One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Laura Perrins: Vive la difference is a sacking offence in Nerdland

The Nerds are angry. Some indeed are ‘furious’. I reckon still more have been triggered, when a fellow Nerd at Google (a software engineer) wrote a anti-diversity memo, laying out some stark truths about the sexes.

We are told: the document, entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” details his opinion that the firm should focus more on ideological diversity and less on initiatives to hire more women and people of colour. It takes Google to task for its “left bias” and argues the disparity between men and women in tech is not a result of sexism but of biological differences.” 

It also explains: Men are more likely to value “things” whereas women value “people” and have more openness to “feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas,” according to the memo. Men, by contrast, have a “higher drive for status” and the male gender role is called “inflexible.”

This is all true – in general- and because it is true it has the social justice warriors up in arms. It also comes at a very difficult time at Silicon Valley because women and minority groups (but not Asians) are under-represented in SV companies. We are never told why these women and minority groups cannot set up their own companies, but we will just let that one slide for now.

Ah, so much comedy to be had here. The idea that the Nerds of Silicon Valley™ are so outraged they will grab their laptops and flip-flops and take to the streets to declare: female softwear engineers of the world – UNITE!

What I also love is how the ultra-progressives of Silicon Valley, like the BBC, cannot even live up to their own progressive/left principles to have a 50:50 workforce. These companies are often even more male dominated than traditional conservative trades.

In truth, the lack of an exact parity workforce is either because of sex discrimination (Google is battling a wage discrimination investigation by the US Department of Labor) or because in general men gravitate towards systems and high-status, highly-paid jobs and women to people, just like the memo says. Either way, this is not a good look for Google.

Christina Sommers explains the basics here:

Whatever the outcome I have no sympathy for Google, obviously. But also I have little sympathy for the conservative software engineer either. First, does he really think that the he can change the folks at Google to become more ideologically open to conservatives, especially in the current climate? How realistic do we think this is?

He also says that diversity programmes can hurt profits, “Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.” This might be true – but why does he care about Google’s bottom line? If Google want to hire more women and pay them more than they are worth in order to improve diversity numbers, but hit profits, then that is their choice.

Nerd also states: “Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence. This silence removes any checks against encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies.”

I find it difficult to believe that he could have written this without knowing what could happen – namely that this leftist authoritarian company would indeed attempt to shame his dissent into silence.

Ultimately this guy needs a new job with a different company. I understand this engineer was probably making very good money, and perhaps was not in a position to switch companies, but honestly if he was a true conservative why is he working for this company in the first place? Surely, there is some other cause he could be putting is talents to, or building a company that is not institutionally leftist and authoritarian?

Anyway, we all know how this one ends – namely with a goldfish and a hot secretary. If the great Jerry Maguire could not survive his mission statement, I doubt this Nerd will survive his.

Perhaps he will be sent to the re-education camp where they will make him recant in humiliation. God, perhaps they will make him sign something declaring never again will he say or believe, “we need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.”

Stop press: He has been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”.

(Image: TopRank Marketing)

Laura Perrins

  • Colkitto03

    This is a great example of the ‘Streisand effect’
    Recruitment at Google just got a bit more difficult. Other tech firms will gladly pick up men discouraged by Google’s attitude.
    When you mess with market forces in the world of employment you end up with a lackluster culture

    • It should, but I don’t know. tech is based fare too much in Northern California and PC is epidemic in it. This guy, if he is wise, probably has enough to start something of his own.

      • Sargv

        Or, come on. Indians on H1Bs (or even J1 – this is a thing as well) would gladly take the job and ignore all the BS.

  • Bik Byro

    One extremely valuable lesson which I learned during my time working as an employee at a large company was that it’s not just what you say but also the way that you say it.

    I’ve read the whole memo and the author does make some very valid points, however the delivery is terrible and I believe that is what has contributed to the s***-storm. With a change of tone and phrasing, the same points could have been brought across in a very much different way and been successful.

    That’s diplomacy in business for you.

    • PiqueABoo

      May be callow youth, but high-intelligence apparently has genes overlapping with ASD (includes Aspergers). Look at the top of the curve here and you find more quirky kids, some of whom have fundamental difficulty tempering their rationality and grasping the softening social stuff.

      There is now a case made in a few places that PC-intolerance is seriously prejudiced against that minority. I suspect it’s only a matter of time before we see this play-out via some (probably US campus) kid who has a formal ASD-diagnosis and ran into PC-trouble.

