Is this Racism? I think it is!

Thanks to Mitchell-images for pointing out an internship opportunity the Met Police are currently advertising. I have copied the full advert in italics below. Please note that the Met is currently not recruiting officers for at least three years, and is facing severe financial cuts. I run a response team. Month by month, my team numbers are getting less and less. This used to be dealt with by new probationers coming through from training school, however this is not the case at the moment. We miss 999 call targets on a regular basis. It is luck rather than judgement that nothing has gone seriously wrong because of this, however it is only a matter of time. When something does go wrong, it will be my fault. 

I accept that the Met, like every other public service organisation is facing budget cuts. Front line services will be feeling the pain. What I do not accept is the idea that scarce financial resources should be diverted to instigate the Diversity Internship Scheme. This is a scheme for graduates who are from visible ethnic minorities. They will be given a dedicated mentor, and a choice of roles and projects. Apparently this is not discrimination because it is called positive action. 

How much does this scheme cost? How many officer hours an I losing to allow this to take place? Have the public been consulted? I am told that our only performance indicator of note is public satisfaction. Will the tax paying public of London agree this is a good use of their money? 

The largest recent minority groups to London are from eastern and central Europe. Why are they excluded from this scheme? The old poster, 'No Irish, no blacks, no dogs,' has been replaced. But only slightly. 

I had hoped that the Met's obsession with positive discrimination had died with the sacking of Ian Blair and the end of New Labour. Sadly it appears that the diversity empire remains leeching from the underbelly of the community the rest of us actually try and serve. Such blatant discrimination only fuels the far right, and will cause more division than it solves. The government must stop this insanity - Big Society is for all, indigenous or immigrant, old or new.  

Are you interested in working for the largest employer in the South East? Do you want to find out more about how the MPS operates and learn from business experts? Do you have an interest in policing? Are you enthusiastic, self-motivated? If you answered yes to these questions then read on…

During the summer of 2011 the MPS is offering final year university students who received a minimum of a 2:2 in their second year exams or recent graduates with a minimum of an awarded (within the last year) 2:2 degree, from a black & minority ethnic background, the opportunity to undertake one of our 12-week placements. 

This programme complies with section 158 Equality Act 2010. In order to offer this as a Positive Action Programme, we define BME as those groups which are currently under-represented in the organisation, namely:

Black Caribbean, Black African, Black Other, Black British, Black Asian, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Asian Other, Any other Ethnic group not specified, Mixed: White and Black Caribbean, Mixed: White and Black African, Mixed: White and Asian, Mixed: Any Other Mixed Ethnic Background, Greek and Greek Cypriot and Turkish and Turkish Cypriot.

We offer internships within the following directorates:

Human Resources 
Territorial Policing 
Specialist Crime 
Directorate of Resources 
Department of Public Affairs 
Whichever directorate you join, you’ll receive support and guidance, working on real and valuable projects. You’ll learn from professionals in the field and take ownership of delivering project work that will bolster your CV and reference your abilities as a talented graduate. To make sure you experience the varied and diverse opportunities available within the MPS dedicated mentors will also support you throughout your placements. 

Participation in the Diversity internship scheme does not entitle intern/s to employment or consideration for employment but during the placement you will be paid under an internship/training contract the London Living Wage, and details of interns successful through the programme will be shared with partner organisations within the Greater London Authority. Applicants are also advised that they need to have been a UK resident for the last 3 years due to vetting restrictions.

These placements offer the opportunity to enhance your development, as individuals, through meaningful and rewarding projects, and offer you the opportunity to support the organisation’s drive to continue to learn about the needs and views of the diverse communities we serve.


MPS (not!) Probbie said...

This sort of stuff really grips my proverbial s***.

As you're obviously 'aware' (good pun eh?), the intranet home page is a serious threat to any sane copper's health.

On any given day, when the radios are melting with unanswered calls, you find news stories posted up there that prove beyond all doubt that the budgets for useless diversity drones have not been cut.

The World Weary Detective said...

I think everyone should write to their MP about this, including police officers. The government will be looking for an opportunity to deflect from the cuts argument. It is no longer just some annoying political correctness, it is people losing their jobs.

Brian said...

The daft thing about the race industry is that ethnic origin has to be self-defined in order to avoid association with those South Africican racial classifiers. Therefore, if you say you are black, you iz, innit and nobody can demand a blood test or birth certificates dating back four generations to prove it. Whenever I was required to complete ethnic monitoring forms, eg attending a course, applying for a job, I would change my ethnicity every time. I worked on the basis that fighting stupidity with stupidity was the best response.

The World Weary Detective said...

Good point Brian. I would like to be a fly on the wall when a pale, ginger male from the Celtic fringes applies to the new Met diversity scheme by insisting that they are black. I would imagine if they were insistent enough, the charade would continue because no-one in the diversity industry would ever wish to be called the r word!

SouledOut said...

While scouring the net for internship opportunities, I stumbled upon the Met Diversity Internship scheme and eventually this blog post. I do not like to make assumptions, but from the tone of authorship and general negative attitude towards schemes giving opportunities to ethnic minorities, I would assume that you are Caucasian. If this is indeed the case, it is understandable why you would find it difficult to understand the benefits of such opportunities to those not of Caucasian descent – and contrary to what your article says Eastern Europeans are not considered an ethnic minority, by the way. Before you think I am actually being racist, I would clarify that I am of mixed descent – Eastern European AND African (so you can imagine the ignorant comments that I have to listen to on a daily basis!) Being young, (visibly) black AND female I am struggling to find a job with the police, despite the fact that I have two degrees and several years’ experience working in crime detection for a UK police force. The police is notoriously difficult to break into, and this is not just because of the current economic situation, but something you may be familiar with called the ‘Old Boys’ Network’ which is very much alive and kicking. If not for schemes such as that run by the Met, people like me, who value but are not necessarily interested in front line positions would never be able to obtain specialist crime detection/prevention roles despite having the necessary qualifications and experience. It may not seem like a very important factor to you, but proportionally, ethnic minorities are severely underrepresented within the police force, due to disinterest, bias and lack of recruitment promotion in this area. While I realise, I represent a very minor part of this group who are in fact interested in such roles, I still would like to have the opportunity to be included in the selection process and this would give me and many other candidates of similar calibre the encouragement to do so.