The awful state of public opinion on immigration


10:01 am - December 18th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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YouGov did some polling for the Sunday Times on the issue of immigration.

Here is what they found.

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The full commentary on these polls by YouGov is here.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Sunny,
I was expecting one of your usual appalling bits of journalese but you haven’t even done that this time. Could you tell us what is awful about the figures? I think that they reflect the reality of what people think on the subject and I will bet that many of those polled were like you and I, brown skinned people as you once put it.

I am afraid that the PC brigade who have patronised you and your ilk for years are in retreat so you will have to go and get a proper job, or any job. Actually, what do you do to pay the bills?

Why “awful”?

The results seem a fairly sensible response to the incompetent manner in which immigration and demographic change has been managed.

The “losing our culture” result may have an unpleasant undertone, but the rest?

Ah the public, dreadful aren’t they? Clearly they need re-educating in a camp somewhere.

This is pretty much the same as another Yougov poll several years ago. I think that what it shows is that while people didn’t mind a certain amount of immigration, it just became too much.
Many areas are now changed beyond recognition at the street day to day level. And a lot of people don’t like that. Not just white people, but people of all races. That’s why so many people moved out of the inner cities to the suburbs. And then then parts of the suburbs became more like the old inner cities.

I’m in Alexandria Egypt right now. I can’t understand why people on the anti-racist left don’t accept that cultures can be so different that they are not all instantly interchangeable. That if you replace a thousand Brits with a thousand Egyptians, that it’s not exactly exchanging like for like.
That’s not to say I don’t think Brits are better than Egyptians, it’s just that I see very different cultures. And people don’t always change the minute they get off a plane in a new country.

I’m more shocked that the ‘disagree’ result for “We need more immigrants to do the jobs that British people don’t want to do” isn’t higher than 60%. Perhaps if they’d worded it more honestly to “We need more immigrants to work jobs in unsafe working conditions for peanuts so we can get away with keeping the price of your waged labour low” it might have got a higher result.

I own a house in a very safe part of central London and I employ staff.

I am amazed people aren’t more positive about high levels of immigration.

PS I think there are two slightly separate issues. The cheap labour/overcrowded/high house prices/high rents question is (broadly) a function of the net figure.
The “culture” stuff is a (broadly) a function of the gross figure, which could still obviously apply if the net figure were zero or even negative.

John Cleese: “London is no longer an English city”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJheODYpuEI

“The capital’s population growth is the fastest in the country according to 2011 census figures” [report in The Guardian]

“Around half of the residents of England and Wales who were born outside the UK last arrived in the UK between 2001 and 2011. The largest increase in non-UK born population was in London, where over a third of residents were born abroad [37pc] and almost a quarter were not British nationals.” [report in The Guardian]

In 2001, a quarter of London’s population was born abroad.

@Falco #3:

Ah the public, dreadful aren’t they? Clearly they need re-educating in a camp somewhere.

Well, we could start with a bit of honesty from both politicians and the media about immigration and asylum. If, for example, the public believes that immigrants and asylum seekers are given the keys to Council houses as they come through passport control (as they seem to), they will see them as the reason why they/their child can’t find a house for love nor money. They won’t then ask why Councils are being forced by Government policy out of housing provision.

The awful state of public opinion on immigration.

But no explanation as to why the state of public opinion is awful.

Is it the honesty of the public you have a problem with or its politics?

Well, with the government and most of the media so opposed to immigration, what do you expect?

These figures are awful because the people are wrong.

Yes I know what that sounds like.

But in real terms, the answers *are* wrong – Britain isn’t “losing its culture”.

Even if we accept that such a farcical concept is possible, we’ve only just finished celebrating our rich and vibrant culture (and adding to it) at the Olympics.

Similarly, immigrants aren’t “a bad thing for Britain”; the area of England & Wales with the lowest amount of immigration AND the whitest population also has the highest level of unemployment (the North East) [2011 Census]

(in national terms, immigrants and UK-born average out at about the same employment rate – so the worst we could say is “immigrants are no better than Britons”)

Add to this the increasingly vital fact that immigrants are the only reason our population growth remains positive, and we can see that immigrants are a benefit to our nation in terms of taxpayers and children if nothing else (and we know how desperately our ageing, destitute population needs both of those)

This isn’t about what immigrants ACTUALLY provide for Britain; it’s about how they’re PERCEIVED.

And *that* is a media issue.

I’d like to know by which criteria people think immigration over past 10 years “has been bad for Britain”.

My guess is their opinions would be based on hearsay and nonsense.

On most measures Britain is a better place: Crime is down, public services (like the NHS) are better.

Of course there are economic problems, but the crisis wasn’t caused by immigration and, for xenophobes, a crisis is welcome news: it means less foreigners are likely to come here to find work.

A study found immigration hasn’t impacted the wages of the worst off – as if often parroted by those who fear foreigners.

the Commission on Living Standards, in an exhaustive study of the causes of the “wage squeeze” that has affected low and middle earners in the UK, concludes that immigration has not been a significant factor.

There goes a major plank of the anti-immigration agitators.

So, how is Britain worse off because of recent immigration? Mushy appeals to impact on culture won’t do. There is little evidence that British culture has somehow got “worse”. And much of what is perceived as bad – binge drinking, say – is self inflicted.

Dave and Ben have it, although a couple of paragraphs along those lines wouldn’t have gone amiss in the OP.

I broadly agree with the “good news” tendency.

Though (seriously) I do own a house in central London and employ staff. So it’s only been upside for me personally.

I do think that this (below) is a bad thing, though, don’t you?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/feb/19/rushdie-fatwa-iran

“The number of low-skilled workers born outside the UK more than doubled between 2002 and 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figures show that almost 20% of low-skilled jobs are held by workers born abroad, up from 9% in 2002. Workers coming to the UK from eastern or central European countries were the biggest single factor in the rise.” [May 2011]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13561094

Well John B, Dave and Ben, after you’ve spun it, Peckham is still the same place.
Some like it, others don’t.

There’s been a boycott of some Asian shops there by some black people that seems to have racial undertones to it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcSXemUzoGU

This might be one of the drawbacks of the extreme form of diversity at the bottom poorer end of society.
You can end up with a lack of community cohesion.
People are too poor to make it the normal way, so they fall back on communalism and helping out only those people they feel an existing affinity to.
Hence what the women at these protests were accusing the Asian shop owners in Peckhan of.

@damon (#16)

I live in Longsight (inner-city Manchester), another multi-cultural area – at one time synonymous with guns and drugs.

When I was growing up here it was mostly white people and a minority of Caribbeans, who weren’t very well integrated.

By my teens, whites and blacks were much better integrated (a new generation), but the newly arrived Indians and Pakistanis were targets of racism from both, and segregated themselves accordingly.

Fifteen years later, the area isn’t perfectly integrated by any means – but it’s much more so than it was, because (once again) the next generation – now white, caribbean, african and asian – have grown up together.

In the process, Longsight has grown from a very high-crime, high-unemployment area to a relatively low-crime, moderate-unemployment area, with lots of families and primary schools. One where my local park has changed from a haunt of drug dealers into a place where kids actually play cricket.

Obviously that’s just a single anecdote – and I’m not pretending that Longsight is some sort of utopian ideal best described by a Blue Mink song (and there’ve been other changes here aside from the immigration, like increased police funding) – but what I’m saying is that multiculturalism happens in stages.

Immigrants do segregate when they first arrive – that’s fairly understandable. But their children don’t – their children are British.

And I don’t just mean technically, or legally – I see chavvy asians, and girls with Union Jack or burberry hijabs, my West Indian neighbours fly George Crosses in April and during the world cup, a white neighbour wears a burqa (& has an Irish accent)…

I’ve also met racist people, and heard racist things (from white and non-white people) – the integration is still happening, it’s an ongoing process; that’s the point.

I’m not saying “don’t deal with the issues that arise”; I’m just saying “don’t abandon immigration because some issues are arising”.

@15 But Bob, a commission found that massively increasing the amount of surplus labour in a relatively short period has no negative effect whatsoever on wages or employment opportunities. Indeed it’s apparently been a very positive experience for employers too.

Cylux

Try the memorandum submitted by Emeritus Professor Bob Rowthorn of Cambridge to the HoL economic affairs committee on the economic effects of immigration:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200708/ldselect/ldeconaf/82/7100902.htm

“I argue that, taken as a whole, the large-scale immigration is of minor economic benefit to the existing population of the UK as a whole, although it is certainly of benefit to the immigrants, their families and sometimes their countries of origin. Large-scale immigration will lead to a rapid and sustained growth in population with negative economic and environmental consequences in the form of overcrowding, congestion, pressure on housing and public services, and loss of environmental amenities. It also undermines the labour market position of the most vulnerable and least skilled sections of the local workforce, including many in the ethnic minority population, who must compete against the immigrants. There are, of course, domestic beneficiaries of large-scale migration. These include employers who can obtain good workers at close to the minimum wage, or even less, and the consumers of goods and services that rely heavily on migrant labour.”

Many economists regard Bob Rowthorn as a good fit for the long-standing leftist tradition among Cambridge economists.

Bob Rowthorn is also notably a Marxist economist – which is a perfectly valid approach, but it does mean he’s very concerned with labour (small L), which immigration has an impact on.

Fortunately, we don’t live in a Marx’s version of a capitalist society (we have effective Trade Unions and a minimum wage) – so increasing size of the labour force doesn’t directly affect wages – or society as a whole – in the same way.

(it’s also notable that Rowthorn’s predictions are all based on the US (he dismisses a number of European studies that disagree with him!) which has neither very effective unions nor proper minimum wage laws)

In the same report, Rowthorn estimates the net fiscal contribution of immigrants as +/- 1% of GDP (so not significant, but not harmful either)

Bob Rowthorn is probably best described as a Marxist economist – which is a perfectly valid field of study, but it does mean he has a pre-occupation with labour (small L!) and its impact on the economy.

Fortunately we don’t live in a Marxist vision of a capitalist society (we have effective Trade Unions and minimum wage laws), so an influx of immigrant labour doesn’t directly affect wages in the way that Marx – and Rowthorn – predict.

(along similar lines, Rowthorn uses US figures to predict the impact of immigrant labour on the market – but the US has neither effective Trade Unions nor proper minimum wage legislation, so it’s not really an appropriate comparison)

Prof Rowthorn does estimate in this report that immigrants to the UK have a net fiscal impact of +/-1% of GDP; not significant, but not harmful either.

Soylent Dave @17. I certainly haven’t got that much against the massive immigration that we’ve had in England particularly. But I hate it when people spin it and are dishonest about it. Places like Longsight should be looked at closely IMO. I don’t know it at all well, but it doesn’t sound so different to the part of Leeds I was just living in.
There, it’s not the old immigration that seems to be a bit out of kilter now, but the new layers upon that.
Old working class areas like Harehills, that were already diverse and quite poor, have been the areas where so many new immigrants have piled into.
Particularly noticeable there were all those single men from places like Afghanistan … and other places one can only guess at. For them, integration doesn’t come very easily. And as the unemployment situation was quite dire there locally, those people will be at a great disadvantage in the employment market.

So they work in shops and markets – often illegally I’m sure. Before they get their regularised immigration status.

In that youtube about Peckham, I don’t know what should be made of the black women who seem to have a problem with these Afghani and Asian men.
Is she just a trouble making racist?
She says that they have cornered the (halal) meat market, and are ‘selling black people rotten meat’.
It’s a big allegation. There is also the allegation that the Afghans working there are ready for trouble and produce weapons quickly if there is any.

”The mother-of-two, who has lived in Peckham for 32 years, alleged: “An argument ensued between them. The manager then threw tea at my son and told him to leave the shop. Eyewitnesses saw at least 20 people chase him across the road and try to hit him.

“He was chased by over 20 Afghan men. He was chased all the way to Peckham Rye station where he had to get on a train to escape,” she said.”

http://www.zeronation.co.uk/1186/tensions-rise-claims-afghan-shopkeeper-beat-black-boy/

I have seen such group behavior here in Egypt in the last few days. Fights between taxi drivers I think in which a big shouting match – led to sticks being produced and a larger group turning violently on a smaller group. It’s probably just a cultural thing.

My point is, that integration can take time, and to much too quickly, particularly of difficult single young men form very different cultures, can be a bit of a headache.
And people in England generally might not be that mad about this cultural change when they see it.
Even Lee Jasper complains about Brixton being not such a black cultural place anymore. Dotdun Adebayo wrote about the same thing too. To many whites and other minorities moved into Brixton apparently.

20 “Fortunately, we don’t live in a Marx’s version of a capitalist society (we have effective Trade Unions and a minimum wage) – so increasing size of the labour force doesn’t directly affect wages – or society as a whole – in the same way.”

Try the news report linked @15. An increasing percentage of low-skill jobs are being filled by employees born abroad. It is complete delusion to suppose that doesn’t affect the employment opportunties open to UK-born workers with low manual skills.

Btw trade unions didn’t prevent the increasingly unequal distribution of earned incomes during the 1980s and the 1990s nor this: “the share of national wealth going to wages has been in sharp decline – peaking at 65 per cent in 1973 but running at 53 per cent today.”
Source: TUC publication “Unfair to Middling”

I dare suggest that Bob Rowthorn believes that 2+2=4, which doesn’t mean that we have to reject that proposition because he has Marxist inclinations. What matters is the analysis, not McCarthyite smears.

(sorry about the double post earlier folks)

Bob – I certainly wasn’t using Marxist as a smear (I’m a dirty great socialist myself); but it is a better indicator of Rowthorn’s bias than just ‘leftie’ – it tells us he’s very concerned with labour and labour force.

In my experience, the impact on the unskilled labour market is temporary – there are things the government or local councils can do to ease integration (and as Damon suggests, stamping out any illegal immigrants / black market workers is a must (it’s oppressive and it damages the economy)).

