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The use and abuse of ethnic minorities

Why Western elites love some minorities more than others.

Salvatore Babones

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The largest national minority group in the United Kingdom today is… Polish. More than 900,000 Polish citizens currently live in the UK, accounting for more than 1.3 per cent of the population. Many other Britons can claim Polish descent, as the plethora of Polish surnames in British national life attests. Actual Polish citizens are more common in England and Wales than people claiming Bangladeshi, Afro-Caribbean or even Irish descent (Scotland and Northern Ireland publish less detailed summary statistics). Poles are everywhere you look.

But you won’t find them in the national statistics. Unlike many other national statistical agencies, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) does not try to collect comprehensive data on population by national origin. Instead, it collects data only for 18 ‘recommended’ ethnic groups. Recommended by whom? By government agencies and interest groups. In other words, the squeaky wheels get the data, while the quiet go uncounted.

The ONS and other UK statistical agencies produce detailed data on Black Caribbeans, Black Africans, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and a complex web of mixed identities, while ignoring other groups that, frankly, don’t attract the attention of people in power. And where the ONS leads, organisational checklists follow. Thus the BBC has successfully pushed its on-air Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) on-screen representation up to more than one-quarter of total TV time, despite the fact that these groups make up just 14 per cent of the England and Wales population (even when including mixed-race people as BAME). British Poles are hardly visible.

It can be (and often is) argued that members of racial minority groups require special intervention because of the historical burden of poverty and discrimination. But at a time when by far the highest earning ethnicity in the UK is Indian, and ‘White British’ people actually earn slightly below the national average, this hardly holds water. It can also be argued that racial minority groups have been treated unfairly because their ancestors were forcibly removed from their home countries, but this doesn’t really apply to the UK in the same way it does to the US. Nor does the UK host minority indigenous populations of the kinds found in the settler colonies of the old dominions.

The real reason why particular minority groups are marked out and counted is that they are useful – useful to elites, useful to those who would be their leaders, and useful in ways that other, less visible minority groups are not. No one particularly benefits from identifying and enumerating hundreds of thousands of hard-working, well-assimilated Poles. But there’s a lot of money (and even more political capital) to be earned on the backs of BAMEs. And so, in Britain, BAME’s the game. Look abroad, and it becomes clear that BAME is just a name that British elites give to the people they want to groom for long-term dependence.

Who counts, when, where, and why?

History is full of terrors and tragedies, but if one minority ethnic group has a special claim to restorative justice, it is the Jews. And for a brief period in British history, roughly corresponding to the second half of the 20th century, there was a distinctively Jewish claim to anti-defamation. Overt anti-Semitism was beyond the pale of polite society. No longer. Elite sympathy for the plight of the Jewish people is now waning, and as the troubling rhetoric of today’s Labour Party demonstrates, tacit anti-Semitism is once again becoming (sadly and strangely) acceptable among otherwise respectable people. Overt anti-Semitism is only a tweet away.

British Jews, who have completed the full arc from social exclusion to protected group to assimilated ‘whiteness’, illustrate well the phenomenon of the sympathetic minority. Sympathetic minorities are distinct groups in society that receive the protection and sponsorship of society’s elites. Before the Second World War, anti-Semitism was a routine reflex of British elites, but after the horrors of the Holocaust became widely known, the vilification of Jews became a social anathema. For a while, Jews continued to be excluded from full participation in ‘White British’ society, but as the ONS statistical category demonstrates, that social exclusion has now largely disappeared. The days when gentile parents were shocked by the idea of their children marrying Jews are long gone.

With social inclusion came the loss of the special status of Jews in British society. Jews no longer needed the sponsorship of elite patrons and protectors. As a result, they no longer constituted a distinct political constituency, and no longer voted as a united bloc. Community leaders could no longer credibly claim to speak on behalf of all Jews. In effect, the Jewish ‘community’ as such has disappeared: today, there are only individual Jews and the organisations to which they personally belong. They are still the members of an identifiable minority group, and they are still the targets of anti-Semitic vitriol, but they do not constitute a single, controllable, politically operational minority constituency.

Now that they are independent and assimilated, Jews no longer elicit the sympathies of political elites, because they are no longer useful to them. Some minority groups, like Australian Catholics and American Mormons, have never elicited elite sympathy, despite severe and well-documented historical discrimination. Others, like indigenous Canadians, have flipped in one generation from being unsympathetic to sympathetic. And it all has to do with the society, not the minority. A sympathetic British Indian becomes, on immigration to the US, a boring Indian-American. There is a clear minority pecking order in every society, but minorities themselves have little say in where they stand in it.

A march celebrating the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, at start of NAIDOC week in Melbourne, Australia,, 5 July 2019.
A march celebrating the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, at start of NAIDOC week in Melbourne, Australia,, 5 July 2019.

In the US, the legacy of slavery has made African-Americans the archetypical case of the sympathetic minority. Even though African-Americans no longer have legal impairments imposed on them by the majority white population, they remain ‘sympathetic’ in the sense that white elites still find it possible to override majority opinion in the name of racial justice for African-Americans. Racism and racial discrimination certainly persist in the US (as they do everywhere), but these do not explain the special, ‘sympathetic’ status of African-Americans. What makes African-Americans a sympathetic minority is their usefulness – to white American elites.

