Shaun Bailey: Family is not perfect, but if you can show me a better vehicle for nurturing, educating, and promoting children, please let me know.
The following is an excerpt from an interview between Mallard Chairman, Jake Scott (JS) and Shaun Bailey (SB). The full interview will be available in our November print magazine, which will be announced soon.
JS: One thing that’s been quite nice to see is that the spokespeople for traditional ways of bringing children up are people like yourself and Katharine Birbalsingh, and more minority ethnic people. Do you not think that there’s a certain irony there that the white middle class has abandoned these traditional ways of living but then it’s the black or minority working class has proven they’re actually valid and they work?
SB: Well that’s no surprise to me, we have a greater need for it to work. If you have lots and lots of resources and you revolve in a community like you can cover up all kinds of ills by paying your way through; we don’t have that choice. We have to set our children on as steady a path as possible. Look, these things were made because we like that, or that conservatism with a small-c dominated the world: conservatism didn’t make the world, the world made conservatism; keeping your children safe, educating your children, treating them as children until they become adults is best for them. All of that conservative thinking was tried and tested. The word conservative, you know to conserve, it means “conserve the best and modify the rest”, if you see what I mean. So, this radical throwing out of, I think sometimes, is a guilty response because you have lots of you know great white middle-class communities in the country, who do really well financially and socially, and I think there’s a little bit of guilt. They think that, why do we do so well, and why do other people do so badly? Actually, if my children, access to all of the same sort of choices and experiences that their children had, then they would probably get the same outcome. It doesn’t need to be a case of throwing these things out.
For instance, I can’t afford for my children not to go to university, because if they don’t – actually, not even university, if they don’t work out financially, my family doesn’t have the money to give them a home or pass on some inheritance, so of course I’m focused on a much more, you know, traditional line. I have a friend, whose Indian, and his mom uses the term “proper job” all of the time, and for her that encapsulates all of that: you go to school, you keep your head down, you get qualified, you go down the professional route, you get a proper job, and then you go on and you feed your family. I think that conversation is still very, very strong in most immigrant communities.
JS: So, saying that, two things that the No Man’s Land pamphlet talked about were knife crime and the epidemic of fatherlessness and both of these things seem to be spiralling out of control.
SB: I’ve lately been criticized heavily No Man’s Land but, at the time, nobody was telling me I was wrong, and now I was right! Look, I told everyone that knife crime was coming, right, unfortunately, I was right, I’m not proud about that and I wish I wasn’t right, but I was right. That’s the case we’re in now and, if you look at fatherlessness, it’s gone completely off the radar. And why is that? Because of liberal thinking. I told this to anybody who would listen: if you really want to help the black community, in particular, you talk about family, how can we repair, how can we keep, how can we prosper our families. If you look at the Pakistani community or Indian community or the Bangladeshi community, they arrived, certainly the Pakistani and the Bangladeshi communities, after the black community but they’re thriving. Why, because at the core they do family very, very well, and all the positive benefits that has. Now, of course, family is not perfect, but if you can show me a better vehicle for nurturing, educating, and promoting children, please let me know, I’d be really interested in knowing. There’s no competition. And that has a profound effect on your social outcomes.