Diversity Tsars

Ever noticed how so-called Equal Opportunities Officers and ‘diversity tsars’ are not themselves from a very diverse socioeconomic group? In fact, pretty much all of the ones I have ever seen are ethnic minority women.

I mention this because of an article I saw in yesterday’s Observer, which says that Mary Fitzpatrick, the head of the new BBC Equal Ops Gestapo, is complaining that foreign correspondents abroad are, ‘a bit too white’ and that the BBC should be aiming for, ‘more cultural accuracy’. At he risk of sounding like a bit of a thicky, what the hell does that meaningless piece of hand-wringing jargon actually mean?. Maybe people like John Simpson or Orla Guerin are the only ones mad enough to want to get their arses shot at in war zones. Who knows?

Perhaps the problem is that not enough candidates of the quality of a Rageh Omar, say, are coming through. I don’t put this down to racism, just timing. But it worries me that we see a tokenistic promotion of ethnic minority candidates, even when they not be the best person for the job.

How about letting the BBC do the sensible thing and promote on the basis of ability, the only criterion that really matters, rather than having to look over its shoulder appeasing a body wholesale purpose is to create another useless tier of bureaucracy in an already massive organisation.

Or is that just too sensible?

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