Debating equality

Lord Norton

The Second Reading debate on the Equality Bill took place in the House yesterday.  It is a large and complex Bill, with some contentious provisions.  As a result, it was a long debate with more than forty speakers.  The debate lasted until almost 11.00 p.m.  There were many serious points raised.  However, there was the occasional light moment, as for example during the speech of Baroness Morris of Bolton, in winding up for the Opposition:

Baroness Morris of Bolton: …..   In an amusing section of her speech, the noble Baroness, Lady Royall, told us exactly what the Bill was not about. I, too, should like to address a concern that was expressed to me and illustrates a point. This Bill will not require “Top Gear” to have a woman presenter or “Loose Women” to have a man. The appeal of these programmes is not restricted wholly to men or women, even though their formats are based primarily on assumptions of differing interests. Should we be legislating for their presenting teams to be evenly balanced? Would we want to see Jeremy Clarkson swapping relationship advice with Coleen Nolan, while Lynda Bellingham demolished a caravan with James May?

Noble Lords: Yes! Yes!”

6 comments for “Debating equality

  1. Carl Holbrough
    16/12/2009 at 9:14 pm

    There`s something hypocritical about the privileged few legislating equality on others. Most of the Bill is about “If A treats B unfairly” in a given situation but no one can or should know for certain in most cases.

    Discrimination is a peculiar term, I don`t like the look of someone, am I discriminating ? You don`t like my views so I`m moderated…Discrimination ? My dog doesn`t like “white” people shall we legislate ?

    More and more legislation, infringing on peoples freedom of speech and choice. You may criminalise them but you won`t change them. It will create more money for the legal system but no more monies will be spent on our ever decreasing Police Forces.

    My Mother in Law was discriminated against today, she wasn`t wearing a hoodie and looking like a thug. So two hoodies snatched her bag outside her home, left her feeling shocked and depressed at Christmas time. She rang the Police and got a crime number and maybe an officer will visit in 3-4 days, nothing will done.

    Two weeks ago a friend, a garage owner was discriminated against, he wasn`t a thief. They pulled up outside and stole £1500 worth of pressure washer, all on CCTV. Travellers apparently, when the Police got their 4 days later they couldn`t do a lot and he wasn`t covered by insurance because it wasn`t bolted down (it was a mobile washer).

    So whilst you`re creating legislation to take up valueable resources, the rest of the Country goes to pot. Who cares though as we`ll have lot`s of cases going through Courts where MAYBE a Company didn`t employ someone because they`re gay, black, CofE or female.

    The priorities of this Country have gone to pot, drugs and crime are rife. The resources to deal with it either aren`t there or are being siphoned off. It`s absurd and the only thing that makes me smile is knowing for sure that the system will topple. Erosion of choice and of freedoms will lead to a backlash and when it comes what will you have, 4 coppers and a Brigade at this rate.

    Every Holy Book I can think of states it`s the one true faith and all else is blasphomy. The Islamic Faith virtually states women are second class citizens, Roman Catholics will never allow women priests and so much more.

    Then you`re going to tell Companies they must employ me cos I`m agorophobic with severe panic attacks and I`m going to run away every time I get a little stressed. Or I`m going to employ a young woman thinking of starting a family and have to pay her X amount for maternity leave.

    Everyone wants to debate communism, equality but it`s funny how even the Church doesn`t get it right. Everyone is equal except for us. Parliament is a long way from your sense of equality even with the “special” list`s of women only.

    What exactly are you going to do ? OK so we have 700 Lords….100 disabled, 100 black, 100 mentally impaired, 100 transgender,100 gay, 100 CofE, 100 Jewish…darn I`ve run out of Lords and of course 50% have to be women….or do they ?

    So please do tell in this land of equality how exactly is Parliament going to be partitioned to properly represent every possible proportion of possibly discriminated against people ? Well those benches will have to go, can`t fit the wheel chairs in and those stone stairways and is that a Christian Cross I see Oooh don`t forget the Templar Knights and King Richard have to rewrite history really as they were totally discriminatory.

    You canb only go so far left before it becomes right you know.

    • Gar Hywel
      17/12/2009 at 10:26 am

      “There`s something hypocritical about the privileged few legislating equality on others.”

      Equal but in front of you!

      Of course; the Laws of the Court of St James.

  2. Gar Hywel
    17/12/2009 at 9:35 am

    Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité was the rallying cry from the barricades of the French Revolution; we have only recently become fully aware of the importance of Liberty in the HRA(1999)Human Rights Act; equality we have been working on ,but Fraternity seems to have remained a religious duty rather than a political one; brotherly love, I guess! Not easy!

  3. Bedd Gelert
    17/12/2009 at 11:20 am

    Excellent stuff !

  4. Carl Holbrough
    22/12/2009 at 12:00 pm

    To continue in the (off topic) vein of too much legislation not enough Police…..

    Yesterday my 15yo granddaughter, who lives with me made an allegation of rape, I obviously cannot go into details, she promptly ran away.

    The two detectives who visited me around 6 p.m. were busy taking a statement, another was with the alleged assailant. My granddaughter turned up at her Mother`s house and the detectives asked for a uniformed officer to go there only to be told there was but one car covering the whole of the Southend area, population circa 160,000.

    We cannot go on using up valueable resources on ever increasing laws without backing them up.

    I apologise for the off topic but I am sick to the teeth that our streets are NOT safe for my 4 daughters, 2 granddaughters whilst we debate spending untold amounts making sure they have equal chance in interviews.

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