The War Against White Trash
[Previously by John
Thinking About 7/7: Enoch Powell`s Revenge?]
Here is a
picture of a 14-year-old English girl named Codie
Here is another picture of Codie.
Here is a picture of Codie with her mother, Nicola
here is a picture of the headmaster (= principal,
approximately) of the school that Codie Stott attends.
Now, it is a well-known fact that
no art to find the mind`s construction in the face.
I certainly would not presume to plumb the depths of
these people`s psyches merely by references to the
pictures linked to above. It is an odd thing, though,
that the impressions of Miss and Mrs. Stott, and of Dr.
(as he now is) Edkins, that popped into my mind on
seeing those pictures are amply supported by the
background material in the surrounding text.
What were those impressions? In the
case of the Stotts mère et fille the impression
was: "White trash." Dr. Edkin`s picture triggered
the response: "Multi-culti
"White trash" is of course an unnecessarily
harsh expression. "White Anglo-Saxon-Celtic working
class" would be kinder and more precise. I am going
to go on saying "white trash," though, because
it is less cumbersome,
and… I feel I have a license
to do so, being
white trash myself
by origins, having been
raised among people who looked very much like
Codie and her Mum, and likely shared the Stott
ladies` taste in food, entertainment,
spectator sports, home furnishings, celebrity
dental-hygienic practices, and the
milder sort of vices.
Those coarse, homely faces aside,
the evidence for the white-trash status of the Stotts
is, as I said, there in the supporting text. Mrs. Stott
works as a cleaner. She seems to have misplaced her
husband, but she has a live-in boyfriend, whose line of
work is cable laying.
Young Codie Stott attends a school
named Harrop Fold, of which an
official report in December of last year noted the
school is situated in the mainly residential areas of
Worsley and Little Hulton which experience significant
levels of social and economic disadvantage. The
proportion of students eligible for free school meals is
more than double the national average. Few students are
from minority ethnic groups. Students enter the school
having achieved results at primary school that were
below average overall, particularly in English. An
average proportion have been identified as having
learning difficulties and/or disabilities and 20
students have a statement of special educational need.
Plainly a white-trash school in a
white-trash neighborhood. The headmaster of that school
is Dr. Edkins, the one whose picture seemed to me to
have the phrase "multi-culti enforcer" stenciled
across it in red-ink block letters.
Dr. Edkins is something of a
superstar in his profession. When he was put in charge
of Falmer School in Brighton, down on the south coast of
England, back in 1999, he was then the youngest
headmaster of a publicly-run secondary school anywhere
in the nation.
Falmer was, like Harrop Fold, an
school in a "disadvantaged" white-trash area.
Edkins turned the place around, and was then head-hunted
to do the same for Codie Stott`s school. He did such a
good job on this second mission, he was
praised by British Prime Minister Tony Blair
himself. As I said, an educational superstar—a sort of
Barack Obama of British ed-biz.
So what on earth has gone wrong at
Harrop Fold School that young Codie had to be hustled
off to the local
Bridewell to have her fingerprints and DNA databased,
and to be detained for—depending on whose story you
believe—either three and a half or six hours in—ditto
ditto—either a cell or a "juvenile unit"?
Well, according to the news
reports, Codie was arrested on suspicion of having
committed "a Section 5
racial public order offence."
(Just pause to savor that phrase
for a moment, and reflect on the exquisite, quivering
pleasure it would have given to
What had happened was, in a science
class where the student body was partitioned into
"discussion groups," Codie found herself with a
group of five
Pakistanis. Four of the five were recent immigrants
who spoke no English, so the fifth
occupied himself by explaining to them, in Urdu,
what the teacher required.
Codie found it educationally
unrewarding to sit there listening to her five
team-mates chattering in
Urdu, a language she does not herself speak. She
therefore sought out the teacher to ask if she might be
re-assigned to some other group, preferably one
whose members spoke English.
This mild request had somewhat the
same effect on her teacher as
Oliver Twist`s request for "More"
had on that beadle. All the school`s PC alarms went off
simultaneously. According to Codie, the teacher
"started shouting and screaming, saying `It`s racist,
you`re going to get done by the police.`" The
newspaper report continues:
said she went outside to calm down where another teacher
found her and, after speaking to her class teacher, put
her in isolation for the rest of the day.
complaint was made to a
police officer based full-time at the school, and
more than a week after the incident on September 26 she
was taken to Swinton police station and placed under
told me to take my laces out of my shoes and remove my
jewelry, and I had my fingerprints and photograph
taken," said Codie. `It was awful.`
questioning on suspicion of committing a section five
racial public order offence, her mother Nicola says she
was placed in a bare cell for three-and-a-half hours
then released without charge.
only returned to lessons this week and has been put in a
different science class."
Now, there are some different
versions here. As any schoolteacher, or any parent,
knows, it is not always easy to get to the bottom of
these matters. Codie`s account has been disputed. It has
been alleged that she spoke insults to the Pakistanis,
though the worst such allegation I have been able to
find is that Codie referred to them as—you might want to
take a firm hold of something solid here—"black."
What is not in dispute is that
after a pause of several days while the authorities
ruminated on the matter, Codie was
arrested, taken to the police station,
fingerprinted, had her
DNA registered, and was given the full attention,
for at least three and a half hours, of
several bobbies who might have been better employed
trying to do something about
their district`s appalling levels of
burglary, motor vehicle theft, and "
against the person."
