When it comes to diversity, most of us vote with our feet

26 November 2013

Liberals are almost as likely to flee diversity as conservatives, according to new research by Prof Eric Kaufmann for Demos. Some 61 per cent of white people who were ‘very comfortable’ with mixed marriages (the best indicator of views on race) moved to whiter areas during the period, compared to 64 per cent of those who were ‘fairly uncomfortable’. The Sunday Times called it ‘polite white flight’.

The tendency of white liberals not to practise the diversity they preach dates back to the 1960s at least, and offends people who rightly point out that their reasons for moving are to do with space, schools, housing and a number of other things.

Up to a point. ‘Secondary migration’ is not specifically about race, but a lot of it is about living with ‘people like us’ in an area with a strong sense of community, and PLU do tend to be from similar backgrounds. Kaufmann’s research suggests that white liberals don’t aim for segregation but that there is a tipping point where they start to leave an area, perhaps when the minority population rises above 10 per cent. The richer people are, the more tolerant they can be, because the more like them anyone who moves into their very expensive area is going to be, cultural and social differences tending to vanish as we move up the scale (London’s super-rich may as well as be a separate species to the rest of us).


London liberals tend to be impeccably on-side when it comes to racial morality, but still want to be with people like them, some of whom are Asian or black or mixed, but not many, at least not proportionally to their boroughs. This doesn’t make them bad, just human, but the problem is that the whole diversity ideal is based on people having perfectible natures, the story culminating with a post-racial society where all segregation ends, a classic example of a utopian political belief.

Diversity was also from the start a morality play following the legacy of slavery and the Holocaust, with white liberals as heroes and conservatives as villains and in which the motivations and interests of non-whites – who took the role of victims to be saved by liberals – were not even considered. No one took account of the fact that newcomers might bring their own prejudices (including their views on mixed marriages) and that these might endure or even be strengthened by the second generation, rather than diminished.

A morality play invites a very simplistic interpretation of politics as good v evil, when in reality this issue, like most, is about good v good. In the US Dr Richard Florida is the latest liberal academic to come to the same conclusion that David Goodhart reached ten years ago – that diversity and solidarity clash. This is never going to change, because it’s part of human nature, which is why the open borders side now increasingly focus on the economic benefits, as if these could possibly be more dramatic than the social impact (as Paul Collier notes in this article to accompany Exodus).

I’m conscious of the fact that the argument has shifted in the past 12-24 months, which as a conservative makes me uncomfortable because I prefer to be losing so I can complain about things, and more importantly it risks making multiculturalists defensive like cultists in When Prophecy Fails. I don’t want to win the argument against liberals, I just want their help in stopping London from becoming even more of a Ridley Scott/Paul Verhoeven dystopia than it already is.

I’m not that optimistic; race is to our age what sex was to the Victorians, and no one wants to admit to himself, let alone to the public, that he might be a deviant in any way. Therefore as we become more diverse we won’t get river foaming with much blood, but instead we’re likely to see increased social segregation, rising inequality and quietism about politics.

More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us now.

  • disqus_KdiRmsUO4U

    I post as unequivocally wishing that the UK had remained overwhelmingly white.

    The white race consists of about 10 % of the world’s population and has been responsible for nearly all of the major advances that have occurred over the last (say) 500 years.

    The dark side of human nature is shared equally across the race structure.
    The creative side is not.Chinese excepted.

    No more elaboration required, you either agree or you do not.
    If you disagree perhaps you could explain why ?

    I am a nasty person wont do.

  • NewImprovedPretendName

    “I don’t want to win the argument against liberals”

    I understand this sentiment precisely, and have thought the same myself at some points. You want to return to an older and better balance, but you have no wish to see gangs of vigilantes touring Asian areas with baseball bats. We have seen enough of that in Northern Ireland and no good comes of it.

    That is honourable enough as hard-right-wing opinion goes, but I don’t think it holds. Once a balance has been lost, it has gone for ever. One can either fight against the new position, probably with baseball bats, or become sad, nostalgic, disappointed and bitter as the world passes by. The first is fascism and the second is a pretty restricted way to live one’s life.

