Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 7 June 2024

The EDI Revolution is Eating its Own and Companies Have Noticed

Is this the beginning of the end of the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) fund? The cancellation of Baillie Gifford as sponsors to the Edinburgh International book festival may indicate so.

Behind all the election brouhaha this week those of you keeping up with the news may be aware that there’s ‘trouble at mill’ in the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Hay Book Festival, where activists have forced the festival to drop one of its sponsors.

Incensed that the festivals are being sponsored, in part, by Baillie Gifford, the Edinburgh based fund managers, an organisation called Free Fossil Books has put intense pressure on the festival organisers to cancel the Baillie Gifford sponsorship. The activists had bullied the Hay festival to comply this month and predictably Charlotte Church and Nish Kumar both withdrew from Hay in protest of the partnership, and another 900 Publishers, journalists and writers signed an open letter demanding the sponsorship deal be ended.

Baillie Gifford is to be dropped because it ‘invests in oil’ and also does business with Israel. “We call on all financial institutions with holdings in Israeli occupation, apartheid and genocide to divest,” the activists screeched. They also appeared to object to authors who sell through Amazon, as Amazon operates in Israel, and also Facebook, for the same reason.

Sadly, the organisers feel that they have no option but to submit to the radicals’ demands. However, given the tone of their response, the Edinburgh organisers have been quite blunt as to why they feel they have been forced into this. This seems to be backfiring on the activists, although of course, they are yet to realise this. Allan Little, Chairman of the Festival, was report by the BBC to say:

Our team cannot be expected to deliver a safe and sustainable festival this August under the constant threat of disruption from activists. This was a pragmatic response to that reality.

Funding for the arts is now in a perilous position and we should all be clear that without the support of our partners and donors, the future of festivals like ours – and all of the benefits these events bring to authors and readers alike – is in jeopardy.

Jenny Niven, the CEO of the festival didn’t pull her punches in expressing her frustration:

The pressure on our team has simply become intolerable. We have a major global festival starting in 10 weeks’ time and we need to focus all of our efforts and energy on delivering a safe and successful event for our audiences… Undermining the long-term future of charitable organisations such as book festivals is not the right way to bring about change.

Those of us plugged into the debate happening within the corporate world are raising an eyebrow at this. You see, as I discussed in this article on the Daily Sceptic last week, Environment Social Responsibility and Governance (ESG) policies are being forced on small to medium businesses through the corporate supply chain. Ergo (as a corporate wants to raise investment) it is offered money by a fund that requires it to demonstrate a high ESG score to secure the investment. In order to secure a high score and thus the investment, one of the requirements is to demand of your suppliers that they and their suppliers, i.e., the supply chain, is fully compliant with the investee’s ESG policies.

What are these ESG policies? Well, some of them are pretty radical. For example, I found out this week that a major high street banking group came within a hair’s breadth of enforcing a procurement policy down its supply chain which would have required all suppliers to agree to enforce radical gender ideology in their workplaces. The only reason why this was thwarted was the diligence of some of their employees who, securing opinion from their employment lawyers, indicated that the policy would put the company at risk of breaching the Equality Act 2010. How had its Procurement Department come so close to acting unlawfully? With a directive to promote ESG it listened to its LGBTQ+ Employee Advocacy Group who demanded it, with the support of external activists and the Procurement Department signed off on it without checking any alternative opinion within or outside the organisation.

That’s the thing about ESG and its offspring, Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). There is increasing evidence in reports this year that EDI, when done badly and on the cheap, causes huge damage to employers through workforce disengagement, isolation of some employees for holding the ‘wrong’ views and employee turnover both through resignations and, sadly, through sackings. Members of this parish will be very aware of this situation and you can read more here. Now we know that 62% of British workers work in SMEs (employers under 250 employees). We also know from the Free Speech Union’s report quoted here that 65% of British employees have had some sort of EDI training in their current job or the last. I’ve worked in and with SMEs for decades and SMEs never spend any money or time on training unless it is absolutely necessary – so why are so many spending money on EDI training?

Read More: The EDI Revolution is Eating its Own and Companies Have Noticed

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