“It seems totally nonsensical to me that, in my role as a representative of a community that has typically felt left behind and voiceless for many years, I should be advised that there are certain words I shouldn’t use; certain issues that I should avoid; certain sensibilities that I should not offend.
“How am I to raise the true feelings of an electorate that broadly feels like it’s being preached at by a metropolitan elite who neither understand nor care about them, if I have to walk on eggshells and dance around the problem?” – Ben Bradley MP – Mansfield
In an age where all public sector organisations, the vast majority of forward-thinking private ones, and most third sector organisations have trained their staff on unconscious biasness, you would think that a quote would be attributed to some sort of unhinged member of a Parliamentary party not fit to govern the country.
You’d probably be forgiven for doing so. I certainly think that the MPs who voted to activate something which may very well break international law in a “very limited and measured way” are not fit to be Members of Parliament. Throw in the fact that they campaigned on the Withdrawal Agreement being their “oven-ready” Brexit deal, and now seem to think that they can break manifesto commitments – and indeed potentially international law – and you have the recipe for disaster that only a super-majority can deliver.
Let’s analyse what Bradley is saying here for a second.
“in my role as a representative of a community that has typically felt left behind and voiceless for many years…” What does this mean in the context of unconscious bias training? Does it mean that he might agree with his otherwise consciously biased constituents? And for those who might disagree, have you ever been to Mansfield?
“How am I to raise the true feelings of an electorate that broadly feels like it’s being preached at by a metropolitan elite who neither understand nor care about them.” And there we have it. Apparently, we have a metropolitan elite behind this scheme. I remember taking unconscious bias training three years ago when I was working in higher education. It actually shows you things downfalls into which you can fall just by curse of not understanding issues because of certain psychological traps.
Unconscious biasness was not created out of some ideology by the “metropolitan elite”, which is hilariously language only ever invoked by a collection of swivel-eyed Tory MPs.
It was created because various institutions realised, back when Cameron and May were in the business of responding to research that showed that showed the huge barriers-to-entry to employment if you had a “black-sounding surname“, when we understood that sex or gender were barriers-to-entry (both male and female) into employment, and that people assume far too much about an individual being straight.
Those who look to refuse this are either doing it because, in the case of Bradley, he will do anything to keep his seat; or, in the case of people like Davis, they are consciously biased in the first place.
No thinking constituent in any of these people’s seats should let them get away with refusing training which all of us in all sectors either have had to, or did not mind having to, do.
Remind them who they work for.