Thursday, August 09, 2007

No Whites Need Apply

Meet Abigail Howarth.

This 18 year-old science student has been banned from applying for a training programme with the Environment Agency because she is white and English. The recruitment agency handling the scheme told Abigail Howarth, 18, that there was no point in her submitting an application because of her ethnic background. But bizarrely she could have applied if she had been white and Welsh, Scottish or Irish.

Abigail applied to a job from an advert in her local paper, which made no mention of the ban on white English applicants, merely noting that candidates from ethnic minorities, such as "Asian, Indian' and "White Other, e.g. Irish, Welsh, Scottish', were encouraged to put themselves forward. Three days later, the recruitment officer, Bola Odusi, replied:

"Thank you for your enquiry unfortunately the traineeship opportunity is targeted towards the ethnic minority group to address their under representations in the professions under the Race Relations Act amended 2000."

She had this to say,

"I would not have minded had I been beaten for the position by somebody better able than me."


The Environment Agency says 387 of its 12,000 workers claim BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) status. A spokesman added: "The Commission for Racial Equality has confirmed we are acting legally."

Positive discrimination is wrong. It undermines the self-esteem of those minorities who have jobs at the Environment Agency and it fosters resentment amongst non-minorities. It also leads to a drop in productivity as the best workers are barred from a job.

How did this become legal?

This opportunity to feature a lovely English girl via Wat Tyler. Tim Worstall adds his own thoughts on Abigail.