Tired and Emotional

It can only get worse

Month: September, 2006

The CRE’s Commissioners

My prior post on Ruth Kelly and the newly created Commission on Integration and Cohesion led me to wonder about the composition of both this commission’s and the Commission For Racial Equality’s governing body. While the CIC is a fixed-term, advisory body the CRE has legal powers to enforce the 1976 Race Relations Act by investigating, enforcing and taking legal action; with such a statutory organisation on matters pertaining to race, the CRE commissioners’ ethnic composition is of legitimate interest.

The ethnic composition of the UK as of 2001 is available from National Statistics Online:

  • White 92.1%
  • Mixed 1.2%
  • All Asian or Asian British 4.0%
  • All Black or Black British 2.0%
  • Chinese 0.4%
  • Other 0.4%

With 12 commissioners, including the chairman, listed on the CRE‘s website we can make a start; the commissioners’ photos are available here. According to the photos there are six white, three asian and three black commisioners — appointed by the Home Secretary. Of note, both the Chairman and Deputy Chairwoman are black. If one was to appoint commissioners according to the ethnic composition in the general population, for 12 commissioners we get:

  • White — 11 Commissioners
  • Mixed — None
  • All Asian or Asian British — 1 Commissioner (I’m being generous)
  • All Black or Black British — None
  • Chinese — None
  • Other — None

Even if one appoints a commissioner for the ‘mixed’, black and chinese categories, white commissioners would still be in the majority. As it stands, the CRE panders to minorities in the very make-up of its board of commissioners and most senior appointments — as the Home Secretary intended.

Professionalism & Political Correctness

For those of us who work in the public sector — teachers, doctors, policemen etc — expressing any views that are not politically correct can be career threatening. My view of professionalism is that whatever one’s personal views, these are not expressed or allowed to influence the conduct of one’s duties. This view has been the model for the expression of professionalism within the UK, usually augmented by a regulating body, drawn from the profession concerned, to ensure and enforce standards.

The main assumption is that the majority of a profession are trustworthy and will aim to uphold professional standards without intervention, any involvement by a governing body is mainly to guide and inform with enforcement being the last resort. There is also an assumption that personal political views are just that — personal — and have no bearing on professional matters. This, however, is fast not becoming the case. Regulatory bodies, such as the GMC, are being filled with non-professional Government appointees with no knowledge of the profession concerned but with an agenda to introduce political correctness, suppress dissent and eventually destroy the professionalism thay are supposed to uphold.

Health and safety has become the catch-all process under which politically correct practices can be enforced as can be seen from this report:

A Court of Appeal ruling backing the decision of a private company to sack a British National Party activist will help schools keep racist staff out of the classroom, unions and employers believe.

The “watershed” ruling permits the sacking of staff for political beliefs if they pose a risk to health and safety. It suggests that schools and local authorities will in future be free to dismiss BNP activists if their presence directly contradicts the organisation’s ethos.

The BNP is not a proscribed party but its views run counter to the mainstream, politically correct views on immigration and nationalism; this ruling allows BNP ‘activists’ and, eventually, anyone who holds critical views on such subjects to be suppressed on the threat to their careers. Such is the state of free speech in the UK, Left-wing views are acceptable but all else are suspect.

The latest means for enforcing politically correct views is reported by the Scotsman:

Screening tests might be used to bar corrupt and bigoted police officers from promotion.

Senior officers yesterday said they will look to extend psychometric tests, which will be introduced to identify racist applicants from the spring, to other ethical concerns, in particular sectarianism, sexism and dishonesty.

At first glance this all seems so reasonable, yet what is really being proposed is that police officers whose personal views may not be acceptable to their senior officers are to be penalised, even if those views have never been expressed or acted upon. Corrupt or dishonest officers can be easily dealt with by applying the Law as corruption and dishonesty are illegal, it is not illegal to hold personal views against immigration or various religions etc. However, it seems that the Government and its appointees want to peer into our souls: many of us will be found wanting.

What is proposed for the police today will be applied to the rest of the public services tomorrow. We have been warned.