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May 24th 2016 print

J. Goddard

When the Left Crunches Numbers

Never lend the "findings" a shred of credibility, as the goal is not to arrive at empirical truth but to advance the agenda. The latest assaults on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who ventured the view that illiterate new arrivals are a liability, make the point

2 PLUS 2It need hardly be stated that the Left, its operatives and their useful idiots have come to control almost every institution in Australia not specifically established to combat their influence and machinations. From the Australia Council, which recently stripped Quadrant of its paltry stipend while lavishing largesse on favoured publications, to the defence establishment, where social re-engineering now marches to a military beat, we have seen one conquest and colonisation after another. When the Macquarie Dictionary’s presiding etymologists convene an emergency meeting to redefine “misogynist” in order to aid Julia Gillard’s slandering of Tony Abbott, you know there is no area of life, thought or public debate immune to the poison of the authorised narrative. If you attend NRL or AFL matches and wonder why sporting events must be these days be played under rainbow flags, the pall of smoking ceremonies or with green-clad umpires, there’s your answer.

With that much influence, the Left can say whatever it wants — no matter how ridiculous or factually wrong — and get away with it. Indeed, so strong is the Left’s self-satisfied conceit that it is intelligent, rational and unbiased, all displays of inaccuracy, illiteracy and innumeracy that would be immediately exposed and denounced were they to originate on the other side of politics are simply ignored. Has anyone at the ABC ever been fired for the slanted presentation of preferred “facts”? Of course not! Thus did we see the scandalously twisted allegation that the RAN tortured asylum seekers put to air, exposed as false and then, well, no repercussions whatsoever.

The current assault on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton for daring to address the matter of refugees’ place in the Australian workforce is the latest case study in the Left establishment’s endemic misrepresentation of reality. Dutton, of course, ventured the view that poorly educated new arrivals, with no command of the language and little education, impose a burden on the taxpayers who must support them. Logical and, indeed, irrefutable, you might think those observations would pass without challenge. In that surmise you would be wrong. In addition to the immediate vilification of Dutton as a bigot, racist and Islamophobe, the further response was an example of the way in which numbers are dragooned into the service of illusion.  The tactic this time was to take all refugees of all nationalities and backgrounds and, from that extended sampling, argue that the latest wave is no different. In this instance such sleight of hand also saw “at least” turned on its head to mean “at most”.

Let start with The Guardian, that rich leftist’s folly, which claimed that 75% of refugees classified as “recent arrivals” have  “at least” high school educations. As its evidence, The Guardian cites a study which actually refutes its advocacy:

“Close to 75% of Humanitarian entrants arrived with high school level education or lower level, including no education…”

In other words, the study claims that 75% of humanitarian entrants had at most high school, not that 75% of entrants had at least high school. Indeed, tucked away in another study invoked by The Guardian is the actual number of humanitarian entrants who have completed high school:

“…the proportion of Humanitarian Program migrants who have completed year 12 or equivalent [is 47%].”

Put simply, the majority of humanitarian entrants have not completed high school. In a society such as Australia, one is considered to be, if not illiterate or innumerate, certainly of little value in the workforce if lacking Year 12 credentials. The misrepresentation becomes even more egregious when you consider that the education systems in countries from which many humanitarian entrants originate do not bear comparison with Australia’s First World standards and expectations of attainment. To the extent that one can make generalisations, it is probably safe to assume that a high school graduate from Sudan will not be as literate or numerate as a high school graduate from Australia.

The Guardian assures us that, despite only 1% of humanitarian entrants entering Australia with a bachelor’s degree, 35% of humanitarian entrants go on to earn a bachelor’s degree or technical qualification (at the cost of tens of millions of dollars to the Australian taxpayer, just incidentally). But when you look at what the humanitarian migrants are actually studying, The Guardian’s assurance becomes less than convincing. Some 36.6% end up studying humanities, which, according to the study, includes learning the English language! In other words, the pursuit of the qualifications which The Guardian boasts is no better than an attempt to make themselves understood in their new country of residence. Pathetic.

