Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Truth About #Immigration ? Not From The #BBC ...

The BBC Documentary on Tuesday night - 'The Truth About Immigration' - was hardly that.

Fronted by current Political Editor Nick Robinson, the program addressed the issue with rather a broad brush - but then it was only a 1 hour show, far too little time to cover the biggest issue on every politicians lips.

It was certainly well put together technically, but it's such a shame that Robinson spent so much time on the vox populi. The program spend a great deal of it's airtime examining the British population's misconceptions of the immigrant population, even managing to find one Hampshire man who was certain that 75% of the population North of Birmingham were not British-born. Strange that it went on to focus on public opinion polls fuelled by those very same misconceptions.

The blame for the current situation was laid firmly and squarely - but correctly - at the door of the Blair Labour Government, which made the decision - described as the most momentous political decision in the last 20 years - to allow free unrestricted entry to those from the former Eastern Bloc nations wishing to come to the UK. Jack Straw, the former Home Secretary, and former Cabinet Secretary Lord Gus O'Donnell fought their corners well, effectively passing the blame on to the Home Office staff who's research had fed the decision.

I certainly would have liked to hear more from current Politicians: What most people wanted to hear was not 'How we got here' but 'What now?'. The only current Party Leader really featured was Nigel Farage of UKIP, a party with no Westminster seats, who was generously given unchallenged screen time, a great deal of it in a relatively short program - a criticism usually levelled at BBC's 'Question Time'.

The main issue here is the choice of presenter. The Beeb is often accused of Left-Wing bias, but Nick Robinson balances that out nicely. A former President of the Oxford University Conservative Association and of the Conservative Party Youth Group, he has stated that his affiliation with the Conservative Party 'per se' ended a while ago, his alignment with Tory views is all too often on show.

"Immigration is good for the country. The economy gets wealthier. We all get richer", he was postulating, followed by "Are we now in danger of ignoring the upsides of Immigration [for the nation as a whole]?". I think you won't find many relatively lower-paid workers seeing those upsides.

Robinson closed by stating that "Perhaps now is the time for that frank, honest open discussion we've really never had.". It is indeed. But this wasn't it.

The Truth About Immigration? No.

An opening salvo by the Government in the fight for UKIP voters? Almost certainly. With Nick Robinson on lead vocals.