Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

Dear liberals, political correctness needs to extend to Catholics too

27/02/2013, 11:18:56 AM

by Kevin Meagher

It’s a strange time to be a Catholic in Britain. Beset by internal turmoil and out of kilter with liberal-left thinking on a range of issues; my co-religionists can be forgiven for circling the wagons in the face of what feels like incessant hostility.

Yesterday’s Daily Mirror front page photo showed Cardinal Keith O’Brien stood next to a reclining Jimmy Savile, posing at some charity photo opportunity more than a decade ago. The photo was used gratuitously and bore no relation to the news report which focused on O’Brien’s resignation – amid accusations of “improper conduct” towards a number of priests. But the snide implication was clear enough. Clear – as well as tawdry and unjustified.

There is something happening to British Catholics at the moment; a growing sense among the poor bloody infantry that they need to justify their faith in the face of a pervasive threat. Friends in a range of workplaces and professions now complain of casual verbal insults – snide digs and asides – that would never be countenanced (rightly) against any other minority community. For many Catholics these days, it pays to keep your head down.

Liberal Democrat MP David Ward was pilloried recently for stupidly holding “the Jews” accountable for the actions of the Israeli government. The accusation of Islamophobia is enough to reduce any self-respecting liberal a fit of the vapours. Yet Catholics are now fair game – worthy targets of scorn – as the Mirror’s front page testifies.

But we’re a minority too. We’re not the ones with representatives in the House of Lords, or the ones with all those nice stone churches people want to get married in. We’re the other lot. The elderly Irish widows. The lonely young Polish girls, over here working for buttons. The family of Eritrean asylum seekers. For them and many others like them, the church provides a spiritual and social lifeline. It supports and inspires and, if needed, feeds and clothes.

Not to forget the plucky bands of English, Scots and Welsh believers whose forebears faced 250 years of outrageous state-sponsored persecution after the Reformation. This church is not the powerful, privileged monolith of liberal misconception.


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Changing the law is only the start in tackling discrimination

06/12/2012, 07:00:07 AM

by Peter Watt

Attacking discrimination in all of its forms has been something that unites many from across the political spectrum.  Many political battles fought over the years to pass legislation that seeks to end discrimination.  In fact Wikipedia has a very helpful list of all of the UK Acts passed over the years, and it is quite a list:

  • Equality Act 2010
  • Equality Act 2006
  • Disability Discrimination Act 2005
  • Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975,
  • Equal Pay Act 1970
  • Race Relations Act 1968
  • Race Relations Act 1965
  • Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928
  • Representation of the People Act 1918

Every one of these will have been hard fought and will often have been resisted.  Each was dramatic in its impact and generally led rather than followed public opinion in the area of life that it sought to influence. And the social change that can be charted in this list is worth reflecting on.

It starts with extending the franchise to all men and then all women and ends with an Act that brings together the series of laws passed outlawing discrimination on the basis of race, disability, religion or belief, gender, age and sexuality.  And let’s not forget that there have also been other battles fought along the way that have slowly made life fairer.  For instance, one of the proudest moments for many of us of the last Labour government was the passing of the civil partnership act (2004).


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Sorry, you have the wrong genitals: young Labour’s new election policy.

23/12/2010, 12:00:25 PM

by Ian Silvera

Recently, I received a letter from young Labour, Labour’s youth wing. Nothing new, I thought, probably trying to promote another public affairs event with the persuasive allure of free tea and biscuits. However, my inclinations were wrong. I had been asked, with thousands of other members, to consider taking part in the party’s youth elections. The particular election that stood out to me was the regional representative election. I was elated that I had been given an opportunity to represent my home region, the West Midlands, on young Labour’s national committee.

Alas, in the rest of the letter I was presented with some bad news. Although I had a gender – “there are rules relating to gender” – my gender was the wrong one. I have a penis. Apparently, the letter explained, Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) has agreed that half the regions will be required to elect women and the other half will be open to men and women. Skilfully, the NEC has alienated roughly half of their young members (the ones with penises) in the following regions: East Midlands, Eastern, London, South East, West Midlands and Yorkshire. (more…)

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