Last week on ConservativeHome, Inigo Wilson had a Lefty Lexicon published which examined the language of the Left and provided the meanings behind the doublespeak. One of the omissions, which was mentioned in the comments, was positive discrimination, which means "all discrimination is evil unless it's against those nasty white evil oppressors, in which case it's wonderful." Of course the irony of saying such things these days is that you'll probably find yourself accused of being a white power lunatic by the very propagators of the phrase. Such is the circular elegance of the Left's assault on language.
I mention this because the notion of positive discrimination has reared it's head in a very formal way about the provision of future Government contracts. It has emerged that as part of the decision process for awarding lucrative contracts for 2012 Olympics work, companies will be assessed on their ethnic diversity. What that means in practice is the number of people working at the company from the ethnic minorities will be counted and calculated to a percentage. That figure will then be compared to the make up of the local population where the company is based. Should there be disparity between the figures it could impact on the decision to award a contract.
This seems to me to be rather odd to say the least. By taking a decision to award a contract of the basis of ethnic minorities employees relative to the local population the process has within it the default assumption that the cause is racial discrimination of some sort. Putting aside the objections to the notion of reverse discrimination somehow being "positive" this seems to be a much wider objection. As a result of this policy a company’s reputation will be brought into question on the basis of little more that raw statistics and inferred conclusions.
A company has the right to hire whomever it believes to be the best person for the job. If that means they employ a blue skinned, one-legged lesbian with a speech impediment over the clean-cut middle class white mail graduate then so be it, but who you hire should be based on merit, not the colour of your skin or your social grouping.