Thursday 26 November 2015

Brace yourselves!: Mark Easton on the latest immigration stats

Following on from the previous post...

Where was Mark Easton today?

He's not blogged about the latest Romanian/Bulgarian stats yet. He's not even tweeted about them yet. (Has anyone heard him analysing them?)

Ah well, I did see him on BBC One's News at Six. And he didn't mention the figures on Romanians and Bulgarians there either.


Could it be because of pro-immigration bias on his part? Or merely because of an unwillingness to 'fess up in public? Or something else entirely?

Well, here's my transcription of what Mark Easton actually did tell the nation on tonight's News at Six:
Well, when it comes to that target I think the government, frankly, has been a victim of its own success. 
The big increase is in people coming here to work, up 73% in just three years. And why? Because the economy's doing well. There are jobs. Britain is attractive. 
Another big driver of net migration is foreign students. Interesting. The numbers coming to study at UK universities. colleges and schools remain pretty flat, and that's despite the global expansion in the sector that has led some people to say. 'Actually, we could be missing out here on foreign income'. 
Refugees. Much debate as Europe deals with the exodus from Syria of course. Well, more people are seeking asylum in the UK but refugees, they still make up just onl...just 5% of non-British immigration. So a very small part. 
The real pull factor is our economy. 
And it's not just that our economic success is encouraging migrants. Migrants are actually helping boost our economy. Of the new jobs that are fuelling growth two thirds are filled by foreigners. 
And the Chancellor didn't need to cut tax credits and the police yesterday because of an official forecast saying that net migration would boost economic growth more than expected in the next few years. 
So quite simply, as things stand, the better the economy does the harder it's going to be for the government to hit its net migration target.
I took several messages from that on the subject of immigration - all of them pro-immigration:
(1) That immigration (of the mass variety) is doing wonders for our economy (and the government's coffers).
(2) That foreign students are good for the economy too.
(3) That the 'refugee' crisis is nothing to worry about here in the UK.
All points in one direction.

How is that 'impartial'?


  1. Amazing bias, even by Easton's Olympic standards!

    No recognition of the fact that in ONE year we have to build at least the equivalent of cities like Swansea or Coventry to house and otherwise provide infrastructure for this net influx. (Actually it's worse than that, since immigrants are not distributed evenly around the country, so there isn't a one for one swap with outgoing migrants.)

    No recognition that perhaps mass immigration is condemning us to being a low wage, low skill economy. If you import people prepared to work for very low wages, of course people will find uses for them - "I'm too lazy to go pick up a pizza tonight, I'll get one delivered"/"It would be nice to get someone to do the hoovering once a week."/ "We'll employ people to fill sandwiches for service stations rather than get robots to do the job."

    No querying of whether the REAL figures might be much higher since we allow something like 8 million people in each year on business visas, and there is huge illegal immigration. The figure for "lost" passports is something stupendous like 90,000 a year.

    No mention of the impact on our economy. He should say "Of course an additional 350,000 people means our per capita share of economic output is reduced by something like 0.6%, which economists would say is significant - it would reduce our economic growth by something like a quarter in real terms." Also he doesn't look at what our economic activity consists in: if we have to devote more and more resources to building houses, schools, hospitals, increased rail and road capacity whilst at the same time devoting ever more resources to security service surveillance, teaching English as a second language in schools, increased maternity and diabetes services, and increased welfare for migrants, then the rest of the population is seeing less money going into their pocket.

    No recognition that refugees granted residence on mainland Europe can come here without hindrance.

    No recognition that vast majority of immigrants are of child bearing/fathering age and so 350,000 will quickly become 700,000 in terms of population impact.

    No concern about cultural impact.

    Easton is top of the hit parade in terms of consistent misdirection and bias.

  2. This is just one report, we must look at the reporting on this issue over the long term before judging on balance, right? In any case, I'd like to see the facts and figures backing up Easton's statement that Osborne doesn't need to cut tax credits or the police budget because of immigrants taking jobs. In reality, Osborne backed off on those because of political pressure and will have to find savings elsewhere or (more likely) fail to meet targets again. The money hasn't already been accrued thanks to the blessings of rapid, mass immigration.

    1. I have my latest reply from the BBC on a tweet complaint, and beyond not answering the actual complaint (quelle surprise) they have opted for this quaint notion that BBC 'reporting' and 'own views' (in twitter's case the same thing) need to be viewed in totality.

      Hence what is not mentioned in one place, creating one slant, may possibly be balanced elsewhere, but they are not saying where... 'for the purposes of...etc'.