To see this, consider the plight of Chinese-Americans. Though never literally enslaved, Chinese-Americans once faced similar levels of repression in California as those suffered by African-Americans in the South. But Chinese-Americans are no longer so socially excluded as to be ghettoised into a manageable political constituency. Thus, although Californians voted in a binding referendum in 1996 to ban all forms of discrimination ‘on the basis of race, sex, colour, ethnicity, or national origin’ in public education, University of California administrators persist in looking for ways to boost African-American student numbers at the expense of Chinese-American students. Not being particularly useful to political elites, Chinese-Americans simply aren’t a sympathetic minority.

It is deeply politically incorrect to admit it, but we all have a general idea of the minority pecking orders in our own societies. For example, in the US, where race outranks indigeneity, Native Americans have long lobbied unsuccessfully to convince the Washington Redskins football team to change its offensive name. But in Australia, where indigeneity is the crucial minority identifier, it is impossible to imagine a major commercial sports franchise calling itself something like the ‘Blackfellas’. In most developed countries, the disabled are a sympathetic minority, while the obese are not. Women are not literally a minority, but feminists are. Yet in the emerging battle between feminists and transgender activists, transgender minority status outranks feminist. Thus the feminist tennis star Martina Navratilova has been vilified for arguing that trans-women should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports.

Vilified by whom? It’s difficult to say. Not by the majority, that’s for sure. The professions of the pen exercise an outsized influence: academics, journalists, lawyers, lobbyists and the like. The expert class as a whole tends to arrogate to itself the authority to decide which minorities matter and when. Political elites don’t sit as a body to judge the status of minority groups, but individual members of the political elite do see similar opportunities and incentives. When a minority group is easily identified and socially excluded, it can be politically activated and used through coopting a small number of community leaders. That makes it useful, and nothing elicits sympathy so much as usefulness. When the same minority group goes mainstream (as Jews have done and feminists are doing), it loses its utility. You can’t get much political leverage out of promoting women when other women are just as likely to support your opponents as they are to support you.

The coming minorities

So BAMEs are in, Jews are out, and Poles never stood a chance. At least, that’s the situation in the UK. In the US, blacks are still in, Hispanics are on their way out, and the Chinese never stood a chance. Down under, it’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (to use their formal label) who form the only genuinely sympathetic minority, so sympathetic that there is strong (white) elite pressure to give them a constitutionally enshrined ‘voice’ in parliament. What all of the sympathetic minorities share is their political usefulness to white elites in their own societies – both via their votes and (more importantly) through the moral claims that white elites can make in the names of marginalised others. Don’t like Donald Trump or Boris Johnson? Just label them racists on behalf of blacks or BAMEs.

As Boris and the UK Conservatives have discovered, despite the election victory, clearly demonstrable charges of anti-Semitism no longer pack the same political punch as vaguely argued charges of racism. For that matter, the US Democrats discovered the declining power of feminism in 2016, when Trump’s sexist personal history was overlooked by the majority of (white) American women. Jews and (feminist) women are no longer socially excluded groups. By joining the mainstream, they lost their political usefulness. They are still minorities, but they are no longer sympathetic minorities – or at least, they no longer excite the sympathies of those in positions of power.

Homosexuals are fast following feminists on the road to normalisation – and political irrelevance. Gay and lesbian activists are desperately trying to hold their place in the ever-expanding LGBTQ+ alliance, but these days mere homosexuality is old hat. With gay-marriage rights widely embraced in developed democracies, and a gay prime minister in Ireland (of all places), it is becoming more and more difficult to characterise homosexuals as a socially excluded minority in countries like the UK, the US and Australia. That’s why transsexuals, despite their vanishingly small numbers, have become the sexual minority du jour. Despite their increasingly high profile, transsexuals remain profoundly socially excluded, and that makes them useful. Political elites now routinely use the threat of transgender suicides to push through their preferred education and healthcare policy agendas.

In the UK, look for the BAME category to disintegrate as British Indians increasingly prioritise assimilation over grievance politics. And when Brexit happens, look for a new category to emerge: British Europeans. British Poles may not be eager to relocate into a 21st-century ideological ghetto, but many other British Europeans are. And when they do, they’ll find a large segment of the British political establishment chafing at the bit to take up their cause: the Remainer elite. The supposed ‘rights’ of British Europeans have already been used as a parliamentary bludgeon by the Remainer resistance. Demands for policies to alleviate their post-Brexit ‘suffering’ have the potential to drive politics for decades to come.

Salvatore Babones is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Sydney, and the author of The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism and the Tyranny of Experts, published by Polity Press. (Buy this book from Amazon(UK).)

Pictures by: Getty.

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Comments

Cedar Grove

9th March 2020 at 12:48 pm

Apologies for Autocorrect, which has made nonsense of my posts. “Behind” should be beyond, etc. Why is there no Edit function?

Fred Mutton

7th March 2020 at 9:39 am

Tribalism is the way of nature.
It is both defensive and survivalist.

