As the journalistic equivalent of Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells, the Daily Mail is a newspaper I wouldn’t buy for all the free DVDs in China. It claims to be the voice of Middle England, when in fact it’s the voice of Little England: a constant spume of foam-flecked fury towards anyone who isn’t quite like us, pushing equality on one page while cynically exposing celebrity cellulite on another, and emblematic of Britain’s continuing fascination with some dead tart who died in a Paris car crash years ago. But this column makes real sense.
(Yes, I watch Big Brother – and so do you, you liar, even if it’s with the same horrified fascination as you’d watch sectioned inmates flinging their own shit at each other.)
The minor crime (white) housemate Emily committed – saying ‘nigger’ to a black person, neither spitefully nor with bad feeling – was language no different to that used by black people to each other, countless times, every day. It’s part of black culture. Yet if a white person says it – however casually – the white person will be hung, drawn, and evicted.
It doesn’t, of course, work the other way. If Charley had responded by, for example, requesting that Emily ‘get her honkey white ass outahere’, no fuss would have ensued. It’s somewhat amusing that Charley is the living personification of everything that keeps black Britons on the economic scrapheap – an angry ‘beeyatch’ who’s too busy mouthing about her need for ‘respect’ to see any other opportunity in life.)
As the Daily Mail states in its rare attack of sensible-ness, Emily was the sacrificial lamb, getting Channel 4 off the hook after the previous racism row. Being a white person, Emily can’t complain.
It’s symptomatic of the broader malaise in UK society – and once again, it’s down to New Labour. In a culture of Whitehall-mandated targets, where ‘making your numbers’ matters more than the substance of actually solving problems, civil servants from clerks to cops concentrate on the easy wins. It’s easy to slam a white person for saying ‘nigger’: keeps Ofcom happy, keeps the vast diversity industry in gravy, justifies the torrent of legislation telling us how to think and what to say. It’s a lot harder to deal with a real problem, like the appalling anti-intellectualism in poor black families that prevents young blacks ever escaping the council block, while the children of other immigrants become doctors and lawyers.
So the culture of Britain today is to go for the easy wins, and ignore the larger problems underneath. Easy wins are sexy, while the gruntwork of solving real social problems isn’t.
It’s why not one large New Labour project has ever worked. The CSA, the Home Office, ID cards, pensions, the NHS: every single New Labour initiative has wasted billions, missed deadlines, and delivered zero value for money. Because real results require execution, and Labour has no ability to execute.
So when it comes to solving the (largely nonexistent, outside the minds of the public-funds-loving ‘diversity industry’) problems of ‘racism’, it means focussing on the one demographic in the UK that isn’t allowed to complain about its lot – middle-class white people. Despite white people being the least racist group of all, statistically eleven times less likely to commit a racial offence than all Britain’s racial minorities put together.
Yet another blow has been struck against the people who contribute basically everything to the UK’s economy and society – middle-class whites. And of course, once again we’ll just stand here and take it. Without complaint.