The following essay by El Inglés is the fifth in a six-part series that examines the sociopolitical effects of mass immigration into the Western democracies.
Ethno-Religious Diversity and the Limits of Democracy
by El Ingles
Part Five: Structural Analysis Applied to Britain
The first post in this series introduced a statistical analysis of political systems that includes various terms referenced by abbreviations in later parts of the text. For the reader’s convenience, a list of those abbreviations and their meanings is below:
|PP||Policy Point||Policies actually being implemented by a government at any point in time|
|IPP||Individual Policy Point||Policies preferred by an individual|
|DI||Discontentedness Index||Distance between the PP and an IPP|
|MDI||Mean Discontentedness Index||Average of the DIs of individuals in the population|
|TD||Threshold Discontentedness||The level of DI above which an individual considers the government illegitimate|
|CZ||Contented Zone||The interior of a circle having a radius of the value of TD|
|DZ||Discontented Zone||The area outside the CZ circle|
|DZF||Discontented Zone Fraction||The fraction of the population occupying the DZ
A Structural Analysis of Ethno-Religious Political Diversity in Britain
Having considered now the mainstream, partisan analyses of ethno-religious political diversity, let us attempt to show how restricted and misguided they are by conducting our own structural analysis. Consider the following two system diagrams. In the first, we have a fairly symmetrical, roughly circular, distribution of IPPs. Instead of a single cross representing the PP, we have two crosses, each representing the proposed PP of one political party in what we will say is a two-party system. Each IPP votes for the political party closest to itself, so the IPPs vote as shown in the diagram. Strictly speaking, this election will result in a draw, as the IPPs are evenly split.
In the second diagram, we have created a radically polarized system, which still retains the vertical axis of symmetry that the first diagram had. As such, the two political parties can keep their proposed IPPs in the same places, keep the same vote shares, and the election will still result in a draw. From the point of view of a partisan analysis, there is little more to say here. Both systems, due to their symmetry, yield essentially the same result. Once the votes have been counted up and the nature of the next government predicted, what else is there to do?
We, however, have an entirely separate set of conceptual tools with which to analyze these matters. Applying these tools, we can see immediately that there is a world of difference between these two system diagrams, the first with its low MDI and zero DZF, and the second with its much higher MDI and substantial DZF. We understand that the second system diagram must be characterized by a high level of political discontent and fractiousness, not to mention strikes, political violence, riots, and the like. If we were to increase this degree of political polarization further, eventually its democratic politics would collapse into civil disorder, a military coup, or worse.
The central and disabling weakness of partisan analysis is that it is blind to this underlying reality of political polarization. Just as the vision of human beings does not extend into the infrared spectrum, the vision of partisan analyses does not extend into the vertical or horizontal dimensions of our system diagrams. Rather, it can only aggregate IPPs into groups as a function of which proposed PPs they are closest to, then print those results out, all information about the nature of the distribution discarded on the way. When we peer into our political infrared spectrum with our system diagrams and our understanding of first- and second-order polarization, we see much more. Indeed, we see so much as to render the partisan analyses almost meaningless in comparison.
Since the start of mass Third-World immigration into Britain in 1948, the country has been altered beyond recognition. Interested parties can conduct their own research into the demographic transformation that has resulted from the insanity of the last few decades. We do not propose to describe it in exhaustive detail here, especially given that readers of this document are likely to be broadly familiar with it. What is most important for our purposes is to give a brief outline of the salient characteristics of the most problematic peoples that have come to reside in the UK as a consequence of mass immigration.
Firstly, we have the black population of Britain. Complex though it is in terms of its countries of origin and cultural breakdown, it evinces the characteristics any thinking person will already have come to expect from black people: disproportionately high crime rates, disproportionately high social dysfunction, miserable economic and professional achievements, and a pronounced hostility towards those organs of the state that must keep a lid on this great swell of primitive, atavistic behaviour, the police in particular. Admittedly, this picture is complicated by the fact that large-scale, unrestricted immigration from British Commonwealth territories such as Jamaica has long since been brought to a halt, and that much black immigration today is from the African middle class, which comes seeking tertiary education and professional advancement. Nonetheless, a glance at the relevant statistics on prison populations, young offender populations, conviction rates, school expulsion rates, employment rates, and educational achievements at whatever level will make the general picture clear, and this against a background of impressive achievements in these regards by other non-white immigrant groups with no obvious economic advantages, such as certain Indian and Chinese populations.