Hugo van der Meer

24th February 2020 at 2:28 pm

All this sticking British on the front of immigrants actual nationalities is a crock. Poles are poles, live in their enclave and are as are all immigrant communities, in what was once Great Britian, economic migrants. Successive governments, having ignored the outcry in the late 1950’s from the indigenous population who were very firmly against the influx of people from thousands of miles away, have created ghettos and sectarianism where once there were none. The country has been destroyed by immigration from where ever. The bleeding heart brigade wilk bleat like the Trotskyist sheep they are while the rest of us look on a once vibrant country, rather island, being decimated by those who in fact despise the indigenous people whose forefathers fought so hard for a future which has been snatched away and given to interlopers.

Thomas Forrest

28th February 2020 at 5:49 pm

Not sure I’d agree with you there. ‘British Pole’ doesn’t really exist as a linguistic expression. They are Polish first generation, British the next. If someone insists on calling themselves ‘Pakistani British’ as a third generation immigrant – they probably haven’t integrated so well.

Cedar Grove

9th March 2020 at 12:10 pm

I know 3rd-generation people who still refer to Pakistan as “home”.

Neil John

5th July 2020 at 4:18 pm

I agree with CG, many still regard their ancestral home country as their home, many generations on, and live in Britain in communities that resemble their ancestral home countries, in the worst possible ways. As we’re seeing many have flown back into Britain over the last few months and have ignored the 14 days self isolation, thus Leicester’s extended lockdown…

Jerry Owen

23rd February 2020 at 9:44 pm

Isn’t ZP such a gem of diversity!

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

24th February 2020 at 11:09 am

Seek help!

Glenn Bell

23rd February 2020 at 5:37 pm

Polish people are, generally, white, and you can read into that what ever you wish. Polish peoples are therefore ignored by the WOKE and BAME groups for the simple fact that they are white and in the eyes of the WOKE/BAME idiots must be privileged and have advantages that Black people do not. Therefore, Polish people are of no interest what so ever to the pathetic WOKE/BAME movements who scream “racism” at every opportunity and believe they are morally superior to the rest of us.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

23rd February 2020 at 6:48 pm

I bet you don’t give a damn about Polish people in the UK either… Virtue-signalling rightist idiot.

Glenn Bell

23rd February 2020 at 11:34 pm

If you had actually read my comment you would have seen that far from virtue sending I was criticizing the WOKE and BAME elements amongst us who cannot see that racism isn’t something which only happens to those with black or brown skin.

Jerry Owen

24th February 2020 at 10:06 am

But ZP, you dislike the labels ‘left and right’.. I love your hypocrisy.

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ZENOBIA PALMYRA

22nd February 2020 at 6:15 pm

Some of the children commenting on this thread need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 19th century.

Darran Clements

22nd February 2020 at 1:02 pm

Europeans generally integrate and benefit our society, my workplace is full of people from many nationalities. I would doubt we actually ever needed to import all of them, but if they make a life here, they will be indistinguishable from the native population, probably by the next generation. Then we have the Muslim slums around the country, the black ghettos, we are going to have more of them, they are going to be increasingly divergent from the direction of cultural evolution of the rest of the nation, and a constant source of disunity and whining. Identity politics feeds off this, and acts as a whip to thrash our people. We shouldn’t be asking are we diverse enough, but why on earth are we letting these people in. We shouldn’t be tolerating stupid religious beliefs, we were growing up and leaving religion behind, now we are being dragged down by idiotic superstitions and pre-enlightenment ignorance once again. As an atheist, I am terrified of the direction we have taken by tolerating any presence of Islam on our shores. They are far exceeding my worst fears.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

22nd February 2020 at 3:11 pm

And yet people continue to blame the EU for the Islamic presence in this country. The Islamic presence is a result of UK government policy from the 1960s onwards and is nothing to do with the EU. Brexit will do nothing whatsoever to resolve the problems associated with the P akistani etc. refusal to integrate and adopt civilised norms in this country. The British people and government simply do not have the spine or intelligence to deal with this issue. Like the rest of Europe, the UK is screwed thanks to the cowardice and stupidity of its inhabitants.

jessica christon

23rd February 2020 at 3:22 pm

@ZP, It’s because there’s no good looking way to deal with it. Anything that will be effective will also be brutal, case in point, look how we cried a few years ago when Myanmar dealt with it’s troublesome and non integrating Rohingya muslims, some of whom were beheading Buddhist monks. The Siddique Khan approach was not for them, apparently.

We don’t have a “fight fire with fire” culture here, so we have no business inviting or allowing “fire” to join us in the first place. We have to ensure that any would be immigrant is already integrated (English speaking, educated, Christian or secular and able to support themselves financially); if not then they shouldn’t be allowed to come here.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

23rd February 2020 at 5:14 pm

JESSICA CHRISTON — The root of the problem is the abandonment of Christianity by the West. Believing Christians would never have allowed an Islamic presence in these islands in the first place. Secularists fail to understand that our civilisation and freedoms are fundamentally rooted in Christianity; Western culture cannot survive the loss of Christianity.

jessica christon

24th February 2020 at 7:41 pm

I accept that point. Secularism doesn’t provide the much needed bulwark against hostile religions and cultures, it basically just welcomes all-comers and trusts them to behave. Muscular secularism, perhaps? As a side note I agreed with Nigel Farage about the Syrian crisis when he said we should only take in Christian refugees, and I was disappointed when he backed away from this position in the face of an outcry.

