|Just in case you missed it.|
Earlier this week, some stats were released that were guaranteed to get the tabloids in a lather, and I went out on a limb and said they would get the tabloids in a lather. Ooh, those lathered up tabloids. Always with the foreign workers and the too many ethnics.
On the foreign worker scare stories, the Sun gets extra bonus bullshit points for counting everyone born overseas as foreign, regardless of how long they've been in the country or their immigration status. Hurrah! '81% of new jobs go to foreigners' says the headline, which we know isn't strictly true from the hundreds of other times people have covered this. Here's another link to my post with the blue and red marble analogy that helps explain anyway.
Even more bonus points for saying 'shock figures reveal yesterday' despite reporting the same old shite over and over again.
'Four times more jobs go to migrants as total of foreign-born workers hits 4m for the first time' says the Mail, creatively taking a slightly different angle than usual. Blazing new trails, that's the Mail. Always trying to find a different way to express percentages so you won't notice the same story was published a couple of months ago.
As you would expect, both include a boilerplate quote from Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch infamy, who tore himself away from his Steven Seagal DVDs for long enough to say, "The immigration lobby can no longer pretend immigration has very little effect on British workers' job prospects."
Of course, none of the stories let us know that the proportion of UK born people in work hasn't changed in the period, or that the figure is much lower if you look at non-UK citizens. These things might make it much easier to say immigration has little effect on job prospects, so they kind of have to be left out.
On the ethnic minority numbers story, the Express takes the most overtly racist award (again), this time for 'BRITAIN'S 40% SURGE IN ETHNIC NUMBERS'. Yes, that is the same shortened form of 'ethnic minority' to 'ethnic' that the BNP love so much. Extra racist points for counting white people who are not 'white British' as not white at all to come up with:
The huge rise over just eight years means more than nine million people in England and Wales – equivalent to one in six of the population – are now from a “non-white” background.Extra shitty journalism bonus points for churning this line from Martin Bentham, crack Home Affairs editor of the Evening Standard, who said almost the exact same words.
Extra lazy journalism bonus points for getting a paint-by-the-numbers quote about how terrible this all is from a Tory MP - who just happens to be the hack's husband.
Still, this isn't news really. The Express has been Britain's most overtly racist newspaper for ages. And shit. It's been a shit newspaper for ages too.
The Mail went with 'Immigration 'boosted the UK population by 1.75m in just eight years'', interestingly turning the story into one about immigration and numbers with the headline. Could this signal a bit of a rowing back from its position last time, when it scaremonogered about there potentially being too many black & brown people and used an editorial to call people who might think that was racist 'sanctimonious'. Perhaps even the Mail realised, "It's political correctness gone mad. Can't even whinge about how many blacks there are without being called racist," is a bit of a ridiculous argument.
As you would expect, there's a boilerplate quote from Sir Andrew here too. Apparently, "This is the legacy of Labour’s mass immigration policy now appearing in the official figures. They have, whether deliberately or not, changed the face of Britain." I like the way it's now 'deliberately or not', when a while ago they were trumpeting that it was too deliberate and they had the proof, goddammit. Except they didn't. The proof was, in the technical language used by scientists examining evidence, "mucky wank".
Sir Andrew does of course go on to make the obligatory reference to the mysterious 70 million number. Presumably the papers cut the next bit of what he said, which was probably, "Wait, wait. It's nearly that bit where the Jamaican drug dealer calls him a bumbaclart and he chucks him through a glass counter. Yeeeeah! Smashh!"
Anyway, that's it. The UK papers take predictable rubbish, manipulate it predictably and range from borderline to overtly racist. Who knew?
On a similar note, I predicted last night on the Twitter that the Express's front page story today would be bullshit. And what do you know, it is. An Express story about the EU banning something and it turns out they're not banning the thing. It's the shock outcome no-one could expect.
I didn't get any of this right because I'm any good at anything. It's because the papers are shite, which is a conclusion as predictable as they are. I think I'm gonna need a new schtick.