The 2011 census results have been released and they make for interesting reading. I didn’t take a constructive part in last year’s census (not so much on ideological grounds but because I don’t trust the British government with the information) but it’s interesting reading nonetheless.
For the first time, the census allowed us to say if we identified ourselves as English and an overwhelming majority of people did – 37.6m people (67.1% of the respondents) identified themselves as English with 32.4m (57.7%) identifying themselves as solely English.
I have said many times that Britishness is not just in decline but fatally wounded and the census figures bear that out. Only 16.3m people (29.1%) identified themselves as British and just 10.7m people (19.1%) identified themselves as solely British. Even as a dual identity Britishness is dead in the water.
The ethnicity figures are a little worrying – only 59.8% of people in London identify themselves as having British ethnicity. Ignoring the fact that there is no such thing as a British ethnicity, this isn’t a healthy statistic. London is the political and media capital of the UK, the place where policy is formed and in no way does London give a realistic view of the UK which is one of the reasons why so much British government policy makes no sense.
In 2001, 9% of the population identified themselves as immigrants (ie. born outside of the UK). Last year it was 13%. Since 2001, something like 3.8m immigrants moved to England and Wales. When we are so short of jobs and housing already, this level of immigration is simply unsustainable – it’s over 5% of the population.
The census data is supposed to drive British government policy and provision of services – that’s the reason given for compelling every adult in the country by law to complete the census – so it will be interesting to see how the 2011 census results drive policy. The promotion of Britishness clearly has to stop, it’s a minority identity which costs tens (if not hundreds) of millions to promote and British government policy is geared around its exclusive promotion. Most people in England identify themselves as English but this identity is subject to official policies of marginalisation and suppression.