Margaret Thatcher with Norman Tebbit

Thatcher fanboy Norman Tebbit is his usual charming self while discussing efforts to make the senior civil service less male dominated:

“Who would feel safer if just before take-off the pilot of the airliner told the passengers that she had been promoted to command because they needed more transsexual Muslim captains to meet the airline’s inclusivity target?”

The former BALPA shop steward should have done with it and join UKIP.

  1. Tebbit was not discussing efforts to make the senior civil service less male dominated. The push behind his article was passing power away from the elected politician to and unaccountable technocracy.
    He said of the civil service
    At the heart of the Blair reforms was the utterly insane dictum that “the senior ranks of the civil service should be representative of the community it serves”.

    Try putting that into practice elsewhere. Who would feel safer if just before take-off the pilot of the airliner told the passengers that she had been promoted to command because they needed more transsexual Muslim captains to meet the airline’s inclusivity target?

    The senior ranks of the civil service, flight deck crews, surgeons, or any job should be comprised of the best candidates regardless of sexual orientation, gender, ethnic origin or religion. Please note

    Tebbit was complaining about a policy that promotes people solely on incidence of their sex or ethnicity. He believes the best people should be promoted regardless of their sex or ethnicity.

  2. well glad that’s that sorted, I mean if he had just said that (what you said) instead of what he actually said then we wouldn’t be here, yet here we are.

  3. Dave Ratchford says:

    Well thanks for the clarity, Ken. Sadly it betrays Norman’s fundamental misunderstanding of modern society and, well, life in general really.

    His comments are predicated on two glaring mistakes:
    1) that workplace equality is based on positive discrimination – this is actually illegal and not at all what has ever been planned. What HAS been suggested is the ‘levelling’ of potential disadvantage through training and the review of advertising and selection processes to ensure objectivity.

    2) that just because a particular situation exists, it must be right and proper and does not require analysis. In this instance, the situation is the under-representation of women and minority ethnic citizens amongst senior management. If this were an objective and equitable situation, it would follow that women and bme candidates are simply not as good as white males. This is patently nonsense. The only logical explanation is that something on the system is skewed in favour of white male candidates. This may be occurring at the rec-selec stage or it may be occurring far earlier in people’s education.

    The fact he is missing this is entirely human. Psychologists call it confirmation bias – looking for evidence that confirms your beliefs instead of looking at the facts objectively.

    Still, it’s less palatable that he chooses to indulge in the rhetoric of ridicule, using the mocking hypothetical muslim transexual pilot idea. How unpleasant. But then not the first time.

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