Sleepwalking to Segregation and In Bed with Hypocrisy
There's undoubtedly some truth in Trevor Phillips' claim that Britain is 'sleepwalking towards segregation', although the picture is more mixed and complex than that. For example, it is claimed that in Britain you are more likely to marry someone of another race than in any other country in the world.
One of the obstacles to integration is this Government's enthusiasm for segregating children in 'faith schools', having learned nothing from sectarianism in Northern Ireland. David Trimble, no flag-bearer for secularism, has called this madness.
Maybe this was what Trevor Phillips was referring to when he said in an interview today that we were "schooling people to be strangers to each other."
Yet this is the same Trevor Phillips who chose to segregate his own children by sending them to private schools.
How very New Labour.
Trevor Phillips' biography follows a classic New Labour template. Student politics - a mixture of the Black Panthers and socialism was how he described his politics at the time - leading to President of the National Union of Students, like Jack Straw and Charles Clarke. Today, a pillar of the new Establishment, a Tony Crony and an O.B.E.
Good phrase though, Trevor. 'Schooling people to be strangers to each other' neatly sums up the objection that some of us have to a private sector in education.
Just a pity you don't practice what you preach. But you wouldn't, would you? That's not the New Labour way.
Shimmy up the ladder like a rat up a drainpipe, pull it up after you, and then declaim social principles that don't apply to yourself or your family. Even Diane Abbott, a fierce critic of New Labour, couldn't bring herself to send Abbott Junior to the kind of school that most of her London constituents' children go to.
Still, I suppose there's an element of equality in this pattern. White politicians have no monopoly of betrayal and hypocrisy.