Thursday, April 08, 2010

Exactly the same rhetoric as the BNP

Since election day was announced, the Daily Mail has gone completely apeshit.

Britain's worst tabloid has literally been acting like a male dog smelling a bitch on heat. If you've ever owned a dog, you'll be familiar with their all-over-the-place, erratic, hormone-fuelled behaviour as they scent a menstrual female dog.

Their main story today is a 'Best Of' of Daily Mail myths and half-truths as dished out relentlessly in the past few years (like this or this). The language, the rhetoric, the one-way perspective is exactly in line with the BNP's own "literature".

Let's start with the headline: Labour's betrayal of British workers: Nearly every one of 1.67m jobs created since 1997 has gone to a foreigner.

As you plough through the piece, in typical Daily Mail fashion, there is no sign of where their figures come from. There's a mention of Tory MP Damian Green and then a sudden leap to unspecified "ONS figures", with repeated distinctions made between "British-born" workers and "foreign-born" workers.

The article rings fishy on so many levels.

The tone, for one thing, in which foreign-born workers are by default treated as some kind of dangerous and intrusive alien species. It's as if they didn't pay tax or as if many didn't carry out day in and day out the most menial, physically unpleasant, lowest-paid jobs in the country that most Daily Mail readers and their kids wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

Imagine being a foreign worker in Britain. Waking up every day to go to work amidst the constant media barrage suggesting that you're doing something wrong or you're simply not wanted.

In Daily Mail-world a "foreigner" can't do no right. They're damned if they're unemployed and they're damned if they work their ass off. In Daily Mail-world, quite simply, we don't like you here - or as Edward from the League of Gentlemen would have said, "local shops for local people, there's nothing for you here".

Let's leave all that aside. The headline is misleading, because after a quick online research, it emerges the Daily Mail are simply distorting figures that appeared yesterday on The Spectator online. The numbers mentioned by Fraser Nelson's paper were exclusively about the private sector, and not all jobs, as the Mail's headline suggests.

And yet research published earlier in the year indicated that 57% of the jobs created in the UK since 1997 have been in the public sector. Out of 2.24m jobs created since 1997, 1.27m were in the "wider public sector".

In 2007, the Statistics Commission published similar figures (link here, see page 9): about 2.1m new jobs were created in total between 1997 and 2007. 1.1m went to "foreign nationals" and 1 million to "UK nationals", suggesting that most public sector jobs go to UK-born people.

That paints a radically different picture from the Daily Mail's hysterical article. Instead of "an extraordinary 98.5 per cent of 1.67million new posts were taken by immigrants", the figures point to just over 50 per cent.

And if you live in the UK and speak to friends, family and colleagues or simply look around instead of soaking up that bilefeast of a paper, you will simply notice that it's not true that 98.5 of every new job created went to "an immigrant". Just think about it.

And put it into perspective, out of a total workforce of 28.4m, in 2007 there were 2.1m foreign nationals employed in Britain and 26.4m British nationals.

But chances are this won't be the angle chosen by the Daily Mail to present any of their "stories". It just wouldn't peddle enough hatred.


MacGuffin said...

Excellent post, Claude.

The use of 'foreigner' is particularly appalling, when many of these 'foreign-born' immigrants (1.5 million on the Mail's own figures today) have become British citizens.

But the Mail makes no distinction - either you're British-born, or a foreigner.

Anita said...

This obsessing over the ethnic angle as well as "the native soil" reeks of only one party. And we all know which party that is.

Be ashamed, Daily Mail.