Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 10 January 2006

But surely it is a good thing that comment is superfluous?

No, I confess I was not aware that the head of the Royal College of Surgeons is a black man. It's possible I may have been vaguely aware that the Royal College of Nursing is led by a black woman, but I can't be absolutely certain about that.

But who cares? Not me, that's for sure.

I really don't want a song and a dance to be made about every British person, who happens not to be white, who achieves some kind of social, financial or professional success, any more than I want to know that particular positions in society are held by white people, per se. We are all British so far as I am concerned.

The only aspect which might concern me relates to the seeming probable lack of impartiality in the way that some members of our society, who happen to be black, are treated as a group in some circumstances. Not being a black person I have no personal knowledge of the concerns raised by those such as barrister Peter Herbert who is quoted as saying:


"My initial, knee-jerk reaction is to say, so what? Does it really affect the lives of the majority that there is this so-called black middle class or not.

"If you still have the vast majority of our people who are five or six times more likely to be stopped and searched, more likely to be in prison, more likely to be stopped at Heathrow on their return from holiday and not going to end up in the boardroom, whatever their qualifications, if they have a so-called African accent, it's questionable whether having a so called black middle class brings any benefit whatsoever."

- he does not seems obsessed with being 'picked upon' at a personal level, but the remarks he makes in his second paragraph certainly do give cause for concern. Few would doubt that there is, very unfortunately, a basis in fact for what he is saying. It is also highly unlikely, in my opinion, that the Brazilian Jean-Charles de Menezes would have been so cavalierly 'executed' by our security services had it not been for his coffee-coloured complexion. That is the kind of thing that does concern me greatly, but as for some senior position in civil, political or military society being held by a Briton of black or asian ethnicity, as distinct from a 'white' person, I have to say I am completely unconcerned.

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