Many immigrants then leave (most immigrants are here for fewer than 5 years), or settle down – which often means moving on from the unskilled work anyway.

One reason our unskilled and low-skilled jobs are more likely to be filled with immigrants is because our schools don’t produce very many unskilled workers; we’re a highly skilled country.

(75% of the UK population has an NVQ level 2 or above (equivalent), while 35% of jobs are unskilled)

The people almost as likely to be taking unskilled jobs away from the unskilled are graduates and other skilled workers.

(36% of university graduates work in unskilled work, an increase of 11pts since 2001; there are 700,000 graduates each year)

Even if our entire immigrant population (4.6m) were to occupy unskilled work, they’d be occupying 55% of the extant unskilled jobs (8.3m) – and many immigrants are of course here to do skilled work or study.

Basically, it sucks to be unskilled; especially during a recession – but it’s not the fault of the immigrants.

25. Derek Hattons Tailor

In what way are they “awful”. A lot of people clearly have those opinions and quite a few of them must be migrants – or their descendants. Life looks very different outside the Notting Hill bubble……….

24 Soylent Dave: “One reason our unskilled and low-skilled jobs are more likely to be filled with immigrants is because our schools don’t produce very many unskilled workers; we’re a highly skilled country. ”

That is undiluted bukum. There have been and are continuing complaints about skill shortages reported in the business press I read. Hence this from the CBI last year:

“STEM skills shortages are widespread – 43% of employers currently have difficulty recruiting staff, rising to more than half of employers (52%) expecting difficulty in the next three years.”
http://www.cbi.org.uk/business-issues/education-and-skills/in-focus/education-and-skills-survey/

Skill shortages have been invoked as a reason why some in business have been expressing concerns about the prospect of steep government cuts in immigration.

As for school standards: “Just one in six pupils in England has achieved the new English Baccalaureate introduced by the government, England’s league tables show. The new measure is of how many pupils in a secondary school achieve good GCSE grades in what the government says is a vital core of subjects.” [January 2011]
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12163929

Almost a million 16-24 year-olds are out there not in education, employment or training. That is something for concern.

Compared with, say, Germany, Britain has long had a poorly developed system for industrial vocational education and training.

27. Derek Hattons Tailor

@ 12 “On most measures Britain is a better place: Crime is down, public services (like the NHS) are better.”

Public services are certainly not better, how can they be when public spending has not kept place with population growth ?
Children being educated in temporary buildings, patients queuing in corridors to get into A&E (both things I have personally experienced recently) roads overcrowded (my journey time to work has doubled in 10 years), even the left admit there are record queues for social housing. These are not figments of peoples imagination, or some sort of cognitive bias, they are reality.
Yes, migration has some benefits but this patronising middle-class approach that characterised the past 10 years of just telling people to stop moaning and be “enriched” is absurd and frankly, worn out.
FFS, the middle classes will form a pressure group if they don’t like the new supermarket opening a mile away, but they expect everyone else not to notice that their whole environment has changed, and not always in a good way ?

28. So Much for Subtlety

11. Soylent Dave

But in real terms, the answers *are* wrong – Britain isn’t “losing its culture”.

The answers are hardly wrong and yes, obviously Britain is losing what used to make it distinct. You can call this cultural enrichment if you like, but it is impossible to deny.

Even if we accept that such a farcical concept is possible, we’ve only just finished celebrating our rich and vibrant culture (and adding to it) at the Olympics.

Actually to a lot of people that looked like a celebration of how horrible Britain was and how much nicer everyone else in the world is, so we are very thankful they came here and taught us to be less British.

But YMMV.

Similarly, immigrants aren’t “a bad thing for Britain”; the area of England & Wales with the lowest amount of immigration AND the whitest population also has the highest level of unemployment (the North East) [2011 Census]

If you look at employment only.

Add to this the increasingly vital fact that immigrants are the only reason our population growth remains positive, and we can see that immigrants are a benefit to our nation in terms of taxpayers and children if nothing else (and we know how desperately our ageing, destitute population needs both of those)

So … Britain is becoming less British even faster and this is a good thing? Let’s celebrate the day when English people become a minority in their own country! The sensible solution is not immigration but encouraging more British women to do what they can’t afford – have more children. Immigrants are, by and large, a cost on the economy, not a benefit. Because so few of them are in the top ten percent of wage earners and a hell of a lot of them are in the bottom 25. That is not a problem as long as it is a first generation thing. Which for many immigrants it is. Hindus for instance. But for a whole lot of others, it is not. Their children and their grandchildren remain under-performing. That is a burden on this country.

This isn’t about what immigrants ACTUALLY provide for Britain; it’s about how they’re PERCEIVED. And *that* is a media issue.

Yeah, never mind the public, focus on the spin.

12. BenM

I’d like to know by which criteria people think immigration over past 10 years “has been bad for Britain”.

Well suicide bombings are up. I saw a leftist site that objected to deregulation of the taxi industry by claiming some 80% of rapes in Britain involve a minicab driver. Without seeming to notice what racial background most minicab drivers come from. Now that figure looks too high to be plausible to me, but I think we can agree that a broad range of crimes have gone up because of immigration.

On most measures Britain is a better place: Crime is down, public services (like the NHS) are better.

Not due to immigration though.

A study found immigration hasn’t impacted the wages of the worst off – as if often parroted by those who fear foreigners.

the Commission on Living Standards, in an exhaustive study of the causes of the “wage squeeze” that has affected low and middle earners in the UK, concludes that immigration has not been a significant factor.

Because the worst off don’t have jobs. They are on welfare. The low and middle earners in the UK – that is, pretty much everyone else except Cameron and his mates – are worse off. Because immigration drives down wages and drives up housing prices. This is news?

There goes a major plank of the anti-immigration agitators.

No it doesn’t. A pity you can’t see that but it doesn’t.

There is little evidence that British culture has somehow got “worse”. And much of what is perceived as bad – binge drinking, say – is self inflicted.

There’s none so blind and them that won’t see. Although I will agree much of the worst of what British people have done, they have done to themselves.

Claims that Britain doesn’t have skills shortages become laughable when I read this from a report by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee in 2006:

“Up to 12 million working UK adults have the literacy skills expected of a primary school child, the [HoC] Public Accounts Committee says. . . The report says there are up 12 million people holding down jobs with literacy skills and up to 16 million with numeracy skills at the level expected of children leaving primary school.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4642396.stm

As for schooling standards:

“The National Curriculum test results also revealed that in spite of an improvement in English and maths, more than a third of pupils still left primary school without a proper grasp of the basics in reading, writing and maths.” [FT August 2010]

All this explains why educated migrants from eastern European countries have been taking low-skill jobs in Britain and why some in business are worried about the consequences of steep cuts in immigration.

Think: What are so many computer helpline call centres based in India?

Think: What are so many computer helpline call centres based in India?

Because even the dimmest British school leaver is unlikely to take a job paying gbp2k a year.

Is it just me, or are the comments on LC generally just way above the level of the OP? Not by a bit, but by a long shot. Keep on going, I’m enjoying the debate.

28 SMFS

obviously Britain is losing what used to make it distinct

Such melodrama.

Not so much “losing” as just “changing”. Cultures do just “change” and for a myriad of reasons, the biggest one being general increases in prosperity. We don’t live like Victorians for example because generally we don’t have to.

Well suicide bombings are up.

Are they? Must have missed all the ones post 2005 (like you missed thirty years of The Troubles).

And I’m ignoring your shameful, idiotic racist drivel about taxi drivers.

The low and middle earners in the UK – that is, pretty much everyone else except Cameron and his mates – are worse off. Because immigration drives down wages and drives up housing prices.

No, the study I quoted shows this up as being claptrap I’m afraid.

@27

Public services are a damned sight better than they were in 1997.

In fact this useless government can count their lucky stars they are because if they’d tried to implement idiotic Austerity when public services are run down (like at the end of the last Tory government) they would have met much more resistance.

And you rather hint at a deeper truth than simplistically wailing (sorry scapegoating) at foreigners for shortfalls in service.

Yes, funding sometimes lags population growth in certain areas. Was always thus (and why we have a census).

Absolutely sod all to do with immigration.

The first question refers to immigration “over the last decade”, which is important. We know that:

1) The immigration authorities were, and still are, unable to cope with the increase.
2) The unplanned level of immigration has put too much pressure on housing, public services and other infrastructure.
3) Unemployment is higher than it would have been.

Therefore, it is entirely rational to state that immigration over the last decade has been bad for Britain.

Answering Yes does NOT mean either that you’re opposed to immigration, or that you’re a racist (though you might be).

Immigration was handled in a thoroughly incompetent manner. We all know this don’t we? We should also know that bad things follow from incompetence.

Question 2 and 4 follow on from 1, so this just leaves us with the Culture question. I personally don’t understand the concern, but it would be interesting to know what people actually mean by it. There is no doubt that our culture will be changed – immigrants destroyed our restaurant culture in very short order, bless ‘em – but what are the specific fears that lead to concern?

30 John P: “Because even the dimmest British school leaver is unlikely to take a job paying gbp2k a year.”

If only that simple explanation for the number of computer technical helplines from Indian call centres is all that is relevant.

– The pay rate you claim depends on the GBP/Rupee exchange rate

– Britain has recognised adult literacy and numeracy problems which computer use stresses, whereas India is producing thousands of bilingual computer science graduates a year. They may not all have good English but thousands do and there are many top-class computer professionals among young grads there as I can testify from personal experience and because my son has management responsibilities for software development in India on behalf of the American company he works for. He visits India several times a year. Call centre helpline work there can be part-time.

– In Britain, employers are often reported in the business press to have problems in recruiting employees with computer skills:

“Skills in the web, mobile and social networking sectors have continued to be in demand despite the economic slowdown in recent years. Figures from a European Commission Report expect the UK will have a shortage of 100,000 people to fill IT jobs in the next few years. In Europe, including the UK, the skills shortage is expected to reach 700,000.”
http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240149719/Digital-skills-shortage-prophecy-unfolds

“but what are the specific fears that lead to concern?”

I’ve already suggested one rather serious one:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/feb/19/rushdie-fatwa-iran

cjcj

Exactly. Recent news from Pakistan:

Five female Pakistani polio vaccination workers have been shot dead in a string of coordinated attacks – four within 20 minutes across Karachi.

The fifth woman was killed in Peshawar. A male health worker was shot dead in Karachi on Monday.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20767138

Bear baiting: In rural Pakistan, up to 2,000 spectators will assemble to watch a tethered and clawless bear set upon by trained fighting dogs. [WSPA International]

And, of course, there was the shooting of Malala Yousafzai for posting online her views about education opportunities for girls.

38. Man on Clapham Omnibus

If you have a predominantly white society and a continuous influx of foreigners who reproduce at a faster rate then inevitably the parent culture over time will tend towards that of the immigrants.Those immigrants will need housing, education and a raft of other social resources which will naturally have an impact on the lives of the indigenous population. It is hardly surprising therefore that most people want immigration to stop and preferably reversed.

39. Man on Clapham Omnibus

37. Bob B

The fifth woman was killed in Peshawar. A male health worker was shot dead in Karachi on Monday.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20767138

If you read the article you’ll understand the issues.

With regards to Bear bating we have an upper class version called fox hunting dont we?

40. Chaise Guevara

I have to agree to some extent with the negative comments here: it’s a bit weird to call public opinion “awful”, then just post said public opinion in the apparent assumption that everyone will agree, especially as this isn’t one of those single-issue echo chambers.

I mean, I’m disheartened by these results too, but you have to, you know, show your working if you’re going to criticise.

In Britain, employers are often reported in the business press to have problems in recruiting employees with computer skills

Perhaps the fuckers could invest in actually bothering to train people, rather than always trying to poach foreign talent from where someone did go to the trouble. It seems hideous that this is justified by ‘because ageing population’ while we busily consign our own children to the scrapheap of life.
http://www.poverty.org.uk/35/index.shtml
Does anyone really think having 20% of economically active adults aged 16-24 out of work is a good thing?

@ cjcj and Bob B:

We have some awful people of our own don’t we? Besides, whilst we may disapprove of some cultural practices, it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll become nationally enforced. I’m sure we’ve gained more from Asian cuisine than we’ve lost through the proximity of, say, arranged marriages.

@ Chaise:

It would be interesting to know why you’re disheartened by the results?

43. Chaise Guevara

@ 42 Jack C

“It would be interesting to know why you’re disheartened by the results?”

Because I disagree with the popular view. I think the whole idea of “losing” culture is stupid, short of book-burning. I personally feel that our culture has been improved by immigration, but either way it’s not a case of gaining or losing X units of culture. As for the rest I think the public has an unrealistically negative view on the effects on immigration.

I would say all that before calling the results “awful”, though, even if I chose to use that word.

Man on the Clapham Omnibus

“With regards to Bear bating we have an upper class version called fox hunting dont we?”

C’mon. Parliament spent over 700 hours debating the Hunting With Dogs Bill with the intention of banning fox hunting. At least, prior to the ban, foxes had a sporting chance of getting away from the chasing hounds since the foxes aren’t tethered to stakes, unlike the bears in bear baiting.

Farming communities, where rearing poultry and sheep livestock are local industries, regard foxes as predatory vermin apt to kill the livestock, especially as foxes age and become less able to hunt and catch rabbits, hares and rodents. The case for hunting foxes with dogs is that this medium is more likely to succeed in selectively catching aging foxes rather than the fleeter footed, younger foxes that provide a valued service of keeping down local populations of rabbits and rodents, which farmers also regard as vermin.

As a devoted urban dweller, I’ve no vested interest in the fox hunting debate and have never witnessed a fox hunt although I’ve regularly seen urban foxes in the London neighbourhood where I live now. Some local trunk roads are highly trafficked and I’ve often seen the traffic slow or stop to allow foxes to cross roads safely.

