Now, I know it’s terribly unimaginative to attack the BBC these days, but I couldn’t help but notice this lovely piece of creative newswriting. (Tediously, I’m going to have to repeat it in full here for my point to be clear).
A study has apparently been carried out by the BBC in which they wanted to explore the sense of ‘Britishness’ felt by ethnically Asian Britons.
Or rather, they were looking to write a piece about how alienated Asian people feel in Western society.
This would then allow lazy BBC hacks to attack the government’s foreign policy and its position on Iraq and Afghanistan.
It would allow them to write reams and reams of pointless copy criticising what they clearly want to falsely imply is Briton’s unforgiving, intolerant and racially and religiously bigoted society.
Moreover, it would allow them to suggest - once again – that it is Asian Britain’s sense of social alienation that is squarely to blame for the rise in numbers of young Islamic men wanting to commit mass murder on public transport, and nothing at all to do with their exploitation by fundamentalist Islam.
Unfortunately for the BBC’s biased agenda, what they found was that a significant majority of British Asians do, in fact, “feel British”. Indeed, 84% of British Asians stated that they were “satisfied with life in Britain and almost half thought they have more opportunities here” [than where, the survey doesn’t deign to mention].
But never fear – if the facts don’t fit, we’ll just misrepresent them! Hurrah!
So, rather than the reasonable and accurate “Majority of British Asians are happy with their place in British society”, we get this: “Many Asians ‘do not feel British’”.
Well done, BBC!
'Many Asians 'do not feel British'
More than a third of British Asians do not feel British, a BBC poll suggests.
The research among the under-34s for the Asian Network found 38% of the UK residents of South Asian origin felt only slightly or not at all British.
More than a third agreed to get on in the UK they needed to be a "coconut", a term for somebody who is "brown on the outside but white on the inside".
Yet 84% were satisfied with life in Britain and almost half thought they have more opportunities here.
Half of the South Asians and nearly two-thirds of the white people interviewed agreed it was too easy for immigrants to settle in Britain.
Three-quarters felt their culture was being diluted by living in the UK and nearly half believed white people do not treat them as British.
The poll was commissioned to coincide with the BBC's India and Pakistan '07 season of programmes to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1947 partition of India.
Some 12% of those polled said they considered themselves to be "coconuts".
Meenal Sachdev, director of Connect India - which works with young Asians to strengthen identity - said she did not think British Asians needed to be "coconuts" to be successful.
"Identity can be a tool for success. I feel very confident about being a British Indian," she said.
"Confidence with identity comes down to ability and knowing you have as many opportunities as other people," she added.'
Many British Asians consider themselves to be British but at home they are more in touch with their cultural and ancestral roots.
ICM Research interviewed 500 Asian people aged 16-34 and 235 white people aged 18-34 between 4 and 12 July.
[Journalism students note: just 12% of people agreed that the racially pejorative term ‘coconut’ was relevant to themselves, whether through prompting or not we aren’t told. A mere 12%, and yet the term makes it into one of the first paragraphs of the article. Oh, and then we have the director of Connect India telling us that the term ISN’T relevant to young British Asian experience. So that’s cleared that up.]