Saturday 4 December 2010

You Will Become A Minority

Special report: Will the white British population be in a minority in 2066?

By James Slack
Last updated at 1:02 AM on 4th December 2010

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When future historians consider the most significant legacy of 13 years of New ­Labour rule, what will they decide upon?

Chapter upon chapter will focus on the spending binge and subsequent debt crisis. Likewise, much will be written on the weakening of this country’s moral authority in the world, caused by the last government’s shameful complicity in torture, and military misadventure in Iraq.

But, in an article for this month’s left-of-centre Prospect magazine, the Oxford University academic Professor David Coleman indicates the longest-lasting impact on society may well be something else: the demographic upheaval brought about by the policy of mass immigration.
Whitechapel High Street. One of the most multicultural areas in London

Whitechapel High Street. One of the most multicultural areas in London

To quote Prof Coleman, an expert in population change, ‘the inflows of the last decade’ — which took place with no debate, or public mandate — ‘have been more sudden and on a bigger scale than ever before’.

And if they continue on a similar scale, he says ‘they will transform the demography of this country’ to the extent that, in the lifetime of a young person alive today, the ‘white British population’ will become a minority group.

It is a startling, controversial assertion — but so are the figures on which Prof Coleman bases his claim.


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At this point it should be stressed that the professor, a government adviser who is one of Britain’s foremost experts on demographics, is hugely respected for his academic ­rigour and for the avoidance of ­emotion and prejudice in his work.

As recently as 1998, he points out, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) projected that the UK population would peak at about 65 million in 2051, and then slowly decline.

Yet the latest projection — revised by the ONS in 2008 to take into account the unprecedented levels of net migration under Labour— expected Britain’s population to rise to 77 million by 2051, and to 85 million by 2083.

To put this in simple terms, it is the equivalent to adding the population of the Netherlands to the UK by 2050.

Moreover, if Britain continues along current trends, with net immigration staying at its long-term level of around 180,000 a year, the make-up of the country will change dramatically.

The white British-born ­population — defined by Prof Coleman as white English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish-born citizens — would decline from 80 per cent of the total now to 59 per cent in 2051.

Further into the future, and also taking into account factors such as changing birth and death rates, the ‘white British population’ would become the minority after about 2066.
Many observers will question the definition of 'white British' or consider it anachronistic or irrelevant. If you are British, it really does not matter what colour or race you are

Britain will become — as Prospect magazine’s headline puts it — a ‘majority minority’ country.

‘Majority minority’ is a phrase designed to encapsulate the fact that groups traditionally viewed as being in the minority will, when combined, become the majority.

This is something that has already happened in two London boroughs (Tower Hamlets and Newham), with six more local council areas projected to join them by 2031, according to the Greater London Authority.

Many observers will question the definition of ‘white British’, or consider it anachronistic or irrelevant. If you are British, it really does not matter what colour or race you are.

However, it is the official classification used by academics to gauge the pace of change, and the impact which immigration is having on society.

And, as a YouGov opinion poll revealed this week, it is also something that appears deeply to concern the British public.

Asked what their opinion would be, should Prof Coleman’s projection about the make-up of Britain post-2066 prove accurate, 73 per cent of the public said they would feel ‘unhappy’.

Some 85 per cent of Tory ­voters hold this view. Interestingly, so do 67 per cent of Labour supporters and 55 per cent of Lib Dems — the two parties widely considered to promote open-door immigration policies.
Worry: There is concern that white Britons will be a minority by 2066 if immigration continues at the current rate

Worry: There is concern that white Britons will be a minority by 2066 if immigration continues at the current rate

Only a fifth of the public said they would be neither happy nor unhappy. Two per cent, or one in every 50 people, said they would be ‘happy’.

The primary reason there is such widespread concern about immigration is the belief that Britain simply does not have the infrastructure or ­public services to cope with such a rapidly growing population.

More than two million new homes will have to be built over the next 25 years for immigrants — a figure that may not be possible to achieve.

The alternative will be more cramped living standards, or increased prices because ­supply cannot meet demand. Water supply in the South-East, in particular, would come under enormous strain.

In schools, the MigrationWatch think-tank, with which Prof Coleman does research, estimates that more than a million additional places will be needed over the next ­decade, at a cost of £100 billion – an extraordinary sum, at a time of government spending restraint.

The worry is that if adequate schooling cannot be provided for the children of immigrants, they will be unable to learn English and prosper in the same way that past generations of new arrivals have done or fully integrate into society.

Which leads to the main issue raised by Prof Coleman’s ­article: how to manage the ‘enormous change to national identity — cultural, political, economic and religious’ which would be brought about by ‘white ­Britons’ becoming a minority group.

The fear is that the scale of the population increase will not provide sufficient time for proper integration between different cultures and religions. Of course, had the last government chosen to pursue a policy of integration, there may be far fewer grounds for concern.
The new Coalition Government faces the huge challenge of trying to promote integration, particularly among Muslim communities who, under Labour were only ever spoken to in the context of counter terrorism

But instead, it wedded itself to the failed doctrine of multiculturalism which almost encourages immigrant communities to live in social and cultural isolation with little attempt to integrate them into the host community.

It was this that led to the social tensions that erupted into riots in the early years of this decade in northern towns such as Bradford and Oldham.

