Wednesday, May 05, 2010

BBC shame: "Is Britain full?"

Panorama: the London Underground is packed and house prices are sky-high because of mass immigration.

This programme was broadcast two weeks ago as part of BBC Panorama, but I only watched a re-run last night. I wish I hadn't. It was a spectacular collection of half-truths and distortions straight from the scaremongering book-of-bollocks that reigns supreme amongst the pages of both the Daily Mail and the Express.

Forget debate, different opinions or a simple comparative look across trends in similar countries. For 28 minutes the licence payer was bombarded with images of overcrowded London trains, kids in maternity wards, busy London streets and satellite pictures heaving with city lights. The message? Immigration is turning Britain into an excessively overcrowded place.

According to BBC Panorama, seriously, the London underground is packed because of immigration. Not because it's a big capital city or a highly touristic destination. As if Paris, Berlin, Milan and New York could boast empty carriages all the time. Nah. In London, the tube is crammed with people because of immigration in the last few years, and if you don't believe it, look at the footage of packed carriages.

According to BBC Panorama, incredibly high house prices are an obvious direct consequence of immigration. Nothing to do with Margaret Thatcher's deregulation of lending and the financial markets that turned housing into the centre of a casino economy of asset bubbles and speculation. Nothing to do with City gamblers and assorted tycoons pricing Londoners out of their own city. That'd be too complex. The fault lies with the immigrants, who else.

According to BBC Panorama, England (not Britain) is "the most densely populated country in Europe". They obviously forgot the Netherlands and Malta, but nevermind, that's the Daily Mail school of churnalism. It wouldn't sound scary enough if they'd said "the third most densely populated country in Europe".

According to BBC Panorama, 52.3m people lived in the UK in 1960. That went up to 57.2 in 1990, meaning an extra five million. Twenty years later, in 2010, the total is 62.2m, another five million.

I know it's boring, but just look at those figures. The population growth in the last twenty years isn't significantly higher than the period 1960-1990. Of course Panorama didn't mention at all that people now live a lot longer. In 1960 an average person would live until 69. Now it's around 79. Yet Panorama tells you that the population is growing purely because of immigration.

BBC Panorama did not bother to check what percentage of the population in Britain is made up by immigrants. If they did, they'd have to tell the viewer that the figures are much higher in Austria, Germany, Sweden, Spain, France and the Netherlands.

BBC Panorama did not bother to investigate what the trends are like in Germany, France, Spain or Italy, countries with similar levels of wealth and population. They were too busy showing constant footage of overcrowded London streets and trains, just in case the viewers don't twig that it's the immigrants' fault.

And yet in the last ten years alone France has seen an increase of 3m, Italy of 2m, and Spain of a staggering 6m people. Elsewhere too. Australia's population has gone up by 2.6 since 2000 and let's not even mention the United States, where there are now 32m people (that's thirty-two million) more than there were in 1997.

Clearly immigration is an international phenomenon, but if you were to base your judgement from BBC Panorama you wouldn't have had the slightest clue.

The next time I hear anyone saying that the BBC is "left-wing" or "biased towards the left" I will slap them with a recycled arse wipe or, better, a soiled copy of the Daily Mail.

Shame on you, Jeremy Vine.


Plaid Panteg said...

Great post.

I switched off when it appeared on television. Just does the debate around immigration absolutely no favours.

M said...

Real estate in Croatia is ridiculously overpriced. Also, trams in the country's capital are frequently overcrowded. But I kind of doubt the immigrants are to blame for that -we hardly have any (who'd want to immigrate here, anyway?). But our media did manage to identify the culprits for this country's sorry economic state - it's the workers! (incredible, but all the bad things in economy are always blamed on the very people who have least economic power and wealth.)

David said...

Panorama is always shit.

Newmania said...

