The run-up to the 2024 general election will be riddled with political debate on immigration, based on racialised ideas of who is welcome and who belongs.
When people are asked what matters to them personally, they point to the everyday realities of their lives: their economic and social situation at a local level. Yet politicians and the media continue to construct immigration as a matter of public concern, using misleading and partial polling data to justify policies which, whether directly or indirectly, harm people of colour.
If political and media elites continue down this regressive, divisive path without addressing key issues, they will further erode public confidence in the political system, and undermine democracy itself. We’re calling for a politics that addresses the issues, that deals equitably with the desperate economic situation and the need for public services and community infrastructures that can rebuild our communities.
The stakes are high, and they must be measured not just in electoral turnouts and majorities but in the very health and functioning of our democratic system.
In this report, authored by Aurelien Mondon and Aaron Winter, we show how the mainstreaming of far-right ideas and narratives is predicated on the exclusion of people of colour, and is harming UK democracy.