Thursday, 9 September 2010


Another day, another angry Express headline about how we've got too many foreigners. In BRITAIN NOW HOME TO 4 MILLION IMMIGRANTS, the Express tells us:
MORE than four million foreign nationals now live in Britain – nearly seven per cent of the population, according to the latest official statistics.
Four million? That's, like, millions! These figures do at least appear to be accurate for once, as they're taken from this official Eurostat PDF. However, when I look at it with my non-Express hat on, I'm struck by how tediously average our number of foreign nationals is.

First, though, a neat little bit of that customary disingenuity we've come to expect;
The UK is one of the most sought after destinations in Europe for immigrants. Only Germany and Spain have a larger number of foreign citizens.
That implies that we're third on the list, but as anyone who's ever gently brushed past a bit of statistical analysis on a crowded train will tell you, absolute figures like that don't mean shit. The UK has a relatively large population compared to a lot of other European countries, so the only really relevant statistic is one which expresses this as a percentage of total population.

Of course, looking at the Eurostat figures, you soon realise why the Express hasn't made much of a big song and dance about the percentage of people in the UK who are foreign nationals; the average across the 27 EU member states is 6.4%. The UK figure is 6.6%. A shocking difference, I'm sure you'll agree. Germany and Spain, it transpires, not only have more foreign nationals in terms of absolute numbers, but a significantly higher percentage than us (8.8% for Germany, 12.3% for Spain).

Here, for perspective, is a list of all the countries in the EU that have more foreign nationals per capita than we do: Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg and Austria. Italy has 6.5%, so is only very slightly behind. The figures show that the UK has a very slightly above average number of foreign nationals. Given the UK's relative prosperity and how widely spoken our language is, you may actually be surprised by how close to that EU average we are.

The Express though, would rather draw our attention to the fact that poorer countries in the far-flung reaches of Eastern Europe have unsurprisingly low figures;
In contrast, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia have less than one per cent of their populations made up of foreign nationals.
So, those are the facts. But what does the Express want us to think?
Yesterday Labour’s shambolic immigration policy was blamed for opening the floodgates.

And critics said the official figures for UK immigrants had been “wildly underestimated”.
Hmm, who blamed Labour? Who called it "shambolic" (a strangely emotive choice of word for a supposedly factual piece, as is "floodgates")? You're probably thinking "Well, either Sir Andrew Green, the entirely unbiased Migrationwatch guy, or unstoppable quote machine Philip Davies MP!". But on this occasion, you'd be strangely wrong! I can only assume that those two are on holiday, or that they've run their phone batteries into oblivion, because they are conspicuous by their absence.

Instead, the Express turns to another non-partisan, fully-qualified, expert voice of reason to speculate on mysterious Immigrants We Know Nothing About:
Last night UKIP party chairman Paul Nuttall said: “Of course Britain is a place where people want to come and live and I would say this is a massive underestimate. The figures are questionable because we do not control our borders.”

So there you have it; Britain has FOUR MILLION foreigners here! But it's almost definitely probably A LOT HIGHER AND MORE SHOCKING than that. In fact, it could be as high as INFINITY because under this Labour SHAMBLES there's a distinct lack of surface-to-immigrant missile silos defending our borders. Literally ANYONE could be here! There could be HUNDREDS of immigrants IN YOUR LOFT or something. Have you checked? One of them might be BIN LADEN! While you're at it, check your passport/speak to your mum. It could be that YOU are a foreigner! It wouldn't surprise me, bloody Labour.

1 comment:

  1. Two points:
    First of all, is it me, or when you read papers like the Express or the Mail are you not left with the impression that the figure is much more than 4 million? (probably not actually because you just think "M'eh, it's the Maily Expess, it's bound to be BS") I thought they were "taking over"? 4 million vs 56 million is hardly a hostile takeover! I think the problem is is that national newspapers and their writers are based in London, and they probably think London's high number of immigrants is close to the norm, whereas I live in Cumbria, where immigrants are nowhere near as common. Also I imagine a lot of Express/Mail writers and readers see blacks and asian faces and just assume they're foreign, further fuelling both their siege mentality and the paranoia that WERE NOT BEEN TELLED TEH TROOF ABOUT FORRINORS!!!

    Second of all, I wonder how many of Spain's twice as high as the European average number of immigrants are British?

    Ooh, one more thing I've noticed... The Express have turned the comments section off for this article! Ashamed of what your readers think?