Lionel Shriver is right about the diversity industry: Writers should be judged by their talent, not their background

Lionel Shriver is right about the diversity industry: Writers should be judged by their talent, not their background. By Christian Butler.

Lionel Shriver, the author best known for her novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, has sparked a fierce debate in the publishing world after criticising Penguin Random House’s ‘company-wide goal’ to ensure that all its new hires and authors reflect the diversity of British society by 2025.

‘Drunk on virtue, Penguin Random House no longer regards the company’s raison d’être as the acquisition and dissemination of good books’, Shriver wrote in the Spectator. ‘From now until 2025, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual preference and crap-education boxes.’ …

It was the Guardian that won the prize for the most stupid response to Shriver. It ran a piece saying that ‘without diversity the English literary world would not have Homer, Dostoevsky or García Marquez’. Yes, but they didn’t require quotas, did they. It was their talent that propelled them forward. …

The Independent piece cited a survey that found that 90.4 per cent of the UK publishing industry is made up of white people. But in the last census, Britain was found to be 87.17 per cent white, so this is not the catastrophic disparity some claim it is. The most interesting statistic in the survey shows that women are vastly overrepresented in the publishing industry: 84.6% of publishing workers are female. Funnily enough, this didn’t come up much in the reaction to Shriver. Penguin Random House has included gender as part of its new diversity pledge – so can we expect it to cut over three tenths of its female workforce to achieve equal gender representation?

“Diversity” is obviously not about what they say it is. Diversity is bias against white males and western civilization, pure and simple, so that the cultural Marxists can be in charge. It’s about power and money for the “right-on” people.

hat-tip Stephen Neil