Greg Jericho, doyen of the fake left, has today joined the immigration debate with gusto:
It is regrettably far too easy in Australia to blame migrants. From societal to educational to economic woes – migrants are the easy target.
Last week the head of the Reserve Bank suggested migration could have caused lower wages growth. It was an unfortunate statement that goes against evidence and ignores the many other factors at play.
Blaming migrants for our economic woes is not new.
Neither is conflating criticism of a broken migration system with “migrants” when the two are very clearly different things. Not one of the debaters and analysts engaged on this issue has “blamed migrants”, least of all the RBA. Nor has anyone ever suggested that a broken visa system is the only factor suppressing wages. For instance, amid the tsunami of output from the RBA that has endeavoured to understand an unprecedented decade of low wages growth, there are now just two speeches finally addressing the role that a broken migration system has played.
Analysis of the flaws in the migration system that have distorted the Australian (and NZ) labour markets at both the macro and micro levels is being conducted with intellectual rigour by the highest level experts in the field. These include:
- Reserve Bank Governor Phil Lowe
- Founding chairman of the Australian Productivity Commission Professor Garry Banks
- Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern
- The New Zealand Productivity Commission
- Senior commentators Ian Verrender, Gareth Hutchens, Adele Ferguson, Ross Gittins and Bernard Keane.
- Former leader of the opposition, John Hewson
- Former economic advisor to Bob Hawke, Professor Ross Garnaut
- Former Productivity Commissioner, Judith Sloan
- Former Governor of the Reserve Bank, Bernie Fraser
- Former economic advisor to Julia Gillard, Stephen Koukoulas
- Chair in Economics and is the Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity, Bill Mitchell
- Chief economist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Gareth Aird,
- Former chief economist at ANZ, Saul Eslake
- Chief economist at the NSW Treasury Corporation, Brian Redican.
- Chief economist at Macroeconomics, Stephen Anthony.
- Chief economist at The Australia Institute, Richard Denniss.
Other groups that have been critical of the immigration system include the ACTU, ACOSS, the McKell Institute and many, many more. All have been scrupulously fair, very sensitive to the issues and entirely appropriate.
In the end, if an appeal to authority and logic doesn’t cut it for you for over Jericho’s racism dog-whistling, then perhaps you should listen to the man himself, who wrote rather presciently in 2014:
This week the Australian Industry Group released its submission to the government on boosting the immigration intake by 30,000 a year to “meet skills shortages”.
…But at a time when employment growth is stagnant and unemployment is predicted to rise to 6% in the next 12 months, arguing we need more labour smacks of wanting to purely increase supply of labour in order to further reduce wages growth. This might benefit some businesses but certainly not those trying to find work.
Australia’s skills crisis is an ongoing challenge, but submissions such as this from Aig do little to suggest business groups are less concerned about the increasing labour costs and workers pay from possible skills shortages in the future, than they are about further reducing workers pay right now.
Which is precisely what happened.
Later he recanted these reviews only because he shared them with Tony Abbott, whom Jericho clearly hates:
Immigration – because there are many desperate to hate – must be treated with extreme care by politicians and journalists, and certainly with more care than Abbott seems capable. The inherently racist parties will seek to use any discussion and any seeming evidence of the negative impact of migrants as fuel to burn their fires of hate.
In short, Jericho (or The Guardian) made a politicised editorial decision to defend a broken immigration system come what may. This clearly superseded any commitment to dialectic, logic, intellect, journalism, truth and, above all, Australian worker well-being.
This violated the principles of the Scott Trust upon which The Guardian is based:
The values of The Scott Trust
The Manchester Guardian was founded in the liberal interest to support reform in the early 19th century. The ethos of public service has been part of the DNA of the newspaper and Group ever since.
CP Scott, the famous Manchester Guardian editor, outlined the paper’s principles in his celebrated centenary leader on May 5, 1921.
The much-quoted article is still used to explain the values of the present-day newspaper, Trust and Group. It is also recognised around the world as the ultimate statement of values for a free press.
Among the many well known lines are the assertions that ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’, that newspapers have ‘a moral as well as a material existence’ and that ‘the voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard’. The values he described are: honesty; cleanness (today interpreted as integrity); courage; fairness; and a sense of duty to the reader and the community.
Put the creepy dog whistle away, Greg.