      • Lagopus scotica

        Yes, probably Aspergers, many engineers and quite a few scientists have it. But I think he is also trying to apply the qualities he uses in writing code (or whatever job he had at Google) to management, and explaining to the PC brigade how the world actually works – which doomed him. Hope his new job or business works out well.

    • Partridge

      Diversity of thought is not allowed.

    • MorganCourtenay

      All fair points– but should he have been fired?

      • Lagopus scotica

        Of course not, he was actually trying to use his background to optimise Google’s culture for performance.

        His sacking shows how pc it is there, rather proving his point.

        A sensible business owner would have put him in charge of culture change, not some outsider.

      • Sargv

        Well, you either fire him or make you whole department with a VP on top look like a bunch of bigots and wussies. The choice is obvious.

    • grutchyngfysch

      I kind of thought there was a limited similarity with the “viral” (in more ways than one) Facebook post by that fellow writing about his wife: both went out of their way to explicitly acknowledge the usual shibboleths and effectively “said” many of the right things in the right places.

      What I suspect neither fully grasped is that you can literally say nothing but the “right” thing and you will still be the enemy if you’re white and male. It seems pretty obvious to me that in this particular war, if you spend your energy essentially admitting your enemy is correct, you do not win their approval or acceptance, you simply confirm in their minds that they were always right to censor you and empower them to continue doing so.

      But hey – maybe the Tory electoral strategy will pay off eventually right?

    • Sargv

      It was a rant from a rank-and-file employee, which went against organisational policies (with a whole department in place to back them). It was never intended to be successful. It’s an “FU guys; you are bigots, now help me to prove it by firing me” move.

      He got his 15 minutes of fame, and he’ll get a new job in no time, as the industry is thirsty for talent.

      IT (startup-like web services) MIGHT seem PC but, I’ve seen my share of models-as-serving-plates, strippers on Friday parties and corporate events in Soho’s The Box. This business requires a stream of supper-smart sexually repressed 20-something men with Aspergers to be successful. Well, you give them what they want. Usually, this is followed by “Damn. We’ve got bad press, have to establish a women’s hackathon or something and sent those two girls from entry level QA to a conference to represent our company”.

      • Bik Byro

        True, I’ve seen a few situations that are somewhat “The Wolf on Wall Street” and I believe you’re right.

  • PierrePendre

    The whistleblower knew there was no chance he would remain unidentified; perhaps he already had a new job to go to or was fed up with Google and wanted to slam the door as loudly as he could as he left. It’s unlikely his memo will change anything but every gesture that unmasks the Left’s fundamental hypocrisy serves a purpose. For all its proclaimed commitment to liberal nostrums, only 20% of Google employees are women and 1% are Black. The figures tell you that the company puts operational efficiency ahead of ideological piety. So long as realism prevails behind the façade of false virtue, capitalism is safe. We could call it Potemkin Google.

    • Nephthys

      It wasn’t a leak, it was a perspective. He put his name on it and posted it on the internal staff forum called G+.

      Then the comments went wild.

  • Phil R

    A teacher friend of mine some years ago was approached by a group of women who wanted to purge the school library.

    He asked if Enid Blyton would go and they scornfully replied “of course” and out came a load of PC to justify it.

    He laughed at them. They did not laugh back. He asked why they needed his agreement, they said the head had told them that they must have “a consensus” from staff.

    Interesting that he was the only one to stick to his guns. The rest caved in the head said that “almost a consensus” was good enough and the library was purged and the “book burning” went ahead.

    My friend soon found that he now had a group of implacable enemies in the school. He was young, the management did not support him and “the ladies” some of which had senior management roles wanted him out and so he soon obliged. The UK lost a Maths and Physics teacher to Hong Kong, where he has worked very happily for over 20 years.

    He has often told this story of how the PC police did him a huge favour.

    I am sure not all who stand against the flow are so employable. So most employees are very wary of the PC Stasi

    • Harley Quin

      The Chinese are really good mathematically. Thats why they are represented in such proportions in hi tech corporations like Google.

      According to Richard Lynn, the Chinese, at least in coastal regions, have a mean IQ of 105. In Hong Kong it is 108 ( White British 100 ).

      Hang on- that’s ‘racist’ isn’t it? Will I get fired from this blog…..?

      • Asians here (from east Asia, for us, not the UK definition) are treated as white, they don’t get victim status. Doubt many of them want it anyway.

