Jude vs. The Telegraph

I think immigration is a GOOD THING.

It may be because I have benefited extensively from it. It employed me when I worked in a Chinese takeaway, it led to me living with lovely people from all over the world (USA, Greece and China if you’re curious), it’s why I have a huge range of options when I go out to dinner, my grandparents were immigrants. . . I could ramble on for a while. I also think that is incredibly hypocritical of a nation that has made serious gains from pilfering other nations’ cultures and people (slavery increased our GDP) to be bitching about how immigration is destroying this great country of ours.

I understand that some of the concern around immigration is about the scariness of change and the unknown but that’s the same argument against feminism and the gay rights movement. I’m not stupid enough to suggest that all change is good but I’m grateful that the UK has moved on beyond the 1950s.

I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post on immigration because I usually stick to posting pictures of cakes and writing love notes about Clement Attlee and there are so many posts on it already (written by better bloggers than me such as this one by Owen Jones) but last night I found this article in The Telegraph: “Almost one in eight people living in UK are born abroad“. The scaremongering turned my stomach and led to me writing my first ever complaint to the Press Complaints Commission which I’ve reproduced below:

I’m concerned about an article in The Telegraph “Almost one in eight people living in UK are born abroad”.

The article claims that “David Coleman, an Oxford University academic, estimated in 2007 that immigrants cost the taxpayer £8.8 billion a year, when social costs such as pressure on public services, running the asylum system and teaching English were accounted for.” However after reading “Select Committee on Economic Affairs Minutes of Evidence” I think this is an incredibly misleading statement. The £8.8 billion a year cost appears to come from adding up all the costs in “Table 2: some potential costs of immigration and diversity”, however, there’s a disclaimer beneath the table stating that “These different estimates should not be added to make a total. They are preliminary and some categories may overlap with others. Please see relevant text, especially paragraph 26.”

I’m also concerned about the selective quoting of Andrew Neather, Tony Blair’s former advisor. The Telegraph states that “He said Labour’s relaxation of controls in 2000-01 was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration” but ministers were reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working-class vote”.”. I believe they got quote from an article in the London Evening Standard entitled “Don’t listen to the whingers – London needs immigrants” and he has since written a clarification in the same newspaper complaining how his article was taken out of context by other newspapers – “How I became the story and why the Right is wrong“.

I believe this article violates the PCC code, specifically section one, clause one:

“i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures”

I look forward to your response.

I tried to be factual and to the point, so I stuck to the two parts of the article I knew were misleading/inaccurate/false. I also need to say a massive thanks to @5ChinCrack for his (much better) post on the same article, I knew there were falsehoods in the article but his post alerted me to the two parts of the article I’ve complained about and led me to the report and articles I needed to read and submit to the PCC as evidence. I have no idea what the response to my complaint will be but I’ll post it on my blog when I get it.

On a personal and very selfish note, I feel SO much better after sending off my complaint to the PCC.

Jude xxx