Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark

It turns out that Britain is so systemically racist that we just can’t see it. We are blind to the infinite number of ways that our very existence is an affront to decent people of a different ethnicity. White people need to be trained, coerced, convinced of the harm we do with every breath we take, much as Hans Christian Anderson wrote in 1837 about the emperor, his courtiers and the clothes of materials so fine they were invisible to all but the educated eye.

In the original two conmen posing as weavers and tailors manage to convince the emperor, his officials, his government and all who surround him that only the stupid cannot see the magnificent new wardrobe they have conjured up from literally nothing. The looms clack but no thread is woven. The sewing machines purr yet no cloth is stitched. Money changes hands and at every turn, despite their being no substance at all, the self-importance of all involved prevents them from seeing what their eyes are telling them.

This is, of course, a well-loved fairy tale and a caution against the folly of arrogance and ready acceptance of charlatans and mountebanks. It is told to children in their formative years, or at least it was. I wonder if it has been quietly put aside because heaven forfend we prepare kids to exercise an open mind as they enter the wider world. Not everything is as it seems. Not every tale you hear is true and nobody is too clever they can’t be fooled.

So, you might be forgiven for assuming that Keir Starmer, of a certain age, would be entirely familiar with this principle. But, steeped in the rarefied broth of the legal human rights industry and desperate to garner votes from every corner he has volunteered to submit himself to ‘unconscious bias training’. The principle job of a salesman is to persuade you of your need for his product. The principle job of a snake oil salesman is to part you from your money for nothing of value in return.

In the 1990s we were alerted to false memory syndrome after a series of cases where women had been hypnotised in therapy and miraculously ‘remembered’ abusive events from their childhood which had never happened. Families were broken up and ancient trusts were shattered by this traumatic false remembering. In 1991 the police and social services embarked on a dawn raid and took into care the children of families in the Orkneys on the false premise that they had been involved in ritual child abuse. This is some sick shit.

Unconscious bias training sounds an awful lot like ‘re-education’; the kind of thing engaged in by despotic communist regimes many times over. Mao, Pol Pot, the Romanian communist prisons, the Russian gulags; all had programmes to break and reconfigure the thinking of its citizens in a way that better fitted their purpose. The Chinese Communist Party, North Korea and to an arguably less extreme extent, the European Union, have all coerced their populations to love Big Brother, embrace the party doctrines and accept the edicts.

Actually, it is little surprise that Starmzy is setting this example to his troops because the Labour movement has a track record in creating this kind of ‘industry’. Take another recent headline: “Lack of BAME councillors 'perpetuating racial inequality' says report.” It goes on to say “Campaigners say the findings are a ‘wake-up call’ and that communities feel like these institutions don't belong to us". Well, that is because ‘these institutions’ don’t belong to those who live by different rules from the rest. The fault is theirs, not ours. But that is what unconscious bias training seeks to reverse.

Taken to its extremes we could end up with whole sectors involved in ‘training’ about diversity and why white is bad, about inclusion and how white is bad, equality and how whites have more of it… We could see entire academic faculties engaged in discovering all the ways that BAME people suffer and have always suffered at that hands of white people. We might even discover that the judiciary seems to represent the perpetrator more than they do the victim, something from which Mr Starmer has profited in the past.

The Keir is in the altogether...

Oh, wait, isn’t this what we – the child in the crowd – have been yelling about for years, only for our protestations to be dismissed as ignorant, racist and hateful? Haven’t we pointed out, time and time again, how diverting so many resources to this burgeoning promotion of malcontent is counter-productive, costly and even malevolent? Learn the past so you don’t make the same mistakes, we say. But in the original story even though the crowd realises it has been tricked the emperor walks on, as proud as ever. It’s not looking good.


  1. An excellent posting Batsby, when will you realise that it's you job to take the knee, pay for everything and watch quietly while you race and culture is erased for the world?

    1. Sorry, guv. Stepped out of line there. I'm back in my dung pile now.

    2. It's going to take more than a cunning plan to elevate you to the ranks of the woke Batsby :-)

  2. Who will be mandated to deliver this cod-psychology training, I wonder, and what unconscious biases will they be 'projecting' themselves, and subjecting their trainees to; those who are willing, and those who are conscripts, only present under duress, for fear of losing their jobs? They would need to be witty, respectful, engaging, insightful -top quality presenters and teachers but I have met their like before. Team Building. Action-centred leadership. Assertiveness training. Counselling. Paid for by local authorities and it was total off the peg bilge. And on reflection, and by implication, intrusive, offensive and insulting. But no. We have all shot our grannies. We have all burned down the Reichstag and we all kidnapped Shergar. You will notice here a few of my biases, some conscious, others doubtless entirely unconscious. Otherwise called 1) temperament/outlook 2) instinct 3) experiential learning.

    The times when I was young, and I consciously over-rode my 'biases' telling myself I was not being fair (and I did do this) it could and once or twice almost did get me into difficulties, if not actual danger.

    1. We are steering into deep and disturbing waters.