One of the problems this government has is with the word discrimination. They fail to distinguish between bad discrimination and good.
Let me hasten to reassure all those researchers and spin doctors for Labour who are out to get me that I do strongly condemn racial and religious discrimination as they do. I have no more wish to live in an intolerant society that discriminates against people because of their ethnicity or religion than they have. Regular contributors to this site will know I am very cautious in what I allow on these sensitive subjects, as the thought police under this government are always active in trying to twist anything written or said on these topics. We live under an oppressive regime which seems to think thought crime is more serious than crime against property.
The problem is Labour does not seem to like selection in many areas, when that is good discrimination. I want the England selectors for our national teams to choose the very best team players over the merely very good. That way we have a chance of winning. I want the elite Universities to choose the most successful and most energetic students, who will get most out of the freedoms and resources of those institutions. I want the brightest and most hard working schoolchildren of whatever background to be given a rigorous academic education, so those in state schools have a chance of competing with those at the best fee paying schools.Why do you have to have rich parents to get a grammar school style education? I want the criminal justice authorities to discriminate between the violent minority who seek to disrupt a protest, the peaceful protesters, and the general public wishing to go about their daily duties in the area of a protest. I want our border staff to discriminate between the majority of overseas students and other visitors who are welcome, and the handful who mean us harm. We do not all need ID cards because a handful of people are evil. The ID cards are not going to identify the evil ones anyway.
Labour does not agree with all these forms of good discrimination. It probably agrees with the first, accepting the need for tough selection criteria for top sporting teams. It cannot accept the results of rigorous academic selection at our top universities, and blames them for the inability of enough state school pupils to reach the standard required. It fundamentally opposes enough academic selection in schools to give more state school pupils the elite academic education they need to compete successfully with top public school talent.
More complaints about the use and abuse of state power are being brought on by the mistaken political direction of the Home Office we are experiencing under this government. I had expected a Labour government to be more careful about our civil liberties. Instead we have had a succession of Home Secretaries who have taken delight in wielding state power against the liberties of the citizens. They have at the same time failed to keep proper control of our borders, and now wrongly think ID cards will be a substitute for making decisions wisely when people first arrive in our country.
Mr Brown’s decision to put himself at the head of the attack on terrorism is symptomatic of the government’s wish to gain media headlines from sensitive and difficult tasks of the authorities. Some of these difficult tasks are best performed outside this spotlight of media attention, as Mr Quick can now tell them. The nation as a whole is united in wishing to root out terrorism. It is not united in accepting that important civil liberties are destroyed in the process.