I see that Dame Vivienne Westwood, described by the Telegraph as the "founder of punk style", has opened a new front in the war on "racism". Apparently, the fashion industry is institutionally racist, and fashion magazines such as Vogue are among the worst offenders. According to Westwood, non-white models are not used in sufficient numbers on the cover of such magazines.
Well, that may be true, although, like so many of those who claim that non-whites are being under-represented (Jimmy McGovern, anyone?), she has not actually produced anything beyond anecdotal evidence in support of her claim. This anecdotal evidence, such as it is, consists in the fact that the editor of a fashion magazine told her that she tried to limit the use of non-white models on the front cover of her magazine, because when they were used, sales fell. Perhaps that is true: after all, I would imagine that people generally are more likely to buy a fashion magazine if it has a cover picture of someone who bears a resemblance to them, and Britain is a majority white country, for the present. There are also a number of magazines, and probably some fashion magazines among them, specifically aimed at a black or Asian audience: how often do they feature white models on their front covers, I wonder?
In any event, this is all speculation, in the absence of any hard evidence of widespread discrimination. However, if Vivienne Westwood had her way, widespread discrimination would soon become commonplace in the fashion industry. Discrimination against white models, that is. Because Westwood's solution to the alleged problem of discrimination, is to force the editors of fashion magazines to use a certain proportion of non-white models on their front covers. Because, as any fule kno, racial quotas are the solution to all of society's problems.
So, to sum up: Vivienne Westwood decides, without any evidence, that there is a massive problem of institutional racism in the fashion industry. She then decides that the best solution is the one that bears the closest resemblance to the smashing of the proverbial walnut with the proverbial sledgehammer, and demands that private companies be compelled to adhere to fixed racial quotas in the photographs they print in their publications. In so doing, she would appear to be advocating the restriction of free speech, since it is, of course, an inherent aspect of free speech that one can publish what words or images one chooses (subject to a very small number of restrictions, such as libel laws). I would add that in making this rather authoritarian demand, the multi-millionairess nobly expressed her willingness to sacrifice other people's profits in pursuit of her goal. What an obnoxious, sanctimonious, little cretin she appears to be!
Elsewhere in the interview in which she made her accusations, she announced that she has switched her political allegiance from Labour to the Tories, on the grounds that the current government is "the most autocratic we have ever had". Well, she may well be right about that, but I think that it is the height of hypocrisy for someone who advocates the imposition of compulsory racial quotas on private publications to kick up a fuss about anyone else's real or presumed authoritarianism.