Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Daily Mail and Andrew Green- a marriage made in Heaven

Sir Andrew Green, head of anti-immigration pressure group Migration Watch, has penned a poisonous little article in The Daily Mail (1) about - unsurprisingly - immigration and how it is a Bad Thing, because he says so. The piece is titled "We must halt this conspiracy of silence over our immigration crisis," which led me to wonder - how does one 'halt' an abstract noun like 'conspiracy' or ineed, 'halt' a silence? You can expose a conspiracy and break a silence, but neither is amenable to halting.

Green goes on, unsurprisingly, at length. His comments in bold, mine in plain.

In any case, why do we want immigration on anything like this scale? For years we have been bombarded with government propaganda about the economic value of immigration.

But the government case was blown apart last year when the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords found unanimously that there was no evidence that net migration generated significant economic benefits for the existing UK population"

A feeble attempt at misdirection.

Some hyperbolic spewing about 'government propaganda about the economic value of immigration,' without reference to a single example, which is rather odd since we've been 'bombarded' for 'years' with this 'propoganda.' If that was the case, surely Green would have been able to cite a speech to prove he wasn't just making stuff up? But not a sniffle of evidence, not even an statement of what he claims the government claims. Whoop-de-do. The government has claimed there is economic value in migration. How much value is claimed, is left unclear by Green.

The reason for this obscurantism becomes clear in the next paragraph, when our third rate Paul Daniels pulls his rabbit out of the hat, reminding us that "the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords found unanimously that there was no evidence that net migration generated significant economic benefits for the existing UK population." I see. The government has claimed there is economic value in immigration. The Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords found there is economic value in immigration. But because it isn't 'significant' we're treated to a full Andrew Green tirade. Bear in mind that Mr Green didn't quote anyone specifying that there was 'significant' economic benefit. So the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords agrees with the government - there is economic value in immigration.

Meanwhile, there are very definite costs to uncontrolled immigration.

Here Mr Green is bombarding us with propoganda of his own. The British immigration system is not 'uncontrolled.' There are plenty of limits and controls on it. You can not just amble into the country. My wife - before she was burdened with that title - had to leave Britain because - golly - her visa ran out and she was no longer permitted to remain.

Trevor Phillips, head of the Human Rights and Equality Commission, has been warning for years that we are 'sleepwalking into segregation'. He has said we are a society which is becoming more divided by race and religion, almost without noticing it.

For stating this truth, he has been vilified by the Left and ignored by the Government. But the facts are on his side. In central London primary schools, only 20 per cent of pupils are now classified as 'white British'.

More inventions on the part of Mr green. Analysing Trevor Phillips's 'Sleepwalking into segregation' address, the Guardian (2) quoted Peter Hain (he's gummint, right?):
The Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Hain, who lived in South Africa before moving to the UK as a teenager in the late 60s, said Mr Phillips's warning had to be taken "very seriously" and was "very worrying".
And, from the same article, Lord Ousley, former head of the Commission for Racial Equality:
Today, Lord Ousley said Mr Phillips seemed to be saying the government had "failed".

"He's right in so far as he needs to highlight the fact we do have concentrations and clusters of ethnic groups in areas that are suffering poverty, racialism, exclusion and discrimination," he told the BBC's Today programme.

"It's not new - it's been around for a while. It may be getting worse."
So he wasn't ignored, far less excoriated, for expressing his views. But lets not worry about the truth, eh? After all, this is getting published in the Mail.

It is also worth noting that Green is presenting Phillips as a champion of the anti-immigration lobby, which is not the case. His concern in his 'sleepwalking' speech wasn't immigration, but the failure of immigrant and host communities to adapt and adjust, and the ghettoisation that resulted.

But while the politicians might ignore all this, the public are perfectly aware of the problem. The results of recent opinion polls are startling.

Eighty-four per cent are worried about our population hitting 70million in 20 years or so, including two thirds of our ethnic population. Seventy-one per cent are worried about the impact of immigration, including 45 per cent of the ethnic communities.

I'm not surprised they are worried, with this sort of crap being printed in the newspapers. Perhaps the Mail should devote more column inches to things that are more worth while worrying about - climate change and environmental degradation being the obvious ones - but it won't, because that would mean telling its readers that they might have to face up to some unpleasant realities about their way of life.

