Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is this discrimination?

One of the things I had to do to get my residency visa was to take a Life in the UK test. It is a 20-question test about the history, politics, religion, local living, etc, of living here in the country.

The reason for the test, straight form the website:
A pass in the test fulfils the requirements for "sufficient knowledge of life in the United Kingdom" which were introduced for naturalisation on 1 November 2005 [1] and which were introduced for settlement on 2 April 2007 [2]. It simultaneously fulfils the language requirement by demonstrating "a sufficient knowledge" of the English language.
So there are a lot of different questions, in the following categories:

1. The Making of the United Kingdom
2. A Changing Society
3. UK Today,: A Profile
4. How the United Kingdom is Governed
5. Everyday Needs
6. Employment
7. Knowing the Law
8. Sources of Help and Information
9. Building Better Communities

I got 24 or 25 right out of 25, so the test wasn't that hard. I did a lot of studying, read the study guide about a dozen times, and took about 30 practice tests. I guess it worked.

That's all well and good, but one of the things I wanted to bring up that I learned while studying the test:
The law also says that men and women who do the same job, or work of equal value, should receive equal pay. Almost all the laws protecting people at work apply equally to people doing part-time or full-time work.
Now, that's all well and good. No issues there at all. It's a good idea, and the way things should be. This is what got my notice, however:

In a country as obsessed with political correctness as the United Kingdom, I was surprised to see this. I mean, you can't look cross-eyed at someone here without a complaint being made, the government getting involved, celebrities marching against it, and overreactions that make a nuclear war look tame by comparison.
There are, however, a small number of jobs where discrimination laws do not apply. For example, discrimination is not against the law when the job involves working for someone in their own home.
Add in that fact that the UK is one of the most diversified countries in the world, and you wouldn't expect this kind of thing at all. Fortunately, they don't do the lawsuit thing here and sue everyone left and right, but they don't let it go. Its an amazing case of common sense in a world gone mad.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating discrimination. Not in the least. It's wrong, and shouldn't be allowed. But I think this makes sense. In your own home, you should be able to do what you want (within reason and law). And that includes who you let into your own home. If you don't want someone in your house, you shouldn't have to let them in.

From the opposite side, this makes sense also. Why would you want to work for someone who obviously doesn't like you because of 'whatever'. If they are that irrational that your difference makes them uncomfortable, you wouldn't be happy working there. Might as well not even start.

What's funny, is that this wouldn't be allowed in the United States.You couldn't even have this on the books. There is no way the ALCU would allow this. They would rather force a person to accept someone into their home, even if causes problems.

So, while discrimination is, and should be, illegal, there is a measure of common sense allowed. So what are the opinions of the people reading? For, against, or no opinion?


Nick said...

Makes sense to me. But then I've always been an advocate of common sense and efficiency. I'm all for people having equal rights, but there are exceptions to every rule.

Ron Rollins said...

I agree, the problem, certain organizations are so busy to 'protect the rights' of people that they don't see that they then infringe on other's people rights while doing so.

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