As another year comes to an end there seems little hope of sanity appearing in this sadly muddled and confused world. Everybody seems to have an axe to grind and nowhere is this more apparent than here in Britain.
Take the vexed question of race for example. In general black Britons and white Britons get on reasonably well. Of course there are occasional flare ups over ‘difference’ but these are soon forgotten. In the rarefied atmosphere inhabited by the liberal elite however, this is far from the case. When it comes to achieving equality of opportunity, there is institutional virtue signalling, self-righteous guilt-tripping and ideological posturing.
As a result, instead of meeting genuine needs, many policy-makers indulge in the worst kind of stereotyping, where ethnic minorities are automatically treated as victims in need of support and white people are regarded as potential oppressors who deserve to be either prosecuted or ignored.
Two very different examples of this kind of behaviour emerged this week – both telling a great deal about the British neurosis over race, and the damage that it does.
The first was the row over the decision by two leading public schools – Dulwich and Winchester – to reject large philanthropic donations, worth more than £1 million, to fund scholarships for talented white boys from poor backgrounds.
The donations were offered by Sir Bryan Thwaites, a former principal of Westfield College, part of the University of London. He is rightly concerned about Britain’s ‘severe problem of the underperforming white cohort in schools.’
The second was when Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, stated that the region should be made more accessible to the disabled and ethnic minorities. This follows a decision by his park authority to run a four-mile tarmac path through woodland at Keswick to improve access.
In each case, the people behind these decisions will have thought of themselves as generous and progressive. But their approach is little more than condescendingly puerile. All recent studies show that white boys from deprived backgrounds do worse at school than almost all other ethnic groups and are significantly less likely to go to university.
Sir Bryan’s wish to promote social mobility through these scholarships is wholly justified. Nor is there anything unorthodox about wanting to provide financial backing to pupils from certain ethnic groups which face disadvantages in the system. After all, the rap star, Stormzy has established a number of scholarships exclusively for black students at Cambridge University. Other charities have done the same yet there has never been a flicker of indignation from the liberal twits.
Sir Bryan’s proposal was certainly not illegal under current equality legislation either. Trevor Phillips who was one of the authors of the 2010 Equality Act states categorically that in circumstances where a racial group suffering disadvantage is white, then there is no bar on doing for them exactly what we would do for black and ethnic minority groups.
Contrary to what some ‘progressives’ seem to believe, the Equality Act is not the judicial preserve of black people. It is not a kind of ‘be nice to blacks’ charter but a measure that aims to bring fairness for all. Yet that fact is being ignored by organisations such as Dulwich and Winchester. The two schools were too terrified of accusations of bigotry to accept Sir Bryan’s generosity.
In their anxious minds, the very use of the term ‘white’ probably conjured up images of the far-Right and aggressive English nationalism. Bristling with indignation, Dulwich boasted that its ‘community is profoundly diverse.’ In the same tone, Winchester proclaimed that ‘the school does not see how discrimination on grounds of a boy’s colour could ever be compatible with its values.’
What utterly sanctimonious liberal clap trap!
One state school has proved less squeamish than these supposedly elite centres of learning and has happily accepted Sir Bryan’s largesse. Unsurprisingly the headmaster is black!
Do these left wing intellectual types have any idea of how ordinary people actually live I wonder? They certainly show little sign of it. Despite their fixation with ethnic-minority victimhood, they show little understanding of the lives of the British working people.
The term ‘white privilege’ is so casually bandied about among these people and perhaps it applied in the colonial era when I was growing up, yet most low-paid workers in Britain are white. Does their skin colour give them any sense of privilege? I very much doubt it.
But neurosis about race means that guilt and condescension can be found everywhere in our public life – as the Lake District story shows.
‘We are deficient in terms of black and minority ethnic communities,’ declared Richard Leafe. He is probably well-meaning but he is sadly out of touch with reality. His belief that the Lake District should be enjoyed by as many people as possible is commendable, but what does he intend to do – drag black, brown and vari-coloured folk up there with instructions that they must enjoy the scenery and amenities on offer?
Black people do not need to be guided by the benevolent hand of the State for God’s sake. They have minds of their own and will surely choose their own places to visit.
As I said earlier in this piece, the deep anxiety that is so apparent in British political and media classes isn’t reflected among most people, who – generally speaking – want to get on with their neighbours, whatever their colour.
And you know, this squeamishness about race and colour can have disastrous consequences, as terrible crimes are overlooked. Remember the long-running refusal by the authorities to face up to the reality of Asian predatory sex gangs on the streets of towns such as Rotherham and Telford? At the moment, we have the same shameful silence about the soaring incidence of knife crime in cities. Ethnicity plays a critical role here because the overwhelming majority of both perpetrators and victims are young black men. Yet the race aspect is constantly, almost feverishly down-played by liberals, who would rather grumble about poverty or lack of youth clubs. But none of this mayhem is taking place in the left-behind seaside towns of Kent or the devastated industrial wastelands of South Wales or the North-East.
The hand-wringing over these crimes does nothing to tackle the terrifying surge in violence. We need some realism about our racial differences – and the people who most want to see that realism are almost certainly the black people themselves.
Why on earth can the liberal, do-gooding ‘elite’ not understand this?
Mind you, hypocrisy is not all with the liberal elite and foppish white pratwinkles of Britain. At the moment it seems that half the world’s leaders are on holiday and it was refreshing to read that Bunter Johnson and his popsy went on their Caribbean jaunt, flying economy class on British Airways. Many of us know just what an ordeal that can be. Not only that, but he paid for his own tickets.
Consider that for a moment. Bunter is the Prime Minister of Britain, the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.8 trillion.
Emmerson Mnangagwa on the other hand is the President of Zimbabwe, a country with the second highest inflation and a GDP one hundred and sixty four times smaller than Britain, yet he flies in private jets costing the Zimbabwean taxpayers millions of dollars!
And still he blames sanctions for the fact that virtually everything in my benighted country is failing.
I don’t really know what 2020 will bring but I have two wishes for the New Year. Firstly that the British people – no just one small slice of the British people – will learn to laugh at themselves and realise just how lucky they are and secondly, that some sort of miracle will take place in Southern Africa and bring peace and stability to what is one of the most beautiful regions of the world.
What chance do I have? None at all I suppose but whether you are black, white, pink, yellow or some unspecified hue, have a wonderful new year in any case.