Top Stories

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps: Woke policies are divisive | Express Comment | Comment

I am a strong believer that our Armed Forces should represent the people they serve, the British public.

We need to do more to encourage people from a wide range of backgrounds to serve – and we need to ensure that beyond basic security requirements, no-one who wants to serve should feel excluded.

And there is strong evidence that we are seeing a surge of new applicants, with figures showing army applications at a six-year high and Navy applications at an eight year high.

We need to ensure that whatever background people are from, they are treated with respect, protected from abuse and bullying, and are treated equally to their colleagues and peers.

But the details of some of the suggested plans that have been revealed this weekend are not about protecting personnel or improving working conditions for minority groups.

They are about a divisive woke culture and the gradual introduction of controversial leftist thinking into the military workplace which threatens to distract us from our core mission – being a lethal force that can defeat our enemies.

So let me reassure people: there will be no lowering of security standards on my watch for any reason. 

Remembrance events will remain Christian. Those suggesting otherwise fail to recognise the core beliefs and morals that our country and its people are about. And I say that as a Jewish Minister. It should not be offensive to anyone.

Many of the woke policies – such as compulsory unconscious bias training, which has been widely rubbished and scrapped for the civil service – are divisive. 

They have the effect of setting individuals against each other, not bringing them together as an Armed Forces family.

Other suggestions have proved deeply unpopular and troubling, such as the introduction of gender neutral toilets. We will review all those policies.

Over time, a woke culture has seeped into public life and it is poisoning common sense discourse. Anyone who questions it is dismissed out of hand. And anyone who does want a woke armed forces would take us back to square one like the Labour Party. 

I am in a position to challenge this philosophy and I will. 

There are serious issues we have to work on and I promise to address those during my term in service.

But the drumbeat of those who despise Britain, her proud history and the culture of her great people, is failing the Armed Services and the British public.

Source link