Golf controversially used in Civil Service diversity training manual

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 17, 2021 07:26

There are calls for the Civil Service to stop using an ‘anti-racism’ training programme for its staff, which states that golf clubs are an example of ‘privilege’.

The UK government banned ‘unconscious bias and diversity training’ in the Civil Service in 2020, citing that ‘there is not enough evidence to support the view that the training makes positive changes to either attitudes or behaviour to support their continuation’.

However, an anonymous civil servant has said he recently took mandatory anti-racism training, and leaked the document he was given during it.

In it, participants are asked to hold up all their fingers and thumbs and then put them down one by one if they have experienced any one of 13 statements, which all appear to be about racial discrimination. The document teaches that if any fingers or thumbs are left up, then the person has ‘privilege’.

The 13 statements include being denied service because of the colour of your skin, being bullied because of your race and having to teach your children how to not be killed by the police.

One of the statements reads: ‘Put a finger down if you’ve never been to a golf or country club with your family’.

The document doesn’t appear to detail anything beyond that statement about why its authors seem to believe British golf clubs have a link with racism.

There have been very few reports of racism within UK golf clubs this century, there is no suggestion any golf club in the UK would deny service to anyone due to the colour of their skin and a few years ago British golf clubs ran a successful project to introduce the game to people from ethnic minorities.

Several people on social media said this diversity training should be stopped – particularly because of the 13 statements. One wrote: ‘I’ve never been to a golf club with my family. This has got nothing to do with race’.

“Despite a growing diversity training industry and increased adoption of unconscious bias training programmes, a strong body of evidence has emerged that shows that such training has no sustained impact on behaviour and may even be counter-productive,” said Julia Lopez, Parliamentary Secretary, (Cabinet Office), when she announced that the training will be phased out in all Civil Service departments from January 2020.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 17, 2021 07:26
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