'TEN MILLION IMMIGRANTS' yells today's headline in the papers latest attempt to make its readers shit themselves.
This article is supposed to be based on an unpublished report by the IPPR. Just before Christmas there was a minor uproar created by the tabloids distorting another unpublished IPPR report to make it look as though it had called for Christmas to be scrapped - or at the very least downgraded. It hadn't really, and it had surprisingly little to do with Christmas.
So, this article started alarm bells ringing. I looked through for quotes to see how they might have been jumbled about. The bells started to clang when I noticed that there aren't any direct quotes from the document. Not a one. There are a couple of quotes from an IPPR researcher, but all we get from the actual report is a paraphrase that reveals that the headline has added almost a million to the total. The Express makes this claim about the IPPR report:
They estimated that the number of immigrants will rise to 9.1million during that time, up from the 5.4million at present.Which makes a mockery not only of the headline, which should more accurately be 'NINE MILLION IMMIGRANTS' (ah, what's a million people between friends) but of the opening paragraph, that says:
Britain's soaring immigrant population will double in the next two decades[...]No it won't. It'll add 3.7 to 5.4. 3.7 isn't even three quarters of 5.4. I have a sneaking suspicion that the actual numbers included aren't directly quoted because the total is even less than 9.1 million - I think they'll be 9.0 something and already rounded up. If I'm wrong when I see the report, I'll say so.
What we've got here is another example of the paper taking a report and farting around with the figures to make them more scary, while adding lots of outraged quotes from the usual suspects. The curious thing is the complete lack of any direct quote of any sort from the IPPR study. I've emailed the IPPR asking them for a copy of the study the paper's on about, but it's odds on that the mention of the number of immigrants in the UK by 2030 is not the document's main focus. I wouldn't be surprised if the actual study is about how much these immigrants will contribute to the economy or job market, and the paper has ignored the entire thrust of the study for its own ends.
It could even be possible that the paper argues that this UN forecast is unrealistic and talks about the cyclical nature of a lot of migration.
We'll find out when I either get a copy of it, or it gets published - but how do the right wing scream sheets get hold of IPPR publications before they're published?