Monday, July 27, 2009

Equality and Diversity questions to the Leader

I have asked all of these questions below because I am genuinely concerned that we are not doing enough as a council to honour our obligations, many of them statutory. What do you think of the answers? What particularly concerns you or your organisation?

I shall leave these all up on my blog as they will then be found by anyone researching in these areas in future.

I intend to do everything I can to ensure that this is not left as it is and will be pushing for change at every opportunity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Louise, dont give up on the questions, even though the recipients might not like them, as democracy requires a process of transparently holding our representatives to account. This might be uncomfortable at times but is always for the greater good!

However, on the particular topic, I am somewhat worried by your stances. Your supplementaries seem to try to imply, simply through the use of certain statistics, that there is a level of inequality of opportunity at play within the Council? Is this the case, and if so, how do you believe this is manifesting itself and what do you think are the solutions?

I believe that when recruiting for any post, the best candidate should be appointed. I have no problem with advertising in specialist publications, where that can be objectively justified, but it rather seems to me that you are advocating going to unnecessary extremes perhaps? Do we really believe that anyone in Liverpool doesnt know that jobs are advertised in the Echo on thursdays? Or that if they didnt they couldnt find that out for themselves and then go and look? Is there some bias inherent in LDL's servers that means potential BME candidates cannot access vacancies advertised on the website? Have you stopped to consider the politically incorrect, but yet perfectly valid, proposition that there may be less BME candidates because they may not be adequately qualified, (or believe themselves to be inadequately qualified), for any particular post? Has your analysis looked at required skills and the prevalence of those skills within any particular sections of the community?

Your over-reliance on pure statistics suggests that perhaps you slanted your questions for a political reason? This is understandable but I would prefer my politicians to aspire to something mroe than this as well!

The same statistical reliance leans towards quota based thinking, which I am wholly opposed to. Quotas are oximoronically positive discrimination, which is just as abhorrent. There should rightly be some level of statistical monitoring, in order to be able to determine if there are trends that may highlight certain problem areas, but enforcing quotas (just like with all women shortlists!) and excluding any candidates, whether they are white males or black females, cannot by definition allow the objective recruitment of the best candidate.

Finally, some of your questions illustrate an almost socialist nanny state ideology to me. Should the state at any level be responsible for ensuring actual equality? I dont think so - equality of opportunity yes, straight equality no, and therein lies the root of the problem in socialist thinking.