If we can’t get a diverse RAF, we don’t want any. Air Vice-Marshal Maria Byford, chief of RAF staff personnel, didn’t say this in so many words. But that’s what I infer from what she did say.
Under her guidance, the RAF “slowed down”, in effect paused, its recruitment. For the most important target the RAF is being set up to hit is diversity.
Our air force is committed to having 20 per cent women and 10 per cent ethnic minorities, which has sent recruitment into a tailspin. Too many white men apply for the job, and that just won’t do.
And there I was, thinking that in this context diversity meant a judicious mix of fighters, bombers and ground-attack aircraft, all with a proper logistical support. Turns out it doesn’t. It means the same in the RAF as everywhere else: sheer suicidal madness inspired by a pernicious ideology.
Byford doesn’t see it that way though: “I want the best people. So I need the best people to join to achieve the best they can during their service career and we get… what we need from an operational capability perspective.
“And if I can include more women and more people from different backgrounds in that, I think I have a better service in the long run. We are unashamed about doing that because I think that’s a good thing.”
Good to know. We don’t want our top brass to be ashamed of what they are doing. But Byford should still be ashamed of the twaddle she sees fit to mouth. Because what she effectively says is that women and ethnic minorities have a better “operational capability” than white men.
Or do I misunderstand the logic? Let’s see.
Thesis: Byford wants “the best people… from an operational capability perspective”. Antithesis: According to her, “more women and more people from different backgrounds” will deliver “a better service in the long run”. Synthesis: So I didn’t misunderstand. The more women and ethnics, the better will the RAF be operationally.
I seldom argue with professionals, assuming they know better. But in this case that simple syllogism is so counterintuitive that some historical proof of it wouldn’t go amiss.
Looking at the RAF’s finest hour, the Battle of Britain, women were part of it, but not the most spectacular part. As members of the Air Transport Auxiliary, they flew aircraft between factories and airfields.
Women flew neither Spitfires into dog fights nor Wellingtons on bombing raids. They made an important contribution, but I doubt Air Chief Marshal Dowding would have looked kindly on any suggestion that RAF women should do the same jobs as the men.
There was indeed some ethnic diversity in the RAF at the time. Two fighter squadrons were manned by Polish pilots, and two more by Czech ones. All four fought heroically, but that’s hardly the kind of diversity Maria Byford has in mind, is it? After all, both Czechs and Poles are shamefully, irredeemably white.
In other words, today’s RAF is playing the same destructive ideological games as are all other government services. But the consequences can be much more devastating.
Thomas Sowell, the most trustworthy writer on such matters, shows, figures in hand, that public officials are more likely than business executives to indulge in discrimination, negative or in this case positive.
After all, the latter stand to gain or lose their own money (or that of their shareholders) if their recruitment goes awry. Their economic survival depends on getting the best possible staff, and even the rankest racists among them are likely to suppress their innermost feelings for the sake of the bottom line.
(I myself hired some talented youngsters who bore the stigmata of modernity that made my stomach turn. But then I thought of my pension fund and controlled the gastric reactions.)
Not so with government officials, writes Sowell. Their personal risks in recruitment are so low as to be non-existent. They are happy to play ideological games because that gets them on the right side of their likeminded superiors. And if they hire unqualified candidates, who cares? The public will pay.
All that is highly persuasive. But the RAF, or any other branch of the military, isn’t like the Ministry for Women or The Arts Council, is it? Our national survival depended on it in 1940 and it may do so again, sooner than we think.
Keeping the RAF understaffed because racial and sex quotas can’t be met is borderline treasonous – especially now, when Article 5 of the Nato Charter may be triggered at any moment.
Both America and Britain have informed Putin that a deliberate radiation leak from Europe’s largest nuclear power station at Zaporozhe will have exactly that effect. And the Russians are close to weaponising the station. Speaking of that area, Gen. Vasilyev, head of Russia’s radiation, chemical and biological defence, said: “We’ll have here either free Russian territory or scorched desert.”
That means the RAF may soon be flying combat missions against the deadliest enemy of our country and civilisation – just like in 1940, but with even more at stake in our nuclear age. We want the most qualified pilots in those cockpits, not those who satisfy the criteria of woke racism.
Maria Byford ought to be cashiered with immediate effect and put into a job where she could do less lethal harm. May I suggest directorship at Tate Modern?
P.S. On the subject of Article 5, ultranationalist journalist Darya Dugina, 29, was yesterday killed near Moscow by a car bomb meant for her father.
Alexander Dugin is the principal ideologue of Russian fascism who advocates a Russia “from Dublin to Vladivostok”. He is close to Putin who sees him as his inspiration. Both Alexander and Darya have been under personal sanctions in the West for years, but it looks as if the Ukrainians have administered their own tranche.
Asked to comment on the incident, Prophet Hosea said: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”