The upper social class associations relate to counties like Leicestershire, where I lived for many years, but not to Yorkshire, where I also lived for many years and where fox hunting and horse riding are regarded as much working class sports and recreations as upper class ones. OTOH Leicestershire has the Quorn, Cottesmore and Belvoir hunts. Part of the appeal is the associated social life for country folk. Btw angling, especially competitive angling, seems to me to be at least as cruel as fox hunting and millions engage in angling.

Try this video on fox hunting with dogs in France:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df7qaFmAtqM

There’s nothing conspicuously upper class about that.

Chaise: “I personally feel that our culture has been improved by immigration”

Apart from the added risk to writers like Salman Rushdie from resident Jihadists, I assume. What of the gang wars, shootings and the rioting?

Try this video of a rioting scene a couple of miles from where I live and about a quarter of a mile away from the nearest hospital to where I live:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8704461/Man-dragged-off-scooter-by-mob-in-Croydon-riot.html

The thing about a referendum on reducing immigration to zero is indeed awful – mainly because it’s impossible, or, at least, would mean destroying large sections of the British economy and severely curtailing the liberty of British citizens to do it.

In order to get to that situation you’d have to ban marriage to non-citizens (or at least make it no grounds for gaining leave to remain), ban offering any type of course to foreign students, severely restrict tourist visas, severely restrict business travel and foreign performers at music/cultural events, end the ability of UK organisations to recruit almost anyone from overseas (if you think multinationals will agree to that, think again). To get the numbers down we’d probably have to limit it to footballers and CEOs only!

Oh yes, and you’d have to leave the EU as well, which even if it’s a good thing I assume wouldn’t be supported by everyone who voted ‘Yes’ in this imaginary referendum… it’s just not a practical concept.

That’s why the government (who used the press to promote the idea in order to attack Labour with it) cannot and will not do anything significantly different to Labour. Outside right wing ‘we give them free cars’ fantasyland we’re already very harsh on immigration – you may remember there was a recent case in the papers where the government was narrowly prevented from deporting a seriously ill ex-student to certain death.

Having said that, I don’t completely buy the idea that immigration can have no impact on job availability, wages or housing (although I accept the impact so far may have been small). But I think it’s safe to say it would impact negatively on all those things if we had *no* border controls at all.

I don’t find LC to be a great place to discuss this really interesting topic, because it’s too ideologically set to spinning I’ve found.
One way of positively spinning this would be to say that much of the public is just ignorant of diverse areas and gets misled by the media. And that infact our most diverse areas are some of the best to live in in the UK, and those that do live in them recognise that.

Personally I think that needs a really strong pair of ideological sunglasses to see it that way though, as there’s no way that you can make places like Leytonstone High Road in London look sexy.
Or Harlsden, Wembley, Tottenham, Walthamstow, East Ham, Whitechapel, Deptford, Lewisham, West Croydon, Peckham and present day Southall.
A couple of those can have their good points, but they have issues as well, which go largely untalked about in liberal circles.

Programmes like ‘Border Force’ don’t help.
Here, immigration officers raid a chicken factory and find a lot of workers there who look like Indians or Pakistanis but are claiming to be Romanian.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgv6nJiDmiM&feature=endscreen&NR=1

48. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob B

“Apart from the added risk to writers like Salman Rushdie from resident Jihadists, I assume. What of the gang wars, shootings and the rioting?”

Yeah. Not sure if I’d include that as “culture” here (I mean, it sorta is but people who whinge about us “losing our culture” are generally more the I-don’t-know-what-it-is-so-it-scares-me crowd telling lies about Winterval) but either way you assess the bad against the good. But I was thinking more along the lines that I prefer to have a caff, a fish-and-chips shop, an Indian and a Chinese rather than two caffs and two fish-and-chips shops.

“Try this video of a rioting scene a couple of miles from where I live and about a quarter of a mile away from the nearest hospital to where I live”

What’s that got to do with immigration?

Chaise, @43:
But the Culture element is only one question out of 6?

An interesting question not shown above, but in the survey, was “are we less tolerant of immigrants than we were 10 years ago?” About half agreed. This is actually a positive in all probability: ie we don’t think we’re meeting our increasingly high standards of tolerance.

Overall the figures suggest that Labour made a dog’s dinner of immigration, and have reduced it’s popularity.

If I was a Labour member obsessed with “narrative”, I would also regard the figures as self-evidently awful. So that’s the headline explained anyway.

50. Robin Levett

@Bob B #44:

The case for hunting foxes with dogs is that this medium is more likely to succeed in selectively catching aging foxes rather than the fleeter footed, younger foxes that provide a valued service of keeping down local populations of rabbits and rodents, which farmers also regard as vermin.

The first thing you need to do is establish that foxhunting had any significant effect upon fox populations at all. That turns out not to be the case.

Gastro: “But then, irrespective of the actual design of the changes in terms of organisation and contractual relationships, you deduce that the changes are a good thing, rejecting opposition on the basis that it is NHS propaganda.”

That is a glaring non sequitur. Check out my quote from the BMJ in January 2011 @30.

There is no reason to suppose there is an undisclosed political intention to transform Britain’s system of healthcare into the dysfunctional American model. As an economist, since the late 1950s, I’ve sometimes read or dipped into occasional monographs on our healthcare system and texts on public policy economics.

The policy option regularly presented to readers has been between the NHS and the American market system. Only in the last decade or so have there been studied comparisons with healthcare systems in other west European countries, which have come out well from the comparisons.

It is manifest nonsense to suggest the American system is the only feasible alternative to the NHS – so I have come to deeply suspect the academic integrity of those writers who have conveyed that impression to a readership that was largely ignorant about the range of European alternatives. Mainland European electorates are not stupid and have much the same concerns about personal healthcare issues as has the British electorate.

Try this:

Almost 12,000 patients are dying needlessly in NHS hospitals every year because of basic errors by medical staff, according to the largest and most detailed study into hospital deaths ever performed in the UK.

The researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and colleagues found something went wrong with the care of 13 per cent of the patients who died in hospitals. An error only caused death in 5.2 per cent of these – equivalent to 11,859 preventable deaths in hospitals in England.

Helen Hogan, who led the study, said: “We found medical staff were not doing the basics well enough – monitoring blood pressure and kidney function, for example. They were also not assessing patients holistically early enough in their admission so they didn’t miss any underlying condition. And they were not checking side-effects… before prescribing drugs.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/doctors-basic-errors-are-killing-1000-patients-a-month-7939674.html

Much has been made of excessive bureaucracy in the NHS. Two personal experiences in recent years:

In August 2007 I received a letter from the Pathology Department in the local hospital I attend requesting that I return to enable them to take another blood sample as insufficient had been taken for my recent blood test. That seems innocuous enough until I checked to discover that the “recent” blood test had been in the previous April. It took the Pathology Department from April to August to appreciate that it had insufficient blood to complete the prescribed tests. Fortunately, the tests weren’t critical.

In October 2010, just prior to my first hip operation in another hospital, I was presented with a surgery consent form which specified the wrong hip. A little googling established that this is not as uncommon error as might be hoped for – I can post citations.

Damon: I’ve lived in three of those places, have friends in another three, and find them all perfectly agreeable parts of the world. I’d say Wembley, bits of Tottenham, most of Walthamstow, Whitechapel, most of Lewisham, most of West Croydon, and bits of Peckham, were actively nice places to reside and spend time. I agree that many people on the UKIP/Tory side of things aren’t aware of this narrative, because they’re busy cowering in middle-class suburbia and are too scared to visit, but I disagree that it is in any way problematic.

What of the gang wars, shootings and the rioting?

Did you actually see the riots (either at the time or on telly), or just read about them in the Mail? This isn’t 1982; the people rioting were thoroughly equal-opportunities and majority white-British.

@51

Through some software glitch, the above post wrongly appeared in this thread. Please delete.

Overall the figures suggest that Labour made a dog’s dinner of immigration, and have reduced it’s popularity.

The figures are also consistent with the truth – ie that Labour’s immigration policy worked very well, but the combination of populist lies repeated ad nauseam by the idiot press, and the natural tendency of people to seek simplistic scapegoats in times of economic woe, have led people to blame the darkies and the Poles cos it’s easier than thinking about wider problems associated with 21st century capitalism.

56. Man on Clapham Omnibus

44. Bob B

Bob the point I made about fox hunting was in relation to your point about bear baiting. I was only pointing out that many (most) societies display and ambivalence toward animals and that recognition isn’t particularly of merit when applied to British immigration.
I do take your point about the association with immigration and social disintegration which I take from your reference to the Croydon riots. However, I would be careful not to reduce this just to the issue of invading foreigners simply because the amount of immigrants involved was probably very low. Moreover it understates the very real issues of poverty and unmet expectations amongst certain parts of society,particularly the young.

Anyway I’m all for the high house price, cheap staff bit.

And I doubt that central London or the south bank will see the return of bear baiting.

Being gay of course it might be better to steer clear of Tower Hamlets though.

http://www.petertatchell.net/religion/east-london-gay-free-zone-conviction%20is%20troublesome.htm

But then who in their right mind wants to go there??

58. Man on Clapham Omnibus

49. Jack C

Another question would be how many immigrants of previous generations are intolerant of immigration now.

Interestingly, under the bonnet of this issue is pure unadulterated racism because if the only people coming over here were white, rich and middle class no one would be bothered.

48 Chaise: What’s that got to do with immigration?

Who do you imagine the rioters near West Croydon railway station were in that video clip linked @45?

There was little manifestation of rioting in South Croydon or in neighbouring boroughs.

50 Robin: “The first thing you need to do is establish that foxhunting had any significant effect upon fox populations at all. That turns out not to be the case.”

The point of my post about fox hunting – which is surely part of the culture in parts of rural England – is not to claim that fox hunting reduces the local fox population in the countryside but that hunting selectively weeds out ageing and disabled foxes, which are said to be the main source of fox attacks on poultry and lambs by farmers who experience the losses.

Btw why do you suppose those French guys in the video clip were out there hunting with dogs?

60. Man on Clapham Omnibus

55. john b

Interesting then, why Millibean should admit to Labour making mistakes over immigration.

Immigration, like diversity, is a good thing, up to a point; but you can have too much of even a good thing. And it is not unreasonable or racist to think that we have now had too much immigration and too much divesity.

The UK is becoming uncomfortably crowded and congested in parts. With a rising population comes increasing demands on the environment. With an increasing diversity comes a reduction in social solidarity (as David Goodhart, now head of Demos, has observed) and a dilution of the indigenous culture. And immigration also brings an increase in diseases like TB…and so on.

Trade-offs are an inescapable part of life. If we want the benefits of immigration, we must be honest about the disbenefits.

62. Man on Clapham Omnibus

59. Bob B

‘The point of my post about fox hunting – which is surely part of the culture in parts of rural England’

So fox hunting is ok but bear baiting isnt??? Can you explain why?

MotCO: no, not interesting at all. If a policy’s unpopular, particularly if it’s one not of their making but of a predecessor, a politician will apologise for it. Suggesting that means the policy being apologised for was wrong makes you either ludicrously naive or deliberately talking bollocks.

John b:

“The figures are also consistent with the truth – ie that Labour’s immigration policy worked very well”

Really? The numbers were very significantly higher than planned (as predicted by everyone else), leading to meltdown in the immigration service, and problems with housing, jobs, infrastructure etc etc.

Some in Labour have now claimed that their planning was not stupidly wrong, rather that the Government lied about expected numbers in order to either avoid spooking the horses, or to cause difficulties for the Tories.

No, the policy did not work “very well”, and supporters of immigration (like me) should be just as angry as anyone else.

65. Man on Clapham Omnibus

63. john b

I would question your notion of the ‘truth’ regarding immigration and other people’s who I guess were the target of Millibean’s apologies.

Maybe you could tell me the criteria by which a policy is judged right or wrong.

62 Man on a Clapham Omnibus: “So fox hunting is ok but bear baiting isnt??? Can you explain why?”

Please check out a longish response on the differences @45.

For starters, the foxes aren’t tethered to stakes while the packs of hunting dogs attack. The foxes can and do escape the hounds. The most serious plausible attack on the hunting rationale that I’ve come across in numerous online debates is a claim that some hunts have been known to breed foxes in order to justify the hunting.

I’m not placed to comment – I’ve never witnessed a fox hunt in progress so I’m hardly a hunting enthusiast and I’ve no vested interest in this. Maintaining the packs of hunting dogs and the stables of horses can provide valued employment opportunities in some rural areas so those looking for chances of work in the countryside do have vested interests in ensuring there are enough foxes around to provide the sport for those who pay for the high costs of keeping the hunts going.

The video clip linked @44 on Fox hunting in France shows that hunting isn’t necessarily an upper class sport and fox hunting isn’t exclusively English either.

Having watched anglers disentangling hooks from fish they have caught, I’m not convinced that fox hunting is more cruel. By reported estimates, there are about two million anglers in Britain. No one is talking about banning angling.

67. Chaise Guevara

@ 49 Jack C

“But the Culture element is only one question out of 6?”

Sure – I just find it irritating for different reasons.

“An interesting question not shown above, but in the survey, was “are we less tolerant of immigrants than we were 10 years ago?” About half agreed. This is actually a positive in all probability: ie we don’t think we’re meeting our increasingly high standards of tolerance.”

That’s a good point.

“Overall the figures suggest that Labour made a dog’s dinner of immigration, and have reduced it’s popularity.”

Well, it suggests people think that. You can’t exactly ignore the effects of lies and hysteria in the gutter press.

“If I was a Labour member obsessed with “narrative”, I would also regard the figures as self-evidently awful. So that’s the headline explained anyway.”