Neil John

5th July 2020 at 4:59 pm

Talking with the Pole’s and Czech’s in my workplace they most certainly suffer from discrimination from a hard-core of whites, especially from those from countries their home nations have historically conflict with. They also have issues with non-whites, especially those that they rent housing from who treat them as badly as they do my fellow Dalits. But they do find the ‘white british’ on the whole quite accepting, the middle classes who want them as cheap labour especially so.

Jerry Owen

22nd February 2020 at 10:40 am

ZP
I notice on the QT thread you haven’t answered my question asking you to explain our ‘one party state’. I also note that your support for the EU rests solely on the ‘countries waiting to join’ .. poor countries that will be net gainers how does that make the EU good for net contributors?
I also note that you haven’t admitted your stupidity in thinking that we voted to join the EU.
Oh and how do you describe non ‘gammons’ ie black and brown people that voted ‘leave’ in Clacton, Essex and Hull ?
As for your ‘black humour’ .. don’t exaggerate your worth.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

22nd February 2020 at 11:41 am

You’re obsessed, Jerry lol. You need to get out more.

Jerry Owen

22nd February 2020 at 1:14 pm

ZP
No answers then… Frit as we all know!

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

22nd February 2020 at 2:02 pm

JERRY OWEN — Get help, little Englander! And maybe learn some German!

Jerry Owen

22nd February 2020 at 4:39 pm

Your childish insults don’t hide that fact that you simply don’t have the brains to answer my questions.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

23rd February 2020 at 4:04 pm

Utterly obsessed.

Jerry Owen

24th February 2020 at 10:09 am

ZP
You’re such easy meat.

juliusB

22nd February 2020 at 8:11 am

The author claims a “ plethora of Polish surnames” and “many people claim Polish descent” in Britain.i question this. While there are now more Polish surnames in schools, during the 80’s and 90’s and the early years of the 21st century Polish names were not common where I taught.

Christopher Tyson

22nd February 2020 at 9:34 am

I knew someone whose family were Polish, he had an Irish name, his dad chose an Irish name for some reason, I don’t know common this is, changing or anglicizing names.

Billy Corr

22nd February 2020 at 7:53 am

Attempts to find the British National Party online proved unavailing, but my memory is that they were banging on about the men-of-Pakistani-heritage grooming gang issue back in 2003/4 while “respectable” journalists didn’t dare to touch the issue until a decade later.
And which gifted political artist was responsible for this? ————————– – https://politicalbullpen.com/t/12-year-old-white-girl-raped-every-day-for-months-by-pakistani-muslim-rape-gang/6096

Billy Corr

22nd February 2020 at 6:58 am

In 1945, 400,000 people in the UK self-identified as Jews – roughly 1% of the population then. Now the figure is around 270,000 – a drop of 30% – in a country with a population more than 50% larger than it was 75 years ago.

There was no mass emigration to Israel or elsewhere, no pogroms or mass sterilizations; the drastic decline is due to 3 factors.

1 – Partnering and marrying outside the tribe (exogamy as opposed to endogamy.)
2 – Even Jews who marry one another have small families.
3 – The growing secularisation of society. We all know half-Jews or nominal Jews.

As one commentator accurately noted, Poles are detested – by some in the manual trades – because they will share cheap living spaces, save money quite frugally and work a 7-day week if the opportunity arises. Thus most young and industrious Poles are temporary sojourners, rather than permanent immigrants. Romanians and Bulgarians picking fruit in Lincolnshire are much the same.

Despite a great deal of good will bestowed on them, Pakistani Muslims have proven a disaster as immigrants. Originally welcomed to keep the cotton mills of Lancashire and the woolen mills of Lancashire functioning for what turned out to be about a generation, they are active in heroin distribution plus, as we all know now, grooming gangs run by “men of Pakistani heritage” have been making headlines for two decades. Disgracefully, the Muslim Council of Britain described the issue as a “racist fantasy” and the once-admirable ‘Guardian’ once ran an opinion piece denying that the issue even existed. Shamefully, for some years it was left to the despised British National Party, now almost extinct, to bang on and on about the scandal while the police, respectable journalists and the polite classes looked the other way.

Michael Green

22nd February 2020 at 4:28 am

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Brandy Cluster

21st February 2020 at 10:19 pm

Fortunately for conservative people the world is full of useful idiots who are political adversaries.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

22nd February 2020 at 6:14 pm

There is nothing ‘conservative’ about the present government.

Brandy Cluster

22nd February 2020 at 8:17 pm

I wasn’t talking necessarily about the UK government; mine was a world-wide sweep.

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Jerry Owen

21st February 2020 at 2:45 pm

The author thinks that the Jews should have restorative justice. Who from?
The simple fact is virtually all racism and division comes from the politicians and media elites. The average man or woman in the street just wants to get on with their lives and keep themselves warm fed and housed, working people are not racist by and large. There is no gain for them as there is for the elites who love the cheap labour of immigrants.
If the Jews are due any restorative justice it can only be from one sources, Nazis that were actually involved in their incarceration and death, very few of course exist now. So we move on, it’s history people cannot be punished for what others did, ditto the slave trade.
As for the Polish they are the biggest threat to the indigenous British worker. Five on average years is all they need over here to go home with enough cash to buy a plot of land and build a house. It is the Polish that i would like to see leave these shores before anyone else. I know from people I have spoken to that have lost so much to the Eastern Europeans under cutting them in wages.
One category the author hasn’t mentioned are the ‘old’, Brexit was the embryo of this new hated group especially old and white men. The BBC have been an absolute bloody disgrace in provoking and encouraging the division between the young and the old, this was so blatant after the referendum result, along with much of the rest of the media.
‘Divide and rule’ is the phrase of the radical left, they pin it on the ‘right’ as a racial thing, however it is an activity of the wealth elites. The divide and rule tactic is racism from the elites only. The radical SWP type left unfortunately have a conundrum as they are in bed with the establishment, ( do they know it !) hence possibly their deluded racial/sexual identity politicking.