And that's the important bit, the point of Green's pointless little rant. Immigration, immigrants, the governement, politcal correctness, all become useful distractions, generating a pervasive false consciousness in the middle and working classes, where jobs aren't being lost due to economic ruthlessness or incompetence by the rich and powerful, but because of immigrants. We get told to worry lots about globalisation when it takes the form of movements of peoples, to distract us from it when it means the movements of jobs and capital.

Of course, the left subscribe to this silliness as well. The current spleening abotu Griffin on question time, and the BNP in general, is evidence of how they've bought into it. It helps define them and give them purpose, without actually having to do much about the large, pressing, unspeakable issues. By loathing the BNP and vilifying Nick Griffin, and Andrew Green, we can all go on living in pretty much the same way as the people who read the Mail with out feeling like they are licking a turd, or who vote for Griffin, or who will watch him flounder on Question Time and still - such is the power of false consciousness - see it as a triumphant challenge to authority.

Not that authority actually gives a toss about Griffin and his knuckledragging cohorts. The real authorities - not the people we vote in, or as likely, don't vote in, every few years - don't care particularly for Griffins repulsiveness. If some unlikely chain of events were to catapult him to Number 10, they would do business with him. They have the power and money to buy him, like they had the power and money to buy off the Labour Party.

Of course, it is rather unlikely they'll have to buy off Griffin, who's political half life is measured in months, rather than years.
1 - "We must halt this conspiracy of silence over our immigration crisis," published in the Daily Mail, 22nd of October, 2009. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1222078/SIR-ANDREW-GREEN-We-halt-conspiracy-silence-immigration-crisis.html)
2 - "Britain 'sleepwalking to segregation'," unattributed article, published in the Guardian, 19th of September, 2005. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/19/race.socialexclusion)

Thursday, 15 October 2009

More on the Mail's incapacity to tell the truth

Someone's told me that, technically, the Daily Mail figure of 67,000 people claiming Incapacity Benefit in 1997 may actually be correct (1).

This is because circa 1996, the old Invalidity Benefit was phased out and replaced with the new Incapacity Benefit. People were not necessarily switched from one to the other, however - I think there are still some people drawing Invalidity Benefit today, though no-one has been added to the role since 1996 at the latest. So, the Daily Mail might actually be telling the literal truth - there might only have been 67,000 people claiming Incapacity Benefit in 1997.

This doesn't clear them of the charge of being a lying shitrag, however, as they neglected to mention the 2 million+ people who were incapacitated and claiming Invalidity Benefit, and who have since been switched to Incapacity Benfit, accounting for the 'soaring' Incapacity Benefit role, post-1997. Whatever the name of the benefit, the numbers of those incapable of work have remained fairly static, ever since the mid-nineties, between about 2.25 and 2.5 million.

So what might have been a simple piece of incompetence now looks more and more like a deliberate attempt to mislead, by inciting a bit of anti-Labour 'Hell in a Handcart' sentiment amoung the lumpen-middle classes that read the Mail. In light of this, I'm not gonig to bother amending the title of yesterday's post. If they have not interest in reporting things fairly and informatively, why should I?
1 - As described previosuly on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2009/10/daily-mail-in-just-making-up-numbers.html

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Daily Mail in just making up numbers SHOCKER

The Daily Mail is having a typical gibber and howl session about 'soaring' numbers on Incapacit yBenefit in Britain. The newspaper (sic) claims:
The number of people claiming incapacity benefit has soared from 67,000 when Labour came to power to 2.6million today.

The handouts are estimated to cost the taxpayer £12.5billion a year. (1)
Er, bollocks, matey. According to every piece of data I've managed to find - with just a few minutes abuse of google - the numbers claiming benefits in the mid to late 90s was over 2 million ( here qnd here (2)).

The numbers claiming Incapacity Benefit did in deed 'soar' - all throughout the 80s and the early 90s. From about 1995-6 onwards, they stabalized, but well above 2 million. The Mail's claim iof 67,000 on Incapacity Benefits in 1997 is either spectaculr incompetence or politically motivated dishonesty.
1 - "Just one in six incapacity benefit claimants 'is genuine' as tough new test reveals TWO MILLION could be cheating," by Kirsty Walker. Published in The Daily Mail, 14th of October, 2009. (http://www.cles.org.uk/files/101187/FileName/No.49-worklesssness-newapproaches.pdf)
2 - For example, see figure 4 in "Adopting New Approaches to Complex Issues: Worklessness and The Cities Strategy," by Matthew Jackson. Published by The Centre For Local Economic Strategies, in theier Bulletin online magazine, Number 49. This gives a total figure of 2.5 million from 1996 onwards, falling slightly in recent years. (http://www.cles.org.uk/files/101187/FileName/No.49-worklesssness-newapproaches.pdf). Alternately, consult "Has the boom in Incapacity Benefit claimant numbers passed its peak?" by Michael Anyadike-Danes and Duncan McVicar, a paper published by The University of Sheffield, in 2007. (http://wpeg.group.shef.ac.uk/papers2007/47AnyadikeDanes.pdf). Their figures confirm a total of around 2.25 million for 1996. See the data on page 5 and the chart on page 22.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Guardian gagged

