"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Sunday, 3 May 2009

David Miliband Marks Ramadan not Christmas

On Friday it was reported that the Foreign Office has ordered a review of which religious services to mark after staff complained about the methods of Foreign Secretary David Miliband with regard to which greetings are sent out to embassy staff.

These civil servants are now spending taxpayers' cash on a 'consultation on whether or not to mark Christmas'.

Apparently Miliband, who rather fancies himself as the next leader of the Labour party despite making Barack Obama look experienced, sent out a Ramadan greeting to embassy staff around the world - but neglected to send one for Easter or Christmas.

He also failed to mark St. George's Day, despite giving First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond ample FCO resources to broadcast greetings for St. Andrew's Day.

It has now been suggested that embassy staff nominate occasions to be celebrated, 'to avoid upsetting other faiths and nationalities'. However, only last month a human resources research company found that political correctness was 'crushing the spirit' of those working for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, with 'commitments to race and gender equality, along with poor leadership, causing the organisation to sink into stagnation and decay'.

Well, if that's really the case it will be truly representative of modern Britain - mission accomplished.

Not quite, however. Brace yourself for the following:

In response, Nicola Bowles, FCO head of corporate communications wrote: 'As you say, the current system for celebrating British (and FCO) diversity with messages from the Foreign Secretary and others on significant dates could maybe be improved.

'We are now consulting with private offices, stakeholder managers and the diversity strategy unit to draw up guidelines that strike the right balance.

'The aim is to find a way to celebrate our diversity - and offer reassurances to groups who may feel marginalised - without falling into the trap of diminishing impact (or indeed overloading our communications system) through an unnecessary plethora of messages.'

Well, let's get this straight. If the article is to be believed, the only group being neglected are English Christians. Nearly everyone in Britain celebrates Christmas in one form or another, so how is that going to lead to 'an unnecessary plethora of messages'?

Here's a suggestion - stop 'celebrating' diversity. If staff want to send Ramadan or Diwali cards to each other, that's their business - but there's no need for management or the government to follow suit.

This is an historically Christian country, and it is perfectly acceptable that government ministers only send greetings at Christmas. That follows the actions of most of the population. It is unacceptable, however, for a British government minister who is not a Muslim to only mark Ramadan - because this is an open political statement rather than a general act.

But no. Obviously, what's needed here is an expensive study and the pretence that by neglecting Christmas, Mr Miliband is neglecting the cult of diversity rather than the values and beliefs upon which the nation he purports to serve were founded.

Sadly this falls into the growing 'should be astounding, but isn't' category.

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