TBH there’s only one explanation needed for this site’s headlines…

Really? The numbers were very significantly higher than planned (as predicted by everyone else), leading to meltdown in the immigration service, and problems with housing, jobs, infrastructure etc etc.

No, leading to people lying that all of the above happened, when in fact everything was fine in high-migration areas until the recession hit.

69. Man on Clapham Omnibus

66. Bob B

Lets make it easy on ourselves. Both fox hunting and bear baiting are deplorable acts of cruelty.So for that matter is pushing donkeys off churches.

Raising the issue of bear baiting in the manner that you have is nothing short of racism IMO.

70. Man on Clapham Omnibus

67. Chaise Guevara

‘Well, it suggests people think that. You can’t exactly ignore the effects of lies and hysteria in the gutter press’

Is it just that simple Chaise?.

Take a road widening scheme – a great success possibly but not necessarily to the villagers who have had there houses tarmacked over.

I think the notion of success needs to take in everything and everybody affected. In the case of Labour’s immigration policy my understanding was that great strain was placed on educational health and housing in some areas.

71. Chaise Guevara

@ 59 Bob B

“Who do you imagine the rioters near West Croydon railway station were in that video clip linked @45?”

If you have to be cryptic I’ll assume you’re just talking nonsense.

72. Chaise Guevara

@ 70 MoCO

“Is it just that simple Chaise?”

No, and I’m not saying it is. I’m saying you can’t just take the popularity of a complex thing like immigration and then use it to prove that the policy is good/bad. It sounds like you and I are on the same page as far as this goes – you can’t just narrow things down to your preferred factor.

Apart from the added risk to writers like Salman Rushdie from resident Jihadists, I assume.

Remind me, where was Rushdie was born?

@ 68

Oh dear. Just that really.

71 Chaise: “If you have to be cryptic I’ll assume you’re just talking nonsense.”

You are entirely free to be pompous. I’m familiar with the neighbourhood of West Croydon railway station and with reports of the rioting there last year.

Some of the shop properties opposite the site of the burned down Reeves furniture store are still boarded up – those shops were the location of that iconic picture in the news of a young Polish woman leaping from the window of a first floor flat to save her life. Try this BBC interview with some of the particpants which shows the conflagration:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424

By the account of the local council, more than a hundred people lost all they owned as their flats were consumed by fires.

73 Shatterface: “Where was Rushdie born?”

India. But he, Nobel laureate Doris Lessing and Nobel laureate VS Naipaul are properly regarded as part of the literary scene here. British taxpayers paid for Rushdie’s protection when he was under that murderous Fatwa threat from Iran.

Those examples are illuminating as they show how foreign-born writers – like Henry James or Oscar Wilde before them – were and are absorbed and integrated into the literary scene here. I’m fully aware of Wilde’s fate but his plays are still regularly performed here whereas George Benard Shaw’s plays aren’t.

69 Man on the Clapham Omnibus: “Raising the issue of bear baiting in the manner that you have is nothing short of racism IMO.”

Better to blame the BBC for this graphic news report back in 2001 on bear baiting in Pakistan or the recent awareness advertising by the World Society for the Protection of Animals
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1100555.stm

johnb @ 53:

“Did you actually see the riots (either at the time or on telly), or just read about them in the Mail? This isn’t 1982; the people rioting were thoroughly equal-opportunities and majority white-British.”

You are wrong. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_England_riots#Race_relations

where it is stated that:

“In February 2012 a report was published by the Ministry of Justice providing demographic statistics of the people charged over participation in the riots up to 1 February 2012 which revealed that 41% of those brought before the courts identified themselves as being from the White group, 39% from the Black ethnic group, 12% from the Mixed ethnic group, 6% the Asian ethnic group, and 2% the Other ethnic group.”

@TONE 78

Those figures show that the single largest ethnic group involved in the riots were white people, then.

It’s a bit like the suggestion that white britons are a minority in London, when at 45% they’re the single largest group (by 32 percentage points).

Not being bigger than all the other groups added together doesn’t make you a minority; that’s not how statistics of this nature work.

I think John’s original point

the people rioting were thoroughly equal-opportunities and majority white-British

holds up – particularly the first part.

As a few other commenters have also said, the culture thing bothers me quite a lot.

I can’t see how British culture – or even English culture – can be damaged or destroyed by immigration.

I don’t think British culture is some sort of monolithic entity – it’s been built up quite literally over millennia, taking bits and pieces from all the different ethnic groups and cultures that have settled here, and growing all the time.

British culture certainly adapts – it steals bits of music, words, fashion and food from other cultures (and then we throw away the parts we don’t like, and fuse the rest together so it fits in well with what we already have).

That’s why we can eat American potatoes and Bangladeshi curry, while listening to European-style music with US-style lyrics about uniquely British experiences.

Or why our clothes can have Indian patterns and a French cut – but they’re still going to be appropriate for our weather and sensibilities.

I certainly don’t think our culture is so weak or feeble that it is at risk of being overwhelmed by the disparate cultures of just a few million immigrants.

I like to think I’m rather more patriotic than that.

78 Tone: “In February 2012 a report was published by the Ministry of Justice providing demographic statistics of the people charged over participation in the riots up to 1 February 2012 which revealed that 41% of those brought before the courts identified themselves as being from the White group, 39% from the Black ethnic group, 12% from the Mixed ethnic group, 6% the Asian ethnic group, and 2% the Other ethnic group.”

The percentage of blacks in the population is nowhere near 39pc so blacks were disproportionately over-representated among the rioters. OTOH whites were under-represented among rioters.

In Croydon, there was little rioting in shops and stores in South Croydon, which is one of the most affluent Parliamentary constituencies in Britain. Most of the rioting, arson and looting was concentrated in central Croydon and near West Croydon railway station.

A black guy has been convicted and sentenced for setting fire to the Reeves furniture store as seen in the BBC video clip @75.

“A year after a father of four was murdered during the Croydon riots, police are offering a £20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction. Trevor Ellis was with two friends in a car on Duppas Hill, Waddon when he was shot in what is believed to be a row over stolen loot.”
http://www.suttonguardian.co.uk/news/riotsoneyearon/9861507.CROYDON_RIOTS__Reward_offered_over_murder/

81. Chaise Guevara

@ 75 Bob B

“You are entirely free to be pompous.”

Glass houses. Are you seriously going to blame this stuff on immigration and then, when asked to clarify, flat-out refuse to mention immigration at all?

Bit revealing, isn’t it?

Remember where the rioting was though, Bob.

Blacks aren’t as over-represented in the areas where the rioting actually occurred (where white populations hover around 50% and Black populations between 22-33%)

Compare with Salford and Manchester (81%), where rioters were also overwhelmingly white (70%), with black rioters making up 25%.

One other thing to highlight is that the ‘rioter’ figure is more correctly a ‘brought to justice’ figure. So it could certainly be weighted by police procedure (it’s not exactly unprecedented for police to focus on black offenders more than white ones…)

Certainly the footage of the riots in Manchester showed overwhelmingly white faces, as a number of commentators highlighted at the time.

I’m also not entirely sure how this hits the ‘immigration’ button – most black residents of the UK have grandparents who were British citizens; they’re much less likely to be immigrants than, for example, Asians or Eastern Europeans (both groups which were under-represented in the rioting)

Soylent Dave @ 79:

“Not being bigger than all the other groups added together doesn’t make you a minority; that’s not how statistics of this nature work.”

That’s utterly risible. White Britons were a minority of those convicted, whereas non-whites were at least 57% of those convicted.

As Bob B says @ 80, whites were under-represented whereas non-whites — particularly blacks – were hugely over-represented.

So john b’s silly claim that “the people rioting were thoroughly equal-opportunities and majority white-British” does not “hold up”. It is manifestly false – because of non-white over-representation and because whites were not a majority.

@TONE

White Britons were a minority of those convicted, whereas non-whites were at least 57% of those convicted

I think you’re showing a fundamental misunderstanding of how the data work.

‘non-whites’ aren’t a single, homogeneous group – so treating them as such is meaningless. They’re not an ethnicity, they’re not a culture; they’re not even immigrants (which would be pertinent).

They’re just “people who aren’t white”. But that doesn’t tell us anything about them until we break the data up (similarly, ‘white’ doesn’t necessarily tell us anything, unless we know what percentage were ‘white britons’, which has some relevance).

You don’t really just look at the world as “white people” and “others” do you?

85. Chaise Guevara

@ 83 TONE

“It is manifestly false – because of non-white over-representation and because whites were not a majority.”

If, as claimed, whites make up 45% of Londoners and 41% of the rioters, I don’t think that’s statistically very revealing.

Otherwise, you two are just rowing over the definition of “majority”: whether it means “over 50%” or “largest group”. I prefer your usage but you seem to be talking past each other. Neither of you are wrong by what I take to be your respective definitions.

@Chaise Guevera

Don’t go being too sensible on the internet, Chaise – it might catch on :)

I don’t know why the heck people are talking about bear baiting as it can only sidetrack such threads.
It really is impossible to discuss such things on internet boards such as this.

john b @52. There’s no way you can say West Croydon along London road is nice. It isn’t. The same for Tottenham High Road. As for Whitechapel, it’s fine if you like ”the exotic”. Market traders there don’t even bother to call out their wares in English as there are so few white people there along the market.
This is it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MebUMDACsyc

Some people will like that, and others won’t.
The question might be, is it OK for everywhere to become like that?
Personally I couldn’t care if it does, as then I won’t have to travel to places like where I am now in Egypt for my oriental fix. I do like a touch of the bazarr.

But I certainly understand that it’s not for everyone.
And if I had school age children I might have to consider if I wanted them to go to a school where they might be an ethnic and cultural minority.
My niece did in Lambeth and she turned out alright. Apart from being too fond of R n’B music, and having no time for old time rock and roll guitar bands.
They were seen as totally naff in her school it seems, and only for old loser type white uncles.

Chaise Guevara, I called you a bit of an ”Ultra” and you’ve shown it again in this thread asking what did immigration have to do with the riots.
Do you not think that the people who rioted in Tottenham over the shooting of that guy had racial issues with the police and wider society because they were not white? They are the offspring of immigrants – and have twice the youth unemployment levels of white people locally.

And john b, how about Walworth Road and down into Southwark? You can’t call that nice. It can be dangerous just walking around there in the evening.

And Harlesden too. It’s quite terrible in one way, and terribly ”exotic and urban and edgy” in another … if you like that kind of thing. A lot of people don’t.
Probably a majority of Brits wouldn’t like that modern kind of urban living at the poorer end.

Even middle class people who live in such places, when asked about the drawbacks will say things like: ”Just silly stuff – shootings, stabbings – that kind of thing” … which is what Tim Lott said of his part of NW London.
http://park-life.org/2010/07/tim-lott-kensal-green-resident/
You have to be a certain kind of liberal to have that attitude about street crime.

@79. Soylent Dave: “As a few other commenters have also said, the culture thing bothers me quite a lot.

I can’t see how British culture – or even English culture – can be damaged or destroyed by immigration.

I don’t think British culture is some sort of monolithic entity – it’s been built up quite literally over millennia, taking bits and pieces from all the different ethnic groups and cultures that have settled here, and growing all the time.”

Thanks for that contribution.

British culture can be partly dismantled, of course. English tongues probably used more Romance words than Saxon after 1066.

The Coen brothers delivered a misguided attempt at creating _The Ladykillers_ as a modern film. It was not that they strived the impossible, but the film was not going to work for them. Somebody else might have made it work (and the Coen brothers might have worked on something good). Those Ealing Studios and Boulting Brothers films were British comedies but many had a political side. British passport holders who entertained us were not always born here.

89. Robin Levett

@Bob B #59:

The point of my post about fox hunting – which is surely part of the culture in parts of rural England – is not to claim that fox hunting reduces the local fox population in the countryside but that hunting selectively weeds out ageing and disabled foxes, which are said to be the main source of fox attacks on poultry and lambs by farmers who experience the losses.

And your claim would be wrong.

Only around 20-25,00 foxes are klled by hunts out of a total of 400k+ pa killed. Of those, approaching half are killed during autumn hunts, or cubbing. Tell me, how ageing and disabled cubs would you think there would be?

As for the rest; the vets instructed by the opposition to the ban were quite clear that the fox was entitely unstressed until he got killed. He was never hunted to exhaustion, simply overtaken by the hounds and/or made a tactical mistake. That doesn’t sound like culling tthe crafty, ageing fox.

Chaise

The quoted stats @78 for rioter arrests were nation-wide, not specific to London.

In London, the main locations of rioting were in Tottenham and Croydon. One interesting issue is why there was so little rioting in South Croydon, the neighbouring boroughs to Croydon or in West and North London where there are significantly higher densities of ethnic Asians.

According to this source, blacks comprise 13.3pc of London’s population, compared with 18.4pc Asians and 59.8pc white.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_groups_in_London

Robin: “Only around 20-25,00 foxes are klled by hunts out of a total of 400k+ pa killed. Of those, approaching half are killed during autumn hunts, or cubbing. Tell me, how ageing and disabled cubs would you think there would be?”

I’ve not the slightest idea. I was simply passing on an old claim from the hunting community about the selective effects of fox hunting.

If the total hunting kill is so small a percentage of the total annual kill of foxes as you claim, my inclination is to let them get on with it as a pretext for galloping around the countryside and because hunting provides a source of rural jobs.

I repeat, as a devoted urban dweller, I’ve never seen a fox hunr – where I live now, the traffic stops to allow foxes to pass safely across busy roads. But I have watched anglers in action in Yorkshire and that seemed atrociously cruel to me. In Yorkshire, hunting and riding are not regarded as upper social class preserves.

92. Robin Levett

@Bob B:

It’s amazing that you can note the socio/economic staus of those involved in foxhunting, and completely ignore that of those involved in rioting.

Stockbrokers don’t riot.

