Thursday 13 August 2009

Mail continues lottery/Gypsy stories, but snubs Migrationwatch (shock!)

Following on from the previous two, the Mail has decided it needed to have a third article about Big Lottery Fund money going to Gypsy projects.

The headline is interesting: We must reclaim National Lottery funds for the good causes WE say are worthy.

So there you have it. 'WE' clearly does not include Gypsies - or indeed, immigrants, it becomes clear later. This rant is written by Harry Phibbs and begins:

Gypsies have been handed millions from the Big Lottery Fund to help them subvert planning laws - money that is supposed to be for ‘good causes.’

It's tiresome to point out for a third time why this isn't the case, but it seems the Mail wants to keep repeating something until people believe it is true. He goes through some of the same Littlejohn cliches about Gypsies being 'filthy' and 'criminals'.

He goes through the usual suspects of what he deems unworthy causes, attack an award of £33,000 for the Gender Trust for, he says:

for transsexuals and people who are ‘uneasy about their sexuality’

Why is this a problem? Apart from the fact Phibbs and the Mail don't like anyone who isn't heterosexual? Just read the Gender Trust's 'Who we are':

The Trust is a listening ear, a caring support and an information centre for anyone with any question or problem concerning their gender identity, or whose loved one is struggling with gender identity issues. The Trust is also recognised as an authoritative centre for professional people who encounter gender identity related issues in the course of their work. In particular this group includes employers, human resource officers, health workers and information services.

How is that not a 'good cause'? He then turns his focus on immigration, attacking the

£340,000 to the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns - a group not concerned with assisting the welfare of asylum seekers but campaigning for the overthrow of Britain's asylum laws.

In fact, this is simply not true. As the name of the organisation suggests, they are concerned with the welfare of asylum seekers. From their website:

The Coalition lobbies to amend law and practice which leads to unjust or inhumane deportations, and assists in mounting campaigns against such legislation.

That is 'overthrowing asylum laws'?

And then Phibbs fibs again:

So we have had a Lottery Grant of £700,000 to the Student Action for Refugees which campaigned to hound out Professor David Coleman from Oxford University because of his links with the Migration Watch think tank.

Now while it is obvious that the Mail would take umbrage at anyone who might not like Migrationwatch, this statement is misleading. The grant was clearly not for STAR to campaign against David Coleman but was for other activities - as the Mail pointed out in 2007:

The funding is specifically to "raise awareness of refugee and asylum issues, campaign on behalf of refugees and offer practical support to refugees" and to support "local set up and implement practical projects for students to work with local refugee organisations and create links to their local communities".

While there was a petition circulated, it appears this was never submitted to the university. And one of the other concerns STAR had about Coleman was because of his involvement in the Galton Institute, which was formerly known as the Eugenics Society, and how that linked to his work with Migrationwatch. Coleman protested his innocence although referring to 'Continental excesses' may not have been the wisest choice of words when referring to what the Nazis were up to in the field of eugenics.

Coleman popped up again on 10 August with the latest press release and briefing paper from his friends at Migrationwatch, which was largely based on his work.

This is one of the strangest Migrationwatch efforts for a while because, although dated 10 August, it was not reported on until the 12th by the Express and Star and does not appear to have been picked up by the Mail at all.

Is this a first?
Was the Migrationwatch paper really that hopeless that even the Mail and Sun ignored it? Well yes, it was.

UK face a new flood of migrants, warns watchdog was the Express' headline, the Star went with Britain faces new wave of migrants. The claim a UK population in 2050 of 80 million - although Migrationwatch do not actually use that figure at all. Macer Hall's article begins:

Britain faces a colossal wave of immigration over the next 40 years because of predicted population explosions in Africa and Asia, a report warns today.

The influx would send the country’s population soaring well over 77million unless radical action is taken to tighten border controls, experts say.

'Flood', 'colossal wave', 'influx'
- all good emotive words for the anti-immigration lobby. The Star added another:

Britain faces an immigration timebomb because of soaring populations in third world countries.

As with the Telegraph the other day, 'timebomb' implies something dangerous and threatening. Their editorial Foreigners flood to UK is even worse, adding the word 'swamped' before edging very close to BNP-style rhetoric:

Influential think tank MigrationWatch reckons we’ll be swamped by millions more foreigners in the coming years.

Numbers are set to soar, according to world population trends.

By 2050 an extra 17million people will be living here.

It will push our already overstretched public services to breaking point.

We cannot allow these huge numbers of immigrants to continue to swan in unchecked.

Our health, housing and council services are struggling to deal with those already here.

And with a fresh wave facing us from the developing world, they could collapse altogether.

It’s time for the government to cut the numbers coming in.

It’s time to close our borders.

Britain is full.

The problems with all that are so obvious, it's not worth pointing them out. But what is all this based on? Back to the Migrationwatch report, and more importantly the footnote at the end:

This paper is largely a precis of The shape of things to come: world population to 2050.The data have been updated. By Professor D.A. Coleman. A contribution to the Engelsberg Seminar 2005. Published by the Ax::son Johnson Foundation, Stockholm, 2007, in Empire and the Future World Order, pp. 209 230.

Right - so the figures are reheated from a few years ago?

In summary, the paper suggests that since a UN World Population Report for 2050 has shown a big increase in the population of countries where Britain currently receives lots of visa and asylum applications, there is going to be this huge increase in Britain's population, taking it to 80 million.

At which point, one questions leaps out - if this UN Report data is used to claim as fact the population of other countries, why not just look up what it says the population of the UK will be in 2050 and be done with it?

Well because if you look at the latest (2008) Revision (p.62) it states the UK population in 2050 will be...umm...72.3million.

Which isn't quite 80 million. Or even 77 million. It wouldn't have need complicated calculations or sleight of hand. And would have been much easier than using all the graphs which mean nothing.

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