7 July 2005 London bombings

With a speech heralding a new extremism strategy in the wake of the murder of 30 Britons in Tunisia, David Cameron claimed that “failures of integration” had given rise to “people born and raised in this country who don’t really identify with Britain”.

Wouldn’t it be just fantastic if there was some kind of research project which tracked attitudes to cohesion and violent extremism on an annual basis … like the, errrrrr, Citizenship Survey which was canned by Eric Pickles.

The then Tory cabinet minister ditched the initiative, which asked more than 16,000 Brits — including a ‘boost sample’ of 1,200 Muslims — for their views on topics such as:

“writing and distributing leaflets that encourage violence towards different ethnic groups [and] People in Britain using violent extremism, in the name of religion, to protest or achieve a goal”

Asked in June 2014 what other research DCLG was conducting, the answer came: bugger all.

“My Department has not commissioned any such research since 2010. We have not published any such work other than the legacy Citizenship Survey, which was discontinued in 2011, as it represented poor value for money for its £4 million a year cost.

Perhaps Theresa May will remember that report she commissioned which heralded the survey’s findings as “important”.

  1. I felt so unwelcome in the Britain which has emerged since 2007/8 (and before, but I was a minor) that I left, following a turn to radical beliefs, like fair pay for fair work, limits on global capital and so on. You might argue therefore that I’m one of these crazy “people born and raised in this country who don’t really identify with Britain”. Except I’m white, so obviously not.

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