Coffee House

The City: a beacon of diversity

27 November 2012

11:01 AM

27 November 2012

11:01 AM

Now, what would those in the Equalities industry say to an industry so diverse that it has — in proportion — seven times as many Hindus, five times as many Indians, three times as many atheists and three times as many gays or lesbians as the rest of the country? And that this was achieved not by a positive discrimination employment strategy, but by sheer hard-headed hunt for the best talent? It would likely be hailed as an exemplar of diversity, an example of how Britain is the most tolerant country in the world. But if they happen to be bankers? Well, that’s another issue altogether.

The study from Astbury Marsden (cited in Allister Heath’s City A.M. column yesterday) sampled 1,655 City workers and the results are below. (Don’t expect to read them anywhere in the Guardian.)

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This, to me, is what the City is about. It is a thing of beauty and wonder: Canary Wharf is a modern-day Babel where the most talented from all over the planet convene in the language of commerce. And the term ‘banker’ is used to cover a multitude of disciplines: the City is home to insurers, researchers, corporate lawyers, bond analysts, all of them the word’s best. The City is more diverse than Wall St, where Americans take the top jobs. The City has a Wimbledon model: we provide the turf on which the world’s best foreigners, and applaud as they walk off with the silverware. Our only concern is that the best people win. This, as a national trait, is rarer than you might expect.

And hiring Mark Carney, a foreigner, to be head of the Bank of England may surprise foreigners. But not Brits: I genuinely believe that we are the most tolerant and globalised nation on earth. We can have two Premier League football teams play each other without a single British-born player on the starting line-up and the English crowd will care only about the quality of the football.

It was odd, hearing on the radio this morning the idea that it is somehow a failure that we failed to hire a Brit to succeed Sir Mervyn King. Quite the reverse. It is a reminder that Britain’s horizons are global and have been since the days of empire. And this is best exemplified, I think, in our much-maligned City of London — one of the very best things about our country. And has been for years. I’ll give the last word to Voltaire, who made the same observation a couple of centuries ago:

‘Go into the Exchange in London, that place more venerable than many a court, and you will see representatives of all the nations assembled there for the profit of mankind. There the Jew, the Mahometan, and the Christian deal with one another as if they were of the same religion and reserve the name of infidel for those who go bankrupt… On leaving these peaceable and free assemblies, some go to the synagogue, others in search of a drink… all are satisfied.’
PS: CoffeeHousers who are into this kind of thing should sign up to Allister Heath’s mailing list and be emailed his daily column the evening before it’s printed. Allister is editor of City AM and a contributing editor of The Spectator.

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Show comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Simon-Fay/1127268875 Simon Fay

    Royal Mail Xmas-temp labour-pool: a beacon of low-pay diversity.

  • Christian Jones

    Fraser and his fellow travellers in the ‘elite’ love diversity so much they spend millions to live as far from it as possible and school their children as far away from it as possible. How wonderful it must be to live life insulated from ones opinions by money.

  • Malfleur

    Praise of the Exchange, and by implication of the diversity of the City, was made, in better English and with fewer fatuities, in The Spectator No. 69 by Joseph Addison (1711). It was not then, however, thought by journalists to be politic to tear the rest of the country apart at the same time.

    http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/nael/18century/topic_1/royal_exchange.htm

    • Daniel Maris

      Nice find Malfeur….probably lost on the plebs. 🙂

  • The_Missing_Think

    “and the English crowd will care only about the quality of the football.”

    Or they’ll get arrested and face upto 7 years in jail.

    It’s as if its been voluntary and no brutal oppression such as the ‘secret court’ Emma West’s case is happening… total denalism writ large.

  • Noa

    So 1% of the UK is ‘Gay’? No wonder the remaining 99% think that Cameron’s Gay marriage campaign is a lunatic chimera.

    • Capilano

      99%? Is it make up the numbers day?

  • Wilhelm

    11 year old girl raped by black man, so violently she had to go to hospital. The media censors the ethnicity, I found out, he is black. I love diversity !

    news.sky.com/story/1016384/second-man-held-after-girl-11-raped-in-park

    • Christian Jones

      You always know when they’re black Wilhelm;

      a) They carry out most rapes.

      b) There will be no mention whatsoever of a description, unless they have white accomplices for balance.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Make your mind up Fraser. If we are better and stronger with cream of the world working in the City why are you so damn scared of leaving the EU?

  • Wilhelm

    The more a country become richer, the more decadent it becomes, the more atheist it becomes, the less people have children, because they’re selfish, they want to look after number one, instead of raising a family.

    In every western European nation, the birth rates are collapsing. The people who have large families are mormons, amish and catholics ( not any more, catholicism has been infested by marxism )

    • Daniel Maris

      Are you a theist Wilhelm? Or a Thorist?

