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BBC training schemes

June 15th, 1994

A letter to the Daily Telegraph which was published on 15th June 1994.

The decision by the BBC (Editorial, 14th June) to ban the indigenous British people from applying for six out of only thirteen prestigious traineeships on offer in 1994/95 is another nail in the coffin of that organisation.  Quite apart from its obvious illegality under European Law (Article 48(2)EC) which requires jobs to be open to all the citizens of all EU countries, I wonder if Birt and company have considered all the implications of this latest example of officially sponsored race favouritism.

For instance how will they judge who qualifies for the reserved list?  Will they publish a code defining exactly how much Whiteness will be permitted – an English grandparent for instance?  Have they considered what the attitude of their colleagues will be to those singled out for favoured treatment, or the feelings of those thousands of young graduates denied a crack at jobs in Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and Elstree, or the feelings for that matter of ethnic minority applicants who could make the grade without special favours?

One wonders what it is that the British functionary class has got against their own people.  No country in history has gone to such lengths as Britain has to smooth the path of immigrants coming as they did to a rich, highly achieving society from some of the poorest regions on earth.  A recent study for instance shows the proportion of ethnic minorities in the university population (8% in 1992) is already greater than their proportion in the population (5.5%).  The pernicious concept of “under representation” quoted by the BBC as an excuse is a one-way street for pressure group privilege, the appetite for which grows with the feeding.  No person should hold a job as the representative of a group, but only because they have won it in open competition with their fellow citizens.