Monday, 15 October 2018

May and Corbyn share a divisive approach to race | The Times

That's Seamus Milne there, the obnoxious Marxist, megaphoning Jezza

This is a good article by Clare Foges.  
Societies are being ripped apart, tested, strained, in the U.K. in Europe, Australia and in the U.S. because of fatuous and condescending "social justice" programs and tendentious data to make out western societies as inherently evil. 
They are not inherently evil. They are the greatest force for  the betterment of humankind; for all their mistakes and prejudices of the past.  Shame on May and Corbyn.  In Corbyn's case whipped on by the execrable marxist Seamus Milne, above in the megaphone.

This being Black History Month, last week was Politicians In Search Of An Eye-Catching Race-Related Policy Week. Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn had their own announcement, each seemingly benign and right-on, each actually destructive and wrong-headed. Though the leaders may usually have little in common, on issues of race, discrimination and British identity, they are united in folly.
May's announcement was that all public sector employers and large private companies will be required to publish their workers' pay according to ethnicity, to help create "a fairer and more diverse workforce". This is a bad idea for many reasons, not least the patronising targets and quotas it will spawn and the suspicion of tokenism that will hang around black or Asian people appointed to high-paying roles, undermining their years of hard work.
Worst of all is the simplistic picture it will paint, of a routinely discriminatory and even racist Britain. Remember the reporting earlier this year on the gender pay gap? Day after day we were told about villainous businesses paying women 20, 30, 40 per cent less than men, the implication being that women doing exactly the same jobs as men were short-changed — even though salaries were not being compared like-with-like. All salaries from all levels of all large workplaces were stirred into the same pot, giving the murky conclusion that most of Britain's workplaces are wildly sexist.
Though the government has not yet decided how the data on race is to be collected, we can expect similarly misleading statistics. Given that many in the most senior, high-paying roles will be white people whose career ascent started 30 or 40 years ago, the countless equality initiatives (and more enlightened attitudes) of recent times will barely register, and the headlines will be scandalous: "Army pays black soldiers 30 per cent less than white ones!" "White bobbies earn 15 per cent more than those from ethnic minorities!" Figures will scream from the pages without context or meaning.
There will be little discussion about some of the underlying reasons behind differing levels of pay, either. Last year the government's own Race Disparity Audit fired out some shocking statistics, such as that the unemployment rate for black, Asian and minority ethnic people is nearly double that of white British adults, and that Traveller and Gypsy children have the highest exclusion rate from school. But did this lead to probing questions about the attitudes around women and work in some cultures, or how parental lifestyle can influence a child's education?
Of course not. It was easier to blame Britain's "racial injustice" problem, as Damian Green, then first secretary of state, put it. May grimly called for organisations to "explain or change", as though all disparities were down to institutional discrimination alone, while the Equality and Human Rights Commission said the audit was evidence of "entrenched inequality".
No doubt the same inflammatory conclusions will be reached with the reporting on race and pay, and no doubt May will call it a "burning injustice", to be chucked on the pyre with all those other burning injustices. This may be politically useful for the prime minister amid Brexit woes, but taking a simplistic snapshot of the country like this is profoundly damaging. As a number of influential figures (themselves from ethnic minority backgrounds) wrote to this paper in response to the Race Disparity Audit, "All too often statistics are misused in a way that casts minorities as victims of racism and 'white privilege' ". They were concerned that "a crude and tendentious approach to evidence risks promoting a grievance culture" and felt the audit "presented an overly pessimistic picture of modern Britain". We can safely assume these words will ring true for the "race pay gap" too. The reporting will send a powerfully pessimistic message to young black and Asian people about the kind of country Britain is.
Corbyn proposes to offer up another negative picture of Britain, this time not of our present but our past. The leader announced that a Labour government would establish an Emancipation Educational Trust to help schools teach the "grave injustices" of the British Empire and the history of slavery, including how it "interrupted a rich African and black history". Corbyn is right that students should know of the hellish cruelty suffered by African slaves, the Indian famines, the Amritsar massacre, the Boer concentration camps, the Mau Mau uprising and other atrocities. But in the spirit of truth, will Corbyn's trust also teach about the longer history of slavery, with black traders selling black slaves? Will it make clear the leading role that Britain played in abolishing the trade internationally, with the Royal Navy freeing hundreds of thousands of slaves? Though the idea of colonisation may be abhorrent in 2018, will the trust acknowledge some of the good that was done under the British flag: the laying of roads and railways, the creation of canals and sewers, the spread of democracy around the world?
Of course it won't. For Corbyn, hand-wringing about white western oppressors is not just a personal passion, it is politically useful. Focusing on the negative aspects of Britain's history reinforces the notion that racism is Britain's original sin. The Labour Party styles itself as the defender of ethnic minority interests — and sweeps up the votes.
May and Corbyn might kid themselves that they are being "progressive", but in portraying Britain, past and present, as a racist, discriminatory country they do their cause no good at all. If young black and Asian people grow up thinking their path to success will be strewn with rocks, they could limit their own ambitions. If they feel alienated or angry about Britain they may feel conflicted about their identity, loathe to love a nation that seems set against people who look like them.
I'm not suggesting we live in a discrimination-free country, or that there are easy answers to inspiring a strong national identity across people of all races, cultures and religions. But a more positive approach to these issues is possible, based on some simple principles. Treat people as individuals first and members of a minority second. Celebrate the achievements of black and Asian Britons rather than focusing on skewed statistics and simplified narratives that foment upset. Aim for equality of opportunity through outstanding education for all, mentoring and outreach programmes — not equality of outcome through quotas and targets.
It may be appealing to politicians to call out Britain's flaws endlessly so that they might cast themselves as champions of racial justice, but it is destructive. You do not do black and Asian people a service by continually emphasising difference. Yes, take steps to remedy unfairness where it exists — but the overall message must be that Britain is not a collection of competing racial groups but a nation — and there are few nations on Earth with a prouder record of fighting discrimination in all its forms.