Migrant housing figures

Letter in The Daily Telegraph 25 July, 2009
By Emeritus Professor Mervyn Stone,
Department of Statistical Science,
University College, London

SIR- Here is how the BBC covered its embarrassment at having trumpeted the recent Equalities and Human Rights Commission report denying bias in social housing allocation.

Thursday's radio programme, The Report, was trailed on News at One with the heady information that the BBC had found some people in Birmingham with a perception (not a belief, be it noted) that there is a bias in favour of migrants - and, balancing that news, that Civitas had cast doubt on the EHRG claim.

The programme dealt, largely anecdotally, with those perceptions and only briefly with the deceptively smallest of the statistical percentages out of which the EHRC had constructed its claim.

Among other irrelevancies, Civitas was given a Right-of-centre sticker, but the Government's favoured think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, was left untarnished.

MigrationWatch's Sir Andrew Green was allowed to make some prerecorded observation that could have been interpreted as value judgments. Given that Green usually argues from numbers, I for one would like to know what was left behind in the editing room.

© Copyright of Emeritus Professor Mervyn Stone

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