Two Words to Win the Woke Wars: Depriving the destructive identity politics movement of oxygen
· Cancel culture and extreme identity politics are having a chilling effect on free speech and meritocracy, while costing the country billions in bureaucratic waste.
· This extremist movement is feeding off the government’s 'diversity' and 'equality' push- i.e. legislation and government initiatives that are being bent to promote equality of outcome, along with a violently divisive agenda.
· The more I looked into this, the more I discovered that all the resources of this movement (money, people, legitimacy, platform) come directly from government - and we are talking about billions of pounds and thousands of jobs here - both within and around the public sector. Stonewall being a good example.
· Yet the basis hangs by a thread: just a few paragraphs of government legislation, and ambiguous usage of the word ‘Equality’.
· It would not take much legislative tweaking to completely cut off the root. Deprived of oxygen (money and resources), these repressive and divisive forces would wither away. Indeed this could be done with as little as a two-page private members bill, and passed by Parliament in a matter of hours. That is all it takes to dissolve one of the most destructive, repressive and wasteful ideologies of our time.
Government legislation and policy routinely employ the words “Equality” or “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion” without defining them. For example, we have a Minister for Women and Equality, the Equality Acts of 2006 and 2010, The Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Unfortunately, Equality can mean totally different things to different people. The result is a contradictory and divisive mess that is consuming ever more government resources while increasing division.
Broadly, there are two meanings of equality: equality of outcome and equality of opportunity.
Equality of outcome and equality of opportunity are mutually exclusive terms. They are contradictory. You cannot have both.
By not defining equality whenever the word is used, the government is allowing the equality movement to be hi-jacked by extremist groups and those pursuing highly divisive agendas. In many cases, this involves actively encouraging racism and other forms of discrimination, while consuming vast amounts of government money and frustrating vital public services. In criminal justice, there is growing concern that the ‘equality’ movement is ironically cultivating a highly discriminatory system, at odds with the centuries’ old principle that ‘Justice wears a blindfold.’ Economic and technological progress are being slowed by a loss of meritocracy in areas such as scientific research and funding. The Equality Act itself has even become a tool to undermine the fundamental tenets of free speech.
In spite of ministers acknowledging these problems, it is the government itself that is handing money, resources, attention and legitimacy to these damaging ideologies: including those standing for positive discrimination, a divided society, censorship and the destruction of British history and culture.
The solution is simple. When the government or any public sector body employs the language of equality in legislation, secondary legislation and initiatives, it should expressly specify and define Equality of Opportunity, and expressly exclude all forms of Equality of Outcome, affirmative action and positive discrimination.
Equality of Opportunity versus Equality of Outcome
In international athletics, men and women compete to find out who is the fastest over, say, 100 metres.
This is classic equality of outcome. Every man or woman is free to compete, and will succeed or fail based on their ability. If you woke up tomorrow and could run 100 meters in 8 seconds, you could enter and win regional, national and then international tournaments. You would be winning gold medals within weeks. This is regardless of your age, religion, race, etc.
Unfortunately, 100m finals are disproportionately won by young, healthy Afro-Caribbean men and women who have no other obligations.
Equality of outcome would define that future triumphs are shared across the spectrum of humanity. What about Eskimos? Or Japanese People? What about the elderly? Those who have recovered from cancer? What about those with ginger hair or healthcare workers? What about obese people?
Equality of outcome would require that in future, races were rigged to ensure all these hundreds of myriad groups get their fair share of victories. Thus, runners would have enforced handicaps or run different distances. The race would no longer be a competition to be the best runner. Instead it would be an event where those who could navigate the time and bureaucracy could declare themselves the winner.
While most sane people would intuitively clearly prefer Equality of Opportunity to Equality of Outcome it is worth understanding why.
1) Equality of Outcome requires compulsion and discrimination.
Imagine there is a shortage of white male nurses in Lambeth Hospital. To achieve the correct quota requires one of two options. The first is compulsion: You fire the existing nurses and force white men to take their jobs. The second is discrimination: you pay white male nurses more money to do the same job. Perhaps you let them work shorter hours or lower the professional requirements for them to perform the role.
2) Equality of Outcome encourages people to do things they’re not very good at.
To have a productive and growing economy, we need people to focus on what they are good at and compete to be the best (or better) at what they do. Equality of outcome does the opposite. It allows people to do things they are not good at. The result is a stagnant economy and a productivity problem. This is one of the causes of today’s cost of living crisis.
Of course, the fact we are not talented at everything is often not our fault. I am a 6’4 male. I have never been asked to model lingerie or become a jockey. I don’t care. Instead I focus on the things I am naturally good at. In reality few people are bothered about access to the things they aren’t naturally suited for (who wants to spend their life being rubbish?).
What people do mind is being arbitrarily excluded from the things they naturally excel at and want to do. Yet this is exactly what equality of outcome seeks to do.
3) Equality of Outcome requires you to know your exact population
Let’s say I want to achieve equality of outcome among physics students at the University of Aberystwtyh in Wales. First I need to know everyone who is eligible to study. That requires me to know the details (sex, gender, religion etc) of every person in the entire world who has the appropriate academic and linguistic qualifications. Then I need to know who is able to come and study – who can afford the fees and the time. Then I need to know who is willing. Once again, this is almost impossible. A student in Ghana or China might be willing, while a student fifty miles away may prefer to study in Cardiff.
