It's an amusing piece but I feel Mark Thomas is confusing "immigrant" and "people of visible minority ethnic origin" (isn't terminology awful?).
That immigration and asylum should be such important topics in the run-up to a general election campaign shows a huge failure on Labour's part. Many Britons believe the proportion of immigrants in this country to be between 22 and 24 per cent. In fact, the figure is roughly 4-5 per cent. So either immigrants are all doing the work of five people, creating the impression that there are more of them, or most white British people are hallucinating and walk around shopping centres thinking, "Zulus! Thousands of 'em!" Or it means that Britain is still a petty little xenophobic nation, where people's vision of reality is warped with bigotry.Surely this "belief" comes down to a general lack of knowledge of statistical sampling. If you are making your way down Coldharbour Lane and a pollster stops you and asks you about the proportion of "people of visible minority ethnic origin" in "the country" is not your answer going to be different to someone asked that same question in Ludlow? Most people draw their concept of "country" from where they are, and everywhere is like "here".
However, much as this is a credible theory, I have a feeling it's poll results from "hideously white" areas that over-estimate the proportion of "people of visible minority ethnic origin" in "the country" and support Mark Thomas's idea of "Britain [a]s still a petty little xenophobic nation, where people's vision of reality is warped with bigotry".
If you over-estimated the proportion but added "And a good thing too" would that make you non-racist?