Socialist Worker

Right skews the facts over attitudes to racism

Issue No. 2408

Right wingers used the latest British Social Attitudes survey to claim there is a widespread panic about immigration.

The survey interviewed over 3,000 people in Britain last year.  The Daily Mail claimed it showed “hostility” to migrants has grown because politicians don’t take the issue seriously.

This isn’t true. The survey found that 56 percent said they wanted a large cut in immigration. 

But this “well established and stable” view is “largely unchanged since 2008”.

Big numbers said immigration has had a negative economic impact and undermined “British cultural life”. But this was still fewer than half of those polled at a time when these racist ideas are rammed down people’s throats.

The survey added that professionals, graduates and Londoners have more positive views about immigration.  

It said these groups “tend to dominate political and social institutions”—and the media seized on this to say politicians are out of touch on immigration.

But politicians have led the assault on migrants with racist rhetoric and policies.

There is a disconnect between politicians and ordinary people—because class means that politicians live in a different world to the majority of people.

The right wing media wants to push discontent with those at the top in a racist direction—and we should have no truck with it.


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What We Think
Tue 17 Jun 2014, 17:14 BST
Issue No. 2408
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