      • Phil R

        The Chinese are good at maths, but is it because they are taught well?

        It seems to me that we are short of good maths teachers in the UK but we do anything in order to avoid paying maths teachers more money. An A level maths teacher gets paid the same as an infant teacher.

        Teaching needs to be supply and demand. It seems to me that if we are serious about improving maths then we need to pay maths teachers £60K and non shortage teachers e.g. PE should be paid 30% less. That way we might actually get better outcomes for less money overall.

        • Harley Quin

          It is the result of the interaction between native ability and the teaching environment.

          As I understand it, the Chinese teach the way teaching was done in Britain when I was a youth. I.e, pupils ( not ‘students’) were taught by a ‘master’ or ‘mistress’- the titles speak for themselves – to “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest’ as the saying had it.

          This wasn’t rote, but an instruction in a subject on the assumption that there were standards to be achieved and those who were instructing knew what they were talking about while those instructed didn’t.

          The aim was to help those instructed ascend in a ladder up to the level of expertise of the instructors.

          It seems very common sense, but all this seems to have gone out of the window in this country for leftist ideological reasons.

          Such a regime helped all those subject to it but allowed those with inherited ability to really shine.

          From what i’ve read the Chinese overdo it because of the intense competition to get into the best Universities.

        • Woman at home

          First of all we need to change the way we teach maths. Start stretching the students with an aptitude and stop trying to teach 5 different ways of long division, mutiplication etc in the hope that the less bright ones will find one method they like. All that happens is the brighter ones get bored and the less competent students get confused.

          • Phil R

            Two points

            As I understand it, the 20 different ways to divide etc are due to a the brightest needing to obtain “mastery”. This is another wooly definititon that the Government did not bother to define and so 1000s of schools are trying to achive it in 1000s of different ways.

            Governments love these meaningless terms and the education world is full of them. It provides yet another stick to enforce conformity as both teachers and schools are judged on a load of subjective criteria. These of course can be applied in a whole different variety of ways for teachers and schools (These we have seen are often faith schools, who have good results and strong support from parents) who fail to conform.

            We do have a lot of good maths graduates and teachers who are not currently teaching. Why? because they get better T and C elsewhere and yes this does include pay. (Why do we pay say a Geog teacher the same as a maths teacher?) Also we want teachers who want to teach maths. (This seems rather obvious but the way lessons are observed, how “fun” they are seems to be the main criteria). This means that whether they are teaching the maths correctly, should be the only criteria and not have their lessons judged, by pupils and other staff, like they are auditioning for the X Factor every day. No wonder our children leave school thinking that they are entitled and parents are willing to pay £100k or more to have them privately educated.

  • PiqueABoo

    This is a nice, readable PDF copy of the memo: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3914586/Googles-Ideological-Echo-Chamber.pdf

    This is a good (as usual) long take on the issue and science, with an erm.. interesting diversion into young adult fiction: http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

  • MorganCourtenay

    I read through his memo carefully, and found nothing offensive. He admitted that he had his own biases. He acknowledged the existence of sexism, and stated that he did not oppose diversity per se. He stated that he believed in having women and minority employees, just not the means used to acquire them. He gave several sensible non-discriminatory ways of employing more women which focused on women’s natural strengths in the workplace. I was impressed with this section. He said that workplaces needed to combine ideas from both the Left and the Right to succeed. Why then, the fury? The fact that we don’t even know who this man is only proves his point that differing ideas are not respected in Google, counter to what the “Head of Diversity” (a nonsensical token position if ever I heard one) claimed. Even if there are points of contention in his work– which he acknowledges– and even if he does not address some key problems that disadvantage women, surely his opinions are worth discussing? I’m not into this whole Silicon Valley Wail Fest. There is no such thing as a 50:50 workforce, and there never will be. People will and should be allowed to gravitate to positions that they wish to hold, and there definitely should be equality of opportunity. No one has the right to impose equality of outcome on the workplace, particularly not at the expense of performance. My solution is simple: it all starts with providing excellent education to the least well-off (in America, black students are performing far better in Charter Schools than the wreckage of the public school system) from the word go. And then teach them how to make their own money. They will either then become attractive to employers, or capable of setting up their own business.

    • martianonlooker

      “counter to what the “Head of Diversity”……”
      That always puzzles me. We are constantly informed that ‘diversity’ makes us stronger, diversity is vibrancy, diversity should be celebrated, diversity is the saviour of the human race etc, ect ad nauseum. But, the minute someone steps outside the lefty victim olympics then all hell is let loose in an effort to exact revenge and discourage the others.

