Equality, fairness, public sector cuts and ideology

One of my first blogs was about the cutting of quangos and how some quangos actually perform an important function. This article from The Independent says,

Quangos are inevitably in the firing line in the search for apparently easy savings. The acronym – short for quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation – has become a byword among politicians for profligacy. However, critics warn that axing some of the bodies will remove the independent system for monitoring the work of government.

But the quangos that are to be cut are being abolished for purely ideological reasons and the government will lack accountability in certain areas. In the 1970’s when the Commission for Racial Equality was set up by the Callaghan government, the Tories complained bitterly. The Race Relations Acts of 1965 and 1976 were also opposed by the Tories. Why? Well, it would be easy to speculate but given the party’s track record for providing sanctuary to racists and other bigots, one could suggest that Tory opposition to human rights is based on this essential bigotry.

Last year, Hannan was praying for a Tory victory. He screamed “Will the Conservative scrap the Equality Commission”? His argument hinges on this flawed premise,

More to the point, the notion that minorities are best served by a state bureaucracy dedicated to their class interests ought to have been discredited when the USSR broke apart.

Ah, more lazy thinking – using the USSR to er, ‘bolster’ the ‘argument’. So if the state acts to protect people from bigotry in the workplace it is what? Soviet? This notion that only the ‘true goodness’ of people will shine through and trump any form of racism if such quangos and legislation are abolished is touchingly naive. The reality is that people can be discriminated against in the workplace and in public places if protections are removed.

Mad Dan continues,

All of us, regardless of caste or creed, sex or race, do best in a free society in which decision-makers are answerable through the ballot box, regulation is light but evenly enforced, the citizen is free from coercion, private settlement is preferred to state enforcement, and the government is anchored to public opinion. The EHRC violates all of these principles. That’s why it should go.

Oh? How did you work that one out? How will the ballot box protect those who are routinely discriminated against? It is interesting to note that those who call for the scrapping of the EHRC and its predecessor are white, male, wealthy and Conservative. Hannan wants to scrap what he and his party sees as red tape and bureaucracy  but this hatred of regulation is rooted in the profit motive: if someone is being protect from harm, that impacts on profit and we can’t have that – right?

UPDATE: I suspect that the Tories are hoping that all Race Relations legislation will be heaped onto their ‘bonfire’.


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Filed under ConDem Budget 2010, Government & politics, Public spending, Tory Party conference

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