The Exodus from London

David Goodhart says “London’s White Flight Deserves Attention” (Financial Times).

OK, let me pay some attention. Goodhart is trying to draw attention to (i) the fact that White British are no longer a majority in London; (ii) that this is owing to both immigration and an exodus of White British; and (iii) most importantly that nobody in the political and media elite seems to regard the mass exodus as an issue.

Yes, it does deserve attention. If people are leaving a city en masse, then that’s on the face of it a sign of a severe predicament.

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that London no longer contained a majority from the UK’s main ethnic group, known in the demographers’ jargon as the “White British”.

London is arguably the first great western capital city to pass this landmark, though that depends on where you draw the boundaries around Washington and on excluding Brussels as a special case because it is an “embassy capital”.

In any event, it is a remarkable development for London and one that was unexpected. However, the London Evening Standard, the capital’s main evening paper, tucked it away on page 10 on the day of the announcement, and the BBC London television news had it as the seventh item that evening. London mayor Boris Johnson’s usually ubiquitous blond bob was nowhere to be seen. Two days later I met a senior official from Mr Johnson’s Greater London Authority who, asked about the data, said: “What’s the fuss?”

This studied indifference of London’s political and media elite appears to be in sharp contrast to the feelings of many of the white British people who live in less salubrious parts of the city. For it is important to understand that the proportion of white British Londoners fell so dramatically – from 60 per cent in 2001 to 44.9 per cent in 2011 – not only because of high levels of immigration but also thanks to a mass exodus of white Britons.

(h/ The Browser)

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