It’s Class Stupid

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.

Posted in Media. Tags: , . 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “It’s Class Stupid”

  1. harpymarx Says:

    I agree with what you say, Rick. Class seems to be a scary word now and basically to understand inequality and oppression there has to be a class analysis, along with how race, gender, sexuality and disability intersect. Indeed it’s class stupid..!!

    I think NL have done a very good job of pitching working class people against each other (not just the media)…classic divide and rule. And the likes of Phil Woolas and Hazel Blears fan the flames of racism.

  2. ralfast Says:

    It is the old canard-Divide and Conquer. It is what racism is all about, the creation of a power structure based on race which allows for those of a different race to be held subservient with the help of those who suffer from the system but have their anger redirected at those who suffer with them. The fear of course if that they see common ground, the ground swell (pardon the redundancy) would overturn the existing order.

    The irony is that those who use these terms are in themselves waging class warfare, pushing down the so called “lower” classes so they fight it out among each other and then they can step back and say “How horrid! Send in the Police!” and jackboot them back into their holes.

  3. otto Says:

    Shock Headline

    “UK Citizen Realises The Country Operates Via Class Barriers”

    Fact is that most Brits are comfortable with the class system, be they nobs or slobs. Only a few ever rebel against it. They often finish up as permanent ex-pats 😉

  4. RickB Says:

    Harpy- I think NL bods who fire up the race thing are doing it for electoral reasons often in their own constituency as well as sadly dumb-ass racism.

    Rafael- yes absolutely.

    Yes the divide and rule/conquer part is a major factor coming from comfortable technocrats. As with much class war is only ok when the upper classes do it.

    Otto- and miss our fabulous inbred Royal family who go bald in their teens?
    Yeah, good point!
    Incidentally Nobs & Slobs is surely a Knightsbridge nightclub just waiting to happen.


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