A Question of Equality?


Two stories have caught my attention today, concerning GCHQ and the Church of England.

Looking at the subjects initially, you wouldn’t think there was a link:

‘Too few ethnic officers’ and ‘discrimination’ at GCHQ &

Split looms for Church over women bishops

My point of discussion is not the individual stories as such, but an overall point on discrimination. In a seemingly parallel post El_Cuervo has blogged on the same subject Just How Representative should Parliament be?.

This seems to be coming more and more to the front of discussions, whether it be driven my the media, or public perception, is hard to tell. We are told for instance, that Harriet Harman would like an equal representation of females, and as above the C of E is resisting female Bishops. Last week discussion was brought to the fore regarding gay marriage.

Where does it end, we seem to make choices, between male or female, race, skin colour and gay or straight (for want of better term!). Do we next differentiate by other features i.e short or tall, eye colour, underweight, overweight etc. etc.

In my simplistic way of thinking, it should just be a case of ‘fit for purpose’. If anyone is capable, or suitable of working in a profession, then they should have the opportunity.

The case of the Church seems to hinge around passages in The Bible and the ‘traditionalists’. Let’s take these two separately:

  1. The Bible, as with many religious scripts, and other literature, can be misquoted and interpreted  to mean basically anything you would like it to. For instance, I once said to a lay preacher “God smiles on the righteous”. He at once corrected me, that is wrong, it is actually “God smiles on the righteous and the unrighteous” (I would like to point out that I am not being critical, or judgemental about any religion or religious scripts, or giving a religious opinion in this statement). You could therefore find passages, in the Bible, that state that Bishops, should be male, or female.
  2. The ‘traditionalists’. This could be said for any walk of life, but what is tradition? how far back do you go? it’s always been like this!! No it hasn’t!! Does that mean we should all ride horses, instead of having cars, equip our naval forces with canon balls, have our front line armed forces dressed in red…

As for GCHQ, again I apply the term ‘fit for purpose’. If there is a need for ethnic officers, as they are best equipped and knowledgeable for the job, then so be it.

A poor example, but I think it makes the point, I am a 50 year old white male, would I be any good at a job that is suited to an 18 year old female, of course not, just as said female would not be any good for a job that is suited to me. Of course not…

I agree that a salary should fit a job and not differentiate on gender.

I do take exception to fixing numbers of male/female applicants, candidates etc. to promote equality, it is just wrong, but  If someone is good enough they should be given the chance, and as for their sexual orientation, quite frankly, I don’t care!!

We are all different in some way and it is impossible to categorise each and every one of us.

Surely the question to the C of E synod is, could a female Bishop perform the tasks, skills etc. required to fulfil the requirements and role of a Bishop?

Too much is made of equality, in its various guises, and matters are made worse by minority factions calling foul to suit themselves. I give you an example:

In a round of redundancies, after a review of working standards was carried out,  a coloured technician was made redundant, his work ethic and standard of work was poor, to say the least, as was explained to him on various occasions. His accusation was that his dismissal was not on his work standards, but on the colour of his skin. Clearly not the case.

I obviously agree that if someone is victimised for any reason, it should be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

I hope, though am not optimistic, that common-sense will prevail and all this inequality  will stop and be sorted and jobs, posts etc. will be filled by the simple phrase ‘fit for purpose’

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