A poll commissioned by Searchlight Educational Trust regarding attitudes towards immigrants and immigration found that almost two thirds of white Britons in the survey felt that immigration has been bad for the UK, and 48 percent were open to supporting a far right political party.
Searchlight Educational Trust was founded in 1992 and works with communities to tackle racism, challenge racial myths and promote community cohesion.
The report titled, ‘Fear And Hope – The New Politics Of Identity’ questioned more than 5000 people, and concluded that it portrays a “disturbing picture” of society’s attitudes. (London Evening Standard: 27 February, 2011)
The poll was carried out by Populus and is said to be one of the largest studies done on this subject. Almost two thirds of the white Britons in this poll said that immigration has been bad for Britain. There was no indication whether those polled believed that all immigrants has been bad for the UK or just recent arrivals.
In addition, 48 percent of white Britons in this poll said that they would vote for a far right political party that would stop immigration and come down hard on what is perceived as a ‘Muslim threat’ to Britain.
Black and ethnic minority communities lose all sense of historical identity
More disturbingly, black and ethnic minorities displayed anti immigrant views in the study parroting the racism which their parents suffered when they first came to Britain.
According to the report 43 percent of Asians and 17 percent of Blacks believed that immigration had been bad for Britain. Does that include their parents one has to ask? 39 percent of Asians and 21 percent of Blacks believed that immigration should be halted altogether. In this context the Asians even outdid the whites on this question where only 34 percent wanted immigration stopped altogether.
It can be argued that this aspect of the report is far more disturbing than the commonly known fact that whites generally tend to move to the far right of politics during economic recessions.
Some individuals from black and minority ethnic backgrounds seem to have forgotten that their parents or grandparents were immigrants, and that they themselves are not seen as British by the far right.
They have also forgotten that immigration has been a useful economic strategy for European governments to boost the economy, keep wages low and fill gaps in industries not favoured by white Britons. (Read ‘Indians only’ job advert uncovers exploitation of race relations and How immigration in the UK is linked to corrupt British foreign policy overseas)
The root of immigration
Immigration as a political topic and public debate in this country has been manipulated and used as a political tool by successive British governments and political parties to disguise the real motivations of the government and big companies who benefit from this.
While the media, government and political parties discuss British jobs for British workers, and hysterical media headlines report on bogus asylum seekers, helping to divide the working classes along gender, race, religion and cultural lines, few people actually remember or read articles by journalists such as Andy McSmith in The Independent UK online, where he said that “Britain is becoming the moral “poor man” of Europe because it is using migrant labour to expand the economy while doing almost nothing to protect immigrants from exploitation”.
The key point in that quote is that Britain invites these immigrants to work and then exploits them, the government and media then stabs these people they invited in the back and pretend to be the champion of the white working class.
Research carried out by Senior lecturer and nurse Julia Nichols and Professor of Neurophysiology Jackie Campbell, in interviews with nearly 4000 overseas nurses found that overseas nurses who were highly skilled were kept in junior positions and their skills unused.
In the article Why does the West refuse to sign a treaty to provide equality for migrant workers? the machinations of the British and Western governments in general is unveiled. Eastern European and African workers dominate sectors such as cleaning, hotel work and caring. There is generally no sick pay or paid holidays, nor are they paid overtime for the extra hours that they work.
The examples given reveals the strategy of the British government led by big companies. Employers want cheap labour and white British workers are simply not seen as cheap labour, hence European governments rely on immigrants to keep the wheels of exploitation turning.
It is absolutely disgusting that some Asians and Blacks in the Populus survey discredit the struggles of their ancestors against colonialism by parroting the attitudes of racists; it is equally disgusting that some white Britons continue to pander to far right politics when the going gets tough. It just goes to indicate that they were never tolerant in the first place.
While the report has described the attitudes expressed as “disturbing”, this trend of disturbing attitudes will continue as long as the root of immigration is never discussed.
For further research:
All other research material can be found in the links provided in the article