Sunday 25 February 2007...
This new 'equality' department, does it mean at last we have got shot of the race relations act and we, at last, can ALL have a card which we can play.
Rose Howard, England
If there weren?t so many representative bodies for minority groups perhaps those minorities would feel more inclined to integrate with the rest of the community.
To me, the biggest challenge for the CEHR is to avoid the perpetuation of a hierarchy of inequalities - the idea that the discrimination of one group is somehow more deserving or important to tackle than another because it is larger, or maybe less contentious. Discrimination isn?t experienced by ?groups? but by individuals. It?s not related to whether the roots of the discriminatory behaviour slot more neatly into one box or another. It?s personal and, therefore, the size of headings you can be grouped under for analysis don?t matter one jot to the individual. Discrimination hurts the same regardless of whether it is a commonplace variety or unique. It?s not all that much of a comfort to know that you share a particular kind of misery with many, or a few. Thinking in strands can be useful as a way of understanding the different kinds of differences which provide motives for exclusion, but that is no way to target approaches to deal with the end results. Therefore I hope that the Equalities Review will point towards original ways of including everyone. An equalities strategy that doesn?t work equally for everyone is otherwise doomed from the start.
Christine Burns, UK
Regarding your interview with Trevor Phillips. As per usual Labour have gone down the path of rules and regulation to deal with equality when they should be promoting respect for each other. Regulation is more red tape, we need to promote respect and common sense.
Lyndon Harrison, Cornwall
The same Government that is offering disability equality is turning a blind eye (to cuts) while mental health is shunted back down the PM?s list of priorities (specifically by Primary Care Trusts) by having their (inadequate) allocations diverted, to cover other people?s over-spends! Let?s just have some joined-up thinking, shall we?
I have just been horrified to witness your programme publicly seeking to utilise ?equality for intergendered people in UK as an exemplar of state over-trivialisation of the wider equality issue ? There are out here many thousands of intergendered people like me who have fought for almost the whole of our lifetimes to overturn incredibly basic legal inequalities imposed on people born intergendered in this country ? effective denial of state recognition of our existence, effective legal denial of the right to work, legal denial of the rights to marry, or to be legally recognised as the parent of our own children etc. I find it incredibly surprising that a programme as supposedly responsible as yours has sought to broadcast an opinion on behalf of the BBC that denials of fundamental equality on scales such as these perpetrated against any group in our society is trivial, and self-evidently unworthy of State attention? Might I suggest you think a little more in future, before making asinine broadcasting errors of this sort?
Jenny Mason, UK
We are too PC, too target-lead and too selfish these days. Where has common sense gone? No-one cares about others and that should not need a law to put right! As a teacher I have noted a big change in children as stressed parents have to work just to survive and the children are in reality brought up by an army of different people. A caring family (yes it is old fashioned to say this) is the best place to learn about caring / morals / behaviour etc and to become good citizens. It is often too late at the age of 5/6 in school to change any attitudes already deeply set. It is, as any adult knows, easier to learn something new than to re-learn an old skill.
Lynne Russell-Jones, England
These were some of your comments on the Politics Show on Sunday 25 February 2007 at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.
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