Thursday, June 03, 2010

Bristol Positive Action: Showboating Tory Idiot P Davies? Fuck Off

LOL missed the Telegraph "exposé" of Bristol City Council for completely legally running a "no-job" training scheme open only to BME candidates, two per annum. Legal because BME workers are thoroughly under-represented in the workforce, and because the law has quite rightly allowed this creation of Equal Opportunities for the best part of forty years.

Here's the hypey Telegraph nonsense which I've not bothered to read and recommend you ignore also. And here's a vulturous and uncritical scavenging gloss of the Telegraph story at Personnel Today - you'd have thought they'd have known better wouldn't you?

LOL did notice the usual suspects going after Kerry McCarthy MP on Twitter. In a very confused way as it goes. Bristol City Council are of course still sadly Lib Dem controlled - and not McCarthy or Labour or LOL directed - though we might add that on this matter LOL support them 100%. Which will make their hearts leap I've no doubt.

Kerry McCarthy MP took a look at all this in her blogpost Special People and we at LOL decided to up the ante with a comment including some legal stuff, and that, and so forth:

This is NOT Positive Discrimination surely? Illegal in this country. This is Positive Action. These two are often conflated.

PA on race been legal since the Race Relations Act of 1971 I believe. Training schemes/jobs/roles which do not include a contracted job at the end and where the target group are under-represented CAN recruit in this way and quite right too. Illegal though, last time I looked, if there is a definite job and none of the other exclusions apply.

These exclusions are things like “authenticity” for some roles e.g. waiters and chefs and performers, and also just about possible to make a case for cultural understanding on very limited number of posts. But that’s not usually even attempted.

Under Sex Discrimination Act 1968 there are also PA exclusions for roles where gender is relevant e.g. sauna attendant, women’s refuge, performing roles.

This stuff is FORTY (count ‘em) years old Kerry. Possibly flowing from EU way back when – my partner tells me – though it’s so long ago that I thought it was all our own work.

Not to be confused with the innovations in more recent legislation e.g. if it’s tied for a post (very rare) employers can but are not forced to choose the under-represented candidate.

They can still draw lots or flip a coin under that (misunderstood) innovation, but balancing the workforce just seems, like, doh! a reasonable management objective.

When I used to work in this field the most cynical managers and elected members were often finally won over – if not by “it’s the law, you will do this whatever you may think you bigoted feckwit” – by a stating the obvious argument.

That being that choosing only clones or from just white men or white middle class men or white middle class men of about 40 in suits with Oxbridge firsts (ahem) was in effect limiting the employer’s scope to 1% to 10% of the true talent pool.

That usually got ‘em. Even the real bigot b’stards. Enlightened self-interest.

Meanwhile the extraordinarily ignorant Conservative MP Philip Davies - was he the one trying to cancel the Human Rights Act in PMQs today? very likely - told the Telegraph that Bristol was "pushing the boundaries" of what the law was intended to do. "They should be offering all positions to the best person and that should be open to everyone equally," he said. "It is the kind of political correctness that builds up resentment that would not otherwise exist."

Utterly wrong. Utterly Conservative. Utterly stupid. Utterly dog whistle. Utterly why 64% voted un-Conservative on 6 May. Lib Dem voters especially so.

Well done you Bristol Lib Dems! If you cave on this LOL'll give you grief. Tell the nasty Tories to go swivel. Philip Davies MP: self publicising, bullocking, spoiling, ignorant, right wing, throw back, Tory bastard? FUCK OFF!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why have you got a random picture of the MP for Harlow, Rob Halfon, in the middle of this post?