MICK HUME argues why so many have distorted view of UK demographics
How our minority obsessed elite have turned reality on its head: As a survey shows we’ve been led to think Britain is a very different place than it is, MICK HUME argues it’s little wonder so many of us have swallowed a distorted view of UK demographics
A major new survey shows that most people wildly overestimate the size of racial, ethnic, sexual and other minorities in UK society.
Respondents thought 20 per cent of the British population was black. The true figure is more like 3 per cent. The survey’s median guess was that 5 per cent of us are transgender. In reality, between 0.3 and 0.7 per cent identify as a different gender from their biological sex.
So why would the normally intelligent British public get this basic arithmetic about our society so wrong? Might it be because Britain’s Leftist woke elites are obsessed with identity politics, and determined to re-educate the rest of us to accept their prejudices?
Every virtue-signalling politician, broadcast media outlet, big corporation, advertising agency and educationalist constantly drums home the message that minorities are cool and should be centre-stage.
They view the white, heterosexual majority with contempt, a blot to be removed from public view. Little wonder that so many of us appear to have swallowed a distorted view of UK demographics.
That distortion doesn’t only mean that TV adverts increasingly fail to reflect most of the audience they are aimed at. It has far more serious consequences for us all, skewing public debate by focusing on relatively marginal issues.
A major new survey shows that most people wildly overestimate the size of racial, ethnic, sexual and other minorities in UK society (stock image)
To be clear: this argument is not about being ‘anti-minority’ in any way. All minorities have rights and everybody should be treated equally. Modern Britain is one of the world’s most tolerant countries, where a problem such as racism, though it still exists, is a shadow of its former toxic self.
That is good news. But it cannot explain the yawning reality gap in perceptions of minorities revealed by the YouGov survey of 1,800 adults, commissioned by the Campaign For Common Sense.
Respondents also thought that 10 per cent of the population was bisexual, and that another 15 per cent of Brits were gay or lesbian; official statistics put the real numbers at 1.3 and 1.8 per cent respectively.
The survey’s median guess for the number of Muslims? Around 15 per cent. The true figure is more like 4 per cent. The median guess for the size of the Jewish community was 10 per cent – 20 times as big as the real number. Most people thought that about 20 per cent of us were either vegetarian or vegan; in reality, non-meat eaters amount to more like 4 per cent of the population.
And so it goes on. An obvious consequence of this overestimation of minorities is to downplay the size and importance of the majority. Thus, asked what proportion of the UK population was white, the survey produced a median estimate of 65 per cent. But white people account for 87 per cent of the British public.
These widespread misconceptions are the result of a concerted campaign by Left-liberal political, media and cultural elites to depict British society the way they wish it to be, rather than as it is.
So why would the normally intelligent British public get this basic arithmetic about our society so wrong? Might it be because Britain’s Leftist woke elites are obsessed with identity politics (stock image)
It’s almost as if they think they can alter reality by changing our perceptions of it.
That is why these elitists always give prominence to minorities, seen as preferable to and more interesting than the majority. They look down with fear and loathing at those they consider to be ignorant and largely racist ‘gammon’ – their contemptuous slang for florid, right-of-centre, middle-aged white men – in need of political re-education. (After all, millions of these people even voted for Brexit!)
As a result, the powerful woke voices in charge of our culture have gone far beyond the goal of fair representation and equal treatment, and essentially erased the majority from some cultural spheres. Watch the TV adverts some evenings, for example, and you might assume that almost every middle-class family in Britain was mixed-race.
No wonder many respondents to that YouGov survey appear to believe a collection of quite small minorities actually add up to a majority.
This top-down distortion of reality can have some serious consequences for us all. It means that political and cultural debates can too often be skewed in favour of what are essentially marginal issues. Just look, for example, at the amount of time and energy devoted to proselytising for transgender rights in public toilets, or the surreal arguments about whether or not women can have penises, compared to the lack of serious debate about how to address the cost of living crisis or energy price inflation that is severely affecting us all.
It also means that the universal rights on which our democracy rests are in danger of being downgraded by the elevation of identity politics, most notably freedom of speech.
This is the precious lifeblood of any democratic society, and yet it is under constant attack from those self-appointed spokesmen who would censor opinions deemed offensive or harmful to any minority.
Even to question any of this is to risk being branded a bigot. Ricky Gervais is the latest comedian to excite outrage by poking fun at identity politics in his Netflix special, Super Nature.
Ricky Gervais is the latest comedian to excite outrage by poking fun at identity politics in his Netflix special, Super Nature
Having made clear he supports minority rights, Gervais jokingly goes for the woke jugular. ‘And I get what it’s like to be outnumbered. In this country we’re still only 5 per cent black, 5 per cent Asian, 5 per cent LGBTQ. [Even Gervais got the figures wrong.] Tiny numbers. Now, I’m a white heterosexual multimillionaire, right? There’s less than 1 per cent of us. But do I whine? No. I just get on with it, just keep fighting. I’m like Rosa Parks. Except I fight for the right to NEVER have to take a seat on the bus.’
This taboo-busting routine has inevitably been met with shrill demands for Gervais to be cancelled. Fortunately, Ricky is too big to worry about that. But the backlash always has an impact on others, who might feel more reluctant to point out that the empress actually has a penis.
As the Campaign For Common Sense observed, diversity – particularly in the media – is ‘a positive and laudable aim’, but current trends are ‘playing into a misconception about Britain that under-represents some groups and over-represents others’. It warned: ‘We risk going down the American route of seeing everything through the prism of identity.’
What we need now, surely, is a dose of realism about the society we share. Realism which recognises that minorities are much smaller than many think and, while they must have equal rights, these must not include the right to over-rule the majority. And realism which recognises that Brexit Britain is far from being the backward, bigoted hell-hole it is so often portrayed as.
Another major new survey called Jubilee Britain, published by the think-tank British Future, reveals that our people are increasingly tolerant and relaxed about race.
Three out of four Brits now reject the notion that being white is an important part of Britishness. And 84 per cent would be comfortable with whoever replaces Boris Johnson as prime minister coming from an ethnic minority background.
It is the virtual-signalling, gammon-shaming elites obsessed with identity politics who risk dividing our society and distorting political debates and priorities. Those elitists are the one minority we really should worry about today.
l Mick Hume is the author of Trigger Warning: Is The Fear Of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech?
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