It is difficult to recall precisely when diversity changed from its traditional meaning of ‘the quality of being different or varied’. The new use may stem from the perception that ‘multiculturalism’ had become somewhat tarnished, or maybe some Home office adviser recommended that the equality agenda needed broadening. Whatever the origins of the change, there is no doubt that ‘diversity’ has now become one of the top priorities in the liberal long march towards utopia.
The issue of diversity has been taken up by Whitehall in a big way and as a result all civil servants are compulsorily required to attend diversity workshops. Documents handed to this blog from a senior civil servant in a London Whitehall ministry outline how these workshops operate. The aim of the workshops is to achieve ‘a diverse workplace that encourages those with differing life experiences, frames of reference, ways of working, thinking and communicating, to participate fully in developing, managing and delivering services’. Thus this new model bureaucracy will ‘allow people to make their own unique contribution by challenging conscious and unconscious perceptions and perceived ways of working’. However, this pseudo-idealised gibberish deliberately disguises and obfuscates the real motivation, which is to impose still further the degree of indoctrination surrounding the dual liberal obsessions of ‘racism’ and ‘homophobia’.
The diversity workshops last for a day and consist of a number of ‘diversity scenarios’ played out by actors in the form of theatre workshops to ‘ensure that each one of us appreciates the importance of recognising and encouraging diversity within the Department’. About twenty members of staff usually attended each workshop. Three actors play the role of civil servants in a supposedly typical office.
To quote the civil servant 'the boss was a middle aged white male. His two junior colleagues were a thirty something white female working part time, and a younger black male who also happens to be homosexual. The first scenario was actually quite amusing. It consisted of the actors mouthing the most absurd stereotypical comments about the disabled, gays, women, men, blacks etc. allegedly based on real life office comments. Its dated and unrealistic outlook was reminiscent of some of the dodgier TV programmes from the 1970s. Nevertheless, it was quite good knockabout. The later scenarios were intended to be more serious. Some portrayals, for example the boss who suffered from increasing deafness, and the problems arising from part time working, were fairly uncontroversial. But others were considerably less so, particularly those relating to race and sexuality.'
'For example, we were led to believe in all seriousness that the gay employee suffered deep emotional stress because he was unable to openly express his sexuality in the office because of fears of a negative response from colleagues.' This self-indulgent attitude overlooks the fact that you do not need to be homosexual to enjoy sexual fantasies or practices that may not meet with the approval or understanding of work colleagues. Sensibly, most people have the courtesy to opt for discretion on this subject. 'After each scenario we broke into small groups to "discuss the impact of the behaviour that had been acted out". As a permanent record we were provided with a 54 page "diversity challenge" notebook.' The cost of these workshops must be quite considerable since all civil servants (there are nearly half a million) are required to attend them. But they are just one component of the diversity agenda in the public sector.
As part of the diversity agenda, civil servants have been given some advice on ‘cross cultural communication’. Terms such as ‘Oriental’ and ‘half-caste’ should be avoided. So too should ‘jargon, slang and metaphor’. There is a warning that cultural differences in body languages can contribute to misunderstandings and conflict. Apparently, words for the time of day such as evening or afternoon do not have the same meaning when ‘used by members of minority ethnic communities’. It would be quite wrong to assume that ‘when members of ethnic communities raise their voice they are necessarily losing control or becoming aggressive’. Finally, by way of balance, advice is offered never to ‘underestimate the influence of your own cultural background on your unconscious perceptions and behaviour’. This is all quite a minefield for the unwary.
It is sometimes claimed that the equality and diversity agenda is not there to provide minorities with any special privileges. Equality is defined as equality of opportunity not equality of outcome, quotas for minorities are unlawful and diversity does not mean being especially nice to minority groups, homosexuals, lesbians etc. This is the rhetoric but the reality is very different. The Civil Service, like many other public sector organisations, has routinely carried out what is euphemistically called ‘positive action’. For example, all government departments have been responsible for initiatives and schemes that, in the words of one ministry, ‘provide a career development programme for black and ethnic minority staff who wish to either enhance their own performance in their existing grade, or to progress their career into higher management grades’. At the end of such courses participants are ‘expected to gain a clear appreciation of their role as dynamic members of the Department, and be confident about their skills and abilities’. These kind of schemes either make no difference, in which case they are a waste of public money, or they achieve their objective. If the latter, then they must solely benefit ethnic minorities, who gain advantages that are denied to white members of staff – a shameless example of reverse discrimination of which there are countless examples throughout the public sector.
Although quotas are unlawful, ‘targets’ are central to the diversity agenda. Each government department has a target for the number of women, ethnic minorities and more recently, homosexuals and lesbians they employ. Needless to say, the high probability that white heterosexual males have almost certainly been discriminated against to reach these targets is of no consequence. Targets, of course, focus on equality of outcome, not opportunity, and if white men are found to be under represented this is never a problem that seems to trouble the diversity zealots. It is worth noting that as the ethnic population of London continues to increase virtually unchecked, the targets will need to increase to keep pace.
It would be naïve to assume that the politically correct truly believe in diversity in its traditional sense. What they are instead seeking is a stultifying conformity and obedience from society for their distorted and dangerous obsessions on race and homosexuality. They want to comprehensively narrow the terms of debate so that anyone who publicly expresses a dissident viewpoint on these subjects, however mild or rational, is vilified as ‘xenophobic’, ‘racist’, ‘homophobic’ or an extremist hater. On the subject of race and immigration in particular, what we are faced with is a systematic and deceitful programme of thought control to prevent the majority of ordinary people from expressing their perfectly natural desire to retain their own cultural heritage and the racial identity of their country.