Sunday, May 06, 2007

Understatement of the Day

[posted by Callimachus]

"Few Tory candidates will be able to claim that they were first drawn to politics by a rap song from Public Enemy."

From a fascinating profile of British black conservative Shaun Bailey.

And what Cameron hears about those estates, about the black communities and the impact upon them of the caring professions, has an uncompromising tone. "When you do a job like mine and the community work I do, you start to see lots of people in pain and living badly," Bailey says. "You see well-meaning people around them trying to help, but what they do is that they support them so much that they take over their lives. They rob them of the will and the skill to look after their own. They make them dependent. We get all these people who are parachuted into poor communities who manage that community and then go home to their lovely lives. It's just horrible for that community because it means all of us continue to live in this horrible dark world that we can't navigate without someone leading us from it."

Bailey admits that his view is controversial. "People think they are radical views, but they are just common sense and lots of people outside this field see it that way as well," he says. "We have been so busy telling children about their rights that we haven't told them about their responsibilities. There has been this whole idea that 'we will do it for you', and it has stopped people trying to support themselves."

The views may be familiar to us, but the back story certainly is not. Read it all; it's a fascinating walk in another man's shoes.

[Hat tip: Clive Davis]