Martin Luther King fought for and won equal rights in the sixties. Nelson Mandela won equal rights in South Africa in the nineties. In the UK in the 2010s the battle for equal rights has gone into reverse.

The Blair/Brown administration was bookended by two of the worst pieces of legislation this country has ever seen: the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equalities Act 2010.

One of the worst features of the Equalities Act is that it allows so-called ‘affirmative action’ or positive discrimination in some cases. It is not required but it is allowed, and allows employers to create paid training positions targeted at groups with protected characteristics if they are under-represented in the workforce. There has recently been a spate of cases involving the BBC where training places have been offered to black and non-white minority ethnic groups.

The latest development is for such a scheme to be offered in the heart of government in Westminster in conjunction with Operation Black Vote. This organisation is best known for a race-baiting advertisement featured during  the EU Referendum campaign portraying a dignified elderly Indian lady sitting on a see-saw opposite a white skinhead hulk angrily pointing his finger. The message is clear: white people are aggressive, violent and problematic.

A circular from Operation Black Vote perpetuates the victim narrative by staking the claim of systematic and institutionalised racism and sexism.

‘A more representative Parliament would see approximately 60 BME MPs of which half would be women. This level of systematic under-representation means that people from BME communities, by design or default, feel that there is little or no place for BME communities to have a clear and just voice. OBV is trying to change this.’

In fact, there are 52 BME MPS: hardly a systematic under-representation, numbers are increasing all the time and are entirely representative of the over-18 population where there is a much lower proportion of BMEs than among under-18s. This calls into question the legality of the scheme as BMEs are not actually under-represented in Parliament with regard to the adult population.

In a rare fit of common sense, even the Labour education spokesman Angela Rayner spoke recently about the poor educational attainment of white working-class people, yet there are no schemes in place to assist them to climb out of their situation. OBV went on the rampage against her, their status at the top of the victimhood tree threatened by another much larger group which should be just as eligible for assistance as the non-whites promoted by OBV as the group with the most victim points and needing the most help from the state.

True diversity is a diversity of thought and skills rather than of appearance. This kind of diversity is grossly under-represented. The public institutions perpetuate oppressor-victim narratives based upon physical characteristics, while simultaneously homogenising thought.

Many of the white working class are proud and patriotic. They voted in large numbers for Brexit, and they reject the politically correct nonsense of the BBC and the vast majority of Parliamentarians. Heaven forbid that they, with their different opinions, should be helped through the gates!

Indeed, the Left rails against the one thing which would help social mobility more than anything else: grammar schools. These fine institutions, ravaged by Labour in the sixties and seventies, still survive in 26 out of 151 local education authority areas in England. They open up the possibility of an excellent academic education for all regardless of background and characteristics, provided that a child has an academic aptitude.

They are often criticised for being the preserve of middle-class families who can coach their children to go to them. This is because there are so few. If they existed all over the country and supply met demand, far more children could attend who are not unfairly excluded from this opportunity because they are not from a family wealthy enough to move to Kingston upon Thames or other areas which have a grammar school system.

The great contemporary philosopher Thomas Sowell suggests that affirmative action is actually counter-productive, the reason being that ethnic-minority people who take up such schemes are already the privileged of their class. In order to fill quotas, organisations offering such discriminatory schemes will play it safe and take on BME people who are middle-class and highly educated, thus accelerating people from the class who already have a privileged background. The chance of someone from an underprivileged background being taken on by, or even applying to, the scheme is disproportionately lower.

Such schemes are likely to attract BMEs from wealthy or well-educated backgrounds such as Indian and Chinese applicants who already have high aspirations to work in a high-level job and would get there under their own steam, rather than those of low academic attainment and aspiration.

It is much easier for the BBC to create a scheme for wealthy BME people and virtue-signal about it than to do the immensely hard work of adapting to the culture of the white working class who really need it.

Chuka Umunna and others said they were going on a tour around the country after Brexit to try to understand why so many people voted for Brexit and rejected their political worldview of diversity, equality and inclusion.

It seems they have learned nothing.