There is much shock horror as it is said that white working class communities, families, might not have quite the ambition and drive for their children as is evident among migrants. There's a little caveat to apply here, given which it doesn't seem that remarkable. An then there's that effect upon those social mobility statistics:
White working-class children have fallen behind because their families can “lack the aspiration and drive seen in many migrant communities,” according to Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools in England.
The caveat there is "many." Certain immigrant groupings - we dislike this talk of "communities" of such - do indeed appear to have a certain driving ambition for their children. That all will become doctors, pharmacists, engineers- secure and well regarded professionals. This has always been so of course, the jokes about the Jewish mother desiring that a son be a doctor or a daughter marry one are at least a century old. That migrants might have this, well, why do people migrate? In order to make life better for their children is a pretty obvious incentive, isn't it?
Certain other such groupings perhaps don't have that same cultural drive. Shrug. People are as people do.
However, that implication for the social mobility statistics. If there are certain portions of the country that don't have that drive and ambition for their children then in those sections there's unlikely to be all that much social mobility, is there? Rather Shakespearean, the fault is not in the stars - the external environment - but in ourselves.
As ever, the identification of the cause is important to solutions. For if this really is about the internal family dynamics of some sections of the British white working class then all the usual suspects - income inequality, capitalism itself, the iniquities of neoliberalism - aren't the cause, are they?
We'll not try to insist upon this diagnosis of the base problem being correct. But we do insist that if it is then near all the plans currently being pursued - even the basic whining about the problem itself - to increase social mobility are wrong.