Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Greece had nearly double the number of asylum seekers in 2011 per inhabitants than the UK

The graph shows the UK in sixteenth place in Europe with just 425 asylum applicants per million citizens, while beleaguered Greece has 820 applicants per million of its citizens in 2011. 

The Tories have an ability to win elections primarily because they have mastered the art of scaring the living bejaysus out of people. They are past masters at it, and in no areas is this more true than in the areas crime and immigration. Never mind that crime climbs on the Tory's watch, or that all main parties have failed to control immigration, Conservatives win on fear because they have convinced the floating voter that Labour cannot be trusted in either area. So, no matter how far Ed Miliband is leading Cameron coming into the home straight in 2015, the Tories will always retain a chance of election victory through fear. 

On balance, we in Labour are amateurs at fear, and thus fare best when we focus on a positive message. It is why the 2015 General Election campaign will be a straight shoot out between Tory fear versus Labour hope. But if we are to curtail the Tories chances of deploying fear to maximum effect at the next election, then we need to do two things. First, we need to expose their myths and lies. Second, we need to point out that in the policy areas where they scare monger on they don't exactly have a shiny record themselves. Tory scaremongering is the equivalent of pointing out the clinically obese guy in the room in the vain hope that no one will notice your bulging waste line. 

And that is one of the reasons why I present you the graph above. Don't let Cameron fool you into thinking that we in the UK are a homing beacon for immigrants, asylum seekers and other such 'unwanted' intruders. Let us take asylum seekers for example. The graph above clearly shows that the UK had only 425 Asylum seekers per 1 million inhabitants in 2011. That figure might I accept be hard to comprehend, but when I point out that 15 other states had higher numbers of asylum seekers per 1000 inhabitants then you realise were are hardly the premier league of safe havens. No point signifies this more so that a comparison with the level of asylum seeker applicants that entered Greece in 2011. The IMF stricken nation had about double the rate of applicants per million citizens as us and put paid to the notion created by George Osborne that we are viewed as any sort of safe haven.  When you examine the raw figures for the number of applicants, you will note that François Hollande won an election from a left wing platform in France even though they had the highest number of applicants in raw figures (56,300). In raw figures, Germany, Italy, Belgium and Sweden all have more applicants than the UK which had a total number of 26,400. Bear in mind that this does not represent the number of asylum seekers who were accepted into the UK. For example, the Uk rejected more than two thirds of those who applied. So, if you think that 425 figure was low to begin with, factor in the point that two thirds are sent back home and you quickly realise that some in our politics over-inflate the extent to which this is even a problem.

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