This essay, on inequality, “conservative values” and the “postmodern left”, was my Observer column this week. It was published on 20 December 2020, under the headline “The Tory ‘class agenda’ is a culture war stunt that will leave inequality untouched”. ‘Woke orthodoxy abolished”; “a landmark speech”; “a counter-revolution”. One couldn’t miss the fawning from certain sections of the media. Whoever is responsible for equalities minister Liz Truss’s spin definitely deserves their Christmas bonus. Truss, who doubles up as the international trade secretary, gave a […]
This essay, on the debate about the “white working class”, was my Observer column this week. It was published on 18 October 2020, under the headline “Being white won’t hold boys back. Being working class just might”. White, working-class boys fare badly at school. About that, almost everyone is agreed. More contested is the reason why. Last week, the first witnesses gave evidence to the commons select committee on education’s investigation into “Left Behind White Pupils From Disadvantaged Backgrounds”. The hearing made […]
This is the opening section to my essay in Prospect on white identity politics. Read the full article in Prospect. ‘White Lives Matter Burnley!’ ran the banner trailed by a plane above the Etihad stadium, Manchester City’s ground, during a match with Burnley in June. Since the Premier League resumed after the coronavirus hiatus, players and officials have ‘taken the knee’ at the start of matches in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement against racism and police brutality. The […]
Categories: Britain, Politics, Race & Immigration • Tags: alain de benoist, black identity, black lives matter, enlightenment, identity politics, nouvelle droite, racial science, racism, universalism, white identity, white working class, working class
This essay, on the relationship between class, race and geography in Britain, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece on antibiotics, global poverty and the broken market.) It was published on 26 January 2020, under the headline ‘No history, no languages… the end of humanities only deepens divides’. Sunderland University wants to become more ‘career-focused’. So it is to shut down all its language, politics and history courses and promote instead degrees that ‘align with […]
Categories: Britain, Class, Philosophy & Ethics • Tags: centre for towns, cities, elite, humanities, labour party, poverty, privilege, social mobility, sunderland university, towns, universities, white privilege, white working class, working class
This essay, on the controversy over the funding of scholarship for white working class boys, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece onthe happiness industry.) It was published on 5 January 2020, under the headline‘Bursaries don’t help when it’s not their colour that thwarts these boys’. There is a scene in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses in which one of the central characters, Saladin, finds himself incarcerated in a detention centre for illegal immigrants. Saladin […]
This essay, on race and class in contemporary Britain, was my Observer column this week. (The column included also a short piece on the politics of human fossil finds.) It was published on 7 July 2019, under the headline ‘Working class versus minorities? That’s looking at it the wrong way’. Officials eyeing you with contempt. Police treating you as scum. A sense of being constantly watched and judged by professionals. Living in fear of benefit sanctions. A lack of community facilities. […]
Categories: Britain, Class, Philosophy & Ethics, Race & Immigration • Tags: britain, ethnic pay gap, hostile environment, identity politics, migrants, minorities, precariat, race and class, runnymede trust, white working class, working class
. . This is an interview with Alex Hochuli, George Hoare and Ben Fogle for the podcast Aufhebunga Bunga, mainly on questions of immigration, identity, class and the left (though it opens with a discussion of the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire). . The image is Untitled by Hans Hartung.
. This is a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed programme on ‘the white working class’ , in which I took part with Gurminder Bhambra and Noam Gidron. . The painting is ‘The Workers’ by Walker Scott.
This essay was published in the Observer, 7 January 2018, under the headline ‘In British education, the central issue is class, not ethnicity’. The white working class. It’s a phrase that has become so commonplace that few recognise the sheer oddness, and indeed odiousness, of the concept. It denotes both pity and contempt. On the one hand, it is a description of the ‘left behind’, sections of the population that have lost out through globalisation and deindustrialisation. On the other, […]