Another classic Express headline

Shit yourself RIGHT NOW!

More scaremongering from the world's greatest newspaper in '1.3m Poles arrived in Britain last year'.

Again, the number of tourists visiting the country is made to look like the number of immigrants. The 'And even that's an underestimate' subheading is priceless at the same time as being totally shameless.

Here's the ONS Press Release the figures come from. It says:
There were a record number of tourist and business visits (that is, visits for less than 12 months)
So we know that these people are ones staying for less than 12 months. They've all gone back to Poland.

*UPDATE* Notice as well that the number is 1.3million visits, not 1.3 million visitors. People coming back and forth on business are counted more than once. Thanks to Dembinsky in the story's comments for pointing that out.

Here is the full Travel Trends report. Doing a quick calculation of the average number of nights stayed for all the reasons for visiting combined (holiday, business, visiting friends or relatives and miscellaneous) turns up an average length of visit by Poles of 17 days. 17 day visits make immigration headlines now, such is the parlous state of our press.

There's no clue given that these people aren't here in the long term until 11 paragraph/sentences in, where we get this:
The official figures were based on a survey of visitors by the Government’s Office of National Statistics.

But adding to the impression that many coming as visitors were in fact looking for work [...]
Nothing up until now has let us know that it's only an impression that these people are looking for work. But what is it that the paper says is adding to the impression that they are looking for work? This:
Poles spent just an average £24 a day in 2006, compared with £129 for visitors from Luxembourg.
Ah. So because Poles don't spend as much as people from Luxembourg, then they're looking for work. Not poorer. What's the betting that Luxembourg is top of the list for the amount of money spent in visits to the UK? I can't be arsed to check.

In any case, at an average of £24 a day for an average 17 day visit, that's an extra £530,400,000 Poles are putting into the economy that the paper's inadvertently uncovered. Whoops.

Further to that withdrawal, we get this:
When Labour opened the immigration floodgates in 2004, it was estimated that barely 10,000 Eastern and central Europeans would arrive. But 743,000 have registered for work since 2004.

Including self-employed, the true picture is nearer 900,000.
Aside from the to-be-expected refusal to consider how many of the 700,000 have returned to their country of origin and the mention of the crap government prediction, we get an extra couple of hundred thousand thrown on top that are pulled from nowhere but the journalist's arse. Why not say 6 million and a unicorn? It has just as much basis in actual fact.

A thoroughly nasty and clearly deliberate attempt to mislead, this one. Still, those couple of sentences in the middle of a great long article are enough to ensure the PCC do nothing about it. Of course, the commenters have to a man fallen for what the paper obviously wants them to. Well, most of them except me.

Just lookinig at this paper is making me feel dirty now.

1 comment:

septicisle said...

Luxembourg, is, as you might have guessed, stinkingly rich. According to Wikipedia:

The country has a highly developed economy, with the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita in the world.