Britons saw themselves as being at the head of the hierarchy of the British nations and the idea which underpinned this role and held the whole structure together was a belief in the racial supremacy of whites born in Britain… [and] the British had a destiny to rule over ‘lesser races’.
These increasing strains on societies resources eventually led to overwhelming white hostility toward these coloured immigrants
1958 Notting Hill riots
Conservatives and right-wing nationalists thought that only through strict immigration policies could race relations be improved. In other words, Britain would no longer have a problem with race relations if no more coloured immigrants were allowed to further strain the system
Today, the ultra right-wing BNP is on the rise as the threat of global terrorism has sparked new public fears about the effectiveness of immigration policies and the consequences of a multi-ethnic Britain.
Growing disillusion of poor whites in de-industrialised areas of Britain, which has resulted in campaigns against racial equality
Post-war immigration to Britain has contributed to a national identity crisis.
Having lost its imperial, military, economic and sporting prowess, Britain is no longer confident of its role and cultural identity.
Some British people, doubting whether their culture is resilient enough to survive perceived dilution by other cultures, feel threatened by immigrants who may have different customs and values and do not, in Lord Tebbit’s terms, adopt England’s cricket team as their own
This national identity crisis has called into question the very meaning of the word “Britishness.” What is Britishness?
The Irish, Scots and Welsh have strong national identities linked with their respective nations
The English, on the other hand, are caught in the middle. Are they English? Are they British? And now, how do they cope with coloured people taking over their land and jobs and resources? Certainly then, the post-war wave of coloured immigration has led white Britons, mainly Englanders, to question their national identity.
Equally so, however, the national identity of the coloured immigrants has been called into question.
Is someone living in India in the early post-war years already British, being a member of the Commonwealth? Or does he become British only after immigrating to the British Isles?
Terms such as black Briton or Asian Briton have come into use in our language. But, is there really a secure feeling of national identity for these first- and second-generation Britons from the former Empire nations?