93. Derek Hattons Tailor

@43 But *how* has it improved ? What can you do now that you couldn’t 10-20 years ago ? The usual argument is some wooly crap involving the words “vibrant” and “enriched” but what does that mean in tangible terms ? I’m not saying it has or hasn’t but I genuinely cannot see how it has improved.
And if you are urban working class, particularly in London, you might feel that *everything* has changed and very quickly. Culture that evolves incrementally is easier to assimilate, in part because it matches demographic change. Mass migration in short time can be bewildering and alienating, surely that isn’t hard to grasp ?

@Derek Hattons Tailor (#92)

But *how* has it improved ? What can you do now that you couldn’t 10-20 years ago ? The usual argument is some wooly crap involving the words “vibrant” and “enriched” but what does that mean in tangible terms ?

The question wasn’t directed at me, but in my area (inner city Manchester), I can walk down the main shopping arcade without getting mugged or threatened.

I was frightened of doing so unaccompanied 18 years ago, because of how many times I’d been threatened or mugged.

I can go out without being genuinely worried that my home will be broken into.

It’s possible for me to get insurance now (insurance companies wouldn’t touch this postcode in the 90s…)

The local kids can play in the local park (many of them are brown which may disappoint some of you, but they’re usually playing cricket, which is pretty British); it was too full of drug dealers and hypodermics for me to be allowed in there on my own twenty years ago.

The shops that were boarded up when I was young are now businesses that, if not always thriving, aren’t run down (or shut down), which means I can actually go shopping near my home.

The streets that were full of drunken yobs fighting, shouting and stabbing each other after chucking out time are much quieter at night, even though there’s a pub 200yds away (presumably because Muslims don’t drink).

I’m not going to put all of that down to immigration – but it has coincided with a large influx of asian immigrants to this area.

Are those the sort of tangible improvements you were thinking of?

95. Chaise Guevara

@ 86 Soylent Dave

“Don’t go being too sensible on the internet, Chaise – it might catch on”

Heh. As the best character from one of my favourite films says: I have moments. I like your nom de plume, by the way.

96. Chaise Guevara

@ 87 damon

“I called you a bit of an ”Ultra” and you’ve shown it again in this thread asking what did immigration have to do with the riots.”

This gets better and better. I simply asked Bob to stop alluding obliquely to shit like he always bloody does and just say what he means. Apparently wanting to know what someone else means makes me an “ultra”.

What the hell does that term mean, anyway? Anything done by me? I’m wearing a cashmere jumper right now, does that make me a horrible old ultra? Am I ultrafied by the fag sitting in my mouth as I type? In short, what are the fucking rules?

“Do you not think that the people who rioted in Tottenham over the shooting of that guy had racial issues with the police and wider society because they were not white?”

Very possibly, and as you go on to say, that might have implications for immigration. But right now I have no opinions, because I’m waiting for Bob to grow a pair and actually say what he means for once, at which point I’ll know what I’m meant to be discussing. Say, why not go hassle him about that instead of whining at me?

Sweet Jesus. Bob B and damon. I’m about to be tag-teamed by the two greatest masters of indirect accusations.

97. Chaise Guevara

@ 90 Bob B

I don’t get it. Do you suffer from a medical condition where, if you come out and say what you mean, you break out in hives? This is the internet, dude, I don’t know who you are and hence I can’t slander your good name in whatever your local community is. Can’t you just grow up and explain yourself for once?

I’m getting (by implication, obviously, because that’s all you ever do) that you think there was a racial element to the riots. Maybe. But we were talking about immigration, not race, and despite my best efforts to get you back on-topic you’re currently making yourself look rather terrible by acting like they’re the same thing, stats from one transposable to the other.

Oh, and: the riots were nationwide? You’re joking. Show me the riots in Godalming. They happened mainly in London, and in a few other cities and big towns. Guess what? Ethic makeup in those places doesn’t reflect the entire country. Small towns and the countryside tend to be white. It’s rather noticeable if you’ve lived in market towns and major cities.

98. Chaise Guevara

@ 94 Soylent Dave

“The question wasn’t directed at me, but in my area (inner city Manchester), I can walk down the main shopping arcade without getting mugged or threatened.

I was frightened of doing so unaccompanied 18 years ago, because of how many times I’d been threatened or mugged.

I can go out without being genuinely worried that my home will be broken into.”

I live in suburban Manchester. My mum lived around here 30 years ago. Neither of us hail from here, but we’ve both spent many years in the city.

She tells me about cops who used to beat up people for being black, or for being students, or for being weird. They were scared of the police back then. When I mention which area of the city I’m thinking of moving to next, there’s a 50/50 chance of her telling me that I shouldn’t live there because she associates those areas with muggings and rape. Incidentally, my mum is extremely intelligent and grounded. She’s not getting all this from tabloids.

Worst thing that has happened to me here, in eight years, is losing my bike when I was dumb enough to leave it unsecured in my back garden. I walk around backstreets unconcerned, smiling at the people I pass.

So, yeah. Life in Manchester has improved beyond recognition over the last few decades. Don’t listen to certain ludicrously smug idiots getting philosophical on the internet. You couldn’t be more right. Don’t let uninformed morons tell you otherwise.

Life in Manchester noticeably improved over the four years I lived there (early 2000s, living around the Hulme/Old Trafford border). This coincided with significant migration of Indian Muslims into the area.

As I think Robin is implying above, the rioters were overwhelmingly young urban working-class men; to determine whether there’s a racial element at all would require a breakdown of those populations.

My guess based on the arrest data and the demographics of the relevant areas would be that white and black British young men were both overrepresented in the riots, with Asian British young men slightly underrepresented and non-British young men of all races significantly underrepresented.

It’d be interesting, but beyond the scope of a blog comments thread, to run the data to check that hypothesis.

92 Robin: “It’s amazing that you can note the socio/economic staus of those involved in foxhunting, and completely ignore that of those involved in rioting.”

In my experience, Yorkshire folk are insistent that hunting and horse riding don’t have the same social class associations as further south in England and those French guys out hunting, shown in that video clip, weren’t conspicuously upper crust. In the lively debate in Britain about hunting with dogs, much was made of the supposed association between hunting and toffs or the upper classes. As best I can judge, that connection was probably a fair one to make regarding Leicestershire or the South West region but it is not regarding Yorkshire.

I agree that stockbrokers are seldom observed rioting although that doesn’t seem to me to be an especially acute observation to make. Perhaps a more important and subtle point is that is that bankers have far more effective ways of gathering loot than rioting.

South Croydon may be unusually affluent but we do have a puzzle in understanding why there was little rioting in West and North London or Tooting, as compared with Tottenham and Croydon. One sad aspect of the rioting and looting along the road north of West Croydon railway station is that the looted shops there are mostly Asian owned.

Chaise: “I don’t get it. Do you suffer from a medical condition where, if you come out and say what you mean, you break out in hives? This is the internet, dude, I don’t know who you are and hence I can’t slander your good name in whatever your local community is. Can’t you just grow up and explain yourself for once?”

On the evidence, the problem of comprehension is yours, not mine.

102. Robin Levett

@Bob B #100:

In my experience, Yorkshire folk are insistent that hunting and horse riding don’t have the same social class associations as further south in England

Give me a break. Not everyone in Yorkshire is working class, however much some might like to pretend that is the case. I’ve beeen to a hunt meet in Yorkshire, and the horses weren’t being ridden by miners.

103. Chaise Guevara

@ 101 Bob B

“On the evidence, the problem of comprehension is yours, not mine.”

It’s almost sweet how you refuse to just say what you mean, for the third time of asking, yet still apparently think you can salvage some dignity out of the situation.

Please either grow up and state your case, or go away. I’m not going to bother to respond to your insults and non-sequiturs any more.

@1

“the PC brigade”.

And it was at that point my eyes glazed over. Rent a cliché strikes again.

105. Robin Levett

@Bob B #100:

South Croydon may be unusually affluent but we do have a puzzle in understanding why there was little rioting in West and North London or Tooting, as compared with Tottenham and Croydon

Do we? I think the puzzle is understanding why you are pontificating about these places without having the vaguest clue even about where they are, still less what they are like.

106. Valentine Smith

First point: A good and productive thread, minimum of ranting and well reasoned arguments from all sides. Main point as a UKIP honcho just getting the feeling that our stance on immigration is quickly becoming the one that most people in the UK are supporting, it really is a stance of ‘space not race.’

All we are asking for (which we cannot have while we are part of the EU) is control over our own borders. Just like Canada, USA, Aus, NZ, etc. Then we can assist as many refugees and immigrants as possible and make it work for the UK. And crucially not overburden the built environment, and keep a reasonable carbon emission status and help minimise energy use.

I am currently ashamed of being a Brit and was even more so during the New Labour years, inviting mass immigration but having no concern, for housing conditions, social services and proper jobs. Just using the worlds poor as an underpaid, unloved bottom layer of society.

Also every nation state plays by a set of cultural rules and new occupants do need to be sympathetic to this need and this includes UK migrants of course, (our behaviour in Tuscany and the Costa del Sol are not shining examples of good behaviour.

Only with proper control can we be fair to all sides.

Chaise Guevera

Life in Manchester has improved beyond recognition over the last few decades.

John B

Life in Manchester noticeably improved over the four years I lived there (early 2000s, living around the Hulme/Old Trafford border). This coincided with significant migration of Indian Muslims into the area.

It’s good to have my own experiences supported by those of people in other areas (even if the immigration part is coincidental, it’s nice to see Manchester as a whole improving)

Also worth pointing out that we’re all vulnerable to the same kind of prejudices – before I’d spent any real time in Moss Side, I still thought of it as a gun-riddled crimehole. When I got a job there, I discovered it was actually quite a lot like where I live (only with slightly more black people and slightly fewer asians).

It’s – bringing us back to the immigration poll – perception vs. reality.

Robin Levett:

I’ve beeen to a hunt meet in Yorkshire, and the horses weren’t being ridden by miners

I’m not going to contribute much to this one, but that really made me laugh. I think it’s the mental image.

108. Valentine Smith

‘I’ve beeen to a hunt meet in Yorkshire, and the horses weren’t being ridden by miners’

I can only summon the mental image of police horses shamefully being used to ride into miners

109. Chaise Guevara

@ 107 Soylent Dave

“Also worth pointing out that we’re all vulnerable to the same kind of prejudices – before I’d spent any real time in Moss Side, I still thought of it as a gun-riddled crimehole. When I got a job there, I discovered it was actually quite a lot like where I live (only with slightly more black people and slightly fewer asians).”

I had the same experience with Moss Side, and even more so with Brixton much more recently – I’d heard horror stories, then when I got there I was like “Oh, it’s like where I live, only bigger and nicer”. I guess it depends where you go.

110. Chaise Guevara

@ 106 Valentine

“All we are asking for (which we cannot have while we are part of the EU) is control over our own borders. Just like Canada, USA, Aus, NZ, etc. Then we can assist as many refugees and immigrants as possible and make it work for the UK.”

You say that, but while UKIP’s motives on immigration are a lot more reasonable than racism, you’re still courting the “immigration is bad” demographic, regardless of why that belief is held. So I find the idea of you guys helping as many immigrants as possible pretty unlikely, unless you mean helping them back onto the boat.

Soylent Dave @ 84:

“I think you’re showing a fundamental misunderstanding of how the data work.”

But data do not “work”: data are interpreted. Essentially, you are trying to spin an interpretation of the national data on convictions following the riots, because I suspect you fear the inflaming of passions if the data are not challenged. Though I can see that you are well intentioned, I think your approach is wrong, because, as I said @ 61, “If we want the benefits of immigration, we must be honest about the disbenefits.”

“non-whites’ aren’t a single, homogeneous group – so treating them as such is meaningless.”

But this is a straw man, because I’m not treating the convicted non-whites as a homogenous group. My point is that the non-white rioters belong to a group we might describe as non-indigenous residents. As such, even without taking into account the probably small group of white non-indigenous resident rioters, we can see that non-indigenous residents were vastly over-represented among the rioters. Prima facie, this is cause for concern. More research needed, of course; but trying to pretend that immigration and race have no bearing on the riots is wilful blindness.

“You don’t really just look at the world as “white people” and “others” do you?”

Occasionally, yes; but I use many other categories and sub-categories. Moving from the general to the particular is part of being rational. Also, I have to say that many ‘anti-racism’ campaigners have a tendency to treat non-whites as a homogenous group when it is to their advantage, as some feminists do with women.

SD @ 107:

“It’s good to have my own experiences supported by those of people in other areas (even if the immigration part is coincidental, it’s nice to see Manchester as a whole improving)

Also worth pointing out that we’re all vulnerable to the same kind of prejudices – before I’d spent any real time in Moss Side, I still thought of it as a gun-riddled crimehole. When I got a job there, I discovered it was actually quite a lot like where I live (only with slightly more black people and slightly fewer asians).”

But the improvement in Manchester means little when just about every city in the country has improved over the same period. Is the presence of the immigrants in an improving area cause or correlation? Perhaps the improvement has taken place despite the presence of immigrants? We just don’t know.

@TONE

Is the presence of the immigrants in an improving area cause or correlation? Perhaps the improvement has taken place despite the presence of immigrants?

But it does mean that the worst we can say is “immigrants aren’t damaging the area” and the best we can say is “immigrants are improving the area”.

The best being somewhere in-between.

My point is that the non-white rioters belong to a group we might describe as non-indigenous residents

We might, but we’d be wrong.

The rioters – of all colours – were overwhelmingly born in the UK, as we found out when they were brought to trial, and only 14% were foreign nationals (the majority of which were from within the EU, and so were probably white)

Unless you’re suggesting that ‘indigenous’ means something other than ‘born here’ in order to discount brown people but somehow magically include the Normans who arrived in the 11th Century and/or the Germans who arrived in the 5th century. Oh and the Vikings (8th century, just in the North though).

