Sir Keir Starmer — the leader of the Opposition and, potentially, if things go really badly wrong, Britain’s next Prime Minister — wants you to know that he is officially not a racist.
He took an ‘unconscious bias training’ test – and passed: a fact he believes to be so important he has had it publicly announced by his spokesman.
Sir Keir Starmer has passed his unconscious bias training, his spokesman reveals.
— Kate Ferguson (@kateferguson4) September 30, 2020
Despite being a top, Oxford-educated lawyer and having a razor-sharp forensic brain, Sir Keir (as he is never called by the BBC, which fears that using his fancy title might detract from his man of the people image) appears not to have realised that ‘unconscious bias training’ is an entirely meaningless process which tells you nothing whatsoever about someone’s racist proclivities.
That’s because ‘unconscious bias training’ is at best a fraud, at worst an intelligence-insulting exercise in race-baiting, self-flagellation like something out of China’s Cultural Revolution.
As this damning Spectator article recently noted, ‘unconscious bias’ training simply does not stop you being racist.
As for the interventions, a 2017 meta-analysis of 494 previous studies of racial sensitivity training programmes found that ‘changes in measured implicit bias are possible, but those changes do not necessarily translate into changes in explicit bias or behaviour’.
It’s also deeply sinister.
The idea that a firm should seek to change its employees’ unconscious thought processes also deserves scrutiny. The nature of unconscious thought is that you don’t even know you are having it. We should be worried that firms are seeking to reprogramme their employees’ trains of thought, often through mandatory training, in which the refusal to participate would result in disciplinary action. When delivered by an amateur (and the people teaching these courses are not clinical psychologists), meddling with someone’s subconscious is like sticking a screwdriver into an aircraft engine and waggling it about in the hope it might fix something.
This is why a number of Conservative MPs, led by backbencher Ben Bradley (who got his knuckles rapped by the Speaker for being naughty) refused to take unconscious bias training.
As Bradley told Breitbart News:
“I can find no evidence that it has been successful [in combatting racism]. In the last day or so, Trump in the U.S. has banned all this critical race theory stuff from institutions… Which I think is exactly right. It’s indoctrination, isn’t it?”