The wrong kind of diversity

What does our society think of Diversity?  Of course, we want it.  In fact we insist on it, and go to sometimes-absurd lengths to enforce it.

Except, it seems, when it’s the wrong kind of diversity.  The “diversity” we enforce is, it seems, strangely selective.

Just imagine if big employers (say, Tesco and Next) refused to employ black people.  No, of course it’s unthinkable!  That’s a basic principle on which we can all agree.  Yet when those very employers employ Eastern Europeans, they’re condemned for that too.  By no less than Chris Bryant, a senior politician from the Labour Party, supposedly the champions of the Equality and Diversity agendas.

Bryant backed down with egg on his face over a bunch of basic factual errors.  But we have been warned: there’s a right and a wrong kind of diversity, perhaps to be enforced on a whim by the often-arbitrary and fickle tyranny of Political Correctness.

Posted on August 18, 2013, in politics, uk. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The weirdest thing about that Telegraph story you link to is – the whole thing is written in the future tense. Did you notice that?

    It’s common practice, or at least it was in my day, to distribute politician’s speeches to the press the morning before they’re due to be delivered, to save the poor hacks from having to spend their time scribbling in shorthand (which hardly anyone uses any more anyway). But in general, they’re ’embargoed’ until after the actual speech, meaning you’re not supposed to publish comments or extracts from them until then.

    It’s possible that the Telegraph just decided to break the embargo for some reason – but that would be a serious step, and I can’t see that the payoff is worth it. More likely, it seems to me, it deliberately wasn’t embargoed because Bryant wanted to see what the public response to it would be, before he actually said it. Thus allowing him to change his mind and maintain plausible deniability (maybe, that he personally hadn’t vetted the speech).

    If so, I wish the media wouldn’t play. If you can’t report news in the past tense, then it’s not news, it’s – at best – speculation. The report here should be that Bryant’s office distributed this “speech” for circulation – not that he “will say” or “is due to say” all this crap, but that he “promised” to say it.

    If only the media would have the good sense, to say nothing of basic integrity, to present the story in those terms – that is to say, honestly – they we could stop this whole practice in its tracks.

  2. Oh, erm, right. Seems I’m guilty of assuming my readers have been exposed to the UK meeja. But of course that’s only a subset of us.

    The story has been in all the UK press, not to mention the BBC (whose first iteration of the story tended towards taking Bryant’s side – they love anything critical of Tesco). The telegraph article was just one of many when I googled, and looked OK to me. If the Torygraph jumped the gun then so did everyone else.

    As I said, Bryant backed down. That was in fact before giving the speech.

  3. Should’ve added, “egg on his face” is also slightly topical. Someone threw eggs at Miliband in a London market last Wednesday. A Torygraph journalist following him (also) got hit and wrote amusingly about it:

    At least it was only eggs and not bullets.

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