Oh and the Romans (Italians, Greeks, Egyptians, Carthaginians, Moors, Spaniards…) who arrived in 43 AD. They’re probably pretty indigenous as well (some of them might have been a little bit on the brown side though. Especially the African ones.)

Unless it’s just the Celts, who are indigenous – they arrived in the 5th Century BC. ‘Arrived’ meaning ‘from somewhere else’…. (France, in this case).

You could have this dialogue gar better in a pub or someone’s living room. It just doesn’t work on the internet I find. It would need some more focus and less distractions.

Has Manchester got better, has anyplace? Indeed maybe.
We have seen some areas gentrify …. Brixton has been one of these, and other places like Croydon have got far worse. Croydon College, where I went thirty years ago, is definitely worse than it was. For anti-social behavior and the street culture. They’ve even had the police turn up with knife arches from time to time.
And all these unpleasant people go around on South London’s buses, so you have to be aware who is getting on and what time it is travelling about in the Brixton-Croydon corridor.

Croydon also has a bit of a ”ghetto-vibe” to it. Just hang out there on the high street and see who’s in McDonald’s. Croydon always attracted shoppers, but the demographic has definitely changed to the more ”urban” and ”street culture”.
What goes on with changing demographics at particular locations and over time, is something that they study at Rutgers University in Philadelphia.
It’s based on a professor’s book called ”Code of the street. Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City”.
http://www.amazon.com/Code-Street-Decency-Violence-Moral/dp/0393320782

What’s changed or not in Manchester and London would probably be covered by that. But remember, I think this survey is also asking about MORE immigration. About people who don’t live in Britain yet. People like an Egyptian guy I was talking to the other day who said he wanted to go to England. And asked me how could he do it. It’s probably fair to say that a majority of Brits don’t want ever more and more new people arriving from places like North Africa and Afghanistan.
And that those who have arrived, have changed the strets in which they live into ”bedsitlands” to accommodate these new people. That’s a feature of places like West Croydon and Finsbury Park. All the bedsitland accommodation to house the new transient population. And the place becomes overrun with horrible kebab and chicken shops, with the workers living above the shops. It’s not a good look.

sd @ 112:

“But it does mean that the worst we can say is “immigrants aren’t damaging the area” …”

No, it doesn’t. Because you would need a comparison with other urban areas with and without immigrants before you could make such a claim. It could be that the improvements in Manchester are less than they would have been if the immigration had not happened. We don’t know.

“Unless you’re suggesting that ‘indigenous’ means something other than ‘born here’ in order to discount brown people…”

By non-indigenous residents I mean people (of all races) who (or whose family)arrived since WW2. This would include Ed Milliband or Sunny, though neither of those would riot.

“…but somehow magically include the Normans who arrived in the 11th Century and/or the Germans who arrived in the 5th century. Oh and the Vikings (8th century, just in the North though).”

This is no sleight of hand: the last major immigration before modern times was nearly a 1000 years ago! Your mentioning of the Normans etc is just the tedious “nation of immigrants” trope, and no nation that has been minimal immigration for nearly a thousand years can plausibly be compared to genuine nations of immigrants like the USA.

Over the last fifty and particularly the last 15 years, the UK has experienced unprecedented levels of immigration, often from cultures that have difficulty accommodating western liberal norms. We can either face honestly the problems that these people have brought/created – because most will be staying here – or we can try to pretend that the problems are non-existent or at least exaggerated.

Since non-whites and non-indigenous residents were a majority of convicted rioters, we need to look objectively at why this is the case, and devise appropriate policy prescriptions to reduce anti-social behaviour among the minority in those groups who are disgruntled and inadequately socialised.

CG @ 85:

Thanks, and you are right: there are two senses of ‘majority’ here.

On the one hand, there is ‘majority’ in the statistical sense of 50+%.

On the other hand, there is a vaguer use of ‘majority’ as a synonym for ‘most’ as in ‘She was elected because a majority voted for her’ – which, unless she got 50+% of the votes cast, means only that she got more votes than anyone else – or as in (as I’ve heard on the radio) ‘The majority of the rain will fall in the west country’.

Soylent Dave wants to use the vaguer, non-statistical sense when discussing race or immigration statistics…

115 Tone

I seriously doubt the analysis about Croydon in that Evening Standard article. The fact is that South Croydon is very affluent – recent official employment stats show an exceptionally high percentage of working age people in South Croydon as in employment.

The way I see it is that the middle classes are probably reluctant now to work in central Croydon – which has a huge complex of high-rise office buildings – and big companies, which had large offices in central Croydon, have become concerned about an image problem so these have moved out or are in the process of doing so. Another sign of the times is that, Allders, a major department store in central Croydon, has recently closed down. That means not only a loss of jobs but is a sign of a fall off in affluent customers as well as another reason for not visiting central Croydon.

Rail commuting servies from Croydon into central London and the City are excellent so middle class residents in South Croydon are probably commuting to work there. Lateral transport links to offices in neighbouring boroughs are also good. Btw I go into Croydon occasionally so I have an informed take on the situation. The rioting in Croydon last year has had many unforeseen consequences.

Maps of London in this recent article in The Economist show the distributions of immigrant settlement in London boroughs
http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21568396-britain-becoming-more-its-capital-city-london-effect

113: “Croydon also has a bit of a ‘ghetto-vibe’ to it.”

This video news report relates to a gang murder in North Croydon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkYAnLtAm40

119. Robin Levett

@Bob B #117:

The way I see it is that the middle classes are probably reluctant now to work in central Croydon – which has a huge complex of high-rise office buildings – and big companies, which had large offices in central Croydon, have become concerned about an image problem so these have moved out or are in the process of doing so. Another sign of the times is that, Allders, a major department store in central Croydon, has recently closed down. That means not only a loss of jobs but is a sign of a fall off in affluent customers as well as another reason for not visiting central Croydon.

Trust me, Bob; you’re wrong on almost every point here.

120. Chaise Guevara

@ 116 TONE

“Thanks, and you are right: there are two senses of ‘majority’ here.

[…]

Soylent Dave wants to use the vaguer, non-statistical sense when discussing race or immigration statistics…”

Like I say, I prefer and use your version. As far as I’m concerned it’s what the word means, and while I normally argue for usage-over-precedence when it comes to language, I kinda want to resist changes that lead to statistical confusion.

However, the other usage is common and presumably generally used honestly, and Soylent Dave strikes me as a decent sort of fellow thus far, so I’m not going to draw implications as to motives and so forth.

TONE

“You are right: there are two senses of ‘majority’ here.

On the one hand, there is ‘majority’ in the statistical sense of 50+%.

On the other hand, there is a vaguer use of ‘majority’ as a synonym for ‘most’

[…]Soylent Dave wants to use the vaguer, non-statistical sense

Er, both your examples mean the same thing, and are of the same definition.
Neither are what I was saying, but thanks for the misrepresentation.

The word ‘majority’ quite simply means ‘more than half’ (which, you will note, in terms of the statistics we were talking about, no single ethnic group in London occupies)

What I said was:

Not being bigger than all the other groups added together doesn’t make you a minority; that’s not how statistics of this nature work

A minority is a group which is smaller than the other groups in a data set.
White British Londoners are the single biggest ethnic group in London; they can’t be a minority. That’s not what the word means.

And the argument every other group added together is a majority is a nonsense argument: it’s a group of people who are a mix of brown, white, british and non-british.

It’s statistically meaningless in every conceivable way.

By non-indigenous residents I mean people (of all races) who (or whose family)arrived since WW2

Why draw the line there?

Why aren’t the immigrants who arrived on the Empire Windrush in 1948 (who, incidentally, responded to a targeted campaign aimed at recruiting foreign workers…) – or their children – indigenous, but the children of immigrants who arrived in the millennia before that are?

Or more pertinently, if my gran came here in 1942, I’m a British indigen. But if she came here in 1946, I’m not. Isn’t that a wee bit arbitrary?

What about people who can’t trace their ancestry back that far? What do we do with them? Do we compromise and deport them, but only as far as Guernsey?

his is no sleight of hand: the last major immigration before modern times was nearly a 1000 years ago!

That’s simply not true – I just stopped giving examples. There’s loads more history than just what I wrote though, look:

Here’s a partial list of only major immigration in the last 1000 years:

4th century onwards: Loads of Irish (now equivalent to 12% of Irish pop.)
1066: Normans occupy 95% of the South East. Do some other stuff too.
1204: Angevins x lots (it was ages ago, no-one did a headcount)
1326: ‘influx’ of Flemish weavers turns Manchester into textile producer
1670: Huguenot Protestants x 50,000 arrive, fleeing persecution & bringing silk
1760s: Africans x 15,000 living in London
1855: Indians x 40,000 living in Britain; arrival started 1790s
1861: Germans x 28,641 living in Britain, arrival started 1800.
1890: Indian population now 70,000; mostly seamen.
1911: German population reaches 53,000
1914: Russian Jews x 120,000 settle in Britain, fleeing persecution.

Truly immigration ground to a halt after the Normans got here…

(bear in mind the general population was much smaller too, so these are quite big influxes of people: e.g. the British population in the 18th century was 5 million; it’s 60 million now.)

119 Robin: “Trust me, Bob; you’re wrong on almost every point here.”

And I think you are wrong.

You might have the basic courtesy to explain why it is that you think I am mistaken before I conclude that you are intellectually incapable of doing so.

123. NoToriesPlease

UKIP/Tory/Other Hard-Right nutcases/loons like Harry Cole (Behind fake name like “Imran Khan”) are back again

Oh and Sunny i would like to know *How many* people were questioned/surveyed as the Census goes against this small moronic part of the public (possibly less then 12,000 people) they questioned.

124. NoToriesPlease

@cjcj: Likewise you can fuck off back to Israel and take your worthless tory family with you.

125. NoToriesPlease

@So Much for Subetly:

Stupid xenophobic (as well as inbreeding) tory crackpot, why not fuck off back the Mail?

126. NoToriesPlease

Seriously HOW MANY PEOPLE (as i doubt most of Britain unlike the Census) were surveyed?

127. Robin Levett

@Bob B #122:

You might have the basic courtesy to explain why it is that you think I am mistaken before I conclude that you are intellectually incapable of doing so

You just don’t know the area you are talking about; I do, I have lived and worked in South London for decades. Take the Allders in the Whitgift; it was one of the few remaining Allders stores that wasn’t sold immediately when the chain collapsed. It’s actually survived as long as it has precisely because it was one of the more popular branches. The idea that some kind of white flight (I’m sorry – “middle class flight” – you’re not talking about race, are you) is what has done for it is simply wrong; there’s a House of Fraser virtually opposite which is doing a roaring trade

No Tories Please

There are 197 constituencies in the political south. At the 2010 general election ten Labour MPs were returned in the south, 4 in the south west, 4 in the south east and 2 in the east of England. Labour has no MPs at all in Cornwall, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Sussex, Kent, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland, Warwickshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire or Herefordshire.

127 Robin

“You just don’t know the area you are talking about; I do, I have lived and worked in South London for decades.”

I’ve also lived and worked in London for decades. You don’t know what you are talking about. You are in denial of the evidence.

Since the late 1980s, I’ve lived a few hundred metres from the border with Croydon and used to shop in Croydon very often – every few days and at least every week. But I don’t do that now. Croydon looks and feels like an alien place. As John Cleese is saying: London is no longer an English city. The rioting in central Croydon last year was a couple of miles from where I live. The buses I take to go into central Croydon are routed past the Reeves furniture store which was burned down in the riots. Neighbouring shops with flats above are still boarded up as I saw a couple of days ago.

The House of Fraser in Croydon is likely doing well because Allders has closed. There used to be a large John Lewis store in Croydon (Platts) but that closed in the early 1990s. Nestles is reported to be closing its Croydon offices soon and moving out. AIG has gone. Lloyds Bank closed down its big office near the East Croydon railway station.

The gangs and gang fights in north Croydon are notorious
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqkJeJCtXhw

SD @ 121:

“It’s statistically meaningless in every conceivable way.”

No, it is not. Nothing I’ve done above with the statistics is in any way wrong statistically or meaningless. Rather, you are letting your value-judgements intrude, because you don’t like the fact that the perfectly rational categories that I am applying to the statistics challenge your preconceptions.

And to return to where we started, nothing you have said justifies johnb’s claim @ 53 that “the people rioting were thoroughly equal-opportunities and majority white-British”. Remember, you said this claim held up, and you supported it by using a vague sense of ‘majority’ that has no place in statistical analysis.

“Here’s a partial list of only major immigration in the last 1000 years:

4th century onwards: Loads of Irish (now equivalent to 12% of Irish pop.)
1066: Normans occupy 95% of the South East. Do some other stuff too.
1204: Angevins x lots (it was ages ago, no-one did a headcount)
1326: ‘influx’ of Flemish weavers turns Manchester into textile producer
1670: Huguenot Protestants x 50,000 arrive, fleeing persecution & bringing silk
1760s: Africans x 15,000 living in London
1855: Indians x 40,000 living in Britain; arrival started 1790s
1861: Germans x 28,641 living in Britain, arrival started 1800.
1890: Indian population now 70,000; mostly seamen.
1911: German population reaches 53,000
1914: Russian Jews x 120,000 settle in Britain, fleeing persecution.”

This, above, is feeble stuff, as, after the Normans, nothing you mention would consitute a “major” immigration. The Angevins were a noble Frankish clan and the numbers involved were probably tiny. Flemish weavers and Huguenots were again tiny percentages of the existing population – less than 1%. 15000 Africans (if accurate) living in 1760s London with over a million inhabitants is less than 1.5% of the city’s population…

Compare that with – very roughly – c550,000 immigrants arriving each year over the last 10-15 years with c.300,000 departing each year, giving a net immigration figure of 200,000-250,000 pa. Yes, the population is much higher, but so is the population density in this small island, which magnifies the impact. And since this is a net figure, it minimises the cultural impact.

