October 13, 2009 Leave a comment
There are around 670 members of the British National Party in Essex if we are to believe the leaked membership list, but I’m sure that number has changed since September 2008 when the leaked list was drawn up.
For what reasons?
There were those ‘Africans for Essex‘ leaflets, which is just one example of scaremongering tactics concerning foreigners.
There are countless attempts to depict Essex as a place where migrants can fly through council housing lists, bypassing honest native applications.
Immigrants being paid to come to Essex, it would not be unheard of from the mouths (or fingers) of the commentators of the threads on the BNP website, and various blogs attributed to supporters.
But, looking at some figures today at work, I came across a file which had this to say:
Essex is increasingly ethnically diverse. In 2001, 2.9% of the population belonged to Mixed, Black, Asian or Chinese ethnic groups, compared to a figure of 9.1% for England as a whole. Recent estimates suggest that 8.6% of the population belong to Black and Minority Ethnic groups, compared to a figure of 15.3% for England as a whole. These groups are most concentrated in Brentwood, Epping Forest and Harlow but even in these areas the Black and Minority Ethnic groups account for a smaller proportion of the population than nationally. The largest Black and Minority Ethnic group in Essex is ‘White non-British’ but this is likely to change in the future. The evidence suggests limited economic migration to Essex from Eastern Europe, and although 44% of Essex’s Black and Minority Ethnic population is White and not British, only 21% of those aged under-16 identify with this group. Amongst under-16s the Mixed ethnic group is the largest by far, accounting for 32% of all Black and Minority Ethnic residents. As this cohort grows the local population will become more diverse.
At the moment at least, the largest black and ethnic minority group in Essex is white non-British (constituting 44%) – the group, apparently, that the BNP won’t mind entering the country, were they to have that kind of say. 21% of that 44% share are young people who feel themselves British enough not to identify themselves as of an ethnic ‘other’. The share of ethnic minority is way under that of the figure for England as a whole – but this is not how the far right portray the figures, describing Essex as swamped, flooded, anything, actually, with water or sludge.
Either the Essex BNP are lying or they just don’t know Essex like they think they do. What does this picture of Richard Barnbrook (the London borough of Barking and Dagenham are immediately next to Essex) tell us?:
Actual Essex flag (spot the difference):