Archive for category Immigration

Different refugees, same scare story

A few weeks ago, the Daily Star ran a fairly shameful piece which claimed that “Thousands of illegal immigrants will flee riot-torn Egypt and flood to Britain, the leader of Nato has warned” even though the Nato Secretary-General had been talking about what may happen to the whole of the EU (not Britain in particular) if unrest in North Africa damaged the Middle East peace process. Tabloid Watch has a very good takedown of that story.

Anyway, today its stablemate the Daily Express has a very similar piece, this time about the situation in Libya: UN tells Britain to open its doors to refugees.

BRITAIN faces a wave of migrants from Libya after a demand from the UN yesterday that Europe opens its borders to refugees.

The article appears to be based to be based on an interview with Baroness Amos, who leads the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, on the Today programme yesterday. As quoted by the Express, she said:

“In asking for the borders of neighbouring countries like Tunisia and Egypt to stay open, it is important that EU borders also stay open.

“I know the EU countries are going through a difficult financial time but they are still much better off than people who are fleeing a violent and difficult situation in Libya.

“We will continue to ask the EU and neighbouring countries to keep their borders open.”

This is a less a “demand” and a more a very politely worded “If you wouldn’t mind…“; the European Union’s borders are already open to refugees fleeing Libya, and have been since the start. More importantly, she doesn’t mention Britain once. Nothing here supports the Express‘s claim that a “wave” of Libyan migrants is heading that way – it would after all be very difficult for anyone displaced by the fighting (almost certainly without access to much money) to, at short notice in a country with virtually no infrastructure, travel all the way from Libya to Britain, when there are other countries much nearer – not just Tunisia and Egypt but Italy and Spain as well.

Indeed, the question she was answering makes it clear that this isn’t about Britain at all, it’s about Mediterranean countries who actually would expect to receive some refugees from the conflict:

What about the role of the European Union, both in the short and in the longer term? If there’s going to be a large number of people who are displaced and who are very close to the European Union’s southern border, it does sort of raise a whole set of new questions, doesn’t it, over the way in which the EU deals with people who are often very desperate and trying to get into the EU?

Unless the UK has suddenly become part of Europe’s southern border, none of this has anything to do with migration to Britain. The Daily Express has co-opted an ongoing human rights crisis and turned it into yet another immigration scare story. Even the Daily Mail, not normally known for its balanced coverage of stories about refugees and asylum, has managed to be reasonable about the situation in Libya.

Sure enough, while the Mail has a mixture of comments both sympathetic and unsympathetic to the refugees, only one comment on the Express‘s article doesn’t demand that we “SEND EM ALL BACK”* – and that comment is just pointing out that the UN asked, it didn’t demand. The other comments look like this:

I’d like to tell the UN where they can stick this proposal – and it wouldn’t be anywhere pleasant. Libya & its people are not our problem; we have a shortage of decent jobs & affordable housing for our own people, so letting in yet more foreigners is preposterous. These people need to stay in Libya & weather the storm.

If this does happen,people we must act not just chat on paper sites.This country is dieing and cameron is no doctor.More mouths more human rights to pander to and more death on our streets.The world can go stuff itself my england has had a running sore since labour got into power,IMMIGRANTS.Increase foreign aid dave,well his big society must refer to the big foreign society that darkens our shores.Their will be blood,I really hope the bnp in power sends them all packing,I’ll be there waving them a good british clear off.Two fingers optional.


Oh joy. Why is it always us that get told what to do regarding refugees? We already have 1.5 million from labors criminal actions plus a further 1 million illegals. The vast majority of these are Muslim and the chances are that Libyan, Egyptian and Tunisian are Muslim as well. We can no longer support the huge number of migrants that want to come here and seriously put the religious balance at risk. I have a suggestion for the UN. Get Russia to take them. I would think that if the immigrants were not going to Western Europe but to some place out on the Steppes they might prefer to stay where they are and rebuild their country.

I’m sure that has nothing to do with the misleading headline, which seems carefully calculated to rile people up, right?

* There’s one other comment that’s sort of sympathetic, but, err…

However, refugees are refugees – not ‘asylum seekers, potential residents, parasites on society or disruptive elements’; they should be treated as guests and behave as such.

Moreover, while guests in a country they should be looking to return home as soon as possible – and if the international community deems that their home country is run by an ‘oppressive regime’ then these refugees sould be armed, trained and sent back to their home countries as the spearhead of a UN force to liberate their kinsmen.

That would definitely prevent the situation escalating into civil war, right? Right?




Population dense

Yet again, the Daily Mail runs a story about an increase in immigration rates. Yet again, they bring up the fact that England has a high population density. (Edit: The part about population has been split into its own article now.)

I’ll leave it to other, more talented bloggers to comment on how accurate the immigration figures are (Edit: Hooray Exclarotive and Five Chinese Crackers!). I just want to say something about this population density canard.

Their statistics were released on the day it was revealed that England is now the most overcrowded country of the 27 in the European Union.

It has more people per square mile than the Low Countries, which has long been the most densely populated region of the continent, MPs have been told.

Only tiny Malta, an island city state with a population no bigger than that of Bristol, has greater population pressure in Europe.

(Edit AGAIN: Five Chinese Crackers points out that the Dutch population density is much, much higher than England’s if you adjust for inland seas and lakes.)

Firstly of course, England is not one of the 27 EU countries, the UK is. The population density of the UK as a whole, according to the Guardian currently 256.3 people per square kilometre, is still lower than that of Belgium or the Netherlands, and since farms, reservoirs and power stations in Wales and Scotland (and to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland) provide to consumers in England as well, quoting the figures just for England and claiming that number is unsustainable is a bit misleading. One might as well look at the population density figures for North and South Holland – provinces of the Netherlands – which have 976 and 1,227 people per square kilometre respectively, over double that of England’s 402.1 people per square kilometre. Île-de-France région has 973.5 people per square kilometre. Canton of Geneva, a Swiss republic, has a 1,607 people per kilometre.* Clearly if you just give figures for part of an economy, cutting out the areas that include the bulk of the farmland or wilderness, you’ll get answers that don’t necessarily reflect a region’s ability to support itself.

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Immigrants and conspiracy theorists

A new antibiotic-resistant bacteria has been found. So far, it’s only infected 37 people, and while it has shown some signs of person-to-person transmission, it’s been detected early and will hopefully be controllable, unlike MRSA.

Fairly pedestrian news so far. But what’s that you say? The resistance gene is believed to have evolved in India?

GOVERNMENT LIES Government up to its old phoney controlled statements why not telli the truth nevermind the cosmetic surgery lies,ITS IMMIGRATION FROM FROM THESE THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES THAT’S THE PROBLEM.stop it now “”””””””””””

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At least no-one used the word “ethnics”

Another day, another immigration panic. This time, it’s Metro, warning “UK population will be ‘largest in Western Europe by 2050’“,* though the Express mentions it too in less detail.

The population will jump to 77million by the middle of the century with France, which has more than double Britain’s land area, in second place with 70million inhabitants.

Germany, currently the EU’s biggest country with 81.6million people, will see its population slump to 71.5million, owing to low birth rates, fewer immigrants and ageing population.

This is a multipurpose blog post; since an article like like comes out every week (I’d probably have written something like this after the infamous “1-in-5 Britons will be ethnics” article, but there were bigger problems with that than just misleading use of data) I’ll try to be as general as I can.

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