Friday 6 March 2015

'Today' displays pro-immigration bias (shocker)

Today's immigration coverage this morning raises a number of issues, other than Dominic Casciani's partiality towards the Oxford Migration Observatory (see previous post).

The Oxford Migration Observatory study was the lead story.

Of course the large rise (by half a million) in the immigrant population since 2011 - or 'migrant population', as the BBC prefers to call it - doesn't reflect well on the party that promised to significantly reduce immigration - namely the Conservatives...

...and Dominic Casciani's comments that the Oxford Migration Observatory wanted to get these figures out before the general election probably won't, as a result, dispel the cynicism of those who think the whole thing is a pro-Labour stunt. 

And nor, BBC bias-wise, will the Today programme's almost complete avoidance of talking about what happened before 2011 - especially from 2001-2010 - when a far, far greater number of immigrants arrived on our shores, thanks to the Labour Party and the EU, reassure such people.


The discussion at 7.10 won't have pleased Tory supporters either. 

It featured Professor Tony Travers of the L.S.E. (neutral enough politically, strongly pro-immigration) and Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham (who loves the multicultural 'diversity' of his London borough, but who has some strong views on the need for integration). 

It might have helped if Today had told its listeners in advance that Sir Robin (who despite his surname and being Mayor of Newham has a Scottish accent - thus adding to all the joyous diversity) is a Labour Party politician, though that probably became apparent as the interview went on and he began slagging off/making conspiratorial allegations against the Tories over the cuts in government funding - a point Prof. Travers went along with (albeit in BBC-style 'impartial' way).


The subject also dominated the 8.10 spot. 

And, finally, we got a dissenting voice (by which I mean 'dissenting from the rest of the guests'/'dissenting from the BBC'), namely UKIP's Mark Reckless. 

Of course, in true BBC fashion (when it comes to immigration), he was 'balanced' by Barbara Roche, co-founder of Migration Matters (a former Labour Immigration Minister), and Witold Sobków, the Polish ambassador to the UK.

(No Tories).

And the discussion was preceded by the obligatory BBC interview with a likeable immigrant (from Latvia) - a man who achieved all his dreams by migrating to Britain.

The debate between Barbara Roche and Mark Reckless began with UKIP's immigration policies - understandably, given that Mark Reckless was one of the guests. John H harried Mr Reckless, then Barbara Roche slagged off UKIP.  

To his credit, however, John Humphrys finally brought up Labour's responsibility for the extraordinary population surge - 3.6 million. Given Barbara Roche's presence at the heart of Labour's immigration policy at the time, this was also understandable. He even cited MigrationWatch (which, Dom Casc-style, she then slighted). 

JH didn't pursue the point, however. He quickly let it drop - surprisingly quickly in fact - and then moved back to harrying Mark Reckless.


Though (perhaps to the annoyance of some of you) I do think the BBC is making an effort to be less biased on several fronts, I think the idea that the BBC has achieved anything near to 'impartiality' on the issue of immigration is demonstrable nonsense. 

The BBC's pro-immigration bias hasn't gone away.

This edition of Today shows where the land lies. 

The BBC thinks it's achieving balance by inviting Mark Reckless on. Against him it pits four variously pro-immigration guests, and probably - therefore - thinks it got it about right. It didn't.

It also teed the whole thing up with Dominic Casciani's faithful parroting of the controversially 'impartial' Oxford Migration Observatory (complete with sly digs at MigrationWatch). No one from MigrationWatch was invited to appear. Someone from the avowedly pro-immigration Migration Matters, however, did get an invite. So that's more bias.

The Today website then repeatedly framed the whole immigration debate as being about "more heat than light", implying that the Oxford Migration Observatory is finally adding some "light" to the debate:
The subject of immigration is a focal point of this general election – but it’s a debate which has a tendency to generate more heat than light.  Now a major analysis by Oxford University has attempted to clarify just how many immigrants are currently living here...
And, to set the whole thing up, at 6.00am, came Justin Webb saying:
And also in today's programme...
I came here with nothing, with only £50, given me by my grandmother in my pocket, and I've got a family, I've got a house, I've got a business, you know, and I'm successful.
We'll be talking to some of those who've come to England to make their new lives. 
If that's impartial broadcasting then I'm Barbara Roche. (I'm not Barbara Roche).

1 comment:

  1. Where has this figure of 500,000 between 2011 and 2014 come from? Immigration has been running at over 500,000 per annum for those four years, so the figure must be well over 2 million.

    The Migration Obs figure must relate to net immigration - but "net migrants" don't exist.

    Also this whole debate is pathetic because I believe a huge amount of immigration is being hidden. There are I believe hundreds of thousands of illegal and privileged migrants - by the latter I mean people from Malaysia who have bought apartments and businesses here and will get access on that account.


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