Fifty years on from the Rivers of Blood speech, Enoch Powell’s dire predictions of societal collapse have not materialised. But anxieties around immigration and integration continue to cause concern for many.
According to an exclusive YouGov poll of over 5,000 people commissioned by HOPE not hate (building on previous Fear and HOPE polls commissioned by HOPE not hate since 2011+), the British public remains pessimistic about the state of multiculturalism and integration, and fears it will get worse.
While there is a gulf between people’s negative perceptions and the more cordial reality, multiculturalism has been an uneven success, leaving some areas of Britain more integrated than others.
There have been huge advances in race relations, thanks to governmental and non-governmental action and the growth of closer connections between different communities. But many challenges remain across, and between, these communities, and also in some specific areas of the country.
With anxiety about British Muslims and Islam in particular replacing immigration as the main area of concern 50 years since Powell’s speech, challenging anti-Muslim prejudice and creating a more positive narrative around British Muslims will be a central to the continuing advancement of race relations in the UK.
Powell’s dire predictions of societal breakdown haven’t materialised but people remain pessimistic about the state of multiculturalism and integration, and fear it will get worse.
Exclusive YouGov polling of 5,200 people for HOPE not hate has found:
However, there appears to be a gulf between perception and reality. The reality is that multiculturalism has been an uneven success, leaving some areas of Britain more integrated than others.
There have been huge advances in race relations, from governmental and non-governmental action through to closer connections between different communities. However, many challenges remain across, and between communities, and in some specific areas of the country.
As when Powell spoke, a huge amount of work was needed to provide alternative messages of hope, and real action from government and communities to stop Powell’s vision from becoming reality, we need action today to stop a slip towards hardening attitudes and to rebuild public trust. Powell’s speech prompted action, the anniversary must do the same.