

Well, here's the typically ambiguous headline from the BBC article in question to 'explain':
Romania and Bulgaria migration rises
Compare that vague BBC headline to the following, much more informative alternatives:
Daily Mail - Number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK soars by 35% in a year

Daily Telegraph - Romania and Bulgaria migrants reach record high
Guardian - Romanian and Bulgarian workers in UK up 50000 after curbs lifted
ITV News - Immigrant workers from Romania and Bulgaria up by a fifth
The Times - Sharp rise in Romanian and Bulgarian migrants to UK
So, the basic figure is that 50,000 Romanians and Bulgarians have come to Britain over the last year. How does that compare to the various predictions made before the curbs on migrants were lifted on 1 January 2014?

Well, you may recall that the estimates per year (on average) for actual numbers ranged widely - from a mere 13,000 a year (the then Labour government's estimate), through the later NIESR figure of 21,000 a year to the Romanian and Bulgarian ambassadors' prediction of up to 35,000 migrants a year. Migration Watch, with its uncannily accurate past record, predicted 50,000 a year.

You don't need to be told by me whose prediction appears to the correct one. Yep, Migration Watch does it again. (How on earth do they do it?)


This is not how it looked six months ago. The first quarter of 2014 had shown a surprise drop of 4,000 Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants to the UK. The media reaction was fascinating. 

What I noticed was that the 4,000 figure was leaped upon with some gusto by the left-liberal wing of the media (e.g. the Guardian and the Independent) whilst being reported as if through gritted teeth by right-conservative parts of the media (e.g. the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail), who made rather more of the large yearly figure in their less-prominently-placed articles. 
Yes, the left-leaning press were definitely giving the story - and that 'Q1 drop' angle especially - a greater prominence/importance/credence than the right-leaning press....
....and the BBC was, as you might expect, much more in the former camp than in the the latter one here.
It was high on the BBC website's running order, it was discussed on PM and it led Newsnight, plus star BBC reporters like Nick Robinson and Mark Easton made hay with it throughout much of the day.  
It's rather like a mirror image of last year when the liberal side of the media (including the BBC) were, arguably, under-reporting and playing the concerns down while the conservative side were, arguably, over-reporting and playing the concerns up.
Well, six months on and the mirror has been flapped right back over again. Now the Guardian and Independent are keeping quiet about the ONS figures [the Guardian is reporting them but nowhere on their home page] and the Telegraph and Daily Mail are making hay with them [featuring the story prominently]...

...and the BBC? 

Well, once again, the corporation seems to be in the same camp as the Guardian and Independent, downplaying the story. 

This time it is not high on the BBC website's running order, star BBC reporters like Nick Robinson and Mark Easton are not making hay with it throughout much of the day (checking Twitter, they haven't even tweeted about it yet), PM didn't discuss it, and I will go out on a limb and hazard a very confident prediction: Newsnight will not be leading with it tonight. 

The BBC's News at Six on BBC One did mention it though. They gave it 23 seconds. 

Yet more evidence of the BBC's pro-immigration bias. 


  1. There was other evidence of pro-immigration bias on the Today programme, when Mishal Hussein was putting questions to the UN or similar representative on refugees in Lebanon. One of her main themes seemed to be "Shouldn't Britain be taking in more of these poor refugees?" It's a view of course, but equally one might be putting the question: "Surely the Lebanon is the best place for these Arab refugees given their strong cultural ties." Or - "Shouldn't Britain be giving more money to support these refugees." or "Shouldn't Britain march in with it soldiers and put a stop to the violence."

    But that didn't seem to be what Mishal wanted to get across. Her key point was: refugees are suffering, let them into the UK - with not a care whether they might harbour hatred of our way of life and seek to impose Sharia law on us once here.

    By the way, I find a lot of what Mishal Hussein comes out with to be very tendentious - don't be fooled by the air of sophisticated detachment. She is strongly pro-immigration.

    Dan Read

    1. I will give that a listen tomorrow.

      That's the sort of thing that can slip by the unsuspecting listener - including me. I've heard a fair few "Shouldn't we let them in?" features on several BBC programmes without realising that there are practical, valid alternatives that the BBC interviewers are choosing not to raise.

      Yes, why shouldn't Britain, if we must do something (and we must), help in some way on the ground in the region? What is it with people like Mishal (and others of the Mrs Jellyby persuasion) always defaulting to the 'Why don't we take them in?' position.

      You're in good company. Sue cautions me about Mishal too.


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