Thursday, 21 August 2014
So, on the drive home last night I heard a discussion on Radio 4’s PM programme about Sky imposing quotas on its utilisation of black and minority ethnic writers, producers, talent, etc. Twenty percent is its target and this move is roundly applauded, naturally, by the likes of Lenny Henry and Idris Elba. This sits right alongside the BBC’s own very public plans to ‘improve’ diversity across the board and only recently Simon Fanshawe was insisting that diversity should trump competence at every turn. Do you see what’s wrong yet?
Whether it is David Cameron insisting that it is mainstream Britain who should welcome and ‘integrate with’ (translation: bow down before) islam, or Jack Straw affirming that ‘the English’ are not worth saving, or Ed Miliband desperate to pack his shadow benches with worthy women, it is all symptomatic of the ‘progressive’ agenda. Progressive means absolutely rejecting what has worked in the past in favour of anything new and lovely-sounding, regardless of how unproven it is. But just because your adorable, dirt-cheap, Lithuanian nanny accessory is an absolute godsend, dahlink, it doesn’t automatically follow that every English household needs immediate access to the Eastern European labour pool.
The solution to untrained British youth is not to displace them by exploiting the work-ready poor of former Soviet countries, no matter how eager they are to come here. And diversity, just like immigration and all-women shortlists is not, of itself, an unremittingly good thing. That these things were not obvious to politicians should come as no surprise; after all, politicians were sufficiently taken in by these overly simplistic, fantasy-based scenarios to brand as racists, sexists, misogynists, islamophobes and general, all-round bigots all those who dared to challenge the new orthodoxy.
Yet those of us who have to live with the consequences know that indiscriminately setting targets is not the same thing as hitting them; and often achieves the square root of fuck-all. A sales target that has no earthly prospect of being met is just poor management. Two decades of GCSE targets led to laughable grade inflation and dumbing-down. Lowering the bar will only ever bring the illusion of equality, while widening the gap between those who can and those who have just been told they can. And every instance of forcing change by setting quotas is like a regional sales manager inventing sales figures to boost his standing; sooner or later the business folds and everybody loses out.
Human nature is not a constant and is certainly not uniformly good. For every naïve believer in the eternal inner beauty of everybody (if we could only just, like, love each other, maan) there are a million examples of venality, cruelty, corruption and downright barbarism that are immediately obvious and real to all of us outside the progressive ‘bubble’. Because they choose not to see it, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. The western ‘business model’ is failing and taking us all down with it.
Sky announce cast for all-new Anne Frank drama
Yet, despite all the revolts against such ‘progress’, despite all the failed attempts to shape human nature in an ideological jelly mould, still the uncivil engineers foist unrealistic, unattainable uniformity on a fluid human medium which just won’t set the way you want it. There will be differences and injustice and inequality forever and the longer we try and ‘correct’ it the more we will deter genuine progress. Apply this reality to the absurdity of holding meaningful negotiations with savages who genuinely wish us dead and you will realise why, in the end, we can only ever delay and never fully prevent all-out war in the Middle East. No matter how highly we value the entirely fictitious ‘peace dividend, cutting defence spending is yet another disastrous application of the flawed idea that targets and quotas are always good.