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

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

A Most Discriminating Occupation

I wonder what it is about the police and judiciary that attracts so many complaints of racial and religious discrimination?

It seems every month or so there is a new one; every traditional bastion of white, male conservatism is secretly still a viper's nest full of evil racists . All this continues in spite of the fact being accused of racism is perhaps only second in our society to being accused of child abuse in terms of social stigma.

Almost everyone in a senior, public position of any kind is a committed multiculturalist. It is not only being racist that can get public figures the sack - simply being perceived to have been is enough. The cases of Patrick Mercer and James McGrath indicate this all too well.

Some complainants are quite obviously just out for money - demonstrated by the most recent case.

A Muslim chef is claiming damages from the Metropolitan Police after he was 'expected to cook sausages and bacon'. Oddly - and I know this will come as a surprise to almost everybody - police officers tend to dislike having muesli and a bran muffin for breakfast, and the vast majority like a good fry-up.

This is known as a '999 breakfast'. But Hasanali Khoja was apparently told that he would have a supervisory role - no food handling would be required. However, he was transferred, and it was made clear to him that for the new role he would have to prepare and cook traditional breakfasts.

He claims that not even gloves or tongs would help - he still might be splashed by pork fat.

All of this surely begs the question why become a chef then?

Frivolous claims of this nature abound. Just last week, a black Royal Navy officer who claimed he was called 'Robert Mugabe' by his colleagues lost his claim for racial discrimination.

Andrew Antrobus said that colleagues used to introduce him in meetings as the Zimbabwean dictator after they became jealous when he was picked to manage a recruitment centre.

His claim was thrown out after a tribunal found he had used the term himself during banter with colleagues, and it was used to denote the fact he intended to run a stricter regime than his predecessor.

There was a case in April where Iris Josiah (above), a black magistrate, claimed that she was forced out of her position because she highlighted a culture of 'discrimination' towards black defendants and was then repeatedly blocked for promotion:

She claimed black defendants faced "harsh remarks, severe sentencing, disregard for personal mitigation, easy findings of guilt, and most likely to be sentenced to prison".
She raised the issue with fellow magistrate, Doreen Brown, before reporting her to senior staff in June 1999.
Since 2000 she was "put to the back of the line", Miss Josiah alleged.
"I am the longest-serving black magistrate sitting on Tuesdays and the second longest black female magistrate serving at Enfield Magistrates' Court.
"Every attempt I have made to become a court chairman and a mentor has been blocked."

She doesn't seem to consider for a second that perhaps being black and female is not in itself a good reason to be promoted.

This hearing is ongoing, but reading between the lines it seems that Josiah was overly sympathetic towards black defendants and felt they should be treated more leniently. When this led to her professionalism being questioned, she started concocting nonsense about a Jewish magistrate having some sort of historic animosity towards black people.

It is also frightening how many people from ethnic minorities now feel their skin colour or name alone is a good reason for promotion, when competence and ability alone should be the deciding factor.

Another purely frivolous recent discrimination claim was that brought by Javid Iqbal (above), a Muslim police officer, because 'colleagues laughed at his beard'.

The case follows a similar pattern; reading between the lines, Iqbal started demanding more and more concessions from his bosses. When these weren't granted, he started making up ever more serious instances of racial abuse until he had enough to sue.

In this case it seems there were some instances of minor bullying based on personality clashes between Iqbal and other officers, but many people have to put up with such things in the work place at one time or another - not that I condone it.

Then there was the case of Metropolitan Police PCSO Asad Saeed. He claimed he was driven out of his job by colleagues after threatening to 'expose a culture of apartheid' - but it later emerged that he was suspended after beating up a homeless man outside a branch of McDonald's.

Three of the Met's most senior non-white officers have launched discrimination claims at some point; in September 2003 Ali Dizaei was cleared of corruption, then claimed he had been set up because he was outspoken on issues of race.

In July 2008, Commander Shabir Hussain lost a race discrimination claim after asserting that promotion in the Met was reserved for a 'Golden Circle' of white officers.

In August 2008, Tarique Ghaffur launched a discrimination claim, mainly to do with his personal treatment by then-Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. He settled out of court for £300,000.

It occurs to me that if community harmony is to be genuinely promoted, then all employment law encouraging hiring or promotions on the basis of race must be repealed.

Seeing as it is a veritable industry and highly beneficial and profitable for many, I can't see it happening any time soon.


Derius said...

It is hard for me to condemn those who laughed at Javid Iqbal's beard, when I have just spent the last 5 minutes laughing at his picture myself.

He should quit the police and be a stand up comedian instead. His beard is comic genius.

MK said...

They do it because they can get away with it.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...


It is an absolutely hilarious beard.

My Great Uncle used to be in the fire brigade, and he always said 'if you can't take a joke, it's not the job for you'.

I'd imagine the police have a similar culture of banter, often found in close knit units who do high pressure jobs.

I'd say that he was either after money or so naive about human nature he doesn't live in the real world.

Derius said...

"I'd say that he was either after money or so naive about human nature he doesn't live in the real world."

My guess is the first one, though maybe I'm a natural born cynic!

Nick said...

I just can't get over that boy's beard either; it's almost like a Python sketch, can you imagine him walking on and telling John Cleese that he wasn't happy at his work because people were laughing at his beard?

The_Editrix said...

"...she started concocting nonsense about a Jewish magistrate having some sort of historic animosity towards black people."

EH??? WHAT??? "Historic animosity? Of JEWS towards BLACKS? Those idiot do-gooder Jews backed, like no other minority group, no other WHITE minority group, for that, the Civil Rights Movement and got very little in return.

And now excuse me, I am going to join the Reverend Louis "Calypso Louie" Farrakhan's congregation in search for God, peace of mind, love, tolerance and philosemitism!

Nemesis said...

Reminds me of the time the NSW Police Force recruited a Sikh, for diversity mind you, overcoming the obvious problem of where to put the hat badge by hooking it onto his turban.

Unfortunately, his colleagues couldn't see the serious side of his ambitions and whenever the opportunity presented itself, ridiculed his presentation. But what really got his dander up was that anyone he had to speak to in his capacity as a cop would break into fits of laughter.

He eventually left the force and to my knowledge was not compensated in any way.

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