Veteran hack DAVID BANKS, a judge at Press Gazette’s British Journalism Awards 2020, invited veteran hack ROGER WOOD to join him at the virtual awards ceremony. But Woody had his reservations. . .
AYOOP, BANKSY! I filled in the invitation to attend the ‘virtual’ British Journalism Awards … and [Press Gazette editor in chief] Dominic Ponsford replied welcoming me on board.
I am an admirer of Mr P, but I see that the awards have gone down the woke-diversity path, wittering about inclusion and such. This inevitably leads to discrimination against others; the only criterion for choosing judges or award winners should be talent and knowledge.
But while tooling about on the PG site I note that The Sun is advertising for a Deputy Political Editor (a hint to current reporters that they are not first choice?)
I got as far as the application form where I came across these questions and explanations:
In order to monitor the effectiveness of our Equal Opportunities Policy, we request all applicants to provide the following information by selecting the relevant option from the options provided.
The information which you give will be treated in the strictest confidence and will not be used for any purpose other than monitoring the Company’s policy on equality of opportunity.
Access to this information is strictly controlled and is not available to anyone involved in the selection process including the interview panel.
The choice of twelve answers on Ethnic Origin includes Irish Traveller! The choice of seven answers on Gender includes Transitioning (it doesn’t ask which way).
Meanwhile, the choice of five answers on Sexual Orientation offers ‘Straight, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian or Prefer Not To Say’.
If, as promised, answers are hidden from the interview panel and anyone other than Human Resources. . .
WHO monitors the results to ensure that the ‘equality of opportunity’ policy is working: the HR department?
WHAT if it isn’t? Do they insist that next time recruitment be limited to sexual or ethnic minorities?
HOW can ‘Prefer Not To Say’ as an answer reveal whether or not a policy is working?
A couple of years back I had an online falling-out with a Tory MP who was bleating about discrimination. I discovered she had been selected for her safe Tory seat from an all-woman list of candidates. I emailed to insist that this was plainly discrimination against men. Among males who did not apply for the seat might have been many with a better grasp of the job. She did not reply.
So while I look forward to my virtual front row seat at the virtual Awards so I can hoot and boo I ask, finally: how many homosexual Irish travellers will apply for a job as the Sun’s deputy political editor?
Indeed, does it matter how many if whoever gets the job is well equipped and qualified for the task?
I Prefer Not To Say.