Thursday, March 08, 2007

MSM Trying to Create Race Row

Chief superintendent Ali Dizaei was passed over for promotion and the MSM is trying to make into a race issue. First, some background. Ali Dizaei is Iranian-born and has duel-nationality. In 1999 an investigation was launched against him for various offences, he was finally acquitted of all charged in 2003. Since then he has written a book, "Not one of us", that was serialised in The Times only last week. The book is highly critical of the Metropolitan Police. The promotion had three places and ten applicants.

The MSM is making this into a race issue, either overtly (as in the Evening Standard and The Guardian) or more subtly by making clear that Mr Dizaei is Asian with headlines like "Anger as Asian police chief misses promotion" (from The Telegraph).

Now, there are two issues. One, was there any bias in the decision and secondly, was that bias racial or personal. The Black Police Association which has alleged bias has not shown any proof. As The Times leader points out:

That the MPA did not elevate Mr Dizaei to this especially senior rank this time is no more a slight on him than on the other six officers whose applications were unsuccessful....
It [The Met] should not be unfairly accused of a “vendetta” on the basis of evidence that is no more robust than that once deployed against Mr Dizaei.
But the more interesting part of this story is that every media outlet is claiming that if there was any bias it was race related. Yet, that wasn't what was alleged by The Black Police Association. Their spokesman said:

I do not want to start levelling accusations of racism, but it worries me it could be a personal vendetta against Ali."
I am hoping that the Met would not be so vindictive as to say because he has written this book we will not promote him.

It seems clear that the concern is of a "personal vendetta" as a result of Mr Dizaei's book. In fact, Damian Hockney, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said:

Many of us felt that the timing of Mr Dizaei's book was designed to put pressure on those making this selection and I'm reassured that the panel clearly did not bow to any such pressure.

The central point here is this book the Mr Dizaei has written and very recently published. If there was any bias it is recognised as being as a result of the book, not Ali's race or religion.