Richard’s Barnes comments about Irish builders has kicked up quite a furore and rightly so, as well-paid bureaucrats think that it is somehow ok to encourage out-dated prejudices at the expense of any builder who happens to be Irish. There are good and bad builders of every nationality and I am in no doubt that the lack of overt racial or cultural distinction between the English and Irish somehow makes them and other white minority groups a target for racist and derogatory remarks like those made by the Deputy Mayor at last week’s meeting of the Transport Committee.
If you look at the Deputy Mayor’s “spin” page headed “Equality and Diversity”, the story takes on even more of a sharp, most would say ironic edge. In it, he mentions how he is now the champion of one of the Mayor’s policy documents Equal Life Chances For All and the author of a GLA equality framework Equal Life Choices For All. What, I wonder does this say about the Mayor’s choice of personnel for key posts in his office?
Amongst other pledges, the Deputy Mayor promises to:
- Ensure that all communities are supported in the economic downturn – I take it that either the economic downturn is now up or he didn’t mean to include the Irish!
- Embed equality at the heart of business and corporate planning – We can safely conclude this does not extend to the building trade!
- Provide practical solutions that effectively tackle inequality – here’s a suggestion, say “sorry”
- Support the development across the London economy of diverse markets, workforces and suppliers – presumably to the exclusion of Irish builders!
No more jokes Deputy Mayor, time to say sorry