Further to my previous, Gillan Scott has reviewed the Inquiry’s finding on the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) as not being fit for purpose. The official 4-page Executive Summary of the preliminary report may be found here.
You may disagree with me that the EHRC is an authoritarian body. However, a recent posts about the ASA reveals my grave concern – no pun intended, but it drew upon a real life or death situation – over the implementation of Equalities policy within hospital. (See ‘Proof of Political Direction’ sub-section of Muhammed knows more..). Hence, the Inquiry’s recommendation for a review and restructuring of the EHRC is, in my opinion, quite proper and long overdue.
In advance of the report’s release, last week’s Sunday Telegraph reported the Inquiry:
(Had) heard submissions saying that the EHRC had been “hijacked” by secularists to the extent that it was now “ideologically biased” against religion. It condemns the commission for inviting secular humanists groups with “tiny” memberships to discussions intended for faith groups, saying the policy effectively shut down formal consultations with religious organisations. “With secularists using a veto to block most proposals by religious groups, the EHRC group eventually ceased to function formally.”
Aughton Ainsworth, a firm of solicitors involved with a number of the cases cited by the report, told the inquiry: “The EHRC has been so thoroughly ‘infiltrated’ by an anti-Christian bias that even when the EHRC tries to do the right thing it is ‘hijacked’ and forced to backtrack”.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, to read in the published report about the EHRC’s failings and that,
After numerous requests, the commission did provide a very brief written response that consisted of material already in the public domain. Initially unable to find the time to attend either of two dates offered to them to give oral evidence, after the sessions concluded the EHRC offered to meet the committee for discussions. We hope that following the publication of this report we can develop a more fruitful dialogue than we have experienced to date.
Finally and returning to the Sunday Telegraph, a fascinating interview with the former Home Secretary Charles Clarke reveals his opinion on the Labour government’s big mistakes, for example:
Is Clarke saying that Labour let the Church down? “Yes, I accept that. Lack of engagement is the way I would put it. Our tendency was to say, ‘That’s not a matter for us.’ We were ill-equipped to deal with the issues raised by faith, and that was a mistake.”
Quite an admission, and look at the woeful results!