Poor white Britons feel ignored, says minister

January 2nd, 2009 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 2 (IANS) Britain’s minister responsible for community affairs said disadvantaged British whites feel ignored and are in “acute fear” of the impact of immigration.Community Minister Hazel Blears spoke after a government report for her department said white working class Britons felt at a disadvantage with immigrants.

“White working class people living on estates sometimes just don’t feel anyone is listening or speaking up for them,” Blears said.

“Whilst they might not be experiencing the direct impact of migration, their fear of it is acute.”

She said that people must be allowed to speak their mind on the subject without fear of being branded racist and that politicians must listen.

The report suggested whites living in disadvantaged low-cost housing estates around the country felt a “real and perceived sense of unfairness.”

It said poor white people felt that immigrants were treated more favourably in the allocation of housing and other resources.

The report found that some members of the white working-class feel “betrayed”.

A lack of open and honest discussion about the impact of immigration among politicians locally and nationally had created fertile ground for rumours spread by far-right groups about preferential treatment being given to ethnic minorities.

Blears said: “Changes in communities can generate unease and uncertainty. These changes need to be explained and questions need to be answered or the myths that currently surround the treatment of ethnic minorities ‘jumping the queue’ will become increasingly hard to shift.”

“The job of politicians and leaders is to listen and respond, to have the very debates that people in these estates are having or we risk losing touch with them altogether,” she added.

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