Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Second Reading Vote Results

Aye's: 314
No's: 283

BBC article. Majority of 31, down from 67.


Chameleon said...

I see another article for your site looming, having watched the ten o' clock news: releasing the figures Blair claimed so recently were unobtainable...it is SO obvious a ploy to soften up public opinion and win over the sceptics. Does he REALLY hold us all in such disdain? (Yes, that was a purely rhetorical question).

Chameleon said...

Oops, I was so worked up I didn't notice I had omitted to mention which figures: the numbers of illegal immigrants living and working in the UK.

Charlie Williams said...

Yeah, I was alerted to that by No2ID. Strangely enough I can't find any reference to the report except on the Home Office website, and there doesn't appear to be a copy of the report anywhere anywhere.

The HO website has Tony McNulty commenting on the report. He states the following:

“As the report makes clear, this is only an estimate and should not be seen as a definitive figure. It is a useful contribution to the debate and it underlines the need for a robust ID card scheme which will, among other benefits, help tackle illegal working and immigration."

No conspiracy theory required. If I find a copy of the report (and if there's anything interesting in it) I'll post a new entry.


Charlie Williams said...

Found it. I finally located on the Home Office website via a useful link on the BBC News website(?!?).

There's nothing overly controversial in the report itself. It applies an estimation method previously used in the US to calculate the illegal population. The particular method used was published in the US in December 2001.

The method is to assume that the UK census records of April 2001 capture almost the entire foreign born population (including the illegal section) and subtract from this figure an estimate of the legal foreign born residents.

The figures range between 310,000 (0.5% of total population) to 570,000 (1% of total population) with a central figure (assuming 'average' errors in the figures) of 430,000 (0.7%)

It seems an odd way to go about things though - the government claims that it knows the total population of the country but doesn't know the number of people who are here legally.

Oh, and how will an ID card help? There are three types of illegal immigrant:

1) Illegal Immigrants: false documentation or clandestine entry - if these are issued ID cards at all they will be made out in the wrong name/wrong details.
2) Overstayers: expired visas - if the visa was for less than three months then these people will not have ID cards either.
3) Failed Asylum Seekers: including those who absconded during the process - they may have ID cards so the system might work.

No breakdown or estimate is given for the three groups so we cannot guess how effective (or otherwise) an ID card scheme would be for removing illegal immigrants.

Given the lack of a requirement to carry ID it will only become apparent (even in the third case) that a person is an illegal immigrant if they are stopped for some other crime anyway (or attempt to access a service requiring ID).


Chameleon said...

Thanks for the detective work! I am sure all your readers appreciate it. I do not believe for one second that once the scheme has been bulldozered through the government will fail to make carrying it on one's person at all times an obligation. After all in the countries on continental Europe with a compulsory ID card you must be able to produce it on demand (carry it with you at all times). Even this does nothing to deter illegal immigrants (there are amnesties here on a regular basis to legalize a proportion of them). Next it will be a barcode or an implanted chip...wait and see. It is the timing of the release of the figures that makes my blood boil as it is such a transparent tactic.

Charlie Williams said...

I've just been reading Sp!iked Onl!ine and there's an interesting piece on Immigration ("570,000 'illegal immigrants': so what?"). I only flag it up because of the following quote:

"as did the fact that the Home Office didn't put its latest report on the homepage of its website (though it did flag up its defensive response to critics)"

I wondered why I had trouble finding it!