Is Philip Davies MP against racism or not?


by Sunny
30th July, 2010 at 10:17 am    

Conservative MP Philip Davies spends most of his time railing against political correctness gaaawn mad. The Daily Mail love him: yesterday he was attacking Channel 4.

Conservative MP Philip Davies yesterday attacked the political correctness at the company saying it should employ people on merit.

He asked why, given that Channel 4 already had 12 per cent of its staff from an ethnic minority background, as compared with eight per cent of the general public, it needed special programmes like these.
When Channel 4 explained the staffing figures as being down the fact it is based in the capital, Davies told bosses: ‘You’re not a London broadcaster, you are a national broadcaster.’

This kind of stupidity is quite easy to destroy. If Davies wants Channel 4 to employ people on merit rather than represent people according to percentages, then why is he demanding that C4 represent whites according to their proportion of the population?

C4 is a London-based broadcaster, which inevitably means most people applying for jobs there will be from London. Given that around 40% of London is non-white, the broadcaster is in fact completely out of kilter with the area it works in.

Tory MPs can’t have it both ways. Either they want quotas for whites: in which case you could ask that C4 represent the population exactly. Or they accept that a broadcaster will recruit on merit from the pool that applies for jobs. Davies wants quotas, while claiming he wants the corporation to recruit on merit. He is either very confused or is not against discrimination.


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  1. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 30th July, 2010 at 11:02 am  

    Tory MPs can’t have it both ways.

    Except, they can, their entire party is based on a complete lack of belief in anything you could remotely term ‘political’.

  2. cjcjc — on 30th July, 2010 at 11:59 am  

    Is he saying that?

    I thought he was saying that as ethnic minorities were well represented at C4 that they should stop any further positive discrimination. Not that they should now dsicriminate the toher way.

  3. cjcjc — on 30th July, 2010 at 11:59 am  

    Edit function back please.

  4. dmra — on 30th July, 2010 at 12:14 pm  

    “C4 is a London-based broadcaster, which inevitably means most people applying for jobs there will be from London. Given that around 40% of London is non-white, the broadcaster is in fact completely out of kilter with the area it works in.”

    Right because there’s no way that people who want to get a career in the media will move to London to look for jobs.

    The idea that people already in London are more likley to apply for jobs might apply for clerical and support functions but surely not for technical staff, presenters or creative staff.

    In which case something something nearer to the national rather than regional average is not unsurprising.

  5. Mark T — on 30th July, 2010 at 12:33 pm  

    If Davies wants Channel 4 to employ people on merit rather than represent people according to percentages, then why is he demanding that C4 represent whites according to their proportion of the population?

    He is – of course – demanding no such thing.

    What he is demanding is that people should be employed on merit, and not on the basis of their skin colour.

    Try again.

  6. Sunny Hundal zzzz...zzz..zzz — on 30th July, 2010 at 1:15 pm  

    A very good rebutal of another flawed and juvenille post by Sunny Hundal………

    http://englandexpects.blogspot.com/2010/07/negligent-discharge-sunny-hundal.html

    “Negligent discharge. Sunny Hundal misfires”

    Sunny Hundal is the scourge of PCness. He sees himself as a Tribune of the oppressed and sees racism all over the place……..

  7. Sunny — on 30th July, 2010 at 2:41 pm  

    What he is demanding is that people should be employed on merit, and not on the basis of their skin colour.

    And how does he know they’re not already?

  8. Don — on 30th July, 2010 at 5:57 pm  

    Any chance of a break-down on where in the hierarchy the 12% in question are employed?

    Are they primarily in clerical & support with a lower proportion in executive and talent?

    I suspect internships are also heavily loaded in favour of those already London based, as paying a London rent would put them out of the reach of all but those with serious money behind them.

  9. john — on 30th July, 2010 at 6:02 pm  

    “Sunny Hundal zzzz…zzz..zzz — on 30th July, 2010 at 1:15 pm
    A very good rebutal of another flawed and juvenille post by Sunny Hundal………

    http://englandexpects.blogspot.com/2010/07/negligent-discharge-sunny-hundal.html

    “Negligent discharge. Sunny Hundal misfires”

    Sunny Hundal is the scourge of PCness. He sees himself as a Tribune of the oppressed and sees racism all over the place……..”

    You site has a link to the far-right jihadwatch site.
    Says it all really……

  10. Don — on 30th July, 2010 at 6:22 pm  

    Says it all really…

    Up there with ‘sheeple’ and ‘Tony BLiar’ as terms that should raise questions about the commenter’s ability to construct an argument.

    I don’t see that link on the sidebar. Have I missed it?

  11. persephone — on 30th July, 2010 at 10:52 pm  

    Channel 4 has undertaken in-depth research into their stakeholders for insight on their outlook of the world around them, expectations as to public service responsibilities of TV in general and Channel 4 in particular.

    This is what their stakeholders had to say about social diversity:

    Social diversity

    • People strongly support equal opportunities for all, but there are markedly varied perceptions towards different groups. Mainstream groups are more complacent than minority groups about the extent of inequality in society

    • Television is seen as playing an important role in reflecting and portraying different groups and
    communities.

