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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Politically correct or unconscious Tories?

This story is a few days old but nevertheless, I felt it was worth highlighting it. The Times reports that up to 40 Conservative MPs are expected to say no to unconscious bias training intended to tackle racism in the Commons, accusing parliamentary authorities of “pandering to the woke agenda”.

This training, which has existed for parliamentary staff since 2016, is being piloted for MPs. It focuses on addressing prejudices people may have absorbed without knowing it. 

However, Tories in the European Research Group and “Common Sense Group” of right-leaning MPs have said most of their colleagues would not take part, with one being quoted as saying: “I would really rather gouge my eyes out with a blunt stick than sit through that Marxist, snake oil crap”:

Tom Hunt, the MP for Ipswich, said: “Whoever is pushing this forward now is trying to pander to the woke agenda — I won’t be. I don’t think the vast majority of my constituents would want me to waste two hours on a pointless unconscious bias session that will have no effectiveness whatsoever.”

Alexander Stafford, the new Conservative MP for Rother Valley, said: “It would be far better to spend time helping constituents than be lectured by someone who’s being paid a lot of money to tell you you’re an awful human being.”

Ben Bradley, Tory MP for Mansfield, said the training would perpetuate “the kind of nonsense language that we keep hearing around things like the Black Lives Matter agenda”.

Several critics drew a distinction between unconscious bias and sexual harassment training, stressing that the latter was useful for anyone who had not run an office before, but Mr Bradley called it “a waste of time”. He told Matt Chorley’s Times Radio show that he had agreed to take part in an anti-sexual harassment course simply because it was in his diary, adding: “It was two hours of jolly conversation with some colleagues that I liked very much. But to be honest, it was a total waste of all of our time.”

I suppose there really would be little point in trying to train these dinosaurs, whose bias is clearly very conscious and very evident in their reaction to the proposal. However, there is evidence of a “culture of deference” in the Houses of Parliament that needs to be tackled. 

What strikes me in these refusals is not just the arrogance in implying they are better than the members of staff around them, for whom this training is compulsory, but also that their rush to judgement on the value of this training suggests they would benefit from it the most. 

Either way, it is not a good look for the Tory Party.

ERG,Common Sense group (never heard of em!)
'No effect on him whatsoever'
Aweful human being. Is it not ok to be a better one?
Nonsense language about BLM?
Yes. unconscious bias. Yes. could do with making it more conscious.
Reading up on fascism and how it evolved these thoughts became more solid and developed into disdain for human rights.You are not like us therefore you are our enemy.WE ARE ALL HUMAN, THAT DIVERSITY ALLOWS US TO LOVE, RESPECT OTHERS, AND CO_OPERATE TO BE ONE SPECIES BETTER TO COPE WITH PROBLEMS TO COME
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