Haven’t things changed?

Only 14 per cent of police officers in the capital are from BAME (black and ethnic minority) communities, compared to 43 per cent of the London population.

Not to say that this is better or worse. But it’s certainly different from what it was.

Part of the political disconnect is that those doing national politics – and national media etc – think this reflects the nation, not London alone.

From 2011 Census, 14% BAME for England and Wales (less for UK as whole).

And rather lower for many other areas. Always been amused by the cast in Vera. Get quite a few you’d not think ethnically Geordie in there. Not as a plot point, just as a general member of the cast, with local accents ‘n’ all. You know, this is what modern GeordieLand looks like.

Not really. Take Hartlepool – in the region, think there’s an episode or two there. 92,000 people odd. 89,000 of whom are white. Maybe 600 in total British Indian/Pakistani. 200 more Bangladeshis, perhaps 200 total of all varieties of Black (ie, African and Caribbean). (From “2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales”).

No casting director in London’s going to believe that. No one in national media’s going to believe that. We should have no more than token BAME in Vera because that’s what the BAME presence is up there, token? Gerraway wi’ya.

And thus is built that gap. London’s very different from the rest of Britain. Might well be better – but it’s definitely different.

26 thoughts on “Haven’t things changed?”

  1. Where I live, just off the NW corner of the M25, we’ve a real mixed bag of everyone from everywhere – to the extend that Mrs njc, who’s American, comments that there’s no-one English left here.

    Go two miles over to the next town and it’s whitey white land.

    Most stark was comparing two schools for our eldest – the local one that everyone wants to get into is minority white. The next school everyone wants to get into, in the other town I mentioned, is the complete opposite. Like comparing a photo with a negative.

  2. Remember all those times when our masters laughed at our claims that immigration was unprecedented and out of control? Then you periodically see these stories, where they say something like

    “BAME are 2% of (insert job here) while they are 8% of the population”

    Then ten years later it is

    “BAME are 5% of (inserty job here) despite being 17% of the population”

    and so on. Now its 43% of London.

  3. Down here in my small town in Devon the only BAME residents are the three asian familys that run our three Asian restaurants. If young children see a person of colour they will turn around and stare because it is so unusual.

  4. Perhaps ‘BAME’ people simply aren’t as public-spirited as British people? After all they don’t donate blood or organs at anything like the rate of Brits either.

    Perhaps the answer is to bring in a few thousand world-class Nigerian and Zimbabwean coppers ( and their families, natch) to police the teeming hordes. What could possibly go wrong?



  5. No casting director in London’s going to believe that. No one in national media’s going to believe that. We should have no more than token BAME in Vera because that’s what the BAME presence is up there, token? Gerraway wi’ya.

    Spot on

    I reall a series of Shetland where two of the main characters were Asian (allegedly from mainland Scotland) and Black

    The copper is allegedly of Portuguese descent

    So ethnic asian, black and portuguese descent in one of the least ethnically diverse islands of these British Isles

    And they wonder why the BBC is laughed at?1

  6. Similar in my midlands hometown.

    “Why have we got only 5 BAME employees at a company of 200”

    “Because the town is 90% white you fuckwit” should be the answer.

  7. Are certain groups over represented in the criminal population? If so is increasing their police presence really a good idea?

  8. “After all they don’t donate blood or organs at anything like the rate of Brits either.”

    “They” can’t because: roolz about donations.

    Similarly, I can’t give blood in Germany because: roolz.

  9. I grew up in a village just outside Blackburn. In the 50s I had a primary school friend who was a son of a Sinhalese Anglo-Indian couple – not noticeably darker than the rest of us, and though he had a strange accent, no more so than someone from the other side of the Pennines. At grammar school in the 60s I remember the first non-white pupil arrived when I was in the 6th form – he was Chinese.

    The first black face I ever saw (apart from the illustrations in Little Black Sambo) were the stewards on my dad’s ship in the 60s (he was on the W Africa run). Today Blackburn is >30% Pakistani, which means the centre is ~100%. A very similar tale could be told of many former mill towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire (and places elsewhere as well).

    I’m aware and agree that there are both pros and cons in this situation, but what I’m certain of is: (a) no local was ever consulted about these changes; and (b) had they been asked, not one would have supported it.

