Author Archive for BFTemp

Can Scotland find a new political consensus?

Chris Creegan reflects on the historic election result in Scotland and asks whether Scotland can find a new, post-election political consensus

Chineme, 22, gives us her views on the immigration debate in the UK

Chineme, 22, one of the participants from the Voice of a Generation tour who we met in Sheffield gives us her views on the immigration debate in the UK – and the effect of the government and media on young people’s perceptions.

According to statistics released by the Home Office, just fewer than 13 million immigrants were granted entry into the UK from 1999-2008. With the total population of the UK around 60 million according to the Office for National Statistics, immigrants in Britain accounted for 7% under the New Labour government. Contrary to what British headlines in the news would have you believe, the vast majority of immigrants at the time were coming from the Americas; more than double that of immigrants coming from European nations.

These trends are continued in 2014 where major increases seen in granted work visas are from countries in Asia, Australasia and the Americas. The largest decrease in the number of work visas granted are from Africa and the Indian subcontinent. The problem with statistics about immigration is that they are non-specific, accounting for the number of passengers coming into the UK. This means that the data does not consider those who may have made several journeys into the UK on different visas.
Statistics about immigration often distort the reality of migration as a social and historical phenomenon. Historically, migration has been for the pursuit of empire building, but there has always been the free flow of people as they moved around in search of work and better life prospects.

One of the most central things young people discuss is their future because everything they have been socialised to do – going to school and studying hard – has been in the pursuit of having a good life as an adult. Getting a “good” job after school is considered to be part of building that future. However, in the aftermath of the financial crash of 2007/2008, in which the job market also failed, suddenly a narrative arose in the public sphere that targeted immigrants as being responsible for taking the jobs of British people. That narrative has been around for as long people have been migrating, and during this time of austerity it chimes to the very tune of fear amongst young people who seek work. In using statistics, the realities of immigration can be distorted to perpetuate the belief that a barrage of “Romanians are Coming” in seek of work to send money back as I remember one Channel 4 documentary claiming. Statistics from any source can also be quickly picked up in the press and used to project immigrants as unemployed benefit claimants who are also after British jobs. This feeds into a xenophobic bitterness that can all too easily by adopted by young people.

There has been a growing trend towards emigration to Australia and New Zealand where there are better prospects in finding a job, earning a living wage and achieving there….

Chineme, 22, one of the participants from the Voice of a Generation tour who we met in Sheffield gives us her views on the immigration debate in the UK – and the effect of the government and media on young people’s perceptions. According to statistics released by the Home Office, just fewer than 13 million

A tale of two elections

Last night was a tale of at least two elections, writes Sunder Katwala - a very good night for the Conservative and Unionist Party, and one almost beyond the dreams of the Scottish National Party.

The class of 2015 enter Britain’s most diverse ever parliament

A record number of ethnic minority MPs have been elected to the House of Commons: so who is in the new Class of 2015?

5 things we learned from the Voice of a Generation tour

Joe Cryer offers his reflections on what 5 things we learned from speaking with young voters up and down the country during the Voice of a Generation tour

Ten things I’ll be looking out for on election night

Key seats, big-name casualties, the UKIP 'surge' and the impact of ethnic minority voters: British Future's Sunder Katwala sets out ten things he'll be looking out for on election night.

VIDEO: Voice of a Generation

British Future has partnered with the Daily Mirror over the last 12 months to uncover the hopes and fears of young people in the lead-up to the 2015 general election. This is our film of the Voice of a Generation project.

Ellie, 19, tells us why young people should use their vote

Ellie, 19, tells us why young people should use their vote - and why it's politicians responsibility to encourage those who don't

Voices of a Generation – Connie

Helen caught up with Connie, 17, from Barnsley while she was in London for British Future's Voice of a Generation event to see what she thought about politics and politicians.

British Future is recruiting!

We are recruiting for an experienced project co-ordinator for the project “An Unknown and Untold Story – The Muslim Contribution to The First World War”, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Ten things we know (or don’t know) about St George’s Day

Many of us in England will be celebrating St George’s Day this week, commemorating the nation’s patron saint. Others will remain unaware, or wonder why there’s nothing much happening in their local area. British Future’s Steve Ballinger looks at what we think about St George’s Day and what we know, or don’t know, about England’s patron saint.

Voices of a Generation – George

While attending British Future's Voice of a Generation event in Westminster we spoke to George from London to find out what he thought about politics and politicians today.

Why registering to vote is so important

With voter registration about to close, Helen Whitehouse, the Daily Mirror's Voice of a Generation reporter reminds young people why it's so important to get their names on the electoral register

“We can’t choose something different”

As part of the Voice of a Generation tour we were lucky enough to be able to speak with a group of young asylum seekers and refugees in Leicester. This is a group who very rarely have their voices heard in the media, even on issues where they are the focus.

The new ‘Kingmaker’ seats that could decide the next Prime Minister

Sunder Katwala looks at the new 'Kingmaker' seats that could decide the next Prime Minister

Voices of a Generation – Sarah

On her way over to British Future's event in Westminster Helen asked Sarah, 18, from Plymouth what she thought about politics and politicians today.

New WW1 Centenary project tells unknown story of Britain’s Muslim soldiers

A new project announced today seeks to raise public awareness during the First World War Centenary of the 400,000 Muslims from undivided India who served in the British Army in The First World War.

Voices of a Generation – Eilidh

After our event in Westminster we spoke to Eilidh, 18, about what politics means to her, and what she thinks of politicians

Voices of a Generation – Francesca and Alana

In the aftermath of the Scottish Independence Referendum everyone Helen met in Scotland was set on voting in the General Election, but what did Francesca and Alana think would make politics matter more to them as young people?

Voices of a Generation – Anita

On a sunny day in Southampton Helen spent some time at St. Mary's Football Stadium with a group of young people talking about immigration and integration in their communities