    • Channel 4 is perceived as having a particularly strong role in presenting different cultures and
    viewpoints and challenging prejudice

    Perhaps C4 should tell Davies that they are ultimately in the business of being responsible to their stakeholders.

  12. persephone — on 30th July, 2010 at 11:18 pm  

    If Davies is so concerned about national averages for representation within national organisations he had better start closer to home:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/21/tories-airbrushed-ethnic-candidates-bnp

  13. Wibble — on 31st July, 2010 at 12:15 am  

    Don @10,

    there is a blog roll at the right of the site – you need to scroll down. Also, has Majority Rights and Brussels Journal.

  14. boyo — on 31st July, 2010 at 7:21 am  

    I suspect most of the under-represented 12 per cent or whatever that constitute the 40 per cent of Londoners are over-represented in the cooking, cleaning, IT and secretarial areas in any case, aside from Jon Snow’s programme (by yards the best thing on British TV). I bet 97 per cent of the plum jobs go to white, privately educated types. I don’t think it’s necessarily racism however, but class. I’ve certainly no objection to positive discrimination – however, I do believe it should be class, not race-based. This would naturally include almost all ethnic minorities, and also the WWC, which I think you’ll find is probably even less well represented in senior positions. It could also help develop some communal solidarity.

    Which is why it would be a huge no-no, no doubt…

  15. Sunny — on 31st July, 2010 at 11:31 am  

    boyo – we agree for once.

  16. halima — on 31st July, 2010 at 1:06 pm  

    i agree that plum jobs go to posh white people, and then to posh Asian people etc – there is also a pecking order in posh, too, but how to you do positive discrimination for class? This is something that upsets me quite a bit – the self-selection of people in our own image and calling it merit and talent often, but I don’t know how positive discrimination will work. The first step must be to acknowledge this is the problem – and getting enough people to talk about it and getting a critical mass. The trouble with it is that many working class people who are ‘successful’ at work are at pains to hide their backgrounds, and assimilate so quickly that they don’t much talk about this as a problem…

  17. halima — on 31st July, 2010 at 1:16 pm  

    On Channel Four, I’d want to know what jobs the 12% of of minorities are doing.. It’s about getting adequate representation at the varied grades, not just the numbers that matter. I’d ask this question of all organisations, actually.

    The media is a tricky sector – much of the experience needed to break into broadcasting comes from contacts – contacts which start with graduates asking their parents to link them up for advice to someone in broadcasting which gives the graduate some upper-hand -before talent. I recall Channel Four , for instance, running a Pathways or Access course of some kind which a ) recognised this problem, and b) provided entry points for new graduates from all backgrounds to access work experience in C4 and or other media outlets. I thought that was exactly what is needed.

  18. Leynos — on 31st July, 2010 at 1:39 pm  

    I was under the impression that the root cause of these imbalances was previously endemic discrimination in education and the recruiting practices of companies. Now, it seems to be that by introducing ethnically targeted bursaries, then you are only going to perpetuate the problem. If people from ethnic minorities are being denied places at University due to financial circumstance, then surely the problem is best solved by bursaries targeted at the financially impoverished? Why does ethnicity need to come into it at all?

  19. Sunny — on 1st August, 2010 at 5:13 am  

    Does this work?

  20. Yakoub Islam — on 1st August, 2010 at 6:42 am  

    Philip Davies IS a racist, and like most bigots, is forever looking for specious arguments to portray himself as reasonable. The only people fooled are those who want to be, in other words, other racists.

  21. Leynos — on 1st August, 2010 at 11:58 am  

    Essentially, what is there to stop it from working?

  22. halima — on 1st August, 2010 at 12:40 pm  

    The edit function is working…

  23. Bugger (the Panda) — on 1st August, 2010 at 5:36 pm  

    Maybe Channel 4, the BBC etc should not be London based and London centrist.

  24. Lamia — on 3rd August, 2010 at 10:12 am  

    “C4 is a London-based broadcaster, which inevitably means most people applying for jobs there will be from London. Given that around 40% of London is non-white, the broadcaster is in fact completely out of kilter with the area it works in.”

    It’s national broadcasting company, it is not a regional one. That is to say, ‘the area it works in’ is the entire UK, not just London or even merely England. To treat it as if it were comparable with a regional station like, say, London Weekend Television Granada or Radio Norwich, is the height of disingenuousness.

  25. Philip Davies — on 4th August, 2010 at 2:42 pm  

    Though I have the same name as the MP for Shipley (albeit with different middle names) I don’t agree with his point.

    A couple if important points that haven’t been made yet.

    1) If 8% of the UK population as a whole is non-white, the proportion of people of working age is almost certainly higher than that.

    2) It could be that the UK ethnic minority population is more attracted to working in the media industry and hence a slightly higher proportion than the population as a whole.

    3) 12% is not much higher than 8%. This makes the complaint look rather pointless.

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