Thursday, 6 March 2008

White tribes ?

It’s a debate that comes round from time to time: ‘who speaks for the white working class ?’.

There’s been a survey of the former mining town of Easington in County Durham which apparently is the whitest place in England, and with the colliery gone and the steelworks gone, life is unsurprisingly fucking grim. And there’s a BBC series coming up – something along the lines of ‘the lost white tribes of Britain’.

I got suspicious when I hear the question asked because it’s usually a rhetorical device for the BNP and other fascists to jump in and answer ‘we do’. Or it’s asked by whinging Little Englanders who sometime way back in the Eighties decided that they weren’t working class anymore and embraced the Thatcherite dream. What they really mean is ‘who speaks for the white bigots ?’ And of course the answer is the BNP again. And Jeremy Clarkson and the Daily Mail.

Undeniably communities like Easington have been disenfranchised. It’s not because they’re white though – it’s because they are working class – the Tories declared war on them and then New Labour deserted them. If they came down to Hackney, Tottenham or Brent, they’d find that life for the Black or Asian working class isn’t too peachy these days either. And all the bollocks about preferential housing etc for ethnic minorities is precisely that: Bollocks.

It’s not fashionable to say so, but class is more important than race as far as ‘life chances’ go. The fascists don’t want to hear that and neither do the small and very much exaggerated Black or Asian middle class.

And whilst we're at it; being abandoned and disenfranchised is one thing, but building an isolated ghetto of ignorance and small mindedness is another. Every society has it's rednecks - and it's possible to choose not to be one.

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