Would you believe it? Here’s a twenty-one-years-old particle physics and cosmology honours graduate who can’t get a job as a police constable – no, not even when his father is a senior officer in the force. Matthew Furlong was described by his interviewing panel for the Cheshire Constabulary as, “Very good. He could not have done any more.” The chairman of the panel added, “It was refreshing to meet someone as well-prepared as Matthew.”
So they failed him.
Why? The official answer is that his application was disallowed “on grounds of sexual orientation and race.” Matthew’s problem is that he is white, male and heterosexual, and at the moment Deputy Chief Constable Janette McCormick is having a politically-correct diversity drive. Poor Matthew just happened to be the wrong sex, the wrong colour and of the wrong sexual orientation at the wrong time: he’s not a woman, he’s not black and he’s not gay.
I was so put out by this outrageous politically-correct travesty – this blatant example of sexism and racism combined – that I looked around for something to take my mind off the subject. Something to read perhaps? Well, I’d read all my back copies of The Philosophical Quarterly, Bella, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Own and Gay Times so where was I to turn?
Luckily, I found the answer in our local newsagent’s. It was a copy of The Voice which is advertised as “a weekly newspaper for black Britons.”
This brought Matthew’s unfortunate experience of rejection back into my mind and I wondered what would have been the result if the candidate turned down for the Cheshire job had been a black lesbian? Well, we know damn well what would have happened, don’t we? The Cheshire Constabulary would have been hung, drawn and quartered for its racism and sexism.
I turned back to The Voice, that weekly newspaper for black people. And I wondered what would happen to anyone who tried to publish a newspaper – let us call it An Alternative Voice – which advertised itself as “a weekly newspaper for white Britons”?
You know the answer to that too.