Steven Edington, The Telegraph, January 23, 2023
Conservative candidates for Parliament are given lessons on “white resentment” in diversity and inclusion training sessions.
Would-be Tory MPs are told white resentment is a “significant problem” for ethnic minorities and is defined as “when white employees suggest equality and diversity training is no longer required, as it provides ethnic minority employees with unfair advantages”.
Despite efforts by ministers to ban “woke” diversity courses for civil servants, similar workshops are being offered to Tory candidates via the Party’s online training platform.
Tory candidates are offered unconscious bias training, a practice the Government promised to “phase out” across Whitehall in 2020.
The Conservative Party’s training platform describes unconscious bias as being when you “discriminate against one group, or person, without being aware of your actions”.
The lessons refer to microaggressions, such as asking a black colleague “why does your hair not look like ours?” and “Are you able to sit out in the sun as long without any sun cream?”.
Mispronunciation of names is ‘unconscious bias’
Another example of unconscious bias cited is the mispronunciation of colleagues’ names.
One slide offers a case study: “I’d prefer for you not to shorten my name. It means God’s gift and my parents named it to me for a very specific reason. I’ve actually done you a favour and I’ve already shortened it. It’s Onyinyewchuckwu, can you please call me Onyinye?”.
Candidates are also given a list of terminologies and their definitions to study, including gender fluid, non-binary, affirmed gender, pan-gender and poly gender.
Ed Barker, a member of the Party’s candidates list and the chief executive of Conservative Way Forward, said: “I don’t want the state, or the Party I love, breathing down my neck telling me how to think.”
“I hope this can be stopped immediately, otherwise we’ll have a whole new generation of Conservative candidates who think this is normal.”
“Before Christmas, we published a report which found that £7bn of taxpayers’ money is being wasted on politically motivated campaigns that are dividing us and making us all poorer, including millions on unconscious bias training.”
“It would be devastating if CCHQ was wasting Party members’ money on divisive and contentious schemes like these.”
On Sunday, Suella Braverman ordered a review into “politically correct nonsense” in the Home Office after an internal note told staff to not use words such as “homosexual” or “mate” for fear of causing offence.
A Home Office source told The Telegraph following the revelations: “The Home Secretary has made her views very clear — she doesn’t want to see this kind of politically correct nonsense in the department”.
Meanwhile, Conservative candidates are provided with a series of online lessons on everything from emotional intelligence, self-responsibility, social media best practices, being resilient and building a team.
Under the diversity and inclusion section there are courses on race, gender reassignment, sex discrimination and sexual orientation.
MPs quizzed on what they have learnt
Aspiring MPs are given videos to watch and slides to read and are then quizzed on what they have learnt.
One question asks if the following statement is true or false: “Your organisation can recruit from a wider talent pool and gain a broader perspective by promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace?”; The answer required is “true”.
Another question asks candidates to fill in the blanks in the following statement: “As well as experiencing racial discrimination ____ ______ is also a significant problem for BAME employees”, with the correct answer being “white resentment”.
When asked how to respond to a colleague pointing out your unconscious bias the quiz states you should “react positively and thank the person”.
In a section on racial discrimination it is stated that “a requirement to conform to White British cultural practices, such as anglicising names in the workplace” is part of “a system of domination and oppression”.
Under a course on gender reassignment, candidates are urged to use gender neutral language such as “they” and “their” and the use of gender neutral bathrooms are encouraged in workplaces.
In a course on religion and belief it is “recommended that organisations follow good practice procedures to ensure everyone is treated equally”.
These practices include ensuring employees are not discriminated against if their religion requires them to behave with modesty, with immodest behaviour including “shaking hands with a member of the opposite sex, undergoing a security search even when conducted by a member of the same sex, [and] being alone with a member of the opposite sex”.