English girl barred from Government job...because she is wrong kind of white

An Englishwoman was barred from applying for a job - in England - because she doesn't have brown or black skin....and also isn't Welsh, Irish or Scottish. The girls believes that despite the job being in England she is the victim of anti-English racism....

English girl barred from Government job...because she is wrong kind of white

5th August 2007
Daily Mail

A teenage science student has been banned from applying for a training programme with the Environment Agency because she is white and English.

The recruitment agency handling the scheme told Abigail Howarth, 18, that there was no point in her submitting an application because of her ethnic background.

But bizarrely she could have applied if she had been white and Welsh, Scottish or Irish.

Abigail, who wanted to join the Agency's flood management programme, saw an advert in a local newspaper offering positions in the Anglia region where she lives, complete with a 13,000-a-year tax-freee.

Turned down: Abigail Howarth

It made no mention of the ban on white English applicants, merely noting that candidates from ethnic minorities, such as "Asian, Indian' and "White Other, e.g. Irish, Welsh, Scottish', were encouraged to put themselves forward.

Abigail, of Little Straughton, Bedfordshire, said: "I was really disappointed. To be told being "White English" ruled me out in my home county shocked me. I know why there are positive action training schemes to assist those who are genuinely discriminated against but when it's broken down to this level it seems crazy to me.

"I really wanted to work for the agency and I was very excited - followed by feeling very disappointed.

"I would not have minded had I been beaten for the position by somebody better able than me."

Abigail, who is awaiting the results of A-Levels in environmental science, geography and geology, emailed PATH National Ltd, the company handling applications.

She asked: "Am I correct in assuming that as I am English (White) I need not apply as the preference is for the minorities you have listed, or can I apply anyway?'

Three days later, PATH recruitment officer, Bola Odusi, replied: "Thank you for your enquiry unfortunately the traineeship opportunity in <\[>sic] targeted towards the ethnic minority group to address their under representations in the professions under the Race Relations Act amended 2000."

Such a policy may breach Race Relations legislation as employers must prove ethnic groups are under-represented before using positive discrimination strategies.

The Environment Agency admitted it had 'no evidence that white Welsh, Scottish or Irish workers were under-represented' in the Anglia region.

South West Bedfordshire Tory MP Andrew Selous said: "I think this is complete nonsense and the Environment Agency should be taking the best people, irrespective of their background.

"This is obviously borne out of some idiotic quota system. Abigail should have been able to apply and been judged on her own merits. I will raise this when I have a meeting with the Environment Agency next month."

PATH National's organisational development manager, Mary McDowell, said: "The "White Welsh", "White Irish" and "White Scottish" is a technicality in law - if they are a minority, they are entitled to places on these schemes - they are not part of the majority group, which is "White English".

"The "White English" in this area are the majority group and hence could not apply.

"That is the way the law is laid. This is a chance for people who might be less employable to gain experience, just experience. Public-sector organisations have a duty to ensure they reflect the make-up of the society they serve."

The Environment Agency says 387 of its 12,000 workers claim BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) status.

A spokesman added: "The Commission for Racial Equality has confirmed we are acting legally."

A CRE spokeswoman said: "The Commission will be checking with the Environment Agency to clarify the current situation regarding their positive action initiatives.

"Positive action can only be used to encourage or train particular under-represented groups."


Having an 'ethnic minority' policy when considering any appointment is absolute nonsense. The overriding criterion should be that of 'best person for the job'. Yet again the PC brigade are putting their own agenda before simple common sense.

- Paul Bokor, Red Lodge, Suffolk
This is racial prejudice of the worst kind, when a white English person cannot get a job in England because...gosh, she is white and English? God help us!

- Graham, Essex
I dread to think what the other comments will be like!
This is exactly the sort of thing that creates resentment in fair minded people. We all know the best people for the job should be the ones being given them and should never ever be down to the colour or ethnicity of any applicant.
No wonder many of our public sector services are a state when we seem to have PC loonies making the rules!

- Nav, London

Pathetic. As an Irishman I find it disgusting that people like Abi are discriminated against in her own country. Imagine the outcry if she went to another country and was employed ahead of the indigenous population there. When will you English get off your knees and stop apologising to everybody!

- Mike, Bristol

I know we've been ruled by New Labour for a decade, but isn't it still illegal to discriminate on the basis of colour and ethnic origin, even it's white English? I hate the use of terms like 'positive racism' or 'positive discrimination' - there is NO such thing. It's plain racism and plain discrimination, whoever it's directed against.

- Dave, Bristol, UK

What utter rubbish. Those weirdos who decided on this idiotic rule should be sacked immediately.

On the bright side, eventually we (white people) will become the minority (and therefore entitled to jobs) in this country if immigration keep on rising!

- Annette Shaw, Hamilton, Scotland

Nothing new about this story. It may go some way to explaining why so many white English are emigrating.
The Tory MP need not feign indignation either - this sort of thing has been happening for years, under both Labour and Conservative.

- Trevor, Birmingham, England
Isn't that racist of them? I thought that was illegal?

- Thalia, London
Surely, that's racism against our own English people, how sick are we?

- Alan, Weybridge
Being English in one's own country is a handicap. One wonders if this position was on offer in Scotland or Wales would this young lady have been welcomed as an unrepresented minority, I some how doubt it. When are the English going to wake
up? We have a foreigner as our Prime Minister and we didn't vote for him but he is still making laws which effect the English while his own constituents are free of his edicts...is this crazy or what!

- Bryan Phillips, St Ives, Cornwall

Last edited by Blackleaf; Aug 5th, 2007 at 05:13 AM..
I don't think that lass will have trouble getting a job anywhere. But to the point: if you insist on having a multicultural society, you'll have to ensure there's job accessibility for all and if there's not the state will have to intervene. I take it that Brits were consulted on the lesser aspects of pluralism years ago and were told that policies such as this would be enforced.
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