      • Lagopus scotica

        Totally agree – like the article said, they want diversity of background/ race/ gender/ sexual orientation, but not diversity of thought (never, ever, diversity of thought).

      • PiqueABoo

        This is how Ben Shapiro made much the same point:

        Google: Women improve workplaces because they are different from men. Memo Guy: Women are different, on average, from men.
        Google: Fired.

        • MorganCourtenay

          It’s astounding that they can prove his point precisely by firing him. That’s unfair, particularly as he never actually opposed diversity per se or having more women in the workplace. He suggested more ways to get women into the workplace without using diversity initiatives.

    • Harley Quin

      It seems that the ‘Head of Diversity’ is pure Orwellian for ‘Head of Conformity’.

      • MorganCourtenay

        Tick-boxing, complaining and other vacuous tasks.

      • Belinda Brown

        Provides a role for a woman in a tech company where lack of sufficient female interest means there will be few women in senior roles.

    • Phil R

      “definitely should be equality of opportunity.”

      Depends. This often ends up being “equality of outcomes” by another name.

      It is often very anti family. Families tend to sacrifice for their children to give them an advantage at school (Indeed moving or paying for a better school) or socially, by encouraging participation in scouts, the Church, St Johns etc.

      These children clearly have had opportunities that other children have not had access to, mainly due to better parenting. The State decides to interfere (because of some group’s lack of opportuinity) and this will always involve reducing the benefits of being part of a functioning family.

      Like all State involvement. It corrupts everything it touches.

      • MorganCourtenay

        True. But every other family had the same opportunity to make the same decision.

        • Phil R

          I think you missed my point. The state sees that children for hardworking families do better and those from disfunctional do worse.

          It then tries to negate the advantages that parents have given their children through good parenting under the guise of equality of opportunity.

          • I rather doubt she missed your point, more likely she disagrees, as many do.

            That is by definition not equality of opportunity – the bad parents cocked that up, although said children could overcome it through hard work. It is simply an attempt to prescribe equality of outcome.

  • James Chilton

    Stop press: He has been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”

    Google had to fire him: it became a Health and Safety matter. The memo made people “fear for their safety”.

    • Broadwood

      A quote from the recommendations in the memo.
      “I hope it’s clear that I’m not saying that diversity is bad, that Google
      or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing
      biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the
      majority.
      My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and
      evidence that don’t fit a certain ideology. I’m also not saying that we
      should restrict people to certain gender roles; I’m advocating for quite
      the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member
      of their group (tribalism).”

      H/T https://www.recode.net/2017/8/5/16102476/google-diversity-vp-employee-memo

      Hmm, scary stuff, indeed. Independent, reasoned thought. Dynamite, clearly. /sarc.

    • Funny part was that the Google statement was so mealy mouthed that one could read it as agreeing with him.

    • Carbonari1848

      Man expressed concern that freedom of speech is endangered at Google.
      Man subsequently fired for expressing that concern.

      “But sir, if we fire him, won’t that just prove his point?”
      “Shut up Smithers, and find a way to do it”

  • Benthic

    I dont twitter, Facebook or BBC, now I am looking around at any other search engine. I really detest the idea that any of the above have any influence on my life.

    • I like DuckDuck Go. Very like early Google without the ads. Fast too. For me it’s a bit too European-centric but that may well not be true for you.

      Do remember not to use Firefox, of course, since they fired the founder for being against SSM, four so so (now) years ago. Fired him a couple years ago.

      Nerdom is irretrievably PC, I think. Use what works for you, and don’t put anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want on page one, above the fold. Someday it will all crash around their ears, but that day is not yet.

      • grutchyngfysch

        You can try Brave as a browser alternative if you don’t mind it a little rough and ready. It’s got some fairly decent inbuilt ad blocking software which doubles up as a revenue denier on sites you’d rather not indirectly support financially.

    • choccycobnobs
    • martianonlooker

      Tor with Duckduckgo.

      • Not a bad choice, although here there are reports that using Tor (which our Navy developed originally for security) is a fast track to monitoring by NSA. I’ve heard that MI6 prohibits any employee from using anything Google – but that may have been disinformation considering where I heard it.

