Via Tim Worstall, this article needs a fisking:
David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told the Observer that identity politics had been hugely important in advancing the civil rights of many groups. But he warned of a danger that “individual interests” were narrowing people’s views and diminishing their connection to wider society.
Assigning special protections and privileges to certain minority groups at the expense of the wider population has weakened the social fabric? Who would have thought?
Speaking amid an intensifying row in Birmingham, where a group of predominantly Muslim parents have staged protests outside schools accused of promoting same-sex relationships, he suggested the commission would be prepared to use its legal powers to protect the teaching of LGBT issues in the face of opposition from faith groups.
You might just as easily say the commission could use its legal powers to protect the right to practice one’s religion and peacefully oppose government policy in the face of LGBT activists.
“We are a strategic regulator,” Isaac said. “We can’t support absolutely everybody, but we will take cases where we thinks it moves the law forward to protect human rights.”
Let’s be honest, your only problem here is that one protected class is facing off against another. If it were anything else, you’d be “moving the law forward” to hound the majority population into cowed acquiescence. Human rights really doesn’t have much to do with it.
Recently the commission has become more vigorous in using its legal powers against groups it believes threaten equality.
Equality being where certain, select groups are given special consideration under the law.
“We are about to make a decision whether to investigate antisemitism in the Labour party, and that’s a good example of where, without fear or favour, we are saying in relation to political parties, whether it is Islamophobia in the Tory party or whatever, that if we find unlawful acts we are prepared to use our powers to do something about it,” Isaac said.
If members of political parties hold opinions which contravene our self-serving and deliberately vague laws defining which views may be held, we will use our powers to prosecute them. To protect human rights.
On Friday, Birmingham city council took the decision to close Anderton Park primary school, where parents have been protesting for seven weeks, early for the half term. The MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips, has attacked the decision, which she said was down to “bullies and bigots” and contrary to the Equality Act.
Isn’t the right to protest a fundamental human right? Or is there a clause which makes protesting certain viewpoints a crime? I’m confused.
“Everything that is happening at the Anderton school in Birmingham is probably making some headteachers nervous about their commitment to teaching about minority [same- sex] families,” Isaac said.
Headteachers are “probably” nervous? Time to abandon party politics and form a unified, national government until this existential threat is eliminated, don’t you think?
“Part of our job is to remind people that the law is the bottom line.”
And thanks to the vagueness with which it is written and the subjectivity with which it is enforced, the law is whatever we decide it is.
Anderton, a number of other Birmingham schools, and several outside the West Midlands have been targeted by religious groups who say they have concerns about teaching materials shared with pupils, which they claim promote LGBT equality and conflict with the teachings of their faith.
So you have conservative authoritarians arguing with progressive authoritarians over how children are best indoctrinated. Meanwhile, those who think kids should simply be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic at school are unrepentant bigots who must be purged from society.
“As a gay man who’s been very involved in the LGBT movement, I think identity politics have been hugely important historically, and it would be very easy to say identity politics has gone too far,” Isaac said.
Just in case anyone thought the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission ought to be neutral on this issue. Is his deputy an Imam?
But he acknowledged that such politics could be corrosive. “We are living in a world that is more divided, there’s more individualist thinking in relation to what is happening and less empathy, less hope.”
Thanks in large part to that industry you head which goes around slapping labels on people and threatening them with criminal prosecution for wrongthink.
The challenge, he suggested, was to ensure “we don’t end up in the siloed world where everybody is hypersensitive about their own individual interests and less empathetic about how other people are treated.”
Rarely does the head of an organisation come out and state their biggest challenge is the result of their own efforts.
He added: “The key issue is how do we move beyond the ‘I’ to the ‘we’, how do we think of ourselves as citizens in a country or in the world who are not just focused on what works for me and my narrow group. How do we ensure that we think about people who are different to us?”
Ooh, I don’t know. Maybe we could try a version of politics which emphasises what makes us the same – language, culture, shared history, values – rather than what makes everyone different and thus deserving of special treatment.
One solution, he suggested, would be for schools to include citizenship classes in their curriculum, to help them become “citizens of the 21st century”.
Yes, because the one thing missing from the lives of the parents protesting outside the schools is an appreciation of when Britain got its first female MP.
“Teaching kids about not just same-sex relationships but what it is to be a good citizen would be a really important start,” he said.
So Soviet kindergartens only with Lenin in drag.
Finding common ground where all parties accepted that they were subject to the law that protected minority rights would help remove the “binary” nature that engulfed much of the debate swirling around identity politics, Isaac suggested.
It’s those laws protecting minority rights that are the root cause of this problem, you clot.
“People do see it as a zero-sum game,
That’s because it is. Modern rights always come at the expense of someone else.
and my view is that it’s completely possible to teach the tenets of your faith in school, but at the same time say ‘that child over there has two mothers’.
I find it amusing when people who clearly don’t know the first thing about a religion start talking about how its adherents ought to think. Like with the Israel Folau case they think everyone holds the same wishy-washy pick ‘n choose views as your average pencil-necked modern CoE vicar.
We are asking them to respect somebody else’s lifestyle choice or desire to love someone of the same sex.”
The irony here is that in the theocracies of the Middle East, respecting Islam often means endorsing Islam, particularly during Ramadan. What we’re seeing here is less about respect than forced endorsement.
Isaac drew comparisons between the battle to promote equality and human rights and that now being waged to arrest the climate crisis.
In the sense that it’s a privileged, middle-class angst fest driven by a hatred of the plebs and the phenomenal achievements of developed, western societies, he’s quite right.
“Some things are in crisis, particularly in relation to what is happening to disabled people. We’ve made progress in other areas, LGBT being the obvious one, but when I look at gender and race I think we’ve made less progress.”
As the Communists were always just a million more corpses from utopia, progressives think we’re always another few thousand laws from the population thinking as they should. Note that in among all this hand-wringing there wasn’t a single mention of the majority population and what they might want: it’s all about the minorities. Little wonder society is fragmenting.