Secondly, we have the South Asian Muslim population, which consists mainly of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. The politest verdict we can pass on these two peoples is that they are a blight on the face of Britain, and between them constitute an existential threat to the country as it currently exists. The reasons for this are twofold, the first being the sheer degeneracy and destructiveness of their behavior, the second being the acute political polarization their presence in Britain necessarily gives rise to. High fertility rates and an insistence on bringing as many family members as possible into Britain to procreate with result in very high rates of growth for both groups, with the predictable effect that they are coming to demographically dominate their areas of original settlement. Those who wish to know more about the despicable behaviours of these peoples are free to start by investigating the mass, systematic rape, torture and enslavement of white British girls by Pakistanis, and the deliberate subverting of British democracy in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets by Bangladeshis keen to recreate their own less than salubrious country in microcosm in our green and pleasant land. After that, they can take their research in whichever direction most interests or appalls them. They will find no shortage of material making clear just how disastrous it is that either of these peoples should inhabit Britain at all.
It should hardly be necessary to point out that these two populations, black people and South Asian Muslims, create very substantial essential and non-essential diversity in the system diagram of Britain. This first-order polarization, we suggest, must be causing severe second-order polarization, the reverse gravity of which must be forcing, and must continue to force, the MDI and DZF for Britain’s system diagram ever higher. The implications of this development will be clear to readers from our earlier discussions, but let us make them real here.
If one puts oneself in the shoes of a white British person aghast at the changes brought about in their country by the Third-World diasporas described here, a person who wishes to ameliorate as much as possible the damage being done to that country, what course of action would we suggest that person take? In a democratic society, it is held that discussion in the public square and decisions made via the ballot box are the only legitimate ways of attempting to influence policy. Slitting throats and detonating bombs in public places have fallen rather out of fashion. But what will it avail our white British person to engage in politics in this manner when tribally-motivated peoples that will fight tooth and claw to maintain, indeed to extend, their current privileges constitute an ever larger part of the electorate?
If our white Briton is anguished by the depredations inflicted on urban dwellers, most obviously in parts of London, by feral black people, how can he address it democratically as their population continues to climb, increasing their political clout in both national elections and local elections in London? If he is anguished by the mass child rape perpetrated by Pakistanis, how can he hope to address it, as politicians become ever more dependent on Pakistani support in more and more constituencies?
No great foresight is required to predict that the potential for extreme second-order polarization here is very great. Whether it will take the form of ever-growing white support for nationalist parties, the formation of paramilitary self-defence organizations, or a complete disintegration of civil order in certain urban areas is impossible to say. But there can be no reasonable doubt that such polarization must occur, and no reasonable belief that democratic-politics-as-usual could restrain it.
More or less quickly, our political cart is heading over the cliff of democratic implosion, as a direct consequence of mass immigration of racially and culturally alien peoples. It is against this backdrop that the partisan analyses we considered above must be viewed. Given that all political power in a polity must sum to 100%, it is clear that, as one group comes to possess more and more of that power, other groups must come to possess less and less. To the extent that different groups in a society are conscious of themselves as being groups, and groups with mutually incompatible objectives at that, it stands to reason that shifts in the distribution of power between them will be bitterly resented by those parties that stand to suffer as a consequence. We should consider how much truer this must be when those groups share no overarching identity, and feel no historical sense of shared peoplehood whatsoever.
We earlier used the word bloodless in an attempt to describe one of the key characteristics of standard partisan analyses. It simply does not seem to occur to most partisan analysts that a situation in which UK-resident diasporas of miserable, dysfunctional, Third-World countries inflict terrible damage on Britain and its people whilst also obtaining ever-more political influence is not politically sustainable. One need only look at the Pakistanis again to understand the point. On what basis do these people wield ever-greater political authority in Britain? Their moral excellence? Their proven ability to create decent, ordered societies? Or the institutionalized mass rape of their forced marriages, coupled with Third-World fertility rates and the stupidity the white man has demonstrated in allowing them to infiltrate his country to such an extent?
