Inclusive Britain: is the identitarian blob subverting government plans?
David Green, 24 March 2022
In Inclusive Britain, the Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch, has fought back against the dominant divisive identity politics of our time and defended the liberal-conservative ideal of the individual guided by personal responsibility and public spirit. Racial identitarianism portrays people as members of groups defined by their superficial outward appearance. It discourages individuals from seizing opportunities that arise, and encourages them to blame outcomes on discrimination by whites, who are defined as oppressors, thus promoting both fatalism and social division.
The heroic fightback of Badenoch’s foreword is not, however, always reflected in the 74 ‘actions’ listed in the report. It appears that the identitarian blob has successfully watered down, and occasionally subverted, the Government’s plans.
Across several departments of state, racial identity remains the operating principle behind policy. For example, the Care Quality Commission will examine ethnic disparities in health outcomes and look at ethnic disparities in NHS promotions and disciplinary action. (Action 18) The Government wants to ‘broaden the diversity’ of judges and magistrates and better understand the success rate of ethnic groups. (Actions 67 and 68) Police recruitment will aim to attract people from ethnic minority backgrounds (Action 65) and the police will ensure that local scrutiny panels that look at stop and search will reflect local ethnic diversity. (Action 10)
The Government will help employers to create opportunities for ethnic groups under-represented in their workforces and improve race equality and progression in the workplace. (Actions 70 and 71) The Government supports ethnic pay reporting (Action 16) and aims to reduce the ethnic pay gap in the NHS. (Action 17) The Government will improve access to finance for ethnic minority entrepreneurs. (Action 55)
The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will examine the disproportionate impact of health inequalities (Action 21) and the Maternity Disparities Taskforce will look at childbirth related inequalities. (Action 22)
Pupil attainment in schools will be examined by ethnic group (Action 29) and the Government will increase the number of young ethnic minority people who start apprenticeships. (Action 48) All-year round teaching of black history will be encouraged in preparation for Black History Month in October 2022. (Action 58) School governing bodies should reflect ‘local diversity’. (Action 63)
These policies take it for granted that ethnic status explains outcomes, but ethnic identity alone causes very little. It is better understood as a politically useful instrument for gaining votes and securing preferential treatment at the general expense.
Kemi Badenoch plainly intends to resist the poisonous division promoted by racial identity politics, and intends government policies to encourage a nation of free and responsible individuals who look out for each other. The inspiring words and clear-minded ideals voiced by Kemi Badenoch are a good start, but identity politics is now so deeply entrenched in the structures and policies of departments that it will require a countervailing structure to unravel it – an executive agency guided by our common humanity not our racial identity.