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, […]