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Friday, November 18, 2005

More on that racist writing competition

Further to my previous post about the racist writing competition:

I had a prompt reply from the Parliamentary Ombudsman suggesting that I contact my local MP, David Wright, as well. Sound advice. If only he didn't ignore all my correspondence ...

Anyway, the Arts Council replied to me with a standard copy_paste job to tell me how fantastic the competition is because it's going to help raise cultural awareness and all that multi-culti bullshit.

The interest bit was further down though. Apparently this was prompted by the fact that their research showed that only 10% of people working in the publishing industry were black and that most of the management in that industry was white. Apparently this concerns them.

I'm not sure what percentage of the population of the UK is actually black. I have a hunch it's around the 10% mark as Asians make up the biggest minority by a long shot.

To help out the Arts Council, I conducted a quick poll at work. It was late in the afternoon and most people had gone home but I managed to find two Asians and three white people to ask the question "If you had the time, would you have any burning desire to write a novel?".

It turns out that all three of the white people I asked would and only one of the Asians would.

I have conveyed the results of my survey and put forward the startling hypothesis that perhaps - this is a really wacky concept, I'm sure you'll agree - but, perhaps black and Asian people don't actually want to work in publishing?

The poor woman I wrote to must have had trouble coming to terms with the idea that ethnic minorities might not be suffering at the hands of institutional racism because I didn't get a reply. Either that or she had gone home early.

Anyway, if I get a reply, I'll let you know what they say.