So it was most interesting to read a Government press release this week that told “Today (12 November) the Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss, has appointed four new Commissioners to the Board of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) … Jessica Butcher MBE, David Goodhart and Su-Mei Thompson have been appointed to the Board for a period of four years”. Lord Ribeiro will join the Board for just one year.
And the name that leaps off that particular page is that of David Goodhart. He is, let us not drive this around the houses for too long, a racist bigot. And, as Middle East Eye has reported, “The UK government has appointed a supporter of its ‘hostile environment’ policy as a commissioner on its equalities watchdog, the EHRC, which is currently investigating the Home Office over the linked Windrush scandal in which hundreds of people from Black and ethnic minorities were wrongly deported”.
There is more. “Goodhart has also questioned complaints of systemic racism in the UK raised by the Black Lives Matter movement. Writing for the Unherd website in June, he described those complaints as ‘statistically naive’”. Goodhart has complained “that he had ‘grown used to being accused of racism, even by my own children’”.
It gets worse: Goodhart, who tells anyone prepared to listen that he is from the “liberal centre-left”, asserted in 2004 that “To put it bluntly, most of us prefer our own kind”. He has claimed that immigration is “pretty unpopular”, and after the 2010 General Election, declared that “Labour must become the anti-immigration party”.
His concluding remark on that occasion was “Labour must close the door”. The following year, Operation Black Vote asked “David Goodhart: more dangerous than Nick Griffin?” That was after Goodhart had concluded “I am now convinced that public opinion is right and Britain has had too much immigration too quickly”. And he wasn’t finished.
“By the time of the next census in 2021, the non-white minority population will have risen to around 20 per cent, a trebling in just 25 years. By 2066, according to one demographer, white Britons will be in a minority”. The difference between that and “In this country in 15 or 20 years' time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man” is not so great.
Small wonder the Institute of Race Relations’ spokesman has concluded “If there was any previous doubt, the appointment of David Goodhart as an EHRC commissioner, a man who has in the past attacked diversity and opined about the need to understand ‘majority grievances’, suggests the very real danger of an end to a progressive equalities agenda in this country”. Goodhart’s appointment, coupled with the EHRC’s refusal to investigate racism in the Tory Party, devalues the Commission, perhaps fatally.
The integrity of the EHRC was for a time, but not for all time. I’ll just leave that one there.
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