A WHITE working class community in Birmingham feels its rights are being harmed by “political correctness”, according to research published today.
Residents in Aston were asked for their views on integration for a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The investigation uncovered a deep-seated belief among the ward’s white population that their views were not listened to by the city council and the government, and that policy makers had failed them.
They hit out at Aston Pride regeneration project, which saw £50 million of public money poured into part of the area.
None of the Aston Pride board members were white residents of the area, the report noted, even though 29 per cent of the local population was white.
They also claimed that council housing was allocated unfairly with “queue-jumping or preferential treatment for certain groups”.
One Aston resident told researchers there was no one to speak up for the white community, adding: “We are the forgot about people. You plonked us here and forgot about us. Dumped in the tribal site.”
Another resident complained: “I’d move tomorrow if I could. There are lots of houses rented out to all sorts.
“Don’t know who’s living there from one day to the next. In the past it was clean and there was pride around here – now there’s no curtains even.”
But the report also found that there was general support for closer co-operation between white, Asian and black communities – and that the white residents rejected of right-wing extremism.
The report, Community cohesion: the views of white working-class communities, asked 100 residents in Aston, Canley in Coventry and Somers Town in London, what they thought of attempts at integration.
“White residents in this study perceived they did not have either a voice or representation,” the study found.
The report’s author, Harris Beider, said he was concerned about extremist views, although when questioned about their remarks participants in the study denied being racist and described themselves as “tolerant and welcoming”.
The document states: “It seemed that residents did not view as racist the use of racialised language that would be unacceptable to many reading this report.
“This could simply be seen as normal white working-class language, part of routine and everyday discussion about race and immigration or people who appeared different.”
Joseph Rowntree Foundation chief executive Julia Unwin said: “We know there are real concerns that many people in traditional white working-class areas are becoming increasingly disconnected with the political system and feel their views, experiences and interests are ignored by policy makers.
“This research highlights the real potential we have to grasp opportunities to engage with and support many of those who feel let down and last in line.”