Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Political Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Britain by Heath, Fisher, Rosenblatt, Sanders and Sobolewska

Review of The Political Integration of Ethnic Minorities in Britain by Heath, Fisher, Rosenblatt, Sanders and Sobolewska:

The review, by Ron Johnston (professor in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol) includes the rather telling line:  "Labour has been identified as ‘their’ party by the ethnic minorities (just as it was as the party of the working class in earlier decades)".  I think we already knew that Labour had become the immigrant party.  But it is still rather surprising to find this stated so boldly.

Professor Johnston also seems incurious as to why ethnic minority attitudes include the view:  "...the main positions of their Conservative opponents – particularly with regard to restricting immigration – are viewed negatively."  Why should immigrants be so keen on encouraging other immigrants?  It suggests that they see themselves as part of a revolution to overturn society, not integrate into it.

Which in turn raises the question of which immigrants are being allowed into the country.  If immigration policy was to only allow entry to wealthy families from north America, Australasia and western Europe an analysis of this kind would find they were politically integrated into Conservative voting patterns.  If on the other hand a duplicitous government had been actively encouraging migration into the United Kingdom of Pakistani peasants hey presto! the Labour vote receives a boost.

By not enquiring into the original political activity in their home countries of the ethnic minority communities surveyed Anthony Heath and his colleagues have indulged themselves in a rather pointless exercise and produced a book (256 pages) of no real value.

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