Racism in London (in 1990)

Racism in London

By Gwydion M. Williams

A late comment on the local elections back in May. The ‘Islamic Party’ totally failed to get large numbers of Muslim votes, thankfully. And a look at votes in multi-member wards in Hackney shows a small but consistent ‘racist vote’ of about 5% to 10%. That is to say, candidates whose name indicated that they were Black or Asian got that much less than colleagues in the same party. It’s much what I’d have expected – a small but persistent degree of prejudice in what is essentially a racially integrated borough.

An even more belated comment – back in March a survey by the now-abolished Inner London Education Authority showed some interesting figures for the school performance of various ethnic groups. It is normally assumed on the Left that differences are due to white racism. But there were profound differences between groups that most white people could barely tell apart and would be very unlikely to treat differently. Africans (excluding Arabs) did much better than children of Caribbean origin. Indians did better than any other ethnic group, and Pakistanis almost as well, but Bangladeshis had the lowest average score of all. The difference, most probably, is due to different cultures and attitudes to school.

This was an item in Newsnotes 018 – July 1990.