Labour’s racial equality plans are divisive and unnecessary

Feb 11, 2024 by

by Rakib Ehsan, CapX:

What’s Labour’s grand idea if – as looks likely – they return to government? On Sunday, the shadow women and equalities minister, Anneliese Dodds, announced that ‘the next Labour government will go further to ensure no matter where you live in the UK, and whatever your background, you can thrive’. They will introduce a new Race Equality Act which will ‘extend equal pay rights’ to Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people.

While this proposal may be well-intentioned, it risks compounding the hugely problematic ‘disparities = discrimination’ paradigm – the belief that ‘inequalities’ exist between ethnic groups because of systemic racism.

While Labour politicians such as Dodds continue to paint a depressing picture of ethnic-minority life in Britain, the reality is very different. It is no surprise that Britain’s Indian-origin and Chinese-heritage groups are so often overlooked in the Left’s debates on disadvantage – both are non-white groups with significantly higher levels of school attainment and median hourly pay than the white-British mainstream. Indeed, the 2021 England & Wales Census revealed the Indian ethnic group reported the highest rate of home ownership. Many hard-working, two-parent families in Britain’s more traditional ethnic-minority communities run businesses which are the lifeblood of their local communities. They don’t need a huge increase in bureaucracy surrounding protected characteristics – but they certainly deserve a bit more recognition from a party so keen to appeal to minorities.

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