It’s that time of the year, also known as the silly season.  That said, the silly season seems to run all year round.  I refer of course to the “special interests” lobbies whose sole aim in life is to challenge the established order at every level of our society.

The latest challenge is directed at the composition of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, where it is said, quite rightly, that there are no members of black or brown ethnic minorities sitting as judges, and why not!  Why not may be that there are no suitably qualified members of the black or brown ethnic minorities to be considered for such an appointment.  But to these specialist lobbies, that should be no impediment at all.  Better to have an incompetent black than no black at all, or so their argument goes.

I have never been in favour of social engineering, but then, I am neither black nor brown, so I can afford to be smug.  That said, the composition of these sceptred isles is changing year on year, and according to the latest statistics, as a WASP, I shall be an ethnic minor in 20 years’ time, max!  So does it matter, and should I care?

In some respects, I am past caring, as I watch the legal profession transmogrify before my very eyes.  The old ways, which had stood the test of time for centuries are no longer fit for purpose, so instead of trying to hold on to them, they are to be abandoned. I am filled with trepidation as to what will replace them.

I am prepared to meet the ‘special interests’ lobby to this extent.  Where there are two equally qualified candidates, and one is white and the other black or brown, then the appointment should go to the ethnic minor, soon to become the ethnic major.  But to stick a wig and gown on an unsuitable candidate and expect him or her to make the grade is ridiculous, and worse still, it will bring the legal profession and the judiciary into disrepute.

Finally, I ask in a spirit of enquiry if, by describing the ethnic minors as black or brown, I could be discriminating against yellow people.  Please advise, as it ‘s an ethnic minefield out there.


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David is an English barrister, writer, public performer and keynote speaker. His full profile can be found on his website.

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