The basic error behind the failure of the EHRC

News about the slow and painful decay of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is filling up newspapers every day at the moment.

Everyone seems to have something to say on the topic but I just wanted to post a quote about why the EHRC doesn’t seem to be working which I thought made a lot of, all be it obvious, sense.

Jackie Ashley wrote a great article in The Guardian about why she thinks the whole body is “misconceived”.

Her reasoning for this claim was that it is “patronisingly anti-political” to “think that because people are gay, Asian or blind they must agree about each other’s condition”.

She’s right. We can’t just assume that because one person has experienced inequality in one form, they will therefore immediately be sympathetic to all other forms of inequality.

The way that the EHRC just seems to have ‘shoved’ three very different groups (one promoting racial equality, one for gender and one for disability) under one umbrella of ‘equality and human rights’ is a startlingly basic error of judgment.

Just because you’re black, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically not sexist. Just because you’re a woman, it doesn’t mean that you would automatically never be bias against someone for having a disability.

As Ashley wrote, these people do not all necessarily “share the same view of human rights”.

For all the other problems that the EHRC has clearly experienced, this one certainly makes a lot of sense and seems to be the overarching backbone behind the commission’s failure at the moment. I just hope that someone in Government has the sense to see this blindingly obvious problem and also has the balls to do something about it. 

Equality is a big issue and one that people deserve support with. There needs to be effective bodies in place which can help those who experience inequality. And they deserve that help from a body which hasn’t made such erroneous and outrageous assumptions. 

All forms of inequality are unjust and they need to each be given individual focus and attention in the most effective way possible to deal with that particular form of inequality. The current commission which is in place for this has a worrying lack of focus and it is this whih I think has made it so ineffiective so far.


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