With the recent non-stop coverage of the race-related disturbances, media debates on slavery, statues and racial prejudice, some readers might be inclined not to read on.
Over a year ago I recall the collective groan around our office when it was announced we were all to attend a training course on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We were also required to attend a shorter course about unconscious bias, similar to the one Keir Starmer is booked on.
For a few of my colleagues I expect it was timely reminder to avoid engaging in anything remotely resembling office banter or innuendo.
But the training course got me thinking a little about what these words and values really mean and how they should be measured.
My thoughts were reignited late last year when I came across a competition, the theme of which was ‘embracing differences’. Entrants were asked to come up with a quote of no more than 20 words saying what embracing inclusion and diversity means to them.
However, I anticipated that the competition judges would be conditioned to expect something restricted to inclusion and diversity interaction in our western ‘liberal’ culture and the shallow sound-bites and virtual-signalling that go with it.
My view is that on race, equality and diversity issues we create problems which didn’t previously exist and ignore huge problems which do, for reasons I’ll explain.
Contrary to what we are told, the ‘advanced’ West doesn’t have ownership of equality, inclusion and diversity. This, I believe is because the majority of the public understand these values very narrowly in terms of in their own life, work, country or sphere of the world.
In contrast, I would imagine the thoughts of the majority here are very much focused on other societies and people throughout the world and our attitude towards and what we can learn from them.
So, I think on all levels, equality, inclusion and diversity needs to be redefined to a broader more global awareness.
In the West we are too inward-looking and eager to jump on any political bandwagon without thought for the consequences.
When I was thinking about this, I was reminded of the high-profile people and celebrities weighing in on matters they know nothing or care about, to promote themselves and their politics. The ‘anti-Semitism’ hoax which was cynically used by Labour politicians and celebrities and there’s been plenty of grandstanding over ‘Black Lives Matter’
All these people claim to embrace equality, inclusion and diversity but use war, religion and race to bolster themselves with what may appear on the surface to be genuine, caring narratives. But the reality is they create division in society and the world, then distance themselves from the fall-out.