The New Thatcherite Equality of Opportunity in a Post-BLM Britain | Henry Lloyd

I hate to use the concept of the word, ‘White Savior’ but over the past month, we have seen as a society the constant reposting, retweeting, sharing to the story of anti-racism, content across social media, in majority by white, middle-class girls and women who feel it is their duty to objectively stand up and be the token white person supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

From a UK perspective, I have many debates with people who fit such a description, trying to understand whether they truly understand the implication of the content they are forwarding and posting on social media, many of which do not, so I will tell you of my discussions, and the recurrent theme that seems to be unveiled towards the end of every exchange of polite discussion.

The earliest discussion I had with someone, and for the purposes of protecting their identity, they will be referred to as ‘C’, was in relation to a post to Instagram, claiming the phrase ‘ACAB’, referring to, ‘All Cops Are Bastardised’ which when pressed on it, she claimed it was referring to Police in the USA, even though there was no distinction on the actual post. This lack of initial understanding and education, in relation to the slogan, and simply showed a lack of actual consideration before reposting.

She then began to argue that “there is also institutional racism in the UK’s authorities as well”. To which I responded, “in the police force or something else, as if it’s the police force I would have to disagree with you”. At which she fired back with, “there is institutionalised racism in all parts of western society”.

“It might not be as extreme as the US, but it is still there”.

“It’s very easy to disagree as a white middle-class man”.

And there we go. Once again, as a white, middle class, privately educated man, I am not able to understand at all the level of discrimination in society, against anyone, as I am of course, at the top of the food chain. Right?

Look, I understand that I have privilege, but I’m not going to apologise for it, nor let it restrict what arguments I can or cannot make. I can’t change the colour of my skin, I can’t change the fact that my Dad, who basically failed his traditional education, could afford to send me to an independent school. So why should I, while recognising that a lot of people suffer worse discrimination than I do, still stand up and be discriminated against, by the new leader of the pack. The straight, white, middle class, woman.

By having discussions with industry officials, and studying police and crime statistics, I am well aware of the tendency of police officers in this country to commit a higher level of stop and search or questioning of ethnic minorities, especially those of Afro-Caribbean descent. I also, however, understand this, and you would too, should you have also seen that in a country that is 87% white, according to the Met Police, 66.7% of all knife crime offences, from 2008 to 2018, that were taken forward, were against BAME members, a majority of which is from the Afro-Caribbean community. So, when it comes to actions of Police officers, regarding stop and search of UK citizens, there is statistically a far greater chance of a suspicious BAME member carrying a knife than that of a White person, in proportion to population.

Overall crime statistics however also show another very sad statistic, proportional to population, across the UK crime demographics and racial demographics, stay relatively similar, with a slight increase in Afro-Caribbean crimes, in relation to population. The real disparity when it comes to crime is in children and teenagers, and this I feel is where, in all sectors, we are really letting Black BAME members fall through the net.

In London, Sadiq Khan has shown that cutting police funding, has not led to a reduction of knife crime within these communities, and that instead of investing in a scheme to keep these children away from knife crime and drugs, he has spent the money saved on more staffers, press officers, and personal advertisement campaigns across the city. The Mayor lays responsibility for the 43% of all victims of crime in London who are black, at the door of No.10, which in itself disregards the duty he has to his electorate to improve education, social mobility, youth interactivity, and reduce crime. Instead today, it has been announced that Khan plans to save even more money, by moving the GLA to docklands, rather than its current position on the Thames, meanwhile his personal staffing budget continues to rise.

It was Margaret Thatcher who said:

I would say let our children grow tall, and some taller than others, if they have the ability in them to do so.

I don’t believe in blanket equality, it’s a utopian philosophy, as in reality, we are all different, with different levels of intelligence. I, like Thatcher, believe in the more realistic idea of equality of opportunity, and that is what we need to strive for. No gender, No sexual, No racial quotas, but equality of opportunity. However, to even understand and to get to this stage, we still need to level the playing field to an extent.

If we want to discuss and put into practise equality of opportunity, by the time someone reaches 18, there are essential factors that need to be adapted in communities. A more standardised and solid education for all pupils in state schools, compulsory curriculum modules, that like university degrees, must be studied, such as the Empire, the slave trade, both World Wars, the Cold War, etc. There is no relevance in the modern-day to teach medieval history as part of a compulsory curriculum. Other crucial life skills too, such as personal finance, interview skills, and of course, a compulsory Political education.

And this is where it comes back to the idea of the newly crowned, most privileged stereotype in society, the straight, white, middle class, woman. Is she willing to sacrifice her ‘Neo-Feminist ideals that for centuries women were oppressed, but should be given an advantage to now’ concept, for the sake of progress and equality of opportunity? Is she willing to give up her position as a social white saviour, to further development within society, and including minorities in the conversation, instead of doing the talking for them? Instead of tweeting, reposting and sharing virtually meaningless, resistive content, will she come inside, and help us to create a plan for the future of our country, rather than shouting and screaming outside, holding a placard created by the New Socialist, that she knows nothing of its meaning.

To have a functioning, dynamic society, we must embrace a new concept, but also recognise, that change does not happen overnight, even with the pressures and mistakes from riots, anti-racists and reckless politicians. These issues take months, years decades to completely work out and insert into public life, and if you try and appeal to the demands of many of these protesters in modern-day Britain, you risk dangerously accelerating the already rather shocking hashtag Cancel Culture, and forging racial conflict and the dire possibility of a race war, which nobody wants.

Photo by christopher hogg on Flickr.

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