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7:50am on Thursday, 11th May, 2017:
I heard a discussion on the radio yesterday in which people in Cumbria were discussion the up-coming general election. One of the worries they had was how the Conservatives' pledge to reduce net migration figures would affect farmers' ability to hire seasonal workers to gather in crops.
Now I'm no fan of the Conservatives, but the thing about net migration figures are that they're derived by subtracting the number of people who leave the country from the number who enter the country. Seasonal workers do both. If 100,000 people come into the country in July and then leave the country in September, the net migration is zero. It's the same with tourists. It's the same with students.
Of course, there can be people who enter the country for seasonal work who decide tro stay instead of going home, in which case there is a net increase in immigration. The same could be said of tourists, though.
The discussion among the Cumbrian voters was therefore predicated on the assumption that in the Conservatives' zeal to stop a few people from sneaking into the country and staying, they'd also stop the people who would be going home afterwards.
The journalists nevertheless made this a story about net migration, not about implementing border controls. This is what happens when those who are supposed to report the news start thinking in terms of narrative rather than fact.
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