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Monday, 5 July 2010

Tory Equalities Act Reversal Reveals Identical Ideologies of Conservatives and Labour

Tory Equalities Act Flip Flop Reveals Identical Ideologies of Conservatives and Labour

Tory Home Secretary Theresa May has dropped her party’s opposition to Labour’s Equality Act and has announced that it will “better protect people from discrimination” even though in April last year she condemned the same law as “ill thought out” and a “waste of time and money.”
The latest shocking example of Tory duplicity came with the announcement by Mrs May that the Equality Act, passed last year, will be fully implemented by October this year.
According to new reports, Mrs May — who is also Minister for Women and Equality — said that the law “would make it easier for firms to comply with anti-discrimination rules.
"By making the law easier to understand, the Equality Act will help businesses treat staff fairly and meet the needs of a diverse customer base," Mrs May said.
“"The law will be easier to understand and better able to protect people from discrimination. A successful economy needs the full participation of all its citizens and we are committed to implementing the Act in the best way for business."
However, in the parliamentary debate of 11 May 2009, Mrs May, then Shadow Home Secretary, called the bill “ill-thought out, and last minute.
“It doesn’t tackle root causes of inequality, like ‘family breakdown’,” Mrs May said during that debate, adding that she “opposed widespread positive discrimination” and that “all-women shortlists are unacceptable.”
The Equalities Act gives employers the ability to legally discriminate in favour of women and black job candidates against white males.
The law also forces public bodies to award contracts according to a firm's “diversity” (or how non-white a company may be) and allows “positive action” to ensure more women and non-white employees in all companies.
It was this clause in particular that Mrs May opposed when she was in opposition. At the time, Mrs May said that too “many of the proposals in this Bill will be bureaucratic and expensive without providing real results.
“Labour's proposal for compulsory pay audits without any sanctions for failure will simply waste time and money without making any difference to pay discrimination,” Mrs May went on.
However, now that she does not have to pretend to be in opposition anymore, Mrs May has, like all the Tory leadership, reverted to type and clearly shown that there is no real difference between the three Westminster parties after all.