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August 30, 2012



"This attitude to disability is only part of the construction of an ideal-type of man by our rulers, of a straight, white, right-thinking, able-bodied, individual (the mot juste). Such a type serves the function of propagating the myth that people are self-reliant and capable of unaided success, and therefore that poverty is the result of either individual failure, or of a lack of God's grace: God made man in his own image, and God was of course a healthy white man."

Thanks Chris. Really cogent and convincing. Must surely, one day, have an impact on how we configure our public services.

Liam Murray

As you point out diversity is at the core of British achievment and history so quite how that sits with the idea of "an ideal-type of man" propogated by "our rulers, of a straight, white, right-thinking, able-bodied, individual" isn't clear.

I'd say the right's objection to it isn't because it "challenges one of their ideological constructs"; it's because, as the brief history you set out shows, one of the lefts favourite constructs - that these 'afflictions' and differences must be managed and addressed via the state if they're to be overcome - is demonstrably false.

Ralph Musgrave

Celebrating diversity is totally inane because there is no merit whatever in diversity as such: any more than there is merit in uniformity as such. If someone possesses an unusual characteristic which has clear merits, then it’s fair enough to celebrate that characteristic. In contrast, I see absolutely nothing to celebrate in having a leg or arm missing.

I also see absolutely no merit in stoning adulterers, female genital mutilation, forced marriages or killing the authors and cartoonists who mock one’s religion. Though I’ll be in trouble with the political left for saying that.

“Diversity” is also a linguistic subterfuge. Admiring people who threaten to kill the authors and cartoonists they don’t like doesn’t look too good, so if one refers to such admiration as “celebrating diversity”, it sounds soooo much better. The word “diversity” is very innocuous, so better to use that word than speak the truth or call a spade a spade.


The left wing *are* our rulers, for heavens sakes; diversity is one of the main scourges used to enforce their rule.


"Diversity" isn't a single concept. You can't debate its value until you've pinned down what is or, in someone's opinion, should be diverse. Its vagueness is, indeed, a reason to distrust people who celebrate it because "diversity" in and of itself is a notion that's hard to dissent from. Yet that doesn't mean that certain forms of it aren't problematic.


Some of the comments here are weird. All our rulers are left wing? Really? News to me. The left like religious fanatics? Sounds an odd idea. Tom Paine and J S Mill would be astonished to hear it or Clem Attlee.

I think diversity is a ambiguous word in this context. It would be clearer to say that prejudice is wrong and we should reject it. As prejudice leads to discrimination, formal and informal, and thus to violations of human rights and dignity. Diversity is a way to avoid appearing confrontational. But it is well meant even if woolly.


Though I’ll be in trouble with the political left for saying that.

Um, no. No, you won't.

The left wing *are* our rulers

Jeez, who left the cages open?


To quote Wellington himself on his 'Irishness':

"Just because a man is born in a stable does not make him a horse."


Hmm, poorly defined 'thing' used as a dinner bell to make the unthinking drool, without them ever really understanding what 'thing' actually means?

Haven't we been here before, a hundred times?

Of course it's political - that's how political discourse *works*.


"Celebrating diversity makes as much sense as rejoicing in our opposable thumbs."

I agree.Opposable Thumbs are freakin AWESOME!

Hurray for Opposable Thumbs!

Anon of Not Searched

I remember once telling an Iranian girl [studied here, perfect English, European b/friend, likes new shoes] that diversity politics was a white thing she wouldn't really understand :-)

Which I'd still say is true, although that might not have been the best way to put it!

(At one time the Thatcher government was teased for having more old Estonians than old Etonians. The libertarian right has a good history of embracing non-WASPs. Certainly in the Nordic the liberal (in a small state sense) parties are proud to court the immigrant vote.)

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