      They are out of control on accountability now.

      Interestingly, the same reply has advised that there are no editorial guidelines on use of quotes for staff on twitter, which is astounding.

      And forming my next FoI DPA request. We shall see how the exclude themselves from answering in due course.

    2. ..."the same reply has advised that there are no editorial guidelines on use of quotes for staff on twitter, which is astounding"...

      That is astounding.

      There is guidance over re-tweeting. Presumably they've released a weasel to suggest that 'quoting' isn't the same thing as 're-tweeting'.

      The effect can be identical though, so quotes surely OUGHT to be subject to the same editorial guidelines:

      "You may wish to consider forwarding or "retweeting" a selection of a person's microblog entries/posts or "tweets". This is very unlikely to be a problem when you are "retweeting" a colleague's BBC "tweet" or a BBC headline. But in some cases, you will need to consider the risk that "retweeting" of third party content by the BBC may appear to be an endorsement of the original author's point of view.
      It may not be enough to write on your BBC microblog's biography page that "retweeting" does not signify endorsement, particularly if the views expressed are about politics or a matter of controversial public policy. Instead you should consider adding your own comment to the "tweet" you have selected, making it clear why you are forwarding it and where you are speaking in your own voice and where you are quoting someone else's."

    3. Tx for the link. I may need it.

      A couple of FOIs that may interest you, including the cut and paste of what i was told, which i have asked to have confirmed:

    4. Good grief, they really are out of control over Twitter, aren't they? Stumbling and blindly groping from crisis to crisis. It's the personnel, not the management structure, not the nasty Tory budget cuts, not executive salaries.

    5. Had to smile, Peter, at one of the examples in the BBC style guide - the one for 'Quotations' in one of your BBC guideline links:

      With complete sentences, the closing quotation marks go after the full stop (eg: Mr Franklin said: ‘This is a farce.’). When quoting a single word or phrase, the quotation marks go before the full stop (eg: Mr Franklin called the episode ‘a farce’.)

      BBC Twitter guidelines are a farce (with no need for quotation marks around the word).

    6. I await their reply/ies with interest. However, farce seems to be a starting point of normality for them, so where this leads, who knows?

    7. It is worth signing up and following such requests; they are a rich seam.

      Sadly most founder on the usual exemptions (time, scope, 'purposes of'), but one has to hope that staff compiled to conduct such exercises get very very afraid of looking in mirrors and the turnover is high.

      One day a committee may ask why.

    8. This was good timing from €BBCJournalism:

      BBCJournalism: Punctuation not your strong point? @BBCNews style guide has useful advice for writers

      Seems twitter yet to make the cut

  3. Never in the last 5 years of Conservative-led government have I ever heard the BBC so bullish about Britain's economic success!

    1. I think that's why he looks like he's chewing on a wasp as he says it.

  4. As I suspected, Mark Easton has told a blatant lie. Robert Chote from the OBR was on The Daily Politics yesterday explaining just where this money came from, and it's nothing to do with immigration. He didn't even mention it once. Turns out it's due to a lower burden on servicing debts due to lower interest rates that weren't known four months ago, and a projected rise in things like VAT and NI revenue. I suppose if one is an extremist advocate for rapid, mass immigration at all costs, this can be viewed as proof of the wonderful contribution the swarms can make. Of course, that assumes that a majority of them are working solid jobs, pay taxes, and enough of them have high enough salaries that they don't get some or all of it back via the hated tax credits. In other words, only in a fantasy world.

    Of all those jobs contributing to economic growth according that unnamed forecast, Mark, how many of them were taken by third-world Muslim immigrants?

    The BBC's duty to the Race Relations Act surely does not include lying. Mark Easton has told a lie. Come and get me, BBC lawyers. The blog editors are not responsible for my words. I alone take responsibility. Come and get me.

    1. Reading Robert Chote's written reaction, it's just as hard to see where Mark Easton got his assertion from:

      "The underlying fiscal position looks somewhat stronger over the medium term than it did in July, before you take into account the Autumn Statement measures. This in part reflects the recent strength of income tax and corporation tax. But it also reflects better modelling of National Insurance Contributions and a correction to the modelling of VAT deductions. But the improvement gets smaller towards the end of the forecast, in part because weaker earnings growth weakens income tax receipts."


    2. I'm assuming Easton is referring to some other study. If he's not just telling a lie, that is. But why not mention the source? Rule #1 (or is this technically a corollary?) in effect again?


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