      • Capilano

        He’s a racist internet obsessive.

    • http://twitter.com/rlpkamath Rahul Kamath

      Wlhelm- I’ve started wondering about your unashamed unabashed public nazi/ eugenics/ outright racism towards the non-white. Full marks for being open rather than closeted about it. But where does it come from: socialization, bad personal experiences w/ non-whites, fear of your future, something else? Care to enlighten the rest of us? Thanks.

  • Daniel Maris

    Thanks Fraser. Can we file this one under “Strained and Unconvincing Attempts to Appear Convincing that you Dig Diversity” along with the “I’m a-whooping and

    a-hollering with delight at the fact Mohammed is now the top baby boy name.” article?

    Next you’ll be telling us your nanny is Lithuanian, you buy the occasional takeaway curry and Africans wash your car in the supermarket.

    • Christian Jones

      Yes, when he moves to Brixton and his kids start going out with delroy we’ll start taking him seriously. Until them he should be dismissed as the stinking hypocrite he is.

  • Daniel Maris

    Hang on, surely the Equality Czar (or Czarina) would be horrified that certain ethnic groups are 5 times OVERrepresented…How are women faring in the bearpit by the way?

  • MirthaTidville

    You need to get out more Mr Nelson……London doesn`t seem to suit you

  • Bob Dixon

    Thanks Fraser. Your observations show all is not lost.

    How to exploit the great advantages this island nation has? Here we are off the north west coast of Europe. The gulf stream keeping us warm in winter and cool in summer.

    The business language of the world is english. Once we had it all. What is now holding us back?

    We have tied our selves too close to the EU. We have turned our backs on the commonwealth. We do not have a politician who can get us back on track. If we have, the pygmies have made sure their message and ideas are not being heard.

    Lets start by negotiating a new deal with the EU. Lets start trading more with the outside world. Lets do it now.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Mr Nelson, when I see this rag being edited by a Mirpuri female then I’ll be convinced by your paeans to diversity.

    • Hexhamgeezer

      …and I might then renew my subscription….(joke)

    • Daniel Maris

      A woman might be a start… LOL (though they did allow a woman to cook for them – Nigella).

  • the viceroy’s gin

    What a load of tripe.

    Don’t you Speccie teenagers have something better to do with your time than tap out odes to the oh-so-self-evident virtue of multiple shades of skin pigmentation?

    Seriously, wouldn’t your time be better spent elsewhere, on matters important?

    Are your paymasters that frantic about the UKIP and Common Purpose conflagrations that they require you plaster up such waste as this post?

    And can you understand that it will be rejected across the board, as tripe and a waste?

    • Capilano

      The Spectator has clearly decided that it no longer want to cater to the “tired old crank and obsessive” market. Some day you’ll figure that out and move on.

      • Christian

        No, they simply reflect the host from which they leech; the Conservative Party. It’s more liberal so the magazine is more liberal.

  • BuBBleBus

    And if this marvellous diverse City could actually do
    something to get us out of the credit crunch / recession morass, like provide a
    proper market for international finance. How come I can’t get a decent interest
    on my savings, why can’t I invest in the global economy and get my 2% worth,
    because there is no innovation, no new banks, no new global currency, just the
    tired out US dollar and the zillions of debt. Start up a new bank and deal in “trade”
    currency, all those poor countries signed up to the Euro will rush to go back
    to their own local currency, get control of their growth prospects and invest
    in a globally recognised piece of new paper. The market will see that it works,
    give us back our markets.

    • Capilano

      Metro Bank is a new bank. So is Virgin Money. But carry on moaning.

  • In2minds

    Diversity? I should say so, they do say Mrs Carney is an eco-warrior that will help a lot!

    • Daniel Maris

      Yippee!!! QE for wind turbines. You’ll all be happy won’t you!

  • dalai guevara

    Boris wants those Indian students at London universities.
    Dave wants to be a constructive member.
    Millipede is passionate about something.
    No one cares anymore what Clegster thinks.

    And now we observe another case made for multiculturalism this week. It’s not too difficult to add all this up and smell the coffee, is it Vulture?

  • Jez

    How many Black Africans you racist b*stards?

    .

    What’s the reason why they are completely under represented in the financial sector?

    .

    .

    .

    …….. can’t wait for this one.

    • dalai guevara

      Who’s gone to jail this week – proof that you must be misinformed.

      • Cogito Ergosum

        Your comment proves nothing. One instance does not and cannot disprove a statistical case.

        • dalai guevara

          Correct, it’s worse than that: the villain is only persued and found in America (Diamond’s Bob) or UBS (minorities). Now go strip another ‘mate’ of a title.