It is not rare to take WW2 as a watershed in the history of immigration. Certainly, mass immigration into the UK/GB dates from about then.

“What about people who can’t trace their ancestry back that far? What do we do with them? Do we compromise and deport them, but only as far as Guernsey?”

And now you are, inflamed with self-righteousness, suggesting that I wish to deport such people. I have already explicitly denied that; and I have also acknowledged that immigration brings socio-economic benefits as well disbenefits. While you seem to want to ignore the disbenefits, I would like them to be studied.

Bob B. I am quite aware of the murder of Shakilus Townsend. I even visited the spot just to see where exactly it was. I used to take the 68 bus to school during the 1970s so am quite familiar with Thornton Heath. It can not be denied that the northern part of croydon ”got rougher”. It even used to have a Tory MP.
Nowadays it’s a place where the Respect Party stand someone like Lee Jasper a candidate. According to Jasper’s campaign literature, ”local unemployment amongst black male youth stands at 56 per cent.”
That’s pretty flipping amazing as a figure.
Maybe Brits have realised that getting in cheap workers from the West Indies might have been a bit of a false ecomomy, as their children and grandchildren have struggled.

As for the little street gang who committed that murder, this is them: the Shine My Nine posse.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fjql5Qjd47I

Now Chaise might come along and say ”but what’s that got to do with immigration?” – ignoring the obvious connection.

I also thought that article about Croydon losing it’s middle class workers was odd, as of course there will have been middle class flight from north Croydon, and people like my elderly mum may no longer like to go shopping there as it’s become ”lower class”. But workers commute, and East Croydon is a very busy railway station.

132. Robin Levett

@Bob B #129:

Since the late 1980s, I’ve lived a few hundred metres from the border with Croydon and used to shop in Croydon very often – every few days and at least every week. But I don’t do that now

I live a bit further away – but I accept that I don’t go into Croydon weekly, and tend to go beyond, to Purley Way.

Having said that; Croydon does not, to me, “feel like an alien place”, and I profoundly disagree with John Cleese’s observation from thousands of miles away.

The House of Fraser in Croydon has always done well. Westfield’s proposed redevlopment of the Whitgift will pull John Lewis back in (and they’ve got a decent size store on Purley Way, the other end of the flyover).

Nestlé is moving to Gatwick because it couldn’t redevelop the Nestlé building or find alternative premises. Its primary option therefore was to remain in Croydon.

AIG is/was £85bn in debt to the US Government – it was selling valuable property – which Croydon would not be if, as you claimed, “big companies, which had large offices in central Croydon, have become concerned about an image problem so these have moved out or are in the process of doing so”. In fact, they’re still in both the threepeny-bit tower and the AIG building (now the Chartis Building).

Damon

A couple of months back, after doing my regular grocery shopping I was waiting at the terminus in Sutton of the bus I need to get back home near the Sutton border with Croydon. The other terminus of that bus service is in Purley, South Croydon, were Bernard Ingham, Mrs T’s press officer, lives (I’ve seen him there when shopping in Purley) as well as previous civil service colleagues. A Caribbean lady of pensionable age joined me at the bus stop and asked for travel advice on getting to Croydon.

Ever helpful, I mentioned that the M&S store in central Croydon was much bigger than the M&S store on Sutton high street. In the course of a conversation, it turned out that she lived in Purley and didn’t like shopping in central Croydon, which is why she had been clothes shopping in Sutton town centre.

I had long thought of central Croydon as a bigger and better shopping centre than Sutton, partly because the population of Croydon borough is around twice that of Sutton. But I tend to avoid going into Croydon nowadays because of the gangs and murders. I vividly recall going shopping in Croydon on a Saturday in the late 1990s and getting off the bus near West Croydon railway statation to find the main road going north towards Croydon hospital all taped off by the police. I asked some passing pedestrians as to what was going on. Two black guys had been shot dead in a club opposite the station.

Btw a puzzle I have about the gang murder of Shakilus Townsend is about why, seriously wounded, he was taken all the way to St George’s Hospital in Tooting and not to the nearby Croydon Hospital. I suspect a decision at the time that he would be safer in Tooting, which, like South Croydon (including Purley), is also among the top most affluent 100 Parliamentary constituencies in England. The residents of Tooting are also multiethnic but overwhelmingly Asian – mainly Gujartis, I’ve been told. There was little manifestation of rioting there last year. I visit Tooting as my son lives there when he gets back to Britain.

Robin – I was born in Lambeth, south London before WW2 and grew up in Clapham during WW2 before going off to uni and jobs in Scotland, the East Midlands and Yorkshire before returning to London in the late 1980s. It was my original hope to get my son into a secondary school in south Croydon which had been selected as a pioneering school in IT education.

Several separate inquiries with the Croydon borough education department, then part of the Inner-London Education Authority, made it crystal clear that there were no steps I could take to ensure that my son could attend the school I preferred. That is how he came to go to a selective maintained boys school in Sutton down the road from where I live now. He had to pass the entry exam but only learned of that fate a couple of hundred metres before getting there. The unintended switch in schooling turned out to be extremely fortunate for his subsequent education – it has emerged from the refining of the schools league table in recent years that the school achieves better average A-level results than Eton.

With that background, I am able to see and compare the changes in south London since the 1940s and 1950s. When I was a boy, Duncan Sandys, Churchill’s son-in-law, was the MP for Streatham. Clapham was downbeat in comparison. The theatre in Streatham high street used to run plays prior to or after their West End run. I saw: Look Back in Anger, which signalled the new wave in drama, there in 1957. That theatre is now a bingo hall.

Ha ha bob b, maybe you’re just too old and have too much perspective of passing time. I can just about remember the department store called Pratt’s in Streatham.
Remembering a theatre showing plays like Look Back in Anger is basicly a time warp back to somewhere that doesn’t exist anymore. It would be fun to take those street rapper urban kids to such a play. It would go a mile over their heads. They’d probably be asking ”Is this in England?”

I agree about Sutton. My mum who was mad for the Croydon shops thirty yeras ago, switched to Bromley.
But there’s not much chance of you finding trouble by just going to Croydon. You might see some, but it’s not likely to be directed towards you.

Going out to work on my bicycle like I used to do at 4am sometimes, and cycling from Streatham to Purley Way could be a bit dodgy sometimes I felt, as you were going past all those people who only go out at night and don’t get up in the day time.
The best defence I thought, was to look like the factory worker or truck driver I was. Wearing overalls and a high-vis vest. That way you just look like one of those ”chumps” who work for small wages and isn’t worth bothering with.

Society would have changed anyway, as have places where there hasn’t been mass immigration. We don’t need theatres in places like Streatham anymore as we’ve all got TVs and computers.

As for the hospital Shakilus Townsend was sent to, security could have been an issue. The last thing hospitals want is big groups of friends and rivals turning up when someone is injured in gang violence.

Damon

Because of ageing, in the last eight years I’ve had more experience of hospitals than I would have wished for. But if ever I feel sorry for myself, I only have to reflect on the more challening experiences of friends and people I know of a similar age – cardiac and eye ops as well as hip replacement ops, stroke treatments, angiograms, colonoscopies, warfarin clinics, x-ray therapy, MRI brain scans, and cortisone injections. Inevitably I suppose, conversations tend to lapse into the latest healthcare issues and experiences, which tend to govern older lives.

I was surprised to learn of a consensus about who make the best nurses – Filipinos, of whom there are many in local NHS and private hospitals. One reason is that native-born young white women in these times can more easily find other employment at better pay and without the hours that nurses have to put it – those 12 hour shifts. In times long gone, a nursing career was regarded as a challenging opportunity for girl school leavers and the London teaching hospitals could insist on demanding entry requirements.

I don’t have private healthcare insurance but some friends, with more forethought, do. One result is that they have a wider experience of healthcare services and of hospitals. There is also a surprising consensus about who make the worst nurses. But I dare not post that for fear of being dismissed as ‘racist’.

This conversation has wandered somewhat since my first post so let me try to pull it together and make some sense of it.

It is interesting that Sunny Hundal has made, as far as I can see, no further contribution to the debate but that is par for the course with the gentleman as it is with the Guardian’s Comment is Free when there will sometimes be as many as several hundred comments totally disagreeing, and that is putting it politely, with a particular article usually about race or immigration.

Like other non white people in what I call the Race Relations Industry Mr Hundal sees himself and other what he calls brown people as being under attack from some racist conspiracy or other the details of which we are never given.

The idea, as in this instance, that the sincerely held beliefs of a majority of the population of the UK might be at variance with those of Mr Hundal but still legitimate and held for the best possible empirical reasons he simply cannot get his head around.

There is a section of the left, and by that I mean the far/loony/cranky left that the public have continually rejected at the ballot box, and of non white communities like Mr Hundal, Simon Woolley, the late and unlamented CRE as well the current Institute of Race Relations who label any debate on immigration as the thin end of a very large fascist wedge.

Unless there is total opposition to any restrictions then the black shirted hoards will be marching through Southall and down Brick Lane before you can say Oswald Mosely. They are of course totally out of sync with not just the bulk of the white population but also the majority of those who could be classed as immigrants.

What is done is to take success stories like my own family and thousands of others and then say that, well they have benefited and enriched the country therefore all immigrants do. There is no truth whatsoever in this equation which is basically a lie.

First of all when does one stop being an immigrant? I am second generation and my new grand children fourth. We have worked hard and prospered and have nothing in common with the Albanian and Macedonian rough sleepers that can be seen at seven AM any morning outside any of the large builders outlets such as Wickes or the other large DIY chains looking for a day’s work from, very often, Polish builders.

There was also no solidarity between between the African Caribbeans who rioted in Lozells in Birmingham in 2006 and attacked and destroyed Asian businesses. The reason given was that an African girl had been kidnapped and raped by Asians. She never existed and the real reason was that West Indians, as my father called them, have been bypassed by other more recent groups economically which also was the real reason for last years riots.

It is not only wrong it is dishonest for the extreme left and their cheerleaders in the Race Industry to equate a skilled Phillipino nurse with a Somali refugee who can’t and probably never will speak English or have a job. They are totally different, one has skills that we need and the other will be a continual drain on our resources.

Anyone with any contacts in the Asian sub continent knows that substantial sections of the population want to be in either the US or Europe, millions of people would mortgage the family land for the price of an air ticket. Given open borders we would be swamped within a few weeks, no ifs no buts.

The figures for assumed immigration from Eastern Europe were in the tens of thousands not the hundreds that arrived and still are. It drives me mad when I see some self appointed race industry spokesperson who is usually a species of Trotskyist as well pontificating on how our cultures have been enriched by immigration when in the schools of the London Borough of Newham teachers are struggling to teach English to recently arrived immigrant children so that they can teach them some other subject.

Some immigration is good as I have outlined, most of it has not been. The protagonists of unrestricted immigration are delusional self hating whites and the self appointed leaders of ethnic minority communities.

As to the riots, the death of Duggan, who had a gun in the car without any shadow of a doubt, was an excuse for the looting of expensive designer goods. I don’t know of any instances of food shops being looted by the starving oppressed masses of various parts of the country. Does anyone disagree with that.

Were young people of African Caribbean descent disproportionately represented in the riots? Yes, all of the reports show that never mind the CCTV footage. Why? Because they are caught up in a totally false culture largely imported from the US but with its origins in Jamaica of living off crime and drugs.

The ideal is a bling lifestyle with a succession of children by several mothers between whom the father drives in the latest Merc or BMW doing drug deal the while. This life is promoted by the movies and record labels. A culture of work is for mugs has thoroughly permeated a whole strata of that community and is now infecting others.

Until the liberals who apologise for this criminal life style and blame the riots on everything but simple greed get real we are going to hell in a handcart.

I think you overdid it there a bit Imran Khan.
”To hell in a handcart” is a Richard Litlejohn saying.

Some people take their idea of multiculturalism and diversity from what you can see on tube in central London during rush hour. It looks like the United Nations and everyone’s going places and looks perfectly integrated and all is well.

They tend to overlook the Mark Duggan’s of places like Tottenham and the persistent problems with parts of communities. The huge unemployment on estates like Broadwater Farm after all these years for example.
Who is to blame for that? Polish people seem to be able to find jobs.

I think people should just admit that there are failings that can’t be put right easily, and enough people will see ongoing migration from places like Congo or West Africa, adding to the problems of places like Tottenham and Camberwell.

Maybe a ”problem” with the public is that Channel 4 will do short stories about young lads like this guy from Hackney who arrived in England as a young child from Congo and got caught up in the gang culture here.

If you’ve never read this, you should. I’ve posted it before.
http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/dispatches/i4i%2baj%2bnakasila%2bbiography/1394447.html

137

Why are you quoting gang culture in the context of immigrants, the Krays were hardly an extension of the Boy Scouts. Gangs have been around for hundreds of years, the term ‘gang’ is probably modern. The 19th century saw a massive growth of children street gangs, the only fiction about Oliver Twist was Fagin. Sheffield in the 1920s was known as ‘little Chicago’. Gangs are about poverty and class not race.

The Krays weren’t the only notorious London gang. There was the Richardson gang as well. And, more recently, the Bestwood Army in Nottingham. This Telegraph news report has a brief survey of some of the notorious gangs:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8301601/Britains-most-notorious-gangs.html

In June 2010, the Telegraph had a news report on: “Violent inner-city crime, the figures and a question of race”, which included this passage:

Just over 12 per cent of London’s 7.5 million population is black, including those of mixed black and white parentage, while 69 per cent is white, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The police figures also show that black men are twice as likely to be victims. They made up 29 per cent of the male victims of gun crime and 24 per cent of the male victims of knife crime.

