‘Immigration has become a totemic emblem for the many grievances people feel in modern Britain.’
This is according to Hope Not Hate’s October 2018 report, Fear, Hope and Loss: Understanding the Drivers of Hope and Hate.
The report also finds that:
- Where there are more opportunities and optimism, and people feel more in control of their own lives, communities tend to be more resilient to hateful narratives.
- Racial or religiously motivated resentment is often part of broader resentments, a broader sense of unfairness or loss. These issues are often merged in their articulation.
- A propensity to support the far-right depends on many factors, such as demographics, broader worldview, information absorbed, trust in authorities, or contact with people of different backgrounds.
- Levels of deprivation come through as a strong driver, especially among the most and least deprived areas of the country. This is particularly true for levels of education, training and skills and employment deprivation.
- In areas with low opportunities, the ground is more fertile for hate and hostility to grow, though hate tends to be triggered by other factors. For instance, the responses to two racially charged cases of child sexual exploitation were very different in Rotherham and Oxford, areas with very different levels of opportunity. In Oxford, economic prosperity and ‘comfortable diversity’ offered resilience to these narratives.
- The research consistently shows that where people are more likely to feel in control of their own lives, they are more likely to show resistance to hostile narratives. This hope and optimism is the best resilience to hate.
- Hope means different things to many people, but research consistently shows an economic element. Therefore any work to build resilience or integration must be coupled with efforts to address economic inequality, in order to counter the fear and tensions exposed in the research.