    So most of us do have to force a smile and tick the liberal boxes, even if we are not really true believers. And after all, if racial minorities ever do need protection in the UK, God forbid, they will have to look to us. The Guardian types might preach about race, but they’ll vanish quickly enough at the first sight of trouble and might even join the immigrant bashers. After all, they have form …

  • Dana Garcia

    Everyone prefers the company of their own tribe — that’s human nature. Only decades of liberal diversity propaganda have made people think their normal feelings are somehow incorrect.

  • James Mayer

    Portion of the White British who are descended from the first settlers of the Isles: 75%
    2001 Census: White British population of the the UK: 90%
    2011 Census: White British population of the UK: 80%
    2013 percentage of children now being born in the UK who are categorised as White British: 64%
    Predicted date when the White British will be relegated to ethnic minority status in their own ancestral homeland: 2066

    We have about two to three decades left if we are save our people, culture and nation. Will you join the struggle? I will. ORGANISE.

    See also:
    “Ethnic Groups in Conflict” by Donald Horowitz

  • La Fold

    I can rememeber working for an Oilfield Services company a
    couple of years back and its new corporate campaign was the company name with
    around a dozen national flags next to it.

    Underneath it said “DIVERSITY – CELEBRATE IT!”

    They dished out free t-shirts, mouse mats, plastered the
    office in this nonsense. When I refused to wear the t-shirt or have anything to
    do with the said corporate launch I simply asked

    “why should we celebrate diversity? Is all diversity good? what
    has diversity got to do with laying pipelines on the sea bed anyway?”

    Not one person could answer my questions, not even the HR
    rep I was sent to see could fill me in, yet many people were offended and cried

    And this is exactly the same sort of thinking that goes on
    ” Im all in favour of mixed marriages as long as its not my

  • George Igler

    So Ed, will Left & Right now unite in the anti-Sharia fight?

    The 2013 you describe sounds a lot like the year which has normalized xenophobia in the UK’s political space. Just as it has taken hold in several other EU nations, the driving force of their respective nativist populist movements, surely?

    And all it took for Britain was the Roma gypsies (they’ve been fulfilling this role in Eastern European history for centuries, poor devils), the decapitation of a Fusilier (for people to realise that two separate armies now claim sovereignty in the nation’s streets), the East of London being turned over into the political ownership of the sub-continent (while the West of London was sold off to the ownership of the Russians), the implosion of the political Left’s base (while the Right wilful assassinated its own), and most of England’s large cities inevitably becoming minority habitations for the indigenes (while the EU’s transformative immigration policies continues to turn the country into the continent’s labour ward at its own expense)… that’s all it’s taken, for people to notice that it’s decades too late for anything conservative to be done about any of it.

    I think we can fairly judge that the Right’s nose has been duly rubbed.

  • Ricky Strong

    And now I see that the High Court was today forced to adjourn so that two muslim terror suspects could pray. It is quite evident that Islam has surpassed traditional English law.

    I would never deny anyone the right to practice their religious beliefs but to postpone the due process of justice is beyond absurdity; equality before the law, or so it used to be. It certainly seems that some people in our highest courts are more equal than others.

    • crosscop

      “I would never deny anyone the right to practice their religious beliefs…”
      I agree. Aztecs should be able to rip out the hearts of their sacrificial victims and Muslims should be able to kill anyone who leaves Islam.

      • Ricky Strong

        It was more of a reference to designated praying times than any other absurd practice. I did not think it appropriate to precisely detail every single aspect of every religion that I disagree with and equally so those areas that I can accommodate. I would like to think that the context of my previous post was well established by the time I made the assertion that you have chosen to quote.

        • crosscop

          It was a joke.

          • Ricky Strong

            I do apologise, I fried my brain around lunch-time trying to get my head around the Land Registration Act 2002. Sorry chap(ette).

  • Patricia

    “No one took account of the fact that newcomers might bring their own prejudices (including their views on mixed marriages) and that these might endure or even be strengthened by the second generation, rather than diminished.”

    Bang on, but somehow that’s kept under wraps. No, it’s your average white Brit who must be “diverse.”

