Wednesday 3 October 2018

Marked by Bias

Mark Easton in a suit and looking serious in  Bournemouth

Mark Easton gave BBC One viewers another heavy dose of one-sided alarmist reporting on the subject of immigration last night.

(His report appeared on both the BBC's News at Six and News at Ten.)

He was bewailing the impact of the Government's migration system proposals on the UK economy, particularly with regards to the UK care and hospitality sectors. 

As ever, his report prejudged the argument by loading it with sly editorialising (such as "the very people who currently keep this local area functioning"). 

And, after the clip from Mrs May, we got three 'talking heads' in a row, all of whom backed up Mark's case. 

Contrary views didn't get a look-in. 

Mark Easton has long been one of the BBC's main propagandists for mass immigration. This report is par for the course for him. 

Here, for the record and to confirm the bias, is a transcript:

Pulchritudo et Salubritas

Mark Easton: Regaining control of our borders is a fundamental aim of the Government after Brexit. Among those who will be made less welcome, arriving here in Dorset for example, are low-skilled migrant workers. But what is a low-skilled migrant? Today, Government ministers suggested it might mean a minimum salary, and the official advisers to the Government have said that after Brexit, a new immigration system should describe any job that pays less than £30,000 a year as low skilled. So, that would include many care workers, health workers, farm workers, construction workers, hospitality workers, the very people who currently keep this local area functioning. But the Prime Minister is clear, after Brexit she wants the UK to become a low migration economy, with greater emphasis on British workers. 
Theresa May: We will be bringing an end to free movement once and for all, so we'll be able to decide the basis on which people come to the UK. That has not been possible many years, for people coming from the EU. That will change. 
The Government says the new immigration strategy will prioritise high skilled workers, with no preferential treatment for EU citizens, and a minimum salary requirement to keep out lower skilled migrants. But in Leave-voting retirement haven Bournemouth, what might that mean for the care sector, for example? Half of the staff at this care home are immigrants. The manager, herself from Slovakia, says without foreign staff the situation would be bleak. 
Jana Pomotiova, Manager, Seacliff Care Home: I think most of the care homes will be shut down because they take in European people who work for them here. 
But why can't Bournemouth's care sector employ more local people? 
Lee-Ann Fenge, Professor of Social Care, Bournemouth University: We haven't had much success to date in recruiting new workers to find interest in a career in social care. 
Tourism and hospitality adds almost £1 billion to Bournemouth's economy, and employs close to 15,000 people. Without staff like Lilian from Spain, it has warned many businesses will close. 
Andrew Woodland, Bournemouth Tourism and Hotels Association: Service would be reduced considerably. It would have to come down to you carrying your own bags, you not having a restaurant in many of the hotels, and I'm afraid that the service levels would be down to almost zero.
Mark Easton: It's the same question I'm asking everybody, why can't you get British people to do these jobs?
Andrew Woodland: I'm afraid the British people do not want to work in hospitality. 
The Prime Minister wants control of our borders, an end to free movement and a big fall in net migration, but she also wants to negotiate what's best for Britain, and that's where the debate will rage.


  1. Just propagandist tosh from start to finish from Easton, just one of the many reasons I find it too insulting to listen to the BBC these days.

    The transcript exposes the usual tropes of conflating "migrant workers" with "immigration" and of the tired old stand-by that "British people won't do these jobs". What is with these British people then? Lazy? Fastidious? Too clever? Either way this trope is insulting to British people or migrants, and probably both.

    Although I had to smile at the suggestion that UK's immigration policy should be based on the principle that people shouldn't have to carry their own bags.

    1. According to the BBC all migrants should have the right to permanent residence and the full range of welfare benefits, and then should automatically have the right to become British citizens, no questions asked. It is indeed absurd and insulting that we are supposed to believe that is the only way you can plug gaps in the labour market.

      As I remarked elsewhere, our dependence on labour from mainland Europe in our adult care sector is far less than Easton was making it (only 7% nationally). It's clear labour in the sector is underpaid and that is what is driving a never ending conveyor belt of migration from Eastern Europe (a conveyor belt because the sector has a huge annual turnover of over 27%).

      We need to increase incomes, make the career more attractive and high status, and replace labour with technology, whilst also using technology to allow old people to stay in their homes if possible or in sheltered accommodation.

      One point I would make about "British people won't do these jobs" is that if you go somewhere like the Merseyside area where current migration levels are quite low, the people involved in adult care are clearly locals (whatever their ethnic category).


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