Thursday, 29 May 2014

Are more people in Wales more racially prejudiced than the rest of the UK?

The BBC suggest that more people in Wales admit to being racially prejudiced than in the UK as a whole, research has suggested Data obtained by The Guardian newspaper suggests 34% people in Wales admit to being "very prejudiced" or "a little prejudiced".
It is a rise of 14 percentage points since 2000, drawn from figures for theBritish Social Attitudes (BSA) survey.
However  the Beeb dos eventually as the caveat that while the study surveyed more than 5,000 people over two years across Britain, the sample size in Wales was less than 300 - making definitive conclusions difficult.
Data obtained by The Guardian newspaper suggests 34% people in Wales admit to being "very prejudiced" or "a little prejudiced".
It is a rise of 14 percentage points since 2000, drawn from figures for tho British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey.
I suppose there should be no surprise .
We would be living in a dean world if we thought that Wales, was immune from the growing hysteria over Immigration from the UK media;
And the Ukip vote in Wales can't be dismissed  as that of English people voting for a Non-Welsh party . Just look at Ukips vote in the South wales Valleys?

However we must not get over worried.
The rise may well be that people are more aware that their views are in fact racist rather, than the "I'm not racist but... claim from those  who support Ukip and then come out with a statement which sounds pretty racist

Adding together the "very" (3%) and "a little" (27%) figures from this year's survey produces a total of 30% - up from last year (26%) but well below the year before (38%).

So the vast majority actual figures show the  majority admit to a little prejudiced, which whilst not being complacent  looks like the sort of number I would expect if people are being honest.
It seems that this survey may have hit the headlines because of the recent surge in Ukip vote. But it may not mean there was surge in racism.
Although the numbers are far to high, but quite frankly I would be more disturbed if it there was a claim that racial prejudiced was much lower in the UK and especially Wales and we "liberals" walked around  believing that everyone shares our views. and we lived in a racial tolerant society.
Ignoring the rise of racism or pretending its not a Welsh problem would be a mistake but assuming that the 27% who claimed to be a little prejudiced are automatically  lost to the far right woulds also be a mistake.
But with a media including the BBC blasting out  negative Immigration and Anti-Islamic stories our task will be very difficult.  


  1. The BBC 's regional arm in Wales is carrying out orders from London to carry on being UKIP's PR agency and anything that fits the 'we don't like foreigners and there are far to many of them in the UK' narrative is given maximum publicity like this survey.

    You rightly highlight the 300 sample from Wales and any researcher worth their salt will tell you it isn't a safe sample to extrapolate from so the figure could be higher or lower, it also doesn't state where in Wales the respondents were living, how old they were, how much money they earn all of which would have a bearing on the results.

    The other point to bare in mind to that there's no breakdown of what definition of racism the survey used, are they talking about skin colour, different nationalities, religious differences, did the use one, two or all three of those or any others.

  2. Interesting item on the Radio 4 programme "More or Less" that looks at statistics ( commenting on the Guardian's article "Racism is on the rise in Britain". Their interpretation of the data indicated that fewer people described themselves as racist today than in 2011, 2008 & in 1994. The programme producers felt that the rolling five year averages give a more accurate picture of what is happening as far as attitudes are concerned, but the Guardian decided not to report on these statistics. Would be interesting to see what the rolling five year averages say about Wales.

  3. Great demolition of the BBC Wales story over at Daily Wales