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A Black Child a Dozen Times Less Likely to Become UK Prime Minister than a White Child

By News Desk

Thursday, December 22, 2016.

Average white British child a dozen times more likely to be Prime Minister than a Black British child, BBC research finds. The study forms the background of a one-off BBC2 documentary presented last month by David Harewood, Will Britain Have A Black Prime Minister?  as part of the BBC’s Black and British season

The research explores the difference in life chances between black and white children born in Britain today, especially the probability of a black individual making it to 10 Downing Street. Some of the findings of the study carried out by statistician, Dr. Faiza Shaheen include:

The average black child born in the UK today has a 1 in 17 million chance of becoming the Prime Minister.

The average white child born in the UK today has a 1 in 1.4 million chance of becoming the Prime Minister.

A white child is 12 times more likely to make it to the office of Number 10, compared to a black child. 54 Prime Ministers have all been white.

A white child born into a wealthy household, who goes to private school, makes it into a top university and gets into a top profession, has a 1 in 200,000 chance of becoming Prime Minister.

This white individual is 90 times more likely than an average black person to become Prime Minister.

The critically-acclaimed Black British actor  Harewood said that this demonstrated the fact that the system is structured in an elitist way that favours those with wealth and privilege over others, particularly people of colour.

This demonstrated to me the system is structured in an elitist way that is favours wealth and privilege over others, particular people of colour.

“If you’re a state school educated black kid even if you cross all those hurdles, the system still inherently is going to disadvantage you. You would think they have a more fundamental understand of the difficulties of life as opposed to somebody who has been been fed privilege all his life. What does he really know about the struggles of life. How is he then able to walk into No.10 and tell us how to live our lives. It’s quite staggering really,” he said.

Harewood refuses to be disheartened.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my own life, it’s that black people can and will, despite the odds, break through those barriers to success,” he asserted. “It’s a struggle that starts from the day you are born and would appear to remain throughout your life. But the people I’ve met making this film, have given me real optimism, that one day, in the not too distant future, we will make it to the very top job. If any black man or woman is going to get here, they are going to have to make the most incredible journey.”

Harewood points out that a young Black Briton will most likely have to overcome the barriers of poverty and a lack of social networks.

"They’ll have to fight past the obstacles in our education system, and avoid the pitfalls. The chances are, they’ll have to face down discrimination within the workplace and defeat political prejudice on the doorsteps and within the parties in order to rise up to the top.

Any black individual who can achieve this, will need to have a super-human set of characteristics and qualities, be the most multifaceted and resilient individual and of course they’ll need a very healthy dose of good fortune along the way. And that could take a lifetime,” he said.

What Are The Odds of a Black British Child Being Prime Minister?

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