Monday, October 11, 2010
The Today programme discussed the Equality and Human Rights Commission's report How fair is Britain ? Humphries asked Trevor Philips what fairness means and Philips demonstrated the vagueness of the idea. Such discussion often ignores two issues.
Firstly, outcomes are often measured in monetary terms which take no account of personal life choices. Some people seek other things than wealth.
Secondly, discussion of ethnic issues is often taboo. Interesting that there is no gap in educational achievement between rich and poor Chinese children but a 20% gap for Indian children. I can't find the figures for white or Caribbean British children (forgive me if these are not the currently politically correct terms). Some people have attempted to identify racial differences in intelligence relying on notoriously vague and unscientific definitions of both race and intelligence. However, it would be equally prejudicial to deny cultural differences between groups which, for example, have enormous impact on children's performance at school.