Will they ever heed the voice of Britain?

By Daily Mail Comment

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Isolated: The 30th British Social Attitudes survey exposes the gulf between the views of people and politicians

Isolated: The 30th British Social Attitudes survey exposes the gulf between the views of people and politicians

For three decades, an official annual report has highlighted the widening chasm between the views of the British people and those of the metropolitan, liberal elite who control the levers of power.

Indeed, the findings have become so familiar that the 30th British Social Attitudes survey, published this week, has attracted only perfunctory coverage.

Yet it reveals a crisis in our democracy that screams out for attention. It calls into question the very integrity of our system of government, as an inward-looking and increasingly isolated political class blocks its ears to the views of the people it is supposed to represent.

Take immigration. The survey finds that 75 per cent of the public want it reduced immediately, while more than half – up from 40 per cent in 1995 – say it should be cut by ‘a lot’.

For the first time, too, a majority reject claims that migrants are good for the economy, with resentment highest among the low paid (who, unlike the bien pensant advocates of open borders, have to compete with foreigners for work).

Defying public opinion, however, the Coalition allowed net immigration to hit a record 252,000 last year.

Meanwhile, the BSA report finds that just a third believe immigration has been of cultural benefit, while 48 per cent say it has had a negative effect.

But you won’t find a single mainstream politician who speaks for that 48 per cent. Indeed, with one voice, the major parties argue vociferously against their views.

 

Or take the welfare state. A resounding 62 per cent say unemployment benefits are too high and discourage work, while increasing numbers believe disability benefit claimants have been wrongly classified as unable to work.

These are not the findings of some Right-wing think tank with an axe to grind. This is the Government’s own research, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Yet the widely-held views voiced in the BSA survey are either ignored or howled down by the publicly funded BBC – by far our most powerful news organisation, which has relentlessly pushed the liberal line and vilified the views of the people.

Meanwhile, even the feeblest attempts to match official policy to the public’s beliefs are fiercely resisted on both government and opposition benches.

No wonder voters are close to despair that their crosses on the ballot paper will ever make a difference.

When will the political class reconnect with the people – and remember the meaning of democracy?

Money to burn

As state borrowing spirals out of control and most ministers search desperately for cuts, the Department for International Development has the opposite problem.

For so bloated is its budget that officials are struggling to spend it fast enough to meet David Cameron’s target of increasing it to a blistering £12billion.

Earlier this week, it emerged that DfID splashed out almost £500million last year to aid consultants – while one  firm alone, as the Mail reports today, scooped contracts worth £100million in just nine months.

Yet, as evidence mounts that aid often does more harm than good to the needy, Mr Cameron still speaks of making it illegal for DfID to spend less than 0.7 per cent of the UK’s income.

This is madness. The Mail believes firmly in rich societies’ duty to alleviate the suffering of the world’s poorest – and Britain’s charitable donors are already the most generous in Europe.

But while families at home are suffering, how much longer can the Coalition go on squandering billions this country doesn’t possess, just so that politicians can feel good about themselves?

 

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Odd. There was no mention of what the report says about public attitudes to religion. As it turns out two surveys this week pretty much go to show that most people want a secular government with little or no involvement of religious leaders. Now I wonder why the DM comment didn't mention this? In one survey "71% said that religious leaders should have no influence over the decisions of the government" and yet we still have Bishops in the house of Lords and Government Ministers making speeches about a "Christian nation". As it turns out about only half the people of this nation regard themselves as being a member of a religion, never mind a Christian one. Maybe our leaders should heed the "voice of the nation" and "do God" in private and leave the public sphere a religion free zone.

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When voters wake up, UKIP could well be Number 1.- DwightVandryver , Stoke>>>Not if they start canoodling with the Tories. I had intended to vote UKIP to get rid of these useless posh boys but now Farage is aiming to do a Clegg in exchange for a top job. So UKIP voters may well wake up to Coalition Mk. 2. Won't that be great?

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We appoint MPs to represent us, as 50% of the country aren't that smart, take no interest in current affairs, and have no idea what they're talking about. Look at tabloid sales, compared to broad sheets.............

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IWe do not have enough independent voices any more , we are in stagnation times of meekness ....We see to many political correct mice,getting fatter and fatter on the diet of just say nothing , and nothing will change , and we can all hold on to our fat cat jobs....Surely there must be some LIONS still left?... With guts enough, at the very least , to roar out loud! - butesun, manchester, United Kingdom, I take it you haven't seen Nigel Farage of UKIP roar

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Democracy is just a word in this country, practised abroad yet denied at home. EU Referendum anyone? To quote(and agree with)Peter Hitchens: "I despise all politicians and all their works"!

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The problem as I see it is voter apathy....but then again, who cares?

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We, the OLDIES, remember Britain when it was basically honest, we had STATESMEN who believed in our country. It wasn't perfect, but it was a democracy. We were conned into the E.U. by the Common Market Vote, not the same thing at all. We protested about mass immigration but Europe's hand was already in there. It's probably too late now as only a revolution could change things. I feel SO sad.

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The only party that reflects the views of the majority is UKIP. No wonder UKIP has displaced the LibDems in the polls, and has become the Number 3 party of choice. When voters wake up, UKIP could well be Number 1.

Click to rate     Rating   50

We do not have enough independent voices any more , we are in stagnation times of meekness ....We see to many political correct mice,getting fatter and fatter on the diet of just say nothing , and nothing will change , and we can all hold on to our fat cat jobs....Surely there must be some LIONS still left?... With guts enough, at the very least , to roar out loud!

Click to rate     Rating   35

I'd say it's the local councils that have been sapping everyones willpower for decades yet always seem to get away with things that a gov would get shot down for.

Click to rate     Rating   49

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