Three quarters think Britain becoming more racist

Published on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 15:42
Written by Daniel Mason

Three quarters of people believe Britain is becoming a more racist country, according to the results of a Govtoday reader survey.

It follows the recent publication of an analysis by NatCen Social Research showing that 30% of Brits describe themselves as a little or very prejudiced against people of other races, up from a low of just 25% at in 2001.

The British Social Attitudes Survey suggested that racism was at levels not seen in 30 years, at the same time as immigration to the UK has become a hot political topic - leading NatCen chief executive Penny Young to describe the findings as "troubling".

In the Govtoday poll, just over 75% of respondents agreed Britain was more racist than it used to be, with 22% disagreeing. Another 3% did not know.

'Judith R' - as this week's star commenter - said the UK was, "as any other country, facing a crisis" and that attitudes would change only by understanding the contribution that immigrants make to the health and economy of the nation. "It is about jobs," she said, "but also about enough payment to afford a life with dignity. One message that is missing in the public discussion is how many positive gains the UK gets from all the young people from all over coming here to study or to work for a short period of their life.

"These people bring ideas and knowledge to this country. They are a driving force of the economy. I wonder what would happen if everybody in the UK or the European Union who has a migration background stopped working for a day.

"Would people realise how important people are who are mobile across countries?"

Today David Cameron said tolerance was one of the key British values he would like to see taught in schools.

Discussing a proposal by the education secretary, Michael Gove, that schools would be required to promote British values, Cameron said: "I would say freedom, tolerance, respect for the rule of law, belief in personal and social responsibility and respect for British institutions.

"These are the sorts of things I would hope would be inculcated into the curriculum in any school in Britain, whether it was a private school, state school, faith-based school, free school, academy or anything else."

Cameron said he believed the idea would have the support of "everyone, including people who have come to settle in Britain and make their home in Britain".

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