The coalition government knows that their benefit cap which comes into force this week, is going to crush ethnic minority families and force them out of the cities and into ghettos. And they care not. And Her Majesty's Government has all but admitted it.
All warfare is based on deception and this is, if nothing else, a class war. Last year, the Conservative MP for Chingford and Woodford Green took part in a media junket to extol the virtues of welfare reforms which the coalition government was pushing through. IDS was on fine form as he spun the government's very own impact assessments. Whilst refusing to acknowledge how out of touch he really was, he stated categorically "we don't believe there will be any increase in child poverty"live that morning on Radio 4's flagship Today programme. We knew then as we know now, that the reforms are in fact going to increase child poverty and those denials became even more obtuse in light of the fact the DWP's own figures stated that up to 100,000 children were going to be affected and the Children's Society contention that the proposed cap on benefits would cut support for more than 200,000 children - British children are nine times more likely than adults to be affected.
One of the big achievements of main-streaming equalities and diversity in the public sector should have been the use of impact assessments; at best they help to identify and address disproportionate harm to protected groups which might otherwise be missed; at their least, they highlight mismanagement, incompetence and discriminatory policies or practices. It's something the government is no doubt desperate to free itself from. IDS's refusal to properly consider the results of the government's own statutory impact assessments therefore speaks volumes. The disingenuous argument that the government, with all its might, was unable to break down the figures any further than race (for example into religion and belief) is eclipsed only by their belief that the welfare reforms are "fair".
The government have expressly stated their desire to move large families from areas of high priced housing, to make way for the more well off. Wealthy commuters deserve nice houses and the poor should move out and give them their homes. Social engineering of the highest order. Figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlight the proportion of large families (3 or more dependent children), by ethnicity
The largest families are from black and ethnic minority households.
The axe of welfare reform is not going to fall equally on the necks of the poor. To our shame we are unwilling to face, or unable to say, who is the worst affected. Communities historically on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder, with the least capacity to adapt to change, absorb impact, enter the employment market, access education (or adequately, to higher education) and those of the largest families, are going to be set adrift on the equivalent of welfare life raft. The Institute of Fiscal Studies has made it clear, time after time, especially in its report by the Family and Parenting Institute that the child poverty gap between Black and Asian families and white families is going to increase by 2015. Just to be clear: for the poorest families in society (relatively), the British white population is going to become less poor, and Britain's ethnic minorities, increasingly poor. I have written and spoken extensively about what I consider to be the Muslim Civil Rights Crisis. An estimated 95%+ of the British Pakistani and Bangladeshi populations are Muslim and the Muslim Council of Britain have stated that 75% of these communities are on or below the poverty line, compared with only 20% of the white British population. British Muslims face the biggest educational barriers and are already three times more likely to be unemployed (young people, eight times) than the population as a whole. Anti-Muslim and Islamophobic sentiment, the social ills of marginalisation, discrimination and alienation, are at epidemic levels, fuelled by political mischief, government complacency, foreign policy, a lack of education, disinformation and the continued rise of the new far right.
Poverty is not something anyone wishes for. It is not about a feckless state of mind. It is not only about income. It is more than anything about equality of opportunity, education, aspiration and capacity. A year ago on the BBC, I spoke about the 'ethnic cleansing of our streets' we would see due to the welfare cap. We now see the reality yet, like a rabbit in the headlights, are unable to act.
In France, discrimination in housing and public services has already lead to the ghettoisation of Muslims, the unemployed and immigrants, particularly those of North African origins. Steve Connor, the science editor of The Independent wrote in 2010 that Muslims faced "massive discrimination" when applying for jobs, according to the first scientifically validated study of anti-Muslim bias among employers in France. All indications show we are going to see the same in Britain.
And what might you ask, does our Prime Minister have to say on the matter: "The cap is right and the cap is fair". Perfidious albion.
Adapted from Mohammed's blog, "The Ethnic Cleansing Of Our Streets"