  • atticus1900

    A good article; honest and one that should be printed in the Guardian

  • sarahsmith232

    Seen all of this in action. Ask your typical diversity loving Guardian reader ‘where’s the best place to live in London’. They’ll then reel off a list of all the still just about clinging on in there still white parts. Say ‘The rents cheap in Stratford’ diversity lover ‘Oh no, that place is disgusting (has long since been devoured by immigration)’ say ‘What about Tower Hamlets’ diversity lover ‘well, Bow (getting whiter and whiter) is ok’ say ‘Whitechapel?’ DL ‘it’s vile, DO NOT MOVE THERE (90%Muslim)//, Bethnal Green is the best (BG is the whitest part). You ‘Hackney?’ DL ‘Victoria Park is really nice’ (completely white and v.affluent). Etc, etc, etc.
    They all know how to hit all the right tick boxes when it comes to talking about immigration but in reality they feel exactly the same about the areas affected by immigration as your average 89yr old Daily Mail reader. Only difference being your average DM reader isn’t a hypocrite/deluded about their views.

    • artemisinfrance


      • James Mayer


        • sarahsmith232

          Thanks dears.

    • paulthorgan

      What is even funnier is when writers for the Guardian who live in London regard being robbed in the street and having their homes burgled as acceptable and inevitable. They see it as a price they have to pay for their affluence and relative success in society.

    • James Mayer

      They’re almost finished though. Just look at the polls. You can only ask people to deny what is right in front of their eyes for so long before they relinquish their cooperation.

    • MProblem

      It’s the same in the U.S. The alleged diversity-lovers are constantly singing the praises of New England, Minnesota and Oregon/Washington. Guess what the demographics are in those places?

  • Bonkim

    Sound analysis – birds of a feather flock together – that is not new.

  • Paul Perrin

    Thats what happens when you try to *force* diversity on people who don’t want it and haven’t been asked.

  • crosscop

    “Therefore as we become more diverse we won’t get river foaming with much blood, but instead we’re likely to see increased social segregation, rising inequality and quietism about politics.”
    The blood is already flowing. Did you miss the 7/7 Bombings? The murder of Kriss Donald? Charlene Downes? Lee Rigby? How much bloodshed will it take before you wake up to what is going on?
    “More diversity” just means dwindling numbers of English, Scots, Irish and Welsh in their ancestral homelands – and ever increasing attacks on them by the colonists. Does anybody truly think things are going to get better for the dwindling indigenous population as “diversity” increases?

    • Bonkim

      That is being alarmist – the 7/7 bombers were bigoted Taliban – go back a decade or two the IRA created more havoc in Britain than these bigoted Islamic terrorists – terrorism – Muslim or Catholic – no different and most people did not blame the Catholic Church for IRA terrorism.

      • MikeF

        “most people did not blame the Catholic Church for IRA terrorism.” That’s because the IRA were Marxists not Catholics.

        • Bonkim

          To the world N Ireland is a battleground between Catholics wanting union with Ireland and Protestants and the IRA their foot soldiers.

          • MrsDBliss

            That’s because the BBC etc report it as that. However with a name like the National a republican Army you can see its political not religious.

            • Bonkim

              National Republican – Ireland – not part of the United Kingdom. The Irish are pretty bigoted in terms of their religion.

      • crosscop

        So pointing out the “bleeding obvious” is now “alarmist” is it? The dwindling white indigenous population will not be increasingly subjected to violence from the 3rd World colonists as they slip towards minority status, then? Are you really sure about that?
        Haven’t you seen what is happening to non-Muslims in Muslim countries and to the Boers in South Africa? It is already happening here and it will get increasingly worse unless we wake up soon. How long before another Lee Rigby is killed or another bomb goes off? One year? Two? Five? We all know it will happen again… and again…and again. It’s a certainty and there’s no point pretending that it’s not.

