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Equality Week at Hertford College Oxford – celebrating how the daughter and granddaughter of Lords has made it big

Tom Winnifrith
Saturday 14 November 2020

My old college is celebrating “Equalities Week” with a panel of BAME high achievers and a panel of four female graduates who have made it big.  The event is a demonstration of how the woke elites view equality and why they are so out of touch with the grim reality of life for those who really could do with a dose of equality, that is to say the poor.


I have always viewed equality in terms of equality of opportunity. That tends to be how we on the right frame it. Those on the left, like folks living in prosperous leafy and liberal Oxford, view it in terms of equality of outcome. That may lead to more absolute poverty but they will not be the ones suffering it so they don’t care – they just say they care more than we right wingers. And that is enough.


Perhaps we could all agree that the real battle for equality, the gap that has become ever more chasmous over the past few years of the asset bubble, is between rich and poor. Not black and white or men and women but those who own property, bonds, shares assets and have become wealthier thanks to QE and those who do not and have instead seen no real increase in their wages.


That is the big issue of equality today. But back to Herford and the women’s panel. The college states:


On Friday 20th November at 12pm, we are excited to announce our inaugural Women’s Network event in which we will be discussing issues and worries specific to women entering the workplace and we will hear from four Hertford alumni who have overcome these perceived barriers.


Great! Women who have overcome barriers like the first speaker, Charlotte Hogg


Charlotte is executive vice president and chief executive officer for Visa’s European operations.  Charlotte brings more than 25 years of experience in financial services, bank operations and management consulting to Visa.  Most recently, Charlotte served as chief operating officer for the Bank of England, from 2013 to 2017.  Prior to this, she led retail distribution for Santander in the UK and previously worked at Experian as the managing director of UK and Irish operations.


Ends


Actually, not that Hertford mentions it, Ms Hogg had to leave the Bank of England in disgrace and under a cloud. But she landed on her feet in the way that plebs forced to quit jobs in disgrace rarely do. 


In overcoming barriers, perhaps it helped that before Hertford, Charlotte went to a posh public school which her mum had also attended. Her mum (Sarah) was made a life peer by the time Charlotte arrived in Oxford. So was her dad (Douglas), although he also inherited a title from his Dad, Quentin Hogg, Lord Hailsham. Charlotte grew up on the family stately home – an estate in Lincolnshire where the house has a moat. Her daddy stiffed the taxpayer when, as an MP, he put the cost of cleaning that moat on expenses. As with his daughter, he emerged from scandal with a new job, a move to the House of Lords.


So Hertford asks me to celebrate equality by discussing how Charlotte has overcome barriers to rise to the top. Hooray more top jobs for gals whose mummy, daddy and grandpa were in the House of Lords! Bring on the Revolution, comrades!


In Britain’s state schools, the group performing worst are white working class boys. Where do they figure in Hertford’s discussion of equality? Where are the panels discussing folks of all colours trapped on sink estates and in grim Northern post-industrial towns? Who cares about their equality? Or about how it is working class women who disproportionately get done for not paying a TV license they cannot afford? Or forced in increasing numbers onto “the game”.


That is the equality challenge we should be discussing.


But if your view of the world is based on a truly twisted prism driven almost entirely by identity politics, you champion the success of someone born with more silver spoons in her mouth than one can count. Sod the truly poor. Who cares about equality for them?

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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