UK’s New Social Mobility Czar Slams Liberal ‘Bigotry of Low Expectations’
Headmistress Katharine Birbalsingh founded the Michaela Community School — dubbed "Britain's strictest" — in Wembley in 2014 along with local Conservative Party member Suella Braverman, who was appointed Attorney-General last year.
The UK's new social mobility czar
has rejected the "soft bigotry" of assuming poor and ethnic minority children cannot succeed in life.
Katharine Birbalsingh, a darling of the ruling Conservative Party, has expressed some surprisingly anti-materialist ideas.
Birbalsingh told Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio on Monday that she would continue as headmistress of the state-funded free school she founded in Wembley, north-west London after having been appointed on Sunday to chair the Government's Social Mobility Commission. She said she wanted to focus the commission's work on "the family, schools and routes into the workplace".
Hartley-Brewer reminded the headmistress of her previous comments railing against the "soft bigotry of low expectations" for children from deprived or minority families.
"The accident of your birth isn't something that determines the rest of your life," Birbalsingh replied. "That is something we do... with our children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, to say to them: look, it doesn't matter if you don't have the £30,000 that it takes to go to a top private school."
On Sunday, Birbalsingh said in an interview with Maajid Nawaz on LBC Radio, that there was a difference between equality of "opportunity" and "outcome", saying: "The idea of us all being the same at the end is an odd one."
"Some people will own BMWs, some people will own Golfs and some people won't own a car at all, and that's ok I think in our world," she said.
"What's important though is that everybody should have the opportunity to be able to live a fulfilling life," Birbalsingh added. "Some of that might mean having money, but it also means having purpose, having goals in your life that you're able to fulfil."
And she rejected the idea of imposing diversity quotas for recruitment as "the idea of just putting people into particular jobs — whether or not they've worked hard for it, whether or not they're equipped for it."
"The idea that anyone should become a doctor no matter what they've done in the past, well that's kind of worrying," she said. "That would be quotas — we're just going to put everyone into being a doctor, just because it makes us feel good."
22 September 2021, 19:53 GMT
Birbalsingh first made waves at the 2010 Conservative Party conference when she accused the left of "institutionalised racism
" for taking the black and Asian vote for granted — and treating black Tories as race traitors.
"It is always acceptable in our woke culture of 2021 mercilessly to attack black conservatives. They have ‘betrayed’ their leftist masters by daring to think for themselves, when they should be grateful," she said. "That is institutionalised, cultural racism. And it is everywhere."
Birbalsingh was born in New Zealand in 1973 and grew up in Canada before moving to the UK at the age of 15. Her father is a teacher from Guyana and her mother is a Jamaican nurse.
In 2014, she founded the Michaela Community School
, dubbed “Britain’s strictest school” along with fellow Asian Tory and local resident Suella Braverman whom Prime Minister Boris Johnson
appointed Attorney-General in his February 2020 Cabinet reshuffle. The secondary and sixth-form school rejects modern teaching fads such as group work and seats pupils at old-fashioned individual desks.