IT might be surprising to realise this, but the UK is one of the least racist countries in the world. Institutional racism is lower here than in other major European countries. Our genuine Far Right movements, rather than those libelled thus by the Left, are tiny by comparison with the rest of Europe.
But you would not know this if you read the liberal media in the UK.
A couple of days ago, The Guardian published an article showing the results of a survey into the perception of racism following the EU referendum by those of an ethnic minority heritage. It did not make for good reading.
However, the article itself was a summary of the research produced by a polling firm called Opinium.
And here lies the problem. It was a summary, which is by nature selective.
Whenever I read a newspaper article on a topic, I will on occasion want to look for the source information. An example of this are the reports of the recent sentencing of four young men, three of whom were juveniles, for a vicious gang-related attack on another teenage boy in Bedford. The judge gave them long terms in prison. The teenage killers will have to stay in jail for longer than they have been alive on this earth. The judge’s remarks in full were placed on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website for all to see.
However, when it came to the information that The Guardian published about this polling, there was no such supporting document available. The article was based on ‘polling data seen by The Guardian‘. I went to the website of Opinium and used their own search tool to look for occurrences of the word ‘racism’ on their site. The search returned three articles, two posted in 2017, and one in 2015. Nothing for 2019.
What is going on here?
There are several explanations, but it seems clear that the full information is being deliberately withheld and only certain, and possibly not the most significant, portions of information have been released. Why show a reporter from The Guardian the information, but no one else? Opinium are a commercial polling organisation and presumably someone paid them for this research. Who was it, and for what purpose?
The objective of the exercise seems clear. It is to associate Brexit with racism, and to say that Brexit supporters are racist. The irony is that most EU countries have very large parties that are openly racist, apart from here in the UK. In France, one of these parties has made it to the final poll for the presidency twice in the last twenty years. A genuine far-Right party has gained seats in the German Bundestag despite the country having a constitution that was drawn up to be explicitly anti-Nazi. The closest a genuinely racist party has had to actual power here is as the main opposition in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for a few years last decade.
This project to tar Brexit supporters as racists is having unpleasant consequences. Nigel Farage was the victim of an unprovoked attack a few days ago. A director of a government-supported charity tweeted that she would have preferred the attacker to have used acid rather than a milkshake and branded Farage as a racist. The fact that this charity worker in a quite senior taxpayer-funded position felt confident enough to post such information online for anyone to see shows the dark path down which The Guardian and possibly Opinium want the British public to go.
Racism is wrong. But so is the use of violence against would-be and actual politicians. The BBC, The Guardian, and the New Statesman have been very casual about the use of milkshakes to attack politicians. But this is because the targets are people with whom they strongly disagree. If there are areas of disagreement, then these need to be articulated and debated. That’s politics. If news and comment organisations cannot challenge opposing opinions, then the implication is that those opinions have validity as far as they are concerned. Supporting or trivialising physical attacks is actually an admission of intellectual defeat.
The Guardian is perpetuating the myth that the Brexit vote was the start of a racist revolution in the UK, that closet racists were only waiting for the call to rise up and declare themselves. This is false. The UK is blessed with a tolerant society and people do not need to be threatened with accusations of racism for this to be so. By bandying around unwarranted accusations of racism, political violence is being encouraged and supported. Racism is divisive, but so are false accusations of racism when used for advantage and entitlement. It is a documented fact that innocent people suffer when free expression is stifled for fear of racist accusations. The Guardian is fostering hysteria at a time when there should be calm, all in a search for increased sales in a declining industry. Its motives are similar, if not identical, to another newspaper’s coverage of the alleged fate of an unfortunate hamster at the hands of Freddie Starr. All that is different is the readership.