Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ministerial Mayhem

I figured I'd pop in with a couple of observations:

The Ruth Kelly situation is indeed disturbing, especially the willingness with which the folks at Stonewall overlook her rather questionable voting record when it comes to issues Stonewall would characterise as important.

However, I'm going to put my libertarian hat on here and point out something which elicit some discomfort -- is anyone truly surprised that this situation has come about?

The ostensible role of a government-appointed "equality" minister is to ensure that people are "equal" in some regard (whether economically, politically, or otherwise). However, contemporary politics are a zero-sum game, and in Tony Blair's Britain, some people are "more equal" than others -- usually based upon how many faithful voters they can bring to the polls on election day.

In a populist democratic system, it's well-nigh impossible to expect a government minister to put the interests of every minority group at exactly the same level. We've seen this already with "hate speech" legislation that specifically excludes gays, and now gay people get to look forward to more of the same.

Here's a radical proposition to consider: rather than count on populist government ministers to censor anti-gay speech out of existence through laws, and guarantee our economic and political "equality," why not consider an approach which liberalises the political climate and allows gays to advance through our own merits? Looking at our community and its accomplishments, I think we'd go a lot further under our own power than under the "protection" of the Benevolent New Labour Order.


At 3:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But that';s what the Equality Minister is supposed to do - liberalise the political climate, identify and remove discrimination against (for instance) gays (by the state and by private institutions), so that we can then advance through our own merits. Despite dire predictions, the Uk has yet to adopt any of the positive discrimination policies seen in the US (except within some political parties, where all-women shortlists are used in some elections).

At 3:38 am, Blogger Brian Miller said...

Equality ministers don't liberalise the political climate for gays -- engaged, educated, and persistent gay people do.

I think that gay people waiting for heterosexual big-party politicians to liberalise the political climate for us are going to be disappointed in general.


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