Dhanila Chady

27th February 2020 at 8:28 am

I don’t get the increasing use of ‘indigenous’ to describe white British (English, Welsh, etc). The meaning of the term indigenous is exclusively to describe people who are naturally native to specific lands/geographies (ie. Aborigines in Australia, Inuit in Greenland, Malays in Indonesia). Most white (particularly English) people in the UK originate from continental Europe (Normandy and Saxony) and Nordics. Only a few fully Gaelic and Cornish are actually indigenous to the British Isles.

The problem that strikes me is that many British people simply don’t know enough about their own history. Hence, incorrect use of terms. Comments elsewhere on ‘why Britain allowed so many Muslims in? etc’ demonstrate the ignorance in understanding British history of the last 200 odd years. Yes, Muslim communities stand out as the least integrated but there are reasons why they are in Britain. In practice, even that truth is mainly narrowed to a particular group of Pakistanis from Mirpur/Kashmir regions that settled into Northern former mill towns. It’s often overlooked that they were brought in as cheap unskilled Labour in the post-war era for the dying textiles industry. Local workers were displaced and unsurprising, fear and loathing grew between parallel worlds as segregated communities grew. Also, Pakistan as a state was a new. A post-colonial construct. So this identity was both young and politically transported post-Partition to the UK. Sound familiar?

I’m not at all defending the indefensible but the British (and French) authorities are also to blame for allowing this to permeate. It does not help that they bend to the preferred (religious) identification to describe several ethnicities when it suits the group, then generalise as much as possible (Asian) when inconvenient.

Though what I would say for this much-hated group, is that the original migrants did come to settle. Many Pakistanis and Bangladeshis came to a hostile Britain, opened shops and restaurants (and yes drove taxis) to serve the local people. They were often racially abused on a daily basis, both verbally and physically yet never closed their business off to themselves or put up signs in their own language (even in ghettoes like Bradford). This isn’t to detract from the horrendous crimes that committed by their British-born sons, which are ignored because they are so vile. It is long overdue that these people finally accept they are Western, unless they seek ‘home’ elsewhere.

I’m pointing this all out because I think the Government learnt nothing, even after the 2001 riots. Now we have Eastern European groups resident, formed their own ghettoes, projecting their religious identity for prioritised entry to schools, and opening their own churches and shops. Only this time, it’s for their own people only and they’ll let you know that if you are to walk in (as I did in a Polski Deli in multicultural Ealing Broadway). I’ve experienced racism from nasty elements in this group, even though I am the local and they are the foreigner. As many Black & Asian British have. Then there’s their attitude towards the working class British, from whom they’ve brazenly grabbed opportunities from.

It’s been reported that the Far Right governments in Eastern Europe are a result of returning workers warning about the multicultural societies in the West, they’re ironically keen to plunder. It’s not even clear if the Polish want to remain in Britain (their take-up of Settled Status is the lowest), and if they will seek to ascertain British citizenship. Yet some elites have dutifully taken up their cause as a case of injustice, solely to protest against a Tory govt. This writer criticises those ‘lefties’ and then proceeds to do exactly the same without any evidence of discrimination against this group. This is the issue that will bubble past Brexit and likely explode in 2021.

Thomas Forrest

28th February 2020 at 6:05 pm

I think you may have a point on the usage of indigenous, but really it’s a matter of time that ‘earns’ that nomenclature. I also agree that the terrible racism suffered by first generation Muslim immigrants was abhorrent. The reality is that there was never much desire from them to assimilate once the dust settled. Intermarriage is verboten and bringing in two wives from Noweheresville Pakistan (all three of you claiming benefits as single parents) is preferred.
The double kick in the nuts is that a significant minority of our Muslim compatriots would like to see us worshiping Allah, in dhimmitude, or dead…

Cedar Grove

9th March 2020 at 12:41 pm

I do know my own history, and genetic science shows that whereas male lineages in England sometimes descend from Scandinavian or Germanic sources, there are female genes here which can be traced back to the first settlements after the last Ice Age. So there is such a thing as an indigenous Brit –

& the Germans & Scandinavians were genetic & linguistic cousins, not exactly far removed. The Celts to whom you refer, in the case of the Irish at least have Iberian antecedents as people sailed from coast to coast, and sometimes settled. Irish tradition records 3 major invasions.

What is very clear is that the culture formed by the original inhabitants, + waves European arrivals, developed in England a shared tradition unbroken for some 1400 years. It is in that context that secular democracy evolved.

The legacy of British imperialism is that many more people now say, with some justice, that democratic principles should also apply to them. Immigration can be justified as a kind of overdue reciprocity.

