GCHQ Spy Agency Asks ‘Only’ Ethnic Minorities and Women to Register Interest in IT Jobs

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The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spy agency has asked “only” ethnic minorities and women to register their interest in upcoming IT job listings, leaving white males out in the cold.

“Please note this Registration of Interest is only open to those from an ethnic minority background or women from any ethnic background,” the spy agency states in bold in the section of the advert titled ‘Job description’ — but it is not actually a “job” description, apparently, as disallowing people from applying for “jobs” because of their sex or race is (in theory) disallowed by the Equality Act.

An invitation for everyone but white males to the register their interest in a job before it is officially listed, GCHQ contends, is not the same thing as disallowing people from applying for a job on the basis of sex and race at all, and therefore completely above board.

“Diversity and inclusion are mission critical for GCHQ, ensuring we’re more representative of the communities we serve to better protect the UK,” the spy agency insisted in comments to MailOnline.

“This registration of interest is one of a number of steps we’re taking to encourage more women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds to consider careers,” they added.

“When the job advert for this role does go live anyone will be able to apply for it.”

“At GCHQ, diversity and inclusion are critical to our mission. To protect the UK, we need a truly diverse workforce that reflects the society we serve,” pronounced the not-a-job-advert, a reproduction of which was published by MailOnline.

“This includes diversity in every sense of the word: those with different backgrounds, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, ways of thinking and those with disabilities or neurodiverse conditions.

“We therefore welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including those from groups that are under-represented in our workforce,” the advert adds — before concluding in bold, once again, that it is “only open to those from an ethnic minority background or women from any ethnic background” — so not, in fact, “everyone”.

“Following a Registration of Interest period of several weeks, we will open this role for applications. At this stage, applications from candidates of all ethnicities and genders will be welcome,” the advert added.

The scheme outraged Philip Davies, a backbench MP on the right of the governing Conservative (Tory) party: “It should be illegal and everybody, apart from obviously the morons at GCHQ, knows white working-class boys are the one category with the worst outcomes in the UK,” he told MailOnline.

“Are they really saying they want to give preferential treatment to a black old Etonian or a female public schoolgirl over a white working-class boy? What possible justification could they have,” he demanded.

Many such loopholes to the Equality Act exist, with major public institutions like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and publicly-funded charities like English Heritage able to legally exclude white people in general and white men in particular from supposed internships and training posts which they insist are not actually “jobs” — although some pay as much or more than a full-time job on the minimum wage.

Methods likely to give non-white and non-male job applicants an advantage similar to the “Registration of Interest” scheme at GCHQ are also common, with the British Transport Police holding recruitment workshops which only ethnic minorities and women could attend, for example.

Outright discrimination in job applications is also allowable, despite the notional ban on it, under “positive action” exceptions in the Equality Act legislation, which allow employers to pick a candidate from a supposedly underrepresented group over someone else provided they are both equally qualified.

Matthew Furlong, a stand-out candidate for Cheshire Police with a degree in particle physics and cosmology, proved at a tribunal hearing — which Cheshire Police appealed, unsuccessfully — that the force had abused the “positive action” provisions to reject him as a would-be police officer.

The tribunal found that Cheshire Police had been treating anyone who met the bare minimum requirements from the role as being equally qualified, with Mr Furlong — a straight white male — able to be discarded despite his outstanding qualities on that basis.

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