"How Fair is Britain?" That is the question asked recently by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) asked. And you should look away now if you haven't already guessed the answers.
Unfortunately, I suspect that you have. The results of taxpayer-funded "fairness" reports in countries such as Britain are more predictable than a Baath Party victory in a Syrian election. In genuinely unfair societies, such reports would deliver a whiter-than-white Daz conclusion.
But, just as predictably, in Britain two primary findings emerge. The first is that signs of unfairness exist in society. The second is that only through compiling further such reports can we get near to "tackling" this. The EHRC's is, we are told, a triennial study.
Since we are clearly going to have to keep paying for this, it is presumably too late to ask any of the gaping fundamental questions, not least about the meaning of this new religion of "fairness". Has anybody asked? Does anybody know? On reading the EHRC's work it becomes clear that they have an realistic "vision", which they speak of at length. Which brings me to the more troubling follow-on. More concerning than the absence of fundamentals is the veering away from anything that smacks of accommodation (where it is practical) or solutions (where they are not).
Take the report's finding that "particular groups, including Gypsies, Travellers and some types of migrants, are still likely to encounter negative attitudes". While deploring this sad situation, a follow-on question needs to be asked: "How could this not be the case?' If you are one of those who wake to find a community of Travellers at the end of your garden you may well express a negative attitude towards them. That doesn't mean you shout abuse at them, burn down their caravans or shoot their dogs. But, by the end of their stay — especially if it has been a protracted one — they may well feel that they have been the recipient of negative attitudes. As may the householder.
But aside from the hurt feelings, what does this mean? And how on earth could you stop it? The only way to eradicate such negative attitudes entirely would be for Gypsies to stop moving around, settle down and pay taxes. Or for everybody else to open up their land to Gypsies for nothing. What here is possible? What is even desirable? And why bother pointing out the trend as a "challenge", if there is nothing practical that can change it?