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Kwasi buys Liddle… and aims a few cheap shots

The players change but the game never does. And so with this in mind, a big welcome to Kwasi Kwarteng, who has a whole page in the Daily Mail to explain why Rod Liddle is a victim of “boorishness and the knee-jerk reactions of the anti-racist mob.”

By Lester Holloway

Under the headline “Rap music, goat curry and why crying racism won’t help us beat black crime”, the former Conservative candidate in Brent East argues that the “uncomfortable truth” is that “in his own clumsy way, Liddle has touched on a very real problem – the disproportionate number of young black men who commit crime.”

Kwarteng cites the same figures as Martin Bentham did in yesterday’s Evening Standard, but without reference to the caveats.

However there are other important pieces of research which tell a different story to the one Liddle and Kwarteng would have us believe.

For example, a Youth Justice Board report called Differences or Discrimination found that black men were more likely to be prosecuted for the same crime as their white counterparts, and that:

The chances of a case involving a mixed parentage young male being prosecuted were 2.7 times that of a white young male with similar case characteristics. This is statistically significant, and an indication of unfavourable treatment.”

When it came to sentencing, the Youth Justice Board had this to say:

Substantially higher proportions of black (26%) and mixed parentage (28%) males had been sentenced to a more restrictive community penalty than white (21%), Asian (23%) or other ethnicity (16%) male offenders.”

This report proves that, when looking at the issue of crime, the basic statistics only tell a third of the story. Part of the answer is dealing with discrimination in the justice system, and another part is how wider society denies opportunities to otherwise talented youth. But this doesn’t fit into the Daily Mail’s agenda.

Simon Woolley commented: “In his desire to side with bigatory, Kwarteng ignores Diane Abbott’s pleas to deal with ‘Black on Black’ gun crime, whilst backing Liddle’s racism. That suggests the Caribbean contribution to this country has only been, in Liddle’s words, ‘Gun crime, rap music and Curry goat’.  Shame on you Brother. Shame on you!”

It appears that Kwarteng has swallowed whole Liddle’s views – either that or he has been seduced by the prospect of a whole page in the Mail – without recognising that crime and ethnicity is a multi-faceted issue which is deeper than simply blaming Caribbean young men for crime.

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One Response

  1. Unfortunately as well as tradition of racist bigots in journalism claiming to ‘tell it like it is ” and the going on to spout uniformed racist claptrap parading as common sense we as a black community have our own apologists for racism. Liddle and Kwasi are both talking rubbish we as a community have campaigned for over 10 years on the issue of Gun crime and more recently knife crime.

    As one of the founders of the Metropolitan Police Service Operation Trident I can testify to that. We have campaigned for additional Government funding to support the opening of youth facilities we have campaigned for stiffer prison terms for those who live their life by the gun, we have buried more children than soldiers killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan combined. We need no moral lectures from the like of Liddle and Kwasi and it is repugnant that they should seek to score cheap political points when so many have suffered so grievously. To portray us a community in denial is the height of mendacity.

    If one wants an explanation as to why there are so many young black men in jail then the facts you quote above are response enough however on could add that as the Home Affairs Select Committee reported in 2007 96% of all young black people have not been in trouble with the police or come into contact with the criminal justice system.

    http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmhaff/181/181i.pdf

    The other interesting fact is that when it comes to first time offenders arrested for exactly the same offence black youth are twice as likely to be charged with a criminal offence by the Metropolitan police as opposed to white youths who for the same offence are more likely to receive a caution.

    Add to this the 161 % increase in stop and search targeting young black people over the least two years and you begin to see the reality of racism within the CJS. That Kwasi should ignore facts that don’t support his argument makes him an unashamed apologist for racism.

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