Barlow's Beef: Why I'm ranting for Britain


I opened my BBC News app this morning and read a headline that made my quite angry. I'm not by nature an angry person but the banner headline shouting at me from the screen read: "Ethnic minorities face 'entrenched' racial inequality."

Apparently a review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission found an 'alarming' picture of inequality in the United Kingdom.There was not a single positive word of appreciation for any of the communities who have welcomed immigrants from all over the world or any acknowledgement for their struggle.

I couldn't think of anything more likely to widen the divide than a report implying that the UK has a shameful record in its treatment of ethnic minorities.

If so why are we at the top of chosen destinations for migrants and refugees? Why did more than 300,000 choose to make UK their home last year alone?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission clearly chose not to acknowledge the pressure this places on communities and local services or give any credit to anyone for the enormous strides made in eradicating racial intolerance.

Of course the United Kingdom is not perfect but it's a damn sight more tolerant than the vast majority of alternative destinations. Millions of people from around the world recognise this fact even if the Equality and Human Rights Commission don't.

Given the enormous influx of migrants we have absorbed over the years the occasional nod of appreciation might be appropriate instead of continual denigration.

You don't win the hearts and mind of indigenous people by constant criticism.

Thankfully at ground level we seem to get along together pretty well and, while there are always a few unhinged individuals in the main we live and let live.

The drive for equality is an ongoing process not just for ethnic minorities but for women, poor white families and children of all creeds and religions who seem to be abused on an industrial scale by the very individuals and organisations they rely on for protection.

I'm not sure what the Equality and Human Rights Commission hope to achieve by painting such a disparaging view of British society except continuance of its public funding.

Inflammatory statements such as: 'If you are black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain, it can often still feel like you're living in a different world,'

Are the Commission so out of touch as to not realise that the same statement can be made by many UK citizens who no longer feel they belong in their own neighbourhoods.

They too feel unrepresented and ignored are we to have an equally inflammatory Commission fighting their case? If so the divisions will expand exponentially.

I have great faith in people of all colours creeds and religions that despite self flagellating socialists, right-wing nutcases and egotistical politicians we will always find a way to live together.

Rant over... I feel better now.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlow's Beef, Vic Barlow


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Duncan Herald
Wednesday 24th August 2016 at 5:14 pm
Oh my! All the Corbinistas will be 'un-friending' you on their social media.
Are you worried?
Thought not !
Joshua Pendragon
Friday 26th August 2016 at 1:46 pm
I would respectfully point out a misapprehension that may be the cause of exasperation leading to rant therapy (which I too find cathartic).

The study and report (which urges vigilance on issues of race in the same way that we should be always striving to reduce homelessness and a variety of social concerns), are about Britons not immigrants.

'Are the Commission so out of touch as to not realise that the same statement can be made by many UK citizens who no longer feel they belong in their own neighbourhoods' you ask.

The report was all about UK citizens who may feel that way. It does subdivide Britons by race as the point of the study and includes areas where white Britons are fairing worse as well where minority Britons are fairing worse, and does mention at least one area of improvement in the summary (increased numbers of minority MPs). It is precisely because of the positive aspects of the UK you mentioned that reports like the one cited are commissioned in the first instance in order to continually seek to better where we live, or, as you sensibly phrased it: 'the drive for equality is an ongoing process'.