Democracy is not a system for producing the gold of political order and social harmony from the lead of mutually hostile peoples. Rather, it is a system for reconciling the political differences that exist within and across relatively homogenous groups of people, who already broadly share sets of ideas about how their societies should be. The Greek post-and-lintel system that still just about succeeds in keeping the roof of our political structures up is gradually being called upon to span distances that it was never designed to span. Collapse is inevitable.
Now that the fundamentals of our structural analysis are in place, let us see how we can build on them by taking what would usually be the components of a partisan analysis and breathing some life into them. The general diagnosis we have made here of our structural problems in Britain could be applied with only a few variations for local colour in just about any other Western country. Let us now make the analysis more specifically British.
As some readers will be aware, the British political system is not based on proportional representation. In the House of Commons, the lower, and only elected, house of parliament, there are 650 distinct territorial subdivisions called constituencies, each of which elects one Member of Parliament (MP) to government each general election. To win a constituency election, a candidate need only obtain more votes than any other candidate in that constituency. If a single party has a majority in the 650-strong House of Commons, it forms a government and its leader becomes Prime Minister. If not, the party with the largest number of MPs will receive the opportunity to try to form a coalition government with other parties, a coalition which will have a majority of MPs. Failing this, the options are a minority government, or another election. Coalition governments are the exception rather than the norm in Britain, though this may not hold true for much longer.
It should be understood that the British electoral and political systems have evolved over a very, very long time, and, to be polite, do not necessarily correspond very closely to what a rational individual might choose to implement if they were designing a system from scratch. The most frequent criticism of the current system is that it allows governments to win majorities in the House of Commons with mere pluralities of the popular vote. We can consider this to be a type of splitting effect, in which the popular vote decides the rank order of the parties and the constituency system then splits their relative successes further apart, benefiting the winner to the detriment of the other parties.
The merits of this splitting effect are much debated. Some argue that it tends to result in strong governments, in contrast with proportional representation (PR) systems, which tend to result in a proliferation of parties and multi-party coalition governments that can easily collapse if parties withdraw from the coalition. Others make the point that it seems, in the most fundamental sense, to be unfair, in that political power in the House of Commons is simply not proportional to vote count for the party as a whole. We would argue that the tendency of this system to herd voters away from smaller parties and towards larger parties stifles political innovation, effectively awarding the leaders of the two or three largest parties a veto with respect to the basic contours of political discussion. The recent successes of UKIP in attacking and undermining the stultifying consensus amongst the cardboard cutout figures in the political elite are, therefore, as remarkable as they are gratifying.
Whatever one thinks of this splitting effect, there is another, arguably more disturbing effect of the British system, which we will call a scattering effect. The scattering effect weakens the relationship not just between popular vote count and seats in the House of Commons, but the rank order of the parties in terms of the popular vote and the number of seats. It is said that, in general, the Conservative Party must win four percentage points more in the popular vote to win the same number of seats as the Labour Party, largely as a consequence of voter turnout being lower in Labour-dominated constituencies and these constituencies therefore being won with fewer votes on average than Conservative-dominated constituencies. In principle Labour could win an election with fewer votes than the Conservatives. More disturbingly, as of March 2015, UKIP had for months been polling at around 15% for the 2015 general election, but was still expected to win only a handful of seats. We will have more to say about this when we look at effective gerrymandering later on.
These splitting and scattering effects combine with other effects to create an electoral system which, in all its subtleties and implications for voter behaviour, is terribly complicated, unintuitive, and unfair. Arguably, it is a disgrace to a supposedly democratic country. Trying to see how it is likely to function under geographically shifting patterns of ethno-religious political diversity is undoubtedly a horrendous task, and one that we do not envy those political and social scientists who seriously engage with this task. Nevertheless, we stand by our earlier criticism that these analyses are overwhelmingly partisan in nature, and therefore suffer from all the weaknesses of such analyses.
Let us then consider how the particular nature of our electoral system might interact with the elements of the structural analysis we have been conducting. We will limit our attention here to two areas: perverse PP movement and effective gerrymandering.
