"When did you stop caring?" Maajid Nawaz exposes lockdown inequality

29 May 2020, 14:56

By Seán Hickey

As lockdown is eased in England, the issues vulnerable people have faced during this time will become more apparent in the coming weeks.

Maajid Nawaz was speaking off the back of how inequalities have been highlighted throughout the lockdown as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to ease lockdown on Monday. Maajid was reflecting on issues that have come to light since March for the most vulnerable in British society, of whom he's been a voice for since the measures were put in place.

"We know from data already gathered that 3% of the country is Black British yet 5% of the fines have gone to Black British people and 7.5% is British South Asian and 13% of fines have gone out to them."

Maajid used these statistics to highlight how lockdown has disproportionately affected minorities simply because "in this country there is a correlation between migration, race and poverty."

He suggested that because minorities disproportionately live in lower social classes their voices have gone unheard in calls to ease lockdown so they may lessen the socio-economic effects it may have on them. "It's why from the beginning I've been encouraging an easing of the lockdown" he said.

He pointed out that as the coronavirus lockdown begins to ease, "we are missing some really really important social injustices that are happening under our noses." Maajid said that the left have ignored the needs of vulnerable people during lockdown because they would then have to side with the Conservatives.

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"Those who call themselves left wing or liberal should have known this was gonna happen" he said. Maajid argued that minorities have been neglected by those who should protected them because people didn't want to be seen supporting the Tories.

"Since when did you stop caring about the education of vulnerable children?" "I was telling you this was all gonna happen, and this will get worse" Maajid said as he predicted party politics getting in the way of protecting the most vulnerable in society.

Maajid urged the public to take up a stance of empathy. He told listeners that he doesn't "care if its a conservative government or not, I side with the people" adding that his "eye is not on the government of the day, it's on the injustices of the day" and today's injustice, in Maajid's view is that lockdown has widened the economic and educational gaps between the haves and have nots in the UK.

He used the example of a child growing up in a Grenfell Tower style apartment block, pointing out that "he's never gonna catch up with that kid from Eton" because his community wasn't spoken for during lockdown.