The BNP’s made-up statistic

The BNP’s European leaflets have attracted some attention for their fake photos and the law suit arising from their use of another photo, but they’ve also got a made-up statistic.

Here’s the BNP claim:

BNP European election leaflet

However, Turkey’s population is only 75 million.

So even if you think that everyone in Turkey is low-waged, this wouldn’t be true. But as certainly not everyone is low-waged, it’s even less true.

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  • Top marks for observation, but is quibbling about the difference between 75m and 80m really the most effective way of countering BNP propaganda?

    Why not try putting a positive case for immigration, rather than just saying there may not be quite so many of the foreign bastards trying to get in as they’re claiming?

  • David Morton 19th May '09 - 12:17am

    I’m reminded of the story about Asquith who authorised the use of Troops against striking miners when he was Home Secretary in the 1890’s. Some miners were shot.

    It haunted him for a while and he was famously heckled at a public meeting ” “Why did you kill the miners in 91 ? ” to which he is reported to have replied “It was 92 “

  • LiberalHammer 19th May '09 - 7:33am

    The BNP clearly scents an oppportunity to cash in on the current ‘anti politics’ sentiment. My town has been – for the first time I am aware of – leafleted by the BNP for the upcoming Euro elections. We have had nothing from the LDs.

    Castigating the BNP for printing ‘errors’ is one thing but I’d echo Anonymous1’s point. If the BNP was factually accurate it wouldn’t stop being a nasty racist party.

  • “It does seem to me to sit rather oddly with your usual keenness to try to find grounds to criticise people to decide that it’s ok for the BNP, of all people, to make up numbers.”

    Where on earth do you see in my post “it’s ok for the BNP … to make up numbers”?

    It’s no more OK for the BNP to make up numbers than it is for you to make up things that people haven’t either said or implied!

  • I’m not defending anything the BNP has said, and you bloody well know it!

    Pretending someone is defending the BNP just because they’ve criticised your approach is absolutely contemptible.

  • How many Turkish citizens living in Germany would get the right of residence in the UK if Turkey joined the EU?

    The BNP might at least have got that figure right by mistake.

  • Mark

    Even if I had said “they only got it slightly wrong” – which I didn’t – that wouldn’t amount to defending what they said.

    I have never defended the BNP, I never would, and if you’re suggesting otherwise, you’re a liar.

  • One of my concerns about LDV, which in many ways I love, is that criticism of the ideas expressed in the main pieces is often dismissed as trolling or trouble-making. Mark, you quite clearly imply that the anonymous commentator is a BNP-sympathiser, which is pretty embarrassing. His point was legitimate, and you answered it. Couldn’t you have left out the bit where you smeared him?

  • Mark

    Then please can you withdraw your statements that I was “defending what the BNP said” and that I had decided “that it’s ok for the BNP … to make up numbers”?

  • Turkey joining the EU is very important

    The argument must be made broadly in terms of economics, the geo-polital stability of the EU and finally about the nature of the EU itself were decentralized and expansionist is good as opposed to those who wish to consolidate power in Brussels.

    I’ve got a meeting in 5 mins so I can’t go into that but generally speaking

    the accession will be alot easier to sell if its a joint negotiation for Georgia, the Ukraine and Turkey

    Moving them all into the European Economic Area would be a good intermediate step

  • Mark

    “Your comment was a defence of something that they did …”

    That is a lie.

    My comment was a criticism of something you did. There was not one word in defence of the BNP.

    Your tactics are those of the gutter.

  • doh!
    European Free Trade Association

  • Firstly the info regarding the growth rate in Wiki is wrong based on the figures supplied, ie its 1.3% not 13%.

    Secondly on the subject of immigration The Govt (Lib,Lab,Con) have already blocked the Romanians and Bulgarians from entering the UK labour market.

    So is this not discrimination already?

    Some people have short memories!

  • Foregone Conclusion 19th May '09 - 5:31pm

    It’s perfectly legitimate to round up to a point (after all, to the average BNP voter, 75m Turks is as threatening as 80m). In reality, Turkey’s population probably isn’t 75 million – in fact, it’s 76.8 million according to the CIA World Factbook.

    Of course, the underlying premise is the usual BNP tactic of screaming ‘that Turk is a MUSLIM!!!!’ which is not legitimate. It also reminds me of the fact that some of them talk about ‘Mohammedians’ and ‘Mussulmen’ because Muslim is a MUSLIM WORD!?! It’d be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

  • Liberals object to Islam because it is illiberal. The British Nazi Party objects to Islam because most of the people who adhere to it have dark skins. That’s the crucial difference.

  • David Allen 19th May '09 - 6:02pm


    To suggest that the BNP’s big mistake is to round up from 76.8M to 80M is ridiculous. To then quibble about who is low-waged and who is below or above working age (NB, emigrating families do usually bring their kids with them!) just makes it more ridiculous.

    If we argue in this cack-handed way, the BNP will win, unjustly. We should point out that the BNP’s figures are crazy scaremongering. A nation of 80M people aren’t all going to emigrate, leaving their home country as an empty desert!

    It doesn’t end there, though. People know perfectly well that this country recently had a much bigger influx of Poles than anyone expected, when it was first permitted. People are entitled to ask us whether we would or would not support doing the same again, if we had the chance again. Do we in fact have a clear policy on this? We should.

  • Mark

    If you want to respond to a racist statement like the one you quoted by quibbling about numbers, that’s your decision.

    I think that approach is absolutely misguided, because if you object to the numbers and don’t object to the racism, then people will quite naturally conclude that it’s the numbers you disagree with, and not the racism.

    But when you respond to people who criticise your approach – as have most of the contributors to this thread – by trying to characterise them as “defending” the BNP when, as you have admitted, you know very well they have no sympathy with the BNP at all, that is worse than misguided. It’s completely dishonest.

    The worst thing about it is that you are the one who is, in fact, adding weight to the BNP’s argument, by debating the arithmetic and letting the racism go unchallenged.

  • Whew! Only 75 million, what a relief.

  • Griffin actually said: 80 million Turks would have the right to come here.


    If only 1 million take up this offer….I trust our good “liberals” will find room for them in their houses. Or shall we give up more greenbelt land to accommodate them and to satisfy the “liberal” conscience.

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