LSE Labour’s response to ‘The poverty of labels’

Comments (2)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Good article, although I would like to challenge the claim that there is no empirical evidence for white working classes not being left behind by BME initiatives. This Institute of Fiscal Studies report highlights that white working Britons have the lowest university participation rates in the country. . Below is a summary of their findings:

    “All ethnic minority groups in England are now, on average, more likely to go to university than their White British peers. This is the case even amongst groups who were previously under-represented in higher education, such as those of Black Caribbean ethnic origin, a relatively recent change.

    These differences also vary by socio-economic background, and in some cases are very large indeed. For example, Chinese pupils in the lowest socio-economic quintile group are, on average, more than 10 percentage points more likely to go to university than White British pupils in the highest socio-economic quintile group. By contrast, White British pupils in the lowest socio-economic quintile group have participation rates that are more than 10 percentage points lower than those observed for any other ethnic group.”

    This Spectator article,, offers some explanations for this that are linked to positive discrimination.

    Whilst one cannot deny the powerful nexus of intersectionality, its existence does not imply that one factor of disadvantage cannot be more powerful than the others. The statistics above do point to the fact that this factor is socio-economic.

  2. Cynical Cynthia says:

    TL;DR We should be calling the BME society the ‘poor people’s’ society. And be putting white working class people with strong regional accents and mannerisms in it.

    The article seems to highlight the fact that most the fundamental obstacles that block BME achievement arise super early on in one’s life – primarily relating to schooling and neighbourhood. Racial biases that arise in the boardroom are present, but they’re faced by a proportionally lower % of BME people.

    Focusing solely on racial issues is like trying to patch up a tiny hole in a falling hot air balloon whose ignition and fire have been cut out. The hole won’t sink the balloon – the lack of a fire will. The same can be applied to young, disadvantaged BME children across the country. It’s not C-suite executive snobbery that will quash their dreams. It’s the fact that they won’t have a chance of getting near that level of professional success in the first place because of their limited educational and social opportunities.

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