Yet the politicisation of Islam has created problems behind a few acts of violence. We are presented with ideas, and a strongly internally- reinforced culture, wholly in opposition to secular democracy, & which in fact takes advantage of democracy in order to attack and undermine it. It’s hard to know how to resist that without betraying our own principles.

Cody Bailey

21st February 2020 at 12:42 pm

“…they are still the targets of anti-Semitic vitriol, but they do not constitute a single, controllable, politically operational minority constituency.”

This is the key. The same is true here in the US. There is a deliberate attempt by the power holders to import people from collectivist cultures and thwart assimilation. They are far more pliable, apt to become dependent and vote as a block. Individualism is anathema to those in power.

Dominic Straiton

21st February 2020 at 11:07 am

I wonder if they are having the same ethnic minority angst in south Africa or Saudi Arabia. Are The Han Chinese in Tibet Tibetan? As a white man can i claim ethnic minority status in London or is that to small an area. Obviously the left has no answers.

Dhanila Chady

21st February 2020 at 10:27 am

This ramble must be the most poorly researched and incoherent articulated ‘comment’ I have read in a long time. It must be asked, where does Salvatores Babones originate from? He has next to zero knowledge of British society, and for that reason and yes his name, is evidently not Australian either.

A few horrendous inaccuracies, that are obvious to most of us, to point out:

1. The 9,000 Polish are not counted as ‘minorities’ in the UK because they are not British citizens. The ONS, as a government body, only collects data about the ethnicity of it’s citizens. In raw terms, the Polish are long-term visitors under EU Freedom of Movement rules which are now coming to an end.

2. The ONS’ recommended ethnicity categories reflect the historical make up of post-war British Society and thus, it’s de-colonised former empire. African, Caribbean, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi are of course, key sources of heritage. However, in the subcontinent in particular, these nations/identities emerged under the influence or plan of British colonial rule. White usually includes Irish to also reflect history, and depends on the generation and how the individual voluntarily self-identifies. Polish and Czech are not included as these groups are small. Neither are Italians or Cypriots and Turks and other British groups who descend from across Europe.

3.To explain the ‘Asian/Black Other’ to the Author: This covers people, often ethnically Indian or Chinese but originate from ex-colonies; from Guyana and Trinidad to Mauritius, Seychelles, Uganda and Kenya; to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and as far as Fiji. We don’t get our own box either, so I alternate between ‘Indian’ and ‘Asian Other’ depending on what mood I’m in. Yet we are all present in small numbers in the UK, and have deep cultural ties to the country.

4.”So BAMEs are in, Jews are out, and Poles never stood a chance.”

That’s actually extremely offensive as well as ignorant. Does the author even realise that many of Britain’s Jewish community fled from Poland, Czech and Germany?

5.”And when Brexit happens, look for a new category to emerge: British Europeans.”

That’s an almost laughable statement. They clearly haven’t lived in the UK over the last few years.

4.”Down under, it’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (to use their formal label) who form the only genuinely sympathetic minority, so sympathetic that there is strong (white) elite pressure to give them a constitutionally enshrined ‘voice’ in parliament.”

This ‘Associate Professor’ is so arrogantly lazy that he has not even bothered to do a Google search on Aboriginal history. If he had, he would have found that Australia’s acknowledged ‘First People’ were purposefully omitted from the Australian Constitution upon it’s foundation, as they were regarded by the racialist colonialists as primitive savages. The heart of the very deep debate within the Indigenous community themselves is whether they want to be addressed by a constitution that formalised their oppression. Ie. Does their history want to be ‘whitewashed’ so to speak?

The rest is an excruciating ignorant rant devoid of any knowledge of American history, smattered with a bit of sexuality politics in an attempt to provoke. I’m quite surprised this even got published. Whoever this moron is, I suggest they actually go and do a bit of research on their own history, refrain from commenting on others.

Jerry Owen

21st February 2020 at 2:19 pm

D Chady
Your’e not happy then?

Dhanila Chady

27th February 2020 at 6:18 am

It’s an A-Level article at best, with a pass mark of D.

Eric Praline

21st February 2020 at 6:31 pm

Pots and kettles. The population census counts everyone. I didn’t bother to read further.

Christopher Tyson

22nd February 2020 at 9:57 am

It was back in the 1970s that local authorities began to ask us about our ethnic origins. Initially they said it was to ensure that all communities were accessing services and so forth. We had the impression that these surveys were temporary things. But they have mushroomed and become ubiquitous. We also have the Equality Act, and the state seems determined to put us all into ethnic categories. The state can then support various groups, organisations and individuals and neglect others. For example it is very difficult for a black person who voted for the Tories or The Brexit Party to be heard. Clearly you unhappy about the methodology, but more importantly the article is drawing attention to the anti-democratic way in which state appointed and self-appointed spokespersons become representatives of particular groups, and these groups are themselves recognised or concocted by the state and its agents. You’re implying that the central thesis should be disregarded because of the ‘inaccuracies’ but you’re not clear on this.

Dhanila Chady

27th February 2020 at 7:03 am

The first line of the article is inaccurate, the rest is a shallow rant laden with inaccurate information. The author is trying to propose some conspiracy theory on public services/politicians trying to shape how we self-identify. That’s utter rubbish as I’ve yet to see any public sector form with the box ‘Londoner,’ as many of us increasingly do.

