Thoroughly cheering news emerged this week that left-handed people are likely to earn between 10 and 12 per cent less than their right-handed colleagues. (So 11 per cent less, then). Good. I have never cared for left-handed people, considering them arrogant and possessed of unsavoury personal habits — and were I an employer I would not give jobs to any of them. I would let them moulder on benefits, and laugh and point as I passed them waiting at the bus stop on their way to the dole office. Awful people. The most famous left-handers from history were Gerald Ford, Fidel Castro, the spoon-bending self-publicist Uri Geller and the controversially sexist Victorian Jack the Ripper. I think that tells you all you need to know.
This latest survey was carried out at Harvard University and suggested that one of the reasons left-handers do badly is that they are thick — or slower at accomplishing cognitive tasks, as the researchers put it. I knew this all along, but it is heartening to have my suspicions verified by a brilliant piece of research at one of the world’s most prestigious learning institutes. Even if, a few years ago, I read a different piece of research from Imperial College London and Bristol University which suggested that these epicene, cack-handed bastards actually earn 5 per cent more than their right-handed fellow humans. This is, it was argued, because they are perceived as being ‘more creative’ and also have a larger corpus callosum — the large white-matter part of the brain which connects the two cerebral hemispheres via the conduit of between 200 and 250 million contralateral axonal projections. ‘That’s as maybe,’ I thought, reading the study back then, ‘but they’re still scum in my book.’
It might occur to you, bearing these two studies in mind, that there is probably no difference whatsoever between the earning capacities of left- and right-handed people and that the two conflicting results are a consequence of false correlations arising from the samples chosen. You might even go on to hazard that almost all of the statistics which you see in your daily newspapers are utterly bogus and full of such false correlations, such as the ones that tell you that if people had homes in Torquay, rather than Tower Hamlets, they would live longer and healthier lives. Wealth, you might think to yourself, would be the real factor behind those figures, rather than geographical location. Also, another recent study — from Durham University — which posited that areas which had a high proportion of immigrants tended to be more pro-immigrant than areas which did not. Um, hang on, you might have muttered… isn’t that because the areas which had a high proportion of immigrants also had a high proportion of immigrants answering your fatuous, politically loaded survey? Immigrants are likely to be pro-immigrant, as a rule. Also, areas with a low number of immigrants might well be full of people who have got the hell out of areas which have a high number of immigrants. But no, according to the idiotic researchers, it was all down to the fact that in extremely multicultural areas people were forced to ‘reconsider their stereotypes and preconceptions’. I think that this was the most stupid survey I have seen lately, and there have been a few.
And then there are the latest immigration statistics. The headline figure focused on the net gain to the population of 260,000 immigrants, and how this rather large figure tended to undermine the government’s supposed determination to cut the flow into this country to below 100,000. Instead, we were told, things have got much, much, worse. Well, yes, indeed. But even this terrifying figure is hugely understating the case. The gross figure of people coming to live here from abroad was 583,000; it is that yearly influx which is irrevocably changing the nature of the country. Because we have to be honest about this — the people who are leaving this country to work abroad and the people who come into this country to work, or not to work, are not quite the same people, are they? It is not a like-for-like swap, as the headlines sort of imply. For a start, those who are leaving tend to speak English as a first language, which is not true of the overwhelming majority of those who are coming in. And those leaving here tend to be higher paid, better skilled and better educated than the people who arrive. This is especially true of EU migration to the UK, where we have welcomed largely low-skilled hard-working immigrants from what we used to call Eastern Europe. But it is true of the non-EU migrants too.
It has to be said that a proportion of both EU and non-EU migrants to the country are students at our universities or places which these days call themselves universities, and that this is lucrative for the country as a whole and for these eminent learning establishments. However, we are attracting substantially fewer overseas students than we did five or six years ago, perhaps 35 per cent fewer. So at a time when immigration is hitting record levels, the numbers of those coming to study are reducing sharply. It may be that a majority of those coming in who tell us they are students are not actually students at all, but bogus students, who wish to do something very different once they arrive. Probably all left-handers, too. And in terms of population growth, it is worth noting that it is the children of immigrants who are responsible for 85 per cent of our rising birth rate.
I mention all this because there is a bit of an outcry over the plan to expand the Oxfordshire town of Bicester to the size of something like Mexico City in order to provide housing for our growing population. You think the Bicester plan is bad? The think-tank Migrationwatch suggest we will need ten new cities the size of Birmingham in the next 25 years. No wonder the more affluent are getting out.