Monday, February 21, 2005

A Daniel Come To Judgement

Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times on discrimination.

"In terms of employment and income (and education), British people from Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian backgrounds easily outperform their white counterparts, both male and female. In terms of earnings, women from ethnic minority backgrounds (excepting those from Pakistan and Bangladesh but including, for example, African and Caribbean women) easily outperform white women. The average weekly wage of a white British woman in 2002 was £180, compared with £187 for all black and Asian women, £199 for African women and £210 for Caribbean women. These figures come from the Cabinet Office.

One year later the Downing Street policy unit concluded, in a report entitled Ethnic Minorities and the Labour Market, that “the old picture of white success and ethnic underachievement is now out of date”.

So exactly who is being discriminated against here? Should we not be manning the barricades in defence of white women and calling for positive discrimination against those women from our African or Asian communities? And how do we explain the poor performance of Pakistani and Bangladeshi women (who earn only £140 per week)? Does the problem lie solely with the racist and sexist white hegemony or might there be something within the indigenous culture that is holding these women back?"

All very true - this from the same guy who in 1998, as editor of the Today programme, was working to death the hideous revelation that "Asians applying to study medicine are more likely to be rejected than other students."

To be exact, "while one third of all applications for medical school places are from Asians, they represent only one fifth of those accepted".

Given that Asians were approximately 4% of the population at the time, the real story would have been that they were applying at 8 times the rate of the natives, rather than that they were "only" being accepted at 5 times the rate.

Mr Liddle appears to have undergone a Damasacene conversion on these and many other issues.

His successor at Today, Kevin Marsh, has strangely ignored this more recent story.

"Researchers at Oxford University say white men, who make up 44% of the UK population, accounted for 26% of new medical students in 2001.

They said medicine is increasingly dominated by white women and people from ethnic minorities, particularly those from the Asian community."

Or, in the words of one comedian, 'my family doctor's a bit old-fashioned - he's white'.

I liked this story from Salisbury Pages.

I got talking to an Asian anaesthetist from Bradford yesterday. He’s got a face like Uday Hussein, an accent like Geoff Boycott and a wicked sense of humour that’s all Yorkshire. Apparently a couple of days earlier he had been waking up a patient after an anaesthetic when the patient had become more and more agitated. Eventually the patient was awake enough to croak, “Where am I?”

“You’re in Brummagen General Hospital” my colleague replies.

“Thank God for that!” says the patient, with transparent relief, “I thought I’d been kidnapped.”

Looking around the bed my colleague realizes that there’s not a white doctor or nurse among them. “Mind you,” he tells me with a wicked glint in his eye, “I’d still like to have seen his face if I’d said, ”You’re in the Tora Bora mountains, mate.”"

One more sidebar link - via Irene Adler, to Conservative Brotherhood, "a group of African American writers whose politics are on the right hand side of the political spectrum." In other words, people who don't exist as far as the BBC and Guardian are concerned. I'd love to see a Gary Younge interview with, say, Thomas Sowell.

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