Tuesday, 11 January 2011

My Comments and Attacks on Law Society gazette article - You Must Speak Proper to Work in the City

You must speak proper to work in the City
Wednesday 22 December 2010 by James Dean

Clever, white, working-class men and women are being overlooked for top jobs in City law firms because they don’t quite ‘fit in’, according to research released yesterday.
‘Focusing on ethnicity enables law firms to boast excellent or, at the very least, improved diversity outcomes, despite the fact that they have continued to recruit using precisely the same types of class privilege that have always been in operation,’ says the author of the report, Dr Louise Ashley, in her most compelling soundbite.
It seems to be a uniquely British conundrum that, while ethnicity (and age, sex, religion, disability, and sexual orientation) should have no bearing on a law graduate’s ability to get a job, class should. Law firms, meanwhile, say that they recruit as they do to preserve their brands.
But this is class discrimination, and it begs the question: how many working-class law graduates have lost out on jobs to less talented middle- and upper-class law graduates?
I’m not a great watcher of TV show The Apprentice, but I did watch the last three episodes of the latest series. The winner? Stella English, a white working-class woman who left school with no qualifications. She was hired over second-placed Chris Bates, whose first-class undergraduate degree from Nottingham University and received pronunciation were not enough to land him the top job with Lord Sugar.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show’s format: 16 contestants take part in a series of business challenges over 14 episodes, amid an orgy of bitching, moaning, backstabbing, and sucking up to their prospective employer. One or two are eliminated every week, until the final episode, when Sugar (also white, also from a working-class background) picks his apprentice and hands them a fat six-figure salary.
If the firms surveyed by Dr Ashley had Apprentice-style recruitment processes, then, had she chosen to do a law degree in another life, English might have fared very well. But they don’t, and the research suggests that, sat opposite two senior partners in a dimly lit meeting room at a first interview, she’d be shown the door – despite her talent.
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Why Did You Remove My Comment?
Submitted by John Iteshi on Thu, 23/12/2010 - 19:41.
I cannot believe that my comment would be pulled out just because I tried to offer a different view!
I thought this should be the least place to gag free speech.
I did not insult anyone or use any vulgar language. I raised very serious issues about my experiences of judicial fraud without any disguise of my identity because I am certain that I am right.
I find no good reason for removing my comments.
I think it is really disgraceful that a lawyers’ website should be afraid of the truth or at least probing an allegation that impugns the integrity of our legal system.
This action to me is a really very third-world.
Please, send me a copy of that comment as soon as possible to enable me retain a copy of the comment which apparently was somehow inappropriate.
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What Happened to Our Free and Fair Britain?
Submitted by John Iteshi on Fri, 24/12/2010 - 11:19.
I wrote a comment on this article yesterday to indicate that this so-called research may be part of some dubious schemes by some influential people to create a the public impression that Race discrimination problems have been overtaken by discrimination on the basis of social class or even discrimination on the ground of sex.
I provided an example of how Employment Tribunals and perhaps government officials or under the instructions of the government are consciously frustrating race discrimination claims. I provided a brief example of how Employment Judge Juliana Wade dubiously listed a Pre-hearing Review (PHR) in a plainly inappropriate case. I further explained how Employment Judge Snelson shamelessly swept aside both the facts and higher judicial authorities which were strongly against striking out my claim.
To buttress my point I highlighted the fact that in one of my complaint in that case, the Respondent- Venn Group ( one of the Recruitment Agencies that Public Authorities and government departments use to circumvent race discrimination laws) put forward a White candidate who had only “A” Level with neither legal qualification nor any legal experience whatsoever to its client which I think was Brent Council over a qualified lawyer with various legal experience for a job described as “Legal Researcher”.
I expected people to wonder how and why any honest adult could have held that a White person with “A” level and without any legal qualification or experience was in anyway more suitable for a Legal Researcher post that a qualified lawyer.
I expected that people should be enraged by my story as something really serious that should not be swept aside.
I challenged anyone including Employment Judges Wade and Snelson to challenge my assertions in this public forum.
I expected my comment to elicit curiosity and some activism towards cleansing our world class legal system of corruption, but what I got was a very third-world reaction. My comment was removed after few hours. However within the period it was on a response from a faceless person called me a loser to which I responded by accusing her/him of cowardice. I do not know why my comment was removed.
I am still waiting for answers.
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Wrong example, but good point
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 24/12/2010 - 16:21.
John, I understand the point you are making, the only issue is that the example Is you use is a bit weak. Maybe Brent thought that the lawyer was over qualified for that role, and not really interested in it. You can't really blame them for wondering whether it was just a stop gap role for the lawyer, and whether if they gave the job to the A level graduate, the candidate might work up the ranks and then transition to ILEX. Government legal departments have great opportunties for people who wish to qualify that way.
I agree that the article does seem to suggest that somehow discrimination based on class has taken over, and of course that is just wrong. It's not news that some lawyers in the majic circle are operating a closed shop, but if White working class candidates are having a hard time, imagine how tough it must be for black working class candidates! Notwithstanding that fact, it's important that people work together towards removing discrimation/racism in all it's forms, and not bickering amongst it each other, because if we do it will enable those people who wish to exclude people from law to divide, conquer and rule!
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@Anonymous - Thanks, but Your Reason is a bit Weak
Submitted by John Iteshi on Fri, 24/12/2010 - 18:40.
