Once again, we look into the future by observing events in the UK. Melanie Phillips is there on the scene:
[Equalities Minister Harriet] Harman wants to introduce rules to stop ‘discrimination’ against people from the North and other regions, and has instructed her department accordingly to stop Londoners and other Southerners from ‘lording it’ over the rest of the country.
After ‘class war’, we now apparently have ‘location war’. If this idea is allowed to progress beyond Ms Harperson’s terrifyingly one-track mind, hundreds of public organisations will have to have special quotas for Yorkshirepersons or Cornishpersons whenever a vacancy occurs.
Thought police, anyone?
Everywhere, merit is being undermined — and with it, true equality and social justice. Employers are forced to hire or promote inadequate job applicants if they tick the requisite ‘disadvantaged’ box; Labour constituency parties discriminate against men through all-women parliamentary candidate shortlists; and able pupils are refused the university places they have earned simply because they come from the right side of the tracks.
Now this manifest and destructive injustice is even being extended to the Queen’s honours list. Measures have been covertly introduced to ensure that more women and minorities are honoured by the Queen, with the Cabinet Office issuing instructions to Whitehall departments to ensure that their nominations lists contain more female, disabled and non-white candidates.
At a stroke, this renders meaningless the very notion of being honoured for serving this country. It means people from these designated groups are being honoured for what they are rather than for what they have done.
It’s funny (in a very sad way) because that last paragraph takes me back to olde England–where the lords and ladies, knights and kings were honored because of who they were and not what they did. It would seem as thought the descendants of those folks are intent on flipping everything upside down in this misapplied concept of equality of outcomes.
In similar intolerant and unjust vein, under the Equality Bill religious groups will be forced to accept, for example, gay youth workers, secretaries and other staff, even if their faith holds same-sex relationships to be sinful. Existing equality law exempts religious bodies from its provisions. But the Equality Bill restricts this protection of religious rights only to ministers, bishops and their equivalents in other faiths.
As the Christian Institute has protested, forcing religious bodies to employ people whose views or behaviour conflict with the principles of such bodies is a bit like demanding that the Labour Party employ card-carrying Conservative members.
To demand that any group of people (business, civic organization, etc) accept someone for membership whose fundamental beliefs are in complete contradiction to the stated policies of that group is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to destroy the group, or at the very least, to cause the group to change its worldview so as to cease being offensive to some other group.
One is more than a little concerned that we are headed down the same expressway as our cousins across the pond–albeit a few miles behind and on the opposite side of the road.