In defense of the white working class in Britain
Anti-racism has become the central theme of today's political culture, yet the obsessive concern for racial sensitivities rarely seems to be applied to the white working class. This is the one ethnic group that it is perfectly acceptable to insult and ignore.
Once regarded as the backbone of Britain, the people who saved our country in two world wars, the indigenous, less affluent, sector of the population is now treated with contempt by liberal elitists, who sneer at the supposed idleness, vulgarity, xenophobia and ignorance of so-called "chavs" or "white trash".
This kind of repellent snobbery and prejudice was captured in an extraordinary outburst from newspaper columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Condemning white working-class Britons as "either too lazy or too expensive to compete" in the new era of multi-racialism, she wrote that "tax-paying immigrants past and present keep indolent British scroungers on their couches drinking beer and watching TV".
Such comments are not only offensive, but also factually incorrect, since levels of unemployment and welfare dependency are actually much higher in certain immigrant communities. According to the Office of National Statistics, 35 per cent of Muslim households have no adult in employment, more than twice the national average, though no liberal columnist would dream of ever writing about "Muslim scroungers".
The growing ostracism of the white working class is highlighted in a report out today by the Tory party's Social Justice Policy Group, chaired by the former leader Iain Duncan Smith. In his report, Duncan Smith warns that white pupils from poor backgrounds are performing worse at schools than any other ethnic group. He fears that there is a danger of creating "an uneducated and unemployable underclass of forgotten children".
On top of the crisis in education, white workers are also confronted with economic difficulties, since they are disproportionately employed in the declining manufacturing industries, while in the services sector their wages are under pressure because of mass immigration. Yet, instead of having their plight recognised, they are condemned by the nanny-employing classes for their insular racism and reluctance to struggle on minimal pay.
If the experience of poor urban whites were happening to other groups, there would be an outcry, followed by official inquiries, commissions, reports, and positive action plans. But nothing of the sort will occur. The entire thrust of the state machine is to address the needs of ethnic minorities, not the hard-pressed indigenous population.
The public sector is now filled with initiatives geared towards blacks and Asians, whether they be special housing, positive action training schemes, or community grants. No less than 10 per cent of all Arts Council funding, for instance, is explicitly given to ethnic minority groups, while the BBC makes a fetish of minority recruitment, reflected in the famous comment of the former director general Greg Dyke that the corporation is "hideously white". That is the attitude that prevails in our civic institutions. The celebration of diversity is a one-way street, with every culture treated with reverence except the traditional British one.
In his book The Likes of Us: A History of the White Working Class, the author Michael Collins recalled coming across a municipal leaflet in a library in south London, listing every group that had settled in the borough, including the Germans, Dutch, Afro-Caribbeans, Somalians and Ethiopians. As he read this, Collins sensed an elderly white man looking over his shoulder. "They don't mention us English," said the old man, "You wouldn't think we existed, would you?"
When they are not being airbrushed from history, the white working classes are being openly loathed. The fashionable push for healthier school dinners has a nasty sub-text of bullying intolerance towards working-class eating habits; the same is true of the crackdown on smoking.
In this climate of condescension, double standards abound. So the human rights brigade works itself into a froth about the civil liberties of alleged Muslim terrorists, yet utters not a bat-squeak of condemnation of the Draconian measures used against suspected football hooligans, who, whatever their faults, have not been accused of plotting mass slaughter. But then hardline soccer fans, unlike Islamic radicals, tend to be white, so they are seen as fair game.
The same hypocrisy can be seen over crime. White working-class youths are treated as a disturbing threat to the fabric of our society, yet the propensity for young urban blacks to be involved in serious violent crime attracts nothing like the same concern.
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