The census has never really made sense to me, but until recently I have understood what it means for British politics today. I decided to read around it to understand why the census is so important.
The first thing Google showed me is an article from a newspaper which highlighted the shocking figures. “7.5 million People in the UK are foreign born!” Now let’s say this paper was not on the left side and the comments from the article were truly shocking.
The first comment argued, that the next time a general election takes place, people should vote carefully to stop this madness from happening. The comment below blamed Tony Blair for allowing mass immigration to happen and third said we should send them all back. Now, from the article I read I was able to pick up a few biased points but let’s not get into that.
What I found interesting was that people blamed the figures on the political parties. People blamed Labour for their “loose policies” on immigration, something which made them lose voters. Furthermore, the Conservative Party gained support because of their harsh views on immigration and the EU. People argued that the amount of foreign people in the UK is making Britain lose its identity. However, this is wrong on many levels.
The 2012 Olympics shows how the UK is more diverse than ever, why is this a bad thing? Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis both represented how the term “British” no longer means “white".
The Labour party have traditionally been supported by the ethnic minority communities. 68 % of ethnics voted for the Labour party in 2010, which shows how many other parties do not appeal to them. Political parties need to understand that politics does not only appeal to the white middle class voter but also to the Black, Muslim, and Lesbian Woman. The census reinforces that we live in a diverse society and this is not going to change depending on the party in power.
Instead of the negative outcry from the census, we should embrace multiculturalism not kick it down. The world is changing more than ever and British politics needs to keep up. We cannot have parties that adhere to the notion that diversity is bad, we should have parties that accept it.
By Mems Ayinla