The parlous state of the Conservative party would matter very much less were it not for the fact that the alternative is a Labour government led by Keir Starmer.
Recent days have given us two examples of how a Starmer administration would be very far from the moderate and sensible force he tries to depict. First, it emerged that Labour is still very much in the gender self-ID camp. Then came a reminder that Labour in power will implement a corrosive and extreme stance on matters to do with ethnicity that ascribes any difference in outcomes across different groups to ‘structural racism’ that the state has an urgent duty to eradicate.
Labour sees such anti-black racism in almost everything, the latest examples being energy bills and housing costs. The party chair, Anneliese Dodds, claimed in a social media post this week that: ‘Under the Conservatives, Black families are: 5x more likely to be behind on energy bills, 4x more likely to be behind on their rent/mortgage. Labour will address racial inequality in government, including with a new Race Equality Act.’
While Labour politicians have been coy about exactly what this new legislation may contain, the commitment to introduce it follows a report for the party by Baroness Doreen Lawrence that Starmer commissioned after early evidence of a higher ethnic minority death rate from the coronavirus (yes, Covid was also racist).
Her report ranged far and wide, identifying structural or ‘institutional’ racism in many walks of life. For instance, it bemoaned the fact that ‘51 per cent of boys in young offender institutions are Black or from minority ethnic backgrounds.’ It contained recommendations such as more ‘diversifying’ of the national curriculum, that all government bodies and Whitehall departments should set up teams to conduct ‘race audits’ producing roadmaps to improve minorities recruitment, and that there should be mandatory reporting of the ‘ethnic pay gap’.
As far as Dodds’ specific example goes, let us ask ourselves how, conceptually, Labour might eradicate the disparity across racial groups when it comes to the impact of high fuel and housing costs.