Thursday, September 11, 2008


In the last two days, there have been two major racism allegations from senior officers - Tariq Ghaffur and Yasmin Rehman who was head of diversity. It seems unbelievable that a Head of Diversity suffered from discrimination! Generally, when people make these allegations, a lot of suffering has already happened as they usually are career suicide.

To me there is a real lack of senior ethnic minority officers throughout the UK public service. And the reason for this is simple - UK leaders want power to be mono-cultural. They do not want to share this, where people are from different cultures and identities. This has to change as Britain is a multi-cultural nation and people have to realise that power is a thin wedge - leaders should not go after power but do be good public servants. This attitude of the Met suggests that leaders are not about public service but instead about power. Many ethnic minorities have strong cultures of public service and leadership where they are willing to share and devolve power. But they need to be given the chance.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


One of the simplest and most practical ways of cultivating respect is through hospitality and gracefulness. If we put ourselves into the shoes of others, we will be able to see the picture from their perspective - we need not agree with it, but it helps to understand it. Here are some tips:
- Welcome visitors and offer them a glass of water without even asking.
- Smile, if possible try to say something positive about them
- Look into their eyes and try to make a connection
- Make time for people and investing in your key relationships
- Read about other cultures, through novels or books, hear their music, or watch their films.
- Travel with an open mind and challenge your thinking and perceptions of others

This is building respect in a simple practical way.