What does Codie`s headmaster, the
miracle-working Dr. Edkins, have to say about it all?
allegation of a serious nature was made concerning a
racially motivated remark by one student towards a group
of Asian students new to the school and new to the
country. We aim to ensure a
tolerant attitude towards people and pupils of
all ethnic backgrounds and will not stand for racism
in any form."
More words to savor—words, in fact,
to chill the blood of anyone who believes in liberty and
personal autonomy. "We aim to ensure a caring and
It is not often one is offered such
a vivid glimpse of the iron fist inside the velvet
cliché, of the totalitarian,
nation-killing purpose of the whole sweet-talking
multi-cultural enterprise. Be caring… be tolerant… or WE
WILL SMASH YOU TO PIECES!
One hopes, for her own sake, that
young Codie got the message.
I`d like to suggest that this
incident was one tiny skirmish in a war that has been
underway for some years now, the war I named in my
title: the War Against White Trash. On one side in this
war there is, of course, the white Anglo-Saxon-Celtic
working class of Britain.
That word "working" needs
some emphasis. As I have noted, both Mrs. Stott and her
boyfriend are gainfully employed. "White trash"
is not the name of an
unemployable underclass. White-trash-hood is more
a state of mind, which a person at almost any
economic level can enter into. One of the revelations in
Bill Buford`s book
English soccer hooligans (an essential item on the
reading list of anyone wishing to explore white-trash
culture) is that the white-trash marauders he
writes about are in many cases "people with real
jobs with real responsibilities: an engineer for British
Telecom … a trainee accountant; a bank clerk."
On the other side of this war is a
coalition of forces. Some of this coalition`s components
just dislike white trash for reasons of esthetics, race
prejudice, or class snobbery, and take pleasure in
seeing them harried and discomfited. Other, far more
sinister, elements are driven by missionary spirit—by
the desire to lift up the white trash from their present
benighted state to a higher plane of consciousness.
That plane will be one where such
paleolithic concepts as "nation"
will have no meaning, where the
traditional English contempt for
foreigners has been replaced by a world-embracing
spirit of universal brotherhood, where
both sexes and
all "lifestyles" are equal, where the past is
viewed with horrified guilt, the present with earnest
reforming zeal, and the future with serene complacency,
where everyone advances to higher education and thence
to symbol-manipulating employment in accountancy, or
law, or the ever-swelling government bureaucracy, and
nobody has to be a cleaner or cable layer.
Either dirt will cease to
accumulate in buildings and
cables will lay themselves spontaneously, or else
small, grateful, polite brown people from distant places
shipped in to do this
demeaning work at starvation wages.
Dr. Edkins is a warrior in this
fight; though which of the above-named motives—the
desire to vex white trash, or the desire to
embourgeoisify them—is uppermost in his mind, I would
not venture to say.
His declaration that he "will
not stand for racism in any form" is at least open
to reasonable suspicion, though. In any form, Dr. Edkins?
Suppose those Pakistani students had complained that
Codie Stott made a poor sixth in their group, being
unable to converse satisfactorily with them, and that
they would be happier and better instructed if a sixth
Urdu-speaking classmate could be found. Would the five
of them have soon found themselves
down at the cop shop having their fingers rolled on
Why am I quite certain that the
answer is "No"?
But come now, Derb (I hear you
cry): Is not Dr. Edkins a hero of our time? Has he not
turned around two failing schools, transforming them
into places where studious kids of a white-trash
background—kids very much like
your own younger self—have a shot at
learning something and advancing to a comfortable
middle-class life among friends and colleagues who
know the difference between
Well, yes; but there are matters of
intent and purpose. Mussolini made the trains run on
time; Hitler built the autobahns;
Mao Tse-tung quashed the warlords.
It is a fine and worthy thing to
improve a school. If, having improved that school, you
then summon the
peelers to stick a Section 5 on some 14-year-old
girl because she expressed a preference to be taught in
her own language, you have revealed yourself to be a
vindictive ideologue who holds the tenets of ideological
multiculturalism more precious than the
ancient liberties of the English.
You have revealed yourself, in
fact, as a person who wants the white trash smacked down
good and hard, and their politico-cultural sentiments at
least intimidated to silence, at best outlawed.
There are a lot of such people. A
few weeks ago, in
a different web magazine, I passed some remarks
about the recent history of America`s political parties
in relation to the Civil Rights movement. I got many
emails from readers chastising me for not having said
how disgraceful Richard Nixon`s
"Southern strategy" was—how simply appalling it
was for him to go trawling after the
votes of racist Southern whites as he had done,
after those people had deserted the Democratic Party (or
perhaps more precisely, after it had deserted them).
The implication of all these emails
was that the votes of white Southerners in the 1960s and
1970s should not have been sought by any political
party—that, in fact, white Southerners should not have
been able to vote until they changed their thinking
about race. But it is a regrettable fact about our
political system that
every adult citizen has a vote—even those citizens
prefer their own race to another.
Codie Stott doesn`t even fall into
that category. She just wants to get school science
instruction in her own language.
When she is a little older, she may
perhaps reflect on how odd it is that after
forty years of angry controversy, after the
transformation of entire English towns and city
districts into simulacra of Karachi and Dhaka, after
race riots and
jihadist bombings—after all that, illiterate (in
English, at any rate)
Muslim South Asian peasants are still pouring into
numbers apparently uncontrolled, and are being
granted courtesies, dignities, and privileges which the
native English are denied.
If, after reflecting on this for a
while, Codie should come to the conclusion that the
land of her ancestors has gone drooling, gibbering
mad, who will say she is wrong?
him] writes an
incredible amount on all
sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. His most
Unknown Quantity: A Real And Imaginary History of Algebra,
reviewed here in July.