I’m not a member of the new political elite carefully positioning itself as our new ‘Upper Class’, so I must be one of the ignorant and uneducated people who can never hope to understand complicated concepts like discrimination and equality. I’ll say it out loud; I’m as thick as pigsh*t.
Being a moron, I always assumed that discrimination meant treating a person or group of people less favourably than another. When I was younger, what this boiled down to was turning people down for a job or refusing to rent a house to someone because they were a woman, black or asian. Yes, I’m simplifying here, but I’m a dumb voter, so bear with me.
As I grew older, I discovered that people were discriminated against by virtue of their sexuality, their religion, their views on gender, their eating preferences or smoking habits, their residence status, their family wealth and so many more things.
Catching up with the times and reading today’s hysterical newspapers, I now realise that there are more -isms and -phobias than there are honest men called Bob.
Life, at least as reflected in the UK daily newspapers, it getting a little Loretta. If you don’t understand the reference, see the clip below.
(The Life of Brian. Excellent film.)
We all know that the Labour Party are the only people who care about minority groups, and are the only people who oppose discrimination. We know that because the Mirror and Guardian tell us so. Daily. So it must be true.
Which brings me back to my white, British, straight and doubtless repressed not-quite-middle class ignorance. I thought that discrimination was always wrong, no matter who it was against, the same as victimisation was always wrong. But I’m having difficulty working out how to apply some of the lessons I am being taught by the Labour Party. For example:
The Labour party, in the spirit of equality and with absolute solidarity with all those who think racial discrimination is a criminal offence, decided to charge white people more for tickets to their East Midlands Regional Conference in February that their non-white counterparts. This, we are told, was aimed at increasing the number of members of the BAME community.
In simple terms, the Labour party offered tickets to members of the party’s BAME wing were offered tickets for £30, and everybody else had to pay £10 more. The Equalities Watchdog, who obviously aren’t operating on the same plane as the Labour party, have asked for an explanation.
So if I get this right, Tesco could start charging white hetro drivers £1.99 a litre for unleaded, while charging the BAME and LGBT community £1.10 in order to increase mobility amongst these downtrodden classes? Maybe if Jamie Oliver had cottoned on soon enough, he could have charged his white customers more for their pizzas and saved his restaurants! Silly man.
White males not allowed
Following on from the above, I found myself reading a story a few days later about people only being allowed to attend the ‘Young Labour Equalities Conference’ if they were: under 27, a member of the BAME community (black, asian, minority ethnic), disabled, a member of the LGBT community or a woman. White, hetro British males were banned.
A few people on Twitter said that the Labour party had been ‘taken over by identity politics and specific groups of activists’ and lazily assume that ‘straight white men can’t fight for equality’, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission that the conference could be breaking race laws, but I’m sure it’s not that simple. Plainly, the Labour party doesn’t approve, encourage or instigate discriminatory behaviour, which is what me and my mates thought it all sounded like. So there must be something us muppets are missing.
Discrimination is wrong..
We all know that. We can’t demand that an EU citizen pays tax for a couple of years before claiming everything the welfare system offers, because we wouldn’t ask it of a British citizen. Fair shakes, and all that. We can’t refuse to give someone a job just because they come from Somalia or Swindon, or because they like their sex served from a specific menu.
Which leads me to my point and my currently confused state. Looking and what the Labour Party do and say, it seems Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters have a slightly different take on discrimination, and I just cannot work out what it is. Echoing George Orwell’s “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” from Animal Farm, it seems that the Labour Party operates under a different set of rules than the rest of us ignorant plebs.
I just wish Jeremy would explain them, in words a person of low intelligence such as myself would understand. I’d be very grateful.