Tag Archives: Wales

England & Wales Census 2011; immigration

The 2011 England & Wales census findings continue to be released in dribs and drabs with todays (amongst others) on employment, immigration and religion.

The media have of course focused on immigration (maybe the national dislike of foreigners helps sell papers). This is turn has led to online posters winging out the immigration issue (or problem as they like to say).

A quick look at the figures…

The population of England and Wales has gone up by 4.1 million over the 10 year period since the last (2001) census.
The same number (4.1 million) is also the amount that those describing themselves as Christian has fallen (12%).

Most of the immigrants during the 10 year period came from Poland with India and Pakistan making up the top three.
1.15 million more people identify themselves an Muslims (up 2%).
14 million said they have no religion a huge increase of 6.4 million.

So while religion on the whole is falling (good news) Islam (due to immigration) is rising (bad news) with the biggest change being those of no religion rising sharply (great news).

The findings (for me at least) paint a generally positive picture but the main issue is the unsurprising online response from the public of England & Wales in regards to immigration.

It’s no secret how the British (I know the census is England & Wales but the online posters are from all over Britain) public feel about foreigners and it’s certainly not positively!

So I was thinking about foreigners, who are the good foreigners and who are the bad foreigners?

Has anyone ever complained about the Dutch or Swedish immigrants in the UK? Are white foreigners ok while non-whites are not ok? Maybe rich foreigners are fine as long as the poorer ones stay out?

Judging from the online posters I’d say that rich and white-skinned were much more preferable to poor and brown-skinned. Brown-skinned people seem to be perceived and not willing to adapt and integrate into British society bringing in with them their own religion and culture that doesn’t adhere to Britain’s own values.
No-one complained about the Russian oligarchs buying British football clubs and attracting the best players. Britain doesn’t like benefit scroungers (unless of course they are white British benefit scroungers then it’s certainly less of an issue).
Some may think I’m being too hard on my fellow Brits, unfortunately I’m not.

Similarly as I posted about European Identity Britain wants those who accept and adhere to its own set of values. Someone who pays their taxes, drinks real ale, supports the England national teams and speaks with an English accent (cor blimey guv’nor).

Personally my experiences of foreigners have been generally really good in Britain (mostly Europeans good) and Africans and Caribbeans a mixed bad (some really good while others awfully homophobic and rude).

Disunited Kingdom; Independence

The build up to the Scottish referendum on independence is gathering pace and although devolution has been bandied about for some time the definite referendum in Scotland has hammered home the reality, the union could be over.

According to RPS group Wales could have up to 12.8 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas which if recovered would have a significant impact on the Welsh economy.

The Guardian newspaper today ran an article on Welsh independence which could follow Scotland’s especially if the Scots vote yes in 2014.

Welsh independence has up to now never really had much enthusiasm (which was generally true of Scotland as well) however with the Labour party losing the general election in 2010 making way for a conservative/liberal democrat coalition things have changed.

Constant attacks on the vulnerable in society, the elderly, the disabled and those on low incomes by the coalition has led to a sense that the people of Scotland and Wales (who didn’t vote for either the liberal democrats or the conservatives) have a very different future in mind from that of the English electorate.

An opinion poll for the first time suggests that a majority (51%) back Scottish independence, it seems the more David Cameron tries to tell Scotland when they must have their referendum and how it must be worded the less the Scots want to do with a conservative England.

Once one goes the rest will follow… It’s possible but it doesn’t always happen and at the moment Wales needs England financially but if the gas reserved are explored then that will no longer be the case. Then there is the reality that the issue of independence is not only economically driven, national and cultural identities and the right to self-determination are key factors.

There are advantages and disadvantages to the potential break up of the union but there is a chance that a new union could be formed. A union of like minded nations heading in the same direction on a foundation of similar principals and ethics.

This could theoretically involve Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a union of Celtic nations leaving England to continue on its own desired path of privatisation and centre-right politics and economics.

Further down the line could see Cornwall, the last bastion of Celtic culture break away from England and join this union of Celtic nations. The political party Mebyon Kernow which stands and campaigns only in Cornwall has been running since the early 50’s, has councillors and is pressing for independence.