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By Philippe Legrain 8 COMMENTS

Britain full sign
Tonight’s Panorama was a disgrace.

It took as given that the population will rise to 70 million by 2030 when previous ONS projections have been wildly wrong. In 1965, they predicted a population of 75 million in 2000. It turned out to be 59 million, 16 million lower.

It portrayed extra people solely as a problem, which is misanthropic nonsense. Each of us contributes to society in all sorts of ways.

It showed overcrowded trains, without mentioning that the real problem is lack of investment. Paris is more densely populated than London yet its excellent Metro is less crowded than our Tube system.

It showed smaller houses, neglecting to mention that the biggest source of additional housing demand is small households – mainly single people buying their own place – and that the biggest reason for sky-high house prices is planning restrictions.

Britain is not full up: three-quarters  of it is agricultural land.

Contrary to the belief that it is about to be concreted over, building 3 million new homes at current planning densities would take up only 0.3% of the UK’s land area – and much less if houses were built on brownfield sites.

What a completely one-sided, misleading programme in the midst of an election campaign from the supposedly impartial BBC. It should be ashamed of itself.

Posted 19 Apr 2010 in Blog
  1. latoya says:

    As an economic immigrant, I am really annoyed with the BBC for featuring the above programme….it is biased and it does nothing more than creates segregation and hatred towards immigrants. I have no recourse to public funds and my husband and I are both OUTSTANDING teachers who pay almost a total of £2000 each month in tax plus almost £1500 in council tax and not to mention the wasted £11.28 pence per month for TV licence. Yet, conveniently the BBC dliberately refused to mention the significant contribution that people like myself bring to this country. My fore-parents from the Caribbean shed blood, sweat and tears to make Britain what it is today and all this goes unnoticed. SHAME SHAME SHAME on you BBC for joining the BNP in spreading xenophobic propaganda throughout the UK. The BBC and other ignorant people fail to understand that some people are here because they have no choice…not necessarily because they want to be here. Does the BBC understand just how difficult it is to leave from the places like the Caribbean to live in a racist and unwelcoming society like Britain?

  2. Tony Hammond says:

    So one sided, it left out the facts

    – That of the employment among those of working age (16-64) has risen by almost 1.67m since 1997 but that the number of foreign-born workers in the labour force has increased by over 1.64m meaning hardly any opportunities are there for British Born workers in over 13 years.

    – There’s about 1m people NEET between the ages of 18-24 not in employment, education or training. Vacancies are filled immediately with foreign born labour, and there is little incentive to invest in training by employers as they can simply import labour under this destructive policy of mass immigration.

    – We are now reliant on importing food – we run a large trading deficit in food and food inflation for basic grain products like bread easily outstrips general inflation by many times.

    Lets face it – far from giving ‘massive economic benefits’ to British Born citizens we this policy of mass immigraiton has left us displaced in the labour market, facing high rents, impossible houseprices and a dimished future and standard of living in our own country.

  3. Philippe Legrain says:

    Actually, those job figures are incorrect, as this blog post explains:

  4. Eva Bonin says:

    I am half way through the programme on iPlayer and just shocked. I am highly educated, healthy and would like to think I make a significant contribution to the welfare of this country. But if this is the state of public opinion (and I think this is also reflected in the debate preceeding the election, in which I will not be allowed to vote), maybe I should consider packing up and paying my taxes elsewhere.

    Also, these population projections appear to simply extrapolate current trends, without taking into account that the supposed negative impact on the economy and public services will make Britain a much less attractive destination for immigrants. We’ve seen in the recent downturn (maybe more so in Ireland than in Britain), that migrants do respond to these changes quite quickly and rationally. So I think there isn’t really a need to panic just yet.

  5. I thought I was watching a Party Political Broadcast on behalf of the Tories or UKIP. Lamenting the lack of affordable housing, they omitted to mention the demise of such housing in the 1980s when the Tory government sold off council houses.
    It was a shameless piece of propaganda in the run up to the election, using scaremongering to bias the votes.

  6. charlie says:

    Blame immigrants, the classic call of the Norman-French/Hanoverian ruling class. It’d be funny if it wasn’t scary. Scottish-Irish working hard in England in case anyone asks. Plenty of rich people are happy that the rest of us are fighting amongst ourselves for scraps.

  7. pell grants says:

    this post is very usefull thx!

  8. Libby says:

    Shocked to the bone!! Never thought such a racist program could be broadcast on public TV.
    Sad, very sad. :0(

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