As I pointed out, the reason for broad ethnicity boxes is due to the history of Britain and it’s former Empire. Many older generations of Irish would have yet still defined themselves as so, and were certainly treated as ‘other’ in the 1970s and 1980s. It would be far too complex and lengthy to encapsulate on appendices how different ethnic groups/peoples in the UK may identify.

I know because this is an issue I personally have to deal with. To illustrate:
I am from Mauritius, actually born there but am an anomolie in regards to my age and peer group. I’m bred entirely in the UK so regard myself as British (and others see me too). Yet, when it comes to the forms, what do I tick? I don’t tick ‘African’ even though Mauritius is by continent in Africa, because I’m not Black African. I sometimes tick ‘Indian’ reluctantly because ethnically, I am Indian. However, I would have to go150 yrs back to trace my Indian ancestors and I’m culturally different from British Indians. I sometimes tick ‘Asian other’ as that best reflects me, though I’m not sure if by that, they mean Chinese? A Chinese Mauritian and a Creole Mauritian would both tick different boxes. It’s unlikely we would be represented as a group and doubtful we’d attract any funding/attention.

In all honesty, I don’t care. I’m pretty much a product of the British empire as that is how Indian people ended up in tropical islands and Africa. Yet, the history of indentured labour is never discussed. It’s very little to do with how the state appoints spokepersons (I’d argue the media does that in regards to MCB) and more, a reflection of history.

Finally, I find it a little bizarre for the author to castigate ‘the left’ or ‘Remainers’ on pitting ethnic groups, and then lumps a foreign group in, for whom the British Government has no legal responsibility over. The Polish he refers to are not British. Hence, they are of less interest to the authorities or media in collecting information. No one knows if they will stay in the UK longterm, they will have to apply and naturalise as British – like everyone else, if they do. It’s a sensitive issue that’s not discussed but the large presence of the Polish in the UK as a ‘visitor’ group who confer the same rights as local citizens but do not and could not be encouraged to integrate, was/is a major source of tension at community level. I don’t think neither the British government nor the public owes these EU Citizens anything. They’ve received far more generosity than other nations with history entwined with Britain, and frankly, they’ve abused it.

Cedar Grove

9th March 2020 at 12:27 pm

Your comments highlight the idiocy of this box-ticking exercise.

Yet there is a genuine dilemma. Ideally, all resident citizens would be treated as individuals. But surely it would be foolish as well as unjust if a disproportionate disadvantage to one group could not even be seen, let alone addressed?

My complaint about the categories is that they’re too crude. If they were refined to the required extent, I’d probably think they were too intrusive.

Puddy Cat

21st February 2020 at 10:24 am

There is one certain way to have your race vilified and that is for the state to confer differentiation. Anyone claiming exception is gaming the system and to retire behind ethnically hyphenated self-identification invites special treatment which has, in Britain, been a disaster of lawlessness and degradation. Your cause is definitely promoted if you are of a pack and the increase in political ascription, caveats, the attenuation of the language and preferment have made a mess of society and only moved the problems elsewhere, as many a traffic calming exercise achieves, forcing the jam elsewhere.

It is too easy in this sphere to make rules, generalities. But, unfortunately, people are not so easily classified. Some are encumbered by pressure to submit to racial stereo-typicality, others find a harbour for their nefarious dealings. Colour is one thing, susceptibility is another. We are beleaguered by pop-up stories of mistreatment, of insensitivity and yet are not invited to test the provenance of the individuals involved.

The system works against us all. To promote a racial grouping is a hostage to fortune. If they are classified, ascribed with a general characteristic then anyone within that classification would also be affected by anyone else within that classification going awry. If all of this classification are deemed church going family orientated, good people, what do we have to think if one or some commit some sort of vile deed? Not to heed that transgression because of political leanings creates a carapace under which some of the identified will find succour for their individual dissonance.

Jim Lawrie

21st February 2020 at 10:10 am

The first paragraph is wrong. There are more “actual Polish Citizens” in England and Wales than there are people born in The Republic of Ireland. For there to be more “actual Polish citizens” than those of Irish descent, we would need to bring in at least another 6 million Poles.
400,000 came from The Republic in the 1940’s, and similar numbers in the 50’s and 60’s.

I did not read the rest of the article because of the lazy and misleading intro.

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Ven Oods

21st February 2020 at 9:03 am

Meant to add: Well done, Spiked. Some of the long reads are genuinely thought-provoking.

Philip Humphrey

21st February 2020 at 7:58 am

It’s an old game the left is playing, divide and conquer. Same as the far right once did. The good news is it won’t work, people on the whole would rather assimilate and get on than cling to “identity” groups.

nick hunt

21st February 2020 at 4:45 pm

If by ‘far right’ you meant the Nazis, then don’t forget that they were national socialists and leftist collectivists who were competing to take over against other leftist collectivists, the German communists. Hitler spoke several times of his debt to Marx and boasted that he would deliver what other leftists had failed to do.

Remittance Man

21st February 2020 at 6:52 am

Okay, I accept your argument as far as it goes, but what happens when you have two, equally favoured and still qualifying, groups who actually contradict one another?
I speak of the Muslims, still much favoured by the left, and the trans-lobby. Traditional Islam is pretty opposed to much of the agenda, behaviour and lifestyle of the transgender community. But both still fall into the “useful” category.

