Our thanks to Nigel for this. He writes:
People may remember the successful case against Cheshire Police Force, brought by a determined young man who had been discriminated against in their recruitment process. This story caught my eye because it illustrates the fundamental problem in the application of “positive action” usually in pursuit of some target number or percentage based on sex or race. The idea soon gets turned into illegal “discrimination” as those charged with achieving the policy find the practical problem of numbers.
Inevitably the much greater number of the “over-represented” group tends to mean there are such a large number that inevitably the “best” are far more numerous than the eligible people drawn from the very much smaller pool of “talent” from the “positive action” groups. Thus to achieve the desired result either steps have to be taken to prevent people even applying from the “over-represented” group or unfair direct discrimination (illegal in the UK except for political parties). At least in Australia this is called what it is – “corrupt manipulation”
I would bet a similar investigation mounted here in any public service with gender “targets” would find the same corrupt manipulations, which happens to be precisely what was found in the Cheshire Police case. Surprisingly apart from brave individuals taking cases themselves there appears to be no wish by any UK body charged with either equality or probity in public agencies having a closer look, for fear they will find the inevitable corruption.
As with the story of executives in France, imposing quotas must inevitably corrupt fair recruiting and promotion.
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