LEO MCKINSTRY: If our new Minister for Common Sense Esther McVey REALLY wants to wage war on woke, here are 10 things she MUST do now
1. AXE ‘DIVERSITY’ BUREAUCRATS
A vast, self-serving diversity industry has sprung up in the public sector to promote radical Left-wing dogma, with no view to improve services.
Some 10,000 diversity officers are thought to be employed by the state at a cost of £577 million, including 790 in local government and more than 800 in the NHS — despite the service’s endless wailing about under-funding. The Minister for Common Sense Esther McVey should start with a moratorium on recruitment, then redeploy this useless army of commissars.
LEO MCKINSTRY: The Minister for Common Sense Esther McVey should start with a moratorium on recruitment, then redeploy this useless army of commissars
LEO MCKINSTRY: A vast, self-serving diversity industry has sprung up in the public sector to promote radical Left-wing dogma, with no view to improve services
2. OVERHAUL THE EQUALITY ACT
A bitter irony of the woke agenda is that, for all its neurotic fixation with ‘oppressed’ groups, it fuels prejudice and discrimination.
Recently, white male applicants to the RAF were rejected in a drive for more female and ethnic minority candidates. The Air Staff were found to have breached anti-discrimination laws. This blatant bias — dressed up as positive action — is rife in the public sector, as epitomised by bursaries for NHS leadership-training schemes available only to minority ethnic candidates. The Government should overhaul the 2010 Equality Act so that managers have to respect real equality for all, instead of indulging in racial and sexual favouritism.
3. RESPECT THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
The ideologues try to enforce their creed by imposing a new lexicon in the workplace.
Civil servants in parts of Whitehall are told to check their colleagues’ use of ‘preferred pronouns’, while in October, Somerset Council replaced the phrase ‘new and expectant mothers’ with ‘new and expectant parents’. The jargon of diversity has produced an array of impenetrable linguistic brutalities like ‘heteronormativity’, ‘cisgender’, ‘assimilational’, and ‘micro-aggressions’. Ministers should restore sanity by making any demand for compulsory pronouns or the censorship of traditional English a disciplinary offence.
4. STOP VIRTUE-SIGNALLING BOSSES
The wokerati also seek control by demanding that commercial suppliers of goods and services adhere to their ‘progressive values’.
‘It is essential that equality considerations are built into the procurement process to ensure that contracts meet all necessary equality requirements,’ proclaims the West Midlands Combined Authority. The NHS also boasts that it uses its power to ‘foster and sustain a diverse and inclusive supply chain.’ In the notorious case of Coutts, owned by NatWest, this attitude led to the disgraceful decision to dump Nigel Farage as a client because his politics did not match the bank’s mission to ‘create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace’. The Government must introduce legislation to take politics out of commercial decisions.
LEO MCKINSTRY: In the notorious case of Coutts, owned by NatWest, this attitude led to the disgraceful decision to dump Nigel Farage as a client because his politics did not match the bank’s mission to ‘create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace’
5. END THE WAR ON THE PAST
The culture war is at its most intense in the frenzied campaign to subject Britain’s history to a series of ideological purity tests.
This is epitomised by London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s creation of a ‘Commission on Diversity in the Public Realm’ to judge whether the capital’s landmarks are sufficiently politically correct. In one absurd episode at the British Library, a staff ‘Decolonising Working Group’ called for a ‘State of Emergency’ to be declared because of a ‘legacy of colonial violence’ within its walls. This included a portrait of puppet Mr Punch, who apparently was a symbol of this perceived legacy.
The Government should not only hold up this drivel for the ridicule it deserves but also develop an alternative that celebrates our history.
LEO MCKINSTRY: This is epitomised by London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s creation of a ‘Commission on Diversity in the Public Realm’ to judge whether the capital’s landmarks are sufficiently politically correct
6. NO MORE FUNDING INDOCTRINATION
The woke gospel is also proselytised through a deluge of staff training courses in dubious concepts like ‘unconscious bias’ and ‘critical race theory’ (CRT), which usually amount to nothing more than brainwashing.
The world-renowned oncologist Professor Karol Sikora complained recently: ‘I have spent far too much of my life on compulsory diversity training and some of the nonsense pushed is quite astonishing. Personally I’d ditch every one of these courses and give that extra cash to front-line staff.’
That is precisely what the Government should do: the savings could be enormous. One firm, Diverse Minds, charges up to £30,000 for its ‘leadership’ course.
7. BREAK UP STAFF ‘NETWORKS’
For all its prattle about ‘inclusion’, progressive dogma is profoundly divisive: its obsession with identity emphasises differences between people and creates hierarchies of victimhood.
This poisonous identity politics is reflected in the web of staff ‘networks’ woven across the pubic sector.
The Ministry of Defence has 65 of these groups, including a vegan and vegetarian network and a ‘Defence Rastafari’ network. PCS, the civil servants union, recently debated a proposal to set up a network for officials who are into bondage and sado-masochism. That should be the cue for removing official backing from all these groups.
8. SCRAP THE BOX-TICKING MADNESS
The same rigour needs to be applied to the sprawling EDI bureaucracy (‘equality, diversity and inclusion’), which is now strangling the state sector with its pointless, box-ticking exercises. St Andrews University boasts that it has a ‘Central Equality, Diversity and Equality team’, two ‘self-assessment teams’, a ‘Student Equal Opportunities Committee’, a ‘People and Diversity Assurance Group’, and an ‘equality committee’ in every school. In the same exhausting vein, one NHS questionnaire for doctors set out 18 different gender identities, including ‘demiboy’ and ‘genderfluid’. All funding for this needless officialdom should be withdrawn.
LEO MCKINSTRY: St Andrews University boasts that it has a ‘Central Equality, Diversity and Equality team’, two ‘self-assessment teams’, a ‘Student Equal Opportunities Committee’, a ‘People and Diversity Assurance Group’, and an ‘equality committee’ in every school
9. DITCH THE DODGY STAMPS OF APPROVAL
Increasingly, powerful lobby groups run lucrative accreditation schemes that encourage employers to pay a fortune for a politically correct stamp of approval.
One of the worst offenders is Stonewall, an uncompromising advocate of extremist trans dogma. Stonewall has a variety of schemes, including its ‘Top 100 Employers’, its ‘Diversity Champions’ and its ‘Workplace Equality Index’, which dishes out bronze, silver and gold awards depending on how well a corporation performs according to the ‘scoring system’ created by Stonewall. This has nothing to do with serving the public. The Home Office, a byword for incompetence, is a ‘Stonewall Star Performer’.
Ministers should have the guts to denounce this racket, and instruct public bodies not to participate.
10. IGNORE THE WOKE CALENDAR
A dose of governmental cold water should also be poured on invented woke landmarks.
These do nothing to improve the management of services. January sees ‘Ethnicity Pay Gap Day’ and March, ‘Bisexual Awareness Month’.
Early next year there is also ‘Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week’, to highlight the plight of ‘individuals who do not experience romantic attraction’.
This calendar should be entirely ignored by the Government and not a penny of taxpayers’ money should go to a single one of these events.
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