        • James Mayer

          The next terror attack will be the tipping point. We have almost lost our patience now…

          • crosscop

            But we will still have the likes of Cameron and Clegg telling us that it has nothing to do with Islam and wittering on about a backlash against Muslims. Which reminds me – does anyone have any info on what happened to the two people arrested for the “attack” on that Muslim school after Lee Rigby was murdered? The one with EDL painted on it. Just who the two were and what happened to them appears to have vanished into the ether. I somehow don’t think they were EDL…

            • James Mayer

              Yes, there have been several very mysterious such occurrences. The media censor the vast bulk of immigrant crime nowadays, ostensibly for the sake of ‘easing community tensions’, which is to say that if the British public ever found out the truth, 30 million of us would probably don Enoch Powell masks and descend on the thames barrier with a view to redirecting the floodwaters. Personally, I tend to google the following if I want the truth about die-versity:

              UK enrichment news
              The fallen list

      • James Mayer

        Ethnic diversity in general creates conflict, and should be avoided. See: “Ethnic groups in Conflict” by Donald Horowitz. Multiculturalism destroys countries.

        • Bonkim

          Agree multi-culturalism is meaningless.

          How do you define ethnic unity? Are the English ethnically and culturally homogeneous? British culture has changed substantially over the past few decades and an early or mid twentieth century Englishman will have difficult communicating with the present lot – will be a total stranger to the prevailing culture. morals, and lack of manners. Leave alone Victorian definitions.

          Your name does not sound quintessentially English.

          • James Mayer

            I am half English and half-polish, and can speak from either side of my heritage to acknowledge that the scale of what has happened to this country in the last couple of decades may actually lead to its ruination unless the damage is reversed. The British are ethnically and culturally homogenous enough that they do generally get along, but look at Northern Ireland and even the anti-English sentiment brewing in Scotland in recent months for examples of the problems diversity can and does create. And the victorians aren’t alive now, so I don’t imagine we’ll be arguing with them any time soon. I’m more concerned about the appalling culture clash which is brewing between muslims and Europeans on the continent personally, because of the following; do have a look:


            • Bonkim

              Europe – Christendom and Islam are old enemies so nothing new -Denmark, Holland, and some others relatively small countries with homogeneous populations/religion/culture so such friction inevitable – Europeans particularly those from the Catholic parts were always a little backward and string tribal/sectarian mindset.

              What you are saying is nothing new – history simply repeating as the few decades of prosperity and peace appearing to be disappearing under threats of unemployment, reduced living standards, and influx of people from alien cultures – so not disagreeing with you in principle.

              Britain was always more confident in social and international affairs that the Europeans because of Empire and because of its island position. Empire is now a distant memory and joining the EU has opened exposure to people and cultures the British were not familiar with – so yes assimilation of the ex-Empire people was easy despite the racist views of the past, as both sides understood each other but the new threat is from Europe and particularly the automatic rights of EU citizens to settle, and get state benefits – As said, doubt if local Poles would look at it kindly parts of Warzawa suddenly became English Ghettos with their heathen social practices.

    • James Mayer

      59 up-votes, zero down-votes…

  • MichtyMe

    Good god, it gives you the shudders, these fleeing, bossy, metropolitain liberals arriving in mass, looking for “people like us” into our communities, can’t we have quotas or something.

  • Pootles

    Too late, too late, too bl**dy late. And it’s not just London – the English minority city. My work has recently involved the High Peak district of Derbyshire. It is currently struggling with increased pressure on housing, schools, social amenities etc, all a result of migration. But, in this case, it is migration from the Manchester, and, indeed, the Birmingham areas, i.e., white/English flight. Of course, any Welshman/woman will tell you the same is true of the marcher areas of Wales, and North Wales. These are our Montanas…

  • StephanieJCW

    Never understood this. I have spent my entire life living in diverse neighbourhoods and now live as a minority in my new home.
    Never so much as bothered me.

    Are people really fleeing diversity or dodgy neighbourhoods (not the same thing.)?

    • Mr Grumpy

      If you’re faced with the prospect of your child being one of a handful of native English speakers in the local infants’ school the distinction is likely to appear pretty academic.

      • anncalba

        White flight is the reality. Daughter lives in Leeds, works at a school where only 2 of the 27 children in the class have English as a first language. Sends her own children a half hour bus ride away to an almost all white school. As do all the few remaining white British in the area who can’t afford to move out.

Can't find your Web ID? Click here