To cap-off our tour of the Left’s illiteracy and innumeracy, let’s look at how many refugees can speak English. The Guardian claims “fewer than 20%” are illiterate in their own languages. The actual number is 17% for males and 23% for females. These data do not bode well for the ability to acquire language skills. Indeed, 33% of humanitarian entrant males did not speak English upon arrival, and almost half of females did not (44%).

But surely, by the second generation, humanitarian entrants speak English as well as everyone else?

Alarmingly, a significant proportion of some groups of second-generation refugees cannot speak English well or at all. For example, 60.8% (yes, 60.8%) of Sudanese cannot speak English well or at all by the second generation (page 131), with the figure for those of Liberian background being 61.6% in the second generation.

Australia has welcomed waves of refugees. The first influx was the post-WW2 wave (Europeans and Ashkenazi Jews), while the most recent consists mostly of Sub-Saharan Africans, South-West Asians and Middle-Easterners.  The Guardian makes the innumerate error of extrapolating from the post-WW2 wave the outcomes of the recent wave. Hence this assertion presented without the slightest trace of a blush:

“In the 2000 BRW Rich List, five of Australia’s eight billionaires came from refugee backgrounds.”

I spent some time trying to track down that 16-year-old list with no success. However, more recent lists are available via Wikipedia, where a mere glance will confirm the suspicion that home-grown and Western backgrounds dominate.

This, pathetically, is what the Left did to draw so many of its positive conclusions about refugees. Refugees are much more entrepreneurial than Australians, The Guardian claims. But this is only obtained by averaging the entrepreneurship of all refugees waves. Looking at just recent arrivals, we find that their average entrepreneurship rate is less than the Australian rate. (Page 176)

Peter Dutton is mostly correct, and the Left is mostly wrong. Once you see through the false perception of the Left as “intelligent”, “rational” and “unbiased” – a perception that it has been able to fashion for itself because it controls almost all cultural and academic institutions – its sheer innumeracy and illiteracy becomes embarrassingly evident. Many refugees, far too many, are illiterate and innumerate. And so, for that matter, is the Left.

Comments [4]

  1. Ian MacDougall says:

    Peter Dutton is mostly correct, and the Left is mostly wrong. Once you see through the false perception of the Left as “intelligent”, “rational” and “unbiased” – a perception that it has been able to fashion for itself because it controls almost all cultural and academic institutions – its sheer innumeracy and illiteracy becomes embarrassingly evident. Many refugees, far too many, are illiterate and innumerate. And so, for that matter, is the Left.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      (My apologies. I posted the above from an unfamiliar territory called Android. Now I am back at Windows 10.)
      There is a non-sequitur here. The Left is both illiterate and innumerate, and yet controls academia.
      I don’t buy it. To do so, one would have to be a Postmodernist.

      • Jody says:

        LOL. And Dutton’s comments have been jumped upon by the bien pensant, one of them claiming on Sky that, according to figures from Social Welfare departmental info 75% of them have university degrees!!! And women aren’t even allowed to attend school in Afghanistan. Perhaps their educational institutions are every bit as pie-in-the-sky as our own Humanities and Social Science faculties. Just saying’….!!

  2. This article echoes my thoughts about the ease with which leftists avoid serious scrutiny. I am afraid however that the complete un-accountability of leftists and their opinions and actions will continue until conservative politicians actually start to aggressive challenge the media. Especially on ‘live’ TV interviews. Live interviews are best/necessary in that they can’t be edited and thus allow the predominantly leftist journalists to ‘slant’ their presentations to give the impressions that they desire.
    Instead of instinctively trying to timidly justify their stances on various issues to the ‘gotcha’ questions posed by the leftist ‘journalists’ conservative politicians must aggressively question the premise of any questions in the first place. Ask the journalists/leftist politicians to justify where ALL their data/figures etc. [e.g. as quoted above] come from. The left presents very suspect ‘data’ on ALL topics – AGW/global warming/climate change, aboriginal issues, education spending, future trends and results from current spending, health spending, future trends and results from current spending etc. etc.
    The conservatives must also get stuck into the absolute shameless hypocrisy of the vast majority of leftists on most issues.