Britain Has an Ethnic Problem: The English

A shortened version of Doug Saunders’ column in The Globe and Mail, December 7

The ethnic English community in the U.K. is falling behind educationally and economically as a whole, self-segregating into ethnic enclaves, becoming increasingly prone to violence, rioting and substance abuse. More troubling, in recent years they have begun to vote for ethnic extremist parties that threaten to undermine basic British values.

Who are these people? The English. Once a tolerant, welcoming people who thrived in scholarship and commerce, they have become a drag on British society.

They have become Britain’s problem group. Government figures show that “white English” students are now outperformed in school results by British children of Bangladeshi, Ghanaian, Indian, Sierra Leonean, Chinese, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese and Nigerian ancestry.

Unlike the island’s other ethnic groups, low-income members of the English community seem determined to stay poor and uneducated. Britain’s Department of Education has published figures listing how many low-income children achieved passing grades in secondary school in 2012. Sixty per cent of black African and Bangladeshi students did, about half of Pakistanis and black Caribbean kids did, 40 per cent of Indians did – and only three in 10 “white British” (mainly English) kids did, putting them at the bottom of the list.

On top of this – or perhaps because of it – the English are now self-segregating into isolated, and sometimes impoverished, uni-ethnic enclaves. Some 600,000 white English people moved out of the mixed-ethnicity districts of London between 2001 and 2011 for less integrated areas, while other ethnic groups moved into areas of higher diversity.

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3 responses to “Britain Has an Ethnic Problem: The English

  1. An amusing idea, is it not, that to get ahead in England now a white English person might have to marry up into a family that originated in one of the old British colonies in Africa or the Indian sub-continent!

    • or study and work hard, and don’t do binge drinking. I recall the adage that he (or she) who marries for money, earns it.

  2. This morning, this Letter To The Editor appeared in The Globe and Mail:

    Xenophobic? Sniff

    As an English visitor to Toronto, imagine my surprise to learn Britain Has An Ethnic Problem: The English (Dec. 7). Doug Saunders’s playful article argues the English must take their lead from ethnic minorities in Britain, an odd proposition for a people who’ve made curry the national dish.

    Rising education standards among ethnic minorities are something of which Britain is rightly proud. They have been achieved by active political interventions in failing schools, a sign that the English are continuing their long history of helping minority communities to flourish, albeit, some would argue, at the expense of the white English working class, which has not benefited to the same extent from such policies. The “problem” English continue to subsidize generously other parts of Britain and Northern Ireland – one reason why Scotland and Wales will never vote for full independence.

    The idea that the English are xenophobic is ridiculous. England is the No. 1 destination of choice, a place of opportunity where newcomers are always welcome.

    Mr. Saunders does raise one issue of serious concern in his haphazard list of league tables: the lamentable failure to nab top place for lawlessness, violence and drunkenness, where we seem to have been beaten by the Irish.

    Must do better next time.

    Richard Berg Rust, Cambridge, England