Friday 13 October 2017

Getting it wrong again

It's an old theme but the latest variation on it is well worth hearing: Stephen Glover's Daily Mail piece headlined 'How the Mail got it right on Romanian and Bulgarian migration and the BBC got it so wrong – and deceived Britain'. It's spot on and thoroughly damning.

The shocking thing about it, looking back, is that the BBC didn't just "get it so wrong" and "deceive Britain" for the first time here. They simply replayed almost note-for-note their earlier 'mistakes and deceptions' from the post-2004 mass influx from Eastern Europe. They clearly refuse to learn.

Back in the early 2000s we had reports such at that by the BBC's Dominic Casciani giving credence to claims that the influx from Eastern Europe after the borders opened in 2004 would be much smaller than the 'hype' suggested - and by 'hype' he specifically meant Migration Watch's claims. In the end Migration Watch proved right and the official UK projections proved wildly, spectacularly wrong. 

So you would have thought that the BBC would have learned its lesson by the time January 2014 came and the gates were opened to Romanians and Bulgarians, but no, no such lesson had been learned. 

They repeatedly and doggedly played down the likely numbers, with BBC reporters (such as Phil Mackie and Mark Lowen) not just reporting others saying that the numbers would be much less than Migration Watch and UKIP were predicting but stating themselves that they (as BBC reporters) didn't see any evidence that large numbers would be coming to the UK.

And when a small, unexpected dip in the numbers was reported in May 2014, the BBC splashed the story, with Eddie Mair talking of "all the hype" about the numbers, and Mark Easton saying of the "flood" that "if anything, the reverse" was happening, and Nick Robinson opining, "Well, well, well. So much for those predictions of a flood of immigrants coming from Romania and Bulgaria once the door to the UK was opened - ie after visa restrictions were removed on 1 January this year!" and crowing, "However, today the questions will be for UKIP who warned of a flood of new immigrants from the two countries". 

And what has happened ever since has been more and more data on the actual numbers and less and less BBC reporting of them. The OBS reported that there are now 413,000 Romanians and Bulgarians in the United Kingdom, equivalent to the population of Bristol, over whom some 263,000 or so came after January 2014. 

Yet again, the previous Labour government projection of 13,000 a year (the then Labour government's estimate) and he more recent NIESR's guess of 21,000 a year were shown to have been complete rubbish. Even Migration Watch's prediction of 50,000 a year now looks like an underestimate. UKIP looks likely to come closest with their much-derided prediction of 350,000-400,000 over five years. 

Why would the BBC get it so badly wrong not once but twice? 

To paraphrase Marx: History repeats itself, first time as terrible, biased reporting, second time also as terrible, biased reporting. 

Is there any other explanation for this?

And did they report the latest figures? Well, I've seen reports on the OBS's figures from everyone from the Guardian to the Daily Mail, from Sky News to Xinhua, from the Times to the Irish Times but I can find nothing on the BBC News website on the story. 

As far as I can see the BBC has studiously ignored the story, yet again.

Once again the BBC has betrayed its reporting responsibilities by failing to follow through on a story it massively hyped and got badly wrong. The BBC should be reporting these figures and pointing out who got it right and who got it wrong. 

There's no good reason why the Corporation isn't doing so, is there?


  1. Truly, amazingly arrogant and erroneous...our "beauty" - the BBC.

    I am still reeling in shock from the Newsnight "special" of few months back which devoted the whole programme to the housing crisis (a justifiable decision I think given how serious it is) and didn't ONCE mention mass immigration as a possible cause of the crisis.

    They are still at it tonight on Newsnight - or Newsbending as it should be called - approving Hillary Clinton's shamefully belated comments on her pal and funder Weinstein...Clinton of all people!!! Unbelievable. Remember, she joked openly in public being recorded about a rape case where as a lawyer she got a defendant off. She never once criticised her husband's long history of abuse of office and victimisation of women. And she targeted women who accused her husband, suggesting they were liars.

    1. Just up with 5Live News on. It reports that Hilary Clinton, in an interview with Andrew Marr, has warned that Brexit will be bad for British business.

      That's it, that counts for news on our State Broadcaster. It's sad , very sad ...

    2. Yesterday on the 2PM news summary on Radio 4 they had a single voice on the issue of the so called "divorce settlement" re Brexit. Anna Soubry. Yep, the backbench MP. Why? Why should she be given the opportunity to have her ludicrous views (basically, we should pay whatever the EU ask for) promoted by our very expensive public broadcaster? Where was the balance?

    3. Except that's a rather 'selective' re-telling of the rape case:


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