A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.

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Monday, 16 May 2011

The Job Market is Not Fair to White People

'Britishness is not ideal, but at least it appears acceptable, particularly when suitably qualified - Black British, Indian British, British Muslim and so on.'

Those were the words of the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, an independent think tank that claims to be devoted to the cause of racial justice. It aims to make Britain a 'confident and vibrant multicultural society at ease with its rich diversity.' With such awesome powers over the liberal left lexicon, it was soon enlisted by New Labour in its quest to 'rub the right's nose in diversity,' and was asked in 2000 to produce the report quoted above.

The notion that my national identity is perceived as 'not ideal' by Labour is deeply offensive - not that anyone seems to care these days - but it is also sinister. That report came up with one hundred new recommendations that the government was keen on implementing to the letter. One of them was that television franchise holders promote a more inclusive, diverse society by setting strict quotas on the number of black or Asian staff they had to recruit. This will surely be one of the pieces of legislation that historians will look back on in a hundred year's time and weep. If things go the way they are going, it will be hailed as evidence that Britain lost its way in domestic affairs, one of the causes of the inter-ethnic violence that marred much of the 21st century.

As for today, it's one of the pieces of legislation that university graduates and first-time employees can look back on and weep, as they come out fresh from their GCSEs or university courses ready to take their first step on the career ladder, only to find that they're too white to fill the position. They enter the world of work with a full list of qualifications and academic credits, and apply for a number of positions at whatever company they want, writing their full CVs and academic achievements in a job application, filling the box that says 'ethnicity.' And that's where many perfectly good and employable people are let down: by their colour.

The BBC reported in 2010 that 52% of the two million jobs created since Labour came to power in 1997 have gone to non-British nationals. In other words, ten per cent of the population is taking over half of the new jobs available, leaving the other 90% to compete furiously for less than half of the jobs. The net result is hundreds of thousands of qualified white people unemployed and disillusioned because their skin colour makes it harder for them to get a job.

Those who would seek to defend such a blatantly unfair practice should be brought around to see it from the point of view of those affected. Think about it. You've just worked hard to complete a university course to gain an advantage in the jobs market. It has cost you tens of thousands of pounds; you now owe over fifty grand in debt and there are only a small number of jobs available. Most of which you're over-qualified for; you're a graduate, you don't want to be cleaning toilets or sweeping the streets. But you want to start paying off your debt and build a successful career, so, you send off about fifty applications to various companies asking to be a shop-floor worker or some sort of low-level administrator. You fill out your application form with all the necessary information: age, gender, qualifications, academic achievements, and experience.

And then it comes to a box labelled 'ethnicity.' Not wanting to lie, you tick that you are 'white British.' And that's where it all goes wrong. Unless you made the mistake of putting 'male' under gender, you're now checked against the other candidates not on the basis of your academic ability, but on the colour of your skin. If you come up against one - just one - BME candidate, then you - and every other white British-born citizen that applied for that post - are screwed. Back to the dole office for you.

Positive action - or racism, as it used to be called - is not just an ideological warzone. It has a very real effect on the lives of heavily-indebted job-seekers across the country. Take that sentence at the top of this post - it's that notion, that Britishness is not ideal, that is the inspiration for much of the discriminatory legislation that infests our statute books. Well, I'm sorry, Mr. Diversity Commissar, but I can't help it. Does my being white, male, straight, and, wait for it, proud of it, offend you in any way? Perhaps that's an imprisonable offence now? If not, why is it such a crime when entering the jobs market? The government has scrapped the aspects of Harman's Law that apply to class - why doesn't it do the same for those that apply to race, gender, or sexuality?

'A distinction needs also to be drawn between overt racism and institutional racism.' Does it really?

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