    • Fochabers

      “What’s the reason why they are completely under represented in the financial sector?”

      Innumeracy, lack of trust – all those Nigerian scams etc, poor education standards, lack of abilty…

  • http://www.coffeehousewall.co.uk/ Coffeehousewall

    Does Nelson not realise that it was at Babel that the languages of the world were confused so that people could not understand each other, and this was because in their great pride the people of Babel believed that they were equal to God.

    It is certainly a useful allusion to the City but not at all in the way you imagine, and that it is thought to be something wonderful shows how far the Spectator is from real conservatism.

    • Capilano

      Or maybe the expression is commonly used to refer to a place with a lot of languages.

  • TomTom

    1655 City Workers out of 300,000 is a representative sample is it Fraser ? Do some statistical sampling before making yourself look very silly

    • andagain

      I think you will find that when statisticians talk about a representative sample, they are talking about how respondants were selected, not how many of them there were. Forgeting that might make you look very silly.

      1655 people is quite enough, if you only want figures to the closest 1% or so.

      • TomTom

        Mark Cameron, Chief Operating Officer at Astbury Marsden, says: “Our
        latest research shows that there is still a glass ceiling for women who
        work in the City. While this is still a major issue there are positive
        signs of change on the horizon, with banks and hedge funds keen to
        address the gender imbalance.”

        The research found that commodity trading, corporate stockbroking are
        amongst the least gender diverse sub sectors of financial services with
        91% and 84%, respectively, of mid and senior level staff in those areas
        being male……………..Astbury Marsden is an award-winning, international recruitment firm
        focussed on banking, financial services and management consulting……..

      • TomTom

        You describe Accidental Sampling which allows NO CONCLUSIONS to be drawn beyond that sample. I think you will find “andagain” you may find that Nonprobability Sampling is a very poor way to draw the conclusions Fraser Nelson attempts……using a City Headhunter as a source when it also finds ONLY 20% Mid-to Senior Positions in The City are held by women

    • Fergus Pickering

      It could easily be a representative sample. Dear me, you are sad people. Old testament quoting, hellfire preaching neanderthals. Thank God real conservatives are like me and not like you.

  • Kevin

    I think we could do with a foreigner re-writing this blog posting.

    He or she would probably be more pro-British.

    • EJ

      The contempt Nelson feels for his readership drips from every sentence.

      • TomTom

        He can only write what his Paid Advocacy Contract requires – he is Pen for Hire

        • the viceroy’s gin

          Yes, I don’t take seriously what the Speccie teenagers write. They don’t really understand much of it, and are merely doing what they’re paid to do. It’s not “contempt” they have. It’s more ignorance and sloth.

    • Malfleur

      Sell the Spectator back to Lord Black – preferably for a peppercorn – so it can be run properly again!

  • Malfleur

    “This, to me, is what the City is about. It is a thing of beauty and wonder: Canary Wharf is a modern-day Babel…”

    Has this chap,Nelson, no idea what the pejorative connotations of “Babel” are? Why are these pig-ignorant people embedded in our ancient publications?

    • dalai guevara

      Perhaps it is not meant to be a…compliment?

      • Malfleur

        and perhaps the pig-ignorant have wings…

        • dalai guevara

          One needs to be reminded that one can survive outside a bubble, you know.

    • TomTom

      The guys who built Canary Wharf are no longer Canadian moguls

    • Capilano

      Poor thing, you can’t see he was just talking about multilingualism? Perhaps you should ask Speccie to dumb things down for readers like you.

  • TomTom

    The City is the ONLY reason for this offshore island. The main thing is that Oligarchs from Russia, China, Saudi Arabia can bank and be catered to by those they wish to serve them. The running costs for the island should be kept low with the peasants provided basic subsistence and not proving an expensive burden on The City. The peasantry should provide the footsoldiers needed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia for which they pay handsomely. The main purpose of any offshore island is – like Jersey – to be a banking centre with some agriculture and low-grade workforce to run basic services padded out with cheap Portuguese labour from Madeira. This is the basic model and it is working reasonably well in England…….it will take another few years of Cameron-Clegg-Osborne to make it truly successful as a model for every backward island state

    • Malfleur

      I think you are on to something here. We may be looking at the development of a neo-feudalist state under construction.

    • dalai guevara

      Of course you are onto something – but in other places you propose a flat rate tax for all (50%, if I got that right). You do realise we do not run a Norwegian or Swiss model where a child minder earns 40k and a PA 70k, thus allowing tax levels to be what they are over there? Then of course you would get closer to making it work.

      Now, ask yourself how realistic that is.

  • William Haworth

    I think you’ll find you’re completely wrong. Anyone from a minority needs positive discrimination to get them up to the level of the average. Harriet Harman told me, so it must be true.

