I voted to leave.
I am pro-migration. It would not bother me if migration rose after the vote to leave the EU as a result of us being able to attract more people. Migrants tend to have lower unemployment rates, they tend to be younger and so healthier and so use the NHS less than the older ‘natives’. They are a massive net contributor to society and frankly, we need them to pay for the retirement of British people. That isn’t to say there are no issues around integration and so on but that’s a different story. Migrants are a positive contributor to our economy and society. I say that as someone who lived as an expat most of his life.
I was not happy with much of the rhetoric used in the campaign.
I was, and remain, happy with the result.
However, there has been a growing number of stories about the effects of the debate around how we approach racism within the country and the prevalence of racism within the country.
Being a white guy I have zero experience with racism. Possibly some positive racism, I don’t know.
So here’s the statistics on racism from 2011 – 2015.
Source: gov.uk – Hate Crime Statistics
For some reason there were two different figures for 2013/14, I imagine due to changes in reporting. These are the numbers of hate crimes reported by month in England and Wales. 2011-2014 (under the first set of statistics at least) is largely flat.
One important thing to note is the rise in the number of hate crimes over the summer months. This could be due to more people being out and about, leading to more interactions. It could be due to people literally getting hot and bothered. It could also be due to football related violence around international tournaments. Though looking at it I can’t see a strong link for the 2012/2014 data around the last Euro championship or world cup.
Hate crime numbers have also been trending up over the past few years, this could be due to reporting differences, hence the large jump in the 2013/14 figures between the two datasets and between the 2013/14 and 2014/15 dataset. It could also be due to improved reporting.
However, the single figure I have for 2016 – that blue dot at 6152. That is from two weeks reported hate crime (doubled as it was a two week period). That is not down to heat, increased contact between people, or the woeful performance of the England team at the Euro Championships.
I am not sorry that we have left the EU. I just wish the campaign had focussed relentlessly on the positives for leaving the EU and not the xenophobia that got so much attention because Nigel Farage doesn’t know how to avoid a camera. I think we could have won on the positives alone. Or, rather, on the negatives of the EU as an institution. Not on the migration which has been such a boon to our society.
The Prime Minister and Theresa May (in her capacity as Home Secretary) should come out in support of stricter sentencing guidelines for anyone convicted of a hate crime. If someone can be jailed for six months for stealing water during the London riots, there should be harsh sentences for abusing Poles or Pakistanis or anyone else. We are, by and large, a tolerant nation. We need to promote that idea to the world.
That rise in hate crime is sickening. It needs to be confronted.