Perverse PP Movement
Perverse PP movement refers simply to a situation in which, in a system undergoing political polarization, a shift in one direction of the equilibrium PP causes the actual PP to move in the opposite direction. To make this clearer, let us imagine a right-leaning constituency with 80,000 voters. Under normal circumstances, the Conservative Party wins 45,000 votes, the Labour Party 25,000, the Liberal Democrats 5,000, and other smaller parties 5,000 between them. The Conservatives therefore win the constituency.
Now along comes another party of the right, UKIP, and, in response to growing alarm over rising levels of immigration under a Conservative government, takes half the previously Conservative vote. Now both Conservatives and UKIP have 22,500 votes, which results in a Labour victory. Now the pro-immigration Labour Party has gained one previously Conservative seat in the House of Commons, despite the fact that the actual shift in political opinion in the constituency was against it, which is to say, away from the policies it advocated.
Here, a rightwards drift in political opinion has resulted in a leftwards drift in political power and, therefore, the PP in the relevant system diagram. The basic point is hopefully clear enough that we do not need to demonstrate it visually. We will simply remind our readers that the utility of democratic mechanisms of government lie in their ability to keep the PP close to equilibrium PP, which is to say, close to the centre of mass of political opinion in the system. The British political system makes it entirely possible, and, in the long term, probable, that, at least some of the time, the exact opposite is happening. American readers will recognize some of this in their presidential elections, where Ralph Nader and Ross Perot have split left and right respectively to arguably push the election the ‘wrong’ way.
In contrast, if we consider this hypothetical constituency to be a country in its own right, and one that operates on the basis of a proportional representation system, we see that the perverse PP movement will not occur. Labour could not form a government with its 25,000 votes, even in unwieldy coalition with the parties whose vote tallies sum to 5,000, as this coalition would have no majority. Instead, we would have to imagine that the Conservatives and UKIP would form a coalition whose policies would be an averaging out of their respective policies, reflecting the rightward drift that caused the Conservative vote to split in the first place.
Imagine for a moment a car whose steering system is so perversely designed that, attempting to turn left, one might end up turning right instead, and vice versa. The idiocy of such a system would be clear. Equally clear now, we hope, is the idiocy of its political analogue. If the British electoral system had been designed by a baboon, we would nonetheless furrow our brows in consternation at its efforts, and tell it we had had higher expectations of it. Unfortunately, it is instead the product of centuries of tradition and gradual evolution, which leads many otherwise intelligent people to nod in quiet satisfaction when confronted with its manifest deficiencies.
There is nothing particularly original in the observation that the British electoral system demonstrates this particular insanity. Our point here is that if this perverse PP movement is seen to operate along a dimension of political variation that represents a matter of existential importance to the people in the system, its ability to discredit the system and delegitimize its modes of function will be far more acute. The ethno-religious conflicts we are primarily concerned with in this document represent just such a dimension.
Gerrymandering is that process whereby constituency boundaries (or their equivalents) are positioned in such a manner as to result in the number of constituencies controlled by a given party bearing little relationship to the fraction of ballots cast for it. This will become clear with an example. We have a UK-style polity, with a first-past-the-post electoral system and a parliamentary style of government. It has five hundred thousand voters, who are split into five different constituencies of one hundred thousand voters each. There are two parties in this polity, the Red Party and the Blue Party. Polls indicate that the Red Party can expect to receive 240,000 votes in the next election, the Blue Party 260,000. Naively, one might expect the Blue Party to win this election, but this depends entirely on the distribution of voters in the five constituencies.
If Red voters and Blue voters are spread out randomly amongst the five constituencies, then there will be 52,000 Blue voters and 48,000 Red voters in each constituency. The Blue Party will therefore win all five constituency elections, all five MPs in the equivalent of the House of Commons, and its leader becomes the Prime Minister. This result makes sense in that we would expect the Blue Party to win, though we must feel rather uneasy over the complete lack of representation of the Red Party in parliament, given that it won 48% of the vote.
What happens if we redraw the constituency boundaries so that four constituencies contain 52,000 Red voters and 48,000 Blue voters, with the fifth constituency containing 32,000 Red voters and 68,000 Blue voters? Now the Red Party wins four out of five seats in the House of Commons, and the Blue Party only one, with the position of Prime Minister and, therefore, control of the executive branch of government, going to the Red Party as a consequence. Mathematically, the Blue Party cannot be completely gerrymandered out of parliament if it has a majority of the popular vote. Nonetheless, in terms of actual political power, this is almost precisely the reverse of the first result.
