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Suicide, white privilege and the patriarchal hegemony – ONS data out, DO NOT discuss the facts

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 6 March 2023

Were it to emerge that women were, as my mother, one great aunt and one of mum’s cousins did, far more likely to kill themselves than men, the BBC’s Women’s Hour would be all over it demanding that action be taken. Were it to emerge that black and Asian people were far more likely to kill themselves than whites, all the usual grifters would be out demanding public enquiries, Government spending and suggesting that this was a legacy of colonialism. David Lammy, Priyamvada Gopal et al would be all over the papers and outr TV screens crying and demanding action. As it happens, the ONS has published data on suicides today.

The odd thing is that there is no direct link between economic conditions and suicide rates although the long term unemployed and those who have never worked are far more likely to kill themselves than those in work. Not surprisingly, those with faith are less likely to kill themselves than those without. 

The sad, but I fear understandable, stand out is that in all demographic sections those most likely to kill themselves are the disabled. Many of them will be in pain, many have difficulties we who are blessed cannot understand. This is, for me, the saddest but – in a way least surprising – aspect of this report.

But then to race and gender.

Of every 100,000 men in the UK, 19.75 are likely to kill themselves each year based on data from the last ten years. For women the number is just 6.45. So men are three times more likely than women to end their own lives. Maybe a bit less talk about the gender pay gap (as discussed as not being quite the issue Woman’s Hour thinks it is, in my Bath Spa lecture HERE) and a bit more talk about the suicide gender gap? If this was the other way round the BBC, et al could not get enough of it, as it is it will be ignored.

The most, at risk, age group among men is 40-50 and among women 40-45.

As for ethnicity? White folks are most at risk. 21.51% and 6.79% per 100,000 among men and women respectively. Among black folks the rates were 6.6% and 4.8% respectively. Among Asians 11.9% and 3.6%. It goes on and on. Now imagine it was the other way round, what would grifters like David Lammy and almost everybody at the BBC and the Guardian be saying now?

The reality is that, by a Country Mile, it is white middle-aged men who appear most likely to kill themselves in Britain today. I have no idea why this is. And, though I have discussed my own suicidal thoughts in years gone by, I am not demanding an enquiry or compensation.

The numbers seem very odd to me but I very much doubt that this oddity will be reported on by the mainstream media or will be the subject of any sort of enquiry. As with white working class boys who come bottom of the education league table, nobody in the liberal establishment cares about that minority so nothing is done about a clear problem that exists. Indeed in daring to mention this hard data and its clear implication of a problem, I realise that the natural reaction, it being 2023, is to say that in merely flagging it up one is a sexist and racist.  It is a truth one should not discuss.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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