The Met declined to comment on the statistics. However, some officers will see them as a justification for Operation Trident, a unit targeting black-on-black murder and violent crime.

Others will see it as justification for targeting a disproportionate number of black men under stop and search powers. Figures released annually have shown black people are at least six times more likely to be stopped and searched than their white counterparts.

On sex offences, black men made up 32 per cent of male suspects proceeded against, and white men 49 per cent.

The statistics also suggest that black women are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime committed by females.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/7856787/Violent-inner-city-crime-the-figures-and-a-question-of-race.html

Steveb, that reply of yours is really really poor.
It becomes a race problem when people of particular races are more likely to be in gangs.
Because they are more likely to be poor is one reason.

Sometimes I wonder what kind of bubble people go around in.

Defend multiculturalism and migration by all means, but lets not pretend that ”post code” gangs in London are not almost entirely BME based. I posted a youtube of my local Croydon posse the Shine My Nine crew. They’re all back. Why?

What have the ”Woolwich Boys” got in common?
The ”gang” was founded by Somali youths in Woolwich for protection from attack by other post code gangs.
This is what they look like now. Please give it at least one minute of your time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDbB_Pey0TQ

They are from the still quite new British African community.

What do you think ‘gang culture’ is, folks?

What do you think a ‘gang’ is (in Britain, at least)?

It’s a group of kids (or teenagers) who grew up together, often went to school together and are sometimes related.

It’s not some sort of organised militia with initiation rituals and a secret handshake.

It’s a group of kids from the same area, who are more likely to be a majority of one ethnicity or another because that’s how kids (and adults) are more likely to make friends (which is itself partly due to housing).

Groups of teenagers (whether up to no good or not) can certainly be intimidating and downright frightening, but they’re hardly an organised criminal fraternity (which is the illusion some seem to be operating under).

139 Damon

Believe me I live in no bubble and what is poor is the attempt to associate a particular race with gangs, even a quick look on wiki will show you that gangs are ancient and from diverse nationalities. The only thing that gangs have in common is poverty and they usually belong to the lower classes. Perhaps the exception is banditry in Mexico, basically gangs paid by the upper-classes to control the lower class. The KKK weren’t particularly lower class but they had quite a few working-class members, no black faces there.

Are the Woolwich Boys worse than the gangs in 1930s Chicago, New York and even Sheffield and what about the drive-by shootings in 1950s L.A. by white gangs against black people.

Your approach is as daft as me trying to assert that the name ‘Damon’ is associated with being a murderer on the basis that Damon Matthews shot a man dead in Texas in 2003.

There have been and are many different kinds of gangs.

The Krays weren’t the only notorious London gang. There was the Richardson gang as well. And, more recently, Colin Gunn and Bestwood Army in Nottingham. The Croxteth Crew in Liverpool were implicated in the shooting of 11 year-old Rhys Jones and the subsequent protection of his killer.

But as Diane Abbott has posted: “Sadly 80 per cent of gun crime in London is ‘black on black’, often involving boys in their teens.”
http://www.dianeabbott.org.uk/campaigns/crime.aspx

For an illuminating documentary on the history of gangs in America showing why and how gangs develop try:

Discovery Uncovering the real Gangs of New York Part 1 of 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idp7fLSo-nE

142

I am not denying that there are black gangs in the UK or indeed, the USA for that matter. What I am addressing is the inference that certain races can be categorized as prone to forming gangs because it can be shown that there are gangs which are a particular race/nationality.

146. Derek Hattons Tailor

As I’ve probably said before, the problem is that people tend to generalise from their own experience. A middle class self styled progressive urbanite will see the black lawyer living over the road, the Asian accountant at work, the Indian restaurant owner picking his kids up at the school gate, the Polish plumber fixing his boiler, and think all migrants are benefiting the economy and “enriching” (whatever that actually means) the community.
Which is the logical equivalent of concluding that all white men are rich, powerful and privileged from looking at a picture of the current cabinet.
It’s the same psychology as the racist who, seeing a black man commit a crime, concludes that all black men are criminals.
That is bad enough, but then we have the fundamantalist notion that the left have to set the terms of the debate (i.e. censor it), and refuse to engage with any individual or group which in any way criticises any aspect of migration.
The logic seems to be that to engage is to legitimise – as though genuine fascists need or expect to be legitimised by the hard left. It’s like me thinking that if I use the NHS I am legitimising socialism and will instantly be sucked into some sort of Orwellian super state.
Migration obviously has some benefits and some drawbacks. The debate should be how to maximise the former and minimise the latter

144

“I am not denying that there are black gangs in the UK or indeed, the USA for that matter.”

Mention of the Richardson gang in London and the Croxteth Crew in Liverpool or 19th century New York gangs show that gangs are not ethnic specific. Nor are “cults” like the People’s Temple in Guyana which led to that tragic mass suicide in November 1978.

IMO it’s much more illuminating to look into the conditions which lead to the formation of gangs, what sustains gangs and the commonly found characteristics and behaviour of gangs and cults.

Of course, professional people don’t engage in gangs. They have professional associations instead, like the BMA, the Police Federation, the Law Society, the NUT and the Association of First Division Civil Servants. As GBS wrote, professions are conspiracies against the laity.

OTOH the wucking classes have trade unions, like the NUM, ASLEF and Unite.

For more insights about gangs, try this about prison gangs in Santa Rita Prison, Oakland, Califormia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-aYqGMeWfk

Oakland is just across the Bay from San Francisco, which has a flower-power social ethic. The City of San Francisco has just found it necessary to ban public nudity because of increasing public complaints about nudists roaming the streets and open spaces.

Bob B @ 146:

“As GBS wrote, professions are conspiracies against the laity.”

Though Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations made much the same point more elegantly than Shaw:

“”People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

Tone

Thanks for that quote from Adam Smith, which I knew about. Readers can find it via this reference: The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book 1, Chapter 10 or p.111 in this link:
http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/adam-smith/Wealth-Nations.pdf

That and another passage from the Wealth of Nations show that Smith understood fairly clearly the notions of market failure and why state interventions could be necessary to get markets to deliver outcomes closer to social optima. The other quote I have in mind is this:

“The third and last duty of the sovereign or commonwealth is that of erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which, though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain.”
The Wealth of Nations (1776), Book 5, Chapter 1, Part III or p.590 in the above link.

It’s rather extraodinary IMO that you can go into a university bookshop in most countries and find a copy of Smith’s Wealth of Nations there on the shelves in the economics section. When Sir Keith Joseph, as Mrs T’s first industry minister in 1979, took up his desk in his ministerial office, he circulated a reading list to the senior civil servants in his ministry. The list included Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Some were outraged: What conceivable use could a book published in 1776 be in the final quarter of the 20th century?

151. Robin Levett

@ Bob B #133@

You’ve got about 20 years on me; but I’ve lived successively in two places in Bromley/Beckenham since 1982.

@ damon #134:

My mum who was mad for the Croydon shops thirty yeras ago, switched to Bromley.

I’d suggest she change back. Allders has gone (its now a Primark); House of Fraser has gone (it’s now a TK-Maxx); the Debenhams is the only real department store left, and that’s moved into the Glades. Even Littlewoods has gone.

The C&A half-way down the High Street has gone, and (although you might not believe this) the site has gone downmarket – it’s now a 99p store.

The High Street north of Market Square is locally known as ASBO Alley, for pretty good reason.

Bromley did have a riot; well, I say a riot – they put the windows in of Richer Sounds and Sevenoaks Sound & Vision on East Street.

It is though fair to say that the problems at that end of town are scarcely, if at all, BME in origin, so presumably that doesn’t count?

Similarly, the Eltham riot doesn’t get mentioned very often – but it happened; and, again, wasn’t BME in origin, but involved white “vigilantes” who went there, got tanked and started fights with the police.

Robin

Stepham Lawrence was murdered in Eltham in 1993 by racist thugs.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16315568

I lived very near Eltham for two years in the mid 1980s before moving to Sutton and installing my family here.

Bromley is very Conservative but I rather liked the late Eric Forth, the MP for Bromley, from the few dealings I had with him as a minister. He was an absolutely straight forward sort of guy but sharp and witty; we had both served time at Glasgow University in different capacities. Adam Smith had been the professor of moral philospophy there in the 18th century during the Scottish enlightenment although the Scots have largely disowned him nowadays.

Smith was a philosophy professor before the recognition of political economy as a separate discipline but he is regarded by many as the ultimate founder of the subject. In those times, there were four ancient universities in Scotland and only two in England and Wales. As a young child Adam Smith was abducted by a band of travelling gypsies but found and recovered, which is an interesting topic for “What if” speculation. Pitt, Britain’s PM 1783-1801 and 1804-06 at the beginning of Britain’s pioneering industrialisation through laissez-faire, was much influenced by Smith.

steveb,(sigh). I did say the internet was useless for this kind of discussion.

even a quick look on wiki will show you that gangs are ancient and from diverse nationalities.

Yes, gangs are ancient and we’ve had all sorts in Britain down the ages. The Glasgow ones have been some of the worst. And Teddy Boys and all the rest.
But that’s hardly the point. In 2007, nine of the 27 teenagers killed in London in gun and knife crime were of Congolese origin. I heard one of the mothers of one of them on Dotun Adebayo’s BBC London radio programme and that’s what they were saying.
Nearly all the perpetrators of those murders were black. Do the sums, taking black and then African percentages of population.

So it’s no good comparing it to The Gangs of New York movie and say that’s how it’s always been, because it hasn’t.
There is that figure of 57% (or thereabouts) unemployment of black young men in some areas. You can’t just shrug or put it all down to white racism.
But even if you do, if we are such a racist society, it might be stupid that we allowed so many poor people from Africa and Asia to come and live in the UK.
Now personally I don’t think we are THAT racist as a country. But we don’t seem to be able to tackle things like this. Broadwater Farm still has major problems three decades after the Tottenham riots that killed the policeman.

I also accept that not all ”gangs” are criminal outfits and may be just the youngsters from the area, but there’s no need to be a total head in the sand wimp about it either. The police have a really tough job in policing these young people, and they get slagged off whatever they do. Go too proactively and they get accused of racist harassment … and be too easy going when black young people are being killed, and they get accused of not caring about black lives.

I remember Railton Road in Brixton in the early 1980s, as I used to cut through that way home from work. It was called ”The Frontline” as it was a bit of a no-go area for the police and there was usually a crowd of black men standing around outside the off licence. It must have been one of the hardest policing divisions in the whole of western Europe.
Where would have been harder than Lambeth?
Some of it was the police’s doing, and some of it wasn’t their fault. A lot of Caribbean men particularly, had kind of ”dropped out” in places like Brixton and resented being policed anyway at all.

Anyway, that’s maybe for another day.

btw, on Eltham Robin Levett, are you not perhaps spinning that a little? In Eltham white ”geezers” did show up in a vigilante kind of way … and the police treated them like the EDL, which is almost bound to result in confrontation.

I’m not saying some police weren’t needed there, as who knows what an excitable crowd might do. Some threw some stones or something at some black people on a passing bus I think …. but the police always overreact to such spontaneous events like that.
When you kettle people, you will always get some kicking back in frustration.

Damon: “So it’s no good comparing it to The Gangs of New York movie and say that’s how it’s always been, because it hasn’t.”

Scorsese’s movie is fictional although inspired by a piece of New York history. Try instead the 4 part TV documentary from the Discovery channel: The Real Gangs of New York, as linked @144.

Those 19th century gangs in New York around the time of the Civil War weren’t black – but Anglo-Saxon American gangs versus Irish immigrant gangs located in the Five Points slum land which eventually became Manhattan. Blacks became victims as escaped or liberated slaves were seen as competing for work at the bottom end of the labour market and lynched.

By changing the context, we can understand better how social pressures promote the formation of gangs. Some modes of gang behaviour continue virtually unchanged through time and place with different ethnic groups.

Try also the documentaries on YouTube about current gangs in Chicago.

156. Robin Levett

@damon #154:

btw, on Eltham Robin Levett, are you not perhaps spinning that a little? In Eltham white ”geezers” did show up in a vigilante kind of way … and the police treated them like the EDL, which is almost bound to result in confrontation.

Well, since they were EDL and/or EDL organised…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8692872/London-riots-far-right-political-party-protect-Eltham-residents.html

Choice quote:

Jack England, EDL’s south-east regional organiser, claimed that the people on the streets were “patriots” and not vigilantes.

He said: “The police are unable to control the streets. Today, these are local people, not EDL, these are patriots who have come out to defend their area.

“So the EDL has come down, about 50 of us, to manage them and control them and to sort of guide them to make sure they don’t move out of order.”

They turned up for a drink and a ruck, with the opportunity to claim to be “patriots”. They’ve read about the SA, but haven’t quite got the script right – they’re supposed to wait until they’re attacked, rather thantakkgn the initative:

As the number of people swelled, the mood became increasingly violent as suspected looters were chased and set upon.

In one incident, a mob attacked a bus passing through the high street after black youths, seated on the upper deck, gestured through the window.

Presumably “suspected looters” translates as “loitering whilst black”.

Try this BBC report on Boxing Day on fox hunting in France:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20704312

It seems there are no popular lobbies in France out to stop the hunting.

153

Your post is hardly worth replying to, but just to point-out that I never mentioned racism, I stated that is was mainly class which is associated with gangs. You, it appears, feels that despite the current and historical evidence, that there is some correlation/causality between a particular race and gangs.

Your comment about this being a difficult topic to debate appears to be determined by your lack of ability to read what people have actually written. Nobody mentioned the film ‘Gangs of New York’.

The issue isn’t that people have these views it’s more that they’re almost constantly having stories of immigrants stealing their jobs/robbing/killing/on benefits rammed down their throats by right wing politicians and media. There’s almost no other viewpoint that gets expressed. Personally I think so what, it hasn’t damaged the country in the way the financial system has.


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