Yes but your examples are not like for like in all sorts of ways even if it were relevant. We know New Labour wanted mass immigration for political reasons , they have told us.
Where you do have a reasonable comparison, France say , immigration has indeed be destabilising .
What I don’t understand is this . Most people feel immigration is too high , the house of Lords concluded it does us a negligible amount of Economic good and clearly it puts a variety of strains on the country .

Why are you so determined to flood the country with foreigners then ? I mean what good does it do anyone and what is it that youn so like about it ?

Charlie said...

Well Newmania, for one it means more people to counterbalance wallys like you.

claude said...

"the house of Lords concluded it does us a negligible amount of Economic good and clearly it puts a variety of strains on the country."

Actually, Newmania, thanks for reminding me.

That was more borderline BNP-material from BBC Panorama.

They kept going on about the immigrants' net contribution of £bn allegedly meaning little per head (I seem to remember 60p a week per migrant), which was such an absurd point to make. Because:

a) it makes you wonder which figure would actually mean "a lot";
b) the overwhelming number of economic migrants are in the most menial lowest paid jobs in the country, so it's a miracle the figures are actually "net" at all.

But Newmania, do you want to know what would actually significantly reduce immigration more than unworkable notion of "caps" or abstract "point systems"? Higher wages.

Raise wages. Improve working conditions. Stop the over reliance on agency work. Halt the galloping casualisation. Make it £8 or £9 an hour and you'll see the results.

Trouble is, you loony righties don't like that, do you? Especially since most of your rich donors have actually made a mint out of cheap migrant labour and high-turnover casualised McJobs.

You want to have your cake and eat it too. You want freedom to pay people as little as possible. Free hiring'n'firing. No working time limits. No paid holidays etc.

But then you also don't want any immigration.

One final point. The freedom to receive immigration is crucial if you also want us to still be able to keep "flooding" (I quote your vocabulary here) other countries freely.

Because, in case you forgot, there are over 2.5m British people living, working, or loafing about across the EU, for instance.

It's give'n'take, you know.

Madam Miaow said...

Glad you picked up o this, Claude. Shoddy misreporting. What a depressingly nasty perspective.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Charlie has it down and excellent use of the word 'wally'.

Newmania said...

Finally your did not answer my question .We have home grown terrorism whuich erodes our rights. Atomisation community tension strained services and no go areas . Schools no-one wants to send their children too with few English speakers and a nascent fascist Party . We have no reason to train or shift the NEETS or welfare lifers and all the problems they cause we have a housing crisis overcrowding and blocks on social projects like Charter schools because of the fear of Muslim isolationism.
Ok its not the end of the word but not a good thing so what I was wondering was , where the upside was , why are you so incredibly determined that the taps should stay on at full blast ?

Tell me something good about it anything ?

claude said...

Because it's much nicer to live in Great Britain than it is in Little England.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And don't forget Claude that Newmania often confuses his prejudiced, jaundiced opinion with actual fact. His discretion of the UK bears no resemblance to the country I live in and know.

Paul said...

I think the issue here is that too much emotive language is attached to the subject by both left and right. There seems to be a hysterical tendency to label as 'racist' anyone who criticises the idea of mass immigration. On the other hand some 'righties' do use incendiary language and it seems label immigrants themselves as the problem when it is an issue of policy.

As I have said on here on another post the success of the United States is due to having the right amount of economic migrants. Thus immigration can certainly and often is a positive thing.. On the other hand people are people, some good, some bad. A sensible immigration policy would enable the country to deport trouble makers; however this does not always happen.

I had this discussion actually with my local UKIP candidate. A nice fellow and we both expressed concern about the contents of a UKIP election pamphlet that dwelled solely on immigration. The pamphlet highlighted crimes committed by Roma and other groups in London I think. The statistics (Home Office) were probably correct yet by placing them and only them without any wider context on a leaflet that does appear to be scape-goating. I'm glad my local UKIP binned the leaflets. Immigration is a key issue and it IMHO is fair to say causes both joy and pain. However laissez faire is not the answer. A sensible policy that works is but I don't have the answer.