Abigail Howarth is a white, English, eighteen year-old, living in Bedfordshire, a county which is both very much in England, and predominantly white. She applied for a job working for the Environment Agency on its flood management programme. But she was subsequently informed that there was no point in pursuing her application, since she was not from a minority group, and the position in question was specifically intended to be filled by a member of such a group.
Now, what sets this apart from the numerous other cases in which individuals, and sometimes whole towns, have been subjected to inferior treatment on the grounds of being white, is that in this case, Miss Howarth was discriminated against, not because she was white, but because she fell into the category of "White English". Had she been "White Scottish", "White Welsh", "White Irish", or "White Other", then she would have been fine. Apparently, the Scots, the Welsh, and the Irish are now, in a very minor way, designated victim groups, at least as far as the Environment Agency is concerned. But because Miss Howarth was guilty of being English, in England, she has been treated as a second-class applicant.
Now, I am opposed to all forms of so-called "positive discrimination" and "affirmative action". If I were a resident of Bedfordshire whose house was at risk of flooding, then I would want the person in charge of managing that flood risk to be the best person for the job, regardless of their ethnicity, rather than someone who may have only got the job because their appointment enabled the Environment Agency to tick some "diversity" boxes. But this case does seem particularly bizarre, because of the distinction drawn between the English, and all other white people, whether of the British Isles or not. For a start, since the job advert to which Miss Howarth responded makes specific reference to those "of the following descents", and then goes on to list the various groups designated for favourable treatment (including the Welsh, the Scots, and the Irish), then I would assume that, even if one was a white person born and bred in England, then the presence of a Welsh, Scottish, or Irish parent or grandparent might qualify one to list oneself as being White Welsh, etc, and therefore qualify for preferential treatment. And there must be millions of people living in England who can find at least one such ancestor. So, if Miss Howarth had had an Irish grandmother, she might well have been able to profess to be "White Irish", and her position would have been substantially improved.
I note that the Commission for Racial Equality, while happy to raise merry hell over a comic book, has no objection to this blatant discrimination. Quelle Surprise!