Equality and Human Rights Commission throwing its weight around

July 22, 2008 1:01 PM

There's nothing like a bit of political campaigning from someone who's meant to be impartial and restricted to their given task. Trevor Phillips, the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is charged with ensuring that laws on race, gender, age, religion, sexuality and disability are enforced and obeyed, has openly started lobbying to vastly extend the powers of the EHRC in a terrifying way.


Not content with his new super-quango, or even with Harriet Harman's new "equality" law that makes it legal for you to refused a job on the grounds of being white or male, Mr Phillips has decided that he should have the power to fight financial inequality.


Can you imagine what such powers would entail? We've had societies where the State has appointed unelected and unaccountable officials to forcibly bring about some kind of artificial abolition of class divides before, and none of them turned out very well for anyone, including the poor.


A remit like that would be a universal excuse for a myriad of policies that would be barking mad at best (see the Fabian Society's "Ban the word Chav" contribution to get an idea of this category), economically hugely damaging at medium and sinister at worst (consider that the Government's recent race and gender "equality" laws have founded equality on the principle of actively discriminating against others).


Trevor Phillips has come out with some moderately sensible things on occasion. This is not one of those occasions.

There's nothing like a bit of political campaigning from someone who's meant to be impartial and restricted to their given task. Trevor Phillips, the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which is charged with ensuring that laws on race, gender, age, religion, sexuality and disability are enforced and obeyed, has openly started lobbying to vastly extend the powers of the EHRC in a terrifying way.


Not content with his new super-quango, or even with Harriet Harman's new "equality" law that makes it legal for you to refused a job on the grounds of being white or male, Mr Phillips has decided that he should have the power to fight financial inequality.


Can you imagine what such powers would entail? We've had societies where the State has appointed unelected and unaccountable officials to forcibly bring about some kind of artificial abolition of class divides before, and none of them turned out very well for anyone, including the poor.


A remit like that would be a universal excuse for a myriad of policies that would be barking mad at best (see the Fabian Society's "Ban the word Chav" contribution to get an idea of this category), economically hugely damaging at medium and sinister at worst (consider that the Government's recent race and gender "equality" laws have founded equality on the principle of actively discriminating against others).


Trevor Phillips has come out with some moderately sensible things on occasion. This is not one of those occasions.

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