Friday, May 29, 2009


White men rule, Minister of the Interior does not

In early March this blog featured a story about quotas for women and minority candidates in the Dutch police. Dutch Parliament had asked for quotas to increase the number of women and minorities at the expense of white males. So the Minister of the Interior, Guusje ter Horst, insisted that a police district would not hire a male candidate. Instead a woman or a minority ought to be selected. The Minister had to back down after heavy pressure on the Minister from populist media.

Zeeland fights and emerges*

Something similar happened this week. The security apparatus of the province of Zeeland refused to accept a woman as their police chief (Korpschef). The proposed police woman (Dutch), Mrs. Rutte-Teuben was judged a lightweight by the commissions that had to appraise her.

The Zeeland securocrats insist on quality. The ratio of cases solved to crimes reported is slipping and they cannot afford to acquiesce in the appointment of a substandard candidate. So the need for quality has trumped the demand for equality.

The ardour of Parliament for quotas was doused

But there is better news. Dutch Parliament is so discouraged by the difficulties of finding good female and minority candidates, that they are giving up diversity management altogether. Parliament fears power struggles between the minister and the police hierarchy (Dutch). They are now calling for an end to the quota system and for merit based promotions.

* The Coat of Arms of the province of Zeeland is "Fight and emerge" and a half submerged lion.

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