        • martianonlooker

          Yes, some nodes are NSA set ups. Anonymity on the net is hard to obtain. I read some time ago that Duckduckgo acquiesced to access demands from the NSA and such users are now stored in that large facility in Utah.
          Startpage, mentioned below promises much but who knows. I would also suggest to benthic that e-mail should be protonmail or possibly hushmail.
          As for Google, very compromised at every stage.

  • Royinsouthwest

    If I do a Google search for “Conservative Woman” this site comes up first, as you might expect, but a warning is displayed saying This site my be hacked.. That has been the case for at least a couple of months. I tried clicking on the warning and a Google search “help page” came up which displayed the following message:

    “This site may be hacked” message

    You’ll see the message “This site may be hacked” when we believe a hacker might have changed some of the existing pages on the site or added new spam pages. If you visit the site, you could be redirected to spam or malware.

    Who is the website manager for Conservative Woman? Has she/he contacted Google about the false hacking message? She or he should certainly do that because the false warning looks as if it is intended to discourage people from visiting the Conservative Woman website.

    Could this be a deliberate form of censorship by a left-wing software engineer at Google, possibly with tacit approval of Google managers?

    • Kathy Gyngell

      Thank you for this reminder – I am chasing the up straightaway

    • Belinda Brown

      I never thought of that. The this site may be hacked has been there for ages.

  • Nephthys

    Summers: “but why does he care about Google’s bottom line? If Google want to hire more women and pay them more than they are worth in order to improve diversity numbers, but hit profits, then that is their choice.”
    I guess it’s because he’s a “stakeholder”. He has skin in the game.

    Google jobs are very prestigious that why he worked there. Our pamphleteer must have a contingency plan considered. If he thinks he still has a future at Google, he’s delusional.

    Over in the motherland, we’re one general election away from mandatory wage publication and regulation for medium and larger companies.

    • He has a few plans from what I read. 1) his degree is a Harvard PhD in Biology, should be rather marketable, and the job market is better than it has been in 10 years. 2) after he wrote his memo he filed a complaint with our NRLB which makes firing him illegal, and subject to suit. Given Google/Alphabet has admitted to blacklist some employees, and their resources…well, somebody said his settlement will have more zeroes in than the IJN had at the battle of Midway. Pays to talk to one’s lawyer early and often.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Organisations like Google and the BBC, obviously fail to live up to their own preaching on equality, but that does not seem to bother them. As long as they are telling everyone else what they should be doing and thinking, their own glaring failure to follow suit does not matter. It is a kind of Sicilian defence; protect yourself by going on the offensive against others. In that way they further devalue these delusional leftist notions they claim to promote. Remember, it’s the virtue-signalling, stupid

  • Phil R

    Google. (and others), part of the new breed of multinationals. Hugely rich, independant of elected Governments, but through their great wealth and power able to control Governments (due to the inherrent weaknesses in democracy) even to the extent that they do not need to pay taxes.

    These corporations are not neutral socially. They are without exception “right on” and no dissent is allowed.

  • Carbonari1848

    Leftie rags like the Guardian tell us that women are woefully underrepresented at Google, and that in general, the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley is a problem.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/aug/07/silicon-valley-google-diversity-black-women-workers

    Which begs the question; if gender parity and diversity are so important to a company’s success, how did Google manage to become one of the most successful companies in the world in the last 15 years?

    Silicon Valley is one of the greatest wealth-generating industries in the US. If there is a lack of diversity there, what does that tell us about how “necessary” it is to have diversity in industry?

  • WFC

    wrote a anti-diversity memo, laying out some stark truths about the sexes.

    It wasn’t an “anti-diversity” memo. It was a memo criticising a “diversity” policy which assumes, as holy writ, that everybody is the same.

  • Sargv

    Google is not a “Nerdom”. Engineers there are treated as Wagyu beef, they’re being catered to, but they decide nothing. It was highjacked by cut throat means-to-end middle-management culture about a decade ago and started to leak top engineering talent back then.

    A lot of those managers were sharp-elbowed upper middle-class young women, using their state-protected status to their advantage. They planted the seed of committee culture. With ad revenue going down and a social network revolution that Google become too old and rigid to join (Google+, anyone?), they’ve already lost the battle. They’re in the same group as Microsoft, HP, IBM, etc. A bald 45 years old accountant with a mid-life crisis, who’s trying to be hip. A USSR-lite on its way to dissolution. A Yahoo 2.0.

    The guy stood up to his principles. I, personally, respect that.

  • English Advocate

    Saying that men and women are different is now as revolutionary as saying that 2 + 2 = 4.