    • telemachus

      That is not what Harriet said
      Andrew Neather was at least part correct in the need for the entry of these immigrants to stimulate life and make us great again

  • http://twitter.com/ianwalkeruk Ian Walker

    I wonder if the ‘beacon of diversity’ requires its employees to speak English? Because if it does, then your correspondent Mr Massie won’t like it – that’s the sort of lunatic policy that the closet racists of UKIP espouse.

    • EJ

      Spot on Ian!

  • http://twitter.com/Harry_ca_Nab The Elderking

    The diversity of Tower Hamlets is the main reason we left the area – lone women being attacked in the street, sharia no-go areas, stabbings, terrorism…I could go on but its just too depressing. Just glad we got out at the top the market.

    • Chris lancashire

      I’ll tell you what’s depressing – that you can only come up with this response to an excellent article.

      • TomTom

        Fraser doesn’t tell us the hiring criteria at the Speccie and why Scots are over-represented and Chinese under-represented

      • Kevin

        It is a relevant point. Tower Hamlets is the local community of Canary Wharf.

        • Capilano

          You think Canary Wharf banks hire most of their staff from Tower Hamlets?

      • Capilano

        Its the same response Speccie’s race obsessives give to every Spectator article, no matter what the subject.

    • EJ

      I did the same. I lived in Tower Hamlets for five years. It was a deeply threatening hell-hole. I’d love to see the likes of Nelson, Forsyth etc try living there. They wouldn’t last five minutes. And it’s coming soon to a town or city near you.

      The Spectator today seems to have cast off all pretence of being a publication of the Right, belting out hypocrisy-laden Left-wing propaganda with gusto. The Left will not be satisfied until we have given everything away.

  • Anthony Makara

    Why is diversity a point worth mentioning and is it of any more value than a community made up of an homogenous group? The City of London’s financial community performed perfectly well in years past when its make up was far less diverse so why is diversity being so vigorously applauded?

    • http://twitter.com/dangroveruk Dan Grover

      I think it’s less the abject diversity and more the fact that it’s allowed to happen – that we have a society where the most important thing is who is best, not who is of the correct demographic. A lot of the groups mentioned above aren’t from places that have traditionally had large financial sectors – so yes, whilst we did fine enough before there was a great deal of diversity (though I suggest you re-read Voltaire’s quote above if you think this is a modern change), many of those wouldn’t have had an opportunity to perform in that way. Now they do – even in their native countries – and yet they choose to come to London. That’s good for basically everyone, except those Brits not quite good enough to succeed. But hey, I’m sure they can do something else.

      • TomTom

        Yes but you can go to an English Public School and work in The City even if you are Ghanian and called Kweku Adoboli who only cost UBS £1.4 bn.

        • http://twitter.com/dangroveruk Dan Grover

          I’m confused about the suggestion you’re making here. It doesn’t seem to bear much relation to anything I said, other than to suggest a guy who was more or less entirely educated in a British system ended up being a fraudster. What’s relevant?

        • Fergus Pickering

          And that proves what exactly? I think you will find in the average prison that the percentage of malefactors who come from a good public school is extremely low. And when I am mugged in the street I would be quite surprised if the criminal had a university education.

    • EJ

      And I am supposed to think this is a good thing WHY?

      Can anyone explain to me WHY I am supposed to think it’s good that our institutions are becoming more “diverse” in any way that is convincing?

      Or am I supposed to wet my pants with glee just because the left-wing multicultural thought gestapo tell me that I have to?

      • Capilano

        No you are supposed to tell us about the good old days when when your cherished monocultural thought gestapo ensured gays stayed in the closet and the top jobs were for Christians.

        • EJ

          I suppose if you’re a gay non-Christian all this diversity stuff is like manna from heaven to you. But I’m straight, white, CofE and I refuse to be cowed by the squeeling PC diversity zealots.

          • Capilano

            No, most straight Christians got over the homophobia thing a while ago. Keep in mind the only squealing zealot here is you.

    • Malfleur

      “Why is diversity a point worth mentioning…?’

      I think it is because “diversity” is a policy of our political class to divide us against ourselves so that we may be better controlled in its interest.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think bankers were always from ethnic minorities. In the past they were all jews were they not?

    • Capilano

      Because its much bigger and more internationally competitive now. Obviously.

  • Swiss Bob

    seven times as many Hindus, five times as many Indians

    Bankers? Are you sure that they’re not IT workers on ICT schemes putting local workers on the dole?

    Good business for the banks, bad business for the country, not only is the tax take lost you then have to pay the unemployed and their families, all to save the nice banks a few quid.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Good catch.

    • Capilano

      Have a look around the City. The answer is obviously no.

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