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The Tories say they need more diverse MPs

They’re setting up a fund to help underrepresented social groups get elected and want half of their candidates to be women.

What it means: The Conservative Party’s annual conference, where members chat about future policy plans, is currently in full swing. One of its ideas is to up the number of female and BME (black and minority ethnic) Tory MPs. Chairman Brandon Lewis said that they’ll do this by insisting half of the candidates they put up for election are women (currently just 30 percent are) and by putting aside a pot of money to help more diverse candidates get elected.

Of the 315 Tory MPs currently in Parliament, 20 percent are women and 6 percent are BME. The opposing Labour Party, who has 257 MPs, is much more diverse, being 45 percent female and 13 percent BME. (The population parliament is supposed to represent is 51 percent female and 14 percent BME).

Lots of people think a more diverse government will lead to fairer and more inclusive economic policies because people tend to be much more aware of - and passionate about - issues that affect people like themselves. They say that a lack of diversity leads to certain social groups being neglected. For example, a report by Labour’s shadow equalities minister (who has a political incentive to show the Conservatives in a bad light) says 86 percent of the negative effects of austerity (i.e. government cuts) fell on women.

But other people argue that by prioritising social background over merit, the Conservative government might miss out on the best and brainiest people, meaning it won’t come up with as good economic ideas. That argument ignores the fact that regardless of how bright and brainy you are, running for political office requires you to stump up tens of thousands of pounds of your own money - and BME and female Brits have average incomes below those of white men.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?