Fear and Hope report into faith, identity and race


by Rumbold
27th February, 2011 at 2:17 pm    

The campaigning organisation Searchlight has released a new report examining English attitudes towards faith, identity and race. I am always very sceptical about polling. Samples can only ever be so representative, and different polls on the same issues will produce different results, as the questions are structured differently and asked to different people. Yes Prime Minister sums up my views of polling:

Anyway, the key points of the report are summarised below, which is more useful for examining broad trends rather than precise numbers:

* A new politics of identity, culture, and nation has grown out of the politics of race and immigration, and is increasingly the opinion driver in modern British politics.

* Six identity ‘tribes’ in modern British society. These are: Confident Multiculturalists (eight per cent of the population); Mainstream Liberals (16%); Identity Ambivalents (28%); Cultural Integrationists (24%); Latent Hostiles (10%); and Active Enmity (13%).

* There is a clear correlation between economic pessimism and negative attitudes towards immigration. The more pessimistic people are about their own economic situation and their prospects for the future the more hostile their attitudes are to new and old immigrants.

* There is a new middle ground of British politics that is defined by two groups of voters: Cultural Integrationists who are motived by authority and order; and Identity Ambivalents who are concerned about their economic security and social change. Together they make up 52% of the population.

* Mainstream political parties risk pushing the Identity Ambivalents to the Right unless they tackle the social and economic insecurity which dominates their attitudes. This is a challenge for the current Government – which is implementing deep spending cuts – and for the Labour Party, which is the traditional home of many of these voters. Almost half of all voters who do not identify with a party are Identity Ambivalents.

* While more likely to consider ethnicity and religion to be important to their identity than nationality, Black and Asian minority groups share many other groups’ opinions on a range of issues, including the national and personal impact of immigration.

* The British National Party (BNP) is in decline, entwined as it is with the old politics of race and immigration. Instead, groups such as the English Defence League (EDL), better adapted to the new politics of identity, are replacing them. However, there is a limit to the potential growth of this assertive and threatening form of nationalism.

* There is popular support for a sanitised, non-violent and non-racist English nationalist political party. Britain has not experienced the successful far right parties that have swept across much of Western Europe. Our report shows this is not because British people are more moderate but simply because these views have not found a political articulation.

On a more positive side:

* Political violence is strongly opposed by the vast majority of society and this is a ‘firewall’ between those concerned with immigration/multiculturalism and more open and hardline racists.

* Over two-thirds of people view ‘English nationalist extremists’ and ‘Muslim extremists’ as bad as each other.

* 60% of respondents thought that positive approaches – community organising, education, and using celebrities and key communal movers and shakers – were the best way to defeat extremism in communities.

* There is a real appetite for a positive campaigning organisation that opposes political extremism through bringing communities together. Over two-thirds of the population would either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ support such a group.


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Filed in: British Identity,Islamists,Race politics






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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Fear and Hope report into faith, identity and race http://bit.ly/eTUXlD


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  4. Gareth Winchester

    RT @sunny_hundal: Fear and Hope report into faith, identity and race http://bit.ly/eTUXlD


  5. Jillian Li-Sue

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  6. Roosevelt Wright, Jr

    Pickled Politics » Fear and Hope report into faith, identity and race: The campaigning organisation Searchlight … http://bit.ly/hDnk5d




  1. Don — on 27th February, 2011 at 2:39 pm  

    Rumbold,
    Any idea how these six ‘tribes’ are defined?

    I have yet to find a satisfactory, unambivalent definition of ‘multiculturalism’ so I can hardly be a Confident Multiculturist. I am not in the least ambivalent about my identity so I can’t be an Identity Ambivalent, although I do have concerns about economic security (particularly in the light of the Coalition slash and burn approach to the public sector).

    I am pretty sure I am neither a Latent Hostile or engage in Active Enmity. It seems that Cultural Integrationists are motived (sic) by authority and order and that ain’t me either.

    So that only leaves Mainstream Liberal. Which sounds a bit dull, really.

  2. Rumbold — on 27th February, 2011 at 2:42 pm  

    Don:

    The full report comes out tomorrow, with more notes and methodologies (I assume). Judging by what little information we have, I would probably class myself as a mainstream liberal too.

  3. damon — on 27th February, 2011 at 4:22 pm  

    Something that I am pretty sure has affected attitudes and how this Hope not Hate report will look is the spinning and controlling that has gone on around everything to do with race and immigration issues in the last thirty years.

    You could see some of the problem we face with different agendas being pushed, this morning on that rather lowbrow BBC programme ‘The Big Questions’ when they were discussing inter-racial adoptions.

