Sunday, 21 October 2007

Race Hustlers: Powered by Duracell

Those race hustlers really do just keep on going. Following on from the complaints made by Keith Vaz, the Society of Black Lawyers, and the Association of Muslim Lawyers against the Solicitors Regulatory Authority, the somewhat, ahem, less than savoury police officer Ali Dizaei has also become involved. Hmm, Ali Dizaei making groundless accusations of racism - just fancy that!

Readers who perused my other post on this issue may recall that Vaz, together with his cronies in the SBL and the AML, had accused the SRA of discriminating against non-white lawyers. Their (sole) evidence for this? The fact that a disproportionately high number of non-white lawyers and law firms were investigated and disciplined by the SRA. More on the strength of this argument below. Anyway, last week the SRA held a meeting with Vaz, and representatives of a number of non-white lawyers' groups. Dizaei was also present (why he was I know not), and during the meeting he addressed the SRA's chief executive, Antony Townsend, in the following, less than temperate, terms:
What you need to do is concede the point that there is a level of activity in your organisation that is ipreating [sic] below the radar, which is racially discriminatory. You may be in charge of an organisation which is institutionally racist.
He went on to suggest that the SRA was "in denial mode".

First things first: what the Hell does "ipreating" mean? I've never heard it before, and the only use of it of which Google is aware is Dizaei's. So, is this a case of The Times inexplicably and bizarrely misspelling the word 'operating', or is it an attempt at appearing intellectual, by using big words, gone awry?

Of greater importance, however, than such linguistic issues, is the fact that Dizaei, Vaz, the SBL, and the AML, have, as I pointed out in my previous post, made absolute and unconditional accusations that the SRA is indulging in discriminatory practice, despite a complete absence of any actual evidence of such discriminatory practice. Rather than producing such evidence, they have simply inferred that discrimination is taking place, from the fact that a disproportionately high number of non-white solicitors are being investigated and disciplined. In so doing, they have rejected the statement of an impartial consultant, to the effect that the facts as they are did not support the conclusion that the race hustlers have reached, and they have also rejected even the possibility that there could be any explanation for the discrepancy, other than discrimination. In particular, they have refused to even consider the possibility that non-white lawyers could, for whatever reason, simply be disproportionately likely to be deficient in terms of competence and/or ethical standards. For that is surely the conclusion which the SRA's figures would appear to support, particularly in the absence of the slightest real evidence of discrimination. And yet Dizaei and friends resolutely refuse to even accept the possibility that this could be the case. In these circumstances, I would suggest that it is not Townsend and the SRA who are "in denial mode" regarding the facts of this case.

2 comments:

TDK said...

Ipreat:

This is Latin, I think.

link

ipse ipsa ipsum : himself, herself, itself.
ipsemet : his own very self.


This would suggest that the first sentence in your quote is basically a restatement of the second. ie he is accusing them of discriminatory activity which is intrinsic to the organisation. This would contrast to say "a few bad apples" scenario.

TDK said...

One further point. I'm under the impression (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the SRA investigates after a complaint by members of the public. If so then the logical requirement is that 62% of investigation should correspond with approximately 62% of initial complaints. Now there will not be an exact match because the SRA will not investigate every complaint, requiring some level of qualification before moving to a full investigation, but such a system should be open to measurement.