Sometimes, the veil is whisked aside and the diversity, equity and inclusion advocates who claim to be on the side of the poor and the dispossessed are revealed as the purse-lipped kill-joys they really are. It’s not about giving the least-well-off a fair shake – it never is. Rather, it’s about making sure white heterosexual men aren’t enjoying themselves. As HL Mencken once said, puritanism is the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy.
I’m thinking of the moment earlier this week when Ann Francke, head of the Chartered Management Institute, told the Today programme that men shouldn’t be allowed to talk about football or cricket in the workplace.
“A lot of women, in particular, feel left out,” she said. “They don’t follow those sports and they don’t like either being forced to talk about them or not being included.”
When I first heard this I thought it must be a joke. I’d never heard of the Chartered Management Institute, obviously, but it sounded made-up. Was “Ann Francke” the latest fictional persona of master satirist Andrew Doyle, creator of Titania McGrath? (To read more, click here.)