Thus, achieving equality of outcome is in reality impossible. Even attempting to vaguely undertand the population requires near infinite bureaucracy and surveillance.
This point has been neatly illustrated by proposed blanket quotas for the boards of UK-listed companies. Companies like Seplat and Savannah - which drill for oil in the Niger Delta - have plenty of eligible black directors, but almost no female candidates with the right experience. By constrast, Watkin Jones (a Welsh property developer) has fewer ethnic minority candidates than London or Midlands-based property companies. Clearly it is discriminatory (not to say crass) to expect such diverse companies to have identical board compositions.
4) Equality of Outcome creates an infinite and self-feeding bureaucracy
Spending and bureaucray on EDI keeps multiplying, creating supply issues and labour shortages in economically productive areas. Equality of outcome is naturally self-feeding. As explained above, just defining your population requires a near infinite bureaucracy.
But protected characteristics are also self-feeding. For example, ‘Black’ has come to include indigenous groups (such as native Americans and Aboriginals). And there is an infinitely growing list of people wanting protection. It is now proposed that Gingers need protection from persecution and racism. While Stonewall (founded to push for rights for gay men) now covers LGBTQIA. The A stands for Aces – which is the spectrum of people who do not want to have sex (ranging from no sex ever to not wanting sex all the time).
When privileges and status comes with each new category, the categories will naturally expand to eventually encompass everybody, creating ever more bureaucracy along the way.
5) Equality of Outcome tends not to help the people who need help.
Equality of Outcome initiatives have, historically tended to help those who are already well connected, intelligent and able to take advantage of them.
For example, after the end of apartheid, South Africa’s BEE movement (Black Economic Empowerment) sought to give preferential treatment to black owned companies and those with black workforces. In practice, BEE beneficiaries have been a small, politically connected elite, comprising especially the friends and family of government and ANC officials. BEE has thus become a major cause of political corruption in South Africa, with government contracts improperly awarded, at inflated prices, to politically connected businessmen, often to the detriment of quality and service delivery.
After the murder of George Floyd, many financial services companies set up internships and grad schemes for black graduates. To be eligible, candidates would have to be eloquent, numerate, perform well in interview, have top academic qualifications and have no criminal record. Ironically, George Floyd would have in no way been eligible for such a scheme.
Rather than helping vulnerable people, this is just a help up the ladder for those already near the top.
If we are serious about equality, we should be helping those who most need it, regardless of race, gender or anything else. Such a system is based on need. Pretending that those needs are being addressed by bureaucracy and virtue-signalling is to miss the opportunity to achieve real social progress.
Unsurprisingly, equality of outcome is not just unpopular but politically toxic. Polls in the US have consistently found that c. 70% of Americans support Equality of Opportunity, but are strongly opposed to Equality of Outcome. This may partly explain why the Democrats are polling terribly, having embraced the identity politics movement. British polling has found a similar majority are opposed to the ideologies of identity politics.
Equality of Outcome is a daft concept: it is socially divisive, discriminatory, wasteful and collapses economic productivity just when we need to get it going. It helps petty bureaucrats and smart lawyers more than the vulnerable.
Equality of Opportunity by contrast is a popular and brilliant idea, akin to meritocracy. It encourages people to compete at what they are best at, without having to worry about being judged on irrelevant factors.
Government needs to put its weight behind the latter by specifying clearly in all legislation and public sector documentation that Equality or EDI means equality of opportunity (as defined). Further, it should expressly exclude Equality of Outcome and related measures (such as targets, quotas and diversity monitoring). Instead, every decision should be about identifying the best person for the opportunity.
From a political perspective, achieving this is remarkably simple, requiring only:
1 - a non-discrimination act, specifying equality of opportunity and banning equality of outcome measures: https://thecritic.co.uk/the-equalities-agenda-has-backfired/
2 - Tweaks to existing Equality legislation - Especially The Equality Act 2010 : The One Simple Step the Government Should Take to Cut the Diversity Industry Off at the Root and Restore Meritocracy – The Daily Sceptic
3 - Clearly defining the meaning of equality/EDI in all government and public sector initiatives to exclude all aspects of equality of outcome.
4 - Free Speech, and the protection of British History and Culture always take precedent over equality legislation and equality policies. Equality legislation cannot be used to undermine them.
Crucially, this is not lengthy, onerous or controversial legislation. A short bill like this would not take up much parliamentary time or cognitive effort.
From a political perspective, it would clearly appeal to Tory heartlands while de-funding the very groups who are aggressively undermining the government via the civil service and media: as Tony Sewell and Kemi Badenoch have discovered to their cost. Further, identity politics supporters are a vociferous but small minority concentrated among the far left (see Frank Luntz survey of British values). A bill like this is not going to lose government any supporters; especially as it would leave the average person better protected from discrimination than currently.
Doing so would save billions in bureaucracy and waste, while depriving identity politics extremists of oxygen. With no government money, support, legislation or resources, they would wither away.
If you agree with this, why not write to your MP and tell them: send them this link, and ask them to submit or back such a Private Members Bill. Link Below. It only takes a minute to push for progress:
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