Saturday, December 27, 2008

Has the ethnicity of London changed at a faster rate than Ann Leslie can cope with?

Dame Ann Leslie (for it is her) made an interesting comment on BBC News 24 this morning. Referring to this (I think) photo she said that it had not been noticed that the shoppers queueing at the sales were mostly "foreigners". In keeping with the renowned impartiality and fairness of the BBC, the presenter pointed out that "they could be British". Leslie ploughed on saying that Britain's "ethnic population" is about 7% and that there were far more than 7% of "ethnic minorities" in the picture. (the figure is actually 7.9%)

Indeed, the Sun reports that many people have flown in specially to take advantage of the favourable exchange rates and the sales:

Sun reporters even came across shoppers who flew in especially from South Africa, Jordan and Ireland, aiming to fill empty suitcases.

However, I think Ann Leslie should bear in mind that the photo concerned was taken at Selfridges in London. London has a far higher proportion of people of "ethnic origin" than the UK average of 7.9% (it's actually 30.65%), as Ann Leslie should know, as I suspect she lives there.

Undaunted Leslie pointed out "Taiwanese" and "Indian" people in the photo, implying that they must be "foreigners".

Ahem. There are 1.6 million - British - people in this country who are of Indian or Chinese "ethnic origin". 600,000 of them live in London.

So 999 years of journalistic experience must have given Ann Leslie insight unknown to the rest of us which allows her to tell whether someone is a "foreigner" just by looking at them. Has she got X-ray eyes that allows her to see their passport neatly positioned in their inside breast pocket?

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