Both of these results are equally valid given the nature of the electoral and political systems in our hypothetical polity. What we would tend to intuitively consider the fairest possible result, in which the Blue Party gains three seats and the position of Prime Minister, and the Red Party gains two seats and ends up as the parliamentary opposition, is by no means guaranteed to come about. Indeed, the results can vary freely between the two extremes we outlined above, from 5-0 to the Blue Party to 4-1 to the Red Party, despite the popular vote count remaining 260,000 for the Blues and 240,000 for the Reds.
We take gerrymandering as being simply the deliberate interference with constituency boundaries in pursuit of election results which do not map proportionately onto the popular vote tallies for the polity as a whole. Extreme gerrymandering can produce results that are essentially unconnected to popular vote tallies, as in our 4-1 Red Party victory above. It requires no particular imagination to see that if the Red Party somehow managed to bring about this result through gerrymandering, the political stability of the polity would be jeopardized by it, as the Blue Party and its supporters would surely never be reconciled to losing the election in this fashion.
We make the observation now that situations must sometimes arise in democratic societies in which gerrymandering has effectively taken place, which is to say in which election results do not map proportionately onto popular vote tallies, as a consequence of patterns in immigration and internal migration. This effective gerrymandering surely has just as much potential to cause a crisis in the political system as the actual gerrymandering that we performed above when we gifted our hypothetical election to the Red Party and gave it its 4-1 result. If Blue supporters start concentrating themselves in certain constituencies while Red supporters fan out to other constituencies to just the right extent, this effective gerrymandering could easily come about over a period of time without there being any underhand intent on the part of those Red supporters.
Note that once the constituency boundaries are in place, there is nothing undemocratic about such an outcome, if by democratic we mean simply that a superficially reasonable electoral system is implemented free from electoral fraud. As such, it must be predicted that those parties that benefit from effective gerrymandering will fight tooth and claw to preserve it, just as those that suffer as a consequence will fight desperately against it. More importantly for us (as our analysis, we state not for the first time, is not a partisan one), those parts of the population that feel themselves to be unfairly robbed of power by this system must be expected to react very badly.
In terms of our system diagrams, we see here a phenomenon similar to the perverse PP movement we discussed previously. Perverse PP movement occurs when a change in the equilibrium PP causes the actual PP to move in the opposite direction. Here, we have a movement that is a function of our constituency-based system and the specifics of the geographical distribution of peoples, neither of which is captured in our standard system diagrams. Hence, from the perspective of our diagrams, it is a random motion in that it does not pertain to, and cannot be explained by, anything in them. This unmooring of the equilibrium PP and the actual PP will have effects that are hard to predict in the general case, but obviously bode ill for the political stability of the system as a whole.
Gerrymandering in modern Britain is not, as far as we are concerned, a major problem. In Northern Ireland prior to the outbreak of the Troubles there in the late 1960s, there was a degree of pro-Unionist/Protestant gerrymandering at the local council level, which contributed greatly to the frustration of the Nationalist/Catholic community with the status quo. British general elections are not plagued by gerrymandering. However, there already exists within our system a great deal of effective gerrymandering. If we add to this the additional effective gerrymandering that may well result from immigration and the subsequent diffusion of immigrant populations around the country, we have the potential for severe political tension.
First, let us consider the effective gerrymandering that already exists in the system. Remembering that gerrymandering consists of contriving constituency boundaries so that election results are not proportionate to popular vote tallies across the system as a whole, and that effective gerrymandering has taken place when this state of affairs has come into place of its own accord, we see that effective gerrymandering is a key characteristic of the British electoral system. Indeed, the ostensible merits of the system rely on it. The splitting effect we referred to earlier is a direct result of effective gerrymandering. Labour’s landslide election victory in 1997 was achieved with only 43% of the vote, though it resulted in them winning 418 out of the 650 in the House of Commons. This resulted, as we have explained, from the geographical distribution of Labour voters throughout the country. When the Conservatives last won a general election outright, in 1992, they won 336 of the 650 seats in the House of Commons with only 41.9% of the vote.
