NATIONAL IDENTITY IN ENGLAND ANALYSED – THE 2011 CENSUS

 

The Office for National Statistics gathered a total of 53,012,468 responses in England (which is officially defined as the 39 traditional counties – thus not including Monmouthshire).  

As anyone would know who completed the Census form, the Census collected statistics for a great many types of information.  

One which of political interest is “National Identity”, which is the self-identification of a person’s nationality by which nation they adhere to.  

The Census also collected statistics on what they described as “Ethnicity”, which included “White British”. This is not a category which is legally recognised under the Equality legislation.

“Ethnicity” under Equality law means a sub-category. The leading example of “Ethnicity” being that Sikhs which were found by the House of Lords to be a sub-category of the North Indian racial group.  

However in the 2011 Census, “Ethnicity” was in effect treated as the legal concept of a racial group and as a result 42,279,236 respondents stated that they were “White British” (79.8%).  After adding in “Irish” and the “White Other” categories to the white category there is left over the 15% of the respondents to the Census who were apparently “non-white”.  

In considering these results I think it is important to bear in mind that whilst it was legally required to fill in and return the Census form, it is highly probable that recent immigrants and the generally non-settled population, together with illegal immigrants, would be, statistically, very likely not to complete the form.  The statistics therefore will underplay the extent of immigration.

Turning however to the issue of National Identity which is what will be politically significant in the growth of political English Nationalism, the statistics were that those who stated their “National Identity” to be “English Only” were 32,007,983 (60.4%); “English and British” were 4,820,818 (9.1%); no English element of national identity 15,834,059 (29.9%); Welsh identity 409,582; Scottish identity 555,171; Northern Irish 142,683; those that claimed “British Only” national identity 10,171,834 (19.2%); Irish identity 376,866; “Other identities” 4,921,225 (8.3%).  

As a curiosity, in the duchy of Cornwall, those that claimed Cornish only national identity were just 58,969 (9.9% of the population of Cornwall). Is this a result which leaves Cornish nationalism holed below the waterline?

So, in round terms, 32 million people living in England consider themselves to be “Only English”, whereas 15 million consider themselves to be “English and British” or “British Only”.  

The potential core vote for English nationalism therefore is that 32 million or 60.4% of the population in England.  

The potential swing voters are those that consider themselves to be “English and British” that is 4,800,000 people (9.1%).  

The “British Only” and “Other” national identities which combined is only 15.8 million people (29.9%) are likely to be the core opposition to any political agenda of “Englishness”.

In considering how politically significant these statistics may be we should bear in mind the fact that Tony Blair won his last landslide General Election victory with the votes of just 21.6% of the electorate.  

If English Nationalism could galvanise to vote for English Nationalism even only half of those that consider themselves to be “English Only”, then English Nationalists would not merely be elected they would be in government.  

Another point of interest is that already in England those that identity themselves in anyway as being British appear to represent less than 30% of the population.  It would appear therefore that any party basing its appeal on British Nationalism is competing for support in a “declining market” and one also in which there is a significant proportion of “Non White” voters.   

As we know in Scotland and Wales the decline of Britishness is even more dramatic.  It follows that, in the longer term, the future is bleak for political britishness.

It should surprise no-one that the more astute amongst the British Establishment Political Class are already picking up on the importance of this change in national identity in England – even Ed Miliband is making noises about being supportive of English national identity!

The challenge for English nationalism will however be to wean off from voting for their old tribe, of either Labour or Conservative, those that consider themselves to be “English only”or to actually get them to go out and to vote (indeed also to get potential English nationalist voters to actually register on the electoral roll).  

Here we come straight back to the great and central task of Effective Politics – which is to get organised and to get sufficient resources, including money, to make things happen.  

In this regard English nationalists should bear in mind that the ever elusive “they” will not help us, we must help ourselves.  

There is also no use imagining that politics is about having the best manifesto. 

It does of course require ‘political positioning’ which appeals to potential supporters, but it mainly requires organisation and money. This is in exactly the same way as my lay clients often imagine that court cases are won on the arguments rather than on procedure.  In fact over 97% of court cases never get as far as an argument because they have been won, lost or settled in the procedural stages!  

So let us English Nationalists use 2013 to get ourselves organised to try and start galvanising our potential core support of over 60% of the population of England to stand up for England, Englishness and English interests! 

We now know that if well organised and well resourced together we really can win! 

The Office for National Statistics nationality statistics can be found here)>>> http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-286262. The Nationality results are at: 2011 Census: KS202EW National identity, local authorities in England and Wales.

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