Weird egalitarian law proposed by British government
(Note: comments on this entry begin here
Here’s a story that’s kind of hard to get your head around. Harriet Harman, Britain’s (get this title) Minister for Women and Equality, is pushing a new law that, if I understand correctly (and I’m reading between the lines), would extend Britain’s already comprehensive anti-discrimination statutes beyond race, sex, sexual orientation, etc. to socio-economic background. All public bodies in Britain would be required not to discriminate against people of lower socioeconomic status. That’s my construction of the underlying logic. What the Mail says is that all services provided to the public would have to be equalized.
In this connection, what happened to that famous popular uprising against the Labor Party a few months back, stemming from the expenses scandal? Remember we were told that the public had had it with 12 years of Labor rule, as shown by electoral victories for the BNP that were said to be a humiliating loss for Labor which would force them to appeal more to the concerns of middle class Britons? So how is it that the Labor government is becoming more aggressively socialistic than ever? What’s going on?
Harriet Harman to force public bodies to discriminate against Middle Britain
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By Ian Drury
09th September 2009
Harriet Harman will vow to press ahead with plans to make every authority legally bound to close the gap between rich and poor
Proposals which would effectively force public bodies to discriminate against Middle Britain will be a top government priority, Harriet Harman will say later today.
Labour’s deputy leader will vow to press ahead with plans to make every authority legally bound to close the gap between rich and poor.
Privately-educated Miss Harman—the niece of a baroness—will say schools, hospitals, town halls, and the police would have a ‘socio-economic duty’ to boost services in deprived areas.
She will renew her pledge at an event on how to implement the proposals, which have been nicknamed ‘socialism in one clause’.
Under the Equality Bill, which brings together nine major laws, policies that currently consider race, age, gender, disability and sexuality are to be extended to include social background.
Miss Harman, the minister for women and equality, will say: ‘We have put in as clause one in the Equality Bill a duty to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
‘Evidence underlines that whether it’s educational attainment, income, or housing, those from the most deprived backgrounds tend to do worse.
‘This is what the socio-economic duty is designed to challenge.
‘So the new duty will attack one of the most fundamental and stubborn of all the determinants of inequality and ensure public bodies take the action they can to tackle it.’
Under the plan, NHS trusts will be required to focus services, such as anti-smoking clinics, at those in run-down areas where smoking rates tend to be higher.
Education authorities will be expected to draft policies which stop children from poorer backgrounds missing out on the best schools.
Police patrols would be targeted at deprived estates instead of the suburbs.
Transport bosses would be ordered to provide free shuttle buses between hospitals and deprived neighbourhoods where there are few buses and low car ownership rates.
But critics warn the better-off would see a squeeze on their access to everything from healthcare to school places.
They warn it could further entrench class differences and lead to an explosion in discrimination claims.
[end of article]
A reader writes from England:
The Labour party are (were) a coalition of:
1) White working class.
3) Liberal elite.
Successfully rebranding themselves “New” Labour they managed to appeal to the centre ground also and kept power for the last ten years. That coalition is in the process of breaking down now with both the centrists and the white working class segments in revolt for different reasons.
The equality legislation actually brings in anti-white discrimination (equivalent to affirmative action) which will be of great harm to their white working class voters, while greatly beneficial to their immigrant voters. Labour is trying to pretend the legislation is pro working class in an attempt to fool those voters. I think the Mail is promoting the government’s view, despite it not being true, either because they’ve been fooled or because they want to ensure the legislation damages Labour with the centrist middle class vote. I’d guess the latter.
Rick Darby writes:
Harriet Harmon’s compassion knows no limits. As a cabinet minister (or whatever they are called in the UK), she is clearly privileged by her socio-economic status. She must strike a blow for equality by reducing her salary, plus income from other sources, to that of the poorest citizen in the kingdom.
Ben W. writes:
Inside the Labour Party, Harriet Harman has said she does “not agree with all-male leaderships” because men “cannot be left to run things on their own”; and that, consequently, one of Labour’s top two posts should always be held by a woman. She has backed plans for an increase in the number of gay MPs, and has suggested that 39 openly gay MPs should be in the next Parliament. The target is based on an official estimate that six per cent of Britain is gay.
I can’t wait for the day when the US is run by Nancy Pelosi and England by Harriet Harman.
Ben W. continues:
Harriet Harman’s blog, quite a hoot
Michael S. writes:
Yes, it’s weird, but is it surprising?
Speaking of weird… it makes me think of the Weird Sisters in Macbeth. They told Macbeth that such-and-such a thing was possible, a thing he apparently had wanted all along. So what does he do? He casts aside his honor, and kills to make it happen.
On second thought, you’re right… it IS weird.
P.S. “Weird” has got to be the strangest word in the English language, don’t you think?
Ben W. writes:
Do you not think that England, with Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman, Jacqui Smith, Boris Johnson, etc. has become an insane asylum?
Yes, that’s what I mean by “Britain over the edge.”
Here is the Equality Bill introduced by the Government into Parliament on September 8th. In this version, the official explanatory notes follow each clause and can be found or suppressed by hitting links near the right margin. Clauses 1, 2 and 3 give you the big picture. (You can skip everything that refers to Scotland or Wales.) Clause 2 is significant because it means that the Government can expand the list of public authorities subjected to the duty, without having to go back to Parliament. So, for example, universities could all (except perhaps for the one or two little private ones) be brought under the duty at a stroke of the pen. Clause 3 guarantees that there will be fantastic amounts of litigation, by pressure groups (community organizers?) of every kind. Unless there is a general election earlier than everyone expects, this Bill will be enacted in a form more or less identical to what you now read. On their past form and present policy stances, the Conservatives, after winning the election, will leave it pretty much untouched and operative. The human rights ratchet.
John B. writes:
[W]hat happened to that famous popular uprising against the Labor Party a few months back, stemming from the expenses scandal? Remember we were told that the public had had it with 12 years of Labor rule, as shown by electoral victories for the BNP that were said to be a humiliating loss for Labor which would force them to appeal more to the concerns of middle class Britons? So how is it that the Labor government is becoming more aggressively socialistic than ever? What’s going on?
Do you not see it, Lawrence? There’s no contradiction. The Labor party spends a century socializing Britain—and then what provokes the ire of “the people”? Some pilfering by the top dogs. Such ire—such resentment of those “on top”—is Labor’s lifeblood. That it happened to be briefly directed against some Labor politicians themselves, because they’d pocketed some money—means nothing.
You have a good point. I mean, it’s a desolating point, but probably true.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 11, 2009 01:53 AM | Send
See this VFR entry on the expenses scandal from last May.
It began with this:
Jeff in England writes: “I don’t know if you grasp that this MP expenses scandal has burgeoned into a much bigger issue than the financial crisis. People seem almost on the verge of a revolution over this. If only they could get as excited about immigration.”
Maybe I hadn’t grasped the scale of this scandal because, like so many other contemporary phenomena that reveal the wickedness and falseness of liberalism, its seems to be a game changer that will finally discredit liberal rule, but ends up being more of the same.
I haven’t started to grasp the scale of this scandal. Jeff sent an article by Melanie Phillips that starts with this: “As is becoming more obvious by the day, the scale of public fury aroused by the parliamentary expenses scandal exceeds anything in living memory.”