The Telegraph and Guardian are violently agreeing with each other today – not quite a first but an eye-opener. The Guardian presents the results of a Guardian/ICM poll into attitudes centred on the economy, while The Telegraph looks at the latest results from the British Social Attitudes survey, which has been running for 30 years and is a rich source on the mood of the nation.
The Guardian reports that while 56% of people recognize that a recovery is under way (with 26% “Don’t Knows” and 19% disagreeing), only 18% agree that it benefits their family. Four out of five people have not seen clear evidence of an economic recovery in their own circumstances.
When asked what they think lies behind this economic anxiety, and given a multiple choice of reasons, more plumped for “Immigrants undercutting workers” (46%) than any other reason while 40% blamed ruthless companies. Next in line was “Labour’s mistakes” (at 40%) ahead of “Coalition mistakes” (on 36%) so people have long memories in this area.
And the main worry of people was that wages were lagging behind costs (57%), a clear explanation of why individuals are not seeing a recovery. The expanding economy can in part be explained by more people being in the country generating wealth, but few very few Britons feel better off as most of the additional numbers are in low-paid work.
Turning to the Telegraph and the British Social Attitudes survey, their Social Affairs Editor, John Bingham, reports that: “Almost half the population now believes that a decade of mass migration has not only harmed the economy but undermined “British culture”, the annual British Social Attitudes survey shows.” This aligns pretty closely with the outcome of the Guardian/ICM poll. Also, “more than eight out of 10 people now support a major tightening of rules on access to benefits and curbs on overall immigration,” while the Guardian poll showed 77% wanting to reduce immigration “a little” or “a lot”.
The British Social Attitudes Study also discovered signs of a rejection of multiculturalism and a greater emphasis on “British-ness” compared to attitudes of 10 years ago, when people were much more prepared to accept the smaller numbers of immigrants that the country had then. John Bingham reports fears that unless immigration is controlled, racism will increase.
Interestingly, another result of The Guardian/ICM poll was in people’s views of politicians. The top two concerns over politicians were that 56% thought they broke their promises and 44% saw their ranks packed with careerists.
Of course, we know that while Britain remains in the EU, there is precious little the British Government (or rather what remains of it after Brussels has taken most of its powers away) can do to curb immigration. However, they still want to be elected, because they are careerists and they don’t “do” much else other than politics, so they have to spin lies to us on curbing immigration, knowing full well they cannot deliver.
These two surveys show that a majority of the public have rumbled the career politicians and their deceits, which explains why so many are turning to UKIP, the only party that offers a credible solution to the mass immigration problem.