London’s selfregarding Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, last week unveiled his much-vaunted Commission For Diversity In The Public Realm.
The 15-strong commission includes a human rights activist who shouted abuse at the Queen in Westminster Abbey and a ‘financial inclusion’ expert who has blamed Britain for ‘atrocities’ across the world.
They are tasked with reviewing the capital’s statues, plaques and street names that ‘largely reflect a bygone era’ and ‘increasing representation among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities’.
Saqiq Khan is the chairman of Transport for London (TfL) and of its 14 directors, one is black, two others are from an ethnic background and the rest are white
But if Khan, London’s mayor since 2016, really cared about BAME representation, then there are surely more pressing matters to address.
After all, Khan is the chairman of Transport for London (TfL) and of its 14 directors, one is black, two others are from an ethnic background and the rest are white.
That’s not all. The pay scales at TfL until March 2020 show only 9 per cent of BAME staff in the £90,0000-£100,000 category, and only 8 per cent over £100,000.
At the other end of the pay scale, though, 46 per cent of black and ethnic staff are in the £20,000-£30,000 category.
Rather than virtue-signalling over statues, shouldn’t Khan instead focus on improving the career prospects of ethnic minority staff?
Nothing like a Dame
Double Oscar-winner Glenda Jackson was less successful on the political stage, rising no higher than junior transport minister in her 23-year career as an MP. So would she like to become a Dame in honour of her political and theatrical work? Jackson, who was made a CBE in 1978, says: ‘I’d only want to be a Dame if it was in a panto.’
Ministers certainly worked hard to try to persuade former Daily Telegraph editor Charles — now Lord — Moore to become the new BBC chairman.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden lunched him last August, then Media Minister John Whittingdale invited Boris Johnson’s favoured candidate to a further repast a month later, according to Whitehall’s hospitality register. But Moore decided that, as a critic of the licence fee, the job was not for him. Ministers, of course, denied he had ever been privately offered the role.
Ed Miliband opposed the early closure of coal mines, but last week opposed the opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria
Red Ed spins into a pit stop
When he was Labour leader in 2015, Ed Miliband was vehemently against the proposed early closure of coal mines.
‘The miners feel they have had the rug pulled from under them,’ he said. ‘I do not believe that the decision makes economic or industrial sense and nor is it morally right.’
This is the same Ed Miliband, now shadow business secretary, who last week opposed the opening of a new coal mine in Cumbria.
‘We have to be clear,’ he said. ‘We can’t be opening new coal mines and then claim to be a big climate-change leader. We have got to find alternatives.’
The mine — if it goes ahead — will create about 500 new jobs.
BBC Radio 4 has found a ‘working-class comedian’, Tom Mayhew, to entertain listeners with his ‘journey through the benefits system’. Will his show reflect the voice of ‘Red Wall’ communities that voted for Brexit? Of course not. Mayhew is a Tory-hating Leftie. No wonder the out-of-touch BBC faces a challenge from Andrew Neil’s new GB News channel.
Overheard in the Commons: Two Tory MPs talking about the mixed messages from ministers over summer holidays. ‘A holiday can restore balance, discernment and judgment. I commend one to the Health Secretary.’
Best known for posing in a red swimsuit as a Tory MP, Charlotte Leslie once worked as a TV researcher. ‘I had to do internet searches that in most workplaces would get you thrown out,’ she told The Political Party podcast about her time on Sky One’s Britain’s Wildest series.
One night she was filming at a fetish club and a naked clubber kept running in front of the camera. When she told him to stop, he replied: ‘I love it when you’re angry. Spank me!’
She thought at the time: ‘I’ve really reached the bottom of my career.’ Then she became an MP.