There's an eye-opening article in this week's Economist which says that we are developing a "forgotten underclass". The article says that while Muslims and blacks get more attention, poor whites are in a worse state. Here's an excerpt...
Apart from election campaigns, when rising support for far-right political parties in areas such as Dagenham causes alarm, the traditional working class is largely overlooked. When politicians say that some communities are failing to integrate with mainstream society, they mean Muslims from the Indian subcontinent. When campaigners complain that schools are failing some children, they often cite black boys. Yet the nation's most troubled group, in both absolute and relative terms, is poor, white and British-born. The troubles begin at school. Last year white teenagers entitled to free school meals—the poorest tenth—did worse in crucial GCSE examinations than equally poor members of any other ethnic or racial group (see chart). In the borough of Barking and Dagenham, the contrast is sharper still. Just 32% of all white children there got five “good” GCSEs last year, compared with 39% of blacks and 52% of Asians. In Leicester, just 24% of whites got five decent GCSEs.
By tracking tens of thousands of poor children, academics at Bristol University have pinpointed the problem. When poor whites are tested at the age of seven, they fare only slightly worse than poor blacks, and better than poor Pakistani and Bangladeshi children, many of whom are struggling with English. By 14, whites have overhauled blacks and continue to lead the other two groups. But at 16, when futures are decided in the national exams, the white children do worst of all. Poor Indian and Chinese pupils, who have been ahead all along, increase their lead dramatically.
Clearly something happens to white children between the ages of 14 and 16 that does not happen to others. That something is that they write off the value of education in doing well in life. At the same point in their lives, or even earlier, their parents and grandparents came to the same conclusion. John Simkin, who went to school in Dagenham in the 1950s, says the ready availability of factory work made for uninterested and rowdy classrooms. “We didn't believe there was any connection between our school work and what we would do as adults,” he says.
White youngsters who think they can leave school with few or no qualifications and walk into a job are not wholly deluded. Richard Berthoud, who studies the subject at Essex University, points out that whites at all levels of education (including the unskilled) are slightly less likely to be unemployed than are others. But poorly qualified whites face two problems. First, education trumps ethnicity. It takes only a dash of additional qualifications to enhance the job prospects and pay of a black or Asian person. And the competition is hungrier for qualifications: whites are less likely to stay at school beyond the age of 16 than any other group.
One reason poor British whites have escaped scrutiny is that they are less associated with serious criminality than other ethnic groups, particularly Afro-Caribbeans. British blacks are disproportionately young and tend to live in big cities, which are heavily policed. They may be more likely to commit the sort of extravagantly violent crimes that attract stiff sentences. It is this reason, rather than any racial bias in the criminal-justice system, that explains why they are over-represented in prison compared with whites.
But whites actually commit more crime. A large survey carried out by the Home Office in 2003 found that white men were more likely to admit to having broken the law in the past year than were blacks, Asians or people of mixed race. Fully 18% of whites aged 10 to 25 admitted to a violent crime, and 15% said they had committed a theft. Young whites are also most likely to take Class-A drugs (the most serious kind).
This article highlights why the BNP are doing well in areas like Dagenham. It's not because the people there are inherantly racist, it's more to do with the fact that they can capitalise on a feeling of social exclusion by the poorer elements of the white community. This is happening all over the country now, and yet none of the three main parties seem willing to accept what is happening under their very noses. Social Justice has to mean bringing opportunity and hope to ALL parts of the community, not just those which appear to be politically correct. The question is, is it too late? Are people in the poorer white communities so disconnected from the political process that they are out of reach of mainstream politicians? This is why it's so important that the Conservatives get back into the Cities for the long term. There aren't going to be any short term electoral benefits from doing so, but that can't be the only factor in a political strategy. It is up to government to find ways of reaching out to the 14-16 year old white kids referred to in the article, who seem to lose their connection with society around that age. While Cameron's 'hug a hoodie' approach was derided by many, perhaps he had cottoned on to (wittingly or not) the fact that it is this group of kids who are the ones in real need of attention.
PS I would love to provide a link to the whole article (which is HERE) but I think you need an Economist subscription to read it.