More on more on moronic use of stats in the Mail

Added to the doom and gloom about British citizens leaving - who according to the pictures the paper uses are all smiley white people with children while immigrants are all swarthy men standing about on street corners - there are two other articles to consider in the 'full story' mentioned on the front page.

1 in 4 babies had a parent born overseas

The first is 'A quarter of all UK babies have a foreign parent' in the online version, and luckily I don't have to do anything with it because Unity has exposed it for nonsense already by pointing out that they're not foreign, but born overseas which is not necessarily the same thing.

Anyway, the purpose of placing this article where it is is to create a connection between a record number of British people leaving with a high number of 'foreigners' in the country, compounding the false impression created by the weasel word 'soar' in the front page headline.

Fiasco lets migrants use 'human rights' to stay here

The last article, 'The failed migrants told its their right to stay' would probably deserve a post of its own, but I'll keep this as brief as possible.

The headline of the online version is great. What in god's name is a 'failed migrant'? Someone who's got locked in their house?

Don't be so feckin' silly! It means 'failed asylum seeker', but papers like the Mail are shifting away from attacking asylum seekers toward attacking immigrants generally now - who they call 'migrants' so they can include people here temporarily like seasonal workers and holidaymakers. That's right. People on holiday are migrants when the paper wants them to be.

Even the paper version of the article uses the word 'migrant' in favour of the usual 'asylum seeker' in the headline, and the article shifts interchangeably between 'asylum seeker' and 'migrant' in a manner that confuses the two terms - partly because that makes it fit in with the overall picture of immigration painted by the rest of this double paged spread. If I were being cynical, I'd say that it was also partly a deliberate attempt to carry the negative connotations the tabloids created around the term 'asylum seeker' across to migrants in general and ramp up the xenophobic suspicion of foreigners. And I'm very sodding cynical right now, so that's exactly what I'm saying.

The rest is just as confused as the online headline. Apparently, this article is dealing with the same people as the Express article I covered in 'Alice through the bonkers nut nut glass', and it says this:
Many are migrants whose initial applications failed and who should have been deported years ago. Others never had their claims considered.
So some are failed, others aren't and Councils have to assess who is, who isn't, and who deserves to stay.

Officials say the first 7,000 cases will be handled by the end of the year and seven out of ten, or 4,900, are expected to be given "indefinite leave to remain".

They are all families, many with children born in the UK. Because Government bungling has let them stay here for years, the Human Rights Act saves them from being removed as it would infringe their right to a family life.
I'm not sure that the Human Rights Act would have much to do with this - but anyway, the first 7,000 are all families with kids, which explains why a high number of them are expected to be allowed to stay. So when the story goes on to say:
If the 70 per cent approval rate applies to all the cases due to be completed over the next four years, 315,000 will be allowed to stay - the equivalent of a city the size of Cardiff.
That's just weird hogwash. Are all the 450,000 cases families with children - unlike the swarthy single men used to illustrate them?

Plus - what does it matter if they're given leave to remain since they've been here for years anyway? At least if they're allowed to stay they can legally work.

And this is especially misleading:
Technically homeless, they will become the top priority for council housing. Normally, only one in ten asylum claims is approved initially.
Although it mentions that the people would become technically homeless, it doesn't make it clear that that is precisely why they'd go to the top of the housing list. That sentence is tied into something else about asylum claims, which leaves the impression that they're top priority for council housing because they're former asylum seekers rather than because they'd otherwise have nowhere else to live.

This is funny, too:
Those who win their cases will be able to live and work freely in the UK and claim benefits and housing. Local council tax payers will have to pick up part of the bill.
Live and work and claim benefits and housing? Given how much of this article is devoted to banging on about how much of a burden on councils they'll be, we know which one the Mail thinks most likely.

Cue David Davis with a quote worthy of Smiffy out of the Bash Street Kids:
Last night Shadow Home Secretary David Davis called the policy a "stealth amnesty" and branded it short-sighted, reckless and utterly irresponsible.
I wonder if he has a selection of outraged nonsense for the tabloids on mail merge?

There's loads of stuff about how much of a burden this will create for local authorities, which is such bloody arse. At the moment, councils are expected to house and pay a certain amount of benefits to these people - at least those still seeking asylum. If any are granted leave to remain, they'll be able to work, which means quite a number won't need the measly fraction if income support they get, and some will move into privately rented accommodation while others might actually be able to try to get a mortgage. Not to mention the 30% who are expected to be deported.

I am thoroughly naffed off with these articles now, so I'm going to stop. But what they all illustrate is that the paper already has its narrative worked out, and every set of figures it gets its mitts on will be snipped and distorted until they can be crammed into the immigration=Bad Bad Thing mindset. The figures themselves are peripheral.

This is why people hate the Mail and look down their noses at it. It's not because the paper has opinions we don't like, it's that the paper assumes its conclusion in the face of evidence to the contrary. It's that the paper effectively lies by distorting some things and just plain making other stuff up. I don't care if the paper thinks immigration is a bad thing. I care that it distorts evidence and sneakily messes about with things to mislead its readers. I care that the things the paper creates a false impression about are particularly hateful and divisive. I care that it has so much influence on anyone's opinion, let alone the government's. It's not even difficult to work out how much is bullshit. All you need is to know what reports the paper's basing its articles on and you can easily see for yourself how thoroughly badly it's misrepresenting them.

I mean . . . 120 people a day from Romania and Bulgaria coming to be circus stars? Fuck off!

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