Sunday, 29 June 2008

Discrimination and that

BBC News

An eight-year-old boy has sparked an unlikely outcry in Sweden after failing to invite two of his classmates to his birthday party.

The boy's school says he has violated the children's rights and has complained to the Swedish Parliament.

The school, in Lund, southern Sweden, argues that if invitations are handed out on school premises then it must ensure there is no discrimination.

It's not positive, it's just discrimination

For those of us who grew up believing that discrimination was a bad thing, the Government's official espousal of a "right" kind of discrimination leaves a rather dubious taste in the mouth. As Ms Harman herself says in an interview with this newspaper today: "Once you move to let the cat out of the bag on something like this, you never put it back in."

It is the soft beginning of recruitment-by-quota, a process which creates a breeding-ground for mutterings of preferential treatment. Such mutterings may well be based on spurious perceptions, but "positive discrimination" creates a climate in which they flourish...

Meanwhile, anti-discrimination law at present has one very big moral advantage: it says to everyone, equally, that employers have no right to discriminate against you on the basis of your gender, sexuality, race or religion.

We mess around with that fundamental principle at our peril: kick a hole in it, for whatever reason, and a river of angry resentment flows beneath.

No comments: