Thursday, 27 April 2017

How the Tories used mass immigration to create a fake recovery


Two of the most commonly occurring arguments in the Tory tribalist arsenal are the cherry-picking of economic statistics to make it look like the Tories have done a good job of managing the economy, and the fearmongering about Labour and mass immigration.

In this article I'm going to show that not only are these arguments completely wrong-headed, but that they're also mutually exclusive.

The fake economic recovery


If the Tories have done such a wonderful job of recovering the economy how is it possible that UK workers have suffered the worst wage collapse anywhere in the developed world except crisis stricken Greece?

If the Tories have done such a fantabulous job of making the country richer, why are they still shutting down hospitals, gutting local government spending, laying off police and other emergency service workers, slashing the education budget, systematically impoverishing disabled people, and condemning yet another 250,000 children to poverty with their cuts to the child welfare budget and in-work benefits?

The answer of course is that the economy isn't actually growing in real terms at all, but that they've created a fake economic recovery by measuring their success by increases in GDP (a measure of total economic activity) whilst letting record numbers of immigrants into the country under Theresa May's watch at the Home Office.

Theresa May's immigration record

In 2010 Theresa May promised to reduce net migration to below 100,000, but what she actually managed to achieve as Home Secretary was the biggest migration inflow in history, with the annual rate peaking at over 300,000 several times.

In November 2015 immigration reached an all time record high of 336,000, meaning Theresa May was missing her arbitrary target by an astounding 236%! Amazingly the right-wing anti-immigration mob adore her because she regularly spouts a load of divisive anti-migrant rhetoric, and they clearly enjoy Theresa May's immigrant bashing so much they allow themselves to forget that she's actually let in more immigrants than any Labour Home Secretary ever did!

GDP per capita

It's absolutely obvious that the UK economy would be seen to be growing more quickly than other developed economies if their population is increasing at a much faster rate due to the huge migration influx that happened under Theresa May's watch at the Home Office.

The only sensible way to measure the UK's relative economic performance under these circumstances is to measure performance using GDP per capita (the total amount of economic activity divided by the actual population).

When we look at the GDP per capita figures, it's clear that the UK isn't recovering at all, in fact it's suffered a lost decade where the amount of economic activity per person has actually slumped after the figures are adjusted for inflation.

In 2007 the amount of economic activity per person in the UK was $49,950 in current US dollars, by 2015 it had slumped to $43,930 [source]. Since the vote for Brexit the pound has lost about 15% of its value against the dollar, meaning another slump in per capita GDP is on the cards once the 2016 figures have been calculated.

Tory sympathisers will obviously believe anything

The evidence is absolutely clear that the UK has been getting poorer under Tory misrule, but that it's been offset by the mass immigration that happened under Theresa May's watch at the Home Office. The only reason the economy looked like it was growing was that the population was growing so quickly due to Theresa May's wave of mass immigration.

It just goes to show how the forelock-tugging Tory tribalist is willing to believe anything their lords and masters tell them.

They ignore the wealth of evidence that the country is getting poorer (the shrinking wages, the incessant Tory cuts and the still ballooning national debt) in order to celebrate crude out-of-context GDP figures that only look reasonably good due to mass immigration.

Then they believe the right-wing press that Labour is responsible for mass immigration when it's actually their beloved Theresa May who let in more immigrants than anyone else, which is the only reason the crude GDP figures they're wildly celebrating over look any good at all.

Just imagine the level of blustering under-informed party political tribalism it would take to argue that the Tories' mass immigration-boosted GDP figures are a measure of Tory economic success, whilst simultaneously decrying Labour for supposedly being in favour of mass immigration!  


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