A Critique of the Equality Act (EQA)
▪ The EQA is based on partisan ideology rooted in neo-Marxist ideas.
▪ The EQA is effectively a licence to discriminate. It creates rights for some but not for others.
▪ The EQA undermines individual liberty and erodes the public-private boundary.
▪ The EQA undermines the rule of law by stating that
- intention is irrelevant
- statistical disparities automatically prove indirect discrimination
- bias can be ‘unconscious’ or ‘subconscious’
- ‘microaggressions’ can amount to unlawful harassment
- there is no presumption of innocence; prima facie evidence of discrimination shifts the burden of proof to the accused
▪ The EQA rejects the classical liberal conception of equality on grounds that it is ‘too simplistic’. It attempts instead to implement wealth redistribution by demanding that all aspects of life must reflect the same proportion of racial participation as the racial makeup of society. Failure to meet this requirement is treated as evidence of indirect discrimination (disparate impact).
▪ The EQA reflects the mantras of ‘critical race theory’, insisting that race is the most important feature in a person’s life, and that British culture consists of little more than racial conflict and abuse. It portrays ‘whiteness’ as a toxic or even psychotic condition, and threatens to resurrect policies of segregation and apartheid that have rightly been condemned. Critical race theory is a blueprint for injustice, social unrest, and racial conflict. Marches and riots, looting, hacking and burning.
▪ Special treatment of ethnic minorities is apt to be rationalized by ‘lived experiences’ of racism and oppression. However, lived experiences are highly subjective and thus not, in themselves, a basis for understanding complex social and economic phenomena or formulating legislative policy. Objective data must also be taken into account. Furthermore, the lived experiences of some are no more ‘authentic’ than those of others that tell very different stories of successful and integrated lives in a plural and diverse United Kingdom.
▪ Correlation does not prove causality. Lagging behind in wealth or attainment is not, by itself, evidence that socio-economic inequality is driven by discrimination. Other factors have greater causal impact including educational and family background, cultural attitudes, demographics or geography.
▪ The EQA encourages those who are disadvantaged to become preoccupied with blaming others for their troubles, to avoid objective examination of the potential causes of their disadvantage, and to eschew personal responsibility for their own advancement. The culture of victimhood and grievance has tragic implications for progress and attainment. The EQA thus hurts precisely those it is intended to help.
▪ The solution to socioeconomic inequality? Focus public policy on:
- enhancing skills and talents
- eradicating barriers to progress
- facilitating fuller participation in economic life.
- objective procedural standards of fair treatment in public life.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.