False story about Mark Carney repeated by Nigel Farage in media echo chamber

UKIP's embattled leader uses the papers' distortion of the bank chief's views on immigration


On Friday MediaWatch reported on a misleading story in the Telegraph and elsewhere which selectively quoted Bank of England governor Mark Carney on the impact of immigration on UK wage growth.

Today this distortion, which misrepresented Carney’s remarks, has been picked up by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who cited them in an interview with…the Telegraph.

From today’s story:

But a defiant Mr Farage told The Daily Telegraph: “I will continue to lead Ukip as I have, broadening policies.

“They don’t want the party to attract opprobrium but if you take on the political class on tough issues you attract opprobrium.

“When I said large scale open door immigration was depressing wages I was told it was a dreadful thing to say and I was scapegoating migrants. Now Mark Carney agrees with me.

The original story was plastered on the front of the Daily Mail and claimed that Mr Carney had blamed immigration for low wage growth.


In fact, Carney had attached some remarks to a BoE report in which he named several factors – older people working longer, people working more hours, general population growth – along with immigration. The press however decided to zoom in on only the last of these.

When Carney was asked point blank the next morning whether wage growth was driven down by foreign labour, he rejected the idea, adding that immigration would actually boost productivity.

But of course, it’s too late. A dodgy story is slapped on the front pages and repeated by a reactionary politician looking for a handhold to save his job, and it becomes as good as true.

(It’s worth noting that Carney also called Europe – UKIP’s raison d’etre – ‘the largest investor in the United Kingdom’.)

This is a good example of how dishonest reporting can influence politics, evidence be damned, creating an echo chamber of half-truths that drives progressive politics off the ‘agenda’.


Meanwhile, the Daily Express continues to act like an arm of UKIP’s press team, with its front page story ‘UKIP: party war is over’ claiming Farage and MP Douglas Carswell are now the best of friends:

“The Daily Express understands that the pair will hold a meeting within the next two weeks to put the matter to rest and together move the party forward.”

This sugary coverage obviously has nothing to do with Express proprietor Richard Desmond filling UKIP’s coffers with a whopping £1 million donation before the general election.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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Read more: 

Daily Mail’s junk report claims Bank of England chief blamed migrants for low wages

Express owner Desmond uses paper to protect his £1million UKIP donation

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6 Responses to “False story about Mark Carney repeated by Nigel Farage in media echo chamber”

  1. Torybushhug

    Millions of self employed trades have had their incomes compressed thanks to mass immigration. As ever Labours naïve regulations would have made no difference as they applied only to employees.

    British firms don’t take on nearly as many on the job trainees as they would if it weren’t for a mass influx of workers.

    Building more homes and the requisite infrastructure would merely act as a greater magnet and so nothing would be solved through building.
    But hey, we’re all feeling enriched and the takeaways in every high street provide great nutrition for the kids………

  2. GTE

    Even Burnham says the same.

    Are the left going to go for Burham?

  3. damon

    I’m actually a bit fed up with left wingers like this now. They will fight to the last to insist that an influx of over a million workers from poorer countries has no negative effects on jobs, wages and conditions, regardless what anyone says. And they will get into convoluted arguments about ”he said/she said” to make their points and muddy the waters.

    British tradesmen have insisted that the rates for some jobs went down … or as a Tory might describe it, ”were subject to robust healthy free market competition.”

    Sure the economy has grown if the workforce grows. And that’s good for the country and the economy generally I’m sure. But you cant tell me that in the area of crop picking for example, that the minimum wage has been the going rate because there are so many new people in the farming areas that are willing to do the jobs for minimum wage. That employing farming operations only have to call the jobs agencies to have dozens – or hundreds of willing workers ready to work for minimum wage, and that they are organised better in a way that locals are not. They have the gang masters and their flexibility to go where the work is, on their side in a way that the unemployed Brits who live nearby, don’t.

    How come the unemployed youths who rioted in England in 2013 aren’t the ones being organised to be up early in the morning for the van to come and pick them up to take them out to farm jobs twenty miles away?

    The Polish and Eastern Europeans do it because they are motivated to take any job that’s going, and just save on living costs to save up money.

    And what do people on the left say? They say that is not happening.

    Take a look in all those cafes and sandwich shops all over central London. Not just Pret, but others like ”Eat” and ”Crussh” – and another chain called ”Paul”. The ratio of eastern European workers to black young English people is astonishing. I was doing food deliveries to these places last year and I saw it for my self. At 6am in Wimbledon, it’s Polish women in their chef’s whites who are preparing the croissants and the sandwiches for the coming going to work rush hour. Hardly any black British – or even any British born. And all the left will say is ”No no, that’s not happening”.

    I work for an agency that has many no British workers on its books. The rates of pay and the contract we have is lousy. It’s basically zero hours, and in the last couple of years, not only have they not put the rates up, but have actually cut back on the guaranteed amount of hours you got if you worked on a given day.

    It used to be eight and they cut it to six. I often only get six.

    I’m not ”blaming” the EU migrants who work for my agency, but having them there means that my labour is not so valuable. If I don’t like it, I’m free to not take what’s offered.

  4. Patrick Gearon

    ‘ older people working longer, people working more hours, general population growth’ can all be summed up nicely, and are a result of, uncontrolled immigration. – which is precisely Farage’s point..
    The author is splitting hairs.

  5. Denis_Cooper

    But Carney’s backtracking argument in the article to which you link was self-evidently specious, in fact ludicrous:

    “But this morning he made clear that by far the most important factor over the past two years was “a big increase in the willingness of British people – British nationals – to work”.

    This includes older people remaining in the workforce, who account for over 300,000 extra workers, along with those in work wanting to take on more hours – a phenomenon Mr Carney said was responsible for the equivalent of “200-300,000 more workers”.

    Speaking to the Today programme, he contrasted those trends with the overall increase in migration over the same period.

    “Compare that to the increase in net migration, the increase in the number of people coming to these shores. The first two numbers I just gave you total up to more than 500,000; the increase in net migration over that same period, the last two years, is 50,000,” he said.”

    If net immigration over the past two years had added up to just 50,000 people then Cameron would have been meeting his manifesto promise with a lot to spare, but in fact for 2013 and 2014 it added up to more than 500,000, ten times as many.

    It’s a great pity that Carney, obviously a highly intelligent man, has now demeaned himself by resorting to such sophistry.

  6. george christoforou

    Immigrants bring with them their ability to work and provide economic benefit to the UK economy and that is without having to fork out on money to raise them and school them. That is in comparision to the existing population where large sections have to provided with childcare provisions and education and pension care in comparison.

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