Is it because I’m white? Or because I’m working class?

The white working class; Britain’s forgotten race victims?

The Runnymede Trust has published a new study on the white working class and ethnic diversity in Britain.

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, and concludes that the white working class are discriminated against on a range of different fronts, but they are not discriminated against because they are white.

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.

Various commentators have recently put forward the idea that white working class communities are losing out, while minority ethnic groups and immigrants are the winners at the direct expense of the white working class.

The report disputes these claims. 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.

Rob Berkeley, Director of Runnymede, said:
“There is an urgent need to ensure that a re-emergence of class onto the political agenda will not feed divisions, but promote equality for everyone. The way in which the debate has been framed so far hasn’t been particularly constructive. The message from this publication is that it’s possible to have a progressive debate on race and class in 21st century Britain that can lead to better outcomes for all.”

For more information and to download the report, go to the Runnymede Trust website

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