    The three people arguing about it at the beginning of the subject (@ 22 minutes in) show clearly that there is something of a serious disagreement about what is important in a child’s upbringing as far as identity issues are concerned.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z78g3

  4. Boyo — on 27th February, 2011 at 5:07 pm  

    More Asians supported an immediate halt to immigration than whites. Yes, “nationalist” parties did have an appeal, but only if they were not fascist or violent – so what does that leave us with, the SNP?

    I’m sure the one we will hear most about is the 48 per cent figure supporting the nationalist party and the assumption is that they will mostly be whites (when given the above that may not be the case).

    The Guardian seems to note disapprovingly that “the poll also identified a majority keen to be allowed to openly criticise religion, with 60% believing they “should be allowed to say whatever they believe about religion”. By contrast, fewer than half – 42% – said “people should be allowed to say whatever they believe about race”.

    Which is why I no longer buy the Guardian (along with its shameful MB cheerleading – it has become the Daily Mail of its era).

  5. pete — on 27th February, 2011 at 5:17 pm  

    Boyo

    The Guardian seems to note disapprovingly that “the poll also identified a majority keen to be allowed to openly criticise religion, with 60% believing they “should be allowed to say whatever they believe about religion”. By contrast, fewer than half – 42% – said “people should be allowed to say whatever they believe about race”.

    Which is why I no longer buy the Guardian (along with its shameful MB cheerleading – it has become the Daily Mail of its era).

    Seems a pretty unbiased reporting of the facts by the Guardian. The notion it was ‘disapprovingly’ is your own interpretation.

  6. Don — on 27th February, 2011 at 5:37 pm  

    Only 60% believing they should be allowed to say whatever they believe about religion?

    I really want to see that methodology. And what does ‘allowed’ mean?

  7. Boyo — on 27th February, 2011 at 8:17 pm  

    @5, Don @6 is why i interpreted it thus. Plus the By contrast. But you’re right, that’s just my take…

  8. Roger — on 27th February, 2011 at 8:23 pm  

    It would be interesting to know the proportion of the population that favour allowing other people to say whatever they believe about religion and race.

  9. douglas clark — on 28th February, 2011 at 10:19 am  

    Boyo @ 4,

    Yes, “nationalist” parties did have an appeal, but only if they were not fascist or violent – so what does that leave us with, the SNP?

    Plaid Cymru too?

  10. Boyo — on 28th February, 2011 at 10:38 am  

    Possibly ;-)

    Off-thread, but as I’ve been sounding off about the Shock Doctrine here of late, it seems the Guardian has finally woken up and resurrected it…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/27/coalition-coup-sleeping-public

  11. Refresh — on 28th February, 2011 at 12:26 pm  

    Boyo,

    I thought it a fine piece.

    Its also worth reading John Pilger’s books (particularly Hidden Agenda) which cover Structual Adjustment Programs quite well.

  12. douglas clark — on 28th February, 2011 at 12:37 pm  

    Refresh,

    It is also worth asking why our chums like Rumbold or Sunny haven’t opened up a thread about the Middle East crisis. On here, it doesn’t seem to matter too much.

    Which is quite strange.

    If they have, point me to it.

  13. douglas clark — on 28th February, 2011 at 1:49 pm  

    Oh! I see Sunny has. About bloody time Mr Hundal!

  14. Naadir Jeewa — on 4th March, 2011 at 12:39 am  

    Had a read through the full report. I thought it was very good. They use a clustering algorithm, Latent Class Analysis, to identify societal subgroups. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while, but not had a relevant data set, nor the time to learn the maths.

    What also needs to be done is to establish relationships between competing ideologies – which you can then see how various bits of party policies play out amongst these groups.

  15. Optimistic — on 16th March, 2011 at 9:24 pm  

    Please read an excelant response to this report from Sabby Dhalu, Joint Secretary of the UAF.

    http://uaf.org.uk/2011/03/a-response-to-the-searchlight-fear-and-hope-report/

    It is very sad that Searchlight should choose this moment to shift their focus from fighting the fascists to ‘Islamic extremism’. At a time when austerity and cuts are creating fertile ground for scapegoating and racism, providing a breeding ground for the extreme right, the real priority should be to explain the enormous economic and social contribution that generations of immigrants have made to this country, and defending Muslim communities from those who would blame them for their feelings of malaise

    Rather than getting lost in their own terminology of ‘latent hostiles’, ‘identity ambivalents’ and ‘active hostiles’, Searchlight should work with all those seeking to break down racist myths, assert the benefits of diversity and expose the violent nature of the extreme right.

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