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Britain is segregated – between rich and poor

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Issue 2533
Muslim women are in unions and workplaces - not that youd know it from Caseys report
Muslim women are in unions and workplaces – not that you’d know it from Casey’s report (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Racists have seized on a new report on segregation in Britain.

Written by government “integration tsar” Louise Casey, it claimed that some areas where Muslims live are becoming more segregated.

The Daily Mail newspaper leapt on its claims with glee. “What a strange thing it is to stand in a street in Britain asking someone if they know of a white family living in the neighbourhood,” one article began.

“This is liberal, multicultural Britain, not apartheid South Africa.”

The Mail also got a Muslim to write for good measure. “At long last, a senior government official has had the gumption to warn about the devastating effect of mass immigration,” he began.

In reality, politicians constantly scaremonger over immigration and Muslims in particular.

They claim that Muslims live in a “parallel world”. This encourages the idea that Muslims are different and dangerous, but it can be dressed up in rhetoric that sounds progressive.

So former prime minister David Cameron made much of his desire to help Muslim women, who he called “traditionally submissive”. He painted them as stuck at home at the mercy of domineering husbands, unable to speak English.

To be fair, he probably doesn’t know many Muslim women, being part of the segregated Eton-educated millionaire section of society.


Other right wingers talk of arranged marriages and female genital mutilation to encourage Islamophobia. For instance, Casey talked of religious practices that “run contrary to British values”.

It is laughable for Western rulers to pose as enlightened—we live in a deeply oppressive society. But our rulers demonise Muslims because they want to divide us.

Casey’s report, like others, defines areas as segregated where the white population has fallen. Where segregation does exist, it’s down to racism.

Racism means that migrants are often concentrated in poor, rundown areas. Racist policies have housed Asians on certain streets and whites on others.

And racism in society means that some Asian families may prefer to live near others.

But our rulers talk much less about the real segregation in society—that of class.

The rich are the most segregated section. They live in a different world to the rest of us and work hard to keep it that way.

Working class oiks are kept out of their elite schools. Ordinary families can’t afford to live in wealthy areas. And private health care keeps the rich well away from ordinary people using an underfunded NHS.

Official figures show that ordinary people are becoming more integrated, not less. But that won’t stop those who want to use racism to divide us.

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