The government is naming 27 areas which it says need intensive support because of pressure from recession, migration and social change.Oh oh! And just where are these benighted places?
Here’s a list:
North West: Blackburn with Darwen, Cheshire West & Chester, Cumbria and Liverpool
North East: Sunderland and Gateshead
Midlands: Birmingham, Stoke, Nottingham, Leicester and Lincoln
South West: Poole, N Somerset and Swindon
South/London: Milton Keynes, Bexley, Bromley and Barking and Dagenham
East: Broxbourne and King's Lynn
Yorks/Humber: North Lincolnshire
Something familiar about all those places. Can’t quite put my finger on it…
Communities Secretary John Denham said the areas would be targeted to help residents understand they had not been forgotten by decision-makers.Ah, right. Not ‘targeted to help them’, targeted to ‘help them understand’…
The BBC's home editor Mark Easton said: "The 100 areas have been identified as disengaged and alienated with a sense of resentment and prone to exploitation by the far right."Aha! That was what I couldn’t quite put my finger on!
The areas, some as small as a housing estate, have been identified from economic data, broader measures of what local people think and analysis from local officials.Really? Not just by looking at those seats with large BNP surges in local voting, then?
In all cases, existing funding and regeneration plans have not led to a change in perceptions.Rather than spend yet more wodges of taxpayer cash on pointless exercises, why not read a few blogs?
Mr Denham said £12m would be spent across the areas to work out exactly why people in these areas feel aggrieved and under pressure.
You could start with this one by Obsidian:
“Two of the things Labour have managed to do is destroy social mobility, and turn multiculturism into a collection of insular enclaves. Rather than keep mixing things, they've allowed society to settle into distinct strata, and in such conditions views and behaviours start to become entrenched.There, Mr Denham. That was easy, wasn’t it?
Worse, it makes spending decisions look questionable - if you spend money on an area, and that area is pretty monocultural it looks like favouritism regardless of whether it is or not. That breeds resentment.”
Some more? OK then:
“The benefits class and low-paid working classes are starting to get fed up with what they see as the Islamification of the UK, and the bourgeois middle classes ignore that at their peril. We're in dodgy economic times, and we're due another dip in the economy, and that's just going to engender more anger.”So rather than get your army of flunkies working out a way to further gloss over or spin this, how about actually doing something for those communities?
Oh, but of course. You don’t really see the problem, do you?
“The problem being that the people able to do anything about this exist in their own strata, alienated from those whose anger is bubbling away nicely, and so not really able to understand what the hell is going on.Quite.
From their rarified heights they see racism, they see people being unreasonable, what they don't see is how these people have reached these points and their day-to-day lives. They go off theory, and how they expect people to act - when the only Muslims you know are the very reasonable middle-aged doctors, lawyers and media luvvies earning a small fortune, it's hard to see the see the young, angry lost ones trapped between western temptation and imported cultural expectation earning pittance.”
We live in interesting times. I think they are about to get more interesting…