Significantly, an official inquiry by the former local government chief Ted Cantle blamed this state-approved policy of allowing communities to lead ‘parallel lives’ for the social unrest.

When Labour finally realised there was an urgent need to foster a sense of ‘Britishness’ among newcomers, their ­proposals to achieve this were utterly inadequate.

For example, there was the belated introduction of the so-called Life In The UK test for foreign nationals seeking a British passport. Yet this eschewed questions on British history in favour of risible sections on how to claim welfare benefits.

Then there was the idea of a ‘Britishness Day’ to be the focal point of a campaign for ‘stronger shared standards’ — a ‘celebration of what we like and love about living in this country’ — with street parties, carnivals and sporting events. But the idea fell flat and was abandoned by ministers.

Now the new Coalition ­Government faces the huge challenge of ­trying to promote ­integration, particularly among Muslim communities who, under Labour, were only ever spoken to in the context of counter-­terrorism policy.

For example, after the July 7 London bombings, parents were asked to spy on their sons and daughters for signs of extremism or radicalisation.

It is not an exaggeration to say that there is no more daunting or important task for the future happiness and wellbeing of this country than developing a sense of shared British identity.

The urgency for this is underlined by this week’s YouGov poll, which graphically reveals that the overwhelming majority of the public appears not to ­support the rapid demographic change that is under way.

According to Prof Coleman: ‘In Britain, judging by the opposition to high immigration reported in opinion polls over recent years, it seems likely that such developments [the “majority minority” scenario] would be unwelcome.’
Conservative ministers have made a strong start, despite having to fight a constant turf war with their Lib Dem partners who - seemingly misjudging the mood of their own supporters - continue to want open-door policies

However he notes: ‘Some argue that a changed population would be for the better, and in any case inevitable in a globalised world.

So long as there was an adequate degree of integration, a more diverse population would be more creative, innovative, stimulating, open-minded and tolerant.’

This, says the professor, is a view ‘that has become orthodox among the educated elite, though not with the UK population as a whole’.

Prof Coleman’s comments chime with the anger of a large rump of the public at never ­having been consulted by politicians over a policy that allowed three million migrants to enter the UK between 1997 and 2010.

New Labour’s 1997 manifesto, offering not a clue to the future, said disingenuously that ‘every country must have firm control over immigration and Britain is no except as when Rochdale grandmother Gillian Duffy raised concern with Gordon Brown over immigration and she was branded a ‘bigot’.

Certainly, Tories have long believed that Labour encouraged mass immigration in the belief that as newcomers to a nation tend to be more Left-wing, Labour’s electoral chances would be enhanced.

Meanwhile, in the absence of proper debate or consultation with the British people, odious far-Right groups were able to cynically capitalise on the sense of alienation felt by working-class voters in particular.

If Prof Coleman’s views have one dominant theme, it is that the same mistakes must not be repeated. (And it is encouraging to note that his thought-provoking ­article should be published by a Left-leaning magazine, suggesting that — finally — we may be moving to a time when adult discussion of immigration policy is considered possible.)

The Oxford academic rightly stresses that his population ­projections are just predictions.

If the Coalition shows the political will to reduce net migration — the difference between the number of people arriving in the UK and those leaving — to the ‘tens of thousands’, his ­scenario of Britain post-2066 will not happen. The growth in population would be significantly reduced.

Conservative ministers have made a strong start, despite having to fight a constant turf war with their Lib Dem partners who — seemingly misjudging the mood of their own supporters — continue to want open-door policies.

Yet their task keeps getting harder and harder, with the ONS this week revealing that net migration, in the last year of Labour rule, was 215,000 — around 35,000 a year more than the assumptions used by Prof Coleman.

Meanwhile, Labour does not yet appear to have found the resolve to change course. Ed Miliband, the new party leader, admits ‘losing touch’ with the voters over immigration.

But, in almost the same breath, he allows his MPs to attack the Coalition’s plans to impose a cap on economic migration, with the aim of reducing work visas by a fifth.

Referring to his scenario for 2066 onwards, Prof Coleman writes: ‘If the changes projected here came to pass, they would be perhaps the biggest unintended consequence of government action — or inaction — in our history.

‘It would be curious if embarrassment or demographic ignorance permitted an old society to marginalise itself in its own homeland without discussing it.

‘In a democracy it is surely appropriate, at the very least, for these considerations, for good or ill, to be at the forefront of debate on migration — not the short-term interests of employers and others grown dependent on migration in our distorted economy.’

Whatever the view a person holds on immigration, nobody should disagree with his desire to see the subject fully — and maturely — debated.

When properly controlled, there is much to celebrate and promote about immigration. It brings expertise and industry to the economy, and enriches ­everything from cuisine to our music, culture and theatre.

But the way the last government circumvented the electorate over immigration policy, while silencing any dissenting voices with cries of racism, was an insult to democracy.

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Jack'd Ripp'd said...

Welcome to Peckham.

Adrian Peirson said...

If you're white

They are coming for you too

Adrian Peirson said...

Uranium in the Water Supplies

Part 2

extant said...

rolmfao, you have to watch this :O)

Anonymous said...

Are you saying there is such a thing as a black Briton?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting.