Floods and Waves

As a change of pace I thought I’d peruse some other tabloid websites for a while to see what they were offering their readers. I haven’t been on the Sun website for quite some time, and suddenly remembered why I rarely visit the site for stories: because the site is just so terrible. I’ll give the Daily Mail credit for one thing: its website is light years ahead of other tabloid news sites. The Express website is slightly better, which makes things slightly worse because it makes it easier to find stories that make you shake your head. Stories like: ‘NEW WAVE OF MIGRANTS WIN RIGHT TO FLOOD UK‘.

The Express don’t do subtle, which is why the headline clearly suggests that somewhere a group of foreigners has battled to win the right to settle in the UK. The introduction goes even further:

BRITAIN was last night warned to expect a new wave of immigration from Eastern Europe after almost half a million Ukrainians and Serbians were given the right to live, work and claim benefits in the UK.

Of course, this isn’t really what has happened which is in fact that around 450,000 Ukrainians and Serbians can apply for Hungarian citizenship should they ‘speak the nation’s language or prove they have Hungarian ancestry’. It doesn’t mean any of them will actually want to or be allowed to become Hungarian citizens, nor does it follow that they will all then want to the UK; although with all this tabloid talk of what a ‘generous’ welfare system we have, I can’t blame them for being fooled into wanting to move here. However, as ever the Express ignores any uncertainty:

This means they will be granted full employment rights in the UK and access to British benefits.

Now it is feared that tens of thousands of the “new citizens” will flee the dire economic situation in Eastern Europe for the UK’s lucrative job market and generous welfare system.

Last night there was anger that Britain’s borders were being opened to yet more migrants from Eastern Europe.

The ‘anger’ comes from UKIP, Sir Andrew Green of MigrationWatchUK and the TaxPayers’ Alliance. All of them wholly unreliable sources of anything other than a suitably angry quote on demand. In particular Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, assertion that ‘The possibility of yet more people travelling to the UK to escape the recession in their own countries is particularly worrying, and we simply cannot afford it with our finances being in such a poor state’, seems somewhat silly, given that immigrants are a net contributer to the UK and have a ‘positive and growing impact on the public finances’.

Still, the Express will not let facts stand in the way of ramping up the fear of another ‘wave’ of ‘flooding’ migrants that already has people ‘fearing’ for the public finances.

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