  10. I am a ‘monkey hanger’* by birth, grew up in Northumberland and have lived in Suffolk for 30+ years. I never saw a non-indigenous person until I went to Oxford.

    Before 2000, in Suffolk, I rarely saw a black, brown or yellow face. Now, they are 2-3% of the population. A few are degenerates; but most are business owners and professionals (doctors and engineers) who want to integrate.

    While I’d like to see the BAME population reduced by voluntary repatriation and strict immigration controls, someone’s education/social class trumps their race for me. With immigration, the UK needs quality rather than quantity.


  11. @ Theophrastus
    I was born within cycling distance (I *hated* swimming at Seaton Carew) and Stockton did have some non-indigenous people, so I suspect Hartlepool did too but you may not have noticed them; the parents of my best friend had been German Jews, the father of another was a Polish RAF officer.
    But, nit-picking apart, I agree with you: there wasn’t even a Chinese restaurant.
    The first black I saw was at public school, the second at Oxford

  12. Racist gobbledygook.

    People’s race shouldn’t matter. If non-whites are assimilated to become British, this percentage talk will be seen for what it is: CM propaganda.

    In most cases, the mention of race is racist.

    “The guy who asks who farted is the one that did it.”

  13. @Theophrastus and john 77,
    Us Poolies certainly get around.
    There were a few black and Indian kids in my junior school in the 50’s. Samuel, a Nigerian, was in my class and an Indian lad was a year below me.
    We were cheeky enough to incorporate this in lessons.
    “Penseivat, how far away is Africa?
    “Can’t be too far, Miss. Sammy goes home for his dinner.”
    “Penseivat, where is the Taj Mahal?”
    “Lynn Street, Miss.”
    On the subject of BAME in certain professions/jobs, perhaps the percentage is so low in organisations such as the Police, the Armed Forces, the Fire or Ambulance Service, because Asian or black people don’t want to join them. It may be because of cultural reasons or a distrust, especially of the Police. Mind you, walk into local authority buildings in central London and you may think you’re in Africa (I wonder if these same authorities are taking any action to increase the percentage of the disproportionate minority of white people employed there?).
    Until, or unless, the government of the day decides what job a person will do, there will always be a shortfall in certain professions, and no amount of ‘targets’ will change that.

  14. I am a ‘monkey hanger’ by birth
    #metoo, but we moved to Blackburn before my first birthday. My mum’s family are still in the area.

    @john 77
    Swimming at Seaton Carew? You’re a hard man, sir!
    “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer at Seaton Carew.”

  15. @ Penseivat:

    ” I wonder if these same authorities are taking any action to increase the percentage of the disproportionate minority of white people employed there?”

    Don’t be silly. ‘Diversity’ simply means fewer white people.

  16. Re “Shetland” the most obvious problem is the fact that the only genuine Shetlander is Sandy. I appreciate Shetland will have a small “dramatic” populace but don’t pretend a cast full of Weegies (it’s always Weegies btw) are all natives of Foula and Fair Isle without at least making some attempt to sound like Shetlanders. Not just saying “Lerrick” for Lerwick

  17. Blacks living in NI in 1960s/70s? Never saw one.

    Maybe some in Belfast, but never saw one.. In 1960s Ballymena? – rofl Liam Neeson had made that story up.

    First was Army – saw one in Armagh, huge guy.– somewhat unsettling when twelve and he was a giant and diff face anatomy & colour.

    Me? I judge on behaviour.

  18. My wife was watching midsummer murders when I got home from work the other day, seemed to have the diversity levels of inner city London as well

  19. The other mistake they are making is expecting the diversity of the police force *now* to match the diversity of the general population *now*. The police force is 100% composed of people who joined before now, so will be biased towards reflecting the diversity of the past. It’s identical to the oft complained “80-year-olds in the legal profession don’t match the diversity of 20-year-old entrants, wah wah!”

  20. South-West Wales 1977-1996, there was one Chinese Hong Kong family who ran the Chinese takeaway, I was at junior school with one of the daughters. There was also a Vietnamese girl who I can only imagine was a refugee but how she ended up in Pembroke is anyone’s guess. She was awfully pretty. The comprehensive school had one half-caste lad and maybe one or two lads of Indian extraction among 1,200 pupils.

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