White working-class Britons are “marginalised” due to immigration and badly paid jobs, according to a study by the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
The group, set up by billionaire George Soros, spent a year talking to residents of the Higher Blackley area of Manchester, northern England, and asking them their views on a wide variety of subjects.
They found that residents felt disillusioned and disempowered after years of mass immigration to the area. Although the residents have a “strong work ethic”, they are still finding it hard to get jobs thanks to mass migration. Researchers also found that although there is a “strong” local community, it is currently being “eroded”.
One older resident told the research team that how high immigration is causing tensions: “If there was work, and there was houses, and there was everything what’s needed, I wouldn’t have a problem with [immigration].
“The problem is that there’s too much looking for too little, and you’re bound to get trouble when that happens.
“If you have starving people and throw a loaf in amongst them, there’ll be a murder committed to get that loaf. That’s what’s happening here on a much bigger scale. There’s not enough.”
The residents were interviewed as part of a Europe-wide study on white working-class communities. As well as Manchester, the team also interviewed residents in Aarhus (Denmark), Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon and Stockholm.
They found similar views across Europe, noting the media stereotypes can often increase feelings of resentment. The Netherlands has a whole “antisocial television” genre dedicated to focusing on poor Dutch families with behavioural problems.
Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, told the Manchester Evening News that the report deals with “important issues”.
He added: “The last Labour government, by carelessly encouraging mass immigration, ignored the potential consequenes on populations that were already struggling.”