I think this is interesting because it calls out the phenomenon of affluent middle class media people setting poorer people against each other using race, all the better to keep attention off the inequality from which they profit. I think people who obsessively put ‘white’ in front of -working class- all the time are always suspect. And it’s not just the usual tabloid, conservative or fascist suspects doing that (hello BBC!)-
The white working class are discriminated against because of their accent, style, food, clothes, postcodes and even their names, but not because they are white, according to a Runnymede Trust study published today.
The report, Who Cares about the White Working Class?, disputes the claim that white working class communities have been directly losing out to migrants and minority ethnic groups.
It says that commentators who pretend that white working class disadvantage is ethnic rather than a matter of class does little to address the real and legitimate grievances that poor white people in Britain face.
The study followed a call from Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, for white working class voices and grievances to be heard.
It says that after a decade of politicians and commentators ignoring the issue of class, with Labour preferring to talk about “hard-working families” and “social exclusion”, class inequality is making an overdue comeback onto the political agenda.
“Britain remains blighted by class division, and economic background is still the best predictor of life chances. Class is central to how people see their place in Britain today. Returning to the issue of class inequality and social mobility is therefore long overdue,” the report says. Socially, Britain remains dominated by the same class divisions that have been in place for 40 years with scorn for poor white people and their “perceived” culture not only socially acceptable but also rampant.
But it also warns that there is a danger the “muted and repressed” debate on class that is re-emerging could prove harmful. It argues alarmist predictions that Labour’s neglect of the white working class will boost the British National party are little more than veiled attempts to curb race equality.
Citing examples of the BBC’s White Season and Channel 4’s Immigration – the Inconvenient Truth, the study says: “The interests of the white working class are habitually pitched against those of minority ethnic groups and immigrants, while larger social and economic structures are left out of the debate altogether.”
The researchers show, for example, that poor white working class boys being left behind at school are losing out to affluent white pupils, not minority ethnic pupils.
They say middle class commentators are happy to defend white working class interests against politically correct multiculturalism but they simultaneously deride and ridicule the feckless and undeserving poor, who have squandered the opportunities offered by the welfare state.