A poll conducted by a fresh, independent ‘Thinktank’ and the Observer newspaper has revealed some surprising results concerning the issue of UK Immigration. ‘British Future’ and the Observer, conducted the survey addressing a range of questions designed to discover what the British people really think when it comes to the major issues that have an impact on modern society.
When it came to UK Immigration, the poll adopted a unique approach to the questions asked and this brought up some interesting results. The general outlook on UK Immigration issues uncovered some major concerns, but on the whole a number of positives were also drawn from the survey.
Findings identify that UK citizens are certainly not ‘anti-immigrant’, but the subject of Immigration certainly opens debate when it comes to the overall effect that Immigration has on the British way of life.
A spokesperson from British Futures stated that: “Attitudes towards Immigration seem to relate to the practical effects that people feel it has on their lives rather than stemming from kneejerk prejudice towards immigrants.”
With this in mind, many of the negative implications found in the poll identified that: ‘Some 60% more of those questioned think Immigration is bad for the availability of housing than think it is good, while 56% thought it had been bad for the availability of jobs. Some 48% more people thought it had a negative effect on crime and disorder than the reverse and 25% thought it had a bad effect on schools.’ (British Futures Poll, January 2012).
However, on the positive side the poll states that: ‘60% more people say the effect has been good for the country’s cuisine than think the reverse. For film and music the plus rating is 29%, for Premier League football 26%, and for entrepreneurs and new businesses 36%.’ (British Futures Poll, January 2012).
Local MP for Dagenham, Jon Cruddas said that: “the availability of such information brought about by this poll is vital. It highlights where the public wants the debate on Immigration to be prioritised and shows that attitudes towards Immigration are not motivated by anti-immigrant feeling.”
He added: “These figures show people are not anti-immigrant per se. They have views about how Immigration affects them. People are worried about the effects on their housing and schools and jobs. It is the opportunity for politicians to get in the mix. Problems only arise, when politicians don’t engage and it is the extremist parties who fill the void, as the BNP did at the last European elections.”
Other areas of the poll that threw up some surprising results include questions relating to ‘Britishness’. Surprisingly, the survey found that the whole issue of ‘British belonging’ is stronger amongst immigrant communities in comparison with those who are British born.
In particular the Asian community revealed a 70% result of people feeling a sense of ‘British belonging’ in contrast to 66% of ‘white Britons’ who answered the same questions within the poll.
The research also uncovered positive attitudes towards ‘ethnic mixing’ with a general consensus that there should be more of it in schools. The poll revealed that some 51% of people who took part would endorse the idea that the government should implement and encourage more diverse school populations.
Overall, the survey has cast the net wide and revealed a wide range of thoughts and feelings that refer to a number of fears and concerns. Yet, on the plus side, people identify that many of the challenges facing Immigration can be met. This in turn means that politicians can approach the issue of UK Immigration with a renewed sense of hope as opposed to fear.