What Britons are worried about

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/29/what-britons-are-worried-about.html


If British numbers are anything like American ones for “People whose financial reserves are somewhere between ‘credit card not yet maxed out’ and ‘could obtain a payday loan at usurious interest’ and who would be fired in short order were commuting to become more difficult”; I’m not sure that parking fines is necessarily an unrealistic area of concern.

In a slightly less grim interpretation; “how is parking citation contested? how ticket get dismissed?” is exactly the sort of legal-question-too-small-to-afford-a-lawyer that would inspire someone to head to an internet purveyor of legal advice(which is the source of the data for the graphic) before attempting to DIY it.


My British relatives are worried about their elderly parents.

Their elderly parents are worried about brown people and those filthy continentals.


I am one of those elderly parents.
I am worried about our moronic far right government in hock to dodgy financial institutions and obeying the orders of Rupert Murdoch.


Kinda neat chart, but my inner Edward Tufte keeps whispering “data-ink ratio”.

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Yea, I think it might be the Expressionist version.


Not my brother-in-law’s elderly parent, though. Unless you recently were scammed by fake bankers due to your encroaching senility, and are married to a fervent BNP supporter, in which case you might be. :frowning:


Interesting chart!
Worth bearing in mind that the source of the data (the UK’s Citizen’s Advice service) is used most heavily by people who are in a vulnerable position (personally, financially, etc…), just for context.

As for parking fines - I’m not 100% sure, but I think there was a ruling in the UK courts (around the time the spike shows in the chart) that surprised many people in supporting private parking enforcement companies financial gouging of ‘parking offenders’.


The worries of older folk in Britain is a significant factor debates and votes around issues in UK party politics, Brexit, and Scottish Independence.

Polling does show that the the older folk in the UK are more supportive of things like anti-immigration policies, leaving the EU, etc…, than any other demographic group. It’s simply statistically true of that group as a whole. Of course it is also true that a great many many individual older folk believe quite the opposite.

The UK has a huge media problem which facilitates this, the right wing print press in the UK has been running stories fitting their agenda for decades. Older people tend consume their news via traditional means (the newspapers of the UK press). This is reinforced by the incredibly trusted BBC, whose news and current affairs dept is a very large, very friendly dog being wagged by the tail that is those newspapers.

The difference between the polled concerns of people around elections, referendums, and social attitudes surveys, versus the sort of concerns shown in the Citizens Advice data show the difference between concerns over perceived threats versus real threats.

It’s why personal conversations, and to a lesser extent attending public meetings etc… is so important; the face to face is sometimes the only opportunity to present some older people with more facts, and additional viewpoints.


On the UK TV news yesterday the two big concerns seemed to be parking rates at hospitals and clinics, and the impending cold wave/snowstorm. (As a former resident of both Minnesota and Wisconsin, I should probably have put both “cold wave” and “snowstorm” in sneer quotes. Parking rates of £4/hour for a doctor visit is a real enough worry, however.)


It does make a nice wallpaper, though.

Johnny Foreigner here. I’ll be walking upon England’s mountains green sometime next spring, visiting my relatives - want me to pop round yours to scare them a bit?

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As the people who still read traditional print media die off, hopefully things will change.
Many elderly people live in areas with almost no immigrants and have no idea of what the EU does, so they are easy targets for brainwashing.

However, these do not figure near the top of CAB worries, which is the topic under discussion. The top CAB worries are the result of growing poverty caused directly by government policies which incline ever more to the US model. Unfortunately, many people in this country do not vote on social issues which are relevant to them. Quite a lot of elderly people vote Conservative because they believe this in some way confers a higher social status, even though they are dependent on the State pension.


That’s broadly the point I was trying to make about the real-life concerns of people in poverty (as shown in the Citizen’s Advice chart) contrasted with voting patterns associated with perceived concerns they are bombarded with -

Even when people face real poverty, and those are the concerns which lie on them daily - with sufficient media direction, you can bring people to thinking that the cause of their worries are not govt policy, but immigrants or benefit ‘scroungers’ etc…

I clearly didn’t manage to articulate that as well as i should have.

I do agree that particularly among the older, conservative (small c) voter, there is a clear and worrying disconnect in their perception of issues which actually, seriously affects them and what they are led to believe are the causes of those concerns.


Oh, and (unofficially) welcome to BoingBoing. I suspect you will fit right in with the rightpondian contingent here.


The Lake District? South Lakeland, where most of the population lives, voted Remain*.
But then they’re used to foreign tourists. And this is what the international state school in Milnethorpe looks like:

I live near Bath, which is also a bit multicultural.

Around here we worry about the same things other people do, but we are more likely to be sticking pins into Cameron and May effigies than blaming foreigners.

*Blake was extremely hazy about English geography as he spent all his life in London except for a period in Sussex, I think, which is rather flat. The Yorkshire Dales are more pink, brown, purple and yellow than green, whereas the Lake District is mostly green. But writing “Walk among England’s hills of moderate height coloured brown, pink, yellow, purple and some green” wouldn’t scan very well.

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From my 10 years+ out of date memories, most of the Lake District was OK, they knew where their money came from and didn’t want to scare people away. Outside of that area things can get bad. Workington and Whitehaven were OK (more highly educated people working at Sellafield?), Wigton is where the British National Party headquarters currently are (I am told it is just a room above a shop now), Penrith was a bit dodgy and has heroin problems and I have said enough about Carlisle before now to scare most people away. I have too little experience of Barrow to give an opinion on it.

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Oh, I completely agree. But most tourists don’t go outside the parts where the only colour people worry about is that of your money.
I used to work with someone who grew up there, he said people hated people from the next valley. Typical mountain environment.



A friend’s Grannie lived in Newcastle (on Tyne). She remarked to him that she thought it scandalous that the media insisted on over-representing the number of black and brown people in the country when as far as she could tell there couldn’t be more than a handful of them.


Probably the most ridiculous rivalry is the one between Workington and Whitehaven, originally based around people from one of the towns (no one can remember or find out which one it was) eating jam sandwiches at the local mine.