The Guardian reports that it is unable to report on questions asked in the House of Commons. According to their story about the stroy they cant tell, they are "prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found" (1). Mysteriously, they are permitted to reveal that "the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations" (2).

This is odd, as this allows the information to be pin-pointed fairly easily, by checking freely avaialble sources. From the Commons Order Book for Tuesday, the 13th of October, 2009, part 2 (3):
60 Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the Court of Appeal judgment in May 2009 in the case of Michael Napier and Irwin Mitchell v Pressdram Limited in respect of press freedom to report proceedings in court.
(292409)

61 Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.
(293006)

62 Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will (a) collect and (b) publish statistics on the number of non-reportable injunctions issued by the High Court in each of the last five years.
(293012)

63 Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme): To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what mechanisms HM Court Service uses to draw up rosters of duty judges for the purpose of considering time of the essence applications for the issuing of injunctions by the High Court.
(293013)
Obviously, some very powerful vested interests want to squash this issue. The Guardian has followed the Trafigura-Cote D'Ivorie toxic waste scandal for some time (4).
1 - "Guardian gagged from reporting parliament," by David Leigh, published in The Gaurdian, 12th of October, 2009.
2 - ibid.
3 - "Questions for Oral or Written Answer beginning on Tuesday 13 October 2009, Part Two," published on the British Parliament website, 12th of October, 2009. (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmordbk2/91013o02.htm)
4 - "Papers prove Trafigura ship dumped toxic waste in Ivory Coast," by David Leigh and Afua Hirsch. Published in The Guardian, 14th of May, 2009. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/13/trafigura-ivory-coast-documents-toxic-waste)

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Good Grief II

This story really does have it all:

A gay man tried to poison his lesbian neighbours by putting slug pellets into their curry after he was accused of kidnapping their three-legged cat.

Gary Stewart, 37, had been at loggerheads with Marie Walton and Beverley Sales for months.

But things looked brighter when he made a peace offering of some curry, claiming he had ordered too much from the Indian takeaway.

When the women started to eat, they found the curry studded with slug pellets.

They called the police and Stewart was arrested.

He appeared before magistrates in Manchester where he admitted attempting to poison the two women on September 22.

He denied a further charge of making threats to kill. (1)
I particularly like that last bit. At least he wasn't unpleasant about it ...

For once, a Daily Mail story is reported with out being eviserated. This is too perfect.
1 - "One gay man, two lesbians, a three legged cat and a poisoned curry," by Jaya Narain. Published by the Dailymail, 8th of October, 2009. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1218880/One-gay-man-lesbians-legged-cat-poisoned-curry-plot.html#ixzz0TKh4mdUK)

Good grief

Cute furry critters turn out to be slavering beasts intent on devouring us alive SHOCKAH:
A Lakeland woman is recovering from serious injuries in the hospital after sheriff's investigators say she was "gang attacked" by five raccoons Saturday afternoon.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says 74-year-old Gretchen Whitted was trying to shoo the animals away from her front door when they suddenly attacked.

-snip-

Polk County Animal Control officers fanned out, placing traps across the neighborhood, in hopes of finding the raccoons involved.

"Even if we capture a lot of raccoons [Sunday night], we can't be sure they are our suspect raccoons," Sheriff Judd said. (1)
Please tell me this is a joke. Or are they going to hold an identity parade so the woman can pick out the racoons that assaulted her?

"It's hard to tell, they were wearing masks ..."
1 - "Sheriff describes raccoon "gang attack" on Lakeland woman," by Beau Zimmer. Published by wtsp.com circa 5th of October, 2009. (http://www.wtsp.com/news/mostpop/story.aspx?storyid=114730&provider=top#)