Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Not as many foreigners as they'd hoped

The Mail has listed the 99 most common surnames in Britain - and put all the foreign ones in bold caps for easy, racist reference.

Despite their insistence Singh and Ahmed are 'catching up fast', they have actually highlighted only 12 names out of 99 as 'foreign' - the highest being 34th most common, the second highest 66th.

Indeed, if you add up all the people with those 12 surnames, the total comes to 545,946. And yet there are 545,707 Smith's alone - hardly 'catching up fast'.

What's curious also is that from 90-99 the names are: Kaur, Ryan, Quinn, Shah, Gallagher, Byrne, Akhtar, Doherty, Miah, Bibi. Five Irish names, five not. Last time I checked, Ireland was overseas and a foreign country. But the Irish names aren't highlighted.

Just to prove the enlightened lot who read the Mail, the comments include: 'I am well and truly sick about this'. 'Are we supposed to be pleased about this?' and 'I actually find this news really depressing'. Depressing? Yes, I'd say so...


  1. To offer a possible explanation (but certainly no defence), Ireland wasn't a 'foreign' country at the time of mass emigration to Great Britain. Whether the journalist was thinking in those terms is another matter.
    I suppose we could look on the bright side and be thankful that after only a couple of centuries the British press have finally stopped demonising the Irish. Who knows what levels of tolerance they may reach given another 200 years?

  2. Thanks for the comment. I would doubt Mail journos think that deeply - it looks to me they thought only in terms of white and not white, but maybe I'm being too cynical. Clearly great progress has been made on the Irish issue, although I seem to recall an editorial in the Sun when Charles Haughey died that suggests anti-Irish sentiment hasn't enirely disappeared. Sadly.

    Thanks for reading.


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