Whose Lives Matter?

Just as our predecessors did, we need to work for the common good, one that improves the lives of all disadvantaged people, and gives them the opportunity to succeed on their chosen path, whatever their ethnic backgrounds. To that end, all lives matter.

The outcry following the killing of George Floyd was entirely justified. It was a brutal act, and the police officers involved deserve to face years in prison. I also agree that the idea behind #blacklivesmatter was a noble one. Unfortunately Black Lives Matter UK has hijacked that sentiment and turned it into a Marxist organisation, with the stated aim of overthrowing capitalism and disbanding the police. I am not prepared to support that.

I am also heartily sick of hearing that as a white man I should be ashamed of my heritage. As with most people in this country, my forebears were working class. They were paid a pittance, lived in poverty, and hoped their children might survive their early years. It was those earlier generations that fought for workers rights, a fair wage, the right to vote, the right to an education and a national health service. No, I'm not ashamed of my heritage, I am proud of it.

I accept that there remain inequalities in society, a point which becomes most apparent when you see the people who hold positions of power and authority in this country. The under-representation of the ethnic minorities is there for all to see, but have you stopped to consider the socio-economic background of the people in power?

According to the report completed by the then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in 2011, Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility, it was reported that 20% of children received free school meals (FSM), yet this group represented just 1% of Oxbridge students.

Another report completed for the Department of Education in 2015, Ethnicity, deprivation and educational achievement at age 16 in England, noted that among those entitled to free school meals (FSM) all ethnic minority groups achieved better exam results than White British pupils. Even for the lowest achieving minority group, Mixed White & Black Caribbean students, the odds of achieving good exam results was 1.26 times (26%) higher than for White British students.

Fifteen percent of the white children were entitled to FSM's.

Referring you back to Nick Clegg's report, just 1% of the children receiving free school meals, whether they were black, white or Asian, would make it to Oxbridge or into managerial jobs.

White privilege clearly did not help the white children in that cohort.

I am not saying that racism does not exist, it does, but I would argue the greater problem is inequality of opportunity. It is shocking that 25% of the poorest children from all ethnic groups fail to reach expected educational attainment levels by the time they leave primary school, a fact that will put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives. Education is the key; give the children the tools they need and they too could aspire to follow in the footsteps of Sajid Javid, Ivan Menezes, Magnus Djaba, Sam Gyimah, Rishi Sunak, Lewis Hamilton, Marvin Rees, Sadiq Khan, Valerie Amos, Sharon White, et al.

BLM UK seem intent on widening the divisions. The activities of their supporters are designed to whip up animosity, there is no nuanced discourse, simply bullying and mob rule in an attempt to force people to accept their world view.

Societies problems are so much more complicated than racism alone. I take the view that a good education and the subsequent opportunity to succeed in life would do much to heal the inequalities of society. To quote from Nick Clegg's report;

A fair society is an open society, one in which every individual is free to succeed. No one should be prevented from fulfilling their potential by the circumstances of their birth. What ought to count is how hard you work and the skills and talents you possess.

Just as our predecessors did, we need to work for the common good, one that improves the lives of all disadvantaged people, and gives them the opportunity to succeed on their chosen path, whatever their ethnic backgrounds. To that end, all lives matter.

11th June 2020

#journal #blacklivesmatter #alllivesmatter #racism


Source Material

Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers According to the report completed by the then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in 2011, Opening Doors, Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Social Mobility, it was reported that

Ethnicity, deprivation and educational achievement at age 16 in England This report completed for the Department of Education in 2015, Ethnicity, deprivation and educational achievement at age 16 in England, contains the following;

Among those entitled to free school meals (FSM) all ethnic minority groups achieve greater success than White British pupils. In 2013 relative to White British students the odds for Chinese pupils achieving 5 good GCSE's including maths and English (5EM) were 6.9 times greater, for Indian students 3.4 times greater, for Bangladeshi 3.0 times, for White other 1.6 times, for Black Caribbean 1.5 times and even for the lowest achieving minority group, Mixed White & Black Caribbean students, the odds of achieving 5EM were 1.26 times (26%) higher than for White British students.

Putting that into context, the ethnic group with the highest proportion of children entitled to FSM's was black African children at 40%, the lowest being Chinese children at 10%. Amongst Black Caribbean children the figure was just over 30%. Amongst white British children the proportion was 15%.


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