This week, Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard, NHS England’s chief executive and chief people officer respectively, called on NHS Trusts to take “precautionary measures” to protect BAME staff amid concerns that people from these backgrounds are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19.”
It is amazing, even in the middle of a global Pandemic, and the biggest health crisis the country has had to deal with in 100 years, Identity Politics has reared its ugly head again.
When figures were released that showed there were slightly more people from a Black or Asian origin dying from COVID-19 it was seized upon by the Identity Politics obsessed far-left as yet more ‘proof’ that those ethnic minorities got a ‘raw deal’ and were victims of some terrible conspiracy by White people who were subjugating those that identify as “BAME”. Channel 4, The Guardian, and The BBC, all avid promoters of the Identity Politics agenda, leapt on this data as ‘proof positive’.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who never misses an opportunity to play the racism card has also been vocal about the plight of some based entirely on the tone and pigment of their skin with endless tweets and broadcasts on his favourite topic.
The idea is that the Coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately harsh on the BAME community, not for any biological reasons, but because the evil white man has deliberately orchestrated it that way is the narrative here. In reality it is nothing of the sort. this is confirmation bias, based on some very dodgy data. The oft quoted figure for the percentage of Black and Asian groups as part of the UK population is 13%. However, this is based on things like Census data which is a decade old now, plus the government don’t keep accurate figures on people coming in or going out of the country anyway, let alone their ethnicity, so it is a guesstimate at best. Not a solid start. The percentage of Black and Asian minority Deaths from COVID-19 is approximately 16%, just a 3% difference. Given that we have no idea how accurate the 13% figure is, we have no way of knowing if if the 3% is correct. Some would argue that just 3% is not 'statistically significant' in any case.
Even if we took the 13% as accurate, there are other social, economic and ethnic reasons why these figures differ. Many Black and Asian people work in the care-sector, NHS Jobs are advertised all around the world and often attract those from India, Pakistan, The Philippines and Nigeria who come here specifically to work in the NHS. Many more who aren’t qualified take work in the care sector who always have vacancies also. There is nothing sinister about these numbers, Health and Social Care are two environments that always have vacancies, and people, whatever their ethnicity, go where they can find work, even if that work is in another country. It is also true that Ethnic minorities are more likely to live in densely populated areas, and also live on average more to a household, making Social Distancing very difficult if not impossible.
There are also some medical factors that may be at play here: Over 50% of Asian Males over 50yrs old have Type:2 Diabetes, four times higher than the general population, due to the south Asian Diet.
All of these factors are ignored by the Identitarians who see racism and inequality everywhere they look. Simon Stevens is now shown to be one, a bureaucrat with an axe to grind, that’s all we need right now.