14 April 2011

Foreign-born workers

David Cameron, in what looks to me to be an attempt to divert attention from the lack of support for NHS reforms, is today making a speech about immigration.

One common statistic is that 75% of jobs created in the last ten years have gone to foreign-born workers. Of course, the term "foreign-born" is one that could be highly misleading.

Let me give some examples where this could get ridiculous from here and abroad:
  • Sir Trevor McDonald, the famed newsreader, was born in Trinidad. Does that count as being foreign-born? Trinidad & Tobago is now an independent state, but it was part of the British Empire in 1939.
    • One could equally apply this query to most of the members of the "Windrush Generation".
  • Amanda Tapping, the Canadian actor best known for her role as Samantha Carter in Stargate SG-1, was actually born in Rochford, Essex, moving to Canada at the age of 3. She could count as a foreign-born worker.
  • Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter's Laboratory, was born in the Soviet Union, going to the USA at the age of 7. He counts as foreign-born despite the fact he would likely remember very little of his time in the USSR.
Here's a suggestion to some of my fellow left-wingers. Next time someone complains about immigration, ask them if they watch/watched Hustle, NCIS, Waking The Dead or House...


There's a great article from the Office of National Statistics on this. I would particularly advise people to look at Tables 7 and 8.

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