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Barnie Choudhury: We bury Theresa May but will not mourn her


Prime minister Theresa May set up The Race Disparity Audit but leaves office with a country more divided.
Prime minister Theresa May set up The Race Disparity Audit but leaves office with a country more divided.

by BARNIE CHOUDHURY Former BBC journalist TODAY, like Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony, I come to bury Theresa May, not praise her. But unlike Mark Anthony, I will say nothing about those who plotted her demise, because it could easily be argued that she was the instrument of her own downfall. I come to bury May because we shouldn’t kick people when they’re down. It’s simply not British. I know politics is a game of sharp elbows and even sharper tongues, but we should at least try to walk a mile in her shoes. So, let’s begin that day in July 2016 when she became prime minister. May promised fairness and opportunity to everyone, regardless of their colour, creed or class. She stood outside Number 10 and told the country the stark statistics of inequality. May set a lofty goal: “a mission to make a Britain that works for everyone”. So, she set up the Race Disparity Audit, a research project that looked at how non-white Britons fared against indigenous whites. Unfortunately, Asians don’t need to be told about disparity. Many live it on a daily basis, but the report made sobering reading. For Bangladeshi and Pakistani people, the unemployment rate is about 11 per cent, more than double that of white people, at four per cent. When it comes to pay, Indians tend to be the highest paid of ethnic groups, while Pakistanis and Bangladeshis the lowest – and worse than white workers. And overall, more than half of Asian households fall into the bottom two-fifths when it comes to income. But May’s research did point to one positive trend. Ethnic minorities were proportionately more likely to go onto further and higher education post-18 than white people. Even as I heard the Theresa May of July 2016, I was left dumbfounded.…

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