White work­ing class la­bel ‘is too di­vi­sive’

Daily Mail - - Life - By Steve Doughty So­cial Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent

BE­ING called white work­ing class harms the chances of suc­cess for those it refers to, a lead­ing think-tank has warned.

Re­search found the la­bel sep­a­rates them from those of other eth­nic­i­ties with whom they have much more in com­mon than the white mid­dle and up­per classes.

Lack of ac­cess to jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties binds poor white, black and mi­nor­ity eth­nic peo­ple to­gether, the Run­nymede Trust said in a re­port.

The call fol­lows the grow­ing per­cep­tion that poor white boys are the worst- off group in the coun­try. In her first speech as Prime Min­is­ter, Theresa May sin­gled out white work­ing class boys as in need of help. But those who worry about the white work­ing class are guilty of ‘a des­per­ate and empty form of eth­nona­tion­al­ism’, the trust said.

Di­rec­tor Dr Omar Khan said: ‘We do think the term “Bri­tish white work­ing class” does more harm than good. It’s coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and di­vi­sive and doesn’t help the chal­lenges th­ese com­mu­ni­ties face. Peo­ple iden­tify them­selves by be­ing from Eng­land, for in­stance, or Portsmouth, or a Lon­doner – more than they do by race.

‘The white work­ing class have more in com­mon with poor eth­nic-mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties than they do with the white mid­dle and up­per classes.’

He added: ‘The la­bel white work­ing class isn’t help­ing the white work­ing class be­cause it is all talk and no ac­tion.

‘Rather than of­fer a des­per­ate and empty form of ethno-na­tion­al­ism, the best way to raise up this sec­tion of so­ci­ety is for cen­tral and lo­cal Gov­ern­ment to adopt poli­cies to ben­e­fit all work­ing class com­mu­ni­ties.’

The at­tack on those who con­cen­trate on the grow­ing like­li­hood that white work­ing class boys will do worse at school than any other group fol­lows Mrs May’s re­marks last July shortly af­ter her ap­point­ment as PM.

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