The reason you gave is worryingly weak for a person that seems to believe in equal opportunities.
Suggesting that an employer is entitled to choose whom to offer the job especially in the public sector is plainly anti-equality of opportunities.
Suggesting that an example of a recruitment agency that forwarded the CV of a White male with A level and no known legal experience whatsoever for a post designated as Legal Researcher is a weak example is to me quite unreasonable.
I believe the example which is just a tip of the iceberg should enrage even lay people let alone those who are experienced in Employment Law litigation.
My advice is that you read the following cases: Anyanwu and Another v. South Bank Student Union and Another and Commission for Racial Equality [2001] UKHL 14; [2001] 2 All ER 353 and Ezsias v North Glamorgan NHS Trust [2007] EWCA Civ 330 and explain to me how possible that my case should have been struck out.
I wish to also add that what I believe is the problem is not Racism but Race Discrimination. People often moan about racism which cannot be eradicated by any legislation and should not even be worried about (because it is a private belief) rather the real issue which is race discrimination. Perhaps, this point would be clearer if we appreciate the fact that a racist may not necessarily discriminate on the grounds of race just as an anti-racism champion may still discriminate on the grounds of race especially in employment.
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merry crimbo one and all!
Submitted by Anonymous on Sat, 25/12/2010 - 20:53.
merry crimbo one and all!
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You must speak proper to work in the City
Submitted by Peter Ryder on Thu, 30/12/2010 - 15:17.
Back to the subject of the article, is there any evidence that class is the root of the problem. No one (as far as I am aware) has suggested that we are class ridden because we insist on wearing smart clothes in our offices so why are we class ridden when we insist on people using the language properly
I have certainly spoken to lawyers working in the city who have strong regional accents but I accept that I have never spoken to one who's accent results in the incorrect use of English, not surprising in a profession the very purpose of which is the understanding and interpretation of that language. Inherent in many accents is an idiosyncratic use of English but is there any evidence that the correct use of English is the preserve of the middle and upper classes? I was born in Longsight, Manchester and went to state schools in Stockport, accumulating a colourful local accent on the way. Even after 29 years in Cornwall I remain recognisably northern in my voice and proud of it. I have never encountered any prejudice as a result of my accent.
I have been a solicitor since 1973 and I have employed a lot of people, lawyers and others. One of the qualities I looked for in an employee was the ability to speak English correctly. Accent is of no importance but grammar is. Clients come to us because they do not have our supposed understanding of the law, all of which is written. We are in the business of winning the confidence of those clients. Secretaries who spell 'rough' as 'ruff' or 'would have' as 'would of' send out a signal of sloppiness and incompetence which damages the reputation of the letter writer and undermines the confidence of the client. It is common sense, not class conciousness which dictates the appointment of the secretary who does not make those mistakes.
Lawyers who say 'you was the victim here' or who litter their spoken language with 'like' or 'innit' or some such may similarly damage their own image and undermine the confidence of the client. Thus a firm is entitled to and indeed should where possible select the correctly spoken candidate.
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Deleted posting
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 06/01/2011 - 12:31.
Hopefully the original posting was deleted as it would appear to have sought not to comment on the article written above but on a personal case and vendetta, which is not appropriate in this particular circumstance.
However I was mildly curious as to how Mr Hitachi had managed to obtain confidential information about another candidate without breaching the law.
However I would not employ a researcher who made so many simple spelling and grammatical errors - sorry!
ps: who wrote "only a fool has hinmself for a client"?
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Are You Dreaming or Just Dubious?
Submitted by John Iteshi on Tue, 11/01/2011 - 11:27.
I must admit that I may not have had enough time to take a very detailed look at all the comments above, but I am certain that there is no comment here from anyone with the name “Hitachi” and certainly no grammatical error (against such a name or any similar sounding name) that bears any resemblance to what you copied - "only a fool has hinmself for a client".
It appears that you are the one who manufactured this grammatical error with the view to diverting the attention of readers from the issue. I am very familiar with your type in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal. They would leave out the substance of your complain to dubiously pursue the weakest aspects. If you dare make a simple mistake, they would capitalise on that as an excuse to evade the substance of your complaints.
I am definitely not perfect in English and certainly make mistakes especially when I am commenting quickly in the middle of something else.
However, it is irresponsible of you to manufacture a grammatical error accusation all in your twisted bid to divert attention from a serious issue.
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Not the only one!
Submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 07/01/2011 - 19:24.
It is not only solicitors who are being overlooked -
Try to apply for a job on the BBC Radio. You have to write a 2 page dissertation of the 'Diverse community' in the radio's catchment area. And the job always always goes to the 'little girly' - very young, no experience, straight out of university and wants to 'go on the radio'.
Oh yes, and it helps if you are not white

God Bless Southern Sudan

Every right thinking enlightened Black African ( and those of Black African ancestry) in this world should support the Southern Sudanese quest for independence. It is a really pity that a great country like Sudan could not work out due to primitive racial divides, but it is a great thing to know that some Black Africans have bravely risen to the level of redefining themselves.

The ongoing referendum in South Sudan should inspire a more civilised approach to resolving crisis in Black Africa.
The United States of America must be congratulated for its leadership in resolving the Sudanese crisis. Presidents George W Bush and our Barack Obama deserve commendation.
God Bless Southern Sudanese for their bravery!

God Save the Black Race!!