Tory attack dogs savage equality legislation

7 January, 2008

Remember that post I did on what Conservatives really think about equality legislation  Well it turns out that is not the end of Donal Blaney’s views on equality legislation. Last September on his blog he wrote:

“I am opposed to regulations on businesses that require them to adhere to race equality legislation. If businesses just want to recruit blacks, whites, Asians, women, men, gays, lesbians or the disabled that should be a matter for that company, its shareholders and its customers.”

And if they don’t Donal? I suppose that you think this is all hunky dory and “the market” will somehow mystically make discrimination all OK.

Personally I don’t get this Tory hard right mind set. Perhaps we could get another Tory to explain. Here is commentator and general sourpuss Simon Heffer on The Westminster Hour 6th January 2008

“Take for example the acts of parliament that have ruled out discrimination in the work place against women or members of the ethnic minorities. Again I do not question the good intentions of these laws but I do wonder what life would be like if we didn’t have them. Anyone who refused to hire someone good because she was a women or because he or she came from an ethnic minority or a culture against which the employer was bigoted would soon suffer. Either they would get no staff at all or they would end up hiring mainly second raters. Worse the capable people they had ignorantly refuse to hire would go to work for their more enlightened rivals and put the bigots out of business. Instead of common sense being allowed to prevail there is instead a state and private bureaucracy that monitors, compliance officers and others who are soaking the productive sectors of our economy in a cause that the productive sectors would if left alone have no choice but to espouse for themselves.”

So let’s get this right it’s ok for people to suffer discrimination because they can go somewhere else. Genius. I wonder what David Cameron makes of all of this?

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4 Responses to “Tory attack dogs savage equality legislation”

  1. Worst thing is: imagine the “only gay in the village” situation where homophobia will actually increase your market share – those who don’t give a damn either way will be penalised by the market for not being homophobic enough.

  2. Evan Price said

    I have to say that Donal Blaney’s comments on a number of issues are controversial and often deliberately provocative. His views are not Conservative policy and do not accord with the views of many conservatives and Conservatives that I know. Simon Heffer is a journalist and is deliberately provocative beacuse of his job. Again, he is not spokesman for the party and his views on many issues are not in accord with the policies of the party or with other conservatives (big and small ‘c’).

    Personally, I do not agree with discrimination, save on grounds of ability and skill. I believe in treating individuals as individuals and judging them on their individual knowledge, skills and personality; legislation to make it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of race, sex, sexuality and age is fine by me – and given experience is needed. Legislation should be as simple as possible and it should be as simple to implement as it possibly can be. Overly burdensome legislation and regulation should be avoided. I am a Conservative.

    All political parties are coalitions of broadly similar minded people … and in some areas they will disagree completely. Some Labour party members I know have in the past expressed the view that ‘all ownership of property is theft’ and that ‘marriage is equivalent to slavery’. I know that no one is going to implement such policies; I don’t ascribe these views to the Labour Party …

  3. parburypolitica said

    I have to say that Donal Blaney’s comments on a number of issues are controversial

    Yes i’d noticed that to.

    His views are not Conservative policy and do not accord with the views of many conservatives and Conservatives that I know.

    That is perfectly fair comment. But he has been an elected representative of the tory party and as chief exec of the ybf he is playing a significant role in training the next generation of tory activists, candidates and who knows even parliamentarians.

    In short he isn’t some random who picked up a membership card out of a trash can. He also puts his comments in the public domain and are therefore open to scrutiny.

    I understand he is an embarrassment to the tory party, but the sooner he is packed off to the states the more electable the tories will be. Now I don’t want the tories to be electable but it would be better for the country if they were ever to return to government of they did so without Donal Blaney.

  4. Evan Price said

    There are people with ‘strong’ views in all political parties who are prepared to sign up to a party’s line but who also retain their own stronger views on a personal basis.

    Yes, Donal Blaney has been an elected representative (4 years as a local councillor) and yes he puts his views into the public domain … and yest he should and is subject to scrutiny and debate on those views.

    I don’t agree that he is an ’embarrasment’; he works hard for conservative causes and he makes controversial arguments and causes debate and discussion. Interestingly, his comments about regulation in the area of discrimination reflect a very old liberal tradition … I happen to disagree with him on this, and I think his views do not stand with experience.

    As to packing him off somewhere … daft. You don’t engage with a debate by sending people whose views you disgaree with away.

    If one accepts the ‘pure’ market theory and that customers of the market make their decision entirely on rational grounds, then it is possible to argue that the market will reduce and even eliminate irrational discrimination … because the customers will remove their custom from the business that irrationally discriminates and because the business that irrationally discriminates will not be able to compete against those that discriminate purely rationally.

    A problem with these theories is that the customers tend to chose only on the basis of cost to them and it takes an extraordinary event to damage a brand (think of Ratner and the ‘crap’ jewellery). Another problem is that businesses competing in a market with many other businesses are able to select staff on many bases and often the skills and abilities of potential employees are matched by many other potential employees – and so the market for employment is such that a business will still be able to employ someone who can do the job needed even if they use irrational discrimination to select the employee. These are, in my view, 2 good reasons to say that the argument that the market will remove irrational discrimination is mistaken – hence my view that that we need laws and regulation in this area.

    Interestingly, looking at the employment market it is clear that irrational discrimination remains commonplace … for example, the woman told that she is of no use when pregnant. Thus, experience also tells me that regulation and laws are required.

    A problem with looking at things in the manner in which economists look at things is that all sorts of variables that exist in the real world are removed in order to ‘test’ a particular theory or idea. Very often, my view is that the very removal of the variables means that the value of the test is diminished – and it was really for this reason that I converted from Economics to Law at University.

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