Ed Lines

NOT that my offspring ever ask my advice about anything – and especially anything career related – but should the occasion arise, my responses might be surprising.

University? If it floats your boat kids (and indeed son has already set sail into the land of eternal debt).

Modern apprenticeships?

Well, the last electrician I asked to price a job wanted £675 for about six hours work. That might be a good option.

But the best way to ‘get on’ in modern Britain?


Probably to either come out as gay or convert to Islam, given that a ‘reverse Michael Jackson’ – as in trying to become black from white – might prove more painful and difficult than it’s worth.

Nope. For sure, ticking one of the ‘diversity’ boxes that infest both public, and increasingly private, employment, is the surefire way to get a job and get ahead.

Kissing the boss’s backside (only metaphorically of course) is always going to smooth the path, but you have to get inside the garden gate first.

Just don’t over-egg the pudding.

Trying to play an Ace and a Joker by saying you’re both gay and Muslim could end up in all kinds of tears.

Not only might you not get the job, you could end up getting stoned – and not the type of stoned your pals who took the university route would recognise.

I don’t know if Trevor Phillips, the former chief of the Commission for Racial Equality, considers that being black was a help or a hindrance in his high profile media and public career.

I’d like to think it was neither; that it was down to the merits of a clever and talented man alone.

That’s how it should be in a fair world. But whatever prejudices greeted Trevor Phillips 30 years ago, and which he put his shoulder heartily to the wheel to turn, they have spiralled out of control.

A couple of years ago, I’d have said that he – like Sayeeda Warsi – was a rare and privileged creature in that they could discuss taboo subjects like race and religion because of their colour and ethnicity.

They had exemptions to raise the touchy subjects, while white people were simply branded racist for breathing a word.

White with a working class accent and short hair? Far right thug. White with a posh accent and nice clothes? Tory bigot. And that crass, lazy and let’s face it fascist labelling of the left, is getting worse, not better.

Readers might remember when Khizar Iqbal got an ovation from his fellow Kirklees councillors for lambasting a Politically Correct system that fuelled community division – and Khizar stated that he could say it because he was Muslim, while a white councillor could not?

That was 11 or 12 years ago. Has anything changed for the better? I’d say they’re far worse.

This week the REFs – Race and Equality Fascists (they’re like the Nazi SS, without guns) tore into Trevor Phillips for daring to say that the left’s hatred of free speech is tearing us apart and effectively caused Rochdale and Rotherham etc.

He went further. He said that by silencing that debate, the REFs were condoning the abuse.

Most plain-thinking people would find it difficult to argue. But plain-thinking people don’t run councils, government departments, quangos, wealthy charities with far-left agendas, and police forces. REFs run them and staff them.

So now, even someone with the personal experience and professional insight of Trevor Phillips, with the added ‘advantage’ of being an ethnic minority himself, is reviled by the fascist left, for daring to open his mouth. He’s now a racist and a traitor to their cause.

Does Phillips speak the truth, in saying debate is stifled by the REFs? He clearly does, judged simply by their reaction to him raising the subject. Will he change anything? Well it’s probably too late for him to stand for Parliament – not that that would change anything. But it would be a start.

For now, and for our children, another career option might be to chop a leg off. At least if you play the disabled diversity trump card, you can still have a beer and snog someone of your actual sexual preference.

It’s not advised if you’re hoping for a career in sport, or as a window cleaner, however. Other than all of that, learning Polish won’t hurt your prospects.

Obvious answer to that question

APROPOS the comments above, I’m only rarely asked why we don’t have any Muslim journalists, both specifically here, and more widely in the industry.

The obvious answer is that they’re not that daft. The pay’s crap and they’re more ambitious.

I have tried to recruit from that community at times in the past 22 years and one rare applicant was keen enough. At his interview it transpired he was not only gay but had renounced Islam. He felt he had a mission to ‘sort’ Savile Town single-handed.

He didn’t get a job and it’s a wonder I didn’t get taken to court for discrimination because of it.

But by giving that opportunity to someone else, I might have saved both our lives…

‘Corrupt’ police? They’re only human like the rest

WHAT has never failed to astonish me is the brainwashed manner in which the public at large expect that police officers are by default honest.

Let me assert that I’m sure the majority are – like the majority of politicians. And indeed doctors, nurses, bricklayers, journalists, pub landlords … everyone, in short. The human race.

Most of us would rather do a good turn than bad; tell the truth instead of lie; sleep with a clear conscience at night as opposed to forever looking over our shoulder.

Some politicians, local ones especially, go into public service primarily for that – to serve. It might massage their ego, the money might help, but most are giving a lot more than they get.

I’m less convinced of the altruism of MPs, for all the obvious reasons. That’s far more careerist. But I don’t buy that policemen make that career choice because they watched too much of the Lone Ranger or Zorro as kids; that they see themselves as Batley’s answer to Batman.

I suspect that primarily it appeals as a steady, well-paid job, with lots of career opportunities and plenty of variety too. And one they can retire from reasonably early in life, with a very good pension.

And there’s nothing wrong in any of that by the way.

But saints? Guardian angels on a mission? Nope. Human beings, and thus every bit as prone to error, conceit and deceit as everyone else.

A former officer said this week that in his day the Met was one third on the take, one third trading favours, and one third turning a blind eye.

Doesn’t leave many thirds left for the out-and-out good guys, does it? Although again, I’m sure there were plenty; that even the bent coppers did the right thing most of the time. The system – as corrupt as it was and in parts still might be – couldn’t function otherwise.

News that the Metropolitan Police were complicit in covering up large-scale sexual abuse – murder even – of vulnerable young boys by senior figures of state, actually is neither news nor surprising.

And sad to say, being told that it will now be properly investigated, doesn’t exactly fill you with hope or expectation.

From bankers to MPs – the odd sacrificial lamb apart – this country has forfeited public trust in its ability to self-police, which is all we’re going to see now.

Expect a judicial inquiry; expect thundering demands for the truth from ministers; and expect a very, very long wait for something, anything, to emerge from it.

My first thought when I heard news of the police’s sex abuse cover-up? My my, they must have run out of TV celebrities and disc jockeys...

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