Melissa Jackson

21st February 2020 at 7:33 am

Oh then the leftists just pander to both however it suits them. It doesn’t matter that this makes them look hypocritical, as long as they can say “Well yes, but the other lot wouldn’t even talk to you about creating sharia law and/or transitioning children!”.

This is broadly how the hyper-factional left has always worked. Oh it’s not us who want to work with the capitalist plutocrats comrade, that’s the Blairites. Oh it’s not us who hate the Jews, it’s Momentum. But you still need to vote for us, even though Momentum and Blairites are heavily represented in our party.

It’s this sort of “socialism of the gaps” stuff. The vision of socialism radically changes depending on who you are trying to convince. There is no canonical vision, no specific values except for “We want to be in charge”.

And these people claim the Tories success is only based on lies.

Fortunately this massive hypocrisy has been noticed by the voters at large. They might like some policies about nationalizing train companies, but they see the awful, disingenuous people who do not have a concrete position on anything and wonder how we can trust someone who claims to be a feminist and who also wants Muslims to retain their idiosyncratic traditions of oppressing women.

Philip Humphrey

21st February 2020 at 8:03 am

You’re expecting the thinking behind it to be intellectually coherent. I think that’s an expectation too far.

Philip Humphrey

21st February 2020 at 8:05 am

I should add that I meant leftist thinking, not the author’s.

Cedar Grove

9th March 2020 at 12:18 pm

They’re not “equally-qualifying”.

The demonstrations outside primary schools, which occurred because Muslim activists and some parents objected to an “inclusive” textbook which included a story about two male penguins taking it in turns to keep an egg warm, & featured some non-nuclear families, were not conspicuous for politicians’ support of the gay parents who tried to reason with the demonstrators.

Muslims are still a minority in the U.K. By demanding conformity to Shari’a and objecting to other minorities, they risk sawing off the branch they sit on. But they don’t see that, because they believe that our humouring and appeasing them is not tolerance, but evidence of their power.

steven brook

21st February 2020 at 5:44 am

“but these days mere homosexuality is old hat” that’s why I became a necrophiliac. We are the next victim group, marginalised by “normal” society. If you feel you want to sample the dark side please join us it’s dead easy.

Remittance Man

21st February 2020 at 6:54 am

I admire your forward thinking, but I suspect the kiddie fiddlers are ahead of you in the queue.

Graham Southern

21st February 2020 at 10:26 am

Go for dead children – it’s the future!

nick hunt

21st February 2020 at 4:48 pm

It’s the present for US Democrats, who in certain states are now legalising abortion up to birth, during birth, and even after birth.

Ven Oods

21st February 2020 at 8:39 am

“that’s why I became a necrophiliac”
I fear your cause is dead in the water.

William Murphy

21st February 2020 at 11:11 am

The late unlamented Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE, KCSG allegedly combined molesting the living and the dead, but it was his molesting of the living which has excited the unbridled media fury, not his alleged activities in hospital morgues. See Freddy Royle, his fictionalised portrayal in “Lorraine went to Livingstone”.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/did-irvine-welsh-model-ecstasy-necrophiliac-on-jimmy-savile-8224934.html

So far I have not heard of any Liberation Movement for mortuary fans.

H McLean

21st February 2020 at 1:16 pm

It wont be long until an ‘N’ (for necro) is added to the LGBTIA+ alphabet, just after the ‘P’ (for paedo). Yes, it sounds incredulous, which is exactly why it is highly possible given the insanity of these things.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

22nd February 2020 at 3:07 pm

That old slur… You seriously think gays are all p aedos? I have never met a gay or tg person who thought that p aedophilia was OK. You must be very frightened of LGBT people. Is there something you are hiding?

Cedar Grove

9th March 2020 at 12:13 pm

Only people can be “incredulous”.

ZP: your minority acquaintance must be rather small, or things have changed drastically. The campaigning gay rights movement in the U.K. included many advocates of “man-boy love”.

Paul Carlin

21st February 2020 at 1:02 am

It might be a good idea to ask which ‘communities’ pollute the larger community more or less; the Polish are a brilliant addition to our national wellbeing, and I say that as a Brit/Scot living in Northern Ireland. They bring all sorts of positive, optimistic attitudes and fix a pipe as well as anyone else; good on them.

Then there other communities; those whose organised groupings sit women on collapsible seats at strategic places on High Streets to beg, those whose youth gather at street corners in ‘hoodies’, those who seem to have no employment but quite enough disposable income.

The UK is not Sweden; we do not have a suicidal impulse.

Ven Oods

21st February 2020 at 8:41 am

“we do not have a suicidal impulse”
Social media seems intent on changing that status, especially among the young.

nick hunt

21st February 2020 at 4:53 pm

Don’t forget the Pakistani Muslim community, whose friendly gangs of men have been horrifically demonised by hundreds of thousands of underage, white racist schoolgirls in most of the UK’s larger cities for over 40 years. And that’s despite police tactics to tackle the problem, such as calling them ‘little sluts’.

ZENOBIA PALMYRA

23rd February 2020 at 2:01 pm

The Tories are just as complicit in the P akistanic grooming gangs fiasco. There is no use in blaming Labour for this. The Tories are just as frightened of Islam.

Jerry Owen

23rd February 2020 at 9:50 pm

ZP
How so?

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