Posts Tagged ‘Everybody Matters’

When did Labour stop being a Party for Working Class people?

June 28, 2008

An interesting article in the Telegraph today.  It is in response to the discrimination plan promoted by New Labour.

When I first read the article about this plan, I noticed the references made to female and “ethnic minority” (am I the only person who does not use that term?) job candidates.

My ethical position is that no discrimination, other than on ability to do a job, should be justified.  I expect with the mentality of New Labour, most in the movement would have little ethical problem were there to be scenarios whereby a middle class non-white lady gets a job over a white working class male.  I could not justify supporting either based on their race or class alone (I could not imagine a scenario where they would be a factor at all).

But have New Labour not yet realised that this goes down very badly with those people that were once the bedrock of the Labour Movement.  Do they care?  I suspect that some, but not enough of influence, do.

Personally, and I think have said so on my blog previously, the 1997 to 2001 period should go down as a damaging period for those of us who believe in good race relations in Britain.  References to “race card” were made at that time on a daily basis and it was a period of incredible intolerance and if you did not agree with the Labour way forward, you could expect to be on the end of an accusation or two or be informed that you were not “inclusive”.  The outcome of those years for too many people has been fear, disillusionment and disengagement from the mainstream.  I have always taken the view that the more politicians, and others, try to partition Britain into racial groups, there is the danger that some “groups” will feel left out.  That has arguably been the case with many white working class people.  I understand in some parts of the country white working class boys are the lowest achievers in their area (I do not remember Labour MPs sharing the concerns of Chris Woodhead when he raised them a number of years ago – if I am wrong, please let me know).

The Conservatives should go in much harder in attacking Labour failures on both race relations and in the outcomes for much of their traditional core vote.

I am pleased that I am part of an administration in Hounslow that loathes racism & discrimination and wishes to unite people as opposed to focus on difference.  I believe that this is the best way to persuade people to buy-in to the mainstream.

Everybody Matters!