Polls conducted before the European referendum indicated that ethnic minority voters were more likely to vote Remain.
However, there is data to suggest that the strength of euroscepticism within the British South Asian population was perhaps stronger than previously anticipated.
A number of jurisdictions with large South Asian populations delivered Leave votes, including Luton (56.5% Leave), Hillingdon (56.4% Leave), Slough (54.3% Leave) and Bradford (54.2% Leave). All have South Asian populations of 25% and above. It’s not unreasonable to think that such Leave votes could not have been delivered without a significant number of Asian voters opting for Brexit.
Why did some South Asians vote for a campaign that was, at times, seen as bigoted and xenophobic? Why did a number of middle-class South Asians (most notably those living in West London) not vote in a way which their socio-economic status would predict?
One reason might be that many voters within the British South Asian diaspora don’t feel European. When the Remain campaign sought to appeal to a sense of European identity, and warned that people were about to lose that identity, it didn’t make for a particularly convincing argument.
First-generation migrants from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were encouraged to integrate under a social policy based on the adoption of “British values”. Being absorbed into a “European collective” was never, in reality, really part of that integration process.
The pro-Commonwealth rhetoric coming from the Leave camp, on the other hand, would have pulled on the heartstrings of many South Asian voters.
The Commonwealth argument became particularly interesting when the Leave campaign talked about immigration. Prominent Leave campaigners such as Michael Gove often claimed that the EU was essentially forcing Britain to implement a “racist” immigration system. While predominantly white EU migrants were allowed to freely enter the UK, those from the Indian subcontinent were subject to visa and work restrictions. Voting Brexit was seen as an opportunity to “level out” this in-built unfairness.
We still don’t have much information about how specific groups voted in the referendum but what we can gather from the ward-level data is telling. The Brexit voter is not just your dispossessed, lower-educated white Northerner. They might also be your well-to-do, educated voter of Indian origin living in one of West London’s leafier suburbs.
[Rakib Ehsan (2017), London School of Economics]
Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela is a 2013 Indian Hindi-language tragic romance film composed and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who also composed its original soundtrack. The film was jointly produced by Bhansali and Eros International’s Kishore Lulla; it stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. Bhansali called it a “desi adaptation” of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet.
The acquisition of skills requires a regular environment, an adequate opportunity to practice, and rapid and unequivocal feedback about the correctness of thoughts and actions. When these conditions are fulfilled, skill eventually develops, and the intuitive judgments and choices that quickly come to mind will mostly be accurate. A marker of skilled performance is the ability to deal with vast amounts of information swiftly and efficiently. [Daniel Kahneman (2011), Thinking, Fast and Slow, Penguin Books]
Joker (2019) director Todd Phillips has revealed how “woke culture” directly led to his upcoming take on the Clown Prince of Crime. Prior to working on Joker, Phillips was primarily known for such comedies as Old School and The Hangover. In a profile on star Joaquin Phoenix in Vanity Fair, Phillips revealed how he began to find making comedies difficult due to “woke culture” and that directly led to Joker, which he pitched as a dark movie without many of the typical conventions of superhero movies. “Go try to be funny nowadays with this woke culture,” he said. “There were articles written about why comedies don’t work anymore—I’ll tell you why, because all the f*cking funny guys are like, ‘F*ck this shit, because I don’t want to offend you.’ It’s hard to argue with 30 million people on Twitter. You just can’t do it, right? So you just go, ‘I’m out.’ I’m out, and you know what? With all my comedies—I think that what comedies in general all have in common—is they’re irreverent. So I go, ‘How do I do something irreverent, but f*ck comedy? Oh I know, let’s take the comic book movie universe and turn it on its head with this.’ And so that’s really where that came from.”
Finally, we fight back. I danced with Joaquin Phoenix in the decadent US capitalist city, the city where only the strongest survive. Or the maddest.
The vastness of the USA, combined with its great social mobility, has always encouraged people to uproot themselves from failed lives and start out again somewhere else. In the past, Britain’s smallness and its settled class system have compelled us to be polite, restrained and repressed, or face chaos. Japan’s elaborate manners and customs are a similar response to living at close quarters on cramped islands. [Peter Hitchens (2018), The Abolition of Britain, Bloomsbury Continuum]