Here are some updates of things that have been bubbling along away from the blog, namely correspondence with MigrationWatch and my complaint to the PCC.
Firstly, the PCC. It seems my email explaining why it wasn't good enough that the Commission wanted to drop my complaint worked. I got a letter saying it would be taken forward for consideration to see if it needed properly investigating. This is a bit encouraging, but they had already tried to put me off twice. I have little doubt that I'll eventually get a reply saying there hadn't been a breach with some dodgy justifications that I'll be able to pull apart like taking individual sheets off a toilet roll, but they might actually do something.
Secondly, MigrationWatch. I pointed out that the stats on their site now differed significantly from the ones Professor Coleman claimed in the Telegraph and asked whether this was because MW disagreed with him, or because there are several studies that contradict the MW findings that they don't mention in their briefing paper. I got a reply saying, 'Fuck off Charlie, and stop asking awkward quesitons.' I'm paraphrasing. Actually, I'm not even doing that, I just exaggerated what they said to make a better point, and my name isn't Charlie. What they actually said was:
We suggest that you study the revised report in detail and you will find that your questions have been answered.No they haven't. You know what that kind of sentence is referred to as? A dodge. Dodging the question usually means that someone, somewhere has gone done fucked up. The revised report only shows one figure for total net migrant contribution to GDP, and it ain't 0.1 percent. In fact, the figure '0.1' does not appear anywhere on the entire paper. Of course, MW can't admit to disagreeing with Professor Coleman in any way so I doubt any proper explanation will ever be forthcoming.
The reply goes on to say:
Meanwhile, if you can refer us to a study that concludes that large scale immigration makes a substantial contribution to GDP per head for the indigenous population we would be interested to take a look at it.I was going to go into how this is an example of shifting the burden of proof, but it isn't even that. It's misdirection based on a strawman. I have made no claim about large scale immigration making a substantial contribution to GDP per head in my correspondence to MW. (In fact, as anyone who has read my posts on this blog would know - and that doesn't include MW, which is why this bit's in brackets - I don't think it would and neither does anyone else, which is why MW doesn't actually have any quotes of anyone but themselves claiming it should). All I've done is asked why their figures differ from Professor Coleman's. Asking to see a study that says something esle is in the same league as saying 'Look, it's the Goodyear blimp!' and running off.
I don't know if I'll bother with a reply. My complaint to the PCC and writing to MigrationWatch have already taken time away from posting here and taking the mickey out of the right wing tabloids, which was kind of the point of the blog. And I've missed the first ever meme I was ever tagged with and didn't carry it on (sorry to Obsolete - who tagged me as a thogger) which I think is a bit of a blog etiquette no no (big novice at this really, so I dunno).
I've even managed not to comment on the whole sailors selling stories thingy. Luckily for me, my thoughts are pretty much summed up by Polly Toynbee in the Graun (which is something you won't often hear) all except her last paragraph, which is bobbins. I do like this bit though:
The British press, the worst in the west, demoralises the national psyche. It makes people miserable. It raises false fears. It proclaims that nothing works, everything gets worse, and it urges distrust of any public official or politician.All I would add to that are the words 'and it's rubbish and smells of wee'. That's not some kind of knowing satire of Toynbee's words. I really bellieve it.