The second part of the effective gerrymandering problem lies in the spread of immigrant-origin populations. Arguably, given that the entire British system is based on effective gerrymandering, this new issue is only a minor variation on a long-existing theme. A defender of the first-past-the-post system we currently have would, perhaps, not be entitled to complain about this newest instance of the problem. But those who do take issue with the current system do not suffer from this restriction.
In a nutshell, there appears to be a possibility that, as well-established immigrants move out of their areas of original settlement and into more rural, Conservative-voting areas, they could end up swinging the electoral balance in Labour’s favour in these constituencies. It is possible, some suggest, that fairly small shifts in the distribution of the immigrant population throughout the country could sufficiently reduce the ability of the Conservative party to win in marginal seats as to make it difficult for them to win future elections at all.
We stress that this is an exceedingly complex matter, upon which light could only be shed by a dense, data-heavy analysis of the type that one would find in higher-level, academic partisan analysis. Indeed, it is something considered by Richard Webber and Trevor Phillips in one of the articles of theirs we looked at earlier. Readers will have noted that we give partisan analysis fairly short thrift in general. Nonetheless, we stand by our earlier claim that partisan analysis that rests upon a foundation provided by structural analysis is not worthless.
The significance of this development, if it did in fact transpire, would be as follows. The effective gerrymandering of our system results in those most concerned about immigration, UKIP voters, being almost entirely shut out of power. We mentioned earlier that UKIP has been polling at roughly 15% in the run-up to the 2015 general election, but is still expected to win only a handful of seats. Additionally, it must be borne in mind that this fact presumably leads many who would otherwise vote for UKIP to vote Conservative instead, to keep Labour out. So we have would-be UKIP supporters reluctantly voting for their second-choice party due to effective gerrymandering, and those who do vote UKIP finding that the party simply does not win seats at all proportional to its vote totals throughout the country.
Now contrast this with what might happen, or might already be happening, with respect to the immigrant-origin population and its diffusion out of the cities into hitherto Conservative-dominated areas. Relatively small numbers of, to put it crudely, black and brown Labour voters tipping the balance in marginal constituencies and colouring the electoral map red (i.e. Labour) where it used to blue (i.e. Conservative) would represent a reassigning of disproportionate political power towards those black and brown voters.
If these two phenomena were to occur together, they would constitute an instance of effective gerrymandering on a large enough scale to bring about a significant shift in political power away from those white British voters most concerned about immigration to those immigrant-origin populations that those white British voters were, if they were honest, most resentful of and least identified with. It is difficult to imagine a development more likely to delegitimize the electoral process in the eyes of a large fraction of the white British population.
The preceding thoughts should not be taken as an exhaustive analysis of the electoral prospects of the various main parties in British politics. On the contrary, such an analysis would be a) a partisan analysis, which is not our objective, and b) something we could not conduct in any case. Some readers will be aware of the current surge of support for the Scottish Nationalist Party, which threatens to destroy Labour’s electoral hopes in Scotland. Others will wonder, quite legitimately, whether UKIP might not be capable of eating into Labour support in its traditional heartlands, as the Labour base of working-class white people on the one hand, and black and brown people on the other, fragments with the release of pent-up nationalistic feeling. There are few certainties in British electoral politics at present.
Furthermore, readers should bear in mind that both of the phenomena we have discussed here, perverse PP movement and effective gerrymandering, are direct consequences of the constituency-based, first-past-the-post system of British electoral politics. They are contingent phenomena and, in a proportional representation system, they would not arise, though it is entirely possible that other sets of problems we have not considered here would arise instead.
We will point out in closing that one of the advantages of structural analysis over partisan analysis is that it is not invalidated by changes in electoral systems. A purely partisan analysis such as that offered up by Webber and Phillips in their pieces for Demos Quarterly would become completely redundant overnight if significant electoral reform were introduced in Britain. Neither our system diagrams, which are not fundamentally concerned with party politics at all, nor the structural insights we claim to glean from them, would be even slightly affected by any electoral reform that stopped short of stripping the right to vote away from large numbers of people. For this reason, they constitute a far more fundamental mode of analysis than any partisan analysis ever could.
Coming up in Part Six: Conclusion
For previous posts by El Inglés, see the El Inglés Archives.