Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gloucestershire Police reported to CRE and EOC over blacklisting white male recruits

Civil liberties group Liberty and Law has reported Gloucestershire Police to the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equal Opportunities Commission for what it claims to be breaches of both the Race Relations Act and Sex Discrimination Act.

Gloucestershire Police Service, following its interpretation of these Acts, rejected 109 white male candidates at the second stage of a recruitment drive. This was part of its positive action programme to boost the number of minority ethnic personnel and women in its ranks.

The Gloucestershire Police Service in its document Positive action guidance makes the claim that “it has been approved by both the Commission for Racial Equality and the Race Relations Employment and Advisory Service.”

Liberty and Law argues that the attempt by Gloucestershire Police Service to stretch the clear meaning of legislation so as to enable them to racially and sexually discriminate in the early stages of recruitment providing they are not caught out “discriminating in favour of a certain group at the point of final selection” is an interpretation that has no credibility.

The discovery of Gloucestershire Police Service’s policy follows Somerset and Avon Police Service’s similar action that is currently under investigation by the CRE and EOC following a complaint by Liberty and Law on 29 November last.

Liberty and Law director Gerald Hartup has asked both bodies to request that Gloucestershire Police freeze the recruitment process pending their investigation of its legality.

Both bodies have also been asked to check whether similar policies are being rolled out without public debate by other police services.

Mr Hartup stated: “The public must be concerned at the time that our enforcement bodies have taken to come to a conclusion in the Somerset and Avon case. In these circumstances it is important that neither of these two police services should make their final appointments pending speeded up investigations.”


Further information: Gerald Hartup 020 7928 7325 or 020 7207 3425

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Race boss plans new code of conduct to refer race hate material to the police

Difficulties about deciding what is or is not a hate crime could now be resolved by Britain’s Commission for Racial Equality [CRE]. Its chair Trevor Phillips has intervened dramatically [27 January] over race hate material by drawing up a code of conduct for him to refer material to the police under the incitement to racial hatred provisions of the Public Order Act.

Mr Phillips explained: “I think that the public has every right to expect consistency and transparency in the exercise of my judgement in these matters. I am therefore taking three steps to ensure that my conduct is clear, and that my powers are exercised fairly. First, I have asked the distinguished lawyer Robin Allen QC to review the way in which the Chair of the CRE intervenes in such cases and to advise me on my legal responsibilities. Second, on receiving Mr Allen's opinion the Commission will draw up a code for my own conduct in these matters, after consultation with our colleagues at the Press Complaints Commission, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General. Third, I will publish that code, so that everyone who chooses can be guided as to why we at the Commission do what we do.”

Nearly ready now

Substantial progress has been made since Mr Phillips announced the initiative just two years ago [27 January 2004]. On 1 September 2005, following the return from vacation of one of its key officers, the CRE was able to report that the “document has been drafted and is currently awaiting approval”. The exact current state of readiness [29 January 2006] of the document, however, is not known.

Not ‘all mouth and trousers’

Liberty and Law
director Gerald Hartup who has closely followed the CRE’s initiatives commented: “There are many critics of the CRE who doubt its ability to act expeditiously and who claim that the organisation is “all mouth and no trousers”. This is just one illustration of how a modestly funded organisation with a part-time chair actually delivers the goods.”


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

EOC cooks the books over women’s pay

Every year round about Christmas the Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC], the UK’s “sex equality” body that has successfully kept its male staff down to 20% for 30 years, comes out with phoney statistics about women’s earnings, which generally takes in the media and politicians.

So a typical headline runs Cameron will campaign to end women's pay 'scandal' Daily Telegraph, 29 December 2005.

The ‘scandal’ is created with the bogus concept of “pay gap” defined as the difference in hourly earnings between part-time women and full- time men. This is currently 38.4%. A meaningful comparison would be between part time hourly earnings of both men and women. This shows a mean pay gap of not 38.4% but just 10% and a “pay gap” for median earnings actually 3% in favour of women.

It is no good looking for this in press releases from the EOC. You won't even find there what hourly earnings of part time men are. In a welter of statistics this crucial information has been censored. [Mean £9.81, median £6.50 actually] How can you make a sensational claim if you give people all the facts? Only if you search around a bit does an obscure EOC report acknowledge that “there is no gap between the earnings of female part-time workers and male part-time workers over most of the distribution”.

A genuine equal opportunities body of course would be publicising the plight of low paid men as well as women. Since the EOC reports that “men from black and ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be in part-time employment as white men” could the reason for it marginalising men be attributed to institutional racism as well as its ingrained institutional sexism?

I wonder whether the EOC will be able to pull the same trick next Christmas.